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 (1282)

  • 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

    Miy package also from United Kingdom been stuck since May 20th.

    Jun 21, 2021
  • anon

    Did your packages ever arrive? Ours is stuck too for about a month so far! :(

    Jul 13, 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

    Moderator, can you please advise me on who I should contact about all the missing packages I've got? I need the United States and I was shocked to learn from my local USPS and from someone with USPS 1-800 number, tracking number or not, my International packages a lost I'm just out of luck. They did not even held accountable and I've had mail stomped on, broken, tore up.... not so much as an apology. And please do not advise me to code to my local post office again. There are consequences when I do and I much rather not. I won't be needing it much longer, because I'm shutting it down, no more e-commerce for me! it's not worth it. But the lack of accountability is just stunning. And another horrible Distribution Center in Birmingham Alabama. Try to call them. I bet you $500 you can never, eve get anyone on the phone. Get put on a voicemail box that is full dude what a joke. I've had plenty of packages go in there and NEVER .come out

    Oct 22, 2021
  • anon

    What good does it do to complain to the PO when I am in TX because that who is going to respond. I have a package that is stuck in the facility that came in from the UK and has been for 2 months. The PO can only tell me that it is in customs!

    Jun 14, 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

    Did your package moved?

    Jun 29, 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

    Yes I agree with you. Is there a congressional committee assigned to the oversight?

    Jun 30, 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

    Did you ever receive your package

    May 04, 2022
  • anon

    I am in the same situation, my package was sitting there since June, finally in July it said it was going to next destination, wherever that was. I even called and they could not give me any information, not even what the next destination was. I continued to look on a daily basis and it never updated. I also requested to be updated. Well upon looking for my package today, my tracking number has now disappeared. It’s gone.

    Oct 12, 2021
  • anon

    Unless you pay for upgrade tracking it will only show to you for 3 months. File a claim.

    Oct 31, 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

    It'a going on 3 weeks for me...

    Aug 17, 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

    Did it ever arrive??? im waiting for mine, its been about a week since the last update...

    Mar 09, 2022
  • 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

    Why do you keep giving out irrelevant information, we want our packages not to be told what we already know

    Sep 01, 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

    It 15 day to scan again between the international center and O'hare for me. Call the customre service number. Ask for call back.

    Nov 04, 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

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