ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- Some of the holiday gifts that were purchased online this Christmas season, might not be under the tree by December 25.
"They were guaranteed to be delivered by December 3 and here we are, December the 16 and I still have not received them and no idea if or when I will," said Jennifer Deckard of St. Francois County.
Deckard bought some t-shirts on Amazon for her daughters back on November 26th and thought there'd be plenty of time for them to arrive.
The online tracking information told her the items shipped from a facility in Cincinnati on December 3rd and then she was notified they shipped on December 13th and again on the 14th. But they haven't arrived.
This week, the USPS issued a press release to try to explain the reasons behind the delays in shipping packages. In part it said, "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."
And this week, it was learned that UPS and FedEx had halted shipments for six major retailers and shifted the delivery of tens of thousands of packages to the Postal Service.
Apparently retailers like Macy's, GAP, NIKE and L.L. Bean had exceeded agreed upon shipping limits.
According to the American Postal Workers Union St. Louis local, shipping volumes had already reached holiday season levels back in April during stay-at-home orders and hadn't gone down.
Local president, Rebecca Livingston, told News 4 that postal employees were working 10-to-12 hours a day, forgoing days off and that office workers and I.T. staff were being pulled in to help with the unprecedented shipping volume.
"I think they've done a good job but we certainly understand and the craft employees that I represent, we all understand their frustration. But it's not for the lack of trying," said Livingston.
Even so, consumers who ordered items weeks before Christmas are counting on their gifts to arrive in time.
Online shoppers like Linda Bohnenstiehl are left in limbo. She ordered a gift from Best Buy that was shipped from Chicago on November 30th and arrived at a USPS processing center in Hazelwood on December 1st and has been sitting there for 2 weeks.
"It's pretty frustrating. Because I've been checking constantly to see where it is and I have no movement at all. It doesn't tell you nothing at all, just tells you it's arriving late," she said.
A spokesperson for the St. Louis office of the U.S. Postal Service said a large number of employees had been authorized to work on Christmas day to help get the backlog of packages delivered.