How slower mail has become a fact of life: USPS Service Performance and Postal Reform

Last week the Postal Service published its service performance reports for the first quarter of fiscal year 2022 (Oct-Dec 2021). This is our first opportunity to see any details about how on-time delivery has been going since Oct. 1, 2021, when the USPS introduced lower service standards for First Class mail and began a historic shift from using planes to trucks for transporting mail long distances.

The on-time scores are much improved over the first quarter of last year — one of the worst in modern postal history — but they are well below the targets promised by the Postal Service last summer when the changes in standards were reviewed by the Postal Regulatory Commission for an Advisory Opinion.

Under a provision in the postal reform bill that just passed the House and that’s now heading to the Senate, we may not have to wait for quarterly on-time data in the future. Section 201 of the bill requires the Postal Service to maintain a website dashboard with data on a weekly rather than quarterly basis.  (The USPS already has a dashboard with quarterly data, as does the USPS OIG; the PRC is inviting comments about its beta dashboard. There’s been a dashboard with weekly reports on the STPO website for nearly a year.)


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