FLORIDA- It’s clear that COVID-19 is here to stay, and that we must adapt to new measures to ensure the safety of the most vulnerable. In a time when people rely on the Internet for acquiring their products, the means to ship them are just as important. The USPS Ybor City Processing and Distribution Center is one company more than capable of continuing its labor to serve its customers.
“Safety first has become our priority”, stated the Manager of Distribution, Michael Spanos. “Sanitation stations across the facility, mandatory masking, and a ‘do not enter policy’ (enforced) if an employee experiences any symptoms, waiting for test results, or currently tested positive for COVID-19, must not enter the building.”
The United States Postal Service (USPS) was among the few services cataloged as essential, therefore, continuing its services throughout the whole pandemic was important. The mandatory quarantine, which began last March, caused a high demand in online shopping. It also created a health fear among USPS employees. Some who have contracted the disease and were forced into sick leave, while others had to care for their kids while out of school or care for sick family members. This, as a result, created a demand for hiring at the USPS processing centers nationwide.
“Due to COVID, it affected the people’s attendance of being able to attend to work for either presenting symptoms or coming down with it. Therefore, we had to hire people before that”, explained MOD Michael Spanos. “The normal hiring season was during peaks of demand, but with the pandemic cutting staff short we began hiring to cover those taking sick leave.”
As previously stated, the mandatory quarantine observed an online shopping increase on a large scale nationwide. The process of packaging during this period increased roughly 30%, according to the MOD. To this day, the average number of package processing reaches up to one million a day. The number is also attributed due to the Ybor facility receiving mail from other facilities within the state of Florida including Seminole and Tampa. Also, during the height of the pandemic, the Ybor facility helped alleviate our-of-state facilities consisting of the following: New York, Alabama, and Georgia.
With the holidays closing in, the seasonal peak is expected to be higher than before due to COVID-19’s presence. According to what the MOD was last informed, many stores such as Walmart, Best Buy, among others, will not be having Black Friday sales in-store. This will lead to more online shopping, increasing the units processed within the facility starting mid-November, lasting all the way up until January. However, the USPS Ybor City Processing and Distribution Center is more than capable to handle the situation, counting with the personnel and equipment necessary.