Service Performance for First-Class Mail and Periodicals Improves as Peak Season Nears

  • Improved service reliability and network performance are elements of the Postal Service’s 10-year plan, Delivering for America
  • Holiday peak season preparations continue across the USPS network with the installation of high-speed package processing equipment; 84 of 112 planned machines installed to date

WASHINGTON, DC — The U.S. Postal Service reported service delivery performance scores for the first two weeks of the fiscal first quarter started in October showing ongoing improvements across First-Class and Periodical mail categories.

Quarter-to-date service performance scores covering the period Oct. 1 through Oct. 15 included:

  • First-Class Mail: 91.2 percent of First-Class Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, an improvement of 3.2 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: 84.3 percent of Periodicals delivered on time against the USPS service standard, an improvement of 2.2 percentage points from the fourth quarter.

The reported service performance scores reflect new service standards for First-Class Mail and end-to-end Periodicals that went into effect on Oct. 1. The new service standards are part of the Postal Service’s ongoing efforts to increase delivery reliability 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 standard changes. 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.

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 mailpiece or package from its acceptance into our system through its delivery, as measured against published service standards.

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 year-round parcel growth; the leasing of approximately 70 peak season annexes with short term leases to prepare for holiday volume increases; and the installation of new processing equipment to accommodate higher volumes reflecting customers’ delivery needs.

Since April, the Postal Service has installed 84 of 112 new package sorting machines, reflecting the Delivering for America plan’s $40 billion of planned investment over ten years. Additionally, more than 50 package systems capable of sorting large packages are expected to be deployed prior to December. The new machinery gives the Postal Service the capacity to process an additional 4.5 million packages each day.

This past week, new processing sorting machines were installed in: NW Arkansas, Austin (TX), Cleveland (OH) and Des Moines (IA). Additional machine installations have recently occurred in: Lancaster (PA), Oklahoma City (OK), San Antonio (TX), Minneapolis (MN), Grand Rapids (MI), Shreveport (LA), Sacramento (CA), Atlanta (GA), North Bay (CA), Philadelphia (PA), Scranton (PA), Seminole (FL), Las Vegas (NV), Cincinnati (OH), Richmond (VA), Dallas (TX), Little Rock (AR), Pittsburgh (PA), Syracuse (NY), Ybor City (FL), Kansas City (MO), Harrisburg (PA), and Santa Barbara (CA).


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