Sept. 17, 2021

U.S. Postal Service Reports Continued Service Performance Improvements For All Mail Categories

  • Preparations for 2021 holiday peak season continue; 61 of 112 new package sorting machines now installed, helping to speed package processing and delivery across the country
  • To improve service reliability, USPS will implement new service standards for First-Class Mail and Periodicals on Oct. 1
  • 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 ongoing improvements versus the third quarter ended June 30 for all First-Class, Marketing and Periodical mail categories.

Quarter-to-date service performance data for July 1 through Sept. 10 included:

  • First-Class Mail: Delivered 88.5 percent of First-Class Mail on time against the USPS service standard, an improvement of 1 percentage point from the third quarter.
  • Marketing Mail: Delivered 92.5 percent of Marketing Mail on time against the USPS service standard, an improvement of 1.5 percentage points from the third quarter.
  • Periodicals: Delivered 82.5 percent of Periodicals on time against the USPS service standard, an improvement of 3.2 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.

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 61 of 112 new package sorting machines, reflecting the Delivering for America plan’s $40 billion of planned infrastructure investments over ten years.

Recent machine installations have occurred in Syracuse (NY), Ybor City (FL), Kansas City (MO) and Harrisburg (PA), Little Rock (AR), Santa Barbara (CA), Jacksonville (FL), Chicago (IL), Lehigh Valley (PA), Anchorage (AK) and Cincinnati (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 an additional 40,000 seasonal hires by year-end.

New Service Standards for First-Class Mail and Periodicals Beginning Oct. 1

On October 1, the Postal Service will implement new service standards for First-Class Mail and Periodicals. These new service standards will increase delivery reliability, consistency, and efficiency for our customers and 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 Postal Service will increase time‐in‐transit standards by 1 or 2 days for certain mail that are traveling longer distances. By doing so, the Postal Service can entrust its ground network to deliver more First-Class Mail, which will lead to greater consistency, reliability, and efficiency that benefits its customers.

The service standard changes are part of our balanced and comprehensive Delivering for America Strategic Plan and will improve service reliability and predictability for customers and enhance the efficiency of the Postal Service network. The service standard changes that we have determined to implement are a necessary step towards achieving our goal of consistently meeting 95 percent service performance.

A fact sheet on the new First-Class Mail and Periodicals service standards is available here.

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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