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

    We do all realize that this is just for us to vent and NO ONE at the USPS will ever read any of this, and certainly won't give a darn about any of our problems... and this is yet another reason Chicago should be shut down...

    Dec 19, 2021
  • anon

    How much longer is this insanity at ISC Chicago going to be allowed to persist? After my last filing for a "missing package" the status of my item has changed from "Processed through facility, USPS expects to deliver your package by Wednesday, April 28, 2021" to "Label Created, not in system". Why can't anyone in the system just say , sorry we messed up and you're out the $58? There are more folks on here have are on the hook for significantly more. Senate Oversight hearing was evidently all for show. April to December -- it's not about the money I lost, or the items in the parcel.........

    Dec 17, 2021
  • anon

    My package arrived in the US from Russia in 13 December 2021 and there has been no further updates since then. My packages consist Chrismas present from my family and I want to know when it can be delivered and why is taking so long.

    Dec 17, 2021
  • anon

    WHY ARE USPS PACKAGES WITH DOMESTIC ORIGIN BEING PROCESSED THROUGH THE CHICAGO INTERNATIONAL CENTER? I've seen USPS packages TWICE now, which would NORMALLY have come through my LOCAL hub and then straight to me, are now passing through that local hub, then being diverted to the chicago international hub, and THEN being sent to back through my local... why are my packages being intercepted?

    Dec 17, 2021
  • anon

    Hooray, my parcel FINALLY arrived at its destination in Australia! It took 105 days from the date I took it to the post office to delivery to the recipient. It was mailed Aug 30, 2021, prior to the USPS Sept 3rd suspension. It sat in Chicago ISC from Sept 6th until Dec 8th when it arrived in Sydney via air cargo. They must have finally found a spot on a plane.

    Dec 15, 2021
  • anon

    Crap! I sent a package to Australia from Minnesota the beginning of December. It still says “Processed through facility” Chicago International Distribution Center…it’s now Dec 21 and no new updates for a couple weeks! Ugh!

    Dec 21, 2021
  • anon

    Go to AusPost.com.au. Enter your usps tracking number. You may find, like I did, that it is sitting at their gateway awaiting to be loaded on a sea or air carrier…which could take months but it gives hope if you see it there. AusPost gives better info than usps

    Dec 22, 2021
  • anon

    After doing some research it appears my package from China was routed through Chicago. The package arrived at the port on Nov 25, 2021. There has not been an update since. The USPS last scan was in China and after contacting them they cannot tell me if it is in country. All tracking services for China Post show the package in country. I know it's the holidays now but looking at the history of complaints there is a larger issue for this service center. I can only hope I receive the package. Even worst, the seller suggested that I try to find the package which is crazy to even suggest.

    Dec 15, 2021
  • anon

    I am waiting for a package that was shipped from Sweden on November 13th. It didn’t take long for the package to come to this service center but it has been Stuck here for over 3 weeks. It has been processed through customs so why is it stuck still with no updates whatsoever? This package is super important to me and I am really worried as why it is taking so long? If there could be updates and someone that could actually help when having questions, that would be helpful.

    Dec 14, 2021
  • anon

    Haven’t received an update since November 25th. Package was sent from US to DK on 22nd November and is stuck in this facility. I paid priority mail, the package isupousrd to arrive in 6-10 days! I asked at my local Post Office and thei said the customs can hold a package up to 30 days! How is this posibile ??

    Dec 13, 2021
  • anon

    Same timeline. Sent to Poland on Nov 22. “Departed” ohare on 25th. Nowhere to be found. And I shipped with express priority.

    Dec 20, 2021
  • anon

    Christmas presents from UK "processed through facility" ISC Chicago on 10-25-21. USPS told me it's a customs issue. CBP website says it's a USPS facility. Very frustrated

    Dec 12, 2021
  • anon

    Hello I have send two packages to the states on November 25th from South Korea. Both arrived to customs on the 28th, but only one package went through. The other is still held and hasn’t updated since the 28th of November and it is December 12th. Family has contacted and the USPS refuses to tell why it’s being held. Could someone please give me an answer? Thank you.

    Dec 12, 2021
  • anon

    I have been waiting on gifts for sometime and they show delivered to 60611 facility. How much longer do i have to wait for cuatoms and r they going to reimburse for paid packages

    Dec 10, 2021
  • anon

    Can you just shut down Chicago and double the capacity in Queens? I buy a lot of international packages for Christmas and birthdays. Packages slide right through Queens, but I always expect at least a 2 week slip coming through Chicago. I have read the report and it looks like you caught a lot of opportunities. But if Queens is doing it right, why not just increase capacity there and put a plug in the hole that is Chicago?

    Dec 10, 2021
  • anon

    Package stuck since 10/30. Hey IG, do your job or step down. You're an embarrassment.

    Dec 10, 2021
  • anon

    I ordered an item from London that shipped Oct 28, 2021. I still have not received it in Texas. The company says that it is in customs at Chicago Airport. The company shipped a replacement item because they thought it might have been lost on Nov 25, 2021. It is Dec 10, 2021 and I have not received anything. This is very frustrating. Chicago needs to get it together.

    Dec 10, 2021
  • anon

    It's been 12 days since my package disappeared at a distribution center in Chicago. Since November 27, 2021, there is no information. Some Bermuda Triangle in Chicago that parcels disappear there without a trace. Who will give me reliable information about the parcel and where it disappeared?

    Dec 09, 2021
  • anon

    I have a package from Russia that has been sitting without movement since November 29th. I have seen other horror stories of packages being delayed 6 months. I had hoped to see what I ordered before end of year.

    Dec 08, 2021
  • anon

    Package inbound from France arrived at Customs October 28 and is still there over 5 weeks later. Meanwhile, I received packages from Germany and Latvia that were shipped later.

    Dec 08, 2021
  • anon

    I have been waiting for a package from Russia and it's at this facility. This package shows that it has been processed at this facility on November 27,2021. I have yet to get any updates on when it will be shipped. How long is this going to take?

    Dec 07, 2021
  • anon

    I live in Australia and have been expecting a parcel from Minnesota USA. My last update was that it passed through ChicagoIL Distribution Centre 29th October 2021, and “was in transit to the destination”. How can I find out where it is now please ? I cannot find an email address to ask specific questions re this package. eg USPS international tracking or Chicago distribution centre. Someone must know what has happened to my parcel since it left there , such as who collected it from Chicago distribution centre, to where was it taken , and when? Last update 29th October 2021 was 37days ago.

    Dec 06, 2021
  • anon

    I have a package that has been stuck in chicago since August 21, 2021 and when I emailed about it they said customs takes up to 4 weeks however it is now December of 2021 and I'm really upset because it contained birthday presents for the past 2 months that I have now missed...

    Dec 06, 2021
  • anon

    I would love to know when a package that was sent from Texas on September 22 is going to arrive at my location in Australia. USPS tracking shows that the package was forwarded via Fort Worth Distribution centre, the Dallas Logostics Centre, to the Chicago International Distribution Centre, where it cleared US customs on September 26. Next, tracking shows that it is at the Chicago International Distribution Centre, and In transit to next facility. The next tracking information has me puzzled: "Your item arrived at the Chicago, IL 60668 post office at 7:01am on September 29, 2021 and is ready for pickup". Can anyone at USPS please contact me to locate the whereabouts of the package, for which I will provide a USPS tracking number. I realise that there have been significant delays in the shipping and processing of packages due to lower availability of transport flights due to government imposed covid restrictions, but it would be nice to have received some notification of when the package will be shipped from the USA, or why the tracking information shows that it is ready for pickup at the Chicago post office? Any information would be greatfully received.

    Dec 05, 2021
  • anon

    In the past, parcels from the USA to France arrived quickly. Today, it's a disaster, especially when the packages pass through Chicago. Foreign customers have no information. USPS should implement e-mail customer service for overseas customers who have paid for shipping through their e-commerce purchase !

    Dec 05, 2021
  • anon

    I have a package sent through the chicago facility that passed through there October 8th and it had passed processed through the Beijing facility on October 18th...been stuck in Guangzhou customs ever since...it is now December 5th.

    Dec 04, 2021
  • anon

    I’ve had a package that says “item being processed by US Customs” since Oct 5th and it went through the Chicago ISC. No updates since then and nobody knows anything.

    Dec 02, 2021
  • anon

    Haven’t received a news since November 17. Parcel was sent from Armenia and is stuck in this facility.

    Dec 01, 2021
  • anon

    My package arrived in the US from China on 11-12-21 and was presented to customs on 11-13-21. There has been no further updates since then. It is impossible to get somebody that will actually help. I don't understand why this facility can't inspect packages and keep them moving like the New York customs agency or the customs center in Los Angeles CA. I truly believe this center needs a change of the supervisory staff because there's something wrong with this office.

    Nov 30, 2021
  • anon

    Upon reading the full report I noticed a couple of points: Page 5: 'When packages are ready for presentation for CBP, the Postal Service performs an “Into Customs” scan. The record of this scan shows customers, via the Postal Service tracking system, that their package is “Into Customs”. This scan also “stops the clock” for service performance measurement purposes because the Postal Service will not be performing any additional processing until the package is cleared by CBP. ' I understand why this happens, but when a facility consistently falls behind in processing and customers have no transparency into the timing, they get frustrated. The public should at least have access to inspection phases as opposed to completely "stopping the clock." Page 3 indicates the report was issued by the Acting Deputy Inspector General, and yet the call-and-response language comprises "we recommend" followed by the facility manager outlining remedies or "disagreeing." Given both parties are internal and the former outranks the latter, why would the latter's "disagreements" be at all relevant?

    Nov 30, 2021
  • anon

    I'm distressed since I'm in NYC and my package from France has been routed through Chicago IPS. The last time this happened it remained in purgatory for 2 weeks. Funny enough USPS originally sent an update it would be delivered last week, but the previous status was probably predicated on the assumption it would go through JFK (which is always quick). This means USPS is fully aware of Chicago delays, lol.

    Nov 30, 2021
  • anon

    Sent two packages almost 3 months ago from USA to New Zealand tracking still says in transit in Chicago person still has not received gifts very concerned about it why is it taking so long? Upset want to send another package but can't get this one out of transit..

    Nov 26, 2021
  • anon

    Ruth, I don’t think USPS will even accept a parcel to NZ at the moment due to the usps suspension to Australia and New Zeland couple months ago. My parcel was posted Aug 30, before the Sept 3 suspension, it is stuck in Chicago, cleared, waiting to be loaded on a plane, ship, train etc etc. until the resume shipping we can only hope….

    Dec 02, 2021
  • anon

    My package from my mother shipping to me in New Zealand has been “processing”, “returned to sender” and just “not found “. No one is helping to find my package that had sentimental and valuable things in it. Who is responsible? I’m receiving no help , and no hope to where my package is. It’s been missing since September! No excuses! Where is my package?!?! This office should be held accountable for this misconduct.

    Nov 23, 2021
  • anon

    Package missing from Chicago customs since June 2021. Christmas presents that I paid over $100 for. USPS points finger at customs, customs acts like they never got the package. No accountability here. I filed with the BBB today.

    Nov 21, 2021
  • anon

    June 22nd is the last update posted for my package and it states no further updates available. This package arrived at the Usorda international sorting facility June 16th, On Sept 28th the number of days in transit was changed from 101 days to 10 days and it is now 152 days with no further updates or information on my package. Is my package lost or stolen? What is going on with this facility? Please is there anything that can be done to help me?

    Nov 19, 2021
  • anon

    Does anyone ever get their packages and mail on time through this center..?

    Nov 19, 2021
  • anon

    Why was my parcel chosen to go through Chicago IPS and not New York IPS as they usually do. ? Never had a problem with New York. Chicago on the other hand..nothing but delays, losses, no answers, no help, nothing..!!

    Nov 19, 2021
  • anon

    The parcel that was shipped to our family from Russia, moved through the Russia Post system faster that its taking to move through this IPS center. We've had other packages from the same family member in Russia that have gone through the IPS center in NYC with no problems at all and delivered when promised. After reading this report along with all the comments about other peoples experience's, I have a feeling that this package is gone forever. It contains personal items from my fathers time in that country during and just after the Second World War. Irreplaceable items that no amount of compensation could cover. Why was this package directed to Chicago anyway..? All others we've received have always gone through NYC..no problems there. Inbound to Customs, Inbound to Customs, Inbound to Customs...so sad and so very unprofessional.!!

    Nov 19, 2021
  • anon

    My package that was shipped to me from Russia got to the USA quicker than the time it's taking to move through this IPS center in Chicago. I've had the same message for days now, Inbound into Customs, and nothing at all after that. Promised date of delivery has come and gone. The parcel from Russia contains personal items from my fathers time in that country during the second world war.. After reading these comments I have a sense they may be gone forever, and there would be no amount of compensation for that. We've had packages from Russia before, but they've gone through the IPS in NYC with no problem and arrived here on time. There seems to be a major problem with this center, and after reading this report I don't think anything has changed.

    Nov 19, 2021
  • anon

    My package last update was Nov 12 and wondering when is it going to clear customs or is it stuck or what’s happeneing

    Nov 18, 2021
  • anon

    I bought 2pcs of vintage audio equipment from Japan, each costing about US$250 and shipped via EMS. I bought them a week apart. The first one only spent a week in customs and I received it shortly after, the 2nd one over 2-months (since 9/13) and seems to be stuck indefinitely. This was its last tracking information: "Sep 13 7:47 am Processed Through Facility ISC CHICAGO IL (USPS)" It's now 11/18/2021 with no updates. There is no way I can get a refund. The 3rd party exporter told me to contact USPS. I tried to do a lost mail search, but all I got in response is mail is delayed, check tracking.

    Nov 18, 2021
  • anon

    I live in Novi, MI. My sister sent a package by express mail(EMS) from Japan on 9/13/2021. Customs was cleared on 10/2/2021… arrived my package at Chicago IL international distribution center on10/2/2021 at same day! But the package is stuck there since then!! Today is on 11/16/2021….more than 1 month. Never scan, update…not arrive at my local post office yet. I never have this experience before when I lived in NY/NJ area. What’s going on Chicago international distribution center!! How long does it take?? I’m praying every day…

    Nov 17, 2021
  • anon

    My sister send me a package from Taiwan in September. It is November now. The package track confirmation still indicated: September 16, 2021, 3:58 pm Arrived at USPS Regional Facility CHICAGO IL INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION CENTER , I filled a missing mail search request for my package. But nothing happens. No one in the usps is doing anything. It’s so frustrating. Can anybody help?

    Nov 17, 2021
  • anon

    I live in Novi, MI. My sister sent a package by express mail(EMS) from Japan on 9/13/2021. Customs was cleared on 10/2/2021… arrived my package at Chicago IL international distribution center on10/2/2021 at same day! But the package is stuck there since then!! Today is on 11/16/2021….more than 1 month. Never scan, update…not arrive at my local post office yet. I never have this experience before when I lived in NY/NJ area. What’s going on Chicago international distribution center!! How long does it take?? I’m praying every day…

    Nov 16, 2021
  • anon

    I have been waiting for my package from S. Korea. USPS called me and saying that my package is with Customs since 11/04/2021 and no movement since that day. USPS said there might be suspicious products in my package. I have ordered same products from Korea numerous times and package always arrives within 10 days of delivery from Asia. They are all skin care products. My skin gets irritated with skin care products made here in US that's why I order bulk since it is cheaper to buy 10 pcs. I am just confused why it is being held in Customs now?

    Nov 15, 2021
  • anon

    I have the same issue!! I sent parcels from South Korea to the states and it’s the same things I always send for Christmas to my family! But this year, one of my packages has been stuck for two weeks!! What’s going on???

    Dec 12, 2021
  • anon

    My package going to the Ivory Coast. I have never before had a problem until now! My package was mailed August 30th, and has been sitting at the Chicago Distribution since then13th of September. How long will it take before the package is picked up by a worker and send out to it's destination?

    Nov 12, 2021
  • anon

    My package going to the Ivory Coast. I have never before had a problem until now! My package was mailed August 30th, and has been sitting at the Chicago Distribution since then13th of September. How long will it take before the package is picked up by a worker and send out to it's destination?

    Nov 12, 2021
  • anon

    This is unbelievable ! Everybody there should be fired and replaced with people who are competeant and actually want to do there job. Who can be in business for delivering peoples belonoings and not doing what they are suppose to do ? This place and everybody who works there needs to be investigated !

    Nov 09, 2021

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