The line at the downtown Truckee post office is out the door regularly. What’s going on?
The Truckee Post Office is currently understaffed. We are actively hiring and have postings for all positions at usps.com/careers. Hiring in Truckee, and around Lake Tahoe, is very challenging. Most of our applicants come from the Reno area. After getting hired, they realize they are paying California income tax. They then transfer closer to home in Nevada where they don’t pay the Golden State’s higher income tax. We are always looking for sharp individuals to join our team, especially if they live locally here in Truckee/Tahoe.
The contract Amazon has with the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has been seen as a lifeline for the agency because it helped offset the significant decline in mail. How does this contract affect the Truckee post office?
Here in Truckee, we have seen a significant increase in the volume of not only shipping via Amazon, but also USPS Priority Mail. We are averaging between 1,500 to 3,000 Amazon parcels daily, with that forecasted to increase as we transition into our peak holiday period. We can attribute much of this surge to residents that are using their second homes as a primary residence due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many of the customers in our line here at the downtown Truckee post office have had a package delivered, but it was sent to an undeliverable address. They come in with an alert from Amazon stating their item is here at the post office, yet what they don’t know is that we are required to return any undeliverable parcels to the sender within 24 hours. To accommodate these customers, we recently switched our schedule to sort these packages in the afternoon, as opposed to the morning, so customers have more time to pick up their items.
When people come to the post office to pick up these undeliverable packages, it creates a huge burden on our staff because we are searching through hundreds and sometimes thousands of parcels. While we do everything in our power to locate these packages, it can take a lot of time.
Another very unique situation we have here in Truckee is the number of community cluster mailboxes that are installed. The postal service does not maintain these boxes as this is a requirement of the homeowners associations. When these communities where built, they anticipated only 40% would be occupied by full-time residents and installed only enough cluster boxes to service this number. This became a major problem as people started to move up here full time during the pandemic.
We currently have on average around 75 customers a week trying to establish mail delivery. Many times, we are unable to fulfill these requests due to the fact that we don’t have any available mailboxes. This causes frustration not only for the customer, but the postal service as well. We are required to return this mail to the sender, including parcels as well. We would love to hold these items, but just don’t have the room in our facility to accomplish that.
What can people do to make sure they get their packages?
Customers with no established mail delivery have a couple of options available to receive mail and parcels here in Truckee. The first option is to rent a P.O. box at either of our two locations. While there is a fee for this service, you have an address that is dedicated to you.
We also have a way to address items using your physical residential address and the P.O. box so that other carriers will deliver to your door, but mail entered into the USPS mail stream is delivered to your P.O. box.
The second option is to use our general delivery service. This is a free service but requires the customer to pick up their mail using the retail line at the Truckee main office. With this service, simply have your items addressed to the physical address here at the downtown Truckee post office, 10050 Bridge St., Truckee, CA 96161.
~ Daniel Saville, Truckee Postmaster, firstname.lastname@example.org