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?

Comments (7)

  • anon

    Looking for information on getting a contract for tracker trailer

    Dec 28, 2020
  • anon

    Any information on missing trailer 10R1440? Are there not cameras at USPS locations? Are there not managers in Lancaster that can explain? How about Harrisburg?

    Dec 27, 2020
  • anon

    I think the Post Office is going down hill. You have some nerve charging Priority Rate when you knew darn will that packages would not get there on time. I have mailed packages on the 11th and friends and relatives still have not received them. SHAME ON YOU. If you know you cant get a package there when you say, don't charge inflated rates. Advise people of this and charge the 1st class rates.

    Dec 26, 2020
  • anon

    Your suggestion to "Please visit the Contact Us page" results in a message that says "cannot be found" Error. Does this mean that USPS in no longer taking complaint about delayed or lost mail? Need some answers. Have been waiting 10 days for a package that I payed $10.90 to have delivered. Do I get a refund if my package does not get delivered?

    Dec 26, 2020
  • anon


    Dec 24, 2020
  • anon

    It seems there is an issue in employee adherence to paperwork [digital/tangible] and the workflow process. a 75% error rate clearly indicates there is no review process in place, or digital forms have no field requirements/required information. A redesign or overhaul of the process needs done and employees have to be held accountable.. As for the leased trailers, I'd have to agree that ownership would probably be the better option, but If leasing is preferred, lease trailers with tracking devices added to them and improve the tools to track and alert when trailers go idel.

    Dec 23, 2020
  • anon

    I'm am a semi-truck mechanic --formerly employed by Husky Trucks/Navistar in Tukwilla WA. I don't understand why you are leasing so many trailers. Trailers by definition are an enormous capital cost that does not wear out. Trailers usually need only general periodic maintenance, tires, cleaning, and paint from time to time which is easy vs. semi tractors. Trailer maintenance does not require a highly skilled labor force. In the event of a breakdown, leased trailers are highly available. Trailer maintenance is a great entry level position easy to perform by a mobile workforce on location. Major maintenance can be contracted out usually to the company such as Ryder/Penskey/who is able to perform major maintenance and provide rental trailers. Husky Trucks, a.ka. Idealease Truck leasing (no longer in business), had repair contracts with companies like J.B. Hunt that specified immediate 3-5 day repair priority.

    Dec 22, 2020

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