Shipping Debacle poses Threat to Perishable Food Business

Posted on December 27, 2013 by


A CNN report on shipping delays through UPS and FedEx over the Christmas holiday outlines the complex issues faced by affected businesses.

In a December 26 CNN report about the recent news regarding the widespread problems with shipping delays through UPS and FedEx over the Christmas holiday, the word “loss” stands out like a sore thumb. And businesses that count on a good amount of their online sales are standing on the sidelines awaiting the verdict on how the shipping giants plan to settle up at the end of the day.

For businesses that ship perishable food, this poses an even more complex issue that most seasoned shoppers can deduce on their own. There is a point when the shipment is spoiled and cannot be consumed. The nagging question in the minds of those business owners is, “How will UPS and FedEx reconcile the loss with their customers?”

This is the case with small business owner Mark Murrell who specializes in shipping Maine lobster and seafood to destinations throughout the United States.

“I know firsthand how unforeseen issues can raise heck with a business operation such as what’s going on with UPS and FedEx,” Murrell says. “They’re in a predicament and so am I with customers upset that they didn’t receive their Christmas meals or gifts.”

Murrell contends that while he’s tracked all orders affected by the delays and continues to keep a close eye on them, he won’t know the actual loss to his company until well after the dust settles.

“Aside from destroyed packages, I have no idea how many of my customers will walk away permanently due to disappointment they have,” he says.

But the worry for Murrell doesn’t end with managing customer dissatisfaction and tracking orders, he also faces the decision of whether or not to encourage customer orders through the new year holiday, unsure of whether or not he will add to the problems he already faces.

At this juncture, the only thing Murrell and other business owners like him can do is work with customers to find realistic solutions to what he refers to mildly as “a bump in the road.” To date, more than fifty percent of his company’s orders fall into the categories of late or destroyed over a three-day period. How he chooses to resolve that within his own company is contingent upon the response he receives from UPS and FedEx. He believes they have done everything they can to work with him to find solutions to date.

“I’m confident we we’ll ride out the storm and work with representatives from both companies toward favorable answers. For now, it’s the customers that matter most. We’ll take care of them and then deal with the aftermath.”


 © 2013 US Food Safety Corporation. No copyright claim is made for portions of this blog and linked items that are works of the United States Government, state governments or third parties


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