Speed is usually a critical success factor in sports. But the combination of a week of NFL Super Bowl preparation road closures, Mardi Gras celebrations and rehearsals, and hundreds of thousands of visitors unfamiliar with New Orleans has made people who say “we love logistics” rethink that decision.
Even FedEx reports its deliveries cannot keep to schedule in New Orleans and the express delivery service is temporarily suspending its money-back on-time delivery guarantee in the Mercedes-Benz Superdrome area.
The problem just got worse. The City of New Orleans is adding additional road closures around the area of Mercedes-Benz Superdrome starting at 7 p.m. Central Time this evening. They will continue until Monday, February 4 on some routes and Wednesday, February 6 on major traffic arteries -- just in time for new Mardi Grad parade route related street closures. The City of New Orleans has an online map of the street closures and it often looks like a video game at times when more streets are being closed off and flash in bright red on the map.
The delivery problems that UPS and FedEx are reporting pale in comparison to those of the U.S. Postal Service. The main USPS sorting and logistic center in central New Orleans is located directly east of the Mercedes-Benz Superdrome and New Orleans Arena. Two of three road egress routes are closed and the third is full of extra traffic diverted from street closures. The new higher postal rates that went into effect on January 27 are compounding the congestion with last-minute parcel postage additions and changes.
USPS also already has challenging brand management issues with sports fans due to its sponsorship arrangements with Team Lance Armstrong. Higher prices and slower service are not a winning combination either. SuperSunday is unlikely to improve that challenge or take the pressure off the USPS brand.