US logistics giant UPS, criticized for late deliveries of Christmas presents last year, said Tuesday it has started to hire up to 95,000 temporary workers to avoid repeating the fiasco.
UPS said it needed between 90,000 and 95,000 seasonal employees to handle an anticipated surge in holiday package shipments driven by online shopping that begins in October and runs through January.
Strong growth in US online sales caught UPS short-handed in the 2013 holiday season -- the company blamed an "unprecedented" level of online shopping.
Since then, UPS has been making improvements in delivery forecasts, processing capacity and adding thousands of new or leased delivery vehicles, aircraft and trailers to gear up for the 2014 crunch.
For "Black Friday," the day after the Thanksgiving holiday that kicks off the holiday shopping season in the US and this year falls on November 28, the company said it was adding nearly 50 new package sorting shifts throughout its hub locations.
"We have initial volume forecasts from our customers and are starting the hiring process for our temporary peak-season jobs," said John McDevitt, UPS senior vice president of human resources and labor relations.
"We have needs throughout the United States and anticipate more applicants this year than in 2013."
Shares in UPS closed 0.4 percent higher at $97.96.