Postal Service staffing shortage causing mail, package delays

Carlisle/West Shore

CARLISLE, Pa. (WHTM) — A staffing shortage at the United States Postal Service is causing mail and package delays in at least one part of central Pennsylvania.

The USPS acknowledged the problem to ABC27, saying it is struggling to hire enough workers in Cumberland County, and that is subsequently causing significant delays of package dropoffs and days without mail for some customers.

One family said that was their experience last week when they went three days without mail delivery.

“I’m a working mom of three, so I really rely on online shopping and my packages showing up on my doorstep,” said Elizabeth Kemmery, a West Pennsboro Township resident. “My husband noticed because our bills were sitting in the mailbox for a few days and he was waiting on some packages that weren’t coming.”

Kemmery says a call to their local post office revealed their route and three others were uncovered.

“It would be great if there was some way for them to communicate to us that there were issues so that we could either go pick it up or they could alternate routes,” she said. “Now we’re doing a lot of follow up – [checking] that we’re getting them, that they’re not getting lost.”

At a post office in Mechanicsburg on Simpson Ferry Road, a sign out front reads “Now Hiring”.

In a statement, USPS apologized for the delays and inconvenience, saying during the holidays, “USPS implements contingency plans like Sunday delivery and also utilizes a flexible workforce to accommodate increased volumes. We are bringing new employees on in many areas, including Carlisle and Mechanicsburg.”

But those delays aren’t the only issues plaguing the Kemmery family.

“We had some partial deliveries. We had some deliveries to neighbor’s houses,” Kemmery said. “We got some Kohl’s flyers for November 30 to December 4 and they showed up on Saturday [the 7] so unfortunately, they were not usable. It would have just been nice if they would’ve given us a heads up.”

The full statement from the USPS is posted below:

The Postal Service is committed to providing the best service possible. During holidays when spikes in package and letter volumes occur, USPS implements contingency plans (i.e. Sunday delivery) and also utilizes a flexible workforce to accommodate increased volumes.

USPS conducted job fairs and promoted holiday and year-round hiring over the last several months. We are bringing new employees on in many areas, including Carlisle and Mechanicsburg.

USPS apologizes for any inconvenience but can assure you postal employees are working diligently. The Postal Service appreciates all customer feedback and encourages concerned customers to contact the USPS Customer Care Center at 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777).

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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