PORTLAND, Maine -- The U.S. Postal Service did everything possible to prevent another holiday shipping disaster in 2020.
The Postal Service and other private shippers reported that deliveries for holiday season were mostly smooth.
ShipMatrix, which analyzes data about shipping packages, found that 96% of all shipments to the Postal Service were delivered on time in December. This was a 2-week period. It was a significant improvement over last year's situation, where more than a quarter of first-class mail arrived late by Christmas.
"We are happy to have brought all the good holiday cheer that was possible," stated Mark Dimondstein of the American Postal Workers Union. This union represents more than 200 000 postal workers.
There were many warnings about supply chain issues and delays leading up to the holidays. According to Satish Jindel (PastMatrix president in Pennsylvania), shoppers finally heeded the supply chain warnings and ordered and shipped items earlier than expected. This led to more people shopping in stores than ever before.
Officials stated that the Postal Service had installed 112 new parcel sorting machines, shifted more than 60,000 employees into the ranks of career workers, hired 40,000 seasonal workers, and leased additional space at over 100 locations.
The service reported that 89.8% were first-class parcels arrived on time in the first 12 weeks. It also anticipated that 12 billion packages and mail would be delivered between Thanksgiving Day and New Year's Day.
Jindel stated that FedEx and UPS saw delivery rates of over 90% during the 12--21 December period. They also increased their workforces by hiring more than 190,000. This was to better prepare for holiday peak.
The U.S. According to the American Postal Workers Union, approximately 6,500 postal workers were in COVID-19 quarantine for the Christmas Eve. This was a better result than the previous year when 19,000 workers were out at peak December, according the American Postal Workers Union.
These numbers are increasing. The union reported that the number of workers in quarantine grew to almost 8,000 this week.
Fredric Rolando, president of National Association of Letter Carriers, stated that while obstacles such as the pandemic or quarantines present staffing challenges, they don't affect the mission.
The U.S. The U.S. Postal Service declined comment on the quarantine numbers, but spokesperson Kim Frum said that "we can assure our customers that the Postal Service has resources in place, and adequate staffing to meet their service needs, both now and into the future."