Baltimore is listed among the bottom 10 service areas on the online performance tracker created by the inspector general’s office, showing an on-time delivery percentage of 61.7%. The Baltimore service region covers most of the state of Maryland. The Capital region, which includes D.C. suburbs and Southern Maryland, is also among the bottom 10, with an on-time delivery rate of 68.9%.
But Maryland isn’t alone in delivery struggles: Whitcomb said her office will be launching a targeted look this fall at 10 mail processing plants across the country that have been challenged for years, but were particularly hard-hit during the COVID-19 pandemic. She did not offer a full list of which plants will be involved in that review.
The processing plants that have seen the worst challenges, she said, are ones in Baltimore and elsewhere that “were kind of barely above water” before the pandemic stressed the agency’s workforce and incoming Postmaster General Louis DeJoy implemented a series of controversial changes, such as cutting back on extra trips and slashing overtime.
Whitcomb said those changes, along with others intended to address ongoing efficiency issues, were implemented inconsistently around the country, and at a time when the agency was severely strained by the pandemic.