USPS Reports 5%+ Decline In On Time Delivery For Q4 2023, Calls Performance "Stable"

Liz Morton
Liz Morton


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USPS says delivery performance is stable despite declines in reported on time delivery for October 1 through December 29, with only 85.4% of first class mail delivered on time.

USPS Ends First Quarter FY24 with Stable Delivery Performance - Newsroom - About.usps.com
WASHINGTON, DC — The United States Postal Service reported new delivery performance metrics for the thirteenth week of the first quarter for fiscal year 2024. The average time for the Postal Service to deliver a mailpiece or package across the nation was 2.7 days

The United States Postal Service reported new delivery performance metrics for the thirteenth week of the first quarter for fiscal year 2024. The average time for the Postal Service to deliver a mailpiece or package across the nation was 2.7 days.

FY24 first quarter service performance scores covering October 1 through December 29, included:

  • First-Class Mail: 85.4 percent of First-Class Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, a decrease of 5.7 percentage points from the fiscal fourth quarter.
  • Marketing Mail: 93.8 percent of Marketing Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, a decrease of 1.5 percentage points from the fiscal fourth quarter.
  • Periodicals: 80.8 percent of Periodicals delivered on time against the USPS service standard, a decrease of 5.2 percentage points from the fiscal fourth quarter.

USPS blamed the slowdown on operational disruptions including insourcing of several Surface Transfer Centers after a supplier bankruptcy, and the extended shutdown of a critical St. Louis, MO processing facility due to a mercury leak as well as anticipated significant growth in package volume during the peak holiday season.

The press release downplayed the decline, stating that USPS managed the increased volume and disruptions while continuing to delivery to 98% of the nation in less than three days.

We have effectively managed these expected increased package volumes along with the unexpected network disruptions outside our control as demonstrated by our continuing ability to deliver mail and packages to 98 percent of the nation’s population in less than three days. In fact, approximately 55 percent of mail and packages are delivered a day in advance of the specified service standard, and approximately 96 percent of all mail and packages are delivered within a day of its specified service standard, which evidences our ability to rapidly adjust to all conditions. The very small percentage of mail that is not delivered within this time frame is often the result of broader staffing and hiring issues within the local economies that we are working aggressively to address.

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.

But industry experts and politicians are questioning the positive spin about the Delivering For America plan and calling for more accountability and transparency from Postmaster General Louis DeJoy.

eBay buyers and sellers expressed concerns about delays in package scans and tracking updates in December as well.

USPS Delays Spike As Peak Holiday Shipping Sets In
USPS on time delivery hits lowest rates since Summer 2021 as buyers & sellers complain of delays in shipping & tracking scans.

Did you see a slowdown in USPS delivery during peak holiday season? Let us know in the comments below!

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Liz Morton is a seasoned ecommerce pro with 17 years of online marketplace sales experience, providing commentary, analysis & news about eBay, Etsy, Amazon, Shopify & more at Value Added Resource!


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