Nov. 18, 2021

First-Class Mail Service Performance Shows Further Improvement as U.S. Postal Service Prepares for the Busy Holiday Season

U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy: “We Are Ready”

  • A projected 12 billion-plus letters, cards and packages will be processed and delivered between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day
  • Fiscal first-quarter-to-date service performance above 90 percent for First-Class Mail and Marketing Mail
  • Driving the improvements is “Delivering for America,” Postal Service’s 10-year plan to achieve financial sustainability and service excellence
  • Key efforts include:
    • The installation of high-speed package processing equipment, including 102 of 112 new machines installed to date, boosting daily processing capacity by 4.5 million packages
    • 40,000 seasonal hires
    • More than 100 newly acquired sites across the country providing 13 million square feet of additional space to accommodate mail and packages

WASHINGTON, DC — As the Postal Service enters the busiest weeks of the year for mailing and shipping, the agency reported new service delivery performance scores that showed improvements for First-Class Mail and Periodicals, and steady performance for Marketing Mail for the first six weeks of the fiscal first quarter.

“We are ready to deliver for the American people this holiday season,” said Postmaster General Louis DeJoy. “We have been planning, investing, and hiring every day for the past twelve months to improve our network and our service for the busiest time of the year. I’m proud of our entire Postal Team and their tremendous dedication and preparation – we are ready to go.”

First quarter-to-date service performance scores covering the period Oct. 1 through Nov. 12 included:

  • First-Class Mail: 91.1 percent of First-Class Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, an improvement of 2.6 percentage points from the fourth quarter.
  • Marketing Mail: 92.4 percent of Marketing Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, consistent with performance from the fourth quarter.
  • Periodicals: 83.2 percent of Periodicals delivered on time against the USPS service standard, an improvement of .5 percentage points from the fourth quarter.

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.

The Postal Service anticipates that between 850 million and 950 million packages will be delivered for the holidays. The total number of letters, cards and packages processed and delivered between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day is estimated to be more than 12 billion.

The Postal Service’s preparations for the 2021 holiday peak season include: a national drive to hire delivery and plant personnel that should add an additional 40,000 seasonal hires by year-end; the leasing of 13 million square feet of additional space across more than 100 annexes, including over 50 with multiyear leases to address year-round 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 102 of 112 new package sorting machines, reflecting part of the $40 billion of planned investments under the 10-year Delivering for America plan. The installation of the remaining 10 machines is scheduled to be completed by the end of November. Additionally, more than 50 package systems capable of sorting large packages are expected to be deployed prior to December. Altogether, the new investments give the Postal Service the capacity to process an additional 4.5 million packages each day.

This past week, new machines were installed in: Wilmington (DE), West Valley (AZ), Gainesville (FL), Seattle (WA), Lyndhurst (NJ). Recent installations occurred in Mid-Florida, Fort Worth (TX), Indianapolis (IN), Boston (MA), NW Arkansas, Austin (TX), Cleveland (OH) and Des Moines (IA), Lancaster (PA), Oklahoma City (OK), San Antonio (TX), Minneapolis (MN), and Grand Rapids (MI).

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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