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Snowstorm and holiday shipping gridlock delaying nearly 10 million packages a day

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Stephen Gandel
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An estimated 6 million packages a day are piling up in retailers' warehouses or shipping centers and awaiting pick up by FedEx, UPS, Amazon, the U.S. Postal Service and other shippers. Some have been held to a limit of 75 packages a day, it reported.A FedEx spokesperson told CBS MoneyWatch following its queries about retailer shipping limits that the company "worked closely with customers" prior to the holiday season to "ensure the best possible service." She added, "Throughout Peak, we continue to regularly collaborate with customers on ways to leverage our network flexibility and seven-day operation during this busy time." The spokesperson declined to comment as to whether FedEx had imposed package limits.The gridlock described by shipping industry veterans — worse this holiday season than in past years, they said — is curtailing the holiday shopping season, frustrating both consumers and retailers as well as potentially hurting the economy as the recovery from the coronavirus pandemic appears to be sputtering. "This is one of the most successful peak holiday shipping seasons ever as we focus on maintaining a reliable delivery network that all of our customers can depend on," a UPS spokesman said in an emailed statement."Data provided by third-party consultants can vary widely based on the specific markets, customers and shipping lanes they choose for their analyses," the FedEx spokesperson said. She also said the company's role in helping to distribute the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is not affecting regular shipments, noting that the company is using a separate fleet of trucks and airplanes for that effort."As stated previously, we continue to work closely with our customers to manage their volume and help ensure we provide the best possible service," the FedEx spokesperson added.A number of retailers say they are facing shipping delays. December 16 was the last day the website said it could ship orders by standard shipping for delivery by Christmas.

As said here by Stephen Gandel