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

    So the Chicago International Distribution Center has had my parcel for nearly 2 months. It cleared US Customs on 6/9/21. Arrived at my local Post Office on 6/17/21 and they placed an incept on the package the same day so my local Post Office sent it back to them without telling me anything. It sat at the facility for nearly a month and get sent back to me. It arrived at my local Post Office on 7/13/21 only to be "intercepted" by USPS a 2nd time and now it's back at the Chicago International Distribution Center. I've left numerous voicemails for them to call me back no one has returned my calls. After multiple inquiries, I received an email from USPS telling me they were closing out my requests, stating, "There is no further assistance that can [be] provided to you by any other department as it pertains to this mail piece." So the location that has my package, who keeps recalling my package, and who is failing to deliver my package is telling me they refuse to help me in any way.

    Jul 23, 2021
  • anon

    That’s sounds super fishy and ridiculously frustrating, sorry it happened to you!!

    Jul 29, 2021
  • anon

    Looking over the report, it seems that most of the recommendations are supposed to have been in place since May 31st. Is there any likelihood of an update on how many of the recommendations have actually been implemented? Looking over the problems, I notice that rodent infestation is considered a major issue. Has anybody thought about killing two birds with one stone - hire the rats to process the backlog! The rodent infestation goes away and becomes a major increase in staffing levels. OK, so maybe rats aren't going to be that efficient - not noted for their reading ability - but maybe they could be fitted with little harnesses to tow the mail carts from one place to another or something.

    Jul 23, 2021
  • anon

    package made it to Chicago from England in 2 days. been in Chicago for 14 days. USPS efficiency!

    Jul 23, 2021
  • anon

    I've had an outbound package at ISC Chicago since June 10th. It's July 23rd. I paid over $90 of shipping costs; I'm not a big business, just an individual shipping something for repair. No one can tell me anything -- they have no idea where it is, when it will be sent, I opened up an "inquiry" and the deadline date has come and gone with no update. When I call to give the inquiry case number, they say they don't know what to do with it. I tried to call the ISC Center, and a guy answers is says "keep calling this same number and hopefully someone that can help will answer." I'm not kidding. I called 3 more times and he said that "I guess they aren't at their desks." The USPS is in serious trouble and I'm not even sure it can be salvaged at this point.

    Jul 23, 2021
  • anon

    Ordered package may 10th shipped may 12th didn’t get update till June 10th that it’s at this POS place. And now assuming this is its new home. This isn’t right. I get that they are behind but this isn’t the only facility. Re-route the packages to other facilities. We’re all in the US waiting for our packages I feel we should have some sort of rights toward this. Heck let me drive there and pick my package up. Or atleast humor me when I’ve called/ emailed and say you will investigate. Instead of oh well it’s at this bla bla place not our problem.

    Jul 23, 2021
  • anon

    Package arrived here two weeks ago with no update. A different package from the same seller passed through the LA location with no problem and arrived very quickly. What gives?

    Jul 22, 2021
  • anon

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

    Aug 31, 2021
  • anon

    My package has been stagnant at the Chicago isc since June 25. With not one update. They don't answer phone calls. Can't know for sure if it hasn't been lost or stolen. If you have a package going through this facility you will need to be prepared to wait months not knowing if it has been compromised.

    Jul 22, 2021
  • anon

    I think that if the USPS told people it would take two to four months for people to get a package there is no way anybody would use this service. They take your money and then there is absolutely nothing you can do about it. I had bought wedding items with more then enough time to get here. It has been sitting in Chicago since June 10th. Wedding has come and gone and I had to scramble and spend double the money. This place should be shut down completely until all packages have been cleared. It is utterly disgraceful.

    Jul 22, 2021
  • anon

    “Update”. August 31 and still nothing.

    Aug 31, 2021
  • anon

    Update. Still nothing. Maybe in month three it will move. Maybe someone can go clean up the back rooms.

    Jul 29, 2021
  • anon

    I have been waiting for my package for over 60 days. I need more clarity from staff. I shouldn't have to wait this long after paying over $120 for shipping.

    Jul 22, 2021
  • anon

    Can you go to pick up your package there?

    Jul 22, 2021
  • anon

    Hey guys, my outbound mail (Chicago to Singapore) finally got released after nearly a month of being stuck in Chicago IDC. There's hope for us yet...

    Jul 22, 2021
  • anon

    Why do parcels sit at o'hare international airport waiting to get processed for so long , never have this problem when it goes another route, it's always here, been happening for years and I don't think usps really care, have not seen any improvements

    Jul 21, 2021
  • anon

    My package was scanned into ISC Chicago on May 25th and still no action...USPS says they can't do anything and I just have to wait. The supplier says they can't initiate an inquiry on my behalf until 60 days of no activity. Make the madness stop.

    Jul 21, 2021
  • anon

    ***** Update ***** PACKAGE WAS DELIVERED TODAY!!! Entered ISC June 9th, scanned into Distribution July 19th. Delivered 21st. Don't lose hope people!!! I gotta say, today was a good day.

    Jul 21, 2021
  • anon

    I have been waiting on a package at Chicago customs since May 25!!! That’s almost two months!

    Jul 21, 2021
  • anon

    I have hope for everyone here! After my package was stuck at Chicago ISC for a month & bounced to Palatine Distribution Center 2 days ago, it is now out for delivery at my local post office. I really hope all of you receive your parcels soon!

    Jul 21, 2021
  • anon

    My package has been sitting at ISC Chicago IL since July 8. I filed an inquiry with the USPS and they told me it was in customs; however, further research has shown that it is not the case, as customs is not backlogged in Chicago or elsewhere. Rather, the problem seems to be the ineptitude of the ISC Chicago facility, as evidenced by the relative speed in processing similar mail I have received, also from the UK, that arrived in under 10 days, having gone through New Jersey rather than Chicago. ISC Chicago needs to be inspected to discover what is causing these outlier-level delays in processing.

    Jul 21, 2021
  • anon

    My package status is processed through facility (ISC CHICAGO) at 2:40 am on June 17, 2021. It’s July 21, 2021… this situation is ridiculous. Got another international package through Queens NY Processing and Distribution Center in less than a week.

    Jul 21, 2021
  • anon

    My package was processed into ISC on 6/13/21and the status hasn’t changed since then (it’s now 7/20/21). I called USPS last week and they reported that I couldn’t even initiate a complaint until 6 weeks after it entered ISC. Ridiculous!

    Jul 20, 2021
  • anon

    Yes, I can attest to delay-lost packages from international shippers. Tracking shows one of my packages has been the guest of ISC CHICAGO IL (USPS), United States of America since July third. As we are looking at the close of July 20th....no package. May the gods help us and the second package sent from the same shipper.

    Jul 20, 2021
  • anon

    *****UPDATE***** I just knew that my package arrived in Japan on July 19. It had been sitting in the Chicago facility since June 13, but not anymore. As it has already gone through Customs in Japan, almost there!

    Jul 20, 2021
  • anon

    My priority mail international package to Japan has been sitting in Chicago since early May with no updates. I’m devastated. Has anyone had any luck with outbound packages that have been there for months?

    Jul 20, 2021
  • anon

    My international package going India stuck since 8th June at Chicago ISC. It is only saying Processed through Regional Facility. No movement, No scanning at all

    Jul 21, 2021
  • anon

    Shipped a package priority international from Illinois to Israel on June 5th. Says it is in transit to final destination for 6 weeks. Usually takes around 3 for total trip. It was processed through CHICAGO IL INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION CENTER facility on July 20, 2021. The item is currently in transit to the destination. I am hoping it will get to the final destination soon.

    Jul 20, 2021
  • anon

    Shipped a package priority international from Wisconsin to Russia on June 4th. Said it was in transit to final destination for 6 weeks. Usually takes around 3 for total trip. No updates so I figured it was lost. Just got an update on July 20th that it cleared Chicago ISC. Here's hoping it finally makes it to it's destination.

    Jul 20, 2021
  • anon

    Mine arrived at ISC on June 10. Finally Out For Delivery from the local post office on July 20.

    Jul 20, 2021
  • anon

    My package says Processed Through Facility ISC CHICAGO IL (USPS) Your item has been processed through our facility in ISC CHICAGO IL (USPS) at 12:30 pm on May 26, 2021. The seller will not refund because the USPS says not lost. It is sad that China moves the mail internationally faster than USPS. I filed to locate mail and received Case Closed...Mail found, but still nothing.

    Jul 20, 2021
  • anon

    UPDATE: my package that had not received a new scan since arriving at ISC on 6/11 was finally delivered on 7/16. Not sure if it was a coincidence but that was around the same time the seller got involved because of a package not received case opened in PayPal. Seller reached out through the international mailing partner to USPS. Maybe that shook it loose? If you have the capability to start a dispute through a financial institution and not just a missing mail case I would try that as sometimes larger companies have further reach than we do is individuals screaming into the wilderness here.

    Jul 20, 2021
  • anon

    What the update was showing of your package when it was stuck at Chicago. Mine still showing Processed through Regional Facility since 8th June at Chicago ISC.

    Jul 21, 2021
  • anon

    I've had my package at ISC since June 10. It finally got delivered today, so good luck to ya'll.

    Jul 19, 2021
  • anon

    Sent a package from Texas in March. Paid for the first class mail $166 for delivery in 8 busyness days. Today is July 19th, the package is still in Chicago. What a shame! Pictures look like there is no one who is responsible for the mess. We may need to contact our Senators to get some answers?

    Jul 19, 2021
  • anon

    *******UPDATE***** My Package moved to Distribution Center from ISC today!! It was held up since June 9th. Keep hope alive!

    Jul 19, 2021
  • anon

    Thanks for the update. Mine still showing Proceed through Regional Facility.

    Jul 19, 2021
  • anon

    A package being mailed to me from the UK arrived at ISC on May 7, 2021. Estimated delivery date from USPS was to be May 25th. Today is July 19, 2021 and said package still has not cleared through ISC. I filed a complaint with USPS and the sender filed with The Royal Mail Service. Both say that it is out of their control while at ISC. This is ridiculous service.

    Jul 19, 2021
  • anon

    I had a package delivered to Chicago ISC on June 27. Today is July 19. Package hasn't moved. The pictures taken at the center by the recent inspection clearly show the problem. The place looks like a trash dump. It's horrifying!. What's more, not a single employee visible in any of the pictures. It actually looks like a deserted trash dump. This place is a disgrace!

    Jul 19, 2021
  • anon

    FEBRUARY 18th, my friend sent a priority large flat rate parcel from Des Moines to me in the UK, it reached Chicago ISC FEBRUARY 19th. In and out of customs took months, last scanning MAY 20th, stated it had left ISC. Then JULY 7th, now tracking tells me that the label has been created, but the parcel is 'not yet in system'. Thank goodness he did not send it the slow route. Seriously though, this is so poor, and not what I would expect from the US.

    Jul 19, 2021
  • anon

    N’y package from Norway was tagged at ISC -Chicago arrival on 6/7/21. Today it says arrival at international Distribution Center. Please tell me these are not one and the same. Absolutely ludicrous. I went to our local PO to file a case # on Friday…nope, nothing they could do. What?

    Jul 19, 2021
  • anon

    My package arrived in the US on 20th May and went to "Processed at ISC Chicago" on 22nd May. Since then, nothing. Contacting USPS re the package delay got a response that was basically "we're sorry, but once it goes into customs, there's nothing we can do, and nobody you can contact." The USPS comment was genuinely apologetic. Surely there should be some sort of accountability at the ISC? It seems they're answerable to nobody. I'm close to giving up on ever receiving it - how long does it take to clear a small package with a value of $40?

    Jul 19, 2021
  • anon

    Suddenly, just over two months after it vanished into the murky depths of the ISC, my package has turned up at a regional facility in Indianapolis. OK, so it's technically further away from me than it was in Chicago, but it's moving! I won't count my chickens until I've got the package in my hands, but it's definitely a positive sign. I don't know whether it's just coincidence that I posted a comment and it started moving less than a week later, and all packages do eventually come through, or that posting here gets people's attention or, heck, even that the ISC vermin infestation liked my suggestion about giving them a role in operations and expedited my package to strengthen their case (if my package arrives nibbled or with a rat in it, I'll consider that a definite hint) but something is happening, finally...

    Jul 26, 2021
  • anon

    my package that had not received a new scan since arriving at ISC on 5/22 was just updated, check yours

    Jul 26, 2021
  • anon

    I sent an international package out of Arizona 6/8 and it has been stuck in Chicago since 6/27 with no movement. This is absolutely ridiculous. It should not take 1.5 months+ to send a very important package to someone!

    Jul 19, 2021
  • anon

    **UPDATE** My package is still sitting in Chicago since June 13th according to USPS site.. I called and asked to have it returned they basically said I have to wait until it gets to Indonesia, it hasn’t even left the US in almost 2 months! Why do I have to wait even longer.. This is ridiculous..

    Jul 26, 2021
  • anon

    My porcelain orders from the Netherlands have both been in Chicago ISC since June 7th. I have received packages from England, Russia, Italy that only took 2 weeks to get here. Is Chicago ISC the black hole of the USPS Universe? From the other comments I see on here everything that hits this USPS Chicago facility HAS to sit there, undisturbed, until Jesus comes back!!!!!!!!!!!

    Jul 18, 2021
  • anon

    Package a BOOK......from England arrived at ISC Chicago on June 21, and its STILL sitting there. Local PO keeps telling me to file a missing mail report, which I've done THREE TIMES, to no avail, basically they keep telling me sorry can't find package ....so file a missing mail report. SERIOUSLY? II have no words for this local PO! had another package arrive at this SAME ISC Chicago, July 8, and I have that in my hands now....but this package NOT YET! WOW. Serious problems going on in Chicago, and its disgusting to say the least!

    Jul 18, 2021
  • anon

    My package sent from Uk 1st class mail has be processed at Chicage USPCS since Jane 4th and it says tracking number expired on website. This is frusterating .

    Jul 18, 2021
  • anon

    Package sent may 2nd from Ohio international priority mail. May7th -> July 14th!!! ( in Transit not scans no update and no ability for USPS to help other than its in transit and maybe at chicago, even after making multiple international calls ). July 14th finally a customs clearance scan. 75 days in transit and as far as i can tell its not even left the country. I appreciate that perhaps covid has impacted staff and I'm not worried about extra time, but this is crazy!.

    Jul 18, 2021

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