As I-95 reopens, FedEx says section collapse has had ‘minimal’ impact on its operation

The collapse of an elevated section of Interstate 95 in Philadelphia sparked fears of a monthslong traffic snarl, which were eased Friday when officials announced the section’s reopening.

“Experts told us it would take months to reopen I-95,” tweeted Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro Friday. “We reopened I-95 in 12 days.”

“Thanks to Governor Shapiro, federal and state actors, and the grit and determination of union workers doing shifts around the clock, I-95 is reopening,” tweeted President Biden. “And it’s ahead of schedule.”

Related: I-95 collapse highlights Waze’s importance to the U.S. road network

The collapse on June 11 resulted in the closure of a stretch of the highway, which carries on average 160,000 vehicles a day, around 8% of which are trucks.

FedEx Corp. FDX, -0.25% told MarketWatch that it has been handling the disruption caused by the I-95 collapse. “Impact to our operation has been minimal to-date,” a FedEx spokesperson told MarketWatch Thursday. “FedEx is well-versed at implementing operational contingencies to navigate around road closures, traffic incidents, weather systems and the like,” the spokesperson said.

A United Parcel Service Inc. UPS, -1.22% spokesperson told MarketWatch Thursday that the company has been using alternate routes around the closed section of I-95 and is “doing everything possible” to keep shipments moving normally.

Related: I-95 collapse could impact retailers’ holiday season plans and freight rates, experts warn

The six temporary lanes reopened at noon on Friday, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Videos posted on social media showed Philadelphia sports mascots, including the Philles’ Phillie Phanatic riding atop a firetruck on the reopened section of the Interstate.

A live stream on the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation website late Friday showed three lanes of northbound and three lanes of southbound traffic flowing on the highway.

Full reconstruction of the section is expected to take months, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Related: Why the blockage of the Suez Canal matters for oil prices

Daniel Fine, CEO of supply chain fintech company Setscale told MarketWatch that the I-95 collapse underlines the risks that transportation companies, big box retailers and small businesses can face.

“This is another reminder that companies need to diversify their options,” he said. “We’re seeing reminders left, right, and center that nobody should be dependent on a single supplier or a single port.”

Two years ago the Suez Canal blockage caused when a cargo ship ran aground was also a wake-up call, according to Fine. “The world is run on trade finance and supply chain,” he said. “Ensuring that capital is held in multiple locations and can come from multiple partners, for me, is a necessity.”

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