Why Your US Post Office Packages Are Delayed

It’s not so much what the current Postmaster General is doing as much as what the federal government has not done.

But the reality is more complicated. In interviews with seven postal workers from around the country, all of whom requested anonymity out of fear of retaliation for speaking to the press, Motherboard heard many of the same concerns LaBelle expressed: that DeJoy may try to intentionally disrupt USPS services in order to sabotage the mail-in ballot system ahead of the November elections, that he is hellbent on privatizing the USPS, and that he is in cahoots with Trump. But at the same time, they dismissed the possibility he is responsible for current or past package delays. When asked how they knew this, the postal workers told Motherboard that they have been having delivery issues on and off for months, long before DeJoy took over. The far simpler explanation, they said, is there are just too many packages right now for them to handle.

The shared networks make it difficult to identify where delays are actually coming from. Even the USPS letter carriers I spoke to often had no idea why packages were delayed. They guessed there were backlogs at distribution facilities, especially ones in cities hit harder by COVID, but didn’t know for sure. A report by the Portland Press Herald in Maine claims letter carriers are being told by their local postmaster to delay mail and first-class packages to ensure Amazon deliveries are made on time. None of the carriers Motherboard spoke to said they had been told to do the same, but they added it would hardly be the first time different regions were doing things differently. Along those lines, a key finding of the June OIG report was a lack of standard operating procedures or “best practices” across facilities.

What is clear is that USPS is trying to do more with less. It is delivering somewhere between 60 and 80 percent more packages than it typically does this time of year and for a longer sustained period, in many cases without the staffing increases that typically accompany the similarly busy Christmas rush. The only way the USPS has been able to manage is to have the existing workforce work longer and pay them the accompanying overtime to do it.

According to the USPS employees Motherboard spoke to, it’s too early to say what impact DeJoy’s policies will have. For example, it takes time for distribution facilities to get so backed up that packages get delayed for weeks. Whether or not DeJoy’s plan works, it won’t fix what ails the post office. Only Congress can do that, and few are optimistic about that.


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we aren’t being paid more than our daily rate of pay, doing Christmas volume without the extra pay or help we get at Christmas

We are being paid more in places hit by coronavirus quarantines and lack of staff. During December there are no penalty overtime penalties as are now being paid to entire carrier units. Even with everyone working 12 hour tours we are still falling further behind every day. But we still try to identify pieces sent by Amazon to work while pushing items without an Amazon logo to a hamper to be worked later.

why is Amazon pkgs more important than the customers first class mail smh. Why can’t amazon deliver their own packages and have their own hub. that’s a percentage of the PO money being wasted. Jeff Bezos will be classified as a trillionaire soon or has he already hit that mark. Paying career carriers to dort and deliver amazon pkgs. Is costing the PIO money. Im sure he has plenty of money to hub his own pkgs and deliver them.

Outside contractors deliver loads of mail to ea PO. NOT USPS employee truckers. The plants have been told to load what they can in a certain amt time and then the trucks MUST leave regardless of mail/parcels that are still waiting to be loaded. A 2nd truck has been added for “recovery parcels”.(.which is another dumb name for a job that shouldnt even exist) arrives 5 hrs later and carriers are MANDATED to run a 2nd trip and deliver . I look at labels and most are not even due for del till next day. I have 50 parcels or… Read more »