Slow Shipping has Some Still Waiting on Christmas Gifts

By Forrest Saunders, Reporter

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By Forrest Saunders

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa -- For Duane Matthess, Christmas was going to be a good one this year. December 15th he bought two gifts off Amazon for his two young sons. Delivery was through UPS and guaranteed by the 22nd. As the deadline neared, Matthess got worried.

“You can track your package. It just kept on saying it was in Arizona. I’m like something is not right here,” said Matthess.

Something wasn’t right. Christmas came and went without his gifts and Matthess missed out on that awesome feeling of giving.

“We’re just going to have to say Santa was a little late. They’re en route, basically. In transit,” said Matthess.

Matthess wasn’t alone. UPS and FedEx customers across the country have been irritated by slow shipping this season. Companies won’t say exactly how many packages missed their target dates, but they blamed poor weather, a shortened shopping season and more buying done online this year.

No excuse, said customers like Cedar Rapids’ Dawn Moriarty, who is still waiting on a gift from her husband.

“They know this is going to happen every year. They know there is going to be a heavier volume of shipments. Also, they have to anticipate if the weather is not going to be the best,” said Moriarty.

Shipping companies have released statements on the delays. FedEx officials said their customers experienced “minimal service disruption.”

“Our 300,000 team members delivered outstanding service during this holiday season, and we experienced no major service disruptions in the week before Christmas, despite heavy volume. Every single package is important to us, and we will continue to work directly with customers to address any isolated incidents,” said FedEx Spokesperson Adrian Pomi.

UPS officials said they’re “working diligently to process all of the packages that have yet to be delivered.”

“We know how important everyone’s holiday deliveries are to them, and we apologize to those who experienced delays. The volume of air packages in our system exceeded the capacity in our network as demand was much greater than the forecast,” said Jeff Wafford with UPS Strategic Communications.

Matthess, like most UPS customers, was told to expect his packages by Thursday afternoon.

“The last I checked the tracking it said they’re en route with the carrier, so as long as they don’t fall off the truck they should be here,” he said.

Matthess said there was some silver lining. Amazon refunded his shipping cost and offered him a $20 gift card for compensation.

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