Residents of the San Juan Islands accuse Amazon of overwhelming post offices

San Juan County appears caught in the middle of a blame game featuring two shipping giants: UPS and Amazon. Customers from Friday Harbor to Lopez Village are complaining that mail has been severely delayed as local post offices are overwhelmed. 

Orcas Island resident, Diedre Conroy, noticed a difference in service over the past year.

"I moved here from the San Fransisco Bay area, a place where you order an Amazon package, and they’d ask you if you want it in 2 hours," said Conroy. "Things are definitely slower here, but they’ve gotten worse."

In downtown Seattle, Amazon trucks deliver parcels straight to doorsteps. However, in a remote location like the San Juans, this is not the case. The company relies on USPS and UPS to make the rounds. 

Marc Franklin with Aeronautical Services says his company has been contracted by UPS to serve the San Juans since the 1970s. These days, the majority of their freight comes from Amazon. Franklin believes there has been a shakeup. He’s now reviewing 6-thousand fewer packages per week. 

"On November 1st it was like somebody just drew a line in the sand and all of a sudden our packages didn’t show up anymore," said Franklin. 

Franklin is pointing the finger at Amazon. He believes the tech giant is cutting corners by routing more packages to the local post office instead of through UPS.

"It’s easy to forget about us because we’re just some islands off the coast here," said Franklin. "We’re not big Seattle."

Amazon defends that UPS is still delivering its parcels from Roche Harbor to Eastsound, arguing that it is not the cause of USPS delays in the San Juan Islands. 

A spokesperson for Amazon sent this statement to FOX 13 in response:

"We partner with a large network of carriers and delivery service partners to serve all customers. When delays like this occur, our team works with customers and carriers to resolve them as quickly as possible. We apologize for any inconvenience delays have caused and we encourage customers to contact our Customer Service team if they have questions regarding their estimated delivery time."

 In a statement sent to FOX 13, the Postal Service apologized for any inconvenience to customers. Noting persistent staffing shortages, they predict the problem will be fixed in a few weeks. 

"It’s no secret the Postal Service is facing staffing and hiring challenges nationwide including throughout the state of Washington. All of our offices, including those on the islands, have skilled staffing in place, overseeing the day-to-day operations and using every available resource at our disposal to provide the level of service our customers have come to depend upon.