Sept. 10, 2021

Despite Service Disruptions Posed by Hurricane Ida, All USPS Mail Categories Continue Service Performance Improvements Over Third Quarter

  • Postal Service worked quickly to address damage and restore service in Louisiana, Gulf Coast and Atlantic areas impacted by Hurricane Ida
  • Even with impact from Ida, USPS continued progress on network and operational initiatives and preparation for higher delivery demands of the 2021 holiday peak season
  • 57 of 112 new package sorting machines now installed, helping to speed package processing and delivery across the country
  • Improving service performance and the Postal Service’s infrastructure are elements of the agency’s 10-Year Delivering for America plan

WASHINGTON, DC — The U.S. Postal Service reported updated fiscal fourth quarter service delivery performance that showed continued improvements versus the third quarter ended June 30 for all First-Class, Marketing and Periodical mail categories despite temporary service disruptions across the network caused by Hurricane Ida.

Quarter-to-date service performance data for July 1 through Sept. 3 included:

  • First-Class Mail: Delivered 88.7 percent of First-Class Mail on time against the USPS service standard, an improvement of 1.2 percentage points from the third quarter.
  • Marketing Mail: Delivered 92.8 percent of Marketing Mail on time against the USPS service standard, an improvement of 1.8 percentage points from the third quarter.
  • Periodicals: Delivered 82.6 percent of Periodicals on time against the USPS service standard, an improvement of 3.3 percentage points from the third quarter.

Delivering for America, the Postal Service’s 10-year plan for financial sustainability and service excellence, seeks to meet or exceed its goal of 95 percent on-time service performance for all mail and shipping product delivery based on standards as all elements of the plan are implemented.

Service performance is defined by the Postal Service from the acceptance of a mail piece into our system through delivery, measured against published service standards.

During the week of Aug. 28 - Sept. 3, the Postal Service quickly prepared for and responded to Hurricane Ida, a category 4 hurricane, which made landfall in Louisiana on Aug. 29. Due to the hurricane, network service delays occurred as the storm temporarily suspended USPS operations in parts of Louisiana and other Gulf Coast and Atlantic areas in the hurricane’s path.

The Postal Service has a long history of preparing and responding to natural disasters and is working closely with the Postal Inspection Service to assess facilities, deliver supplies and fuel, and secure safe mail service in areas affected by Hurricane Ida, with the main objectives including minimizing service disruptions and restoring a sense of normalcy to impacted communities.

Even as Hurricane Ida created temporary service disruptions, the Postal Service continued preparations for the higher delivery demands of the 2021 holiday peak season this week. Ongoing efforts have included the leasing of millions of additional square feet of sortation facilities, and the installation of new processing equipment to accommodate higher delivery volumes reflecting customers’ mail and package needs. Since April, the Postal Service has installed 57 of 112 new package sorting machines, reflecting the Delivering for America plan’s $40 billion of planned infrastructure investments over ten years.

This past week, machine installations occurred in Little Rock (AR), Santa Barbara (CA), Jacksonville (FL), Chicago (IL), Lehigh Valley (PA). Recent installations occurred in Anchorage (AK), Cincinnati (OH), Eagan (MN), Philadelphia (PA), Traverse City (MI), Huntsville (AL), Houston (TX), Mid-Carolina (NC), Memphis (TN), Denver (CO), Seattle (WA), Shreveport (LA), Spokane (WA), St. Louis (MO), and Teterboro (NJ). and Toledo (OH).

Installations continue across the country as the Postal Service prepares for the 2021 peak holiday season. This includes a national drive to hire delivery and plant personnel that is expected to result in more than 40,000 seasonal hires by year-end.

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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