News / FedEx Air Shipments Delayed as Omicron is on The Rise

FedEx Air Shipments Delayed as Omicron is on The Rise

06 April 2022 - by - in Industry News
Hands holding a white card that reads "Pandemic #Covid19"

Hands holding a white card that reads “Pandemic #Covid19”

The holidays saw record-breaking spikes in infection rates as the Omicron variant spread across the globe. Workers were called out sick by the truckloads, which caused shipping delays across many big-name companies like FedEx, UPS, and Amazon. This, paired with extreme weather conditions, has created slower delivery times.

FedEx Air Shipments Delayed as Omicron is on the Rise

Every aspect of the shipping and delivery process has suffered a shortage of workers due to the rise in COVID infections. Pilots, ground personnel, warehouse workers, and transit operators have suffered staffing issues.  In light of these events, a notice to customers was released that read, “We are implementing contingency plans and adjusting operations to minimize delays while providing the best possible service to our customers during these difficult times. Volume currently moving through the network will be prioritized for processing.”

Freezing temperatures have created snow and icy conditions in various parts of the US. Snow has affected operations in northern states and the FedEx Express’ global hub in Memphis, Tennessee. During these brutal weather systems, the midwest and eastern states were hit the hardest. Efforts to diverse shipments to FedEx’s heavy truck network have been made to minimize the number of delays. 

The notice to customers also revealed that an embargo on pickups for International Priority Freight would be lifted the second week of January and deferred to Premium Domestic FedEx Express Freight and International Economy Freight. Customers who need to ship large cargo volumes are advised to divert domestic FedEx Express freight to FedEx’s less-than-truckload division, FedEx Freight, or another preferred LTL carrier. They zAlq .can also upgrade their shipments to First Overnight freight if they have critical material that needs to reach its destination quickly. 

Omicron Affects Airlines In A Major Way

Even air transport suffers delays with Omicron illnesses, only allowing companies to operate at 20%. Cathay Pacific is an example of this very issue. They suspended most cargo flights for a week and during the first quarter because quarantine provisions in Hong Kong have increased.

Flight cancellations have continued since the holiday season. Thousands of flights continue to get canceled due to staffing shortages. The staffing shortages combined with poor weather conditions have only aggravated the situation. It is often difficult to get enough available crew to fill in as backups when needed. 

Many airlines are beginning to reduce flight schedules to counter this loss in staff.  Alaska Airlines made an announcement that through the end of January, it will decrease the number of available flights by 10%. This is in the hope of reaching some sort of operations stabilization. Other companies like JetBlue have done similar things.

Recovering from staffing shortages is difficult to do. Most companies have had a hard time bouncing back even when they have enough staff present. Some domestic airlines were encouraged by strong demand and overscheduled flights despite their labor volume.  Some airlines are even increasing pilot and aircrew pay. Companies like United Airlines pay pilots 3x their normal pay to encourage them to take on more hours. The airlines hope that with this pay increase, crew members will also do the same. Even foreign carriers are decreasing their flight schedule. Lufthansa, a Germany-based airline carrier, has cut its flight schedule by 10% as Omicron cases grow in that part of the world as well. Border restrictions are being reimposed, which creates great uncertainty about future travel. 

How Can Trifecta Help You?

As the variant continues to impact all aspects of travel, cargo transport, and passenger flights, the future of air travel is uncertain. Supply chain issues continue to compile as the infection rate increases. Now is an excellent time to streamline your logistics. Our team of professional logistic operators at Trifecta Transport is here to help you. Our tailored logistic services help your business thrive even during unpredictable times. We have established relationships with trusted carriers throughout the United States, Mexico, and Canada. We handle all your management, shipping, and transport needs. You can keep a real-time tracker on all your shipments at any time of day. We handle all the communication with the array of carriers to find the best solution for your specific shipments. 

Contact Us Today For All Your Logistic Needs

No matter what type of shipping business you are a part of whether you are a freight shipping company or operate an intermodal rail freight, we can help you. We love helping our clients take their businesses to the next level and are excited to work with you. Give us a call today to set up a consultation.