Forbes--The delivery delays that plagued UPS and FedEx during the 2013 Christmas shopping season were largely the result of factors beyond the carriers’ control, according to one parcel industry veteran.

Both companies — especially UPS — have been charged with being unprepared for the surge of packages that flooded their delivery networks in the final days leading up to Christmas. In fact, freight volumes were higher than expected. Cyber Monday set a new record with a 20.6% jump in online retail sales over 2012, according to IBM 2013 Holiday Benchmark Reports. And online sales in the final weekend before Christmas were up 37% over the prior year, reported IBM Digital Analytics.
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