There’s been a lot of talk recently about the Postal Service making changes and “slowing down the mail,” using terms like service standards and service targets. Don’t understand what any of this means? Don’t worry, you are not alone. Shedding some light on this subject is the topic of our recently released report, A Primer on Service Standards.  

The report explains the previously mentioned service performance measurements – service standards and service performance targets. A service standard is the number of days USPS expects it should take to deliver a specific type of mail. For example, Priority Mail currently has a one-to-three-day service standard. That means if you go to your local post office and mail a piece of Priority Mail, it should take one to three days to reach your recipient. Marketing Mail, on the other hand, should take three to 10 days. To change service standards, the Postal Service must follow certain procedures, including consulting its regulator, the Postal Regulatory Commission. That is what all the recent news is about — the Postal Service is in the process of changing its Service Standards for single-piece First-Class Mail and First-Class Package Service.

Service performance targets, relatedly, measure the Postal Service’s success in meeting its service standards. They are expressed in terms of a percentage. For example, the current service target for First-Class single-piece mail with a 2-day service standard is 87.81 percent. This means USPS’s goal is to meet the service standard for 87.81 percent of that type of mail. Like service standards, service performance targets vary by the type of mail. Unlike service standards, changes to service performance targets don’t need to be reviewed by the regulator. They do need to be approved by the Postal Service’s executive leadership and its Board of Governors. The Postal Service has said it will increase its service targets for all mail to 95 percent once it has implemented all parts of its 10-year plan.

Want to know more about these service measurements, how USPS measures their success, and how all of this relates to USPS’s planned changes? Read about it in our paper.

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  • anon

    I have had some mail that has never arrived like my son's ssi check this month and in top of that my public assistance case got closed because I did not receive my mail and if the supervisor was no help we have a life we depend on the mail

    Sep 16, 2021
  • anon

    Just a suggestion, if you can, you might want to have your son's SSI check automatically deposited in his checking account. Your bank can help him open the account if he doesn't have one and needs this assistance. Social Security Administration will be more than happy to assist with having the check automatically deposited. Having suggested this, when we really think about it, the USPS is fantastic especially when we realize the amount of mail/packages they handle every day. However, it doesn't hurt to let them know when there is a problem.

    Sep 17, 2021
  • anon

    I am a rural carrier out of the Bellefonte, PA Post office. I feel our main focus should be, and always has been to deliver mail as accurately as possible! However it has now turned into being overburdened with Amazon! We are doing our best to focus on mail and the Amazon packages and we are not being appropriately compensated for it! If the post office wants good, responsible, and dependable employees then they should re-evaluate how they treat and pay the employees! Our union is not doing anything to help us! Carriers/Offices that don’t get Amazon get the same rate of pay that we get and it is NOT fair! I speak for every RCA both regulars and subs when I say we are getting burnt out! I hope someone important sees this and does something about it! I love being a carrier but I don’t like working for free. I also want to feel the hard work I put in matters.

    Sep 14, 2021
  • anon

    I haven't had any problems my mouth shows up as it should sometimes they do get mail that isn't mine but it's from a previous person that lived there so but I get my mail on time I think the United States postal service is doing just to find job

    Sep 14, 2021

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