First-Class Mail Performance Shows Strong Improvements Through October

  • First-Class Mail service performance surpasses 90 percent for the first four weeks of the fiscal first quarter.
  • Holiday peak season preparations continue across the USPS network with installation of high-speed package processing equipment; 92 of 112 planned machines installed to date
  • Improved service reliability and network performance are elements of the Postal Service’s 10-year plan, Delivering for America

WASHINGTON, DC — The U.S. Postal Service reported service delivery performance scores showing First-Class Mail service performance surpassing 90 percent for the first four weeks of the fiscal first quarter. For the week of Oct. 23-Oct. 29, First-Class Mail service performance reached 92.2 percent.

First quarter-to-date service performance scores covering the period Oct. 1 through Oct. 29 included:

  • First-Class Mail: 91.1 percent of First-Class Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, an improvement of 3.1 percentage points from the fourth quarter.
  • Marketing Mail: 92.2 percent of Marketing Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, a slight decrease of .3 percentage points from the fourth quarter.
  • Periodicals: 83.3 percent of Periodicals delivered on time against the USPS service standard, an improvement of 1.2 percentage points from the fourth quarter.

One of the goals of Delivering for America, the Postal Service’s 10-year plan for achieving financial sustainability and service excellence, is to meet or exceed 95 percent on-time service performance for all mail and shipping products once all elements of the plan are implemented. Service performance is defined by the Postal Service as the time it takes to deliver a mail or package from its acceptance into our system through its delivery, as measured against published service standards.

The reported service performance scores reflect new service standards for First-Class Mail and end-to-end Periodicals that went into effect Oct. 1. The new service standards are part of the Postal Service’s ongoing efforts to increase delivery reliability, consistency for our customers and operating efficiency across our network. Most First-Class Mail (61 percent) and Periodicals (93 percent) will be unaffected by the new service standards. Standards for single-piece First-Class Mail traveling within a local area will continue to be two days. The delivery standards for Marketing Mail have not changed.

The Postal Service’s preparations for the anticipated higher delivery demands of the 2021 holiday peak season continue. Ongoing efforts have included a national drive to hire delivery and plant personnel that is expected to result in an additional 40,000 seasonal hires by year-end; the leasing of 7.5 million square feet of additional space across more than 40 annexes with multiyear leases to address space constraints due to parcel growth; and the installation of new processing equipment to accommodate higher volumes reflecting customers’ delivery needs.

Since April, the Postal Service has installed 92 of 112 new package sorting machines, reflecting the Delivering for America plan’s $40 billion of planned investment over 10 years. Additionally, more than 50 package systems capable of sorting large packages are expected to be deployed by December. The new machinery gives the Postal Service the capacity to process an additional 4.5 million packages each day.

Machine installations have recently occurred in: Mid-Florida, Fort Worth (TX), Indianapolis (IN), Boston (MA), Northwest Arkansas, Austin (TX), Cleveland (OH), Des Moines (IA), Lancaster (PA), Oklahoma City (OK), San Antonio (TX), Minneapolis (MN), Grand Rapids (MI), Shreveport (LA), Sacramento (CA), Atlanta (GA), and North Bay (CA).

The Postal Service generally receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.


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