Each year, increased mail and package volume during the U.S. Postal Service’s peak mailing season — November through January — significantly strains the USPS processing and distribution network. And each year, the Postal Service hires temporary employees and leases additional temporary facility space to help ease the strain.
For this peak mailing season, the Postal Service has taken a new approach, shifting from temporary-only measures to implementing permanent operational changes, including increasing employee complement and facility space. USPS still has plans to hire additional temporary employees and lease facility space — on top of its new, year-round strategy.
So, is USPS ready? This is the topic of our recent audit report. We found that while USPS has made good progress toward its hiring and facility-space goals, it still has not reached its full objectives. And, given the national labor shortage, it may not be able to.
As part of this audit, we surveyed postal managers in both mail processing and transportation, asking about their confidence in USPS readiness for peak season. For the most part, managers were confident or very confident USPS would be ready. The one area where they responded they were only “somewhat confident” was regarding sufficient surface transportation.
As peak season progresses, we plan to monitor USPS conditions and evaluate performance. We will issue a report on any challenges identified.