USPS moves past holiday shipping backlog

Massive mail delay over holidays

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - USPS leaders say workers have moved past holiday shipping backlogs that snarled your mail at the hub locally and nationwide.

“There was definitely a sigh of relief when everything was over - like whew, OK! We did it,” said small business owner Tiffany Hill.

We talked with Hill during the mad rush to get packages to her customers during the holiday season. Shipped items slowed to a stop in Birmingham’s postal hub as workers sorted through mountains of mail.

Over a month later -- and the holiday rush behind us -- her customers personalized designs finally made it to their door.

“We had some that delivered close to on time, some that were 3 - 4 weeks late, but on average it was like two weeks,” said Hill.

Birmingham Postal leaders say workers dealt with historic levels of shipments this holiday season. In an update to WBRC Thursday, a representative with USPS said:

“The Postal Service delivered a record amount of packages this holiday season in the midst of the pandemic which significantly impacted our workforce availability. Capacity challenges with airlifts and trucking for moving this historic volume led to temporary delays, which shippers across the board also experienced. At this time, there are no delays in the mail processing network in Alabama. We are proud of the hard work and dedication of our employees, and continue to work around the clock to deliver all mail and packages, including returns, entered into our system. We thank our customers for their continued support and understanding. Customers may direct any questions to their local Postmaster or our Customer Care Center at 1-800-275-8777.”

Hill is shipping out her next round of holiday décor to customers and says she’s not dealing with the same delays and shipping times are a lot closer to normal.

“Everything we’ve shipped in the last few days has either arrived or is going to arrive,” said Hill. “I’m hoping this was just unique to 2020 and the pandemic. I still feel confident using the postal service.”

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