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UPS plans to handle 800 million deliveries over holiday season

Sandy Springs-based UPS plans to deliver more than 800 million packages during the busy holiday period this year, up from 762 million in the same period last year.

The company expects record demand between Black Friday and New Year’s Day. On peak days, UPS plans to deliver more than 30 million packages a day.

The shipping giant has been adding capacity over the last year to handle more packages, including in Atlanta where UPS has opened a massive regional hub next to Fulton County’s airport Charlie Brown Field.

The  Atlanta regional hub, the second-largest UPS ground hub in the country, is highly-automated and can process more than 100,000 packages an hour. By early next year, the new Atlanta facility will have some 3,000 workers, according to UPS.

It’s one of 22 new or retrofitted facilities at the company expected to help the company handle the busy holiday season.

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Last year, some UPS packages were delayed during the week after Thanksgiving amid a wave of online orders. The company’s forecasts were off target, and its operations weren’t able to fully adjust. It ended up taking a $125 million toll on the company’s financial results.

“We’ve been constructively dissatisfied” with holiday peak season performance in the last couple of years, according to UPS chief operating officer Jim Barber. “The added capacity is a big boost to our peak readiness.”

The company is also 60 to 70 percent through a process of hiring 100,000 temporary workers for the holiday season, according to Barber.

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