Mailers: No Major Disruption as Delivery Returns to Normal

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Most mail delivery in the United States is back to normal eight days after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.


For virtually all carriers, it's business as usual, except for several New York City ZIP codes where access is restricted.


The terrorist attacks will cause stricter regulations at airports, which could slow speed of delivery and increase costs. In general, no carrier anticipates that the measures will have a major effect on its ability to process air parcels in the future.


"While we can't discuss our security network," UPS spokesman Norman Black said, "I can assure you that everything is back to normal and we are continuing at full capacity."


Mailers are also hitting their in-home mail dates.


Ben Saukko, a spokesman for Fingerhut Cos. Inc., the direct retailer in Minnetonka, MN, said that during the first few days after the attack there was some disruption in service to customers who had requested expedited delivery. However, he said, "These weren't major problems, just a part of doing business. And now everything is back to normal."


Though Saukko lacked specifics, he said that only a small fraction of Fingerhut's customers use expedited services. Fingerhut uses all major air express services, including those from UPS, FedEx and USPS.


Saukko said Fingerhut's catalog mailings are going smoothly as well.


"We haven't seen any delivery problems, and we are making our in-home


dates," he said. Fingerhut moves most of its Standard Mail via its own trucks to USPS Bulk Mail Centers or Sectional Center Facilities, where it is sorted for delivery.


Michael Bonts, a spokesman for Cox Target Media, Largo, FL, known for its blue Val-Pak co-op mailings, said, "Everything is back to normal all over the country and in Manhattan." Cox uses its own trucks and the USPS to deliver its mail via ground transportation.


Though their deliveries were in order, mailers said they were unsure how the attacks would affect response rates. One small mailer, who sent a direct mail piece into Manhattan a few days before the attack promoting a hands-free car kit for cell phones, said his mailing was wiped out as far as response was concerned.


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