USPS overwhelmed with record shipments and fewer employees

Published: December 16, 2020 5:07 PM EST
Updated: December 16, 2020 5:19 PM EST

The U.S. Postal Service is overwhelmed by a record number of holiday shipments while they have fewer employees. It’s an issue across the country, and people in Southwest Florida are experiencing it first hand.

At Cape Coral’s busiest post office, the Christmas shopping rush is on. Long lines are the rule, not the exception.

“It’s unbelievable. It’s about an hour wait. Luckily I did mine online,” said Gary Burke.

Alan Steele said he learned his lesson years ago.

“My wife, she ships packages and it’s quite a while in line but not this bad. I’m not waiting in that.”

Over at the USPS Page Field location, the front lobby is also busy. Customer Relations Coordinator Robert Rhoad said if you’re looking to avoid the wait time, come after hours and take advantage of the self-service kiosk.

“It’s just like an ATM. You can punch in the address and it leaves your package in, you print out a label and then you can dump it inside of the dropbox.”

The Post Office is particularly challenged this holiday season because they expect a record number of packages to ship and they have fewer carriers because of the surge in COVID-19 cases.

You’ll want to ship sooner rather than later to make sure gifts get to their recipients in time.

“Get them out as soon as possible. The faster we get them, the more likely we are to get them before Christmas,” Rhoad said.

The Post Office says its deadline for getting those holiday packages and cards to their destinations on time is Friday, Dec. 18. After that, expect to pay extra to guarantee delivery before Christmas.