Updated: December 21, 2020 05:11 PM
Created: December 21, 2020 04:16 PM
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — If you’re waiting for a holiday delivery from the United States Postal Service, you’re not alone. The packages are piling up at the Rochester processing and distribution center, many online shoppers telling News10NBC that their items have made it to Rochester but are now stuck, waiting to be processed and sent to their local post offices for delivery.
“I ordered something on the 26th of November, December 4th it said it had arrived at the Rochester post office (processing center)… it has been sitting there since December 4th, it has not moved. I called the company and they said there's nothing they can do if the post office does not deem it lost,” Rebecca Gordon explained.
Tricia Trocano is in a similar situation, she’s waiting on two items ordered at the end of November.
“The one thing I wanted the most, for my father because it's his birthday on Christmas Day too did not come and so I was like okay, great here we go. I logged in, did the tracking number and it's there. It’s been there since 12/11, they scanned it but then there's just no information,” she told News10NBC.
Back in August, a News10NBC Investigation revealed that some equipment had been removed from the Rochester Processing center and sent elsewhere in the country. At the time, the union that represents some of the USPS employees said it was causing major delays.
“Right now, the plant is filled with more mail than I've ever seen and I've heard other postal workers say more than they've seen in 30 years working there,” said Rob Stahl, the President of the APWU Local 215 at the time. Now, add a record number of online holiday purchases to the mix.
Photos have been shared widely on the internet over the last few weeks of USPS processing and distribution centers across the country filled to the brim with packages. The photos were not taken at the Rochester facility but those who work inside the local center say they may as well have been.
“I know they're super busy so I don't want to complain, I know everybody is trying so hard, I mean I see my mail carrier out there with their head lamp and everything at night, so I feel bad,” Trocano said.
News10NBC Investigative Reporter Jennifer Lewke reached out to the USPS. Within eight minutes of her email, a spokesman responded with the following answer about delays nationwide that does not address Rochester specifically:
“In an extraordinary year of unprecedented challenges given the COVID-19 pandemic and a historic record of mail and package volume this holiday season, the Postal Service encourages customers to send their holiday gifts and cards as soon as possible. We thank our customers for their continued support, and we are committed to making sure gifts and cards are delivered on time to celebrate the holidays. We also thank our 644,000 employees who are working tirelessly throughout these unique conditions to ensure the delivery of holiday gifts and greetings. While every year the Postal Service carefully plans for peak holiday season, a historic record of holiday volume compounded by a temporary employee shortage due to the COVID-19 surge, and capacity challenges with airlifts and trucking for moving this historic volume of mail are leading to temporary delays. These challenges are being felt by shippers across the board. We continue to flex our network including making sure the right equipment is available to sort, process and deliver a historic volume of mail and packages this holiday season. The Postal Service leadership team, the unions and management associations are all working in close collaboration to address issues and concerns as they arise as we focus on delivering the Holidays for the nation.”
Both Gordon and Trocano get it but wonder what USPS considers temporary delays.
“I mean this (the item) has been there since Dec. 4, I've given them plenty of time to catch up on it, I mean it's almost Christmas,” Gordon said.
When it comes to USPS “flexing” its network to make sure the right equipment is available in the right spots, News10NBC learned it recently added one package sorting machine in Western New York but it was in Buffalo, not Rochester.
If you send something via USPS Priority Mail service which includes tracking and delivery in one to three business days, the expected delivery date does not come with a money-back guarantee. If you sent it via Priority Mail Express® overnight to two-day delivery service, it does come with a money-back guarantee.
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