USPS Admits Mail Delays, Says They’re Addressed

The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has broken its silence about complaints of the late and unreliable delivery of mail that had been frustrating customers of the Sturgeon Bay Post Office since last November. 

In a Feb. 28 letter to U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wisconsin), Shaun Chang, USPS government relations representative, said they had contacted the Sturgeon Bay branch and the employees there acknowledged that service in Sturgeon Bay had not been up to USPS standards.

“Over the past year, the area experienced a rapid increase in package volume, coupled with the need for more employees, both of which contributed to the delays,” Chang wrote. “Nevertheless, we were advised that additional management has been brought in to address any issues. Since then, there have been no reported delays in Northeast Wisconsin around Sturgeon Bay.”

Chang’s letter was written in response to an official inquiry Gallagher had made to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy on Jan. 26 to learn what the issues were and how to get them fixed. Gallagher pressed in the letter for specific actions being taken to ensure normal delivery would resume and delays be avoided going forward. 

“Two experienced postmasters from neighboring offices have been temporarily assigned to the Sturgeon Bay Post Office to provide consistency and help stabilize operations,” Chang wrote.

The new management is experienced in hiring, which Chang said the branch needs given the difficulties in finding and retaining employees.

“It is important to note that the Sturgeon Bay Post Office has recently experienced abnormal circumstances,” Chang said. “The office is processing more mail than before, which has necessitated the hiring of additional staff, while simultaneously experiencing unplanned absences with the existing personnel. In addition, an already-tight labor market and a very low state unemployment rate of 3.3% has complicated the hiring process.”

Gallagher also asked about the delivery of third-party packages for customers, such as Amazon, the USPS’s largest, and whether those packages were prioritized over traditional mail.
“Please be assured that the U.S. Postal Service does not prioritize third-party packages over any other type of mail,” Chang said.

However, he also said packages do have the potential to interfere with the flow of letter mail during a period of high-package volume when loading docks become “overwhelmed with all manner of packages, which must be cleared for normal mail operations to resume.”

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