In the midst of its busy holiday peak shipping period, UPS established a technology milestone yesterday Tuesday when it received nearly 6.5 million online package tracking requests in a single day.

It's the latest high-water mark in a remarkable surge in online tracking requests received by the company in the last five years. It's nearly double the number of online tracking requests (3.3 million) received on last year's busiest day, and more than a six-fold increase from the busiest day in 1998. The number has shot up like a rocket since UPS recorded only 100,000 online tracking requests during the entire month of December 1995.
Online package tracking requests spike each December as UPS moves a blizzard of packages for the holidays. This year, UPS expects to deliver some 325 million packages between Thanksgiving and Christmas with daily volume increasing to 19 million deliveries on the busiest day. Yesterday's online package tracking mark is an increase of more than 85 percent over the 3.5 million daily online tracking requests UPS was receiving in October.
By integrating tracking and other tools, a host of holiday shippers like and Lands' End provide their customers 24/7 information about their order status, right from their own Web site where the purchase was originally made.
As the number of tracking requests continues to soar, UPS continues to look for ways to improve the service. Earlier this year the company rolled out a new and enhanced tracking service - UPS Signature Tracking - that enables customers to digitally receive the actual signature image as a recipient signs for packages on a driver's handheld computer. The service also provides complete proof of delivery, full delivery name and address, and the C.O.D. amount collected - all online.
UPS tracking is even available to customers through virtually any wireless device, including personal digital assistants (PDAs), cell phones and pagers.