FedEx customers in the Portland area have become increasingly frustrated in recent months with delayed or missed deliveries. Like so many packages, complaints are piling up.
A company spokesperson attributed the delays to a shortage of workers, more packages being delivered and the ongoing challenges posed by the pandemic in the workplace. A FedEx executive even used Portland as an example of the company’s nationwide staffing issues during a recent quarterly earnings call.
In a earnings call last week, FedEx president and chief operating officer Raj Subramaniam said the company’s Portland hub is at about 65 percent of its total capacity.
“This staff shortage has a pronounced impact on operations, which means that our teams divert 25% of the volume that would normally pass through this hub, because it simply cannot be handled efficiently to meet our service standards”, Subramaniam said during the call.
Businesses in Oregon have struggled to find workers throughout the year as companies have all tried to recruit staff to meet the renewed demand for goods and services. This has resulted in all kinds of disruption, from closed restaurants to missed bus routes. For some industries, this has led to large wage increases for workers.
Subramaniam said FedEx is trying to hire 90,000 new employees across the country. In the meantime, more than 600,000 parcels are forwarded per day.
John Briggs, a Portland resident, told The Oregonian / OregonLive in an email that he had placed three orders shipped via FedEx this month with unexplained delays, and only one was delivered. The first, he said, was shipped on September 10 from Minnesota and arrived at the Troutdale facility on September 13. It stayed there for five days because the barcode was unreadable, Briggs said, and was finally delivered on September 19.
Two more packages, he said, remain in Pacific Northwest distribution centers with no scheduled delivery date.
âEither I’m very unlucky or they are,â he said.
Over the past year, dozens of other Portlanders have posted on local forums on Reddit and NextDoor about delivery issues, many of which have said tracked packages will be stuck for days at fulfillment centers in Portland or Troutdale. A Reddit poster said they canceled a meal delivery service because their orders were stuck at the distribution center and food would arrive at their home already thawed.
FedEx said it was not clear how long it would take the company to catch up.
“While we are currently implementing emergency measures to restore service levels, such as securing additional resources for the package manager, we cannot provide a definitive estimate of when all deliveries will be up to date. “FedEx spokesperson Nikki Mendicino said in a statement.