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UPS had so many holiday deliveries this year, it asked accountants to help out

By Dave Gershgorn

If you received a UPS package in the final days of the holiday season, there’s a chance that the person at your doorstep was a most unusual delivery person.

UPS was so strapped for workers in the big Christmas rush that it unexpectedly called in accountants, marketers, and other office workers to deliver packages at the last minute, even asking some to use their personal vehicles to drop off shipments, according to the Wall Street Journal.

UPS employees can volunteer ahead of time for “ready teams,” composed of office workers who help with the sorting and delivering of packages. But Americans’ voracious appetite for online shopping outstripped even what the UPS had planned for.

To cope with the flood of packages, UPS drivers were working longer hours this holiday season. WSJ reports that the company asked drivers to work 70 hours over eight days, instead of 60 hours over seven days. Earlier this year, UPS also announced plans to hire 95,000 seasonal workers to deal with the crush.

But holiday talent is tight. FedEx planned to hire 50,000 seasonal workers, while Amazon said it was looking to bring on 120,000 seasonal workers. USPS told Quartz that it is focusing on hiring full-time workers rather than seasonal hires this year, but has hired up to 40,000 people for the holiday season in the past.