UPS adding Saturday package delivery; Chicago area to get service end of April

United Parcel Service is joining rival shipping companies in offering Saturday package delivery and pickup.

Chicago is one of 15 metro areas where UPS will begin adding Saturday service in April, helping cut shipping times around the weekends, the company said in a news release Monday.

The move could help UPS keep up with the growth in shipments tied to online shopping and customers who increasingly expect those online purchases to arrive quickly.

"Our best customers were coming to us and saying, 'We'd gladly give these packages to you if you did Saturday pickup and delivery,'" said Paul Vassallo, vice president of new product development at UPS.

FedEx and the U.S. Postal Service already make home deliveries on Saturdays and the Postal Service also delivers Amazon packages on Sundays in some cities.

UPS started testing the Saturday delivery program in Atlanta, Philadelphia and Los Angeles last summer.

The first Chicago metropolitan area UPS facilities to switch to the six-day service will begin Saturday pickups and deliveries April 27.

By the holiday season, UPS said about 4,700 cities and towns will be able to get deliveries six days a week. UPS expects to be able to reach more than 75 percent of the customers its top clients ship to six days a week by 2018, Vassallo said.

lzumbach@chicagotribune.com

Twitter @laurenzumbach

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