USPS Employee Explains Massive Mail Delays: "It's a Whole Mess"
The agency is facing widespread problems that may be affecting postal customers.
If you managed to make it through the hectic holiday shipping season without any major hiccups with your mail deliveries, don't get too comfortable. The worst may not be over for those relying on the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). In fact, the agency's own workers are now warning customers about massive mail delays, and the truth behind why they're still happening.
In a new interview with CBS-affiliate KHOU in Houston, Texas, a longtime USPS employee who has worked over 30 years with the agency spoke out about this ongoing problem.
"Never in my postal career has it been this bad," he said.
According to the employee, the delays at two Houston-area processing centers are due to problems with an important piece of equipment. A new parcel-sorting machine was set to be installed at the facilities just before the holidays, but the "massive machine" didn't fit inside.
Two other machines had already been removed to allow room for the new equipment, so now there are no large sorting machines, and mail is piling up everywhere as a result.
"It's a whole mess," the employee said. "Every open space, aside from the hallways, has mail or trash sitting there."
Texas Congressman Al Green released a recent statement noting that the USPS has brought in 23 extra personnel and 10 additional plant managers to help address the backlog at the Houston-area processing center, KHOU explained in a separate report.
But the USPS employee said that extra workers have only been able to help so much. According to the worker, what the Postal Service really needs is the large machines back to fix the serious delays—and he said he believes that could take month to accomplish.
"Midsummer, a little later. I would be surprised if they have it cleaned up before April," he told KHOU. "I think that is generous."
Best Life reached out to USPS about these concerns, and we will update this story with its response. But in a prior statement to KHOU, the agency acknowledged that its ongoing network modernization plans have caused "some unintended and temporary" disruptions to mail deliveries.
"This process, as with any such transition, takes time," the USPS said in its statement. "We are taking steps to ensure packages are processed as quickly and efficiently as possible and apologize to any customers who may be experiencing issues with delivery of their items."
Of course, even if you're not being affected by delays coming from the Houston-area centers, you may still be facing issues with your service. In a new warning on its Service Alerts website, the USPS notified customers that severe weather conditions are also affecting its operations throughout the country right now.
"Multiple severe weather events are impacting the processing, transportation, and delivery of mail and packages across the U.S.," the alert says. "Due to these weather events, please allow additional time for final delivery of your item."
- Source: USPS: Service Alerts