UPS Holiday Shipping

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UPS plans to hire 70,000 temporary workers to help with the holiday shipping season, a 40 percent increase from 2003.

UPS estimated today that it will deliver more than 340 million packages between Thanksgiving and Christmas, peaking on Tuesday, Dec. 21. That day, it expects to handle 20 million air and ground packages. That is more than six million above the company's normal domestic daily load.

Last year, UPS hired 50,000 seasonal workers, about the same as 2002.

The increase is seen as a sign of an improving economy because delivery companies such as UPS are considered bellwethers of consumer purchasing. During the last holiday season, UPS delivered just over 300 million packages.

The seasonal workers will include package sorters, loaders and driver-helpers. The company's ground delivery fleet of 88-thousand brown package vans, cars and tractor-trailers will increase by seven-thousand vehicles. UPS Airlines will add two dozen jets to its year-round operating fleet.

The temporary workers join the company's 317,000 employees in the United States.