Shortage of postal workers due to pandemic causing delivery delays this holiday

2020 Holiday shipping deadlines
Posted at 6:12 AM, Dec 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-17 06:12:06-05

(WXYZ) — The COVID-19 pandemic has created a surge in online shopping. Yolanda Williams, co-owner of Cream Blends in Royal Oak, said some of their product shipments have been delayed to customers due to a shortage of United States Postal Service workers amid the coronavirus pandemic.

"We've been in communication with our mail carriers, and they are literally doing the best they can," Williams said. "They don't have the staff to keep up with the demands of online orders."

ShipMatrix, a software company that helps retailers and other merchants keep track of shipments, estimates six million packages are being delayed.

Williams said her customers understand that the issue is out of her hands. They've devoted time and have posted online information to notify customers even before they checkout online.

"Your body butters, candles, soaps, will arrive," Williams said. "There are a lot of bigger issues and there are a lot of packages out there that are truly essential."

USPS sent a statement on Wednesday:

“The Postal Service has experienced a considerable increase in package volume. In response to this, we are utilizing our available resources to match the workload created by the impacts of the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. We appreciate the patience of our customers and the efforts of employees as conditions change on a day-to-day basis. We apologize for the inconvenience of late arriving packages and are working to minimize the impact to our customers.”

2020 Holiday Shipping Deadlines

The Postal Service recommends the following mailing and shipping deadlines for expected delivery by Dec. 25 to Air/Army Post Office/Fleet Post Office/Diplomatic Post Office and domestic addresses*:

Dec. 15 — USPS Retail Ground service
Dec. 18 — APO/FPO/DPO (except ZIP Code 093) USPS Priority Mail Express service
Dec. 18 — First-Class Mail service (including greeting cards)
Dec. 18 — First-class packages (up to 15.99 ounces)
Dec. 19 — Priority Mail service
Dec. 23 — Priority Mail Express* service