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 (1283)

  • anon

    ****UPDATE**** My package was showing processed through Regional Facility since 8th June at Chicago ISC. Almost after more than 2 months I started seeing the movement of my package at Chicago ISC. It departed Chicago on 14th August. Arrived India on 18th August at Custom. Please don't lose hope anyone. If I see the movement with my package then anyone can see it. I almost gave up after 1 month.

    Aug 18, 2021
  • anon

    It shouldn't be taking this long to begin with. Customs isn't backed up. Yes, the facility's a mess, but that should not cause a back up of this magnitude.

    Aug 18, 2021
  • anon

    I'm in Australia and a fella sent me a vinyl LP box set from Ohio that went via Chicago. This was in May. Only today do I have an updated saying it has been moved to this facility. Hopefully it means it is still on the way.

    Aug 18, 2021
  • anon

    Shipped a priority package to China in June, And it was stuck in Chicago ever since. It’s absolutely ridiculous. Two months not moving at all? I mean the shipping fee is crazy expensive! Can you just hire more people?????? Seriously outrageous !!!!

    Aug 18, 2021
  • anon

    almost did a little dance today when an international parcel landed at the SF distribution center instead of this pile. please fix this as soon as possible, i dread the thought of any future mail landing here. i've had two parcels land here this year, both sat for a month plus.

    Aug 17, 2021
  • anon

    This should not be a further issue lasting for 3 months like this. My package, which arrived at this ISC on July 28th, has not been released yet. The OIG and customer support passed this off on CBP. I contacted the CBP through Twitter DM and they said there was no delay on their end and that this notification was prevalent. I just want my package that I paid for. I've never had a delay for this long buying stuff from overseas sellers before and this is just downright disappointing.

    Aug 17, 2021
  • anon

    Hello! Apparently you guys have a package that I have sent in April still there in customs. Why would this happen? Reopened the case today. It’s been there for a long time.

    Aug 17, 2021
  • anon

    Not happy. Brought a cable to complete a EMCOMS setup. The supplier only offered USPS. Previous experience with USPS international deliveries had been lacking however no choice. Paid the premium rate to have it shipped to Australia as a Priority Mail International Parcel where the normal delivery time for such items is around 3 - 5 days according to the USPS website. Was not expecting it to be at my house in 5 days but was expecting it to be in Australia within 2 weeks. So far it has taken 3 days to get to Chicago where it has now been sitting for 17 days now with no update. Reading the other comments (all I can do as no re-course for another two weeks) it has not even left US customs yet. Its not moving. So what do I take away from this, do not use USPS period. Allen

    Aug 16, 2021
  • anon

    I've learned. Next time will send a package to Honduras and they can walk to the border and cross into Texas and deliver my package sooner. Still waiting on two packages from different shippers stuck in Chicago since late May.

    Aug 16, 2021
  • anon

    I have had a pair of shoes sitting at this dump for weeks can I get them already

    Aug 16, 2021
  • anon

    My son's backpack for school arrived at O'Hara Airport from China last Friday. It's been sitting there ever since. School starts in 2 days. Any change my package will traverse the 45 minutes it takes to get from O'Hara to my house?

    Aug 16, 2021
  • anon

    I have shipped 6 packages from Germany on 25 Mai, with premium service, they have arrived on 14 June in Chicago..one of the packages is still inbound into customs since that day..I have contacted the german post, they were useless, they weren’t able to give me any specific information about my package..last week my husband received a letter from USPS, something to be filled, to confirm that he didn’t receive this package ..I will never ship again with USPS and I’m planning to sue the german post for not respecting the incoterms

    Aug 16, 2021
  • anon

    My package has been stuck here sense late may and it is absolutely ridiculous. I have tried contacting my post master and they said there is nothing they can do. It is impossible to get in contact with anyone. I do have the tracking number for it and it still says the same thing.

    Aug 15, 2021
  • anon

    Still waiting on a package that says it was cleared on July 9th...what is the delay?

    Aug 14, 2021
  • anon

    JUST DON'T SHIP WITH USPS or UPS. SIMPLE. BOYCOTT THEM.

    Aug 13, 2021
  • anon

    YES!! I agree with you. $$$ is why people still use USPS . There is no other carrier that will deliver a parcel for $10 from NY to Alaska. UPS is crazy $$$. When it cost $$ , mouths are closed. ***I retired after 27 yrs USPS and you cannot imagine all the piles and piles of parcels that keep coming in steady 24 hrs day. There has been ZERO increase of equipment, added trucks, or even added staff. COVID knocked out alot of staff. There were days when upper management were only ones on staff and they had zero ability to run machines etc. The BIGGEST problem----NEW PMG !!! He immed shut down processing plants and tore up machines. There was no way to rebuild these after the public found out before election. He even got rid of a whole shift....16 hrs a day instead of 24 hrs processing time. He previous owned a company with 600 employees....the USPS has OVER 600,000 employees. The PMG pay is around $300,00 .....1/10 the pay of CEO Fed X and UPS. This alone says it all.

    Sep 01, 2021
  • anon

    This is ridiculous! Inbound Into Customs -> Your item is being processed by United States Customs. 2021-06-09 07:22 No update since June.

    Aug 13, 2021
  • anon

    I suggested to my local mail carrier PostNord in Denmark that they should stop sending mail through ISC Chicago for the moment and redirect mail to other ISC’S. I sent them a link to the report. They responded today. They have read the report and they allready had received info from USPS that there was something wrong in Chicago. They even sent a Danish postal worker to Chicago to help them with their problems. My local post carrier now reports back that all problems have been solved and Chicago now operates without any delays. I don’t now how they came to this conclusion because I still have shipments in Chicago from April and May and all new shipments are very delayed and takes at least 4 weeks to clear ISC Chicago. ISC Chicago problems have not been solved as of mid August.

    Aug 12, 2021
  • anon

    Are they going to route differently than Chicago?

    Aug 18, 2021
  • anon

    I bought a reasonably rare game from a seller in New Mexico and paid over US$100 to have it shipped to New Zealand as a Priority Mail International Parcels item. The normal delivery time for such items is around 3 - 5 days according to the USPS website. The item was posted on 21 June 2021 but the next tracking entry is not till over a month later on 26 July 2021 when it arrived at USPS Regional Facility CHICAGO IL INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION CENTER. It finally moved to customs clearance at ISC CHICAGO IL on 5 August 2021 where its still sitting 8 days later (today is 13 August) so more than 6 weeks after being posted I am still waiting to receive my package. Please sort out the issues holding up the dispatch of international parcels so that people can receive their parcels in the near future.

    Aug 12, 2021
  • anon

    My parcel sent from.chicago on August 4, 2021 via usps priority mail international is still not processed. What is happening? I paid for usps priority mail international!!

    Aug 12, 2021
  • anon

    My small package is held.up at usps ISC chicago since July 7th. No movement can be seen after July 7th. This is very important package shipped.by sender laying first class priority express.mail. I humbly request usps please arrange to get delivery of this package asap.

    Aug 11, 2021
  • anon

    How about we all complain to our congressman/ congresswoman maybe the facility starts running again

    Aug 11, 2021
  • anon

    Why do we keep complaining in here and nothing it’s been done they don’t even care to reply to our comments . I suggest we sue the USPS for money that’s the only way anyone cares when you reach for their packets

    Aug 11, 2021
  • anon

    Get it together USPS. I went online to see if I'm the only one with issues related to items stuck in Chicago hub. Clearly not. Fix your business.

    Aug 09, 2021
  • anon

    waiting on a package to get over to Europe... and it does not move!! Its August 8 already! "Your item departed a transfer airport in DALLAS/FT WORTH INTL, FORT WORTH, UNITED STATES on July 23, 2021 at 3:32 pm. The item is currently in transit to the destination." It was first stuck in Chicago, too.

    Aug 08, 2021
  • anon

    Shipped an priority express international from Omaha to Finland on June 28th, arrived in Chicago July 1, sat in the Chicago ISC for 36 days before moving again. Then said departed O’Hare headed for destination on Aug 5th only to then be sent to Fort Worth Texas, where it supposedly departed today Aug 8. This was a commercial package with high value that may or may not require refunding, USPS needs to get their act together as people’s livelihoods rely on RELIABLE postal service and this is far from acceptable. Priority express international has a typical service standard of 6-10 working days to most major markets, now at 41 days with no delivery date in sight is rather annoying.

    Aug 08, 2021
  • anon

    I'm currently having the same issue with an international package to Finland as well. I wonder if there's an issue in customs regarding packages traveling to Finland?

    Aug 10, 2021
  • anon

    Hi! I send a package to my daughter back in Nepal for her school because she is having online classes. I shipped the package from here Dallas, Texas on 07/29/21 and now whenever I tracked it, it says Your item was processed through our CHICAGO IL INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION CENTER facility on July 30, 2021 at 4:25 pm. The item is currently in transit to the destination. From July 30, Its been more than a week that I haven't got any notice. I paid full amount for priority international mail express 3-7 days and was trying to make my daughter more happy by telling her the package will arrive within 15 days and she had mark the date on calendar too but now I have no idea what is going on with my package. I had called couple of times to the local post office where I made that shipment. They haven't responded to my call yet. I am feeling so anxious right now. I do not want to break my daughter happiness. Can anyone please guide me what should I do now? And if this message goes to chicago international distribution center, would you check at my package and please help me to get it deliver to the destination. Thank you!

    Aug 07, 2021
  • anon

    My package is stuck here since 8th June saying Your item was Processed through Regional facility at Chicago. Imagine my situation. Mine package is also express international going India. They are saying delay is due to less staff and large backlog. I am just holding hopes. Please let me know if you see any movement with your package.

    Aug 09, 2021
  • anon

    My package has been processed through regional facility in chicago as well since Sept 6th. No update since. It was mailed Aug 29th, 2021, before the TEMPORARY suspension to Australia and New Zealand. I have gone to the Australian postal site and see that it is sitting there bug has not been loaded onto a sea or air carrier. DeJoy just added temporary staff. Let’s hope these new hires he is looking for are sent to speed up Chicago ISC

    Oct 24, 2021
  • anon

    I mailed a 14oz package to Norway on June 1,2021 from the Naperville, IL post office. USPS tracking showed that it left Naperville the same day and was checked in at the Chicago ISC on July 15--6 WEEKS LATER. The ISC is ONLY 33 miles from Naperville, about 45-60 minutes driving depending on the traffic. The package was then processed through the ISC, flown to Oslo via Copenhagen two days later, and handed over to the Norwegian Postal Service on July 18 according to USPS tracking information. As of Aug 7, it is still undelivered and its status is unknown in Norway--over TWO MONTHS since the package was shipped. Given how long it sat at the ISC, I also wonder how credible the tracking information is?

    Aug 07, 2021
  • anon

    I mailed a 14oz package to Norway on June 1,2021 from the Naperville, IL post office. USPS tracking showed that it left Naperville the same day and was checked in at the Chicago ISC on July 15--6 WEEKS LATER. The ISC is ONLY 33 miles from Naperville, about 45-60 minutes driving depending on the traffic. The package was then processed through the ISC, flown to Oslo via Copenhagen two days later, and handed over to the Norwegian Postal Service on July 18 according to USPS tracking information. As of Aug 7, it is still undelivered and its status is unknown in Norway--over TWO MONTHS since the package was shipped. Given how long it sat at the ISC, I also wonder how credible the tracking information is?

    Aug 07, 2021
  • anon

    It is now August 6 late PM and tracking reveals that “(my) item arrived at (the) USPS facility in CHICAGO IL INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION CENTER on July 22, 2021 at 10:05 am. The item is currently in transit to the destination.” HOW LONG IS IT GOING TO BE STUCK THERE??? Release the package and send it to Panama as paid for.

    Aug 06, 2021
  • anon

    I have recently filed an official inquiry with USPS for a parcel expected from Korea that was expected to be delivered by August 2nd. It took 9 days from Korea to arrive to Chicago on Jul 30th, but it has sat for 7 days thus far in Chicago with no further processing. I don't expect to receive any positive action from USPS as this has become status quo in spite of all the recommendations made by the OIG, but it is pathetic to say the least to do nothing and allow this kind of poor service to continue.

    Aug 06, 2021
  • anon

    I'm in the same exact situation. I sent out a package from Korea at the beginning of the month thats been sitting in the Chicago facility after being "processed" for over well over a week now. For NO reason. I even paid extra for expedited shipping because its government documents I need for a visa. This facility is literally the WORST.

    Aug 10, 2021
  • anon

    My package from the UK has been sitting at ISC Chicago for SIX DAYS with no change in status. Inexcusable! Disciplinary action is in order for sub par performance. IT'S A HAND HELD PACKAGE NOT A SHIPPING CONTAINER! Customs is no excuse.

    Aug 06, 2021
  • anon

    My package was an International Priority Parcel coming from the Netherlands. It was processed in at the Chicago International Service Center on 10 June. There it sat until 5 August when it was accepted at the Chicago International Distribution Center. Almost two full months with no movement and I had essentially lost all hope on receiving anything. It was just delivered (Central Illinois) this afternoon. Hang in there folks as hopefully you items will move along as well. Hope that others here will have a successful outcome (although shamefully delayed) as I did.

    Aug 06, 2021
  • anon

    It took 8 days for my package to get from India to the United States. It has now been sitting in customs for 8 weeks! No movement at all since June 12th...and I can't do anything but wait...this place is pathetic!

    Aug 06, 2021
  • anon

    My package is keeping yours company! Arrived from India and has been sitting in Chicago since June 12.

    Aug 12, 2021
  • anon

    My package has been sitting in isc Chicago post office since June 30. This is so unsat. Still no up dates as of august 6.

    Aug 06, 2021
  • anon

    My package it’s been there since June 25 when are you planning to push it for delivery or it’s just gone missing so I can do a claim also do I get my money back I don’t think this qualifies as priority mail anymore

    Aug 06, 2021
  • anon

    I have 3 parcels "in limbo" sent from Chicago area to Spain for 3 months now... For all the comments that I've been reading parcels coming to USA are being delivered with delays, but the parcels going from Chicago to abroad aren't being shipped. This has been going on for months now. Covid is not to blame now because I received a parcel shipped from Los Angeles within 10 days last month. So the problem is that Chicago facility. People are losing countless parcels there and no solution. It would be great to know exactly what is going on. The least we can expect is an explanation

    Aug 06, 2021
  • anon

    I guess you are right becuse I sent a package from saint louis Missouri as a priority international mail it suppose to be delivered between 6 to 10 days ..I sent it on 7/05/2021 and it is stuck at international distribution center of Chicago since 7/8/2021 . My friend sent a package from newyork and within 2 weeks her family received the package ..so I think the problem as u mentioned is the location ..the international distribution center of Chicago..they are not doing there job how it suppose to be

    Aug 16, 2021
  • anon

    Today is 8/5/2021 & I have had an international package sitting at ISC Chicago since 7/9/21 I have no idea how this can happen, except for a completely unstaffed service center! The is CRAZY—& from the other comments I have ZERO faith that it will ever arrive. What is being done about this location?!

    Aug 05, 2021
  • anon

    This postal service needs to seriously be reevaluated. I ordered a package over a year ago that has been sitting in this forsaken building for over a year with no update. I have inquired multiple times to no avail. This is not how any service center should run. Apparently the numerous negative experiences has not changed a thing about how this center operates as I now have another international package that has been stuck here. Their workers are too busy taking pictures to upload to the ISC Facebook to actually complete their job. GET IT TOGETHER AND PROVIDE THE PEOPLE WHO PAY FOR THE SERVICE WITH THE SERVICE THEY DESERVE!

    Aug 05, 2021
  • anon

    Apparently the issues that Jeff Becker the Director of International Processing Operations was supposed to oversee correction of by May 31 are still not corrected. As a micro business owner who regularly ships overseas this is harmful and frustrating. I now have customers who are upset with me and will most likely want a refund for a product that is not delivered. Paypal will probably refund them, and then I will be out my income and also out my product that is still sitting in Chicago with no way to get it back. This is costing me my livelihood as a small scale artist.

    Aug 05, 2021
  • anon

    I sent 5 packages to China on April 29th, 2021. My Packages had been stuck in ISC USPS Chicago location for three months. I contacted USPS customer service, but they told me they couldn’t do anything . I don't know if my friend can get the packages. I feel so helpless. Who can help me ?

    Aug 04, 2021
  • anon

    I mailed a package to my son in Japan on May13, 2021. It contained clothes and handmade baby shower gifts for my first granddaughter who born in Japan - who I will be unable to meet for who knows how long because of the pandemic. As of July 16, my package is sitting at the ISC Chicago facility. I am livid. Is there any possibility that this package, that I paid more than $100 to mail, might ever reach Japan? This is ridiculous.

    Aug 04, 2021
  • anon

    I payed top dollar to have a package sent from US to Australia as soon as possible. It’s been sitting at this center for TOO LONG. Honestly I don’t even care about it sitting there as much as I do about the package actually getting to Australia and not being lost forever. It is very, very important to me that it reaches the person it’s meant for. But I feel like I’m losing hope because of this issue and it is absolutely disappointing.

    Aug 04, 2021

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