Frigid Weather Brings Shipping Delays

Globe-SnowmanUPDATE: UPS and Fed Ex are reporting that the majority of their delivery services will be back to normal operations today [Tuesday]. We at OWC anticipate all services to be back to normal cutoff times this evening.

Things here at OWC Headquarters in Woodstock, Ill. got a little chilly today. And by a little chilly we, of course, mean an arctic freeze. The weather outside is about -15°F at the time this is being written. (For our Celsius preferring friends that’s -25°C.) If you’ve never seen temperatures that cold, let me put it this way, the steam from your breath forms little ice crystals on your scarf and your eyeballs literally freeze open. There’s no place like home!

For those of us who live in the north, this kind of weather can mean many things:  it’s time for a polar bear dip (brrrrrrrr) and maybe some ice fishing; hot chocolate and coffee sales are about to go through the roof; and no matter how many layers you’re wearing, your mom won’t think it’s enough (and it’s a fairly good bet that one foot outside will prove her right.) And perhaps our least favorite – the carriers are having a bad day as well. Planes ice over, roads turn into a scene from the winter levels of Mario Kart, and in some cases it’s deemed dangerous to spend the significant amount of time outside that is required to deliver packages.

Both UPS and Fed Ex have announced that shipment pick-ups and deliveries have been delayed due to severe weather. So far, we are expecting to cut off all of our shipments by 6 PM CT today.

While we hope this doesn’t affect too many of our customers, we did want to make sure everyone is aware. You can check which zip codes are not delivering and/or picking up for each carrier here:

Fed Ex: www.fedex.com/us/servicealerts/

UPS: www.ups.com/content/us/en/about/news/service_updates/20140106_weather.html

We are hoping that will be the earliest but we will be keeping our shipping cut offs up to date on the website, just in case. You will be able to see which carriers, if any, are still picking up at the time of your order during checkout.

Personally, having lived in Canada for many years, I feel like I was well trained for this kind of weather. And I’m sure anyone having lived in the north can understand what I mean by that: I’m wearing three pairs of pants, two socks and three shirts.  (Before the boots, coat, hat & gloves go on!) To anyone in the path of this cold front, I’d recommend the same. You may look a little like Maggie Simpson, but believe me, not losing feeling to your extremities is well worth it! (And if you’re lucky, you may get some extra cute points from onlookers by looking a little bit like a Jawa in your giant hooded coat).

Remember everyone, bundle your kids, check on grandma, give your car a nice long time to warm up – if you can get it to start ;), drive safely and last but not least (in the words of a good friend of mine) find an old coat and donate it. At the end of the day someone always has it worse off, and in this weather, that can be a dangerous thing.

Does anyone out there remember what it’s like to feel your toes still? Someone told me the other day that spring is just around the corner. Are there any real reports that it’s coming yet? And if you’re currently living in Hawaii, the only answer we will accept is enough pictures of warm to line all of our cubicles! ;)

Happy 2014 everyone!  As always, thank you for reading and for all of your support!

Stay safe out there!


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  • I feel your ‘cold’ pain. Be there, done that…. that’s why I moved west from the east coast… no more snow shoveling, no more scary driving incidences, lower heating bills and so on. Y’all take care now… things could be worse I suppose.