Christmas Gifts May Be Late Due to ‘Historic’ Volume

Gridlock at USPS is holding up many Christmas deliveries this season, according to Vox. The situation is more severe this year as a result of the increase in online shopping due to the pandemic.

“A historic record of holiday volume compounded by a temporary employee shortage due to the Covid-19 surge and capacity challenges with airlifts and trucking for moving this historic volume of mail are leading to temporary delays,” a representative for the Postal Service said.

The number of shoppers who participated in Cyber Monday beat all previous records with consumers spending $10.8 billion, according to Adobe Analytics. Amazon warned its customers this year to place their orders early in anticipation of the high demand.

Both FedEx and UPS cut off new deliveries for some stores this year which led to a huge influx of packages arriving at the post office instead, according to The Washington Post. The move has caused big delays and aided in overwhelming the post office.

The November presidential election also exacerbated the problem. Many resources at the Postal Service, which is run by Trump’s appointee Postmaster Louis DeJoy, were focused on the election at the expense of other services.

The Postal Service has hired more than 50,000 seasonal workers, and increased Sunday deliveries in cities with more traffic. However, Postal Service employees have also complained of being overworked and underpaid. Many have been forced to take sick days or isolate as a result of Covid-19 as well.