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Audit Reports
Category: Delivery / Mail Processing, Service Performance

Delayed Mail at the North Houston, TX, Processing and Distribution Center


The 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.

The Postal Service launched the Mail Condition Visualization (MCV) application in January 2019. The application’s intent is to provide near real-time visibility of a facility’s on-hand volume, delayed processing volume, delayed dispatch volume, and oldest mail date by mail category and processing operation. MCV receives data from handheld devices used in mail processing operations, Surface Visibility scans, and mailer documentation. MCV uses predictive logic to anticipate the next processing operation from site acceptance to final processing at a facility. The MCV application calculates delayed mail daily by determining the number of mailpieces that have not received their next expected processing operation by 6:59 a.m. for destinating final processing operations and by 6:00 a.m. for all other operations.

Two important processing operations are the Managed Mail Program and Delivery Point Sequence (DPS). 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 the managed mail is processed, it is prepared for DPS, which is an automated process of sorting mail by carrier routes into delivery order. DPS requires sorting the mail multiple times, to sort the mail to the sector, segment, or carrier walk sequence.

We analyzed delayed mail volumes from mail processing facilities nationwide and found that the North Houston, TX, Processing and Distribution Center (P&DC) reported the most delayed mail in the nation from January 1 to December 31, 2020. However, the North Houston P&DC also processed the most mail in the country during that timeframe. Our objective was to determine the cause of delayed mail at the North Houston P&DC.

Report Recommendations

# Recommendation Status Value Management Response OIG Response USPS Proposed Resolution

We recommend the Southwest Division Director, Processing Operations, coordinate with other mail processing facilities and implement mitigation strategies to decrease late arriving mail to North Houston, TX, Processing and Distribution Center.

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