Shipment courier

FedEx warns of shipping delays as Omicron leads to staff shortages

Signage is seen at a FedEx location in Manhattan, New York, U.S. September 3, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

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Jan 7 (Reuters) – FedEx Corp (FDX.N) warned on Friday that rising cases of the Omicron variant had led to staff shortages and delays in airlifted shipments.

“The explosive surge of the COVID-19 Omicron variant has caused a temporary shortage of available crew and operational personnel,” the company said.

The delivery company said severe winter storms across the country, including at its main air hub in Memphis, Tennessee, are posing challenges and it is implementing contingency plans and adjusting operations to minimize disruption.

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Rival United Parcel Service Inc said calls due to Omicron did not affect their services, adding that contingency plans were in place.

“Recent weather events in the Louisville, Kentucky and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania areas have caused delivery delays,” a UPS spokesperson said.

Harsh winter weather and the rapid spread of the highly transmissible variant of Omicron have led to a sharp rise in infections, forcing several US airlines to cancel flights as pilots and crew members quarantine.

Insufficient staffing and other issues had forced the U.S. Postal Service, one of America’s largest civilian employers, on Thursday to seek temporary relief for its 650,000 employees from the Biden administration’s new vaccine or testing requirements covering the big enterprises. Read more

Coronavirus deaths in the United States rose by at least 2,133 on Thursday to a total of 836,901 from 834,768 the day before, according to a Reuters tally.

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Reporting by Kannaki Deka in Bangalore; Editing by Arun Koyyur and Shailesh Kuber

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