Millions Of Christmas Gifts May Arrive Late Due To Overload At The Postal Service

Like many of his colleagues, postal worker Rickey Ramirez is working overtime to keep up with the crush of Christmas deliveries. Many packages are likely to be delivered after Dec. 25.
Tovia Smith/NPR

f you’re the type to be disappointed by what’s under the Christmas tree, this year you may find yourself even more dismayed by what’s not under the tree. Millions of gifts may arrive late, as the U.S. Postal Service grapples with an unprecedented volume of packages from people shopping online, instead of at stores, and shipping holiday gifts instead of bringing them in person.

“We’re really busy. It’s been unbearable,” sighed Manny Huenchunir, a Postal Service truck driver who was unloading and reloading crates of mail at a post office outside Boston on Tuesday night. The main Boston processing center, he says, is overwhelmed.

“The warehouse is packed,” Huenchunir said. “Boxes from wall to wall and trucks waiting to get into dock for like three hours, waiting in line just to unload.”

“We’ve been bombed. It’s been crazy,” says postal clerk Debbie Aspell, who’s feeling it from both sides of the counter. She has been working 11-hour days, six days a week, for most of the month. And she’s trying to get Christmas gifts to her own family, including the pajamas she sent to her son in Texas.

Source: NPR