Traditionally in America, Christmas is celebrated over the course of one day, on December 25; but, Christmas for many could trickle in over the course of several days following the widely-celebrated holiday.
According to Ernie Swanson of the Seattle USPS hub, parcel volume in Washington state is up significantly as people are encouraged to shop online during the pandemic. According to the Washington Post, nationwide USPS parcel volume is up 14% this year compared to 2019.
“We’ve hired more people, added additional transportation, expanded retail locations hours; we’d hate to disappoint to anyone. There is a greater risk for delays due to the additional volume and impact that the pandemic has had on activities. We are doing our best to keep up with it so people get their gifts by this Friday,” Swanson told iFIBER ONE News.
To keep pace with demand, Swanson says some Washington state post offices are seeing carriers begin their routes before sunrise and end their deliveries after sunset.
But, pandemic-related issues are creating some insurmountable hurdles as USPS deals with infected staff. According to the Washington Post, 19,000 of agency’s 644,000 workers are quarantined for COVID-19.
According to the Washington Post, mail performance has plummeted with only 75.3 percent of first-class mail arriving within the one-to-three-day window during the week of Dec. 5. For the week of Dec. 6, FedEx delivered 93.9 percent of its parcels on time, UPS delivered 96.1 percent, and the Postal Service, 87.5 percent.
Information provided by Shipmatrix.com shows that an estimated 6 million packages a day are piling up in retailers' warehouses or shipping centers and awaiting pick up by FedEx, UPS, Amazon, the U.S. Postal Service and other shippers. Another 3.5 million packages are being picked up daily, but fail to reach their destinations on time.