What is going on with the USPS? Gundam Planet investigates.
We've noticed a massive spike in the last 2 weeks of USPS packages showing errors like "Processing delay, exception in transit," or "Your package is on its way but arriving later than expected." Every day it seems a higher percentage of customer service inquiries is identical questions about the same phenomenon, so we wanted to look into this beyond the usual consensus of "DeJoy is really trying to screw everyone out of our mail, huh?"
As you probably know, Hurricane Ida was downgraded shortly after landfall, but it still made its way barrelling through the northeast and dumped record-breaking amounts of rain per hour to the extent where not only streets but interstate highways were flooded and completely shut for days. To put this in perspective, we made a nice graphic of where exactly both Gundam Planet and the main USPS facility for all of New Jersey are located relative to the band of most severe rainfall.
The dark green band shown above is the 12" rainfall region.
Although the storm was a while ago, a roof collapsed in that USPS facility and still is hampering operations. Due to the necessity of ongoing repairs (the building was condemned due to how unsafe it would be to continue normal processing), packages are being routed to other, smaller, local facilities that are not well equipped to handle the increase in volume, resulting in slowdowns beyond what we have come to expect from the modern USPS.
Take a look at this collapsed roof! Not great!
Now the good news is that none of the packages are going through a flooded building, and the other good news is that even though packages are slow and some seem to be getting lost in the shuffle, we have actually not seen a single package not reach its destination. The usual steps we've seen are as follows:
- Label Made
- Shipment received; acceptance pending
- Accepted at origin facility (Hackensack, NJ)
- Arrived at USPS Regional Origin Facility
- In Transit to Next Facility
- Arriving later than expected
Right here is where things sometimes go silent for 7-10 days. Right when the panic about the possibility of a missing package sets in is usually right about when the USPS remembers what they're supposed to be doing and delivers your package, although sometimes it has taken up to 2 weeks.
We understand how extremely frustrating this is and we're very sorry to have to ask for patience yet again in these "unprecedented times" that we're all so tired of having to live through and hear about. While it might seem like a quick solution to just stop shipping USPS, that vacuum of business would be a huge detriment to a service that is so important to the ongoing function of our country. Postmaster General DeJoy has been doing everything in his power to make people stop shipping USPS and opt for more expensive privatized services, and we (and all e-commerce businesses) desperately do not want that mission to succeed.
Again, we can't thank you all enough for your patience and understanding, and we hope this provides some clarity to the current situation (that hopefully will be resolved in the next couple weeks). We included some other common status messages we've seen below to add clarity to any tracking updates you may be seeing from our store (or any other online businesses)!
Shipment Received, Package Acceptance Pending
There are times when USPS is backed up or encountering high package volume that they don't always scan every package into a facility. This doesn't mean your package isn't moving, but there's no way to update your package's tracking without it being scanned. If you see this for a prolonged period, there's no need for concern; it most likely means that your package was not scanned into a facility, but is still in transit for you.
In Transit, Arriving Late
Your package is most likely delayed due to the damage from Tropical Storm Ida and the damaged USPS regional facility. Your package should still be en route to you, just later than expected.
Processing Exception, Other Delay
We typically do not see this status, but have heard from several customers that they've begun to see this. This is most likely in reference to the damaged USPS facility causing delays. Your package will likely arrive later than it usually would, but should still arrive.
Arrived at/Departed USPS Regional Facility (Teterboro, NJ)
Teterboro, NJ is located within the same county as Kearny, NJ, the location of the USPS regional facility with the collapsed roof, so much of that distribution center's package volume is likely being directed to Teterboro and causing delays. We don't think there's a cause for concern and our only recommendation at this time is to give your package extra time to arrive.