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.

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 final dock (departure) scan more than 15 minutes after Dispatch of Value.2

From January 1, 2020, through April 30, 2021, the West Valley, AZ, Processing and Distribution Center reported 7,034 late arriving containers, about 270.9 million pieces of delayed inventory, and 180,161 delayed dispatch containers. This site was selected based on the high number of delayed dispatch containers during this time period.

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Audit Resolution - Recommendation 4

OIG Response