SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) — Dozens of tractor-trailer trucks lined Page Boulevard in Springfield Friday waiting to enter the United States Postal Service’s bulk mail center, causing traffic delays for hours.
The 22News I-Team contacted the Postal Service to find out what was happening at the facility to cause the back up.
In a statement to 22News from Amy Gibbs, Strategic Communications Specialist for USPS, this year’s holiday season has seen “a historic record of holiday volume compounded by a temporary employee shortage due to the COVID-19 surge, and capacity challenges with airlifts and trucking for moving this historic volume of mail are leading to temporary delays.”
She said the facility has added seasonal staff and is following all CDC COVID-19 guidelines on social distancing and offering leave to employees.
The bulk mail center is a 78-acre facility that serves as a hub for New England and parts of New York and it processes Priority and First-Class packages from Connecticut and Western Mass. It makes over 1,000 inbound and outbound trips daily. There are approximately 1,500 regular employees working there.
You can read the full statement here:
While every year the Postal Service carefully plans for peak holiday season, a historic record of holiday volume compounded by a temporary employee shortage due to the COVID-19 surge, and capacity challenges with airlifts and trucking for moving this historic volume of mail are leading to temporary delays.
This year, we have added additional staff to our Springfield mail facility, as we normally do for the holiday season. In addition, we are following all guidelines from the CDC on social distancing, and offering employees liberal leave to promote the wellbeing of our workforce. This year, following these guidelines, is our most important focus.
I would also like to clarify the function of the facility in Springfield, MA.
In a 78-acre facility with approximately 1,500 regular employees (and another couple hundred added for the holiday season), this facility makes over 1,000 inbound and outbound trips daily. Our Springfield mail processing center serves as a hub for New England and parts of New York and it processes Priority and First-Class packages from Connecticut and Western Mass.
Examples of the firepower we have in Springfield include parcel sorting equipment that ranges from 5,000 to 9,000 packages per hour — all in operation. We have flat-sized sorting equipment with capacities of up to 12,000 flats and magazines per hour — all in operation. We have nearly 1 million square feet of industrial space in play here, full steam ahead, in the most unprecedented period in mail transport history.
It’s important for your readers to know that every piece of equipment and every truck is being used every single day. Mail moves into the facility and out of the facility daily. In these unprecedented times, and a year with significant volume increases, we continue to flex our available resources to meet the demand within a finite number of resources available to us.
The Postal Service leadership team, the unions, and management associations are all working in close collaboration to address issues and concerns as they arise as we focus on delivering the Holidays for the nation.
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. We also thank our 644,000 employees who are working tirelessly throughout these unique conditions to ensure the delivery of holiday gifts and greetings.-Amy Gibbs, Strategic Communications Specialist for USPS