FedEx suffers nationwide software glitch on mobile package delivery processing

FedEx package-delivery personnel across the United States have been reduced to inputting package information by hand and getting handwritten signatures instead of doing this all electronically due to what’s believed to be a software glitch on their handheld devices.

"We’re trying to resolve this today," said FedEx spokesperson Sally Davenport at FedEx's Memphis headquarters, saying the problem has been traced to a suspected bad software download on Sunday affecting the PowerPad devices carried by FedEx package-delivery personnel.

"It was inadvertently downloaded," she said, referring to a glitch believed to be related to a "wrong version" of the software FedEx uses.

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The bad download has caused the PowerPad to not function appropriately. While a remediating software fix has been created, the result is that until it’s applied and shown to work across the board, FedEx delivery people across the country began their rounds on Monday having to get physical ink signatures instead of electronically capturing them on the PowerPad, while also having to input package information by hand instead of just scanning it.

The PowerPad downtime is highly unusual, according to the FedEx spokeswoman, but she said there is no reason to suspect that the software glitch is related to any possible type of cyber-attack. FedEx did not supply information on the specific number of FedEx personnel with PowerPads who were impacted but said an investigation is continuing into the matter.

Read more about software in Network World's Software section.

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