Mail delays: no end in sight


You may remember at the height of the pandemic last year, when mail was arriving late or not arriving at all due to a staff shortage and the closure of the US Postal Service’s sorting facilities. .

The pandemic is easing now, but in many areas those delays are not.

Terry Eshom never knows if he’s going to find something when he opens his mailbox.

“Last week when our carrier was away we were delivered every fifth day,” he said.

Eshom says, however, that he has been running late for months.

Like many postal customers, Eshom has the Informed Delivery app on his smartphone, which tells him what to expect on any given day.

But he says what the app tells him and what he receives are often two different things.

“We were expecting eight or nine pieces of mail the other day,” he said. “We got nothing.”

Lots of late packages too

And it’s not just first-class letters. Other customers complain about the priority courier service for packages.

Lucas McBride had to return a car part for his van because it took so long to arrive that, in frustration, he bought a more expensive version from a local auto parts store.

“This package is three weeks late. Three weeks late, ”he said, after finally receiving it. “It cost me $ 92 more than when I first went online and got it. “

USPS says delays will continue

The USPS recently reported to Congress that it plans to deliver just 88% of mail on time this year, up from 95% and 90% last year.

He blames “the continuing impacts of the pandemic,” including:

  • Absenteeism
  • Old sorting equipment
  • Labor shortage continues (USPS is currently hiring for thousands of positions nationwide)

Eshom doesn’t blame his postman but blames a system he says is no longer up to par.

“Previously, you could rely on your mail every day,” he said.

The USPS told Congress that its delivery issues stabilized at the end of the year and that it hopes to resume deliveries at 90 percent or better in the near future.

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