USPS delays worrying small business owners and families ahead of Christmas

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GREENSBORO, N.C. — Package delays at the USPS distribution center in Greensboro are worrying small business owners and families expecting Christmas gifts in the mail.

A good number of people have been reaching out to FOX8 saying their packages have been sitting in the Greensboro hub for weeks without moving.

The cut-off to send out letters and packages and receive them before Christmas is next week but many people tell FOX8 they don’t see how that’s possible because they’re still waiting on packages from November. One man just got his order in the mail and he made the purchase before Halloween.

“There’s definitely been some big-time delays here lately,” said Tim Holt, who operates a small business on eBay.

As soon as packages reach the USPS Processing and Distribution Center in Greensboro, they sit. For some people, packages are only delayed a few days, for others like Holt, months.

“It seems like when they hit our center here, is where the problem is,” Holt said.

For more than two decades Holt has sold antiques on eBay.

“I’ve been selling on eBay since 1997 and the past three months have been the worst since 1997, 100 percent,” Holt said.

The problem Holt explained further is not with sending packages out from Greensboro, it’s waiting for mail to come in. In 23 years he’s only had one lost package. In the last month he’s had three. The uncertainty is hurting small business owners shipping out orders. When they choose FedEx or UPS they’re often paying more in shipping than the price of the item.

“So if you’re selling small, lower-end items you can’t even use those services because all your profit goes away into shipping. It just makes it where people won’t buy it because they can’t afford to pay the shipping,” Holt said.

It is a problem Holt hopes is corrected within the USPS soon but he’s not feeling confident after dealing with delays for months.

“I’m also a bartender in North Carolina right now so I have two jobs because that’s what you have to do these days but it’s really tough when both of them, getting stuck on both of them on a regular basis. 2020’s been a struggle,” Holt said.

A USPS spokesperson told FOX8 the Greensboro center has faced many challenges due to COVID-19 and mail volumes have dramatically increased. They’ve hired seasonal employees and have employees working overtime the next few weeks. Customers are reminded to send out mail and packages early to avoid glitches.

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