UPS Inc. said today it has resumed delivery services from the U.S. to hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico, and will offer, starting Monday, rate discounts for a limited time on selected shipments into the Commonwealth and selected Caribbean points affected by the storm.
Air services to Puerto Rico, as well as small-package and some freight services, have been restored to all but 27 of Puerto Rico's ZIP codes, UPS said. The company is also operating in the domestic Puerto Rico market.. However, in an indication of the havoc Hurricane Maria, and Hurricane Irma before that, have wreaked on Puerto Rico's infrastructure, the company has temporarily suspended its time-in-transit commitments because of continued delivery challenges.
Because many residents are living in alternative dwellings, UPS said it has initiated special hours for package pickups at five of the company's seven package centers on the island.
The rate discounts will be available through Oct. 31 for individual shippers not currently under contract with UPS, the Atlanta-based company said. The discounts will be applied at the time of shipping, according to the company.
Romaine Seguin, president of UPS' Americas region, said in a statement that the situation on the island is "dynamic," and that "power outages, many impassable roads, and damaged communications infrastructure are impacting our ability to operate normally."
Many packages shipped prior to the hurricane are just now being transported, UPS said, adding that a shipment backlog exists at facilities throughout the island and on the U.S. mainland.
Recovery efforts have been additionally hamstrung by a myriad of problems that prevented ocean containers stuffed with relief supplies from moving off the docks in San Juan, the capital. Kathy Fulton, executive director of the American Logistics Aid Network (ALAN), which connects logistics resources with relief agencies, said today that boxes are in the process of leaving the port and are headed to their destinations.