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COVID-19 Statements from Delivery Companies: FedEx, UPS, USPS

[COVID-19 Strategic Response Portal]


This page contains statements about COVID-19 from key shipping and delivery providers: FedEx, UPS, and USPS.

FedEx (19 Mar 2020)

FedEx is adhering to all regulations and guidelines from government authorities related to containment of COVID-19. As an essential service, we continue to operate to and from impacted areas as local conditions and restrictions allow, and are taking recommended precautions in terms of pilot, team member and customer health and safety.

The safety and well-being of our 475,000 team members is our top priority, as they continue to deliver critical goods to support communities across the globe. We appreciate our frontline team members and their unwavering commitment to deliver for our customers through this global crisis. We are closely monitoring guidance by the World Health Organization and other public health organizations, and taking proper health precautions where warranted. We are also encouraging our team members to take any signs of illness seriously and seek medical attention as needed.

Work and travel restrictions may affect shipments inbound and outbound to and from impacted areas, as well as shipments moving within those areas. Customers can visit fedex.com or tnt.com to check the status of their shipments.

UPS (16 Mar 2020)

Atlanta, GA

UPS continues to deliver for customers even as Coronavirus uncertainty is requiring greater flexibility and creativity to adapt to new social distancing and other health maintenance protocols. Recently, the White House through the Rapid-Response Taskforce for Coronavirus Testing Sites asked UPS to assist with the logistics planning and operations to support the opening and regular operation of drive-up Coronavirus community-based testing sites in several cities. UPS is ready to assist with transportation support as needed for the community-based testing sites.

“UPS is proud to provide logistics and transportation support to assist with the Administration’s special Coronavirus multi-city testing program.  We stand ready to assist to help keep our communities safe,” said David Abney, UPS Chairman and CEO.  “We are mobilizing our air and ground network planning and operations teams and we are prepared to fully support this urgent testing program.”

In this dynamic environment, the company is informing employees, suppliers and customers of several measures it is using to avoid the spread of the disease, in line with CDC and WHO recommendations.  Governments around the world have recognized that UPS’s global network, and those of other essential logistics companies, must continue to operate.  They have allowed UPS to continue operating at high levels of speed and efficiency even in unusual circumstances and in locations where the public is being advised to stay home and avoid contact with others.

UPS is a significant part of the fabric of the global economy.  The company transports more than three percent of global GDP and about six percent of U.S. GDP daily.  UPS employees are proud of the critical role the company plays for its customers, communities and the economies in countries where it operates.  The company provides extensive support to major healthcare companies with services ranging from supply chain management to shipping, storage and fulfillment of medical devices, pharmaceuticals and clinical trials specimens. 

UPS is ready to assist with other critical logistics and transportation support as needed.  The company and The UPS Foundation play leading roles in humanitarian assistance in times of public crisis.  UPS was among the first companies to provide air cargo shipments of face masks and other personal protective equipment when the Coronavirus spread began in China in January.  UPS is serving this same role in the United States and in other countries around the world, beyond China, that are grappling with this virus.

Today UPS is adapting to new business realities by temporarily modifying the procedures its drivers use for residential and business deliveries. In order to minimize contact with recipients, UPS is modifying its process related to delivery signatures. When a signature is requested by the shipper, UPS drivers will validate and record the name of the recipient of the package in lieu of obtaining a signature. In addition, where adult signature is requested by a shipper, recipients will be required to present identification with proof of age to the driver upon delivery.

“We know our customers rely on UPS to maintain the flow of goods throughout their supply chains.  We are committed to rapidly adjusting our processes to ensure our employees, customers and communities can maintain normal daily life to the greatest extent possible while we adjust to the new realities of this pandemic,” said Abney.

USPS (17 Mar 2020)

The United States Postal Service is closely monitoring the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) situation and continues to follow strategies and measures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and public health departments. The CDC has information available on its website at https://www.coronavirus.gov that provides the latest information about COVID-19. We are sharing the CDC’s guidance to our employees via stand-up talks, employee news articles, messages on bulletin boards, videos and an intranet site within USPS workplaces. 

The CDC (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html), the World Health Organization (https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-coronaviruses), and the Surgeon General have indicated that there is currently no evidence that COVID-19 is being spread through the mail.  

The Postal Service has so far experienced only minor operational impacts in the United States as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We do continue to have a temporary suspension of the guarantee on Priority Mail Express International destined for China and Hong Kong, which has been effective since Monday, Feb. 10, 2020, due to widespread airline cancellations and restrictions into this area. In addition, customers may see delays in mail and packages destined to China as well as from China, as well as to and from European countries subject to restricted passenger airline travel. The Postal Service is undertaking all reasonable measures to minimize the impact to our customers.

In addition, the Postal Service is an essential service for purposes of its compliance with state or municipality shelter-in-place orders or other social distancing restrictions. The Postal Service delivers medications, social security checks, and is the leading delivery service for on-line purchases. The statute that created the Postal Service begins with the following sentence. “The United States Postal Service shall be operated as a basic and fundamental service provided to the people by the Government of the United States, authorized by the Constitution, created by an Act of Congress, and supported by the people.” 39 U.S.C. §101(a).

Background info:
According to The World Health Organization, “the likelihood of an infected person contaminating commercial goods is low and the risk of catching the virus that causes COVID-19 from a package that has been moved, travelled, and exposed to different conditions and temperature is also low.” And according to the CDC, “in general, because of poor survivability of these coronaviruses on surfaces, there is likely very low risk of spread from products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient temperatures. Coronaviruses are generally thought to be spread most often by respiratory droplets. Currently there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with imported goods and there have not been any cases of COVID-19 in the United States associated with imported goods.” 

For more information, see the USPS Service Alerts Statement.

By Greg Johnson

Greg Johnson is a freelance writer and tech consultant in Iowa City. He is also the founder and Director of the ResourcesForLife.com website. Learn more at AboutGregJohnson.com

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