DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – With only days until Christmas, the United States Postal Service is struggling to keep up with demand.
A spokesperson of the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) told CBS 11 News their on-time delivery score is sitting at 75%. That number would normally be in the 90s, which means that one in every four packages is running late.
“Your delays I would more or less title up to the pandemic,” said Jonathan Cage, the executive vice president of APWU Dallas.
He says there’s almost 19,000 postal workers in quarantine, which is up over 10,000 since Thanksgiving.
Nine hundred of those are postal service workers in the City of Dallas alone.
“The pandemic has played its part. And with the employees being out we had mail processing slow-downs, but it’s not like the mail disappeared. The mail still has to be processed. But then when you have more and more people ordering things, and more and more people shipping things…it’s almost like double the mail,” he said.
It’s especially due to many turning to online ordering as the preferred shopping method of 2020.
“I was determined that I wasn’t going to walk out of my house to do a single shopping trip this year,” said Toni Miller, a Corinth resident.
She spent $90 shipping four items through USPS priority, and only one arrived on time.
“I thought, I’m giving them three and a half weeks that’s surely plenty of time, and it just ended up backfiring,” Miller said.
But the delays are also impacting small businesses.
Cameron Peterson, owner of Nutrition Nation Forney, is missing a $350 package he sent to one of his customers.
“350 came out of our pockets so unfortunately. That’s the that’s the worst that we’ve been through,” Peterson said.
Another small business owner, Loren Oldham of Western 70s, says she’s living a shipping nightmare.
“Tomorrow is Christmas Eve and I’m getting probably over 45 messages from people saying ‘where’s my package?’” Oldham said.
So far, 30 of her orders — all handmade custom shoes — are lost in transit.
“They guaranteed me Christmas delivery shipping. And so I guaranteed that to my customers and when they don’t get it for Christmas that’s an issue and I completely understand that but it makes me look like a bad business owner,” Oldham said.
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