Troubles with delivery in the US?

I have several postcard traveling to the US and none of them have been registered yet, while my other cards sent during this time, even ones to the countries that usually take longer, such as China or Russia, have all arrived. They have now been traveling for over 50 days and not even one of them has arrived…
Post of Slovenia does deliver at the moment, so could this be about the USPS? Does anyone have similar problems?

Thanks a lot for your help!
Cheers and happy holidays

I have 3 US-bound cards sent in the recent half year expired – 2 to Central region, 1 to DC metro – with another travelling one to Midwest likely to expire. I’ve never seen such situation occur on other countries since I participated in PC. It appears that the post service system in the States (except California) is in chaos.

There’s a fine line between cards taking long time to arrive and falling into infinite abyss, and the States’ situation seems to belong to the latter category.

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I have about 10 postcards in the USA traveling. most travel for more than 60 days. I had 2 postcards registered, one has 160 days, the other has about the same amount. A lot of lost ones

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The short answer to your question is that the United states currently has dysfunctional and ineffective governance, and you are seeing postal service performance drop as symptom of that. Additionally the pandemic also has an effect in that there are many postal workers who are either out sick or quarantined, so they are working with reduced staff.

Here’s a more detailed response:

Acronyms used in this response:

USPS (United Staes Postal Service): This is a SERVICE (not a business) provided by the U. S. Federal government.

UPS (United Parcel Service): a commercial shipping company
FEDEX (Federal Express): a commercial shipping company

The USPS is absolutely buried right now. There are a few reasons in addition to what was mentioned above (listed in no particular order):

1 - The current administration made an attempt to hamstring the USPS mid-summer to prevent mail in ballots from being counted in the election, and much of the problems caused by that (and there were many) have not yet been fixed.

2 - UPS and FEDEX, the primary commercial shippers in the U.S., placed limits on what volume of packages they would take from vendors this holiday season, both because they where getting overwhelmed and because most of us are shopping online and staying at home do to the pandemic, and because they have the responsibility for shipping distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines (FEDEX west coast, UPS east coast). This pushed much of the overflow of package delivery to the USPS, which is obligated by law to accept and deliver shipments, and cannot refuse them.

3 - In order to streamline their efficiency and services, UPS, FEDEX and other commercial shipping companies have over the past few years been delivering to local post offices (USPS) and letting the USPS do the “last mile” of delivery, since the USPS has to deliver to every address every day anyway. Amazon still does this as well to some degree, even though they have their own delivery folks. That portion of delivery, going door to door, to every household and business in the country is the least efficient part of the process, and the USPS is required by law to do that.

There were two days last week where no mail was delivered at all at my address. I am with 25 miles of two major east coast cities, not out in the sticks. Every delivery person I see, regardless of who they work for, looks utterly exhausted. The USPS workers look the worst. Many of them have been working 7 days a week for months at this point.

Our USPS delivery lady has made deliveries as late as nine at night, and she has taken mail for her route out of the post office after her shift is complete (because they are limited in how long they are allowed to work) to her personal car and delivered it anyway after hours because she felt bad we were not getting our mail, and she knew she would be even more buried the next day.

They are busting their asses. Have some patience. Things are really bad here. One American is dying about every minute.


Thanks for your reply @eta55, I will certainly have some more patience!


@eta55 It’ll be awesome if what you mentioned, with exception of your POV, are official answers from USPS, so the postal service in my country can simply list mail service (of any sort) to the States as a no-no, and Postcrossing can stop distributing US addresses to my country’s users, as a result.

There is no reason for Postcrossing to stop distributing US addresses to Hong Kong and vice versa; the USPS is still delivering there. (If you would like to see an updated list of countries where the US does not currently deliver mail, there is one here.)

@eta55’s “point of view” is demonstrably accurate. Our mail carriers are working prolonged shifts and taking on more responsibility. And they are still reeling from the events during the presidential election. You are welcome to read up on it, if you’d like.


My previous post in this thread was all my interpretation of events, it should not be mis-construed in any way as being and official communique from any agency.


Yes, it’s a real mess. I thought it would be good to shop from smaller businesses or from individuals on Etsy this year. Well, none of those items has arrived. A handmade ornament I ordered for my husband from a craftsman in Colorado was shipped out on December 6, There were no updates in the USPS system after December 9. Today I see that it arrived in Florida yesterday! A couple of weeks ago I ordered candy from a little shop in New York state. The only shipping option was USPS $8 priority mail. It still has not arrived. A local Etsy craft person actually dropped my items off when I ordered them several weeks ago because she did not trust USPS to get them here on time. She said that even packages she mailed that were only going to local addresses were being sent all over the country before coming back here.

The mail carriers in my neighborhood are also delivering late at night. I’ve seen them out at 7 or 8 p.m.


Russia still delivers to HK, Belarus still delivers to HK, but HK can’t deliver to either of them, and I won’t be given addresses from either of them for a while. So, thank you for the list you provided but it’s of little use to me – the to / from channels between countries aren’t, or perhaps never, reciprocal.

Yes, it is accurate. One of the businesses I ordered from also said that since the new postmaster general they cannot get reimbursed for the items that the USPS loses or damages. They have been paying themselves to replace the item or refund customers. This does not help small businesses at all.


I’m a carrier, we are not allowed to be out after 7pm in my area and we get in trouble to some degree if we are out past 6pm. I had never missed the outgoing truck before and have missed it 3 times the past week. It is 10 times harder to deliver in the dark after 430pm as well. I heard that Tulsa is sorting the mail for Louisiana due to some storm damage there, and last year we were doing half of Houston on top of our own due to the hurricane damage. Loss of staff due to illness is the biggest issue and the mail stacking up inside the facilities compounds the issue. We have a ton of equipment sitting in the parking lot outside of my post office because the mail truck is not allowed to bring back empty items because there isn’t any room at the facility either…unfortunately we don’t have room at my post office either or even a fence around the property. Very surprised some of this stuff doesn’t get stolen but I do live in a pretty honest town…and who really needs the big mail carts anyway.


I just drew a US address and I hate to know that my card will only add to the burden of the currently overworked USPS people. :cold_sweat: What can we do to help with that?


Although @eta55 makes it clear their answers are their own interpretation those would be my general interpretations as well based on what I’m reading in the news and my personal experiences. I have packages within country still traveling after 30 days. They are trying their best though and I’d rather it be slow due to online shopping than more people in crowded stores getting Covid.

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@eta55 Makes a number of accurate assessments about the state of affairs at the USPS. Unfortunately, much of what goes on there is dysfunctional. It has been that way for years and will continue in that fashion.

A friend of mine recently had a parcel delivered. It took 17 days; the shipper was 4 hours away. I have a post office box where I collect my mail. Some days, it would be empty. Then 3 days later, it was stuffed beyond belief. Another time, a yellow card was in my box; the parcel was too big for the box. I walked to the counter with the card; the clerk…a newbie…couldn’t find the box. In fact, she said there wasn’t a box! One of the veterans snatched the card from her hand and within 5 minutes presented me with my box. What this tells me is that their staff is poorly trained or need additional training. This is not rocket science…it really isn’t…

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7 or 8 pm? That’s nothing - back in October my mail lady delivered our mail at 11:52 at night :no_mouth:.

We will be able to celebrate Christmas again and again this (or next) year. Four packages are traveling from Germany, sent between mid October and early November …
I don’t now if they are in costums or somewhere at USPS. International tracking doesn’t reliably work, we only know they left Germany.

The USPS is struggling in my area for sure. Clearly some of this was caused by political maneuvering, but obviously the pandemic is crushing the post office. My daughter lives 15 minutes from me and it took 2 weeks for a card she sent to get here. We remain hopeful that things will improve. Hang in there, USPS!


our mail is getting through but it is a bit spotty…for example I sent 2 holiday parcels to the same town, one arrived in time but the other is still in a distribution center. Hopefully it will be all untangled by the end of January. Just be patient with us please!

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You’re very kind to ask how you can help. :heart: I think @Angeldreamer could provide better insight, but I suspect that the best way to help our mail service–even while it’s currently overwhelmed–is to keep sending mail as usual, and keep being as patient and understanding as you already are!