The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

January 30, 2014

Increased quantity of post-holiday mail blamed for late delivery

Palestine Herald-Press

PALESTINE — Herald-Press subscribers who called the newspaper office recently to inform that their newspaper had arrived a day later than usual can rest assured that “every effort was made to deliver the mail” on time, though the delay was caused by a backup in mail following a United States Postal Service (USPS) holiday, according to a spokesperson.

Since home subscriptions to the Herald-Press are delivered by mail, according to predetermined routes of the USPS, delayed deliveries of the newspaper were caused by mail that had gotten backed-up on Tuesday, Jan. 21.

McKinney Boyd, spokesman for the Dallas-area USPS, said this occurred because post office workers had received the day before Jan. 21 — a Monday, which was Martin Luther King Jr. Day — off as a holiday, which doubled the mail to be delivered the following day.

“We believe that those particular deliveries (on the 21) may have been just a bit sluggish after that holiday, but every effort was made to deliver mail,” Boyd said. “We would have had more mail because we lost probably one delivery day. That delivery day was the 20th of January. When our letter carriers returned to work on the 21st, we had not just one day to sort local mail, but we had two days of local mail to sort. So of course we had to quickly get back on schedule, and that possibly could have caused a little sluggishness on that particular day because we were delivering two days of mail.”

Before mail can be delivered within the Palestine area — even if it is mailed locally for a final destination within the same area — it must be sent first to Dallas to a USPS sorting facility before being sent back for delivery.

“You've got to realize that we process at the North Texas facility about 1.4 million pieces of mail each night,” Boyd said. “We still made every effort to deliver every piece of mail to our customers there in Palestine, but I think it's because we only had five days to deliver mail rather than six. In this particular week, our day started on Tuesday. When I spoke to the Palestine postmaster, she said 'every effort was made to deliver mail' on the 21st.”

Boyd acknowledged that USPS has a responsibility to deliver the mail on time and that every effort is made to accomplish this.

“We just want our customers to remain patient with us and understand that we are in the business to deliver their mail to them six days a week.”