Postal Service grapples with 'unprecedented' volume heading into holiday weekend

Postal Service grapples with 'unprecedented' volume heading into holiday weekend
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The United States Postal Service is facing an "unprecedented" amount of mail going into the holiday weekend amid reports of delayed packages.

On its website, the postal service stated that it was “experiencing unprecedented volume increases and limited employee availability due to the impacts of COVID-19.”

The high volume and staffing impacts from the coronavirus pandemic have led to reports of delays for a number of people expecting Christmas packages.

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Several people told The Associated Press that they have not had gifts arrive ahead of the holiday, with delivery times extended beyond initial estimates.

A man from Grand Rapids, Mich., said he ordered a collector's model of a NASCAR race car for his father for Christmas on Nov. 30. Though he was notified by the postal service that the gift was shipped with two-day priority on Dec. 8, it still had not reached his father by Thursday night.

“I do understand the situation, but it’s still kind of frustrating,” Austin Race, 21, told the AP.

A woman in Ann Arbor, Mich., experienced a similar situation, telling the outlet that Christmas ornaments she ordered Nov. 17 got stuck in Detroit, despite a Dec. 11 message from the postal service stating that they had already arrived at their destination in Columbus, Ohio.

“I was frustrated last week thinking, ‘C’mon, get here,’ but now I am just sort of laughing it off,” she said.

She added that the recipients of the ornaments will be able to hang them on the tree next year and have a story to tell about how the pandemic sent them on a journey and delayed their arrival.