Postmaster General Louis DeJoy says this holiday season won’t be a repeat of last year’s, when — due to a pandemic-fueled increase in packages and a host of operational challenges — just 38% of the United States Postal Service’s nonlocal first-class mail arrived on time.
“We started early this year with our planning and we’ve expanded capacity and people, facilities, automation and transportation,” DeJoy told Marketplace’s David Brancaccio. “So tell all your listeners to send us their packages. We’re going to deliver them.”
This will be the first holiday season since DeJoy began implementing cost-cutting measures as part of a 10-year plan to pull the USPS out of financial difficulty brought on by years of declining mail volume and an onerous requirement that it prepay employees’ retirement health plans. DeJoy’s “Delivering for America” plan undertakes to slow the delivery of some mail, particularly to rural addresses, as well as to increase postage rates: on top of permanent price increases for sending letters and packages, there are temporary holiday surcharges of up to $5 in effect through Dec. 26.