The U.S. Postal Service considers mail to be delayed when it is not processed in time to meet the established delivery day. Delayed mail can adversely affect Postal Service customers and harm the organization’s brand.
Mail originating from one mail processing facility that requires additional processing at a destinating facility before delivery is part of the Managed Mail Program. Once managed mail is processed, it is prepared for Delivery Point Sequence, which is an automated process of sorting mail into delivery order. DPS requires sorting the mail twice, with a first pass to sequence the mail and a second pass to sort the sequenced mail by each carrier.
To track mail conditions at processing facilities, the Postal Service launched the Mail Condition Visualization system in January 2019. The system provides near real-time visibility of a facility’s on-hand volume, delayed processing volume, and delayed dispatch volume. Specifically, the MCV system calculates:
- Late arriving containers – containers that arrived from another processing plant after the Critical Entry Time1 necessary to meet their delivery commitment for their class and shape.
- Delayed inventory – mailpieces that have not received their next expected processing operation scan by 6:59 a.m. for destinating final processing operations and by 6:00 a.m. for all other operations.
- Delayed dispatch containers – containers that have not received a final dock (departure) scan more than 15 minutes after the Dispatch of Value.2
From January 1, 2020, through March 31, 2021, the Denver, CO, Processing and Distribution Center (P&DC) reported 6,280 late arriving containers, 2.2 billion pieces of delayed inventory, and 168,490 delayed dispatch containers. This site was judgmentally selected based on the high number of delayed dispatch containers during this time period.