HAMBURG, N.Y. (WKBW-TV) — The COVID-19 pandemic is keeping many people home this holiday season which is resulting in a historic number of packages being sent.
"This year, we have seen more packages than we have ever seen in our 40-year history of being here," said Andrew Nyhart, owner of Lind-Hart Mini Ship in Hamburg.
The independent shipping store works with the U.S. Postal Service, UPS, FedEx, and DHL. Nyhart said he is getting 600 packages per day dropped off at his business.
Since the deadline for ground delivery to the West Coast has already
passed, Nyhart is recommending people use either UPS or FedEx air by this Friday, December 18th if they hope for a Christmas delivery.
"The ground terminals are stuffed to the gills," added Nyhart.
The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is asking customers to "be patient" as it deals with the large volume of packages and limited employee availability due to the effects of COVID-19.
For those planning to ship packages by USPS, the following deadlines are provided:
The Postal Service recommends the following mailing and shipping deadlines for expected delivery by Dec. 25 to Air/Army Post Office/Fleet Post Office/Diplomatic Post Office and domestic addresses*:
• Dec. 15 — USPS Retail Ground service
• Dec. 18 — APO/FPO/DPO (except ZIP Code 093) USPS Priority Mail Express service
• Dec. 18 — First-Class Mail service (including greeting cards)
• Dec. 18 — First-class packages (up to 15.99 ounces)
• Dec. 19 — Priority Mail service
• Dec. 23 — Priority Mail Express* serviceAlaska
• Dec. 18 — Alaska to/from Continental U.S. First-Class Mail
• Dec. 19 — Alaska to/from Continental U.S. Priority Mail • Dec. 21 — Alaska to/from Continental U.S. Priority Mail ExpressHawaii
• Dec. 15 — Hawaii to/from mainland Priority Mail and First-Class Mail
• Dec. 21 — Hawaii to/from mainland Priority Mail Express*Not a guarantee, unless otherwise noted. Dates are for estimated delivery before Dec. 25. Actual delivery date may vary depending on origin, destination, Post Office acceptance date and time and other conditions. Some restrictions apply.
For Priority Mail Express shipments mailed Dec. 22 through Dec. 25, the money-back guarantee applies only if the shipment was not delivered, or delivery was not attempted, within two (2) business days.
Important Reminders from USPS:
• Mail and packages weighing more than 10 ounces and/or measuring more than a half-inch thick and using stamps as postage cannot be dropped into a collection box or left for a carrier to pick up. Instead, take them to a retail associate at your local Post Office. This requirement does not apply to Click-N-Ship customers.
• Certain items may have restrictions or prohibitions when it comes to sending through the mail. Please see the list of hazardous, restricted and perishable mail or ask a Postal Service employee for more information on what can and can't be sent through the mail.
• Battery-operated devices may turn on and make noise in transit. To prevent this, remove batteries from any battery-operated device, if possible, or make sure the device it turned off. Wrap and place the batteries next to the items in the package. Customers should include new batteries in the unopened, original manufacturer's packaging if at all possible.
A spokesperson for the postal service also sent the following information about the Buffalo Processing and Distribution Center:
"The 640,000 employees of the U.S Postal Service across the nation are proud to provide an essential service to our customers during the pandemic and to meet unprecedented challenges of this extraordinary year.
The Buffalo Processing and Distribution Center has faced challenges recently due to COVID-19 at the same time mail volumes have dramatically increased. We have taken steps to address issues caused by the pandemic as we approach our busiest weeks, including hiring seasonal employees and allocating employees to facilities that need additional resources.
We are confident that our processing and delivery will return to normal levels quickly.
As we do each year, the Postal Service reminds customers to send mail and packages early to avoid glitches. For additional holiday information and resources, including mailing deadlines and packaging tips, check out the USPS holiday newsroom [gcc02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com].
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."