Updated 12/13/2011 at 7:49 a.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — While the economy may be hurting, business is booming for FedEx, and records are being set.
As CBS 2’s Mike Parker reports, at the FedEx Center in Bedford Park Monday, packages came en masse down the conveyor belt, through the red light of the time and destination scanner. Some 240,000 packages were expected to pass through the sorting facility Monday.
“It’s the most intense part of the year for us, you know,” said FedEx employee Sean Hickey. “Our volume picks up big time.”
That is an understatement. On a comparable day last year, FedEx moved 15.6 million packages, and on Monday, that figure was expected to total 17 million.
Somehow, FedEx employees were confident that it would all get done, “through a lot of team work, a lot of pride, and our great people,” said senior FedEx manager Bill Burgoon. “The world on time. That’s what it’s all about.”
Not everything is guaranteed to work perfectly, of course.
“We have forecasts and plans, and things don’t always go as planned,” said FedEx employee Matthew Fagnano.
But as with so many commercial enterprises nowadays, there are computer systems and computer experts to stave off what could be disastrous slowdowns.
“When you take a step back and you look at everything,” it’s amazing that they pull off the whole operation, Hickey said.
But somehow, the trucks keep coming, and the packages keep coming in and going out, on time.
Burgoon said he regards himself as kind of a surrogate for Santa Claus.
FedEx says if you want your presents delivered by Christmas Eve, your deadline for ground shipment is Friday, Dec. 16.
If you don’t make that deadline, the gifts will have to be sent express. That costs a little more, and that deadline is Friday, Dec. 23.