By Terri Jo Neff |
Arizona businesses small and large are facing yet another challenge due to COVID-19.
FedEx announced a pause this week of its economy express freight services within the U.S. The reason? Too many staff members are unavailable for work as a result of the continuing spread of the Omicron-variant.
The shortages impact FedEx’s popular two-day and three-day freight services relied on by thousands of businesses every day. The effect is a further disruption in America’s manufacturing and retail supply chains which have derailed U.S. automakers and the aerospace industry for months.
Economy freight services are also vital for the delivery of medical equipment, commercial construction, and high-volume printing.
News of the FedEx decision comes just as the company is restarting international economy freight services shut down last month in response to staff shortages across its network.
Similar delivery impediments have hit UPS and the U.S. Postal Service, due in part to employee absences related to COVID-19 as well several extreme weather events across the country. As a result, delivery guarantees are currently suspended on some UPS domestic and worldwide services. In addition, some UPS customer facilities are closed.
“Severe weather conditions and the COVID-19 Omicron variant may impact operations and staffing in parts of the country,” according to a current UPS service alert. “Although we implement contingency plans to minimize service disruptions, delays to service may occur.”
Even regular residential and business mail delivery is being effected in some parts of the U.S.
“Postal Service Priority Mail® products and First-Class® packages may temporarily require more time to be delivered due to limited transportation availability as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic,” according to the USPS website. “Priority Mail’s two-day and three-day service commitments will be extended to three days and four days, respectively.”