TULSA, Okla. — The United States Postal Service is taking so long to deliver packages that it is losing customers.
Some of those customers are small business owners in Green Country who say they are also at a loss of revenue.
A red warning lines the top of the USPS website. It is an alert that says they are experiencing volume increases with limited employees.
“You can’t rely on getting things through the mail right now in a timely manner," said Tulsa resident James Seaman after receiving family Christmas cards a month late.
“Christmas cards that we received in January and realized they’d been mailed 30 days previous,” said Seaman.
He is also getting bills too late, which means he will have to pay a late fee.
For business owners, the delays mean re-sending products to customers and sometimes losing customers altogether.
“One package here was delayed 47 days,” said Drew Markman of Protazen. “This company’s been around since 2004 and we’ve exclusively been with the post office. It’s been bulletproof, in all honesty.”
Markman would spend $2,000 a month on shipping with USPS. He remembers his delivery being 2-4 days to anywhere in the country.
“December first is when the wheels seemed to have come off,” said Markman, who has now turned to conducting business with FedEx.
“UPS and FedEx have figured out how to adapt,” Markman said. “The post office has a massive employee base. I would think that they would learn how to adapt as well.”
Tulsa’s USPS distribution center has 12 new hires who just started working and the plan includes hiring about a dozen more people.
A rep with USPS sent 2 Works for You a statement which closes with saying they anticipate further performance improvements as holiday inventory drops.
"The United States Postal Service delivered a record number of holiday packages for the American people under some of the most difficult circumstances we’ve faced in the past century — specifically more than 1.1 billion packages were delivered this holiday season amidst a global pandemic.
Throughout the peak season, the Postal Service, along with the broader shipping sector, faced pressure on service performance across categories as it managed through a record of volume while also overcoming employee shortages due to the ongoing surge in COVID-19 cases, winter storms in the Northeast, as well as ongoing capacity challenges with airlifts and trucking for moving historic volumes of mail.
As volume pressures strained the system during the peak season, the Postmaster General and the Executive Leadership Team took a number of specific action steps to help address the issues. Those action steps included:
As the holiday inventory continues to drop, the Postal Service fully anticipates further improvements in performance."
- Working with union leadership, we adjusted and increased fulltime career staffing by more than 10,000 positions in several facilities across the country which will stabilize our operations and improve performance.
- Consistent with past peak seasons, we have fully utilized overtime to allow employees to work the time necessary to process the record volume.
- We extended lease agreements on annexes used to provide additional package processing and dispatch capacity beyond the holiday peak season.
- Implemented in August 2020, we realigned organizational reporting structures, providing greater visibility by the executive team into operations, allowing for quicker responses to issues.
A member of the Northeastern Oklahoma Postal Union said they expect positive changes with President Biden’s administration.
USPS is already seeing the start of those expected changes. Monday, the Postal Regulatory Commission announced the name of its new chairman: Michael Kubayanda, designated by President Biden.
Chairman Kubayanda was first nominated to the commission in June 2018 by then-president Trump and is currently serving his first term as commissioner.
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