FedEx Corp., United Parcel Services and other package delivery companies have now been authorized to resume domestic flights and to begin sending planes to other countries. The first of 60 flights from the FedEx airport hub Thursday went to Seattle filled with U.S. mail and FedEx packages. Some 100 more planes were expected to land in Memphis Thursday night loaded with packages for Friday delivery.
Normally, FedEx flies some 200 flights a day in and out of Memphis, which handles about 40 percent of the company’s volume. The world’s largest cargo airline, which has some 660 aircraft, typically moves about 5 million packages by air and ground daily.
FedEx was also continuing to move packages by trucks. The company’s trucking division, with 45,000 trucks, had tripled that fleet during the past few days.
FedEx Ground has been running at nearly full capacity yesterday and today. Other FedEx operating companies, including FedEx Freight, FedEx Custom Critical and FedEx Trade Networks are also operating normally with above average volume levels.
In Canada, FedEx said they are continuing to make pickups and deliveries, operating on a contingency plan to truck all domestic volume and keep customers’ shipments moving. The majority of domestic packages continue to be delivered next business day, said the company.
But FedEx Canada said that because of the steps that need to be taken by Canadian and US government authorities to normalize air operations, there is still much uncertainty as to when full air cargo service will resume as priority has been given to passenger airlines, and new security measures are still getting put in place. Transborder operations between the U.S. and Canada are still impacted, but the company is moving packages via truck across the border.
FedEx said it is still likely that international shipments will be delayed a minimum of 24 to 48 hours but we will be working diligently throughout the weekend to move your packages as fast as possible.
FedEx’s Intra-regional operations in Asia, Europe and parts of Latin America are operating.
On Wednesday and Thursday, Atlanta-based UPS moved about 40 planes in preparation for the reopening of the air system. UPS typically does all its flying between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m.
UPS hoped to deliver almost all of its backlog of Next Day Air express packages by Friday morning. All other packages – two-day and three-day – will be delivered by ground transport early next week.
“We’ve kept most of the air packages moving via our ground network the last two days so we’ve had a good head start,” UPS chairman and chief executive Jim Kelly said in a statement.