Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Updates & Information

Updated October 22, 2021 at 9:00 AM

COVID-19 Illustration

Everyone at ShippingEasy cares deeply for our customers and your success. On this page, you will find information and updates on what we know about COVID-19, and how it may affect your business, your shipping through various carriers, and your customers. We are here to help in every way we can.
Also, please read our recent blog post and help us celebrate Austin businesses who are chipping in and stepping up to help the community.

Carrier Updates

A message from our partners at USPS: The Postal Service wants to let SMBs know that we care about their business during this hardship by promoting our Free services and tools like:

  • Informed Delivery - Digitally preview your mail and manage your packages scheduled to arrive soon! Informed Delivery allows you to view greyscale images of the exterior, address side of letter-sized mailpieces and track packages in one convenient location. To sign up, visit the Informed Delivery page.
  • Free Shipping Supplies - Order free Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express supplies to send care packages to loved ones. To order, visit the USPS store.
  • Free Package Pickups - Just place your USPS packages on your doorstep and we'll come pick them up for free during regular delivery. To schedule, visit the Schedule Pickup page.

Domestic Shipping Updates

Effective April 17, 2020 The Postal Service’s flagship Priority Mail Express service, which guarantees overnight service, will not change.

Service commitments for local 1-day Priority Mail will not change.

Priority Mail’s two and three day service commitments now will be extended to three and four days respectively. Customers will continue to receive end-to-end visibility and improved product tracking, as well as up to $50 in free insurance.

With the extra day extension, customers should expect delivery using Priority Mail Open and Distribute (PMOD) to range from two to four days nationwide.

First-Class Package Service (FCPS) two and three day service commitments will also be extended to three and four days respectively.

International Shipping Updates

The Postal Service is currently unable to accept items destined for the below affected countries at any Post Office® or postal facility location until further notice.

Customers are asked to refrain from entering items addressed to any of the below countries into the USPS system. The below list of destinations are suspended:

  1. Brunei
  2. Cambodia
  3. Central African Republic
  4. Chad
  5. Costa Rica
  6. Cuba
  7. Equatorial Guinea
  8. Faroe Islands (Priority Mail Express International
  9. Guatemala
  10. Guinea
  11. Honduras
  12. Laos
  13. Lebanon
  14. Madagascar
  15. Mongolia
  16. Myanmar
  17. Netherlands Antilles
  18. New Guinea
  19. Niger
  20. Norfolk Island
  21. Panama
  22. Papua New Guinea
  23. Republic of the Congo
  24. Samoa
  25. Saudi Arabia
  26. Sierra Leone
  27. Solomon Islands
  28. South Sudan
  29. Sudan
  30. Syria
  31. Tajikistan
  32. Timor-Leste
  33. Turkmenistan
  34. Turks and Caicos
  35. Vanuatu
  36. Wallis and Futuna
  37. Western Samoa
  38. Yemen

Notes of importance around these locations:

  • These service disruptions affect Priority Mail Express International® (PMEI), Priority Mail International® (PMI), First-Class Mail International® (FCMI), First-Class Package International Service® (FCPIS®), International Priority Airmail® (IPA®), International Surface Air Lift® (ISAL®), and M-Bag® items.
  • For already deposited items, other than GXG, Postal Service employees must endorse them “Mail Service Suspended — Return to Sender” and then place them in the mail stream for return.
  • For any returned item bearing a customs form, the Postal Service will, upon request, refund postage and fees on mail returned due to the suspension of service.
  • For all other returned items not bearing a customs declarations form, the Postal Service will, upon request, refund postage and fees on mail returned due to the suspension of service, or the sender may remail them with the existing postage once service has been restored. When remailing under this option, customers must cross out the markings “Mail Service Suspended — Return to Sender.”

USPS continues to have a temporary suspension of the guarantee on Priority Mail Express International destined for China and Hong Kong, which has been effective since Monday, Feb. 10, 2020, due to widespread airline cancellations and restrictions into this area.

April 30, 2020: For business customers, temporary modifications continue to be implemented on how mail is handled that must be returned to the delivery office due to a full box or a business not being open to receive delivery for an extended period. Current postal policy during the pandemic is to return the mail to the delivery office and hold it until April 30, 2020. In order to further accommodate businesses during this challenging time, this deadline is now being extended into a longer hold period through May 30, 2020. In addition, there will be a 15-day grace period following May 30, 2020, before mail items are returned to the sender.

Once the business reopens, delivery should immediately resume unless other arrangements have been made. Business customers may request to have their held mail delivered or they can pick it up at their local Post Office. If a business fails to make alternative delivery arrangements or does not submit a request to hold or forward its mail after May 30 and the 15-day grace period, the process of returning mail to the sender will resume.

On March, 23 2020 USPS announced suspension of Priority Mail International service's guarantee to certain European countries, which include:

  • France
    • France UPDATE: La Poste has advised that the French Government has extended the measures aimed at combating the spread of COVID-19 until July 10, 2020. La Poste is affected by these measures and cannot guarantee meeting normal delivery times in certain regions. Additionally, La Poste requests to avoid mailing large or heavy parcels exceeding 33 lbs (15 kg) or larger than 12.5 x 9.4 x 9.4 inches (32 cm x 24 cm x 24 cm) until the situation returns to normal.
  • Great Britain
    • United Kingdom UPDATE: Royal Mail Group has advised that Saturday deliveries of untracked letters and small packets have resumed as of June 13, 2020.
  • Spain UPDATE: Correos y Telégrafos has advised that the Spanish Government has extended the state of alert until June 7, 2020, or later, and the previously declared force majeure remains in effect. Consequently, until further notice, Correos y Telégrafos remains unable to guarantee quality of service for all types of inbound and outbound mail (letter-post, parcel-post and EMS items) and compliance with delivery standards for items requiring signature.
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Russia
    • Russian Federation UPDATE: Russian Post has advised that, owing to the measures taken by the Russian government to limit the spread of COVID-19, air connections between the Russian Federation and other countries have been significantly reduced, thus resulting in continued service delays.
  • Liechtenstein UPDATE: Liechtensteinische Post is advising that effective May 11, 2020, delivery of registered letters and parcels will require the addressee’s signature or at the addressee’s option, the deliverer’s signature. If the customer is not at home to sign, the item will be delivered to the relevant postal branch as usual.
  • Slovenia UPDATE: Slovenia, Pošta Slovenije, has advised that postal services are now returning to normal. The sending of outbound mail (letter-post, parcel-post and EMS items) will resume gradually, depending on the availability of flights and transport capacity. All postal items will continue to be delivered in line with national health guidelines. Registered letters, parcels and EMS items will be delivered and a signature collected whilst respecting social distancing measures. Consequently, the situation of force majeure will remain in effect until June 1, 2020.

Updated notes on other countries:

  • Albania: Albanian Post advises that the Government of Albania has extended the state of emergency until June 26, 2020. Customers should expect delivery delays for all items destined to Albania. Furthermore, Albanian Post has ceased to accept EMS items within its network, and letter-post and parcel-post items will be accepted only for those destinations where transport capacity is available.
  • Australia UPDATE 10-2-2020: Australia Post is experiencing processing delays in Perth due to an influx of volume that was rerouted there from Melbourne while it was under stage 4 lockdown status. Australia Post is taking aggressive steps to address the issue, however, customers may experience temporary delays on mail items destined to these areas until the volume is cleared. The stage 4 lockdown status in Melbourne has lifted and the rerouting of additional volume from Melbourne to Perth has ceased.
  • Georgia UPDATE: Georgian Post has advised that the Government of Georgia has extended the measures aimed at reducing the spread of COVID-19 until May 22, 2020. The declaration of force majeure therefore remains in effect and unchanged. Customers should expect delays for inbound and outbound letter-post, parcel post and EMS items.
  • Romania: CN Poșta Română SA has advised that it is currently unable to send letter-post and parcel-post items to an increasing number of countries both within and outside the European Union. Therefore, it is no longer accepting letter-post and parcel-post items for international destinations to which transport capacities are unavailable.
  • Denmark: Post Danmark (PostNord Denmark) has suspended signature on delivery. Delivery will be conducted via methods that limit human contact, with immediate effect.
  • Latvia UPDATE: Latvijas Pasts has advised that the Latvian Government has extended the state of emergency until at least June 9, 2020. Therefore, the situation of force majeure declared by Latvijas Pasts remains in effect and all previous announcements including no guarantee of service delivery standards and significant delays continue to apply until further notice.

The Postal Service will continue to accept and process mail destined for the aforementioned countries. This mail will be held within their network and will be delivered once mail service is restored.

FedEx is temporarily suspending signature required for most deliveries in the U.S. - Except for shipments with adult signature required, physical signature not required for Ground or Express services.

Italy and Saudi Arabia: Restrictions and limited carrier activities into and out of impacted regions are in place. Existing containment measures in Italy continue to impact service throughout Italy. A number of airlines have suspended flights to and/or from Italy. The Saudi Arabian government now prohibits the arrival of flights originating in or passing through airports in the following countries:

  • Bahrain
  • Egypt
  • United Arab Emirates (UAE)
  • Iraq
  • Italy
  • Korea
  • Kuwait
  • Lebanon
  • Syria

Malaysia: The government has closed all non-essential services effective March 18, 2020. FedEx Logistics is operational in Malaysia; however, due to the movement control order, arriving cargo cannot be received by shippers. No cargo will be received until the movement control order is lifted, which is currently scheduled for March 31, 2020.

Vietnam: The Vietnamese government has implemented a 30-day halt to issuing visas. Carriers are responding with plans to cut passenger flights. Australia and New Zealand: Effective March 20, 2020, the Australia and New Zealand governments are restricting arriving air passengers to only citizens and residents.

Grants available for small businesses: As part of FedEx's #SupportSmall campaign, FedEx has committed to providing $1 million in grants for small businesses in the U.S. Each grant recipient will receive $5,000, plus a $500 credit from FedEx Office that can be used for printing banners, posters, floor graphics, custom branded boxes, and more. Head to this site to apply, beginning May 25, 2020.

Effective March 26, 2020, UPS has suspended UPS service guarantees until further notice due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Shipments created during this time are not eligible for service refunds.

Avoiding Undelivered Shipments: As some businesses have reduced hours or closed, please check that your recipient is still receiving shipments. If the location is closed, UPS will hold your shipment and attempt to complete the delivery at a later date if the receiving location has indicated to UPS that it will re-open within 9 days. However, if the location is closed indefinitely, UPS will return the package to the sender.

Commitment times for UPS Next Day Air Saver® and UPS 2nd Day Air A.M.® services scheduled for delivery on or after March 30, 2020 will be extended to end-of-day until further notice.

DHL is implementing a new Emergency Situation Surcharge due to coronavirus, effective April 1st.

Amazon has temporarily suspended inbound inventory shipments and fulfillment for Fulfillment By Amazon orders outside of high-priority items, falling into the categories listed below:

  • Baby Products
  • Health and Household
  • Beauty and Personal Care (including personal care appliances)
  • Grocery
  • Industrial and Scientific
  • Pet Supplies

Amazon is not suspending sales and they are not keeping small business sellers from listing more products they can fulfill themselves. For now, sellers may need to look at self-fulfillment if they want to continue selling on Amazon.

The WHO and U.S. CDC have stated that the likelihood of the COVID-19 virus contaminating cardboard or other shipping containers is low. If there is a concern, disinfecting the shipment or using protective apparel when unwrapping the container will reduce the risk of exposure.

Important note on shipping hand sanitizer and alcohol wipes using USPS:

  • Most hand sanitizers and disinfecting wipes contain flammable ethanol or isopropanol (rubbing alcohol), which are hazardous materials subject to the following mailing restrictions:
    • Flammable hand sanitizers and alcohol wipes are prohibited in international, Army Post Office, Fleet Post Office and Diplomatic Post Office mail.
    • Small quantities of flammable hand sanitizers and alcohol wipes can be sent in domestic mail by surface transportation only by USPS Retail Ground, Parcel Select or Parcel Select Lightweight.
    • Customers can only ship up to 1 pint of liquid per package using surface transportation. Cases of 12-ounce bottles or more exceed USPS allowable limits.
    • Customers who want to use domestic air transportation of these products must submit a request andobtain written authorization from the product classification manager at [email protected].

March 24, 2020 Walmart has announced that they are relaxing Order Defect Rate policies.

Effective immediately, we are (a) relaxing ODR score calculations to take into consideration any COVID-19-related challenges you may have with listing, canceling, and shipping inventory and (b) pausing any suspensions for exceeding maximum ODR thresholds. Our intent is to ensure Marketplace Sellers are not penalized due to demand or supply chain or workforce challenges for cancellations, slower on-time shipping, or slower on-time delivery.

Adobe Magento Commerce is offering free resources and access to tools for small and medium sized business owners to help them get through this tough time.

  • 3 Months Free of Magento Commerce and Marketo Engage
  • Magento Commerce Launch Package
  • Free Magento and Marketo Engage Training

There are other products and services being offered as well, which are described in full details on the Adobe blog article here.

The ShippingEasy platform and staff are not experiencing any outages or delays in service. Our team is still available by phone, email, and chat for merchants who need help in this time of uncertainty.

More Information

There is also a ton of useful information on our blog to help you manage things during this time. You can also check out our Knowledge Base for specific guidance with ShippingEasy setup