Delivering to USA disaster zones – ParcelHero emergency update

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The USA has suffered wildfires and tropical storms this August. Tropical Storm Hilary had a devastating impact on California and entire towns in Hawaii have been lost to wildfires, which have also created major disruption in Spokane, Washington state.

The UK-US delivery specialist ParcelHero says these events have naturally had an impact on local deliveries and supply networks, while many couriers have also been deeply involved in relief efforts.

ParcelHero’s Head of Consumer Research, David Jinks M.I.L.T., says: “Across numerous states, America has suffered more than her fair share of natural disasters this month. Of course, that is having an impact on deliveries. Many Brits may have tried to send care packages and other items to help friends and family who have been caught up in these events. These should now be getting through to most areas. 

“Several major courier networks and logistics companies are also doing their bit to help deliver essential supplies and equipment. Here’s a snapshot of the situation currently:

California

“Tropical Storm Hilary caused extensive damage across areas of California and the Western United States. Delivery services are now returning to normal in most areas, but there remains some significant localised disruption in places that were particularly hard-hit. The United States Postal Service (USPS) is still struggling to reestablish services in the following areas: 

  • La Tijera Post Office on Crenshaw Blvd in Los Angeles remains temporarily closed for emergency repairs 
  • Darwin Post Office, Reddy St, Darwin, remains closed 
  • Keeler Post Office, Keeler, has just reopened for partial services 
  • The Seiad Valley Post Office, Seiad Valley, remains closed after a wildfire on 16 August 
  • The Scott Bar Post Office, Scott River Rd, Scott Bar, also remains closed following a wildfire on 16 August

“There is some good news, in that several post offices impacted by Storm Hilary have now reopened: 

  • Shoshone, 113 N State Highway 127
  • Morongo Valley, 49649 29 Palms Hwy
  • North Palm Springs, 64117 Dillion Rd
  • Forest Falls, 40555 Valley of The Falls Dr

“Hilary also impacted other states. For example, Chambers Post Office in Arizona is still temporarily closed due to water damage. 

Spokane County, Washington state

“Wildfires have also created potentially hazardous operating conditions in parts of Spokane County. Fed Ex currently states: 2We are committed to providing service to the best of our ability in areas affected by the wildfires and as local conditions allow. We will continue to monitor the situation to minimise the impact on service’. 

“ParcelHero understands the most impacted areas are currently the Gray Fire burning near Highway 195 and Thorpe Rd and the Oregon Road Fire in the rural community of Elk.

Hawaii 

“The devastating wildfires in Maui, Hawaii, have left ongoing delivery and logistics issues. Some major courier networks say their services are only available in the following Maui zip codes: 

96761, 96767 and 96768.

“The USPS reports the Lahaina Main Post Office has now partially reopened. This is particularly significant for those who were served by the Lahaina Downtown office, which was destroyed by fire. Delivery services to many residences and mailboxes that remain intact have recommenced. However, some areas remain inaccessible and will not receive mail delivery.

“USPS advises individuals who have lost their homes or are residing in regions that are currently unreachable to collect their mail in person. They can retrieve their packages from the Dutch door located in the lobby of the Lahaina Main Post Office. 

“Meanwhile, Downtown Lahaina Post Office, Papalaua St, Lahaina, has been completely destroyed by the wildfire and USPS says it is “likely to remain closed for an extended time.”

Disaster relief

“Couriers and delivery networks have been playing their part in helping local communities. For example, since 10 August, FedEx has undertaken 57 shipments to Maui on behalf of World Central Kitchen. It has also shipped hygiene kits, power banks, cooking supplies etc.

“Similarly, Amazon Air, part of Amazon’s US logistics network, has been supporting relief efforts by flying critical supplies to Hawaii. It has donated and shipped over 3,400 items, including tents, solar lights and hygiene kits.

“Local couriers and logistics companies have also been playing their parts. Young Brothers, for example, which operates inter-island freight handling and transportation in Hawaii, is prioritising the loading and discharging of medical supplies and emergency and utility vehicles on its barges to Kahului. 

“If you are planning to send items to the US, ParcelHero’s USA page gives full details on Customs advice, sending food, prohibited items, etc. It’s important people check out this information before sending any items they believe friends and family might need. The US is ParcelHero’s biggest individual overseas market.”

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These wildfires and tropical storms are putting a huge strain on supply chains.

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