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USPS struggles with shipping delays during holiday season

Published: Dec. 18, 2020 at 2:12 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - If you were hoping to put a gift in the mail and have it delivered by Christmas, you may be out of luck if you have not already shipped it. The US Postal Service is experiencing delays.

The overwhelmed government agency has been struggling for weeks to deliver packages. Tens of thousands of packages are piling up at mail processing facilities across the country.

USPS released this statement:

The 640,000 employees of the U.S Postal Service across the nation are proud to provide an essential service to our customers during the pandemic and to meet unprecedented challenges of this extraordinary year.

We have faced challenges recently due to COVID-19 at the same time mail volumes have dramatically increased. We have taken steps to address issues caused by the pandemic, including hiring seasonal employees and allocating employees to facilities that need additional resources.

As we do each year, the Postal Service reminds customers to send mail and packages early. For additional holiday information and resources, including mailing deadlines and packaging tips, check out the USPS holiday newsroom.

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.

The delays have customers frustrated and worried.

“Right now, everybody really needs to get their packages to their friends and family on time since we can’t see friends and family,” said Quentin Prewitt.

Prewitt mailed cookies to her friends the other day. She hopes they arrive on time.

The delays have also impacted small businesses like Peggy’s Gifts and Accessories in Lexington. The store is now shipping through UPS. Owner Peggy Queen says package delays were so frequent they had to switch mail carriers to keep customers happy.

“Even though it’s out of our hands, they’re still upset and like ‘where is our package?’ So, that’s why we made the switch to make sure it would get there on a timely basis,” Queen said.

According to the US Postal Service website, time is running out to have items arrive by Christmas, they must be in the mail by December 23 and shipped via priority mail express.

Despite the recent delays, USPS leaders say they are committed to making sure gifts and cards arrive on time to celebrate the holidays.

The postal service says it has taken steps to address issues caused by that pandemic by hiring seasonal employees and allocating employees to facilities that need additional resources.

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