When there’s a massive influx of packages in the mail stream, it can take an substantial number of USPS employees to process it. Now that it is the holiday season, that package volume has reached new heights — USPS says a record — because more people are shopping online. Plus, UPS and FedEx have reportedly ended delivery service for certain retailers, which has also contributed to the build up of packages handled by the USPS, according to The Washington Post. FedEx and UPS have also reporting shipping delays as well. Help, Order Christmas dinner from these local restaurants for an at-home feast, This Massachusetts house’s Christmas lights display is so good it’s causing traffic problems, Here’s what more than 1,500 readers picked as the best — and worst — Christmas TV specials. A dramatic increase in positive Covid-19 cases — and employees quarantining because of exposure to the virus — is significantly limiting the processing power of USPS to move the historic amount of packages. Weekend operations were also expanded, with both commercial and residential pickup and delivery available on Saturdays. The utter obliteration of first-class mail service standards occurred in December, during the Christmas season when USPS had large volumes of packages to deliver.        Charts While the postal system grapples with the logistical problems, Americans are — once again — facing delays in deliveries. Contests & Promotions, © 2021, The Networks of Mid-Missouri Columbia, MO USA, Pizza buffet chain Cici’s files for bankruptcy, Europe threatens to restrict vaccine exports after AstraZeneca and Pfizer hit production problems, Stelter: Fox News is more anti-Democrat than pro-Trump, The GameStop saga is captivating Wall Street — for good reason. Want to save time and ship from home? There are now fewer employees to run the machines to process the tsunami of mail and packages. “Record high volumes of e-commerce orders, COVID 19 closures and weather events may cause delivery delays,” a banner reads on FedEx’s website. She said the region has about 6,000 employees. Send Mail & Packages Convenient Domestic Shipping. Combs described similar conditions at the George W. Young processing and distribution facility in Detroit. First-Class Mail Volume Since 1926 (Number of Pieces Mailed, to the Nearest Million) An Act of February 28, 1925, authorized the Postmaster General to account annually for revenues and costs associated with different types of mail; annual analyses, with detailed estimates of mail volume… Use Click-N-Ship ® service to pay for postage and print a shipping label from your printer or at a Post Office ™ location. But it’s not just Philadelphia that’s dealing with the historic volume of packages. “We would go a couple of days with very little mail,” Cash said.        Testing locations In the week before Christmas, for example, the USPS processes and delivers 2.5 billion pieces of first-class mail, or about 500 million cards and letters a day, not to mention packages. “We continue to flex our network including making sure the right equipment is available to sort, process and deliver a historic volume of mail and packages this holiday season,” Seaver said. Find the best way to get help and connect with USPS ®. Although the USPS has some machines that can sort packages, a significant portion of the packages fall into a “non-machineable” category, meaning they must be sorted by hand. We appreciate your patience. USPS refused to release any statistics to CNN -- on mail volume or employee coronavirus quarantine rates -- but APWU National president Mark Dimondstein confirmed … reports 3,750 new COVID-19 cases, 67 new deaths, Police: Boston man shot earlier this month has died, Skier buried in Mount Washington avalanche survives, Grizzly, 34, confirmed as Yellowstone region's known oldest, Biden attends Mass at DC church where he worshipped as VP, Ailing pope, reducing appearances, prays for homeless dead, Dr. Fauci says vaccine goal would cover 67 million, Pennsylvania lawmaker was key to Justice Dept. Postal Service, similar to the broader shipping sector, continues to face near-term pressure on service performance across categories as it manages through a historic record of holiday volume this season,” USPS spokesperson Kim Frum told CNN in a statement. But the size and scope of the current backlogs are reminiscent of the major mail delays that occurred in July and August after Postmaster General Louis DeJoy enacted transformative policy changes at the USPS. Share. We are accepting all volume that is presented to us which is adding to our challenges.”, In previous months, postal workers who spoke with CNN put the meteoric rise in package volume since the start of the pandemic into context by saying “every day is Christmas.”. The service says this week, through Dec. 21, is predicted to be the busiest for the system. On Twitter, UPS has also been informing customers they, too, “are experiencing delays due to holiday volume and the global pandemic.”, Breaking News “There was no one to run the machines,” Cash said. 1. The Postal Service also extended retail hours and the package delivery window in some locations, along with launching new equipment to streamline operations and extra vehicles to speed up deliveries, according to officials. The company has also built 20 new facilities and enlisted 14 additional aircraft for the peak of the holiday season on top of the about 500 leased and owned aircraft in the UPS worldwide fleet, according to a press release. They would normally receive around 200 a day. Please join elsewhere on Boston.com, –John Rucosky / The Tribune-Democrat via AP, File, White House begins talks with lawmakers on COVID-19 relief. A USPS carrier delivers mail. Trump wants back on Facebook. Unlike the private carriers, they will pick up and ship all packages and mail. FILE - A U.S. postal worker delivers packages, boxes and letters Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2020, along her route in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago, just three days before Christmas. Those changes have since been reversed, but DeJoy has signaled they could return in 2021. This star-studded jury might let him. Enable breaking news notifications straight to your internet browser. There are so many packages clogging the processing and distribution facility in Philadelphia, one of the biggest in the US, Casselli said it’s become unsafe to work there. Here’s how the USPS and UPS are handling the ‘historic’ volume of mail during the holidays . Postal workers and union presidents say small backlogs and delays aren’t uncommon during the holiday season. The Postal Service processes nearly 500 million pieces of mail every day, and it annually handles more than 3 billion pieces in the week before Christmas alone. USPS refused to release any statistics to CNN -- on mail volume or employee coronavirus quarantine rates -- but APWU National president Mark Dimondstein confirmed … The USPS says it has seen “temporary delays” in deliveries for a myriad of reasons brought on by this year’s unusual circumstances. Only 15 percent indicated they will mostly depend on brick-and-mortar retail for providing some holiday cheer. In certain places, mail carriers will make deliveries on Christmas Day for an extra fee. When drivers from southern Maine showed up in Philadelphia to pick up their mail, they were turned away, said Adams. But it’s just going to take time. There are so many incoming packages the postal workers can’t process them in time, Casselli said. In an effort to clear the backlog, the union presidents and postal workers have all told CNN that USPS is utilizing as much overtime as humanly possible. Tweet. Postal Services ( At UPS, the shipping and delivery company said last week its network was “running smoothly” through the first two weeks of December. In the Western region of New York, postal worker and local APWU president Lori Cash told CNN that mail processing has been significantly reduced because over 400 employees — the majority in mail processing — are out on quarantine. “The packages are up to the ceiling” in Philadelphia, local American Postal Workers Union president Nick Casselli told CNN. “We’ve processed in the last couple of days more mail than we have in the last week,” she said. Cash says she’s worked for USPS for 22 years and has never seen anything like this. 5, including pregnant woman, fatally shot in Indianapolis, Sen. 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Yet according to the well-respected firm ShipMatrix , 94.7 percent of USPS parcels were delivered on time during the week of December 20 to 26, versus 63.87 percent of first-class mail. Plus, you can schedule a USPS ® pickup from your home or office. Alert: USPS is experiencing unprecedented volume increases and limited employee availability due to the impacts of COVID-19. UPS has brought on approximately 100,000 seasonal employees to assist in the rush, compounding on 39,000 permanent, new employees the company hired between April and June. Dimondstein, the APWU president, says this shows how critical the public mail system is to the country. APWU Los Angeles president Dominic Davis says the USPS international service center in Los Angeles doesn’t have enough workers available to quickly clear the mail that’s piled up to the doors. With more people hunkering down amid the coronavirus pandemic, the already busy and hectic season for online shopping and mailing brought on by the holidays is apparently — and understandably — even more so this year. Coronavirus This discussion has ended. Yes, First-Class Mail (FCM) volume has been in decline for several years. The union presidents said there were dozens of tractor trailers — fully loaded with unprocessed packages and mail — sitting outside the processing facilities and at loading bays. “I’ve been in postal for 35 years, I’ve never seen what I’m seeing.”. The overloaded processing plant had no packages for them because they hadn’t been able to process them yet. Even if private shipping companies like Amazon, UPS or FedEx handle a package, they frequently utilize the USPS to handle the “final mile” and actually deliver it to a customer. “We thank our customers for their continued support, and we are committed to making sure gifts and cards are delivered on time to celebrate the holidays,” Kristin Seaver, chief retail and delivery officer of the Postal Service, said in a statement. Daily News & Weather Updates Efforts to clear the backlog, they say, are being undercut by rising number of Covid-19 cases and quarantined postal employees. Keith Combs, APWU Detroit president, told CNN that Covid-19 is spreading in the plants there “like wildfire.”. “Amid the historic volume, the Postal Service continues to flex its network, including making sure the right equipment is available to sort, process and deliver a historic volume of mail and packages this holiday season,” said Frum, the USPS spokesperson. He says there are so many new packages — upwards to 250,000 a day at the largest processing facility — that the USPS opened a fourth annex just to store them all. Union presidents and postal workers across the US — in Illinois, Michigan, California, Florida, Maine and New York — say they, too, are seeing record volumes of packages and backlogs. Deaths After reaching a peak of around 213 billion units in 2006, the U.S. This, too, affected the USPS stations where mail carriers pick up their mail for the day, Cash and Combs said.        Resources The busiest period for the USPS will be the two weeks before Christmas, with heavy volume expected to start Dec. 9 and reaching its peak during the week of Dec. 16. In comparison, there were around 8,000 on the daily quarantine list before Thanksgiving, he said. “The U.S. A historic amount of packages and rising employee Covid-19 rates are causing significant backlogs at US Postal Service processing facilities before Christmas. The extra strain has led the USPS to “enhance” package tracking with expanded technology, and seasonal employees are hired “when and where needed,” according to a press release. Unlike the private companies, the USPS delivers to every address in the US. By MICHAEL LIEDTKE December 25, 2020 GMT. Fill out a short form or get tips to fix some of the most common issues right from your computer. WASHINGTON, DC — In an extraordinary year of unprecedented challenges given the COVID-19 pandemic and a historic record of mail and package volume this holiday season, the Postal Service encourages customers to send their holiday gifts and cards as soon as possible. From 2009-2012, total mail volume declined more than 10 percent annually, although since 2013, the average rate of decline has slowed to less than 6 percent. ‘Unprecedented’ mail volume delays Christmas gifts. scheme, 2 in 5 Americans live where COVID-19 strains hospital ICUs, New Hampshire State Police changes policy on arm tattoos, Mass. And single-piece FCM — or the type of mail sent by everyday Americans, such as birthday cards and wedding invitations ― has been dropping since 1996. Sunday delivery service began last month in select areas with high delivery volumes, though the USPS already delivered packages on that day in most major cities, officials said. “UPS is running one of the most successful peak holiday shipping seasons ever,” UPS CEO Carol Tomé said in a statement. According to Cash, union members said mail had to be diverted from Philadelphia to their already overwhelmed processing facilities in western New York. Inside, the floors and hallways are lined with packages. “[The Detroit processing facilities] are gridlocked; they can’t take any more packages at this point,” Combs said. But right now, it’s also compounding the backlogs. 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Download [193.43 KB] Source: USPS. Both agencies measure their mail volume in pounds, not pieces. Contact Us . The latest COVID-19 surge has left the Postal Service with an employee shortage, and capacity problems on airplanes and trucks because of the number of letters and parcels is creating even more challenges, officials say. Local and state officials have urged residents to celebrate the holidays only with those within their household as transmission of COVID-19 has hiked up again in recent weeks — and it appears that’s what many in Massachusetts plan to do. 7 facts.usps.com By the Numbers* 70.6 B — 2018 operating revenue, in dollars 146.4 B — number of mail pieces processed and delivered 47 — percentage of the world’s mail volume handled by the Postal Service 1.9 B — dollar amount paid every two weeks in salaries and bene˜ts 497,157** — number of career employees        Map Cash said on top of all their normal USPS mail and packages, FedEx is dropping off over 800 packages a day at the mail carrier station in western New York. USPS refused to release any statistics to CNN — on mail volume or employee coronavirus quarantine rates — but APWU National president Mark Dimondstein confirmed to CNN that there are now upwards of 18,750 USPS employees across the US on the quarantine list every day.        Daily #s      “Our entire Operations team, from collections, to processing to delivery, worked throughout this past weekend and continues to work around the clock to address the historic volume. USPS in Syracuse handling historic volume of mail during Christmas delivery crunch Local News Posted: Dec 22, 2020 / 04:12 PM EST / Updated: Dec 22, 2020 / 05:14 PM EST The U.S. “It’s not a perfect storm, it’s a perfect mess,” Scott Adams, postal worker and Portland, Maine local APWU president, told CNN of the double gut punch from Covid-19 and historic package volume. All this is translating to significant disruptions in mail delivery and Americans not receiving their packages, or mail. USPS refused to release any statistics to CNN — on mail volume or employee coronavirus quarantine rates — but APWU National president Mark Dimondstein confirmed to CNN that … The USPS has grappled with these issues throughout the pandemic, but they’ve become what APWU New York president Jonathan Smith called “a perfect storm.”. Dec. 16 will be the busiest day online for the USPS, with an estimated 8.5 million shoppers visiting its site for shipping packages. However, through time and manpower, Cash believes the postal workers are starting to make a significant dent in the backlog of mail at the plant in western New York. All the shopping and shipping Americans have done in the last few weeks has inundated the system with what the USPS says is a “historic volume” of mail and packages. 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