WASHINGTON - Amid reports of increased Amazon package volumes overwhelming post offices and delaying mail delivery in Bemidji and across the country, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) called on U.S. Postal Service (USPS) Postmaster General Louis DeJoy to ensure Minnesotans receive their mail and packages in a timely manner.
Klobuchar also spoke with local postal leaders to raise concerns about the ongoing issues and discuss solutions. Klobuchar has also requested a meeting with Postmaster General DeJoy to ensure post offices are adequately staffed and that Amazon is not prioritized over other customers.
“I write regarding recent reports of increased Amazon package volumes overwhelming post offices, with Amazon packages being prioritized over mail from other customers at the Bemidji Post Office and across the country,” wrote Klobuchar. “Postal delays have real effects on the millions of Americans who rely on the USPS for deliveries that are critical to their health and livelihoods.”
“Amazon cannot be allowed to cut in line ahead of Minnesota residents and small businesses. I have spoken with local Minnesota postal leaders who have agreed that all customers should be treated fairly and are working to fill positions in Bemidji,” Klobuchar continued. “I urge you to take the steps necessary to support our postal workers and ensure the timely delivery of mail.”
Klobuchar has long worked to ensure Minnesotans can enjoy reliable postal service.
In 2022, bipartisan legislation she supported to bolster the USPS’ long-term financial stability and help address delivery delays and other operational reforms was signed into law.
Klobuchar also successfully pushed for a moratorium on the closing or consolidation of post offices and mail processing facilities, and she has advocated for preserving rural post offices.
Full text of the letter is available HERE and below.
Dear Mr. DeJoy:
I write regarding recent reports of increased Amazon package volumes overwhelming post offices, with Amazon packages being prioritized over mail from other customers at the Bemidji Post Office and across the country Postal workers and customers have contacted my office to express their concerns about the resulting mail delays, stress on postal operations, and impact on postal workers. These delivery issues are unacceptable, and I urge you to take the steps necessary to support our postal workers and ensure the timely delivery of mail.
Postal delays have real effects on the millions of Americans who rely on the USPS for deliveries that are critical to their health and livelihoods, including federal benefits, business mail, medications, paychecks, and more. For instance, the Eckles Township Rural Fire Association did not receive mail for three days, delaying $400,000 in checks sent by local governments that was needed to pay for recent fire equipment purchases. Other constituents are waiting on insurance payments and time-sensitive hospital bills, and business owners are concerned that they cannot rely on the USPS to deliver invoices, payments, checks, and other business mail on time. Amazon cannot be allowed to cut in line ahead of Minnesota residents and small businesses.
I have spoken with local Minnesota postal leaders who have agreed that all customers should be treated fairly and are working to fill positions in Bemidji. I urge you to ensure post offices receive all the support possible to address the increased package volume.
While the influx of Amazon packages in Bemidji has called attention to staffing shortages, post offices across Minnesota are struggling with inadequate staffing levels that have made postal workers’ jobs even more difficult. While USPS has provided flexibilities to improve worker recruitment and retention, these efforts have been insufficient at many post offices. The Rochester Post Bulletin recently reported that since 2017, the number of Rochester postal carriers decreased by 17 percent, even as the population and number of mailboxes in the area have increased. My constituents are concerned that postal workers are being assigned mandatory overtime, working 6 days per week, and frequently coming into work on Sundays and holidays to deliver additional packages. As we enter the peak holiday mailing season — when Minnesota postal workers often deliver through snow and winter storms — USPS must do everything in its power to support these workers and set them up to successfully serve their communities.
With that, I ask you to answer the following questions by December 15, 2023:
- Will you commit to ensuring all postal customers receive equal service and that corporate customers like Amazon are not prioritized over local businesses and residents?
- What steps is the U.S. Postal Service taking to ensure that rural routes allow for the delivery of mail in a timely fashion given the spike in package deliveries?
- How has Amazon’s contract with USPS affected the ability to deliver other packages and mail?
- What additional flexibilities can USPS provide post offices to address staffing shortages?
- What steps is USPS taking to improve its hiring process, and how have these efforts reflected feedback from postal workers?
- What is your plan to ensure Minnesota post offices reach full staffing levels, and when do you anticipate achieving this goal?
Thank you for your attention to this important matter.