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FedEx's busiest day of the year keeps getting busier

December 13, 2010 |  1:51 pm

FedEx Corp. projected that Monday would be its busiest day ever for delivering packages worldwide. It's expecting to make 16 million shipments, up nearly 13% from last year's busiest day.

NYSE opening bell But don't get too excited about what this might mean for the U.S. and global economies. You see, Memphis-based FedEx basically gets to trot out this "busiest day" story every year, regardless of what is or isn't happening in world commerce.

On Dec. 18, 2006 and and Dec. 17, 2007, during what were arguably the best years of the global economic boom, FedEx had record days of 10.6 million and 11.5 million shipments, respectively. By Dec. 15, 2008, when the boom was about to go bust, FedEx's busiest day reached 12 million shipments.

The most curious figure came Dec. 14 of last year, just a few months into the global recovery, when FedEx shipments jumped to 14.2 million. That was up 18% from the year before -- more than twice the typical annual increase.

The company did very little public head-scratching over the results, preferring, quite literally, to ring in the news with the opening bell of the New York Stock Exchange.

“FedEx has been preparing for the seasonal surge of packages for almost a year and we’ve leveraged our decades of logistical expertise to ensure FedEx has all the right assets in place to handle our busiest day in history," T. Michael Glenn, executive vice president of Market Development at FedEx, said in a statement.

The company's shares rose 33 cents, or 0.4%, to $94.31. They're up 13% this year.

FedEx also said this would be its busiest week of the year, with more than 63 million shipments compared to last year’s busiest week of 57.5 million shipments. Items such as books from large Internet retailers and retail inventory such as apparel, personal consumer electronics and luxury goods will drive FedEx holiday volumes, the company said.

You can find more 2010 holiday shipping facts from FedEx here.

-- Ronald D. White

Photo: FedEx employees ring the opening bell of the New York Stock Exchange. Credit: FedEx