Editor’s note: Want to help? The American Logistics Aid Network has a list of supplies and services in need due to Hurricane Ian. Take a look.
Carriers are continuing their work to restore service after Hurricane Ian ripped through Florida last week, halting delivery and transportation operations.
The hurricane made landfall in Florida on Wednesday, devastating the southwest portion of the state and killing at least 101 people, CNN reported. As the state shifts into recovery mode, the Port of Jacksonville resumed normal operations Saturday and parcel carriers UPS, FedEx and the U.S. Postal Service have been gradually resuming service in parts of the state affected by the storm.
UPS listed five Florida ZIP codes Tuesday morning in which no pickups or deliveries would be made as a result of the storm, down from more than 800 suspended areas listed the day after Ian made landfall. All five ZIP codes cover hard-hit Lee County, which includes the Fort Myers area.
"While most UPS facilities are providing pickup and delivery services as conditions permit, some delays are possible," a UPS spokesperson said in an email. "We will return service as quickly as conditions allow us and when it’s safe to do so."
UPS' on-time service guarantee does not apply to shipments affected by Hurricane Ian.
FedEx Express and FedEx Ground have also been able to bring back service to a growing number of cities in which they have suspended services due to the hurricane. As of Tuesday, Express listed 40 cities with service pauses compared to 151 cities this past Wednesday. Ground on Tuesday listed six cities with suspensions and 33 with partial service, versus 383 cities with suspensions on Wednesday.
FedEx and UPS service pauses continue in southwest Florida
The U.S. Postal Service listed 14 Florida facilities on its website Monday in which operations would be temporarily suspended until further notice. Alternate locations are provided for each facility.
As carriers work to recover service, truckload rates for freight going into Florida are expected to rise, according to Jason Miller, interim chairperson for the Department of Supply Chain Management at Michigan State University's Eli Broad College of Business. However, given that the truck spot market has been contracting over the past few months, Ian’s impact on rates is expected to be minimal.
"This is probably not going to affect the truckload market that much in terms of changing the pricing dynamics," he said.
Alix Miller, president and CEO of the Florida Trucking Association, spent several days last week assisting Florida officials in coordinating relief efforts from the state’s emergency operations center in Tallahassee.
Flooding had forced the closure of Interstate 75, the main north-south route to Sarasota, and created disaster conditions on roads throughout the state. Many trucking firms and owner-operators have reached out to the Florida Trucking Association to assist in recovery efforts, the CEO said.
"They've reached out to me saying, 'Hey, we're not going to be hauling what we normally haul right now, and our area doesn't have power, but we have tractors and we have drivers," said Alix Miller. "So, let us know [the need] for our tractors, our drivers to haul emergency goods.'”
Colin Campbell and Sarah Zimmerman contributed to this story.