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Postal Service holiday delivery rate recovers from 2020

The U.S. Postal Service and other private carriers reported a smooth holiday season for deliveries amid warnings of supply chain issues and shipping delays.

Software company ShipMatrix, which analyzes shipping data, found that 96.9 percent of the Postal Service’s shipments were on time between Dec. 12 and Dec. 21, according to a statement

UPS and FedEx also saw a high percentage of on-time shipments, at 97.1 percent and 91.2 percent, respectively. They reportedly prepared for the holiday peak by hiring more than 190,000 additional workers.

ShipMatrix said the improvement stemmed in part from more shoppers buying gifts early and being able to do so in person at stores.

“We’re happy to have brought all of the good holiday cheer that we could,” Mark Dimondstein, president of the American Postal Workers Union, told The Associated Press.

The Postal Service sought to improve the last year’s shipping issues, which were brought on by the pandemic that resulted in store shutdowns or restricted access.

Since last year, the service installed 112 new package sorting machines, transitioned more than 60,000 pre-career employees to career employees, hired 40,000 seasonal employees and leased extra space at more than 100 locations, the AP reported, citing officials. 

While the number of quarantined postal workers also decreased this year compared to last, with about 6,500 workers under isolation this year compared to 19,000 workers last year, those rates are also on the rise. This week, the number of quarantined workers grew to almost 8,000, the AP said, citing the American Postal Workers Union.

The Postal Service declined to comment on the quarantine number, the AP reported. However, spokesperson Kim Frum assured the public that the service “does have resources in place, including adequate staffing, to meet the service needs of our customers, now and in the future,” according to the news outlet.

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