HAZELWOOD, Mo. (KMOV.com) - After the holidays, there was virtually no letup in the volume of packages being shipping by the U.S. Postal Service, according to a local union representing postal workers.
Rebecca Livingston is president of the St. Louis chapter of the American Postal Workers Union.
"We are working a lot of hours. A lot of non-scheduled days are being worked," she said.
Mary Schanuel owns an ETSY shop called "Little Lamb's Wool." She sells slippers and mittens made from wool sweaters, and memory items for people who's lost loved ones. She relies heavily on shipping through the Postal Service for her company and has seen slow delivery persist.
She also shipped a unique item that's irreplaceable, which she made for a customer, but when she dropped it off it at her local post office, it wasn't scanned into the system and hasn't been delivered.
"It's probably buried under a lot of other packages, but there's no tracking data for it. I thought maybe this is just me, but then my husband mailed a package and same thing happened," said Schanuel.
Throughout most of 2020, the volume of packages being shipped was as high as the levels seen during holiday periods because more people were buying items online during the COVID-19 pandemic. Shipping volumes have remained high for USPS into the start of 2021 and postal workers are still trying to get caught up after seeing an historic level of shipping volume during the holidays.
"Do we have a backlog still? Yes sir, we do," said Livingston.
Livingston said employees are working 10 to 12 hour days and pulling extra shifts. She said management has hired more workers, but some quit because the work is hard and more are needed.
"The employees need to get the credit they deserve. They've been working very hard and taken this very seriously. And it's just sometimes the volumes are just out of their control. There's only so many hours they can work in a day and stay safe," said Livingston.
The USPS customer service number is 800-275-8777. Customer support workers can more precisely track a package, but wait times can be long.