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USPS Changes Are Delaying Some Packages by a Month: "There's Too Much Mail"

Some officials have also warned that utilities bills will be arriving late as a result.

Because of how much we still depend on it, it's frustrating when the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is slow or difficult to work with. The cash-strapped service is struggling with theft issues while undergoing a major overhaul that is snarling deliveries in the meantime. And while officials are doing their best to get ahead of issues, it doesn't appear that conditions are improving much. Now, some are claiming that the same changes meant to streamline the USPS are delaying some packages by up to a month.

RELATED: USPS Police Issue Warning on Mailing Checks: "No Guarantee It Won't Be Stolen."

The latest concerns come from the Atlanta area, where the USPS opened a new Regional Processing & Distribution Center (RP&DC) facility in Palmetto to replace and consolidate four existing processing centers in late February, local NBC affiliate WXIA-TV reports. However, the attempts to modernize have instead turned into significant operational issues, with customers reporting long waits for parcels stuck inside the facility and lines of delivery trucks waiting outside.

Workers have also shared concerns about the latest change, with some telling the news outlet that new processes have led to a chaotic situation.

"There's too much coming in," the employee, who wished to remain anonymous, told WXIA. "There's too much automation. So there's no room to store the mail."

A photo shared by one of the employees shows long rows of boxes stacked within the facility. They explained that the move to the new facility created a cluttered environment that had led to some packages sitting too long.

"I think the facility is just overwhelmed, and I don't even blame local management because this plan was made, and they were told to go manage it," the employee explained. "If they were given some input, maybe it would be different. We just don't have space for all of this mail."

The typical delays expected of deliveries also appear to be getting worse. In a post to X (formerly known as Twitter) on April 2, WXIA reporter Liza Lucas details the journey of a package sent from Burnsville, Minnesota, on Feb. 28 and before arriving in a Jacksonville, Florida processing facility on March 16. The item then bounced between the same Jacksonville facility and the Palmetto facility three times over the following week until a missing mail search request was submitted on March 24. The parcel finally reached a facility in Louisville, Kentucky, on March 29—which Lucas explained wasn't even its final destination.

In replies posted to the message, others claim to have experienced similar issues. One Atlanta resident says their package made it to the Palmetto facility before it was inexplicably shipped to one in Texas, while another asked: "Is this why my bills are arriving late?"

Even local utility companies have alerted the public that something is wrong. In a Facebook post last week, the Unified Government of Cussetta Chattahoochee County warned that monthly water bills would arrive late due to mail delays. Officials urged residents to call in to "help avoid any potential late fees or service disruptions."

While an official report from USPS on the Palmetto station won't be available until this summer, issues at other facilities have been observed. In a report on an RP&DC in Richmond, Virginia—which was the first of its kind to open—the agency said it had faced "serious challenges" after the opening. This led to "a significant decrease in service performance" for the facility for four months, ultimately adding to labor and transportation costs that would wipe out any intended savings, WXIA reports.

Members of the local congressional delegation said they were already seeking an explanation from USPS about the delays.

"They need to address this, and they need to fix it in short order," Mike Collins, Congressional representative for Georgia's 10th District, told local Fox affiliate WAGA. "We really need some answers."

Best Life reached out to the USPS about these potential delays, and we will update this story with the agency's response.

Zachary Mack
Zach is a freelance writer specializing in beer, wine, food, spirits, and travel. He is based in Manhattan. Read more
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