Shipping Chaos at Air Hubs: UPS and FedEx Warn of Winter Storm Causing Massive Delivery Delays

UPS and FedEx warn the winter storm affecting parts of the US is causing disruptions, resulting in late deliveries of packages, and potentially missing Christmas deadlines.

UPS and FedEx both warned that high winds, bitter cold and snow is causing considerable disruptions in their networks, especially at their vital air hubs.

“Significant weather events across several regions of the US are impacting the UPS Air and Ground network, including UPS hubs in Louisville, Kentucky and Rockford, Illinois. As a result, some delivery and pickup services in these areas will be affected,” the company said on Friday.

And FedEx warned, “FedEx Express experienced substantial disruptions at our Memphis and Indianapolis hubs last night due to severe winter weather that has been moving across the United States.

“Potential delays are possible for package deliveries across the US with a delivery commitment of Friday, December 23 and Saturday, December 24.”

Not only are the parcel carriers affected by this storm. Commercial airlines have canceled more than 6,000 flights in the US before 11 am, according to data from flight-tracking website FlightAware. And over 13,000 flight delays have been reported this morning as well, adding to the chaos this storm is bringing to air travel and air cargo.

While USPS has not issued an official service alert (yet) about how this storm is affecting their network, with the Postal Service relying on FedEx and commercial air carriers to transport Priority Mail and Express Mail, it’s highly likely many packages may not make it before Christmas either.

Ground Transportation

With more than 200 million Americans under a winter storm alert, ground logistics, as well as local post offices and carrier service centers, may be closed or operating on a limited basis.

Packages and mail may be stuck in distribution centers far away from the affected areas, showing minimal tracking. Some USPS packages that are initially transported by fulfillment providers (3PL) may show no movements with USPS tracking indicating they are still waiting on the package.

This is a big mess just hours before December 25 and it will take some time to sort (or dig) out.

Even after Christmas day, senders and receivers will need to have some patience as all carriers try to recover from the backlog this storm is creating across the country.

eBay Protection Seller Metrics due to Delays from Winter Storm

Last night, eBay issued a seller protection notice, stating it would protect seller metrics from delays caused by this winter storm. It was the first online marketplace to address this winter storm situation.

If you sold any products online that shipped with an express level service, even if you are in Florida sending an order to California, it may have to go through one of the major air hubs affected by this massive storm resulting in a delay.

We strongly advise online merchants and marketplace sellers to keep tracking packages and inform customers of this situation, as those sitting in the sunshine, may not realize how this storm is affecting their last-minute gift purchase.

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