News is breaking that the FedEX TNT network have suspended domestic UK shipments as of today and until further notice. The good news is that International shipments will still be accepted.
The companies have said that UK shipments already in the FedEx TNT network will be delivered but will experience extended transit times.
FedEx and TNT aren’t saying what’s going on, but we’ve heard a rumour that there was a failure yesterday of some kind with their sortation equipment or software at their Marston Gate hub. Without access to this it will be nigh on impossible for them tip truck loads of parcels which would normally zip along conveyors for machine sorting to trucks to take on to delivery depots. If the sortation equipment is out of order then each individual parcel would have to be sorted by hand and that’s a mammoth task just for the parcels already at or on the way to the depot. It’s no surprise if the rumours are true that they’ve had to suspend collections.
What this means for your ecommerce business is that you need to temporarily switch to your alternate carriers to get your sales shipped for at least a couple of days. Currently it’s unlikely that either marketplaces or customers will be aware of any issues so make sure that you step up your messaging to keep them informed of likely delays for parcels that you’ve already shipped. And of course if there’s a delay in switching to your back up carrier again messaging will be essential to ensure that your marketplace metrics aren’t impacted.
Frankly we know that the entire delivery industry is working flat out and it’s inconceivable that you haven’t heard of the driver shortages leading to supermarket challenges and the petrol panic buying that left the pumps dry. If the Fed EX TNT network is out of operation for any significant length of time it’s only going to increase pressures on other carriers so this has the potential to have a knock on effect across the industry.
We’ll update when we hear more news or when the Fed Ex TNT network is back up and running.