USPS Issues New Warning About Delivery Delays and How to Avoid Them
The agency is alerting customers to potential mail delays this winter.
The end of the year is a particularly crucial time for the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). On top of regular mail needs, people across the country are getting ready to ship holiday cards and gifts to distant loved ones. But while the agency works overtime to pick up the extra load during the peak holiday shipping season, problems can still arise if you're not careful. Now, the USPS has issued a new warning to customers about delivery delays, and what they can do to avoid them. Read on to find out what the agency is advising.
The USPS says it's ready for the holiday surge.
There is added pressure on the Postal Service right now, as demand heightens during the holiday season. But the USPS said it is "strongly positioned to handle the expected surge in package and mail deliveries," according to a Nov. 21 press release.
In a statement, Postmaster General and CEO Louis DeJoy shared that the agency has thoroughly prepared this year through various structural and operational changes made as part of its decade-long overhaul, Delivering for America (DFA).
"In the face of the busiest shipping season, the United States Postal Service stands ready," DeJoy said. "We are confident in our ability to handle the holiday season surge with the same efficiency and reliability that the nation has come to expect from us throughout the year."
That doesn't mean other issues can't get in your way, however.
Delivery delays are still a possibility.
As we know all too well, the winter season can easily become unpredictable. In a new alert released as a local press release, the USPS warned customers that this uncertainty, particularly when it comes to winter storms, can disrupt the agency's ability to operate normally.
"Our carriers deliver the mail in all kinds of weather and the safety of our employees and the communities we serve is a top priority for the Postal Service," the USPS stated in its release. "We plan for various weather issues throughout the year including efforts to make sure employees have the necessary tools and training to do their jobs safely."
Still, workers may have to skip your home if it's deemed unsafe.
"Delivery service may be delayed or limited whenever streets or walkways present hazardous conditions for letter carriers or when snow is plowed against mailboxes," the USPS warned. "Any impacted mail delivery is attempted the next business day."
But you can help to avoid delays.
If you want to prevent delivery delays from affecting your mail, the Postal Service is asking you do to your part to keep carriers safe. During the winter season, this includes "keeping walkways, steps, and porches clear of snow and ice that can lead to dangerous falls," according to the release.
"Customers are responsible for keeping the approach to their mailboxes clear of obstructions to allow safe access for delivery," the agency explained. "The best way to avoid injury is prevention. Please help your letter carrier provide you with the best service, as safely as possible."
There are several ways you can make things safer for carriers this winter.
The USPS said it will warn customers if there are disruptions to their deliveries due to weather-related problems through its Service Alerts website. But for your part, getting rid of the snow and ice from around your home and mailboxes is the best thing you can do.
"Clear enough snow from curbside boxes to allow mail trucks to approach the box, deliver the mail, and to drive away from the box without danger or the need for backing," the agency advised in its release. "Walkways should be cleared of snow and ice and allow enough traction to avoid slips, trips or falls. [And] steps should also be kept clear of ice and snow and in good repair so as not to cause injury to the letter carriers or others who visit the customer's home."
Alongside that, the Postal Service said that any overhangs around your house should be clear and free of snow or ice to help avoid any injuries to workers as well.
"Leave a light on, if possible, to illuminate walkways and porches [and] add a street address to mailboxes so they're easier for carriers to find," the USPS added.