More packages and fewer letters to more addresses each year. That’s the daily drill for U.S. Postal Service city carriers and city carrier assistants (CCA), the non-career carriers who make up a growing segment of the workforce.

As we’ve noted in past blogs, customers are feeling negative effects of this changing mail mix. Complaints of late delivery or missed deliveries have increased in some areas.

Our latest audit report on delivery delays looked at select post offices in the Richmond District, where residents have complained of poor mail service. Our analysis of delivery performance indicators, including carriers returning after 7 p.m., overtime hours used, and customer complaints, identified 16 delivery units with poor performance.

We reviewed city delivery operations and customer service data in these 16 units and identified several issues, including:

  • None of the 16 units achieved their goal of distributing mail to carrier routes by 8:30 a.m., known as the Distribution-Up-Time (DUT), during September 2018. A late DUT means carriers start their routes later, which can affect delivery performance.
  • More than 18 percent of city carriers returned to their units after 7 p.m. and as late as 10 p.m. in fiscal year 2018, well short of the Postal Service’s goal of 95 percent of city letter carriers returning from street operations before 5 p.m., and 100 percent by 6:00 p.m.
  • None of the 16 units adequately addressed customer complaints logged in Enterprise Customer Care, the tool used to track customer complaints that cannot be handled immediately, such as “where is my package?”

Carriers returning from their routes after 6:00 p.m. remains a nationwide problem for the Postal Service. We have chronicled this in past audit reports and recommended that USPS improve mail flow within and between the processing centers, as well as develop a plan to review package data and make route adjustments as needed. In the Richmond report, we also recommended that supervisors utilize operational and reporting tools to monitor delivery operations. We also recommended that supervisors follow customer service policies and procedures to resolve customer complaints timely and to the customer’s satisfaction.

Comments (39)

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  • anon

    Business Reply Mail has a very slow turnaround. Mailed in Dallas May 21, 2019, and did not receive this until July 8th, 2019. When we do receive our Busines Reply Mail (no postage necessary) mail there will be a stack with numerous mailed dates. What can be done to improve the turnaround receipt time on this mail?

    Jul 10, 2019
  • anon

    When the USPS was created, there was no way they could have imagined the impact of something like Amazon. I coach service industry businesses (mostly tradesment) I tell them, that if you're too busy -- raise your prices! There needs to be a balance of value. It's simple economics of supply and demand. If revenue for parcel deliveries aren't supporting the needed USPS personnel and infrastructure, you need raise the prices of parcels. One of two things will happen: Either the parcel volume will decrease and revenue stays the same (and tax dollars won't be spent growing Amazon's business) and the workload will get back to reasonable, or the revenue will increase and will support additional infrastructure and personnel. The demand on the USPS is exceeding capacity (supply) thus the prices should go up.

    Jun 14, 2019
  • anon

    Orders misdelivered is an ingoing issue. I have paid for items never received. USPS carrier annex insists they have corrected the problems. We have different carriers on a consistent basis. I have stopped using mail order for my prescriptions as it is a matter of life and death when you need your insulin for diabetes. I will buy everything at local stores whenever possible since I can no longer rely on USPS delivery. I have lived at my residence for a long time and am buying my house. After nearly a decade and a half you would think this would be resolved. Disappointed.

    Jun 13, 2019
  • anon

    We have a piece (envelops size) of registered mail coming from Japan that contains a very important, dated document. It processed through the ISC New York at 4:07AM on June 7 2019. Today is June 11 and the status has not changed, so we have no idea where our 'registered mail' is currently. The USPS web site is useless as is the phone number for help. I see no reason to contact the Post Office in Japan since the envelope has been tendered to USPS. So much for using registered mail with a tracking number.

    Jun 11, 2019
  • anon

    I mail packages of dog treats to Brooklyn and Staten Island regularly using Regional Rate Boxes A and B. These boxes are supposed to be delivered within 3 days. A few months ago I had a box that took 10 days to reach it's destination in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and nobody could locate it all that time. I am now going through a similar situation with a package going to Staten Island. It should have been delivered on Friday, June 7th and as of now, Monday, June 10th at 4:45 PM, nobody knows where it it. When I track it, I get the message that it will be late but it will be delivered.

    Jun 10, 2019
  • anon

    USPS didn't deliver my pkg b/c "no access to delivery site" which is hilarious since they delivered my mail just fine. , as they do every day. I was home but no attempt was made to contact me. No notice was left which forced me to call customer service and wait on hold for over an HOUR. How is this possible? Sounds like someone didn't want to make the delivery. I had another package last week that was out for delivery and then "no delivery scan" so it was delayed 5 days. The USPS person delivering these packages needs to be held accountable for this.

    Jun 08, 2019
  • anon

    Sounds USPS needs to hire more workers/carriers.

    Jun 06, 2019
  • anon

    How in the world can we improve delivery when we are exhausted ?? 8-830 start....no stopping till we finish...no earlier then 4pm and then out back again with MORE parcels. OK how many heaters,tires,rugs, mini fridges, etc can you carry a day without getting tired?? Am I as fast at 230 pm as I was at 10 am ?? HELL NO. This stuff is heavy. Those inst-pots are in large boxes. What about the rural carriers who use their own vehicle. Vans can only hold so much. Mail, plus boxholder, plus small parcels , plus LARGE = bigger then 12 rolls paper towels take up alot of room. 2nd trip is required and thats for NORMAL mail....not the "late stuff". I was hired 1993. I had no idea that today 25 yrs later I may have to QUIT because I am worn out. I work later today then when we had 100% more mail and tubs were stacked all over workroom floor. My "reward" will be ZERO if I quit now. I need 30 yrs This all has been a slap in the face. I didnt apply for a "new" job...but I have one.

    Jun 03, 2019
  • anon

    I had an important package, very small, that needed to be delivered to Alabama from Utah. I paid the extra for express and asked them in Utah, specifically, can you ensure this will be delivered? They said yes, tape the hell out of it with Express written tape, sent it off, saying it will be there in two days. I questioned the local USPS regarding this package, because USPS doesn't have a good track record with me. Well, they sent it and yes its now lost. The need for this to be delivered has not expired. I sent a set of keys, since USPS lost my package, I had to have the storage lockers these keys went to, destroyed. How did USPS respond to this, well its insured right? At that point I realized that USPS is not held accountable for anything they do. Insurance is for damaged items, or loss or damage due to natural events, not because the USPS was incapable of doing their jobs, and providing the service that they were paid to do. If I make a mistake at work, I'm fired, if USPS screws up "well you have insurance right?". The government needs to shutdown USPS all together, where there is not accountability, there is no reliable service to the public. Shut them down.

    Jun 01, 2019
  • anon

    When you place an order at a fast food restaurant and it is not right do you expect them to shut down also? After all they are 10 feet away much less several states. USPS goes to every address on Gods earth and because your item was lost, well shut them down?? I had UPS lose my social security card, birth certificate and a bank debit card in a large next day delivery envelope!! Guess what, I got new ones! We walk routes in excess of 10 miles per day in heat over 95 degrees delivering 2000 letters and 300 magazines carrying everything from a chinese parcel packet to 50lb dog food boxes. Sorry but nothing in life is guaranteed, get over your loss and don't demand I lose my USPS job for your insignificant loss...

    Jun 09, 2019
  • anon

    Shut down usps because your parcel out of millions was lost?delayed? Do not us USPS anymore. Use UPS, send it in a taxi-yes hospitals do it all time, Fed-ex it, mail that letter and pay MORE $10 to do it....not .50. There is no reason YOU even need USPS. Go to the cleaner and pick up your shirts..all 10 of them or whatever... and oops...there is INK on all sleeves. A MISTAKE happened. You will receive $1 comp for ea shirt. Do not use said cleaner again. This IS USA. Nobody is making YOU us USPS. I have had a parcel here and there not make it. Out of 2000...yes 2000 in last 6 mths alone we have had very little in "failures". Things DO happen. I am not happy about your issue either. USPS offers the best prices for delivery service . And another thing.....does FED X hold your parcel while you are on vacation or closed ??? Your ending statements are ridiculous .

    Jun 04, 2019
  • anon

    Thank you for your comments. The OIG is constantly reviewing these issues in its audits. We have teams that assess mail delivery issues across the nation and often utilize these comments to pull a sample.

    May 23, 2019
  • anon

    Dealing with the USPS is the most frustrating experience I have ever encountered and I'm 77 years old and a Vietnam Veteran so I have encountered quite a few experiences. The post office takes the cake. No wonder UPS and Fedex are doing so well.

    May 22, 2019
  • anon

    My mail is constantly not being delivered. I will check tracking on a pkg and it will show it was received and sorted and is "out for delivery" but then it doesn't get delivered till the next day. I have never had this happen anywhere else I lived and it's happened more than a dozen times in the past 8 mos (only lived here 8 mos so far) and also we have had our outgoing priority mail pkgs not picked up several times and our mail going to the neighbors box and have also gotten their mail. Worst service ever and although I have filed more than 5 complaints nothing has been done about it. Very frustrating for me as I have a small business and give the post office $300+ month in business.

    May 20, 2019
  • anon

    I am very annoyed with the mail delivery service in the United States. My parents sent me a Priority Mail package and it took a week for it to arrive and what they sent was spoiled. It is not easy to see your parents make sacrifices and that the money invested is lost, since the product did not arrive in good condition due to the lack of delivery capacity. In my opinion, a Priority package must arrive in three days, I can not find it right and I think that you have to work with these points where you receive and send packages.

    May 15, 2019
  • anon

    I go to post office every day to drop off pre-paid shipments. I go in-line to get an acknowledge receipt because that is the only way to protect a seller that they drop-off on time. Some employees are mixing the small barcoded packages with regular stamped mail that resulted the package to be late delivery or not being scanned at all. It happens to me a lot of times already. All barcoded packages should go to a separate bins since it can go straight to your conveyor. Not all of your employees at a local post office do that. Maybe it's time to separate the handling and delivery of barcoded packages since the volume is increasing each year. From dropping off the package, sorting and way of delivering the packages. Lastly, I'm not sure how much revenue USPS gets from Money Orders but it takes so much time of an employee at a local Post Office. Focus on delivering mails and packages. I really hope that the USPS can keep up with the changes. Before it was so bad that we fear of closing offices. But now that there's a lot of packages, it can't be handled well. I hope the system improves.

    May 09, 2019
  • anon

    Thank you for all the comments on this blog. Your input around delivery and other service issues are valuable and help inform future work. If you have commented about missing or delayed packages, please file a complaint with the Postal Service directly. You can do so by phone at 1-800-275-8777 or online at emailus.usps.com/emailUs/iq/usps/request.do?forward=emailUs. Just choose the tab marked "Where is My Package" or "Where is My Mail." If you’ve already filed a complaint with the Postal Service and your issue has not been resolved, please file a complaint with our Hotline. You can access the online complaint form by clicking on the red “Report Fraud, Waste, and Abuse” block at the top of this page. This will allow us to look into the matter for you.

    May 08, 2019
  • anon

    Thank you for your suggestions, but nothing is ever resolved in a positive manner No Honor

    Jun 22, 2019
  • anon

    I hope I'm not breaking any rules by asking this on here but I had a package shipped to me from the Ukraine 11/29/18, it shows it got to ISC New York NY (USPS) on January 2, 2019 and that's where it still shows. I filed a missing mail form with USPS 3/19/19 and received an email 4/12/19 that they were checking into it. I've talked to our local post office but they can't offer any help. Can you tell me where I need to try next, what I need to do?

    May 07, 2019
  • anon

    (1) Last week a client called to confirm receipt on a certified envelope. We advised we hadn't seen it. END: We found the USPS staff had tried to Deliver Certified to our Office on a Saturday (Business Office M-F only). Certified was sent back to post office, where it was put aside for when/if we came in to request it. NO notice of missed delivery was left for us at physical address or PO Box. Our carrier was kind enough to track it down and return (Contract & large check payment) to us. (2) Skip forward a week, today we received back a letter Postmarked SEATTLE, 14 SEP 2018, and an Unable to Forward dated 19 MAY, 2019, THAT IS 7 MONTHS, 7 MONTHS. This envelope was covered in black and pink mold! I placed it inside a plastic sleeve, the Post Office didn't do that!! Black mold is very bad, but no warning to us prior to delivery. It is also clear that there were other items in the box as the back of our envelope has a cleaner section, in the shape of another article. Wish I could post pictures, it is gross!

    May 06, 2019
  • anon

    The post office in Bryan TX gave me the go around in 2016 they lost one of my packages and gave another one to some stranger. I am mad , because they still owe me for my loss.

    May 05, 2019
  • anon

    I am waiting for my package. It has been received by USPS NY on wednesday, April 24,2019. There is no other transaction yet. I am about to move another city I wonder when I am going to get my package?

    May 04, 2019
  • anon

    This is because the offices are poorly managed. My husband is a CCA and works 6 days a week. The is modern day slavery. Employees who work for the service abuse time off and call ins and in turn this leaves all the rest of the employees to carry the weight of being 6-8 routes down on a daily basis. This is why you cannot deliver or get employees back to the office by 5p. I have first hand experienced my husband missing family gatherings or late. Don’t get me started on the discrimination that goes on daily. Never in my lifetime have I witnessed such mis use and disrespect to employees. There is a rare occasion when he arrives home before 6p. Typically he is on the job from 8a to 7p or later. This union run operation grieves things but there is NEVER any results or resolutions for grievances. People get talked to yet they continue to do the things they know they shouldn’t as there are NO consequences. More often then not my husband works 8 or more days with no time off. The money invested in Researching why your not meeting your obligations would be better spent on investing in your employees and fixing the problems. New post masters are not the answer. Promoting by seniority is not the answer. Putting people who are qualified to be leaders in leadership positions is what needs to happen. People who will hold people accountable.m should be in leader roles. Seniority should mean nothing. It should be the best man or woman gets the job. Listed above are multiple reasons why your office is unable to deliver as expected. If you want to be a productive company take a look in the mirror and evaluate your role in the demise of the company. It starts at the top and the misuse of resources rolls down hill.

    May 04, 2019
  • anon

    It's time to formally investigate the Jacksonville, FL Distribution Center. Even with accounting for human error and an increase in the number of packages, there's no possible way they could lose as many packages as they do. I think it's time to start looking at employee theft.

    May 04, 2019
  • anon

    Absolutely the Jacksonville, FL Distribution Center should be turned upside down and all the employees terminated and prosecuted. Even if the employee wasn't directly involved, he or she knew what was going on and did nothing. No deals, no breaks, no light sentencing. Its about time a message is sent to USPS employees and their superiors that this will no longer be tolerated. The public entrusts their packages and mail with the USPS. USPS gets paid in advance for future services and this is how they thank their customers. Customers who are the reason why they have a job. Disrespectful to say the least. I apologize to USPS employees that are on the up and up and take pride in their job. They do exist. Unfortunately places like Jacksonville, FL exist and need to be sanitized.

    May 22, 2019
  • anon

    Every package is late or doesn't show up. My daughter medication for her seizures still has not shown up. We pay for next day or 2 day shipping and the 50.00 for insurance on the package. Maryland post office are rude, liars, and thieves! Thanks for nothing!

    May 04, 2019
  • anon

    Against what the owners wanted I went out on a limb and took it upon myself to send a fuel sample from a very important piece of equipment we run every day out for testingfrom PA. to Indiana thru USPS instead of Fed-Ex. I dropped the package off on the 24th of April as priority package. I explained to lady behind the counter the importance of the sample and was told if would have to go ground mail because it was diesel fuel but shouldn’t take more than 3-4 days. I said that’s fine and sent it but got a tracking number. So here it is 9 days later and I keep checking for updates and all I keep getting is your package will arrive late and in transit!! Not where it is in transit or how much longer.. I put my job on the line because I wanted to give the business to my local PO, I guess I made the wrong choice !

    May 03, 2019
  • anon

    Hi! I paid for a Priority Mail Express for my package going to Australia and was assured it will arrive May 1. Until now tracking says it still in ISC LA (USPS). What is going on? No update anymore. When is my package shipping out?

    May 03, 2019
  • anon

    The attempt to beat the internet and get "every piece, every day" instead of managing and holding a firm cutoff time has caused the centralized processing plants to hold for "just in time" delivery. So stations getting mail "just in time to meet a noon express receive their "just in time every piece" ever later in the day. Since carriers get out barely in time to deliver express and automation has changed their day from 4 hours to over 7 hours on the street instead of finishing routes around 3 PM, the printed time on international express mail, and that is no coincidence, they now finish the base routes at around 5 PM. Add in the non career carrier retention problem and never knowing if the carrier who is not protecting a career thinks today is a good day to quit and we have carriers just getting to their overtime assignments at 5 PM. And due to the contract carriers who wish overtime along with the non career carrier has to work 12 hours before those not wishing to work overtime are mandated extra hours their base day is until 9 PM. And the only way out of that pickle is to stop every piece every day nonsense and roll out the dispatch trucks at a cut off time with that late processed mail going the next day. A simple matter of changing the reporting day to 5 PM like the postal pay week starts on Saturday will stop the pressure to get something out "today" when "today" could mean 10 PM, or the record in my zone was 1 AM with that carrier working 16 hours,but reported as going out that day.

    May 02, 2019
  • anon

    Glad you have noted that late to post office means late to customer... It also means added overtime for city side... On the rural side you should see more wait time expense but often you don't. Pressure is put on rurals not to put in for wait time with threats that their start times will just be later. So late that getting back by dispatch is impossible. So rurals (you know how their pay is computed, don't you) are caught between a rock and a hard place and some decide to cut corners to survive.. Accidents waiting to happen... So 99% of delivery problems can be traced to poor delivery to post offices... When are you goping to REALLY look into this nationwide? Thanks for digging and please dig further.

    Apr 30, 2019
  • anon

    You certainly are correct!! As a "rural" let me expand this.... we have now been told that 2 or even 3 runs will be expected and we will not be notified in advance while on the route. We will finish whole rt which (10 out of 11 rts are 43 hrs a week in my office). Our start times have been pushed up to 830am and our dispatch is 545pm NO LATER. Reg route parcel counts are between 80 and 150. M/w/=usually 80's...t,th,fr,sa= 150's. Driving like an idiot, zero breaks, maybe a pee in a cup in back of LLV....we are back to office by 4. Fri I got back 430pm threw my outgoing mail in cage, threw my del trays to side case, turned in accountables and looked over 50 plus parcels that had to be delivered. 10 had to go to door, 1 was sig conf, rest could fit in mailboxes. This took 1 hr and I drove 14 miles. My pay for this is 2 min a mile. So I am supposed to get paid got 28 min on my next check even though this took 1 hr. Traffic was heavy and crazy. Hey!! what about safety?? Whatever....It was 6pm when I left. The PM was waiting at back door for me and tried not to grimace as I walked back in to put scanner up and sign out. The next day , all the mailbox del were still there. Funny, but all the dated PVI said del was expected the NEXT day...not the day we rushed them out after rts were done. What is this all about? Why are we being treated hourly when we work on a salary per route ? We have plenty of RCA's sitting at home that make 1/2 of what I make...doesnt this make sense...cents?=$$ saved ?? Why not have them run these out earlier so people will actually get them in their hands on day we deliver ??

    Jun 03, 2019
  • anon

    An international parcel was shipping via DHL in Frankfurt, Germany, to me in CA. It arrived a month ago at the ISC-NY. (That is JFK airport). All scans stopped after that. Nobody knows where it is, where it went, or more importantly, what the procedures are in this facility for tracking mail. With all the lost mail I read about in the USPS system, you would think that an effort would be made to address it. Even if 1% of mail were lost, that is likely 100,000 packages or far more. Where are they? On the floor, in a dumpster, in Atlanta being auctioned off? I have spoken with at least 15 USPS employees in the past 3 weeks. I get the same answer from all: "I don't know"...................... Is this anyway to run a business?

    Apr 30, 2019
  • anon

    What did customs say when you talked to them?

    May 01, 2019
  • anon

    Followup to my previous post - My package, magically, appeared at my local post office today, after 30 days of being 'lost in postal space'. I am thankful but note that the tracking jumped from ISC-NY, to my local PO today with no tracking in between. Not sure how this happens but again, I am happy and relieved but had to spend countless hours on the phone and filled out lots of missing mail forms........... I don't think all the worry and work had any affect on this delivery. Not knowing or having the PO also not knowing the status of this parcel was the headache.

    May 01, 2019
  • anon

    You took my 25.50 for next day delivery....now you tell me that the overnight letter is not out for delivery....maybe 2 days ! usps is truly lying thieving union scumbag dogturd filth !

    Apr 29, 2019
  • anon

    As usual when I see my item has been sent though the PONTIAC MI DISTRIBUTION CENTER, DAYS and DAYS and DAYS and DAYS go by and either I get it a month later or never. This time around my package has sat in Pontiac for a week and who knows if I will ever see it. The US Postal service is possibly the worst run government agency there is. Will you ever get your **** together, EVER?

    Apr 29, 2019
  • anon

    Same problem recieving packages from anywhere in California. I order a package from say...Florida, its recieved at the post office and bam..3 days later it shows up at my door in western Washington state. I'm tracking a package that was received at the Irvine California post office at 5:30pm Monday the 29th of April...its still there over 50 hours later waiting on 'approval'. Its showing an expected delivery of May 16th. Over 2 weeks to get from California to southwest Washington state???????? Why?

    May 03, 2019
  • anon

    As long as they are reducing staff and closing distribution centers the mail will continue to be stuck in the bottle neck it has created.

    May 01, 2019
  • anon

    But they then gave you your money back. So other then they fact that it was slowed down in the distribution bottle neck, you were out nothing. As for union management is not union. Management is who is closing distribution centers causing the bottle neck.

    May 01, 2019

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