Logistics operations across large areas of the country have been disrupted by heavy snow, dubbed The Beast from the East, with express deliveries particularly hard hit.
There have been red weather warnings across the central belt of Scotland, as well as south west England and Wales, with amber warnings across much of the rest of the country.
Royal Mail suspended its special delivery guarantee of next day delivery on items posted on 1st March.
“Our mails distribution network was disrupted by the wintry conditions last night and this has adversely affected on the movement of mail around the country, and hence the availability of mail for delivery today in many parts. We’ll be out delivering and collecting mail today, but only in areas where access is possible and it’s safe for our people to perform them,” Royal Mail said in a statement.
UK Mail has warned customers that deliveries and collections in Scotland would be suspended for 1st March while there were delays elsewhere.
DPD warned of delays of up to three days in the worst affected areas. UPS said adverse weather conditions are disrupting service in the UK and it was expecting further disruption due to Storm Emma.
Flights in and out of Heathrow have also been affected. British Airways told customers: “It has been jointly agreed between Heathrow Airport, National Air Traffic Services (NATS) and airlines operating at the airport to reduce the flights schedules on Thursday 1 March. There will also be a jointly agreed reduction in schedules on Friday 2 March.”
However, rail freight operator DB Cargo issued a defiant tweet: “The Beast from the East won’t stop us!”
— DB Cargo UK (@DBCargoUK) February 28, 2018
Port operations have also been disrupted. In an update for customers on Thursday afternoon, Maersk Line said Felixstowe was closed with wind warnings extended to 4pm on Friday (2nd); while services were suspended at London Gateway. Southampton was operating normally but pilots were suspended which will have an impact on vessels. Tilbury was closed both landside and shipside. In Scotland, Grangemouth was closed both landside and shipside. Other ports were open but operations were being disrupted.