Deliver High-Quality Service

The Postal Service measures service performance in terms of speed and reliability as part of our commitment to deliver high-quality service to our customers. We have contracted with an independent third-party company since 1990 to objectively measure performance for Single-Piece First-Class Mail via the External First-Class Mail (EXFC) system. This external sampling system measures the time it takes from when mail is deposited in a collection box or lobby chute to when it’s delivered at a home or business. Performance is measured in 892 ZIP Codes for Single-Piece First-Class Mail cards, letters and flat envelopes. Service performance for Single-Piece First-Class Mail parcels, which is measured using an internal Postal Service system, is combined with EXFC performance to generate overall Single-Piece First-Class Mail results.

Similarly, Presort First-Class Mail in FY2016 was measured through a hybrid measurement approach that combined Full-Service Intelligent Mail data from commercial mailers and relied on data collection by an external entity. This process measured the time from mail acceptance to final processing, which involved the collection of data on transit time from final processing to mail processing equipment and through to delivery. The processing and delivery data were aggregated, combined and reviewed by the external entity to measure overall commercial mail performance.

Of particular focus are Two-Day and Three-to-Five-Day services, which are widely used mail categories. Individual consumers, small businesses and larger commercial firms all depend on First-Class Mail, which relies upon nearly all parts of the Postal Service’s operations and supply chain, from collection boxes and retail counters to final delivery. In FY2016, the Postal Service continued to measure service performance through a combination of both Single-Piece First-Class Mail and Commercial First-Class performance for an aggregate of Overnight, Two-Day and Three-to-Five-Day services. Single-Piece First-Class Mail International provides a measure of the domestic leg of travel for Single-Piece International mail.

FY2016 Performance Report – For FY2016, the Postal Service significantly rebounded from service challenges in FY2015 and improved service performance in all composite categories including all-time high performance in Priority Mail. We continued to significantly exceed our Standard Mail performance targets across the nation, achieving record-breaking service for our business customers. First-Class Mail Single-Piece performance for the three-to-five day category continued to provide opportunities for improvement as we balanced the air and surface transportation network due to the growth in package mail.

Scanning performance also continued to improve significantly as the Postal Service focused on scanning every trailer, container and tray to provide maximum visibility within our networks. New visualization dashboards developed in FY2016 offered robust performance and diagnostics tools that provided greater insight into mail as it moved through the mailstream and identified inefficiencies and points of failures within the mailstream to help improve performance and service offerings. The Postal Service continued to drive service performance by focusing on reducing cycle times, last mile and vital few opportunities and ensuring employee and industry engagement.

For more information regarding the service performance results and trends of the Postal Service’s market dominant products at the national and district levels, visit

FY2017 Performance Plan – The Postal Service will continue to use the principles of continuous improvement and data analytics to drive service performance and to enhance customer experience. These efforts have helped drive substantial improvements in FY2016 and will be used to sustain these improvements while identifying additional opportunities. Network Operations Control Centers (NOCC) will be deployed in each Area to monitor and react to processing and transportation events in near real time. We will also continue to examine our network requirements, both in terms of facilities and transportation, to identify opportunities to improve service capabilities. Improved transportation modeling will provide insights into potential transportation capacity issues allowing for the execution of alternative plans to ensure service continuity. The Postal Service will continue to strategically invest in facilities, equipment and vehicles to foster and support new growth opportunities. (See U.S. Postal Service FY2016 Results and FY2017 Targets for Corporate-wide Goals for FY2017 service performance targets.)

First-Class Mail Packages performance will be measured using a composite score of commercial and retail two-day and three-to-five day. First-Class Mail Letters & Flats (FCLF) performance will be measured using a composite score of overnight, two-day, and three-to-five day. The Standard and Periodicals Composite performance will be measured using a composite score of All Entry Type Standard Letters and All Entry Type Standard/Periodical Flats.

For more information regarding the 2017 Operating Plan of the Postal Service, see the USPS Integrated Financial Plan for FY2017 at: