Local shipping companies catch up after blizzard | SteamboatToday.com

Local shipping companies catch up after blizzard

Last week's storm causes delays throughout Colorado

— Last week’s monster snowfall in Denver is melting rapidly, but local shipping companies were still coping with an avalanche of packages early this week.

The manager of the local UPS facility said his staff delivered 6,000 parcels in two long days on Saturday and Monday.

“We’re all caught up now,” a relieved Jim Sanburg said Tuesday. “We worked Saturday and knocked out a bunch and we finished up on Monday. I really have to give credit to our drivers.”

Sanburg is the business manager of the Steamboat UPS facility, which depends entirely on shipping and receiving parcels through the UPS center in Denver.

“We received one ground shipment on (March 17) and one air shipment on (March 18). That was it,” Sanburg said. “We didn’t get anything else until Friday (March 21), when we got one air load and one trailer.”

The truck that made it to Steamboat on Friday was driven by Craig resident Dave Johannes. Johannes was caught in Denver by the massive snowstorm that blasted the Front Range.

Johannes finally made it from Denver north to Interstate 80 in Wyoming and drove west all the way to Crestone Junction before heading south to Baggs, Wyo., and Craig. That allowed him to backhaul packages to Steamboat, Sanburg said.

Sanburg said he regards all of his customers as being equally important, but said many customers — from coal mines to auto parts stores — depend heavily on getting their UPS shipments.

Mike Keen, parts manager for Cook Chevrolet in Steamboat and Craig, said his department was inundated with backlogged parts yesterday from several shipping sources.

“We were majorly swamped with freight on Monday,” Keen said.

As glad as he was to see all of the boxes arriving, they didn’t solve all of his problems. Keen said the major Subaru parts warehouse in Denver was evacuated because heavy snow was causing the facility’s roof to sag. For the rest of this week, Keen said, all of his Subaru parts must come from Atlanta.

The delayed parts shipments have increased the turnaround on repairs, Keen said.

Federal Express service into Steamboat Springs wasn’t as seriously affected by the snowstorm as UPS was. That’s because overnight packages are flown into Steamboat from Casper, Wyo. They arrive in Casper directly from FedEx’s original hub in Memphis, Tenn.

At UPS, Sanburg and a supervisor from the Glenwood Springs office pitched in to make deliveries on Saturday and Monday. Sanburg also rented a pair of trucks to help clear the flood of packages from four tractor trailers.

“I called in all of my part-time people to help the full-time drivers, kind of like we do at Christmas,” Sanburg said.

Sanburg supervises a satellite office in Craig that makes deliveries as far south as Meeker. The Steamboat office delivers to South Routt County and sends a driver to Walden and Jackson County.

Sanburg said he had anticipated that much of the backlog of packages would be ski equipment shipped ahead by vacationers, but that did not pan out.

“Our ski business is going down right now,” Sanburg said. “I saw very little of that.”

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