When it comes to trailers that are hauling mail, the Postal Service prefers to lease — it only owns about 23 percent of its fleet of more than 12,000 trailers.
That’s a lot of trailers to manage, especially when you consider USPS leased trailer policies. For example, any leased trailers that aren’t consistently used 10 days or more in a month are supposed to be returned or relocated, meaning regular monitoring of usage is pretty important.
How’s the Postal Service doing?
In a recent audit, we found opportunities for USPS to improve managing its leased trailer fleet. For instance, on average, 13 percent of leased trailers weren’t used for an entire calendar month between January 2019 to March 2020. As a result, the Postal Service spent about $5.7 million annually on idle trailers. Additionally, the Postal Service hasn’t conducted any analysis to determine the optimal number of trailers it should have in its fleet, including how many to lease versus own.
We also identified many data and documentation issues related to leased trailers: Of the 12,235 leased trailer records we reviewed, we determined almost 75 percent contained errors.
Are you familiar with the Postal Service’s leased trailer program? How do you think the agency could improve its management of the program?