Residents in many area communities are upset about receiving their mail well past 7 p.m., and some residents also have noticed they don’t have a regular carrier anymore.
The union representing letter carriers explained some post offices are understaffed and carriers are working later to get all the mail delivered.
Mount Vernon resident Gwen Loftus went to the post office to inquire why mail was coming after dinner and was told they don’t have enough personnel.
College Park resident Carol Macknis said deliveries got terrible beginning at the start of fall. A stamp collector all her life, she’s upset with the late deliveries. She said she’s concerned about going out to get her mail after dark.
Mail was delivered to a Chevy Chase neighborhood so late Tuesday night that one resident said it woke up his young daughter when it was dropped through the mail slot.
Terry Billingsley said his mail used to arrive by 11 a.m. daily but now it's often after dark.
It affects businesses, too. Amy Silver runs a small animal clinic where she expects timely delivery of things they need for work.
National Association of Letter Carriers President Robert Williams said the Bethesda post office that services Billingsley and Silver has about 25 vacancies.
News4 also heard about after dark delivery in Rockville. Letter carriers used to begin sorting mail pre-dawn and finish delivering by about 2 p.m., News4 was told, but now carriers are told to report to work at 8:30 a.m. or 9 a.m., there routes are longer and they may have to deliver mail on more than one route.
The union and the U.S. Postal Service both said full staffing will resolve the issues.
"Our goal is to have all mail delivered by 6 p.m.,” the U.S. Postal Service told News4. “Occasionally, heavier-than-normal mail volume or staffing issues require us to deliver outside of that time frame. We apologize for that. We expect to have it resolved very soon."