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As Chicagoans Complain Of 'Astronomically Stupid' Mail Problems, Logistics Expert Says City Hit 'Particularly Hard' By Postal Service Issues

CHICAGO (CBS) -- From lost mail to lost tempers, we've reported one postal problem after another and now we're taking the issues we've uncovered to a logistics expert, who said Chicago is particularly hard-hit by recent U.S. Postal Service issues.

But CBS 2 Morning Insider Tim McNicholas learned there could be help on the way.

"It's getting, like, astronomically stupid," said Kevin Cross, of Rogers Park, who is waiting on one package, three pieces of mail, and an explanation from USPS. "They just mark it as resolved and nobody does anything."

It's the kind of story we've uncovered for months, from the city to the suburbs.

We shared some of those stories with Kevin Kosar, in Washington, DC, who has studied the Postal Service with the Congressional Research Service and now the American Enterprise Institute.

"Certainly Chicago has been particularly hard-hit," Kosar said.

Kosar said mail delivery in Chicago was already challenging due to the harsh winters. Add to that a pandemic that has forced 120,000 postal workers to quarantine nationwide.

"There's a lot of mail sorting plants in that area. So if anything goes wrong at any of those plants, it's gonna have ripple effects; first immediately in Chicago, and then the surrounding area," Kosar said.

Even Kosar couldn't quite explain why Marilyn Enstrom's package bounced from one suburban facility to another and back earlier this month, before finally making its way to Minnesota – after we started asking questions.

"That should not happen, quite plainly," Kosar said.

He did say USPS is dealing with a surge in package deliveries that they're not equipped for.

"They just don't have the right trucks, the right facilities, the right machines to handle the rush in volume," Kosar said.

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy recently unveiled a 10-year improvement plan that includes a brand new line of trucks – bigger and better equipped to handle package deliveries.

But they won't be on carrier routes until 2023, and Cross needs help now.

Cross said he only gets mail delivered once a week.

Kosar said USPS needs to also revamp their customer service and communications when people do experience problems.

The USPS also needs auto mechanics in Chicago now. Applications are open through April 28. The salary is between $47,000 and $65,000 a year.

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