Delayed Christmas Shipping Affected Lobsters, Medicines

Just how bad was last week’s UPS delivery disaster? The Wall Street Journal reports today that for many, it was far worse than a last minute toy that didn’t make it under the tree in time- the delays also wreaked havoc with pricey perishables and essential medications:

If there is one case when a package absolutely, positively has to be there overnight, it is when it is alive. Or when it can spoil. Among the hardest hit by last week’s shipping delays that caused thousands of packages to miss their delivery date are companies that shipped perishable items like food or, more seriously, medicines that had to be kept chilled.

The WSJ story features a company called SimplyLobsters.com, that was expecting a banner year, with lots of orders for Maine seafood shipped overnight via UPS. But delays and poor planning at UPS resulted in about ten percent of his holiday shipments not being delivered on time. The company has had to issue refunds and replacement shipments, and doesn’t expect to be fully reimbursed by UPS.

Worse still was the case of a South Carolina mother who was expecting medications for her son. By the time they showed up, the meds, which require constant refrigeration, and cost $9,000 for 6 doses, were unusable. To make matters worse, the pharmacy wanted the spoiled drugs returned before it would ship replacements.

While FedEx maintains that it had no significant issues with holiday deliveries, some customers beg to differ- one Maryland seafood retailer said of 2,000 FedEx shipments, around 300 were delayed, resulting in refunds and returns. “I’ve lost money with FedEx before but nothing like this, this year is the worst I’ve had yet.”

There’s no mention in the story of any problems with US Postal Service deliveries.

Read more: Delayed Christmas Shipping Affected Lobsters, Medicines – WSJ.com.