U.S. Mail delays

jay helfert

Shoot Pool, not people
Gold Member
Silver Member
I think our mail service is in trouble this holiday season, with many people off due to illness. At my local post office that normally has three windows working every day, they are down to one with long lines all day long. I would advise against sending packages by USPS for the time being. I will be using UPS and Fedex instead. Currently I have two tubes of posters that were sent via Priority Mail on Nov. 21 with an expected arrival date of Nov. 25, that are still in transit. There is also a Priority Mail envelope on it's way to me that is several days overdue. Regular first class mail (for bill payments and such) seems to be faring much better.

Anyone else experiencing similar problems?
 

ChrisSjoblom

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I ship about 8-12 packages a day, the large majority by USPS Priority and First Class Parcel. My late shipments have been increasing gradually for the past several months, and as it stands now about 8% of my Priority shipments are arriving late enough for my customers to ask/complain about it. My actual rate of late Priority deliveries is about triple that, but evidently I have twice as many patient customers as impatient ones. My pre-COVID rate was about 2%-3%. With the Christmas season just ramping up I expect it to get much worse over the next few weeks.

Interestingly, my first class parcel shipments don't seem to be affected. Maybe it's because they are all 16-ounces or less, and under 22" long by USPS requirements. As the smaller stuff is getting through pretty normally I wonder if first class parcels don't travel with the Priority and Parcel Select packages.

I haven't noticed an increase in late deliveries for my FedEx Ground, FedEx Home Delivery and UPS Ground shipments, but as I rarely ship by those carriers my sample size may be too small to be useful as a comparison. I do know that all of the carriers are warning of COVID-related delays. I've received emails from all of them regarding this over the past several months.

As a side note, I have four USPS employees on one of my pool teams, and they all say it's rough at the local PO, but the real nightmare is at the regional sorting centers.
 

jay helfert

Shoot Pool, not people
Gold Member
Silver Member
I see now that UPS is overtaxed as well and refusing to pick up packages from several major retailers like GAP, Macy's and Nike. This does not bode well for anyone wanting to send a package now. Looks like our infrastructure is beginning to break down, and it may get worse, far worse.
 

ChrisSjoblom

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I think our mail service is in trouble this holiday season, with many people off due to illness.
Jay, it may not be due as much to actual illness as it is to the COVID protocols in place at the USPS. According to my buddies at the local PO, employees can stay home with pay if they suspect they have been exposed. They go in for a test, then regardless of the outcome of the test they are encouraged/required to quarantine for 14 days by the state health department. If they choose to quarantine, the USPS continues to pay them for the off-time. Seems like a very reasonable thing for the USPS to do, but many employees are taking unfair advantage of it.
 

iusedtoberich

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
A friend works at the post office. She told me there are lots of bums there that have been on paid leave since March “because no one else is home to take care of their kids”. This started in March when Corona hit. They are abusing the system.
 

Korsakoff

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
I received my second cue rack from Diamond Tuesday. The first one came with the table and other accessories.

it was sent via UPS. A guy and a girl, dressed in street clothes (no brown UPS uniforms), delivered it driving a mid-sized U-Haul truck. But, it was on time.
 

ChrisinNC

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I think our mail service is in trouble this holiday season, with many people off due to illness. At my local post office that normally has three windows working every day, they are down to one with long lines all day long. I would advise against sending packages by USPS for the time being. I will be using UPS and Fedex instead. Currently I have two tubes of posters that were sent via Priority Mail on Nov. 21 with an expected arrival date of Nov. 25, that are still in transit. There is also a Priority Mail envelope on it's way to me that is several days overdue. Regular first class mail (for bill payments and such) seems to be faring much better.

Anyone else experiencing similar problems?
Spend the extra $ - you will not be let down by UPS or FedEx, that’s my experience / advice.
 

Razor

Lex Parsimoniae
Silver Member
I received my second cue rack from Diamond Tuesday. The first one came with the table and other accessories.

it was sent via UPS. A guy and a girl, dressed in street clothes (no brown UPS uniforms), delivered it driving a mid-sized U-Haul truck. But, it was on time.
WTH? Obviously using contractors then, hope they are running them through a criminal background check. Surely they are for their own protection. Beyond delays, lots of theft and lost/missing packages via all shipping services increasingly being reported in my industry - but everyone primarily uses private insurance. That doesn't solve the problem of timeliness or alleviate the frustration, but is worthwhile for valuable stuff. Glad to here your shipment was on time.

~Razor
 

mikemosconi

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I have a few cues that I plan to sell- I am waiting until after Jan.1 to start selling again- not worth the risk etc. for the next 30 days via any carrier.
 

ChrisinNC

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
WTH? Obviously using contractors then, hope they are running them through a criminal background check. Surely they are for their own protection. Beyond delays, lots of theft and lost/missing packages via all shipping services increasingly being reported in my industry - but everyone primarily uses private insurance. That doesn't solve the problem of timeliness or alleviate the frustration, but is worthwhile for valuable stuff. Glad to here your shipment was on time.

~Razor
Yes, there is screening and training for this process of hiring additional subcontracted individuals to deliver packages. A long time UPS delivery/driver who comes in our place to eat numerous times a week has asked me if I knew of anyone that was interested in some part time hours for local deliveries.

Apparently it pays decently for this area of the country ($20-$25\hr). One of our young regulars who is a college student is going through the screening/training process currently.
 

Buzzard II

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Jay, funny you should write this. I ordered a poster and dvd from you a couple of weeks ago. The tracking showed about a week to Virginia. The poster came in five days early and the dvd a day late. Go figure.

Stuff from UPS & Fed X has been tracking right on schedule.

Going back twelve years it took the post office 30 days to mail my tax recipe card 200 miles. The pony express only took ten days from St. Louis to Sacramento.
 

CocoboloCowboy

Cowboys are my hero's
Silver Member
Where I live our population swell after Thanksgiving, until first of May. Snowbirds, and they strain not on USPS, but everything. We like to say so many SnowBirds, so little freezer space.

USPS people are in Union, it hard to get them to move very fast, they are not motovated by money, weather they work, or hide out the pay is the same.

We had one clerk who retired from USAF, then was at Post Office, one day he b*****d to me about poor service his dad got a VA. I said like you deliever here at you Postal Job Slow Poke.
 

logical

Loose Rack
Silver Member
I primarily use USPS priority mail on shipments just for convenience of location (or pick-up) and the free flat rate boxes. I use UPS on heavier items for better rates. I haven't seen a significant increase in USPS delivery times but more a lot more variation from package to package. They used to be very consistent with 2-3 days. USPS actually contracts with FedEx for the airport to airport leg of Priority Mail shipments and I don't think that is the variable. The 2-3 day standard was basically one day to the airport, one day or overnite on the FedEx plane and one day to the recipient. The variation I see is what you'd expect...things swirl around with USPS at either end and sometimes take 3 days to get to the airport 35 miles away. I haven't had any take over a week anywhere in the US...just a few days longer than normal.

The last UPS package I shipped made it from MI to NE in 2 days so I agree they do still seem to have it together.
 

Skess

Another sidearmer...
Silver Member
I've seen all of them running extra routes through my neighborhood. The month of December is always a crazy month for these guys, but with people avoiding the in person shopping, I'm sure it has to be even crazier than usual.

We did have a rent check take 3 weeks to get to us from 9 miles away back in October. Postmark showed it was mailed on time. That was during the USPS removal of the sorting equipment. Otherwise, no problems.
 

Chili Palmer

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
We get our electrical bill in the mail and I write the check the following Monday - every month for two years now. Seems we keep getting late charges?

I had the secretary call and the lady on the phone instantly said "Yeah, we're sorry, the mail is screwing everybody up"!

Yep, it's everywhere.
 

jay helfert

Shoot Pool, not people
Gold Member
Silver Member
Jay, it may not be due as much to actual illness as it is to the COVID protocols in place at the USPS. According to my buddies at the local PO, employees can stay home with pay if they suspect they have been exposed. They go in for a test, then regardless of the outcome of the test they are encouraged/required to quarantine for 14 days by the state health department. If they choose to quarantine, the USPS continues to pay them for the off-time. Seems like a very reasonable thing for the USPS to do, but many employees are taking unfair advantage of it.
The one lady who keeps showing up every day at our post office told me basically the same thing when I asked her where everyone was. She replied quietly, "They don't want to work."
 

mnsneakypete

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
USPS is definitely slow now. I recently sent two packages by priority and both arrived 4-5 days late. Regarding UPS, I made a purchase at Macy's last week with 1-2 day shipping and UPS has not even entered it into their system yet. I totally agree that the system is cracking. Fedex perhaps?
 

maha

from way back when
Silver Member
the country has many more people every year and of those, many more are sending packages and ordering through the mail.
we are just spoiled and have to get used to slower service in most categories of things. or be prepared to pay much more.
get cheap get cheap service.
you can send a package all across the county for the price of a hamburger.
 
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