A lot of things changed in 2020. One was an unprecedented increase in online shopping. People who’d never done it before dove into internet shopping. For those who already shopped online, they shopped more. As a result, the Postal Service, and other parcel delivery companies, quickly adjusted to handle the increase in parcel volume.

The Postal Service realized it needed additional transportation in some spots to carry the extra volume. And one way to quickly add more transportation is using something called “as needed” highway contract routes. The name is self-explanatory — routes used only as needed or on demand. While they have the advantage of being flexible, they cost more than regular transportation contracts.

In a recent audit, we looked at the Postal Service’s use of “as needed” routes. While we recognized the parcel surge justified USPS using more “as needed” routes between FYs 2019 and 2020, we identified a few areas where they could be better managed. In fact, 86.4 percent of the “as needed” routes we sampled did not comply with processing and payment requirements. Noncompliance issues included missing and incomplete forms, as well as incorrect, inconsistent, and conflicting information. We also found opportunities for USPS to convert “as needed” trips to the less expensive dedicated transportation.

Part of the Postal Service’s Delivering for America 10-year plan is shifting to a fully optimized surface transportation network. Our recommended corrective actions will help USPS as it moves forward with this part of the plan.

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  • anon

    Researching why the Amazon parcels I order are not being delivered. Three times in the last 10 days. Carriers are falsely scanning as "mailbox too full" It is a scam. It is fraudulent to take the fee to deliver from Amazon, and then only getting it to the closest post office and asking me to drive to the next county to pick it up is wrong. Reading the rural carrier's manual, they are required to deliver parcels weighing less than 70 pounds and total 130 inch in size. My mailbox was not full, In fact after reading the email from Amazon that the post office scanned as mailbox too full, I walked to my mailbox at 3pm and NO mail was delivered!. The scan read it was attempted to deliver at 9;51 am. Can not be true. This has got to stop. I pay a prime fee annually to get my deliveries. You have competition in parcels as many more of us are shopping online. However, you must be low balling the contract with Amazon and then not fulfilling that same contract by not delivering. People we need to ask Amazon to look into this. I also read that global postal deliveries have broken their contract with the post office for the same reason. We need to do the same if the post office doesn't do its job with parcels. Thank you.

    Aug 25, 2021
  • anon

    I have built a platform/application that can supplement your ability to deliver your overwhelming influx of packages to be delivered locally. It is a contingency crowdsourced labor platform that will function similar to services like Uber and DoorDash, hiring drivers to pick up your excess parcels and take them to their final destination. The app is scheduled to launch next month, if USPS is interested in what we can offer I would love to schedule a time to talk further. Please reach out to my email if you are interested.

    Aug 06, 2021