WELLFLEET — The UPS Customer Center at 131 Ansel Hallet Road in West Yarmouth, once busy shipping packages all around the Outer Cape, now houses halted conveyor belts, silenced machines, and hundreds of stacked boxes.
The facility, which serves as a hub for UPS packages shipped from around the country to eastern Barnstable County, has seemingly stopped operating for the past two weeks and left hundreds of Outer Cape residents without vital online orders.
“I’ve got six different packages that are now deemed lost even though the tracking says they are at the facility,” Wellfleet shellfisherman Patrick Winslow said. “When you track all of your packages, they all end up in West Yarmouth.”
Winslow said that the tracking system will tell him his items are in the West Yarmouth facility, then that they are out for delivery, and then back again to West Yarmouth.
He said his six lost packages are not essential — a power washer and some toys for his kids. But if the holdup goes on through the end of the month, Winslow’s business could be in trouble.
The shellfisherman ordered $20,000 worth of oyster seed from Maine and New York, which are scheduled to arrive in late June.
Winslow said the seed needs to get in the water the day after it arrives. If he is not sure the packages will arrive on time, he said, he would have to drive to Maine and New York to pick them up before they ship.
When asked what the holdup was, an employee at the West Yarmouth UPS center, who declined to give his name, said, “I’m not allowed to say anything. Everything has to go through H.R.”
Responding to an inquiry from the Independent about delivery delays, UPS spokesman Matthew O’Connor wrote in an email: “We are continuing to make deliveries for all of our customers, and the vast majority of our services continue with the same time commitments our customers have come to expect.”
Winslow is not alone in his impatience with UPS, which has shipped vital supplies to people around the country living in quarantine for the past three months.
As of the Independent’s Tuesday deadline, UPS’s West Yarmouth facility had 94 Google reviews, averaging 1.6 stars (out of 5). Most of the reviews were written in the past two weeks and feature complaints similar to Winslow’s.
“Please!” wrote Alison Grass on June 10. “We have multiple Amazon packages that are now over a week late that according to UPS tracking have been out for delivery in West Yarmouth over a week.”
User Zachary Iven posted this on June 14: “Losing thousands of dollars weekly because ups Yarmouth can’t get vital packages to me or my business partner. All packages have taken three days to get to Yarmouth from various origin points, and then they disappear.”
Some needy customers have resorted to driving to the facility to pick up their packages.
Standing outside the distribution center on June 12, Centerville resident Phil Bateman said he had no choice but to show up, because he found calling useless.
“[On the phone] they keep asking you to put in the tracking number, and then it tells you that it can’t find the tracking number or something,” he said, adding, “And I know it’s accurate. And then they just disconnect.”
Despite the number of Outer Cape residents who have packages held up in West Yarmouth, Josh Anderson, an employee at Quik Pack & Ship in Eastham, said he has seen no less traffic of UPS packages.
Anderson added, however, that he had ordered a house plant that is currently stuck in West Yarmouth.