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FedEx Ground suspends delivery in downtown Chicago, returns packages to shippers

By Emma Crosgrove / www.supplychaindive.com / June 5th, 2020

Dive Brief:

  • FedEx suspended Ground delivery service in 16 zip codes in the downtown Chicago area Thursday, citing ongoing protests. The protests follow the death of George Floyd in police custody after an officer held his knee on Floyd's neck for more than eight minutes. Chicago's mayor closed roads, lifted bridges and mandated curfews.
  • Parcels received on or after Wednesday will be returned to the shipper, according to the service alert. Parcels received before Wednesday will be "held at the FedEx Ground location and delivered as soon as possible."
  • FedEx and UPS warned shippers Wednesday that protests and local restrictions may disrupt service in cities across the U.S. UPS had not issued a service alert specific to Chicago and USPS has no service alerts in Illinois as of publication. "Note that potential service disruptions may vary by location and may not be the same for FedEx Express, FedEx Ground, FedEx Freight, FedEx Office, etc.," said FedEx's service alert.

Dive Insight:

Mayor Lori Lightfoot raised Chicago's central bridges for several days in reaction to unrest in the city. As of Thursday evening, nine major bridges remained raised or closed. Four bridges opened to traffic Thursday, according to the local ABC News affiliate. 

"FedEx Ground will resume normal service in all impacted areas as soon as possible. We offer our sincerest apologies for any inconvenience caused by these delays," reads the alert.

FedEx and UPS advised shippers to contact their business recipients to ensure locations are open and accessible to avoid parcel exceptions Wednesday. But a service suspension reflects a more acute impediment to service. 

Shippers must also be ready to receive back in-transit parcels, as FedEx will return parcels received Wednesday or later to the sender. FedEx did not respond by press time to questions on how many packages it is returning to the shipper, nor did it say how long the suspension will last. 


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