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The company says staffing at a local shipping warehouse is running at 65% of typical capacity, and customers are starting to notice the delay.

COURTESY: GOOGLE MAPS - The FedEx distribution center in Troutdale is shown here. If you're expecting a package from FedEx — and you live in the Portland area — it might take a while.

The company formerly known as Federal Express admits it is desperately short of workers at its FedEx Ground distribution hub at 2460 N.W. Sundial Road in Troutdale.

Following an dismal earnings report on Sept. 21, the shipping giant's chief operations officer told investors the warehouse is running with 65% of "the staffing needed to handle its normal volume," according to a report by Yahoo! Finance.

For context, the warehouse typically employs roughly 323 full-time workers and 403 part-timers working round-the-clock over three shifts, per planning documents submitted to Troutdale City Hall last year.

"This staffing shortage has a pronounced impact on the operations, which results in our teams diverting 25% of the volume that would normally flow through this hub because it simply cannot be processed efficiently to meet our service standards," COO Raj Subramaniam reportedly told analysts on the call.

The labor shortage is not unique to Portland. FedEx says the hiring shortfall has delayed 600,000 packages nationwide, costing the company $450 million, Yahoo! Finance reported.

In a statement, FedEx apologized for the inconvenience and said it was hiring additional package handlers. "FedEx Ground continues to navigate operational challenges due to constrained labor markets, increased package volume and the ongoing pandemic," said spokeswoman Meredith Miller.

Local customers, however, are already riled up.

Dozens of complaints have popped up on social media, with many saying their packages have been pending for more than a week. On the web forum service Reddit, several users said the company's Swan Island sorting facility is equally understaffed — and speculated that mandatory drug testing of new hires probably isn't helping matters.

"On a positive note, the FedEx terminal in Troutdale has given us conclusive evidence that Black Holes do indeed exist," one wag wrote.

Another accepted the delays as inescapable: "Death, taxes, and the Troutdale FedEx."


Zane Sparling
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