The U.S. Postal Service says the coronavirus pandemic has created more delays than normal this holiday season because of “historic volume” and limited staff.

The Postal Service chalked up the delays to “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.”

USPS said other shippers are experiencing the same problems.

“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,” said Kristin Seaver, USPS chief retail and delivery officer. “We also thank our 644,000 employees who are working tirelessly throughout these unique conditions to ensure the delivery of holiday gifts and greetings.”

The agency advised customers to send holiday packages as soon as possible, recommending a deadline of no later than Dec. 23 with its Priority Mail Express service for Christmas Day delivery.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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