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 (66)

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  • 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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