Watch CBS News

Packages and mail may be delivered at night this holiday season

Postal Service seeks help for holiday season
Postal Service seeks help for holiday season as delays are expected 03:05

With the holiday season just around the corner, the U.S. Postal Service is looking to hire about 28,000 seasonal workers and is installing 137 new package sorting machines in an effort to avoid shipping delays. 

But postal worker representatives say Americans could see after-dark or even nighttime deliveries over the holidays, as employees navigate tons of envelopes and boxes. A new congressional review is also warning of USPS staffing issues and backups. 

For some business owners who have felt the impacts of inflation, this holiday season could be essential in keeping their businesses afloat. 

"If I don't have timely delivery, it impacts my business because my staff is working harder, my staff is working longer hours, and then myself as well," Bo Anuluoha, co-owner of the Los Angeles boutique Kutula By Africana, told CBS News. 

But even with a surge in holiday hiring, USPS is finding it hard to fill open positions. Recruitment efforts in California, New England and the Midwest remain sluggish.  

"Postmasters that are short-staffed in many areas of the country are personally delivering mail on some routes," Edmund Carley, president of the United Postmaster and Managers of America, told a congressional panel last month. "In some regions, advertised vacancies get no applicants." 

Lawmakers have been trying to implement reform within the mailing agency amid widespread complaints about mail service slowdowns. A congressional investigation found recent absenteeism problems at postal centers in Chicago, Philadelphia and Baltimore exacerbated worker shortages. 

"It slows down everything and it affects obviously reliability for customers," said Virginia Rep. Gerry Connolly, who leads the House subcommittee overseeing the United States Postal Service. "We need to make sure that the Postal Service is reliable and that people are on deck doing their jobs."

The Postal Service recommends that to ensure delivery of packages by Dec. 25, items be mailed out by Dec. 17 for ground service and for first-class mail service. The deadline is Dec. 19 for priority mail and Dec. 23 for express delivery service.  

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.