Citizens and businesses are relying on the United States Postal Service (USPS) for mail even more so now that much of the country is under stay-at-home, self-quarantine, and shelter-in-place orders. But are the USPS and companies like Amazon, UPS, FedEx and DHL still delivering mail and packages?
The U.S. Postal Service is still delivering mail.
The United States Postal Service (USPS) is still delivering the mail, but is taking precautions due to COVID-19.
The Postal Service has an updated Frequently-Asked Questions (FAQs) about USPS services during the coronavirus. Their FAQ page has information on a variety of issues, including the precautions they are taking to maintain safe distances between customers and employees. Their FAQ includes answers to questions including —
How is USPS handling mail for closed businesses?
How is USPS delivering mail under shelter-in-place declarations?
How safe is the mail and mail transport equipment?
Is the USPS experiencing capacity issues due to reduced airline routes?
Can I ship hand sanitizer or disinfectant wipes?
How are signature service items being handled with social distancing regulations in place?
Even where “shelter-in-place” orders are in place, the Postal Service’s FAQ reports that, “The Postal Service is classified as an essential government service operation, which allows us to continue operations.”
And I can vouch that, in Washington, DC, as of this writing, I have received my mail 6 days a week without interruption.
U.S. Post Offices are open for business.
As of this writing, Post Offices are open for business. According to a statement on the U.S. Postal Service website,
the Postal Service has so far experienced only minor operational impacts in the United States as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Numerous press reports confirm that U.S. Post Offices remain open and operational.
The USPS lists service disruptions for businesses and residential customers on its homepage.
That said, post offices are taking precautions. In Jasper, Alabama, employees have marked “x’s” on the ground six feet away from each other to encourage customers to stay spread out, and are limiting the number of patrons that can enter the post office at one time.
Lawmaker: USPS “will not survive the summer without immediate help from Congress and the White House.”
However, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney of New York warned in a statement that,
The Postal Service is in need of urgent help as a direct result of the coronavirus. Based on a number of briefings and warnings this week about a critical fall-off in mail across the country, it has become clear that USPS will not survive the summer without immediate help from Congress and the White House. Every community across the country relies on the Postal Service to deliver vital goods services, including life-saving medications and vote-by-mail options.
The New York Times has reported that postal workers are falling ill across the country.
Other news reports detail how postal workers have caught COVID-19 from Washington, DC to Baltimore, MD to Philadelphia, PA to Farmington, MI.
The New York Times story chronicled how, when a worker at a postal facility in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania was found to have the coronavirus, the facility “gave the staff the option of going home, and about half did.”
In Brooklyn, some employees also declined to enter the building when a supervisor tested positive for COVID-19.
Additional outbreaks will lead to further pressure on the U.S. Postal Service.
Amazon, FedEx, UPS and DHL are still delivering packages. Here is where to check for service updates.
As you may have noticed from the number of trucks driving around your neighborhood, as of this writing, Amazon, DHL, FedEx and UPS are delivering packages. Keep track of service updates and interruptions here:
- Amazon’s COVID-19 blog: How we are supporting our employees, customers, and communities;
- UPS service updates related to the coronavirus;
- Fedex service updates related to the coronavirus;
- DHL: Important information related to COVID-19;
FedEx and UPS Stores are designated essential services
According to their websites, UPS Stores and FedEx locations are designated as essential services and remain open to the extent permissible by law.
The UPS Store retail locations are designated as essential and remain open. This means that we remain open to provide essential services such as mail and package receiving, shipping, printing and notary.
As an essential service, we continue to operate to and from impacted areas as local conditions and restrictions allow, and are taking recommended precautions in terms of tem member and customer health and safety.
The UPS Store near my home in Washington, DC remained open this week.
It’s a good idea to call first to confirm the store is open.
By delivering packages, USPS, UPS, Amazon, FedEx and DHL continue to support small and independent businesses. You should too.
The United States Postal Service, Amazon, UPS, FedEx and other delivery services are essential in helping to deliver packages from innovative brands and small businesses, whose e-commerce business is the only lifeline with physical storefronts closed.
As Eric Powell, founder of custom clothing company Ratio Clothing, told me,
To any would-be customers reading this, if your situation is stable, I would suggest trying to find ways to support small and independent businesses of all stripes — your neighborhood restaurants, and also your favorite shops or online brands. It will really help and sales will find their way into the hands of the people that need it most (garment workers and hourly staff).
I’ve had the opportunity to get to know a variety of innovative brands who are helping men dress sharp in the digital age, as well as fresh fashion brands for women (try these alternatives to J. Crew), and a number of affordable, independent online options for eyeglasses.
If you are in a position to support independent brands and small businesses, now is a good time to do so. If you’re looking to stock up on performance business casual wear to be comfortable for your videoconferences, need a new trenchcoat to take your evening sanity walk (and can’t afford Burberry), want leather sneakers to wear while you Work from Home, or feel like splurging on a new pair of good-looking dress shoes, there are a variety of small businesses who would love to help you out.
You can also find a number of innovative small businesses and startups on Amazon. Also check out Amazon’s Launchpad program, which curates and showcases products from innovative brands.
As Alex Hendeles, the founder of one of my favorite sock brands Unsimply Stitched told me, “the good deeds we do now won’t be forgotten.”
About JakeJake is passionate about exploring entrepreneurs' global journeys. He founded Modern Fellows in 2012 to get to know the entrepreneurs behind the innovative brands helping men dress sharp in the digital age. Jake has written about entrepreneurship, international business and/or fashion for outlets including Business Week, Forbes, Inc., Details Style Syndicate and Primer Magazine, and has provided analysis on international business for BBC Radio, NBC News, CNN and Time Magazine.
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