The U.S. Postal Service has approximately 300 mail processing facilities. Some of these facilities perform better than others, some perform worse, and some struggle to reach even average performance. Our auditors examined 10 historically low performing facilities to find out why.

When selecting the 10 facilities, the audit team looked for facilities that handled at least 1 billion mail pieces in 2020 and had lower on-time service performance and mail processing productivity. They also factored in whether the processing plants had a previous history of lower service performance.

As they searched for the root causes of the problems, the auditors observed operations at the facilities, met with key personnel, surveyed managers and supervisors, and examined all sorts of data and information.

They found several issues that contributed to poor performance:

  • The processing plants typically operated in older buildings with challenging layouts. Half had more than one floor, so mail had to travel between levels on elevators or other systems.
  • There consistently were not enough managers, supervisors, or employees available to staff facilities, and turnover among new hires was high.
  • There were problems with training, including a lack of standardized training.
  • On average, machines at the 10 facilities had more jams and fewer pieces sorted per hour.

The good news is that while the auditors were examining the facilities, the Postal Service made some nationwide changes that helped improve performance at many of them. Nonetheless, our auditors made 10 recommendations to the Postal Service to assist with continued performance improvements. The Postal Service agreed with seven of them and set target dates to implement them.

What do you think are the main factors contributing to poor performance at postal facilities? What would you suggest to improve facility performance?



Comments (11)

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  • anon

    Please take a look at Busse Metro Surface facility, they have the worst performance in parcel processing year after years.

    Oct 28, 2022
  • anon

    Please check the Atlanta processing center. It is by far the worst in the country as packages and mail sit there for days. This has been going on for years now

    Oct 25, 2022
  • anon

    The contact us link has a 404 error. Complaints to the post office end up going into a black hole of feedback loops and are intentionally difficult to use making pay outs for lost packages virtually impossible to receive even if the claims are confirmed as valid by the USPS. To date i have lost $1000s as a result of lost orders by the post office. It is honestly a miracle usps is in business. Makes sense why USPS hides and has no visibility on social media. Total joke.

    Oct 02, 2022
  • anon

    I can't help but wonder about the routes mail items take. Can someone explain to me why a package mailed in Frederick, MD to another address in Frederick, MD goes out of state twice before reaching its destination. I ordered a book from Wonder Books, only a few miles from my home, and it went to Pennsylvania, back to Maryland, then to Washington, DC, and back to Maryland. Admittedly, this didn't take very long, but it seems like a terrible waste of manpower and fuel.

    Sep 16, 2022
  • anon

    Our office never receives mail regularly since last year. We have submitted online complaints so many times to no avail. We have even attempted in person at the Post Office branch to ask for our mail and have been told that there is no mail. It is now September and we have gotten our mail approximately once or at the most twice a month.

    Sep 09, 2022
  • anon

    turnover--problems with training..............perhaps the $ saving idea of using more "part time-no benefits" people is backfiring....

    Sep 05, 2022
  • anon

    Your changes did not help the performance at the Phoenix facility. The auditors need to go back to that Distribution facility and found out why a letter takes more than 5 days to get from North Phoenix to Phoenx. Envelope was left with a clerk within the North Phoenix sub-station and tracking fell off the site 5 days later and still not at the receiving party which was an office in Downtown Phoenix. Should be a 1 day delivery.

    Aug 22, 2022
  • anon

    Working at the Po since 1991, I can tell you the problems. The PO has a history of cramming programs down your throat without changing any other processes, adding machines without changing anything else (ie. transportation, distribution, employees), hire employees without continued training, and expecting them to perform at 110%, employees willing to work hard but inept management who have no managing skills, and the list goes on. The Postal Service was a great place to work but now with the emphasis on producing revenue vs actually providing a public service to all, the wonderful establishment we all have come to love is in a steady decline. Such a travesty and a real loss to the American public. I can only hope we can continue to have this in our future. It really is a National treasure.

    Aug 17, 2022
  • anon

    Your automated systems have become a hindrance and not a tool for productivity and efficiency. The tail is wagging the dog.

    Aug 15, 2022
  • anon

    wow having been part of an IG (inspecter general) team for DoD decades ago I am really impressed with your inspections, categories etc. However carrying out the mission just seems over whelming for many employees

    Aug 15, 2022
  • anon

    Problem is not only in processing. Employees no longer seem to care. Our female letter carrier constantly has her phone glued to her ear even while driving. This is against the law in this state but it does not seem to bother this person. Conversations we've overheard are NOT about USPS business.

    Aug 15, 2022