Service Performance Holds Across All Mail Categories As Postal Network Continues To Operate Smoothly With Increased Mail and Package Volume

  • USPS has accepted 6.5 billion mail pieces and packages for delivery since Nov. 25
  • Average days to deliver a mailpiece across the network: 2.7 days

WASHINGTON, DC — The United States Postal Service reported new service delivery performance metrics showing service performance holding for First-Class Mail, Marketing Mail and Periodicals through the first ten weeks of the fiscal first quarter. The postal network continues to operate smoothly across the country as an influx of mail and packages enter the mail and shipping stream for holiday delivery.

This is the last week to get holiday gifts and greetings in the mail by the recommended deadlines. Since Dec. 6, customer traffic at Post Office locations has been steadily increasing and this week is expected to be the busiest week of the holiday mailing and shipping season.

The Postal Service anticipates that between 850 million and 950 million packages will be delivered for the holidays. The total number of letters, cards and packages processed and delivered between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day is estimated to be more than 12 billion. Between Nov. 25 and Dec. 13, the Postal Service accepted 6.5 billion mail and packages for delivery.

First quarter-to-date service performance scores covering the period Oct. 1 through Dec. 10 included:

  • First-Class Mail: 90.6 percent of First-Class Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, an improvement of 2.1 percentage points from the fourth quarter.
  • Marketing Mail: 92.1 percent of Marketing Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, consistent with performance from the fourth quarter.
  • Periodicals: 82.0 percent of Periodicals delivered on time against the USPS service standard, a slight decrease of .74 percent compared to performance from the fourth quarter.

Overall, average days to deliver a mailpiece across the network was 2.7 days.

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 2021 holiday peak season included: the conversion of 63,000 pre-career employees into career positions and the onboarding of more than 185,000 employees since the beginning of last fiscal year, including the backfilling of the 63,000 pre-career employees and the national drive to add an additional 40,000 seasonal hires; the leasing of 13 million square feet of additional space across more than 100 locations, including over 50 annexes with multiyear leases to address year-round space constraints due to parcel growth; and the installation of new processing equipment to accommodate higher volumes reflecting customers’ delivery needs.

Between April and November, the Postal Service installed 112 new package sorting machines, reflecting part of the $40 billion of planned investments under the 10-year Delivering for America plan. Additionally, more than 50 package systems capable of sorting large packages have been deployed. As a result of an organization-wide focus on improving operations and strategic investments, the Postal Service has boosted daily processing capacity by 13 million packages.

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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