With Peak Mailing and Shipping Season Underway, U.S. Postal Service Performance Remains Solid Across All Categories

  • Nationwide network is running smoothly as Postal Service readies to deliver projected mail and package volume surge in December
  • Key hiring efforts and investments under “Delivering for America,” the Postal Service’s 10-year plan, have best positioned Postal Service to deliver the holidays for the nation:
  • The conversion of 63,000 pre-career employees into career positions and the onboarding of more than 185,000 employees since the beginning of last fiscal year, including the backfilling of the 63,000 pre-career employees and the hiring of 40,000 seasonal employees to assist this holiday mailing and shipping season.
  • The installation of high-speed package processing equipment; all 112 planned new machines have been installed, boosting daily processing capacity by 4.5 million packages
  • More than 100 new locations across the country providing 13 million square feet of additional space to accommodate mail and packages

WASHINGTON, DC — With the holiday peak shipping and mailing season underway, the United States Postal Service reported new service delivery performance metrics showing solid service performance for First-Class Mail, Marketing Mail and Periodicals through the first eight weeks of the fiscal first quarter. Heading into the Thanksgiving holiday, the Postal Service’s network was running smoothly and well positioned to process an anticipated surge in package and mail volume in December.

First quarter-to-date service performance scores covering the period Oct. 1 through Nov. 26 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: 83.4 percent of Periodicals delivered on time against the USPS service standard, an improvement of .6 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 included: the conversion of 63,000 pre-career employees into career positions and the onboarding of more than 185,000 employees since the beginning of last fiscal year, including the backfilling of the 63,000 pre-career employees and the national drive to add an additional 40,000 seasonal hires; the leasing of 13 million square feet of additional space across more than 100 locations, including over 50 annexes 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.

Between April and November, the Postal Service installed 112 new package sorting machines, reflecting part of the $40 billion of planned investments under the 10-year Delivering for America plan. Additionally, more than 50 package systems capable of sorting large packages are being deployed. Altogether, the new investments give the Postal Service the capacity to process an additional 4.5 million packages each day.

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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