Winter Storm Disrupts Automakers, Retailers and Delivery Services
According to UPS, the weather could cause delays in areas not directly affected by the storms. Packages can take longer to get from one location to another, and many delivery services move goods through large sorting centers in the middle of the country to serve both the east and west coasts. UPS’s primary air hub is in Louisville, Kentucky and there is also a hub in Dallas, for example.
The winter storm caused the United States Postal Service to close post offices, processing centers, and other facilities in Texas, Alabama, and Mississippi, according to its website.
The storm also hit Amazon, which operates its own large logistics network that includes airplanes, hubs and vans operated by contractors.
“The health and safety of our employees, customers and drivers who deliver packages is our top priority,” said spokeswoman Maria Boschetti in a statement. “Out of caution and to ensure everyone’s safety, we’ve closed some of our locations in Arkansas, Illinois, Oklahoma, Missouri, Tennessee, Texas, Indiana, and Kentucky.”
Some automakers said they shut down to limit their energy use. Ford closed a plant in Claycomo, Missouri, near Kansas City, Missouri, this week “to make sure we minimize the use of natural gas, which is vital to people’s homes,” said a company spokeswoman .
The plant produces the F-150 pickup, one of the best-selling vehicles in the industry. Ford has no plans to resume normal operations at its closed facility until Monday. The factory employs around 7,300 people. Union workers receive 75 percent of their gross wages for the week.
Nissan closed its four US plants on Monday and canceled the morning and afternoon shifts on Tuesday, a spokeswoman said. Two of the plants in Canton, Mississippi and Smyrna, Tennessee make automobiles, and the other two, both in Decherd, Tennessee, make engines. The company is monitoring the situation to see if production can resume Tuesday night.