NewsPinellas County


USPS delays force local business to temporarily suspend shipments of their cheesecake

Posted at 8:31 PM, Dec 30, 2020

SAFETY HARBOR, Fla. — A local cafe is temporarily suspending shipments of its online orders because of what they say are ongoing issues with the United States Postal Service.

Bassano Cheesecake ships orders nationwide, and they rely on USPS Priority Mail to get them there on time, but they say this Christmas, around 30% of those orders are missing or too late.

“We’ve always had small issues with the post office,” said Thomas Bassano, Bassano Cheesecake owner.

They can deal with the small issues. In a typical year, they say they lose about 7% of their shipments to delays or lost packages. But in 2020, they’ve lost around 30%.

“I can’t accept 30%, which is what happened this Christmas,” said Bassano.

On December 15 alone, Bassano Cheesecake shipped out 200 orders. In fact, they even drove them to Tampa International Airport to make it easier on the post office.

“Sixty of them did not make it to their destinations. Some of them are still out,” said Bassano.

All of the cheesecakes were shipped Priority 2-day, and they were sent four days before the USPS Priority shipping deadline, which was December 19.

“At 3:23 [pm] it was scanned, 10:08 [pm] it left Tampa. December 26, it arrived at the regional distribution center. It hasn’t been scanned or tracked from the 15 to the 26, the day after Christmas,” said Bassano.

Today, that cheesecake and a long list of others are nowhere to be found.

In a statement from a spokesperson with USPS, they blame the pandemic and historical volumes of mail:

“The Postal Service delivered a record amount of packages this holiday season in the midst of the pandemic which significantly impacted our workforce availability. Capacity challenges with airlifts and trucking for moving this historic volume of mail also lead to temporary delays. These challenges were felt by shippers across the board. We are accepting all volumes being presented to us, which adds to the challenge of the workload. We are proud of the hard work and dedication of our employees, and will continue to work around the clock to deliver all packages and mail entered into our system, including returns. We thank our customers for their continued support and understanding.”
David Walton, USPS Corporate Communications

But Bassano Cheesecake says they’re dealing with a pandemic too.

“I had 200% more orders than I normally get, and I’m dealing with COVID also. We have the same problems as everybody else does, the post office has the same problems everybody else does, but everybody else does their job,” said Bassano.

In a statement to ABC Action News, Congressman Charlie Crist called these delays ‘unacceptable' and said:

“These delays are unacceptable, it’s detrimental to businesses and consumers alike. It raises concerns that the deep cuts Postmaster DeJoy has been making are slashing muscle, not fat. We need an explanation for this disruption, and the Senate needs to take up our House-passed “Delivering for America Act” to reverse the damage the current administration’s actions are causing.”
Congressman Charlie Crist

For Thomas Bassano, he just wants what he’s paying for.

“If you’re selling me 2-day shipping, then I expect 2-day shipping. If I don’t get 2-day shipping, but I get 3-day shipping, well, that’s reasonable," said Bassano.

Bassano Cheesecake is currently looking into other ways to ship their cheesecakes in an affordable and timely manner. They hope to resume shipments in the next few weeks.