This article discusses how UPS and FedEx have prioritized shipping COVID vaccines out and how that will continue to increase over the next couple of months as the CDC is slowly opening up tiers for the whole population to get vaccinated. Each week FedEx and UPS, combined, are handling an average of 10 million doses and as tiers continue to open up the demand continues to grow. However, as demand grows, it is important that UPS and FedEx can keep up and increase their capacity considering the number of packages that are already shipping every day is up to 24.7 million. At peak level, it is expected that vaccine packages will account for six percent of total packages delivered worldwide.
Wes Wheeler, chief of UPS’s health care unit, during an interview has confirmed that they are prepared for the peak periods that they have enough capacity and prioritize all vaccines in all of their network. FedEx has also had a similar process and they have prioritized the distribution of the vaccines that are available to them. Combined, FedEx and UPS have increased their distribution points by over seven times to around 100,000 locations. As more vaccines are also coming out and being distributed it has become increasingly important that couriers are prepared to get vaccines out as fast as possible to those in need with overnight express shipping.
With this there have been some bottlenecks along the way. Recently, the snowstorm that ran throughout Texas and a few other states at the end of February created temporary bottlenecks. There were many shipping delays throughout those couple of days, yet the vaccine shipments were still top priority in distribution and the bottleneck only lasted a few days.