USPS Suspends Operations at St. Louis Processing Center That Services Nearly 4M People Due to Historic Flooding – Update
USPS had to temporarily suspend operations at its St. Louis Processing and Delivery Center due to the historic flooding impacting the city and surrounding areas.
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Although personal safety is far more important than mail and package deliveries, USPS may have continued difficulty processing and delivering mail over the next few days.
A report by the St. Louis Fire Department indicated that the St. Louis Processing & Distribution Center (PD&C) experienced an emergency Tuesday morning, suggesting smoke in the basement.
However, late last night, USPS issued an Industry Alert notice stating that the St. Louis Processing & Distribution Center has been temporarily closed due to flooding.
The Postal Service will divert mail during this closure to a Parcel Support Annex in Hazelwood, Missouri, northwest of the city, the notice said.
But the operational loss of the PD&C cannot so easily be made up at a much smaller facility as the St. Louis PD&C services about 3.8 million people in the area.
Until USPS can resume operations and clear its backlog of mail stuck at surrounding locations, shipments to the area may experience delays. This could go on for days, maybe longer.
It is unclear if the flooding caused damage to any mail.
Merchants Should Monitor USPS Shipments to Area
Historically, tracking of mail into areas impacted by natural disasters or other emergencies can be erratic and show significant pauses of no activity.
Online merchants and sellers should monitor USPS shipments destined to the greater St. Louis area which includes the following zip codes (3-Digit Prefixes):
Shippers may want to communicate with customers in the area notifying them about the possible USPS delays, even if they are not directly affected by the flooding.
The US Postal Service issued a new bulletin this morning stating that it had resumed operations at the St. Louis PD&C. However, as mentioned earlier, shippers should still expect delivery delays to last a few days due to postal network backlogs that often result from unplanned closures of a major distribution center.
Local media reports that the downtown USPS retail location was closed on Wednesday as well. USPS did not specify that in their bulletin regarding the PD&C, evenso it’s the same complex.
We made two minor edits for clarification to the original post.
Please see our USPS Service Status on Domestic Services and Shipments page here for more domestic disruptions of the USPS network.
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Richard is co-founder of eSeller365. He has over 17 years of experience on eBay which includes tens of thousands of sales to buyers in over 100 countries and even has experience with eBay’s VeRO program enforcing intellectual property rights for a former employer. And for about two years Richard sold products on Amazon using Amazon FBA in the US.
To “relax” from the daily business grind, for a few weekends a year, he also works for IMSA as a professional race official.
Interesting…I an a native St. Louis resident. Lived here my whole life. I would like to point out a couple of inconsistencies in this article.
1. St. Louis City, which is where the main USPS office is, did NOT flood.
2. Hazelwood is NORTH WEST of St. Louis City.
3. Hazelwood DID experience unprecedented flooding.
Pam, thanks for your feedback. As someone who lived in St. Louis myself, the incorrect Hazelwood direction slipped past me and I edited the post to correct that. The information in this post comes from the Postal Service and was specific to the PD&C which is NOT the retail operation at the same complex. However, the St. Louis Post Dispatch ran a story that is now linked in the post as well saying that the retail operation (counter and PO boxes) were affected as well on Wednesday. USPS has not issued a bulletin on the status of retail operations at this complex.
The St Louis P&DC – old building – 18th St. between Market and Clark has 2 or 3 levels below ground. Also on the Southeast side 2 tunnels, one going west to Union Station and one going south which used to connect to the Railway Exchange. This is where the water flooded into. North Side of Mill Creek Valley.