While conducting site visits at the Chicago International Service Center (ISC) for our International Election Mail Observations for the 2020 General and 2021 Georgia Runoff Elections project, we found significant operational delays of international packages and safety and security risks that we believe warrant management’s immediate attention and corrective action.

The U.S. Postal Service processed over 729 million pieces of international mail and parcels in fiscal year (FY) 2020 and the Chicago ISC is one of five Postal Service facilities that are primarily responsible for processing international inbound and outbound volume. A key segment of these mailings are packages, such as those sent using International First-Class, Priority, or Express Mail service.

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Comments (39)

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  • anon

    This is beyond frightening this has gotten so horribly out of control! Where is the exposure to public knowledge or in the national news??? This is a National and Federal issue to NOT deliver mail on this grand scale of failure!! Where do we call and write to expose this and get the help and resources that we've already PAID FOR to get our mail delivered across the globe?? Unbelievable!! I'm outraged at this gross negligence of our mail system. PLEASE GET THIS FIXED NOW!

    Jun 11, 2021
  • anon

    I have several express parcels from Europe all stuck in Chicago for weeks. No tracking updates; all of them are simply lying there without any movement. I'm getting complaints from the buyers, it hurts business a lot. Please fix it!

    Jun 11, 2021
  • anon

    I have three packages from GB sitting at Chicago customs. I have received the standard statement saying they have been processed through their system on May 20th, 2021. This is the only message I receive when i check my tracking numbers. I contacted the principle post office in Eagan, MN and they replied within three working days, saying there is nothing they can do until Chicago releases the packages. They also noted that there are a great number of parcels that arrived in Chicago between May 20 and May 23 from GB that are being held. When I inquired further, they said there is probably a paperwork dispute between customs here and customs in GB. I am extremely frustrated that it appears someone has drawn a line in the sand and is not wiling to settle this dispute. In the meantime, the customer is left waiting and wondering. Please settle the dispute and move these packages along. I would like to reiceve what I ordered and paid for.

    Jun 11, 2021
  • anon

    "Your item has been processed through our facility in ISC CHICAGO IL (USPS) at 7:12 pm on May 24, 2021." It is now June 11th. Three weeks and nothing since the 24th of May. Shameful. What is even going on to cause such profound delays?! Is this because of DeJoy? Other management? How is this acceptable?!?

    Jun 11, 2021
  • anon

    I’m disgusted sender posted my parcel on 2nd of may to come to UK sent priority Mail which is between 6/10 days. 41 days later at still no parcel this is not fair… tracking is not working as keeps saying in transit to next facility but think we all know it’s sitting in USPS ISc why is this

    Jun 11, 2021
  • anon

    My parents sent me a package March 13th. It arrived to Chicago April 2nd and it is stacked in there since then. Nobody takes responsibility for this. This is unbelievable! It is very frustrating that there is no solution to this issue when it's been there for a year! If this is a know issue, why it is still happening? Why it is not solved?

    Jun 11, 2021
  • anon

    The recommendations of this audit are obviously not being implemented. I am a seller and 20% of my packages have either gone missing or are extremely delayed having arrived at ISC Chicago in mid-Apr 2021. This is completely unacceptable. I am curious as to what the reassessment on May 1st found. My recommendation is to fire the VP of Processing and Maintenance Operations and to actually hire people who are willing to work and care about their jobs. If all these issues and mess were found during known audits, imagine how this place functions on a day to day basis. No longer going to be using USPS for shipping!

    Jun 10, 2021
  • anon

    I have two different packages from overseas, that has been sitting at Chicago ISC for over a week that hasn’t moved at all! What’s wrong!

    Jun 10, 2021
  • anon

    My package from the UK has been sitting there since May 16. I've called twice and no one knows a thing about it other than it seems to have fallen into a black hole at ISC Chicago. No one can tell me if the package is lost, if it's just sitting there, or what its fate is, etc. I'm very frustrated and angry. I can see from the various complaints below that it's unlikely any of us will get more than a shrug from USPS, but this really is not okay.

    Jun 10, 2021
  • anon

    My international package has been in ISC Chicago since May 15th with no further update. It's crazy that a package can get from across the world to ISC Chicago in 2-3 days and then just SIT there for WEEKS. This is embarrassing, USPS! Fix it, please!

    Jun 10, 2021
  • anon

    Like everyone else I have a package stuck at this facility. Seeing these photos, you need to bring more workers in to fix the backlog cause that is unacceptable and a work/health hazard environment.

    Jun 10, 2021
  • anon

    I shipped a package from Toronto Canada to Florida and it has been stuck at this pathetic facility since May 7th. This is beyond ridiculous I have received packages from China in a shorter time period. I run a small business and my customer is waiting on her purchase thankfully she is understanding but this is NOT acceptable. Something needs to be done immediately this facility is a disgrace , my package is probably lost it literally looks like a dump yard in there. Hire more people USPS is a large company and lots of people in Chicago need work. Do something now!

    Jun 10, 2021
  • anon

    Hello Nicholas. Thank you for your message. Regarding your concern, please contact Postal Service Consumer Affairs Office at https://postalpro.usps.com/ppro-tools/consumer-affairs

    Jun 10, 2021
  • anon

    Except you can't even contact anyone through that link. The phone number is just automated system with no ability to speak to a human being. Every level of this organization is astonishingly incompetent.

    Jun 11, 2021
  • anon

    I have been getting complaints from my overseas customers about shipping time and when I checked the tracking numbers all of the parcels had just been sitting at this facility. Not to mention a personal parcel of mine has been sitting there as well with no movement in two weeks. The photos in this audit are horrendous, they definitely need better organization and strategies. New york isc does not have this issue so there is no excuse for this facility to look and run this way.

    Jun 10, 2021
  • anon

    I am having same issue with package arriving at Chicago facility on May 20th and that was the end of the tracking updates......Please let us know when package will move thru to the next delivery location or at least an estimated delivery date...Please help!!

    Jun 09, 2021
  • anon

    I run a business and I’ve had packages stuck in this facility since June of last year “2020” and since March and April of 2021. They have no one to talk to via phone, we get no updates it’s like our packages are being stolen and it’s nothing we can do about it my business is dropping tremendously because of this location and I will be filing suit! Because I’ve had packages there for a year, I know personally that these packages that’s been stuck for over 30days will not arrive at all... this has to be taken care of and this isn’t the last they have heard from me they need to do better!

    Jun 09, 2021
  • anon

    As I am tracking a package, I noticed a package that arrived in the USPS ISC Chicago on May 20th, is still stuck there on June 9th 2021. You almost might think they do this on purpose. Should we use the good old mail pigeon next time? What a bunch of losers!

    Jun 09, 2021
  • anon

    I just want to echo the other comments in here, I've had a number of parcels stuck in Chicago ISC since the turn of the year. Some have moved through, others are stuck - one is still there from March 2021. I've ship from the UK to USA using Royal Mail. These delays are resulting in negative reviews which are detrimental to my business, I am having to refund through no fault of my own. Please take action to correct this ASAP,

    Jun 09, 2021
  • anon

    My package has been stuck at Chicago ISC since March 18, 2021, a total of 83 days as of today. The package is from England via Royal Mail. I have read countless blogs for advice on how to get my package moving and have yet to find a solution. This is beyond ridiculous.

    Jun 09, 2021
  • anon

    For others' reference, my package from the UK has been at the ISC Chicago facility since 5/2/2021. Absolutely unacceptable. #firedejoynow

    Jun 09, 2021
  • anon

    I'm from the UK, and I sent a parcel to the states!! Its been stuck at Chicago since May 20th 2021. I can't replace the items I sent to my friend and I am becoming increasingly concerned about the lack of updates on tracking!! Contacted USPS who inform me that once it gets there it's out of there hands until customs clear it!! I've never had delays like this in all the time I have been sending to the USA!! Anyone have any more insight or do we just wait it out?

    Jun 09, 2021
  • anon

    Hello Jen. Thank you for your message. Regarding your concern, please contact Postal Service Consumer Affairs Office at https://postalpro.usps.com/ppro-tools/consumer-affairs

    Jun 10, 2021
  • anon

    This is ridiculous! We sent a package to England May 1 - it still hasn't left the US and it's June 9. Absolutely unacceptable!

    Jun 09, 2021
  • anon

    Package arrived at Chicago ISC on May 20th and no updates since arrival there nearly three weeks ago. I have never had an international package take this long and looking at the comments, not only is this common at Chicago, I may even be writing too soon! Some people waiting 8 weeks or longer for it clear this one facility? I've had items shipped from Europe and Asia for years and it's generally less than two weeks total from label creation to my mailbox. I'm already getting messages from the website where I ordered the item from asking if I am enjoying my purchase. I want to support USPS, but in the future I will ask sellers to ship using a private company :(

    Jun 08, 2021
  • anon

    This facility is ridiculous. I've had a package sitting there with no update for 3 weeks. It got to the US far quicker than it will ever make the 5 hour trip from Chicago to Saint Louis. This is a shame and an embarrassment.

    Jun 08, 2021
  • anon

    They have not improved their scanning process at all. The last scan I received said my 3 packages were received in Chicago on May 24, 2021 and were expected to be delivered on May 28. On May 29, the expected delivery day disappeared and nothing has updated since. It is now June 8, 2021 and I have no idea when or if I will ever see my packages (which began the shipping process on April 7).

    Jun 08, 2021
  • anon

    Something has to be done about this facility. The pictures in this audit are disgusting and whoever is responsible should be ashamed. My packages are averaging 2 months in this facility alone. Why is this the only ISC in the country that has this issue? If anyone has a package in there. Expect at least a 8 week delay put of this facility alone.

    Jun 07, 2021
  • anon

    My package has been stuck in the Chicago facility for almost 20 days now. It’s been sent from Canada and now I don’t even know what happened, to be honest. I wish someone could give me a clear answer. Whenever I call usps, they says it’s in Chicago and they apologize for the delay. I am so anxious because the package item is for my school.

    Jun 05, 2021
  • anon

    I’m glad to have read this - it helps explain what’s going on, even though incredibly frustrating. I have a package shipped with Royal Mail from the UK. Got to the States in 48 hours. It’s now been stuck in Chicago since May 20th. I’m trying to be patient but it’s ridiculous. The item can’t be replaced and there’s no indication as to when it will be sent on its way. I have never had an experience like this with USPS, my experience has all been positive but this is the last time I will purchase something which can’t be shipped internationally via DHL, FedEx or UPS.

    Jun 05, 2021
  • anon

    I had a package sent to me international priority EXPRESS mail. It was supposed to be delivered to me on June 1st, but instead it is STILL stuck somewhere in Chicago customs. Reading all the comments from other people I’m starting to think my package may never get to me. I paid $55 just for the shipping on the package. I have NEVER had a package sit so long in customs when it’s went via NY or SF. Now all I can do is sit here and hit refresh on my USPS tracking page in hopes by some miracle it will change from inbound into OUTBOUND from customs. If you can’t clear the backlog there, then bring in more people to help catch up and get things straightened out.

    Jun 04, 2021
  • anon

    I have been waiting for a package stuck at Chicago since May 8 2021. It is now June 4th, and no change in tracking. I have since had packages through New Jersey customs with no delay at all. Chicago needs to fire everyone and start over. This is embarrasing.

    Jun 04, 2021
  • anon

    I have so far had two in a row international first class packages from Canada to a USA address disappear at the Chicago sorting facility since February 2021. I have had to reorder the item for the third time yesterday. I don't know what the heck is going on there in Chicago but it needs to be fixed immediately. Each time the package is lost it is $100 down the drain.

    Jun 02, 2021
  • anon

    I have a package that has been stuck at the ISC since May 19th. It has been impossible to find a working phone number to contact them and discuss/address. That is unacceptable.

    Jun 01, 2021
  • anon

    Hello Emily. Thank you for your message. Regarding your concern, please contact Postal Service Consumer Affairs Office at https://postalpro.usps.com/ppro-tools/consumer-affairs

    Jun 10, 2021
  • anon

    What does this mean? It is bad enough it took 3 weeks for a priority express package to scan between Ohio and Chicago but is my package going to sit another 3 weeks before it scans at customs? The fact that customer service is incapable of providing any sort of explanation throughout is also an issue as clients have absolutely no idea what is happening with their parcels or other mail. With tracking capability, one should know where their item is at any point in the journey.

    May 18, 2021
  • anon

    I need more info about this

    May 16, 2021
  • anon

    I really appreciate that you guys are HONEST with what's going on and publish these audits weekly. You may think people aren't reading them, but we are. I'm outside of America but ship TO America and I am an EXPERT on international shipping into the US. U Guys Hit The Nail On The Head With International Operations! It's a problem, especially w/tracking. They aren't doing it! They are not scanning packages from outside the US into the USPS tracking system and it makes ALL OF US look bad. My SOLUTION: DO NOT PAY FOR TRACKING AND JUST SEND ALL OUR PACKAGES AS REGULAR MAIL. It worked PERFECTLY no problem for YEARS. Now you guys have messed up my system! Now there is a tracking requirement on international mail but here's the thing: YOUR PEOPLE AREN'T SCANNING OUR PACKAGES... Note: All caps are for emphasis, not yelling, I'm very chill! Just explaining the system as I see it and hoping someone that's in a position to take this information and make the necessary changes now before you make it worse... So anyway, I read the audits, I KNOW the USPS employees are scanning at MAYBE 70% within the US and NOW ya'll want to add international mail in the mix when the Chicago center isn't ready for extra work? How? How does that make sense? Someone isn't thinking this through. I've been with you guys and clapping from the sidelines because MY SOLUTION WORKED FOR ME! lol! My packages were being delivered, maybe slower, but nothing was ever lost. U know why? BECAUSE TRACKING IS NOT NECESSARY AND IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH DELIVERY! I put stamps on an envelope and the USPS delivers - nothing more simple in the world right? So if it ain't broke, don't fix it! Of all the things that need fixing in the service, international tracking should be OPTIONAL not MANDATORY. I recently had an entire shipment returned because there was no tracking. I paid the difference and resent the packages but I know, you know and the post office here knows that the USPS employees are NOT going to scan those packages. They are going to sit in the disheveled and backed up warehouse in the Chicago or Miami distribution centers until Kingdom Come and they STILL won't be 'tracked' until they are delivered. I'm Just saying... Sincerely Sineta George

    May 16, 2021
  • anon

    Thank you

    May 14, 2021