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Postal Service delays felt in the Upper Valley

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 2/24/2021 9:45:56 PM
Modified: 2/24/2021 9:45:55 PM

HANOVER — Problems across the country with transportation and processing in the U.S. Postal Service have had an impact on the Upper Valley this week, prompting some Hanover-area customers to look for different ways to send their packages.

On Monday, the postal service announced that it was suspending its money-back guarantees to people sending Priority Mail Express anywhere in the country through Thursday.

The post office traditionally honors refunds if a customer’s Priority Mail Express package does not arrive by a certain date.

The suspension was due partly to “multiple winter weather events,” which impacted the postal service’s transportation and processing time, according to a news release from the postal service.

“This isn’t a Hanover-specific problem,” Postal Service spokesman Steve Doherty said via email. “It’s short-term and due to weather across the country that’s been playing havoc with transportation networks.”

In the Upper Valley, it is just one of several issues post offices and carriers have experienced since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, which have led customers to seek out alternative shipping methods.

Sonya Campbell, owner of the Hanover True Value hardware store, which doubles as a UPS shipping center, said she has seen an uptick in customers coming through to send packages in the last few months. She pointed to Tuesday, when the store was largely quiet in the morning, but then had an influx of customers, many of whom came to ship packages, in the afternoon.

“We could have used three more clerks on the floor,” Campbell said. She said that more people are buying items online since the pandemic, as well as shipping care packages to friends and relatives. The resulting increase in packages has “overloaded” the system and made it hard for postal workers, Campbell said.

“Every carrier is having challenges. ... No one could keep up with that pace.”

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