Polar Vortex Grounds Carriers

Jan 07, 2014 12:21 PM  By

Consumers who are waiting for cold-weather gear they ordered online to stay warm during the polar vortex may not get these products shipped to them right away because of, well, the polar vortex. The deep freeze from the North Pole has forced weather-related delays for carriers at several  hubs in the Midwest, northeast and southeast U.S.

[RELATED ARTICLE: 7 Tips for Messaging a Delay in Shipping]

For example, UPS said that severe weather in the Midwest has caused a significant disruption to operations in Michigan and Ohio, as well as at Worldport main hub in Louisville. As a result, USP says some shipments may experience unavoidable delays.

“We have contingency plans in place to minimize service disruptions and are committed to moving shipments to their final destinations as quickly as possible,” UPS said on its website. “We are balancing our priorities of customer service and employee safety, and will make every effort to deliver to all areas as conditions safely permit.”

UPS added that its service guarantee does not apply when transportation networks are disrupted due to events of this nature.

Meanwhile, FedEx Express said it experienced substantial flight and sort disruptions at multiple hubs Monday night due to severe winter weather. Potential delays are possible for package deliveries across the U.S. with a delivery commitment of Jan. 7, according to FedEx.com.

To help avoid delays, FedEx is encouraging shippers to contact recipients to verify whether their location is open or able to receive deliveries before and after the winter storm. In the event of evacuations, shipments not delivered before the winter storm will be secured in one of FedEx’s facilities, and delivery will be attempted when it is safe to do so.

[RELATED ARTICLE: 7 Tips for Messaging a Delay in Shipping]

Like UPS, FedEx has also suspended its money-back guarantee for all packages scheduled for delivery on Jan. 7.

Ground shipments have also been affected by the arctic blast, according to trucking industry publication Fleet Owner.

On Tuesday, UPS Freight said hazardous road conditions caused by heavy snowfall and ice are preventing or limiting service to various parts of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, New York, Virginia and West Virginia.

The U.S. Postal Service said it is experiencing service delays due to heavy snow storms and frigid temperatures in the northeast.

According to the National Weather Service, temperatures across the U.S. should begin moderating on Wednesday.

Frigid temperatures across the U.S. also resulted in warehouse closures. For example, Indianapolis-based apparel seller Lids closed its offices on Monday, according to a contact center employee in Tennessee. Indiana governor Mike Pence ordered businesses to remain closed on Monday.