USPS Begins Fiscal First Quarter with Improved First-Class Mail Service Under New Service Standards

  • New service standards for First-Class Mail and Periodicals went into effect October 1 to improve service reliability as part of the agency’s 10-year Delivering for America plan
  • Holiday peak season preparations continue across the USPS network with the installation of high-speed package processing equipment; 80 of 112 planned machines installed to date

WASHINGTON, DC — The U.S. Postal Service reported service delivery performance scores for the first week of the fiscal first quarter started in October that showed continued gains across all First-Class, Marketing and Periodical mail categories.

For the period Oct. 1 through Oct. 8, first-quarter-to-date service performance included:

  • First-Class Mail: Delivered 91.0 percent of First-Class Mail on time against the USPS service standard, an improvement of 3 percentage points from the fourth quarter.
  • Marketing Mail: Delivered 92.8 percent of Marketing Mail on time against the USPS service standard, an improvement of .3 percentage points from the third quarter.
  • Periodicals: Delivered 84.4 percent of Periodicals on time against the USPS service standard, an improvement of 2.3 percentage points from the third quarter.

These service performance scores are the first to be reported under the 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, 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 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.

Also, the Postal Service’s preparations for the 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 80 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.

Recent machine installations have 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).

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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