USPS OIG : Package Delivery in Rural and Dense Urban Areas

September 16, 2020 (RISC-WP-20-008)

  • Package delivery in rural and urban environments comes with challenges not experienced in suburban environments, such as numerous apartment buildings in urban areas or long distances between delivery points in rural areas. 
  • The Postal Service could make package delivery more efficient by installing more parcel lockers, encouraging larger curbside mailboxes, and by better tracking parcel-related operational data.

OIG research found that package delivery in rural and urban areas comes with operational challenges not seen in suburban areas. For example, in rural areas, delivery points may be far apart, or a customer’s mailbox may be located far from their home. In urban areas, there are numerous apartment buildings that may require delivering packages to individual apartments. The Postal Service also faces stiff competition in urban areas from established carriers and start-up services alike. These factors pose significant challenges to package delivery efficiency.

There are multiple ways that the Postal Service could increase the efficiency of package delivery in rural and urban areas. First, the Postal Service could consider installing more parcel lockers in both rural and urban areas to reduce the number of times a carrier must make a delivery to a customer’s front door. The Postal Service could also encourage customers to install larger mailboxes, which are large enough to accommodate about 70 percent of all packages. Third, the Postal Service could consider applying extra fees to certain high-cost deliveries. Finally, the Postal Service could analyze package-related data with an eye toward improving the efficiency of package delivery in certain geographic areas.

The OIG recommends that the Vice President of Delivery Operations develop a national plan, based on key data factors, to help reduce the aggregate costs of door deliveries along rural routes and in urban apartment buildings.

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This sounds GREAT! But in our rural area, it seems that mail ends up growing legs and disappearing. What we really need are LARGER parcel lockers. Because it seems that we are delivering the larger parcels that Amazon won’t, we need larger lockers. Also it would be nice if our contract negotiators would have Amazon deliver the larger packages because they have the room in their trucks and we are in our own vehicles. We don’t have that kind of room.
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Have amazon quit using oversized boxes. I delivered a small teddy bear 6″ in a 2 foot by 2 foot by 2 foot box. I got 2 bottles of vitamins in a 50lb dog food sized box. These are examples of everyday deliveries not just once in a while. Then you want to complain about second trips.

The postal service could stop giving boxes and packaging material away and save several million dollars a year people are ordering free boxes and using them for things other than shipping through the post office which was their hopes

Any box/envelope that isn’t for flat rate should be done away with

Large Mail Box Mandate- Definitely!!! They should just quit selling those small mailboxes from the last century when there was no such thing as mail order package delivery. And require the customers clearly mark their addresses on them. Such a waste of time driving these gravel driveways and risking getting stuck or not safely being able to turn around. I agree that the Post Office should be delivering the items which would mostly fit in the mailbox, Amazon should take the largest packages themselves, they are going to the door anyway. We can use the mailbox.