In an extraordinary year of unprecedented challenges given the coronavirus pandemic and record volumes of holiday mail and packages, the Postal Service is encouraging customers to send their holiday gifts and cards as soon as possible.
“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,” Chief Retail and Delivery Officer Kristin Seaver said in a news release this week.
“We also thank our 644,000 employees who are working tirelessly throughout these unique conditions to ensure the delivery of holiday gifts and greetings. 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.”
While the organization carefully plans for its peak delivery season every year, historic holiday volumes compounded by a temporary employee shortage due to the nationwide surge in coronavirus cases — and capacity challenges with airlifts and trucking for moving this historic volume of mail — are leading to temporary delays. These challenges are being felt by shippers across the board.
The USPS leadership team and the postal labor unions and management associations are closely working together to address issues and concerns as they arise.
The Postal Service is hiring seasonal workers when and where needed, and the organization has expanded technology to enhance package tracking throughout the USPS processing and transportation networks.
Sunday deliveries expanded Nov. 29 to locations with high package volumes. USPS already delivers packages on Sundays in most major cities. Mail carriers will also deliver packages for an additional fee on Christmas Day in select locations.
Other initiatives include expanded holiday retail hours in select locations; expanded package delivery windows, including deliveries in mornings, afternoons and early evenings where volume warrants; expanded operational capacity with new equipment; and leasing extra vehicles as needed to expedite deliveries.