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COVID-19 Is Changing How Delivery Companies Are Giving Customers Their Packages

CHICAGO (CBS) -- FedEx is temporarily suspending most signatures typically required for FedEx Express and FedEx Ground deliveries in the U.S and Canada as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

"The signature suspension also includes those normally required as part of our FedEx Freight operation in the U.S., our same-day service, as well as in our FedEx Office retail stores and onsite locations at various retailers in the U.S," a representative said.

The company said the change is meant to help its team members and customers stay safe and ensure that it is complying with social distancing guidelines from the World Health Organization.

Meanwhile, UPS is doing something similar. "We have implemented a policy that enables our drivers to maintain social distancing and not share a pen with the consignee when making business and residential deliveries that require a signature," a UPS representative said.

According to UPS, the new policy follows the Center For Disease Control's six-feet distance guideline. Drivers will now announce their presence, place a sticky note on the door, in an office building, or counter, then step back. "The consignee signs the paper and leaves their state ID for verification, which the driver checks when obtaining the signed paper and leaving the package," the company said.

Despite taking this new step, UPS said a majority of its deliveries are still "driver release." That means a signature is not equired.

CBS 2 spoke with Instacart, a same-day grocery delivery and pick-up service, to see whether it has changed its delivery polices. A representative said the company has seen a recent surge in customer demand.

"This past weekend, we saw the highest customer demand in Instacart's history in terms of groceries sold on our platform," a representative said. "We're also seeing a significant number of new customers use the app, with daily Instacart app downloads surging by as much as four times on the Apple app store over the last week."

That's why the company launched a "leave at my door delivery" feature. It basically gives customers the option to choose between in-person delivery or simply having the groceries left at their doorstep during a designated delivery time frame to avoid contact.

CBS 2 also reached out to USPS to see if it's making any changes to its delivery methods. No response yet.

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