USPS Reports Continued Service Performance Improvements for All Mail Categories

WASHINGTON, DC — The U.S. Postal Service reported fourth-quarter service delivery performance data through the first week of August that showed continued improvement across all First-Class, Marketing and Periodical mail categories from the third quarter ended June 30.

Fourth-quarter service performance for July 1 through August 6 included:

  • First-Class Mail: Delivered 88.9 percent of First-Class Mail on time against the USPS service standard, an improvement of 1.4 percentage points from the third quarter.
  • Marketing Mail: Delivered 92.6 percent of Marketing Mail on time against the USPS service standard, an improvement of 1.6 percentage points from the third quarter.
  • Periodicals: Delivered 82.9 percent of Periodicals on time against the USPS service standard, an improvement of 3.6 percentage points from the third quarter.

For the week of July 31 – August 6, Periodicals, including newspapers and magazines, reached the highest service performance level (84.8 percent) reported for that category in nearly a year and a half, since the week of March 28 – April 3, 2020 (85.3 percent).

The Postal Service’s recent service delivery improvements have been, in part, the result of a strategic shift to more ground deliveries, decreasing the agency’s reliance on the limited cargo capacities of third-party air carriers.

“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.

The Postal Service is preparing for the higher delivery demands of the 2021 holiday peak season through increased hiring of delivery and plant personnel, the leasing of millions of additional square feet of sortation facilities, and the installation of new processing equipment to accommodate higher volumes and customers’ evolving mail and package delivery needs. Since April, the Postal Service has installed 42 of 112 new package sorting machines, reflecting infrastructure investments under the Delivering for America plan. This past week, new machines were installed coast to coast including Anchorage (AK), St. Louis (MO) and Mid-Carolina (NC). Markets that have installed machines recently include Philadelphia (PA), Traverse City (MI), Teterboro (NJ), Huntsville (AL), Eagan (MN), Houston (TX), Memphis (TN), Denver (CO) and Seattle (WA). Installations are continuing across the country as the Postal Service plans to have new equipment running at 112 facilities by the 2021 peak holiday season. Additionally, the Postal Service is making a concerted effort nationwide to hire new employees ahead of the 2021 peak holiday season.

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

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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