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

    My priority mail package is at this pathetic facility since begging of December. I know that nobody cares or will do something about it. What USPS doing the best - feeding my trash can with all unwanted spam they deliver every week with no issue.

    Feb 16, 2022
  • anon

    Will the issues in the Chicago ISC ever be addressed, or will it have to take the press to cover this nonsense for officials to start taking action. This appears to be isolated to this facility. This needs to be taken care of. DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS!

    Feb 15, 2022
  • anon

    My package has been sitting at Chicago ISC for the last 2 weeks. It contains my kid’s birthday presents from my parents abroad. Not being able to travel and see the relatives bc the kid is too young for vaccine receiving those packages is very important. Last year one package was lost at the same time (also birthday present) but the pandemic was still at its height (no vaccine yet) so we let it go. This year it’s a bit too much. Please sort out the mess and deliver it!

    Feb 12, 2022
  • anon

    express international package stuck in chicago

    Feb 09, 2022
  • anon

    That's exactly my problem too! My wife paid thr most expensive shipping that is the most reliable from Japan to the US. The shipping says 3 to 5 days. We have waited now 17 days. Unbelievable, and it has very sensitive/personal items that are priceless memories for us.

    Feb 15, 2022
  • anon

    I also got the most expensive Xpress shipping from Japan that they offer to SoCal and somehow it went to Chicago ISC with my luck instead of San Francisco! I’ve never had this issue coming through San Francisco. Now my shoes have been stuck for two weeks with no updates and apparently can be there for 90 days before you can ask about them.

    Feb 18, 2022
  • anon

    How long before someone, somewhere, in the system takes responsibility for the ISC Chicago mess? My package has been stuck since April 2021. I have screen caps of the shipping, which only took 12 days (April 24), the email from USPS estimating delivery April 28. Also the latest screen cap showing "Label Created, not yet in system". I've heard all the excuses, staffing shortages, covid, it's Customs fault, apologies from missing mail inquiries, but absolutely no action other than passing off responsibility. It's the ISC facility that's in serious need of remedial action but no one seems to want to fix it. Recent international parcels seem to come through a different facility in Illinois, which provides exceptional 1-2 day turnaround.

    Feb 07, 2022
  • anon

    some of my recent international packages went through illinois and it was so fast! anything that goes through chicago ends up taking a week or more just sitting around with no updates. ridiculous considering how much i paid for the "fast" shipping

    Feb 08, 2022
  • anon

    My package came Royal Mail. But has been stuck in Chicago since February 4, is this normal or is it lost

    Feb 07, 2022
  • anon

    My package has been there since the 3rd. I emailed USPS about it since it said it was expected to be delivered, but I didn't get anything but a "Sometimes it says it'll be delivered but that's not what it really means!" email back. No idea when I'll get my package, either. I had another package enter a different post office in Illinois on the 5th and its already getting delivered tomorrow. Pretty confused,

    Mar 09, 2022
  • anon

    This has also been happening to me. My last update was 10 DAYS AGO! I am starting to wonder if my package is lost.

    Feb 09, 2022
  • anon

    I paid for priority mail on an international parcel but my package has been sitting there for 5 days. There are several negative comments and no investigation is carried out.

    Feb 07, 2022
  • anon

    I shipped 2 duffle bags on the same day from Poland where I am deployed at. One bag was delivered and the other one is still in Chicago since Jan 18th, I'm trying to figure out why they both can't get delivered at the same time. This is frustrating when I'm deployed in the Army and stuff gets misplaced and I'm tracking this. Find my stuff please.

    Feb 07, 2022
  • anon

    I sent my son overseas, a care package the 1st part of January, it went from Atlanta to Chicago, to Jersey back to Chicago and has been sitting in Chicago cleared by customs since January 20th. You see he is deployed, and it would be nice to get him a care package from his mom to bring his spirits up. All the snacks are going to be expired it seems by the time it gets to him going by all the other comments on here. Why is the package gone dead sitting in Chicago for over 2 weeks

    Feb 05, 2022
  • anon

    Hi I had a package mailed to Guatemala City. My package has been stuck at the Chicago distribution center since September 8, 2021. And suppose the item is currently in transit to the distinction. I tried to file a international claim many times but I can’t because when I introduce my tracking number it say “inquiries are not accepted for the service purchased to mail this item”

    Feb 03, 2022
  • anon

    Hello, I ordered a Christmas gift at the beginning of December and it has been stuck in Chicago since the 19th of December. Given its two months later I’m a bit confused as it’s just a pokemon card, so I’m not sure what’s taking so long.

    Feb 03, 2022
  • anon

    I was supposed to receive to an APO AE(military) two laptops in different packages and both were scanned when arrived to Chicago IDC, then updated as in transit for about four days at around the same time, then stopped. This was at the beginning of December(2021) and still not received them. I bought another one at the beginning of Jan(2022) and it happened the same. I got a soldier that also send his laptop in December, happened exactly the same, furthermore, he sent 5 packages at the same time and the only one that didn't arrived was the laptop. Now, that's 4 missing laptops! I need someone to contact me and figure this out!! My laptops are worth 2k EACH!! All four laptops are supposed to arrive to Jordan.

    Jan 31, 2022
  • anon

    I had sent 2 packages from South Korea ( camp Humphreys ) to El Paso texas. One box arrived but my other has been held at the ISC office for nearly 2 weeks can I please can an update I can provide Information if needed. Please contact me asap.

    Jan 31, 2022
  • anon

    I received a message that I have a package in Chicago. Can you get back with me if it's true please.

    Jan 31, 2022
  • anon

    My package arrived on 12/27/2021 and cleared customs but has yet to be shipped to me. Nor have I received any updates on the delay or an estimated time frame to expect the package.

    Jan 28, 2022
  • anon

    I have 3 packages stuck in Customs since 1,3,22. Has ANYONE received info from USPS re: what to expect? I cannot get any response by email, telephone, et.al. Maybe there isn't a real person working anywhere inside USPS. I'm beginning to think all of the money I have spent on Priority Mail Express is going to the trash.

    Mar 14, 2022
  • anon

    My package that came from Mexico went dead on December 29th, 2021 because it’s still Inbound Into Customs since that day! This is January 27th, 2022! Total bull!

    Jan 27, 2022
  • anon

    As of today 01/27/2022, my package from Japan via EMS is still stuck in this facility since 06/28/2021. 7 months in total..........

    Jan 27, 2022
  • anon

    Our packages must have been in the same shipment because mine went missing the exact same day and STILL no updates. What is worse is that I have insurance on that package from Japan Post but I haven't been able to collect on it because USPS just keeps saying its "stuck in customs", even though I called the customs office myself and they said no package with that tracking or information has come through their facility. UGH!!

    Mar 15, 2022
  • anon

    Does anyone know how to find out if my state (Michigan’s) mail goes through the Chicago system? I’m missing a very important package from Europe for two months now, containing old family photos and other valuable personal items. This is so distressing! All my other mail has come through, but the very most important thing of all has not, and I have no idea how to find it.

    Jan 24, 2022
  • anon

    I am waiting on something in Michigan from Europe as well. In my past experience, it has come through the Chicago system. Hope that helps a little.

    Feb 02, 2022
  • anon

    I think USPS deserves criticism when appropriate, but also deserves a Thank You when service is done well! Thank you USPS! My package (regular, not expedited!) arrived from out of country to ISC Chicago IL (USPS) on January 16, 2022 with status "Processed through Facility". No further updates until January 20, when package suddenly had status as "Departed USPS Regional Destination Facility" - this is regional facility in east US, close to my home. I assume the additional few days of delays were due to MLK federal holiday. Thank you USPS for efficient processing and delivery! Thank you for your work.

    Jan 20, 2022
  • anon

    Its January and my package going from US to Singapore is still stuck in Chicago since 06/2021...

    Jan 18, 2022
  • anon

    I had a package mailed to Germany in August, my package has been at the Chicago distrubution center since November. I have now moved and am unable to get my package even if it is returned. Its pretty sad, it was a small handmade fox i wanted to be repaired by the dollmaker who made her.

    Jan 17, 2022
  • anon

    My package from Japan got to Chicago on Dec. 24th and cleared customs Jan. 2nd... still no movement and have no idea where my package is. If it's lost or stolen I have lost a $200+ item. I hope it eventually gets to me.

    Jan 15, 2022
  • anon

    Did it ever arrive? My package is currently stuck there too.

    Mar 10, 2022
  • anon

    Its January and my package going from US to UK is still stuck in Chicago since 10/2021...

    Jan 13, 2022
  • anon

    I had a ton of Amazon packages sent around Dec 23 to my FPO mailbox here in Japan. Everything else arrived last week, except the most expensive item (a breast pump to help me feed my soon-to-be arriving baby) which has been sitting in Chicago since 12/25. Any reason why this critical medical supply has been sitting for 20 days, but some packets of curry only took 9 days?

    Jan 13, 2022
  • anon

    I actually read the article. After spending so much time and effort, on the part of the IG staff, I would like the IG to know it made no difference. I just had a package come in an EMS that was scanned as received and immediately scanned as "inbound to customs" with the exact same time stamps. The photo's on your report show a slovenly run department. Anything short of dismissing all upper management at ISC and replacing with adequate leadership is too little. Then restructure ISC from middle management down to the floor workers. But based on your report the best idea would be to fold ISC completely and reopen at a different location with an entirely new work force, top to bottom. The people working at and running ISC don't deserve employment with USPS.

    Jan 12, 2022
  • anon

    Has anyone ever gone to the customs personally to get packages? I spent over 600 dollars for it to be stuck on Chicago for as long as people are saying? I rather just drive there and get the damn thing.

    Jan 11, 2022
  • anon

    I've been waiting on my package, since Dec. 27, 2021. Me and the Seller, have been trying 2 find out, what is going on. The tracking status still says, processed through facility ISC Chicago IL (USPS) at 8 pm on December 27, 2021 and hasn't moved any where and it's now January 10, 2022. Like seriously, it's not like it's anything illegal, so what is going on with this facility and WHY isn't anyone looking into this facility, after receiving calls and receiving, so many BAD reviews, on this facility? Hello!!! Something isn't RIGHT! It's time 2 LOOK into this facility and FIX the PROBLEM, once and 4 all. I understand, having a slight delay, because of the HOLIDAYS, but it's NOW... January 10th, 2022 "WAKEUP INSPECTORS!"

    Jan 10, 2022
  • anon

    I have the same issue on the same day. Did this get resolved for you? I am still waiting.

    Jan 28, 2022
  • anon

    Experiencing the same thing with an international package sitting at ISC Chicago since late November. The blame is said to be Customs? That they have the package. I called Customs in Chicago, they claim they don't have it (as in pass the buck?). And nobody seems to know or want to say why its held up or when it will be finally shipped. I put in 2 claims with the problem being "resolved". Yet no package and its now December 10... So much for improving service. The worst experience ever especially the lack of transparency.

    Jan 10, 2022
  • anon

    My package from Japan was processed through the ISC facility on November 6, 2021 and stated it was "Inbound into customs." I initiated a Missing Mail Search Request but have heard nothing from anybody. At this point, I just have no idea what to do. I'm just worried considering the package is worth about $80 and I don't know when I'll receive it or if I will ever receive it. I'm just looking for advice on what my next steps should be.

    Jan 09, 2022
  • anon

    I'm waiting for the package since December 3rd (Inbound Out of Customs status). It's priority mail. I was trying to do all the things since then - search requests, missing mail, asking clerks at my local post. One of them told me that if it's a priority it could take up to 60 days, if not - no time limits. I don't trust USPS employees because I was getting very different info about a couple of issues (in 9 cases out of 10 the info was false) and thanks to them got other problems but it's everything I was able to get. USPS saying they have nothing to do about Chicago and customs.

    Jan 23, 2022
  • anon

    What’s going on at Chicago customs!!?? I had a small package clear customs a month ago and it STILL hasn’t left Chicago!!! Are they stealing packages?

    Dec 31, 2021
  • anon

    Shipped two packages out 12/11 and 12/13 to my nephew stationed overseas in Japan for Christmas. Packages were sent Priority Mail Express. First package was a 21 pound box with perishable and fragile written all over it. Packages were sent to Miami before being sent to Chicago. Chicago is completely useless. I have real time tracking that shows these two packages still in Chicago. All these customer service reps want to do is tell me it's been turned over to the military for delivery to the base. I know that info is a lie because they would have been scanned once they made it to the base. After talking to one customer service rep in Chicago, I was told they have a policy in place that says if a package going overseas goes into an empty bin, that package has to stay there until the bin is full, and it doesn't matter if the package is marked perishable. Both packages had items pertaining to my nephew's military career that are irreplaceable. It's disgusting how the USPS treats our service members, and no one is willing to do anything about. I hope and pray these packages make it, but I'm quickly losing hope.

    Dec 28, 2021
  • anon

    I was looking for a contact number for ISC Chicago since I have a package setting there since 11/27/21. From the comments below, well that must not be uncommon. This is disappointing. Just glad it is an item of no actual value.

    Dec 27, 2021
  • anon

    I’ve started to consider every package I get with no issue as a miracle. Customer service representatives have no idea what are they taking about, local post clerks don’t know what they are doing and the person who’s paying for all of it is me. My package is in Chicago since December 3rd. Hopefully they didn’t lost 22 pound thing and everything what’s inside is not damaged. Trying not to loose hope to receive it by spring.

    Dec 26, 2021
  • anon

    Chicago is the worst when it comes to customs. My packages take weeks to clear! It’s ridiculous.

    Dec 26, 2021
  • anon

    I shipped a parcel from Canada to the U.S. on Sept 13th. It cleared customs Sept 18th and never received updates since. I have tried everything on my end as the seller in Canada and put in ticket orders. The receiver also filed claims and nothing came of it. It's in limbo in Chicago hub and I know will never reach the receiver. I filed claims which was indicated I was not qualified to. I personally refunded the buyer the full cost (a collector piece). I am so furious... Its Christmas now and I gave up all hope on the parcel.

    Dec 25, 2021
  • anon

    I paid about 60$. The employee told me that it would be take 2 days but now be a week. The mail is very important and have to be quickly sended. My mail is stuck in the center but it seems to no way to contact with them. If they can NOT send the mail in this week, I hope they return back my mail. I even don't need refund just give me back my stuff!!!

    Dec 23, 2021
  • anon

    This is the sorriest excuse of a government agency in the United States. What a pathetic bunch of people running a sh!tshow of what they claim is service. Don’t expect to receive anything in good condition, on a reasonable delivery schedule, or brought to your door. If it ever does make it to your neighborhood which might be months after sitting in Chicago, the driver will leave a pink tag saying the item could not be delivered because no one was home, while the recipient watches them from the front door watching them leave too quickly to catch! Yes, after chasing after them, my package was in the delivery truck.

    Dec 23, 2021
  • anon

    Seriously, at this point just reroute everything to a different sorting center. Chicago is at a standstill and the holidays are mere days away.

    Dec 22, 2021
  • anon

    Raise rates, takes longer to deliver and with this center, they can’t even provide. The commercial that says you are out delivering gifts is crap! Thanks for ruining Christmas. Probably will never get my money back. This is why I will always choose any other delivery service than USPS. A covered wagon would be faster!

    Dec 21, 2021

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