Each year, increased package volume and operational changes during the peak mailing season (peak season) — Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve — significantly strain the Postal Service’s processing and distribution networks. To help handle this increase, the Postal Service creates peak season initiatives. These preparedness initiatives are meant to help the Postal Service have the right amount of personnel, resources, and package capacity throughout its processing, transportation, and delivery networks.
What We Did
We evaluated the Postal Service’s preparedness for the FY 2024 peak season. We also conducted fieldwork at high performing processing and distribution centers and associated offices to assess best practices and lessons learned.
What We Found
We found the Postal Service developed its FY 2024 peak season preparedness initiatives to build upon the successes it had during prior peak seasons. Specifically, the Postal Service’s FY 2024 peak season initiatives spanned multiple functions, including processing and distribution, logistics, and retail and delivery operations. In addition, the Postal Service continued to implement permanent operational changes year-round — such as increasing employee complement and facility space — to plan for the large increase in package volume that management expects during its upcoming peak season. The Postal Service’s FY 2024 peak season initiatives include:
- Completing seasonal hiring plans.
- Acquiring additional space to supplement processing operations.
- Focusing on processing facilities following their planned operational schedule.
- Conducting internal audits of efficiency and effectiveness for mail processing.
- Forecasting mail volumes and assigning adequate transportation.
- Developing and employing monitoring and reporting tools across components.
- Assessing staffing and resource needs at retail and delivery units.
- Executing a customer experience strategy in retail units.
The Postal Service has developed plans to handle the upcoming peak season. If the initiatives are implemented as planned and volume forecasts are accurate, the Postal Service should be prepared for peak season; therefore, we are not issuing a recommendation at this time.