Letters and packages scheduled to be shipped out of the post office today will not be able to leave Palau, reported Post Master Timothy Sinsak, in a phone interview with Island Times yesterday. Failure of the SWYB equipment, which prints destination barcodes on the mail or packages, prevents the mail from being shipped out on this Thursday APA flight.
“It is really unfortunate situation, first time for it to happen. And especially when we have only one flight a week for mail and I know people will be very frustrated but we are working on resolving the issue,” stated Post Master Timothy Sinsak.
The equipment, SWYB (scan, wait while you bind) is a United States Postal Service (USPS) equipment that scan and prints barcode tags to mail and packages which, allows for automated sorting in the process of transporting the items to the final destinations.
“United Airlines won’t accept packages or mails without BNR tags, and therefore today’s mail will not leave until the equipment is working properly again,” added PM Sinsak.
The equipment can be fix remotely according to Sinsak. It is usually a programming issue and USPS Global Services in Hawaii handles the issue.
The issue with machine has been on and off for last three weeks and Sinsak said they have been communicating with the office in Hawaii to fix the problem.
Furthermore, the machine works on and off and Post Master Sinsak is asking customers mailing out items to bring their mail on Monday to Wednesday so they can scan them when the machine works and that way, mail can leave next Thursday. He asked that people not wait until Thursday to bring in their mail.
Sinsak assured that they are working with USPS office in Hawaii to resolve the issue.
The incoming mail arrived on Thursday with no issue, only the outgoing mail could not be sent.
In related news, due to COVID-19 impact on USPS revenue, mail deliveries could be delayed for more than a day, according to report from US Post Master General Louis DeJoy. This is due to cost cutting measures being implemented such as eliminating overtime for hundreds of thousands of US postal workers.
United States Postal Service, under the Compact of Free Association, handles all incoming and outgoing mail for Palau and subsidizes costs of both services, enabling Palau to avail of USPS domestic rates. The service is due to expire in 2024.