Harvey Impact

08/31/2017

Fallout from the storm continues to impact Texas, Louisiana and beyond. According to AccuWeather, the heaviest rain and greatest risk of flooding on a regional basis will extend northeastward from near the border of Texas and Louisiana to northern Louisiana, southeastern Arkansas and northwestern Mississippi into Thursday.

Catastrophic flooding will continue in Houston, where the rain has ended, and in Beaumont and Port Arthur, Texas, to Lake Charles, Louisiana, even after the rain comes to an end in the coming hours. A number of large oil refineries and chemical plants are located in Beaumont and Port Arthur area.

Based on current and anticipated conditions, AccuWeather stated that they that it may take flood water many weeks to recede in some locations in Harvey’s wake.

Future concerns are building as tropical storm Irma is anticipated to develop into a hurricane force storm.

The United States Postal Service is holding a webinar on Friday, September 1, 2017 at 2 PM EST to provide information and answer questions regarding hurricane/tropical storm Harvey’s impact on Retail Operations, Delivery Operations and Drop Shipments. http://www.fairrington.com/usps-industry-webinar-on-impact-of-tropical-storm-harvey/

Key Items

  • National Transportation Impact: Hurricane Harvey relief efforts have strained the transportation industry by greatly reducing truck availability. This capacity constraint has the potential to delay service across the national network. Any delays caused by hurricane Harvey will be reported immediately by our client service department to those impacted. Our transportation operations department is working diligently to mitigate the impact to as few destinations as possible, for as short a time as possible.
  • USPS Processing and Delivery Facilities: Many remain closed throughout the affected area. The list continues to change. For example, the dates for reopening the North Houston P&DC have shifted and currently USPS Marketing Mail will not be accepted until September 11. Dallas also started to report some disruptions. It is expected parts of Louisiana will be added. Even once open, the employees will be struggling with damage to their homes and many areas will remain impassible. To view the most current USPS information, visit https://about.usps.com/news/service-alerts/.
  • ZIP Code Impacted: During Katrina, the USPS requested mailers suppress specific ZIP Codes from the mail. At this time, they have not issued any zips for suppression. A list of ZIP Codes are available for download at https://about.usps.com/news/service-alerts/msu_reports/2017/msureport_082917.xls should you choose to suppress.

Postage Refunds or Reversals

We have been told that the USPS is preparing a communication on what they want done. They are trying to avoid refunds as they know the volume of requests will be high and their manual process is slow. They working through details. What they are thinking is to have the mailer reverse the original statement and then create a new statement with just the mail they want to send. It could mean re-verification of mail. Watch for more details.

Storage Fees and Transportation Options

  • Hold, Storage Fees: We are prepared to hold and store mail and product. Storage and redelivery charges will apply. Contact your sales manager for additional details.
  • Return: Arrangements can be made for mail and product to be returned or routed to a new location. Contact your sales manager for additional details.
  • Destroy: We can also arrange for the destruction and disposal of mail. Contact your sales manager for additional details.

CoMAIL and CoPAL

  • CoMAIL: Because multiple clients are involved in the mail pool. Individual clients cannot make changes after mail files are submitted.
  • CoPAL: We do have more flexibility, but the clients will be responsible for the cost of any additional data work and\or manual removal of trays from the pool. Clients will also be responsible for seeking their own postage refunds.

We are following USPS communications to hold delivery to impacted and following redirections as directed by the USPS.

As always, we reach out to clients that are directly impacted. If have questions, contact your Client Services Representative at 630.783.9200.