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Big 3 carriers suspend service amid Hurricane Ian’s aftermath

UPS, FedEx and U.S. Postal Service all adjusting operations in Florida

The destruction caused by Ian, now a tropical storm, has forced the three major carriers to suspend service in parts of Florida (Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

The country’s largest carriers have suspended service in some Florida ZIP codes impacted by Hurricane Ian.

The trio of UPS, FedEx and the U.S. Postal Service have identified on their respective websites a list of area codes where service will be suspended temporarily.

As of noon Thursday, UPS’ service alerts page listed nearly 1,000 ZIP codes that have been affected, while FedEx on Wednesday shared a list of 383 Florida cities — including Tampa, Orlando and Miami — in which its Ground segment will not run for the time being. 

The Postal Service, meanwhile, issued a notice that all retail and delivery operations will be suspended in the 328-, 329-, 342- and 347- ZIP code areas, which designate Orange, Brevard, Indian River, Manatee and Sarasota counties, among others.

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“We also have been working to safely meet our service commitments in advance of mandatory evacuations by implementing contingency plans so that shipments arrive at their final destinations as quickly as possible,” a UPS spokesperson told Supply Chain Dive in an email.

The spokesperson added that the company is adhering to local evacuation orders and securing its facilities, allowing employees to stay at home and keep their families safe.

“Delays and disruptions can be expected for inbound and outbound shipments across portions of impacted areas,” read a statement on FedEx’s website. “We are committed to providing service to the best of our ability in areas that can be safely accessed.”

A FedEx spokesperson said that like UPS, it has a contingency plan in place to ensure that employees and facilities are protected and that service can resume with minimal disruption.

“Our top priority is the safety of our customers and employees,” the Postal Service added on its website. “A destructive Hurricane Ian made landfall along the west coast of Florida. There are impacts to USPS operations in areas affected by the powerful storm.”

The agency also indicated that there will be no alternative sites available for mail pickup, a measure it usually takes whenever a local post office is closed temporarily.

Watch: Hurricane Ian’s potential supply chain impacts

All three carriers are suspending service until further notice, with operations set to resume after Ian, downgraded to a tropical storm on Thursday, passes through the region. Until then, Floridians who remain at home will be unable to receive parcel deliveries and mail, at least through the major service providers.

Nonprofit group Trucks with Room to Spare on Wednesday partnered with a volunteer-run disaster relief organization to set up a network of truckers and help bridge the gap. But experts say the supply chain impacts from Ian could linger for weeks.

If you’re a trucker interested in hauling loads for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), check out some sage advice from FreightWaves CEO Craig Fuller. Among his tips: expect slow payment and chaos at staging areas.

For detailed forecast information on Ian, keep up with the National Hurricane Center here.

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Jack Daleo

Jack Daleo is a staff writer for Flying Magazine covering advanced air mobility, including everything from drones to unmanned aircraft systems to space travel — and a whole lot more. He spent close to two years reporting on drone delivery for FreightWaves, covering the biggest news and developments in the space and connecting with industry executives and experts. Jack is also a basketball aficionado, a frequent traveler and a lover of all things logistics.