The United Parcel Service of America is a global company that transports goods, documents and funds to more than 200 countries throughout the world. While most packages make it to their destinations on time, certain environmental factors can sometimes prevent or delay packages from being delivered to their intended recipients.

Weather Conditions

Weather conditions such as snow, flooding, ice and hurricanes are unavoidable forces of nature. UPS defines these weather conditions as such and states on its website that it cannot be held responsible for delayed or undeliverable packages affected as a result of inclement weather. Often, when snow or ice has made highways too dangerous for travel, state and governmental agencies will determine that the roads need to be shut down until the danger of weather-related accidents passes and conditions improve. This is most often the cause for potential delays and affect on UPS's day-to-day operations.

Flight Restrictions

Another issue that can sometimes affect delivery and UPS operations is that of flight cancellations and delays imposed by local airports or that of the Federal Aviation Administration. While the FAA typically does not cancel flights or close airports, certain situations may arise that cause the FAA to issue a no-flight policy. These situations may be due to terrorist threats or incoming flights of Air Force One that requires a no-fly zone surrounding local airports. In addition, individual airports may cancel flights in and out of their locations due to emergencies such as fire or weather. UPS transports a great deal of its packages by air, and it says it is not accountable to flight cancellations beyond the company's control.

Disasters and Disturbances

Natural disasters and disturbances can be another factor that effects travel. Emergencies such as earthquakes, acts of terrorism or riots can lead to delays in the transporting of packages. While UPS will make every attempt possible to deliver packages as soon as possible to the affected area, any situation that causes danger to UPS delivery personnel, planes or vehicles is considered beyond the company's control and, according to its website, the company cannot be held accountable. Additional delays that may affect the timeliness of UPS deliveries and day-to-day operations of the company include wild fires, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions, all of which are considered environmental impacts beyond the company's control.