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TSI is operating nationally during the COVID-19 crisis. Read our COVID-19 resources for more information. Learn More

The Impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) on the Moving & Shipping Industry

Posted in Shipping on Mar 25, 2020, tagged with emergency preparedness, trends

Last Updated: March 25, 2020

Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has far reaching effects beyond its impact on health and medical services. In addition to affecting entire industries, economies, jobs, and our daily lives, we are also seeing both long- and short-term implications on shipping services, supply chains, and logistics.

While we may not see the full effects immediately, there will likely be some disruptions and changes to current moving and shipping practices. Whether you’re a business dealing with supply chain interruptions or other shipping challenges, or are a concerned citizen in the midst of planning a move, getting college students home safe, or simply have items to ship, it’s prudent to expect some disruptions and take the steps you can to ensure the health and safety of your customers, loved ones, and shipping partners.

In the face of these potential changes, we want to remind you not to panic and to avoid the misinformation going around as much as possible. Instead, try to be proactive, remember there are things that will be beyond your control during this period of time, and do your best to mitigate them by making a plan:

  • Stay informed with news from direct, reliable sources only, such as the CDC or World Health Organization
  • Work with your shipping provider or moving team to limit disruptions where possible
  • Stay in communication with them so you can remain apprised of any delays and challenges you may face with your shipment(s) or upcoming move

Worried about receiving packages and shipments?

From the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (C.D.C.):

“In general, because of poor survivability of these coronaviruses on surfaces, there is likely very low risk of spread from products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient temperatures…Currently there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with imported goods and there have not been any cases of COVID-19 in the United States associated with imported goods.

Updates from the industry

Social distancing and quarantine measures world-wide have resulted in slow-downs and delays in shipments across the industry. Other parts of the world are feeling the full impact of factory shutdowns and limitations on workers that have been in effect in China and other areas since January and February.

From CNBC:

“Parcel volume fell 2.4% among manufacturing customers in February 2020 compared with a year ago, according to data pulled by ShipMatrix. Health-care parcel volume dropped 2.2%, and parcel volume was down 1.8% in the automotive and auto-parts sector.”

Within the United States, the situation is changing rapidly and things still remain uncertain, but these shutdowns will begin to impact businesses that rely on shipments from overseas as their replenishment stock, supplies, and new seasonal products will be delayed in the coming days and weeks.

In spite of this, shipping providers like TSI remain dedicated to safely and responsibly delivering packages and shipments to their recipients, and delays within the U.S.A. are currently limited to 1-3 days.

Updates from shipping providers

Whether you are a business that relies on a logistics provider to handle your shipments, a concerned family member sending care packages to loved ones across the country, or someone in the midst of a move, here are updates about how COVID-19 is impacting shipments from multiple providers around the shipping industry:

USPS

  • Experiencing minor operational impacts as a result of the COVID-19 epidemic
  • Temporary suspension of the guarantee on Priority Mail Express International packages destined for China and Hong Kong
  • Customers may see delays in mail and packages destined to China as well as from China, as well as to and from European countries subject to restricted passenger airline travel

Visit the USPS website for more information.

FedEx

  • International shipments both in and out of the country delayed 1-3 business days
  • Temporarily suspending signature required for most deliveries in the U.S.

Visit the FedEx Website for more information.

UPS

  • UPS has maintained delivery services except where limited by government restrictions
  • UPS drivers may “release” shipments without the need for a signature

Visit the UPS website for more information.

Purolator

  • Releasing packages without a signature
  • Recommending alternate and digital options for picking up and dropping off packages

Visit the Purolator website for more information.

Updates from TSI

TSI is carefully monitoring all of our shipments nationwide. We have seen minimal delays thus far, and are in constant contact with transportation industry leaders in order to be as proactive as possible.

  • Currently, all shipments are on or near schedule.
  • We are seeing an increase in our flat-box shipping service. This service includes shipping supplies delivered to your door, as well as door-to-door or curb-to-curb pickup and delivery, rather than inside your home. Learn more about our flat rate box shipping service.
  • Orders of boxes and stretch wrap are higher than average.
  • We are seeing daily increases in the numbers of families contacting us to get their college student’s belongings home in a timely and affordable manner.
  • Most customers have not changed their timelines for their shipment, although some moves have been pushed back based on personal circumstances.
  • For our senior moves, we are working carefully with senior communities to understand their individual requirements to ensure any move-ins are safe for the senior moving in as well as the whole community.

Frequently asked questions about your shipment(s)

Are your moving teams washing their hands and sanitizing between moves?

Yes, in order to protect themselves and our customers, all members of the logistics chain are using the safety precautions recommended by the C.D.C.:

  • Clean your hands often (washing for 20 seconds or using hand sanitizer)
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Avoid close contact
  • Stay home if sick
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces

Is it safe to receive shipments and packages during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Yes, the C.D.C. has said that “there is likely very low risk of spread from products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient temperatures”.

If you are very concerned about handling shipments, UPS recommends wearing protective equipment while receiving and unwrapping shipments.

Will my shipment be delayed, cancelled, or rescheduled because of COVID-19?

We are making every effort to keep to our schedules, but currently, shipments from some parcel providers are delayed by at least 1-3 days. At present, our shipments are only delayed by one day. We will keep you updated as things change. If you have any concerns, please get in touch with our customer service representatives via email or phone to discuss your shipment.

For residential moves and shipments, reach us at (866) 497-8169.

For commercial shipments, call 1-877-677-1571.

What will happen to my shipment if it is delayed, cancelled, or rescheduled due to COVID-19? Will it be safe in the warehouse? Will I be able to/how will I retrieve it later?

If delays do occur to shipments in transit, you will be notified by TSI immediately and we will work closely with you to expedite communication and delivery to the best of our ability.  Any delayed shipments will be housed in our secure, climate controlled storage facilities until delivery.

If your shipment has not yet picked up, we will provide updated transit time expectations as well as alternative solutions if applicable

We will share information quickly and transparently. TSI’s nationwide network provides us with a range of options that allow us to effectively assist in solving our customers transportation issues. TSI is committed to upholding our standard of service in these difficult times, and our staff is at full capacity and standing by to assist you.