UPS and FedEx Are Sending This New Warning to Customers
The two shipping companies are refuting a widely circulated rumor.
While it might feel like all it takes to get a package delivered straight to your doorstep is the click of a checkout button, a lot goes on behind the scenes for companies like FedEx and United Parcel Service (UPS) to ship and deliver your packages. And as with many sectors, shipping companies have had to make changes to their services over the past two years to combat the COVID pandemic. But not all changes might be accurately conveyed online. UPS and FedEx are both working to set the record straight about one social media rumor. Read on to find out what the two shipping companies are now warning customers not to fall for.
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UPS and FedEx suspended services to several countries earlier this year.
UPS and FedEx worked in tandem earlier this year by pulling its services from several countries. In Feb. 2022, both shipping companies announced that they would be suspending all deliveries into Russia in light of the country's ongoing invasion of neighboring Ukraine, Reuters reported at the time. Both companies continue to ban service for the country, and they've also suspended operations in Ukraine and Belarus amid the war.
"Our focus is on the safety of our people, providing continued service and minimizing disruption to our customers," UPS said in a February statement, per The Wall Street Journal. FedEx made a similar statement in its service impact alerts, adding that the company is "deeply disturbed by what is happening in Ukraine, and our thoughts and solidarity are with the people affected by this ongoing violence."
There were also recent claims that the companies were suspending services to another country.
A social media post published April 23 indicated that UPS and FedEx would also be suspending all delivery services to China's mainland alongside other foreign shipping companies like Canada Post and Japan Post, China's English-language news service Yicai Global recently reported. According to the news outlet, the post claimed that both companies were nixing service to the country because of its latest COVID outbreak.
Rising coronavirus numbers have sparked reinstated restrictions in several parts of China. According to The New York Times, the city of Shanghai—which reported almost 19,500 new cases on April 24—has been locked down for nearly a month. And residents are now worried that the same "zero COVID" approach will hit Beijing soon, as the government has reported nearly 70 new cases since April 22.
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But the companies say they are not suspending all deliveries in China.
The COVID outbreak in China has impacted the two shipping companies services in certain ways. On March 18, a city-wide lockdown prompted FedEx to temporarily suspend express deliveries to the Shanghai Pudong International Airport, but it resumed these deliveries on April 25, Yicai Global reported. According to the news outlet, UPS has also halted some import services to certain areas in Shanghai.
But both UPS and Fedex have recently refuted rumors that they are suspending all delivery service to mainland China. UPS said that its two transfer centers in Shanghai and Shenzhen are currently operating normally, although the company is taking measures to reduce COVID impact on its customers, according to the Global Times, an English-language Chinese newspaper. And FedEx confirmed to Yicai Global that its international express and freight center at the Shanghai airport, as well as its transshipment center in the city, are operational.
Packages to the U.S. could still end up delayed because of China's COVID outbreak.
Despite UPS and FedEx reassuring customers that they haven't announced plans to suspend all deliveries in China, the impact of the country's COVID outbreak could still affect consumers in the U.S. by delaying packages here. According to Time magazine, Shenzhen is home to around half of all the online retail exporters in China. Wang Xin, the head of the Shenzhen Cross-Border E-Commerce Association, told the magazine that China's strict lockdown in this area is bringing significant disruption to the production and delivery of goods sold online to other countries, from major online retailers like Amazon and Walmart.
"Shenzhen now has pressed the pause key, with operations halted for almost all sectors, and we are no exception," Wang said in a March 14 interview. Some companies, like Amazon, have been adapting service tactics to avoid this outcome, however. "We do not anticipate a significant disruption to our business," Maria Boschetti, an Amazon spokeswoman, told Bloomberg, noting that it had diverted its freight to warehouses in China not subject to lockdowns or restrictions.
Some experts say the problem itself might become less severe soon overall. "With the government ramping up efforts on facilitating the supply chain amid epidemic prevention and control, which can be seen with the reopening of most of the highways, the situation is improving," Wu Minghua, a Shanghai-based veteran industry analyst, told the Global Times on April 24.
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