Sometimes our auditors look at specific incidents or facilities. Other times, especially when concerns are raised, we examine broader, more systemic issues. So, what did we do when more than 70 members of Congress asked us to look into the persistent declines in on-time mail delivery in 17 postal districts? We opened one heck of an audit.

In our recently released report, we examined the full mail cycle – mail processing, transportation, and delivery – of First-Class Single Piece letter mail. We reviewed the performance of 19 mail processing plants and 34 delivery units spanning across the 17 districts.

We found significant declines in First-Class Mail performance nationally with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Service performance at the 17 selected districts trended comparably but with lower scores. What contributed to the decline? A flood of packages into the network, combined with low availability of experienced employees overloaded many plants. Other mail processing and transportation constraints didn’t help, and some mail facilities had to use resources to offload mail to alternative plants.

To avoid a repeat of this in the future, some of the report’s recommendations included 1) developing tools to better identify and react to problems in underperforming facilities, and 2) plans for hiring and processing to manage the upcoming peak mailing season.

Want to know how well First-Class Mail performs in your postal district? Visit our Service Performance page.

Comments (16)

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  • anon

    I "heard" that our First Class Mail is now going via truck rather than by air in the future. NOW it takes about 4-5 days for a birthday card to get TO my grandchildren/kids in York, PA. FROM Bellflower, CA 90706 If true, This will just make it take longer for them to get our mail from CA. Just bought a roll of 100 Forever stamps (now .58 cents!) Don't mind the increase, but DO mind the slower delivery (if true)

    Oct 10, 2021
  • anon

    Under De Joy’s corruption, the USS has become just more trumpian greedy sewage!

    Oct 10, 2021
  • anon

    I don't know where to turn because this situation has not been handled at my local facility

    Oct 07, 2021
  • anon

    I got the informed deliver option because I knew my mail was not getting to me in a timely manner. I am currently 10 days waiting for mail I have pictures of with informed delivery. Complaining at my local post office is a joke. When they moved mail processing from Roanoke, VA to Greensboro, NC, our mail service went from OK to terrible. BUT the post office continues to raise the cost of mailing everything… I get bills now that arrive past the due dates. I am so disgusted with the mail service (as are my neighbors) that it may be time to start calling the Congress people and Senators. I know they hear complaints all the time but nothing will ever change for the better if we do nothing.

    Sep 28, 2021
  • anon

    A letter was mailed to me in Henderson Nevada from San Leandro California a month ago (08/24/21). It has not arrived yet at my private mail box. I mailed a letter first class from Henderson to Daly City California three weeks ago (09/04/21) and it has not arrived. Somewhere on the West Coast is a truck or two full of mail just sitting there. I don't think this has happened to me in decades. USPS used to be so reliable. Really need to think about what kinds of people are being promoted to management.

    Sep 27, 2021
  • anon

    Amazon packages and other “trackable” mail get preference while first class and periodicals sit. Major issue in Hampton Roads area, VA. Firsthand account. Don’t know why I am even wasting my time to comment as NOTHING will be done. Slap on the wrist for management. It’s sickening!!

    Sep 26, 2021
  • anon

    The reason for the decline is that money was diverted from mail delivery, the primary purpose of the organization that should have key quality characteristics of accuracy and timeliness, to other programs like surveillance and censorship of Americans on social media, illegal surveillance of Americans in other areas that have not been discovered but will come out. They also have adopted the use of and been dealing in cryptocurrency among postal inspector generals without regulation but yet Americans can't invest in cryptocurrency without the constant threat of overregulation and meddling of the central bank and politicians who want to keep the current fiat currency system going and America in debt more and more and more. This is free reign for corruption, money laundering, racketeering, embezzlement, bribery that needs to be stopped! The Deep State has been propping up the USPS for way too long at the taxpayer expense! Time to clean up the waste and fraud!

    Sep 24, 2021
  • anon

    What is this DeJoy up to? Is he not making enough money and wishes to privatize delivery services so he can make more? Who is reaping the benefits of this mail debacle? There something very wrong with the USPS. Who in their right mind deliberately destroys new sorting machines, delays deliveries on purpose? Who is gaining from what’s going on? Oh wait…is Trump still in on this? Again, something is rotten at the USPS and it’s not the post men and women who deliver the mail.

    Sep 24, 2021
  • anon

    I recently had trouble getting my hold mail delivered. I just received my bill from Dominion Energy. They told me it was mailed on Aug 25 with a due date of Sep 17. I just received it today, Sep 23. Do you see a problem here? If you start seeing people doing more business online and using the mail less, consider it a self-inflicted wound. Trying to call your local post office is like trying to get thru to the DMV. What makes it even worse is that the local PO does not have a website to message. The USPS website does not have a place for complaints like this!

    Sep 23, 2021
  • anon

    Memphis, TN is NOT processing mail in a timely fashion. A letter mailed on 8/24/2021 was delivered to Florida on 9/22/2021. This is an ongoing problem and there's no excuse!

    Sep 22, 2021
  • anon

    On 8/30/21 I spent $7.95 to send a Priority Mail envelope from Henrico, NC to Ellicott City, MD AND IT STILL HASN'T BEEN DELIVERED! The USPS is a joke!

    Sep 22, 2021
  • anon

    First class service has deteriorated to a joke. Today i finally received a small first class package that was a full 7 days late. Tracking indicated it was shuffled through several cities with times as long as 5 days between some of them. This is the third package in a row for me that this has happened. I do not believe it is all due to COVID, given the cutbacks and increases in delivery times made by the postmaster general.

    Sep 21, 2021
  • anon

    I apologise, but, in my opinion, you are not right. I am assured. I can defend the position. Write to me in PM.

    Sep 21, 2021
  • anon

    No, it doesn't. I sent the parcel to my daughter in New Zealand. I paid for the First class service. they took it. It was shoveled in the USA for weeks from one city, state, to another for weeks! Then, it was sent to New Zealand. It was shoveled there, and I am sure now, it wasn't sent by air as I paid for but some boat It took weeks to get to Japan(?) was there for three weeks, then sent to Australia, another week in the ship and another 7 days in facilities, and only then went to New Zealand. It took several months to get to a destination! Why did I pay so much money for this kind of service?! Would anyone return me money for the service I never received?

    Sep 21, 2021
  • anon

    Millstadt Illinois 62260 our postmaster doesn’t care about service he rolls first class mail all the time no one cares he knows he can get away with it .. what would happen if caught nothing so why be concerned

    Sep 20, 2021
  • anon

    GARY no doubt you are telling the truth…. It’s sad!

    Sep 26, 2021