By Renée Jean, Business and Tourism reporter
The latest winter storm that blasted the U.S. didn’t just foul up the nation’s airlines. It also appears to have affected package deliveries in states like Wyoming.
Several post offices in Cheyenne were closed Tuesday, leaving the only facility open to the public the Converse Avenue location near Dell Range Boulevard. The lines at the facility were more than an hour long Tuesday, with at least 30 people in line at any given time, with steady traffic all day.
The Amazon Effect
More than one postal worker told Cowboy State Daily the reason for the other post offices being closed was an unusually large number of packages dropped off by Amazon over the weekend.
“There were 110 pallets with an average of 120 packages each,” one postal worker said. He declined to be identified.
What’s more, Amazon drivers are not willing to deliver packages in Cheyenne after the recent blizzard until May 1, the postal worker said.
Cowboy State Daily tried to reach the Cheyenne Post Master as well, but no one would answer the phone at the Converse Avenue location. When visiting that location in person, Cowboy State Daily was told by a postal worker that requests for information have to be run through Wyoming’s official media person.
The worker also said it was unlikely anyone would explain the closures, and that the public didn’t need to know about the details — just that the closures were required for operational efficiency.
Lots Of Packages Common During Holidays
A spokesperson for the U.S. Postal Service in Wyoming confirmed that locations at FE Warren Base, Capitol Station Downtown and the Airport Station were all closed Tuesday to assist with mail and package distribution and delivery.
“We had a large number of packages presented to the city for delivery over the weekend,” USPS spokesman James Boxrud told Cowboy State Daily. “This is not an unusual occurrence, as we normally receive larger package volumes during the holiday season.”
To accommodate the influx, Boxrud said employees were shifted to the main office from nearby post offices.
“Those offices are closed on Saturday,” Boxrud said. “And I imagine that many customers were not aware that Monday was a federal holiday.”
Boxrud added that the U.S. Postal Service apologizes and “pledges to do better.”
Drivers Avoiding Wyoming
Postal workers at two Wyoming post office locations said the large delivery was from Amazon. One of them added that he was told that after the big storm last week the delivery drivers don’t want to travel Cowboy State highways until May 1.
Boxrud would not comment, however, on where the deliveries originated from or whether Amazon drivers are refusing to deliver packages in Cheyenne or Wyoming until May 1.
“That’s not something we would do,” he told Cowboy State Daily, suggesting it’s up to Amazon’s media relations to confirm or deny that.
Amazon didn’t respond to Cowboy State Daily emails requesting more information about the situation.
Hiring Crunch A Statewide Issue
Boxrud did, however, mention ongoing hiring needs in both Cheyenne and Wyoming also contributed to the issue that forced the closure.
“Cheyenne Post Office has 20 job openings,” he told Cowboy State Daily. “And we have numerous positions available in all of Wyoming. We encourage all interested applicants to visit USPS.com/careers. These are great jobs that can quickly lead to career opportunities with full benefits, including paid annual and sick leave, holiday pay, health care, retirement, and other benefits.”
Applications are available online at usps.comcareers. The available jobs are updated weekly.