Waiting for days to get prescription drugs. Trips to the post office to find an empty box where your business-critical supplies should be. After hearing these and other rural Alaskans’ frustrations about FedEx delivery problems that occur when FedEx hands packages over to the United States Postal Service in Anchorage for the final miles of delivery, Senator Lisa Murkowski’s efforts led FedEx CEO to reconsider its protocols.
For years, Alaskans who live in post office box only communities have had difficulties receiving FedEx and other packages because FedEx would not take P.O. Box addresses. Previously, if FedEx handed over a package to the USPS to complete the last leg of delivery to an Alaskan village that only has P.O. Boxes, those were technically undeliverable – but many postmasters use discretion and still try to get the package to its destination. If the postmaster of that community does not know the recipient and what their P.O. Box is, the package is in limbo.
Earlier this month, Senator Murkowski reached out to the President of FedEx (letter attached), asking that he find a practical solution that will ensure timely and effective delivery of packages to Alaskan communities that rely on their post office boxes to receive the merchandise they’ve ordered.
FedEx and the United States Postal Service have taken some steps to fix delivery problems. FedEx noted in its reply to Senator Murkowski’s request, (letter attached) that while the company is now calling the recipient to ascertain the P.O. Box address and inserting P.O. Box addresses on packages destined for post office box-only communities, there are still instances of delayed or undeliverable packages. In response to Senator Murkowski’s letter and Alaskans’ concerns, FedEx stated, “we are convening a special task force…to thoroughly analyze these issues and possible solutions.”
“I thank FedEx for their responsiveness to my request to rethink their methods and ensure the packages they carry to Alaska arrive at their destination in a timely manner. I look forward to the results of the special task force’s efforts,” said Murkowski. “While the Postal Service frequently goes above and beyond the call of duty to track down Alaskans, sometimes the boxes don’t get there. Alaskans should have their boxes delivered on time, and I will keep working with FedEx and the Postal Service to ensure that Alaskans receive good service.”