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

    I’ve had a package that was scanned as “processed through facility” on Apr. 24th, 2021. Ive talked to multiple people. One person I got ahold of in Chicago asked me what the contents of the package were and what they were for. Zero accountability and it seems as though USPS doesn’t care to fix the issue, for whatever reason.

    Jun 16, 2021
  • anon

    I mailed 2 birthday boxes on May 8, 2021 to the UK. One gift made it in 6 days. The second gift hasn't moved since the last scan. The last scan with the USPS was May 25th in Chicago and it hasn't moved since. I made an inquiry with the USPS and they told me it was stuck with customs and could be there for months. I called customs and they said they only deal with incoming parcels, not outgoing. Basically I'm SOL.

    Jun 16, 2021
  • anon

    How did you manage to get ahold of customs? I spent two hours on the phone a week ago and got nowhere. The one place I did get in touch with said this is a post office issue and gave me a number to call, and the phone rang off the hook with no answer. :(

    Jun 18, 2021
  • anon

    This a very poorly run ISC. It has been for years. It also has one of the highest theft rates in the country. Widely regarded as the worst ISC in the system. A lot of it is poor management and lazy workers which is typically what goes on with Chicago workers in most companies.

    Jun 16, 2021
  • anon

    Lazy workers are the norm in Chicago? What an outrageous, unsubstantiated claim. This facility has issues… obviously. Not sure how making a sweeping generalization about the city in which it’s located is helpful.

    Jun 18, 2021
  • anon

    I mailed a package to Poland March 12, it says it left this facility but hasn’t been anywhere else. No further updates. The other 2 packages I sent they received one and one is held in custom Poland until this one arrives now Poland says they will ship this one back this week unless this third package which apparently fell off of a plane is delivered. I’m at a loss.

    Jun 16, 2021
  • anon

    I have a package that was scanned into ISC Chicago on 5/29 but no updates since arriving at this location. Really need to be able to find out if I'm going to receive the package or if I need to file as lost so I can get a refund.

    Jun 16, 2021
  • anon

    I understand that this place may be short-staffed, but my package has been there for over a month. I called them about two weeks ago and they offered no help whatsoever.

    Jun 16, 2021
  • anon

    I have a expensive package coming from germany that arrived in Chicago June 2nd and still no update ,its just sitting this is a huge service failure.the prices go uo and the service drops .not a good outlook for the future of this business so these type of problems need corrected immediately

    Jun 16, 2021
  • anon

    Medical supplies for an oxygen machine made in Germany. I cannot buy these supplies in the states. They are actually marked medical supplies. They have been sitting in CHI for weeks. This goes beyond a "delay". I order a month I ahead of time before I am out of supplies but I'm now at a critical point. What is going on?

    Jun 15, 2021
  • anon

    I have 3 packages that came from Australia to USA in within a week but are Now sitting untouched in the failure of our mail system black hole called Chicago ISC. Pathetic and maddening. Where are the resources to resolve this? Are there any stories of people finally getting any packages in the last few months? and more so now who is financially responsible for claims? Not my seller, as it clearly landed and showed up in the USA so its not her responsibility but on USPS! how and when is the claim cut off for my missing packages that are clearly not lost but buried somewhere in the mounds and mountains of unprocessed mail with a million other packages. Praying i get my shipments soon safe and sound!! $1000 dollars worth of product sitting there waiting to get to me. Please please please someone step in and demand this get FIXED NOW! Your item has been processed through our facility in ISC CHICAGO IL (USPS) at 7:46 pm on May 24, 2021. Your item has been processed through our facility in ISC CHICAGO IL (USPS) at 7:46 pm on May 24, 2021. Your item has been processed through our facility in ISC CHICAGO IL (USPS) at 5:34 pm on June 6, 2021.

    Jun 15, 2021
  • anon

    I have two packages that show processed into Chicago. One in mid May and one at. The beginning of June. Both currently must be sitting in bins. This is intolerable. These are both purchases. Shows incompetency on the part of USPS. THIS REPORT WAS DONE SIX MONTHS AGO AND NO PROGRESS.

    Jun 15, 2021
  • anon

    My package, which normally takes 2 weeks from San Antonio to Japan is taking over a month. It’s been sitting in Chicago since the 3rd week in May. No updates, NOTHING. This is totally unacceptable. People pay hundreds of dollars for their packages to be sent. Hire more people and get the mail moving.

    Jun 15, 2021
  • anon

    Package arrived at ISC on May 28th. Shows package was processed through ISC on June 8th, and package is claimed to be "in transit" since. Today is June 15th.

    Jun 15, 2021
  • anon

    My package has been at this facility since the start of June and still no updates I would really like to know when I'm getting my package as it has birthday presents in it that need to get done asap

    Jun 15, 2021
  • anon

    My small package has been there since June 3, 2021. The last tracking update I received. Why does it take so long for customs to scan mail? Ridiculous! I have read so many complaints regarding the Chicago customs station. There doesn’t seem to be an issue with other city custom stations only Chicago

    Jun 16, 2021
  • anon

    I have an expensive package coming here from Europe and it has been just sitting in Chicago since 5/30/21 no updates, nothing! I’ve finally received one package that sat for two weeks in CHICAGO from there it went to CA the complete opposite direction from where I am located but I finally did receive it. Now I’m waiting on this one. This is a HUGE deterrent to use the USPS unfortunately this why things are done mainly on line as oppose to send usps

    Jun 15, 2021
  • anon

    I have had a package sitting there since 4/23 with not movement and cannot find anyone to help me

    Jun 15, 2021
  • anon

    I've had a package sitting at this facility for over a week. Not nearly as bad as some of the comments here, but same boat.

    Jun 15, 2021
  • anon

    I shipped an item to a customer on 5/27/21. The last update said the package left the center in Chicago on 5/29/21. There have been no updates since then and this was shipped via priority express international! This order was a father’s day gift ordered and shipped well in advance with a heft premium paid for international express. Disappointing and unacceptable!

    Jun 15, 2021
  • anon

    I have multiple packages stuck in here for my customers and it is affecting my business. Hope you can correct the problems and be back to normal soon

    Jun 15, 2021
  • anon

    A parcel from the UK arrived at ISC Chicago on May 3rd. Still not received. USPS search found it at ISC Chicago two weeks ago, and explained that it can take up to 45 days. So two days are left. Fingers crossed.

    Jun 15, 2021
  • anon

    My package from Greece arrived on May 20th and has been sitting at ISC Chicago since then. No updates, no one has any answers. The items were handmade and expensive and I’m worried the items will end up getting lost. What a mess this facility is!

    Jun 15, 2021
  • anon

    I’ve had a package sitting there since May 22nd from Europe with no updates. Does anyone work at this location? Packages seem to go there and sit forever. I had a package from the same person sent two weeks later that went through FL and I received it a couple weeks ago and this one is still sitting in Chicago. Please advise when I will get my package

    Jun 15, 2021
  • anon

    I mailed a 6lb. Box from Indiana to Ukraine on May 26, 2021. It got to Chicago on the 27th of May. It is now the 15th. of June 2021. Last date said 5/31/21. It didn't leave Chicago & it is nowhere in Ukraine. It cost $93.00 to mail it. I insured the contents for $200.00. What am I to do? No one answers the phone in Chicago ISC?

    Jun 15, 2021
  • anon

    Storm the ISC! I mean no, don’t do that. I never said that!

    Jun 15, 2021
  • anon

    What is happening with this facility? Pleaseeeee do something about it. Packages are staying there almost a month. It’s so detrimental for small business

    Jun 15, 2021
  • anon

    I ordered a gift from Sweden, which, in the past would have been sufficient time. Now, a month after my wife's birthday, I'm still without her gift. Disappointed in Customs & will reconsider with whom I ship I the future.

    Jun 14, 2021
  • anon

    This place an absolute embarrassment. My package arrived at this useless facility on May 7th from Canada going to Florida. It’s now June 14th and nothing has changed. I read the report , this place is a dump , they noted a rodent infestation and broken doors which means our mail is most likely being stolen and or eaten by rats. Disgusting. How is this allowed to happen? Where are the public officials? How is Chicago ignoring such a major issue ? I will NEVER ship with USPS again and I will warn everyone that I know to do the same. I know have to charge my US customers more for shipping which hurts my business BADLY. USPS you should be ashamed of yourselves!!!

    Jun 14, 2021
  • anon

    Another example of raging incompetence in the American civil service. Look at those pictures. The place looks like the sorting area at a Goodwill donation centre. People are relying on the USPS to ship their goods (so they can earn a living). And this is what they consider acceptable? Consider me part of a generation that has zero faith in government to fix these problems. In an age of computerization they can’t even ensure that parcels received on any given day are sent through customs chronologically. It’s absurd. I now use UPS for my parcels.

    Jun 14, 2021
  • anon

    Been waiting for a small package/envelope from Canada. Says it arrived at Chicago ISC on May 25. I LIVE IN CHICAGO! It’s now June 14. No package. No way to track it. What is going on over there? This is insane.

    Jun 14, 2021
  • anon

    Sarah- I live in Chicago too. My package has also been stuck @ ISC Chicago since May 25th but finally received this (confusing) update today: "Your item arrived at our USPS facility in SAN JOSE, CA 95125 on June 15, 2021 at 4:26 pm. The item is currently in transit to the destination" Any updates on your package?

    Jun 15, 2021
  • anon

    Hey Ken, mine hasn’t moved. Last update is still May 25. Maybe there is hope? This is an Etsy purchase and I don’t want to bother the seller. It’s not her fault! It is crazy that there is no one at the USPS to talk to about this matter.

    Jun 17, 2021
  • anon

    I'm adding my experience with Chicago ISC to this long list of complaints. I have a package coming from Belarus that has sat at the Chicago ISC since May 19th, 2021. At this point I am not expecting to ever receive the package and do not plan on using the USPS again.

    Jun 14, 2021
  • anon

    I have had a package there since April 30, 2021. It came from China. I have not had any updates on the package. I have contacted several individuals and have spoken to workers on the phone. They are unsure why the container that is holding the package hasn't been processed. They gave me the number to file the complaint but no one will answer. Please help. It makes no sense that getting mail in this country sends us back to stone age.

    Jun 14, 2021
  • anon

    I ordered a package from Greece that arrived at Chicago ISC on May 20th with no further updates as of June 14th. Frustrating is putting it lightly. And based on some of the comments it looks like 24 days is nothing for this facility and wondering if I will ever receive it. I have never had a package take this long before.

    Jun 14, 2021
  • anon

    Ive had an international package stuck there now for 14 days. It seems to be the norm with Chicago. I had a package stuck there for a month before and simply showed up at my door one day with no other scans.

    Jun 14, 2021
  • anon

    Three of the last four international shipments that have landed in Chicago have vanished after outbound of customs, never have had a single problem with New York. I'm requesting all international shipments to be delivered via DHL from now on. Pretty ridiculous considering we pay good money for shipping, if the only option for delivery is USPS then I'll surely be putting absurd amounts of insurance on them.

    Jun 14, 2021
  • anon

    I've had a package stuck in ISC Chicago since May 18th, this is ridiculous.

    Jun 14, 2021
  • anon

    I agree..mine has been there since May 14th!

    Jun 16, 2021
  • anon

    This is the DEATH KNELL of the USPS. Because it forces small businesses such as mine to stop relying on the USPS. I've been a fervent defender of the USPS for over 20 years. But in 2021 the Chicago International Sorting facility has lost over $3,000 worth of my goods. I'm left with no choice but to turn my back on USPS and seek reliable alternatives.

    Jun 14, 2021
  • anon

    Like everyone else on here . I have a package stuck in Chicago too . It says it arrived at the service center May 26th . Almost 3 weeks ago . So I guess there is still hope it will arrive ?! I didn't know this was such a common issue . I've gotten things in the past from overseas without a problem . I just hope my package shows up . Right now I'm very disappointed . Looks like all a person can do is hope and wait .

    Jun 14, 2021
  • anon

    Hi I live in New Zealand i bought a fuel tank for my motorbike it started its shipping on the 04 may arrived in Chicago on the 12 may and has been there ever since. this tank plus shipping is over $1000nzd and tracking on this is pretty sad 6 weeks its been in Chicago what is happening?

    Jun 13, 2021
  • anon

    Nothing but problems with this place living in Canada I dread any package going through here I have one sitting since the 25th no movement, customers being frustrated time after time

    Jun 13, 2021
  • anon

    I have mailed packages from Minot ND and they are posted received in Bismarck ND. Then there is nothing for weeks. This last time I mailed a box on April 27th, it was received in Bismarck that same day and now nothing. When people pay these outrages postage prices we expect to have items delivered on time or shortly after said time. This Covid crap is being used to much for a excuse. Maybe they need to be fired in the Bismarck area and also in Chicago. When a package has not been scanned for a month and a half at Chicago, then there is a Major Issue that needs to be taken care of. Thanks

    Jun 13, 2021
  • anon

    I have had a package stuck in Chicago costumes for almost a month now. And I'm getting eager to receive this package, as it was supposed to be delivered two weeks ago. I ordered it for my sister's graduation which has now been several weeks ago. I would love an update on the whereabouts of my package.

    Jun 13, 2021
  • anon

    My package has been in transit from Chicago since May 19th. Since then the status has not changed. It came from Lithuania through Etsy and I'm starting to worry that it will never arrive. Please let me know what to do next, if anything. The item is a gift and it's been stuck in Chicago for almost a month now. Please help!

    Jun 13, 2021
  • anon

    I have had a package held up at Chicago ISC since November 2020...

    Jun 13, 2021
  • anon

    Oh my. I feel you. I’m still waiting for mine since Oct 2019

    Jun 18, 2021
  • anon

    My package has been stuck / lost in Chicago ICS since May 19th! It has not moved for almost a month!!! This is not acceptable. It is a vinyl record and I am sure it will show up warped and damaged now - if it ever shows up at all! Why?!?!?!

    Jun 13, 2021

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