UPS places package pickup limits on Gap, Nike, others to manage E-Commerce surge

Wall Street Journal:

United Parcel Service Inc. imposed shipping restrictions on some large retailers such as Gap Inc. and Nike Inc. this week, an early sign that the pandemic-fueled online shopping season is stretching delivery networks to their limits.

The delivery giant on Cyber Monday notified drivers across the U.S. to stop picking up packages at six retailers, including L.L. Bean Inc., Hot Topic Inc., Newegg Inc. and Macy’s Inc., according to an internal message viewed by The Wall Street Journal and confirmed by UPS workers in different regions.

And, most importantly:

“No exceptions,” the message said.

To me, this news shows a canary in the coal mine.

We are growing ever more dependent on our delivery services, dramatically more so in these pandemic times. And, clearly, these systems are showing the strain.

One question I have: Will we go back to “normal” when the pandemic ends? Or have we permanently changed our habits, ordering food and groceries rather than leaving the house, eliminating visits to malls and other shopping centers? Brick and mortar shops have clearly been damaged in 2020. Many will not return. What will emerge in their place?