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USPS: No Infrastructure Changes In Arizona, But Phoenix-Area Residents Complain Of Slow Service

Several Phooenix-area residents have reached out to KJZZ saying they are experiencing delays in service from the United States Postal Service. 

Amid leadership changes at the national level and reports of letter sorting machines being removed from distribution centers around the country, Valley residents are complaining of a slowdown in USPS service.

Bill Baker is a retired science teacher living in Maryvale. He makes sterling silver rings with gemstones that he sells on Etsy to customers all over the world.

He says USPS used to pick up his packages on his doorstep, then he had to schedule pickups, and now even scheduled pickups are being delayed.

“I need to get the packages to the people in a timely manner. You know none of us want to buy something online and have to wait a long time for it,” Baker said.

He says he’s worried other shipments might slow down too like medication for him and his wife.

USPS Arizona spokesperson Rob Spurgeon said while package volume is up, mail volume continues to decline. Spurgeon said no letter sorting machines have been recently removed from the Phoenix processing and distribution center.

"We routinely move equipment around our network as necessary to match changing mail and package volumes," Spurgeon said. "We are retiring older, out-of-date equipment so that we can expand our newer sorting equipment."

Spurgeon said despite the complaints, machines at the Phoenix processing center "have anywhere from a 20% unutilized capacity to a 75% unutilized capacity during a regular eight-hour shift."

"We have both the staffing and processing capacity to handle the upcoming fall mailing season," Spurgeon said.

Jimmy Jenkins is a senior field correspondent at KJZZ and a contributor to NPR’s Election 2020 and Criminal Justice station collaborations. His work has been featured on Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Marketplace, Here and Now, The Takeaway and NPR Newscasts.Originally from Terre Haute, Indiana, Jenkins has a B.S. in criminology from Indiana State University and a master’s degree in journalism from Indiana University.Much of his reporting has focused on the criminal justice system. Jenkins has reported on Tasers, body cameras, use of force, jail privatization, prison health care and the criminal contempt trial of former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.