US Postal Deliveries Continue to Disappoint

As the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) bleeds money, its delivery time for First-Class mail continues to disappoint. The public cannot say it was not warned. Last year, the USPS reported that First-Class delivery times would change from a range of one to three days to a range of one to five days.

Among the comments made before the new range went into effect was, “The Postal Service further notes that it has been unable to achieve its service performance targets for many years, and that these service failures illustrate the weakness of the current transportation model.” In other words, First-Class delivery has been a wreck, unrepaired, for some time.

The USPS just issued its data on delivery times for the fourth week of its fourth quarter. This covers the period from July 22 to July 29. The average time to deliver a mail piece or package was 2.4 days. It is one of the goals of the USPS’s 10-year plan to have delivery goals that are 95% of the benchmark. Ten years is not only a long time, but also a long time for an organization as troubled as the USPS.

The USPS soon will issue its financial figures for its most recent fiscal year. No one who watches this should hope that the numbers will improve from recent quarters. In the first quarter of the calendar year, the USPS lost $648 million on revenue of $19.8 billion. No plan has been put forth that will reasonably improve that. Without question, the problem the USPS has is that its expense and its employee bases are too high.

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy says he plans to lose 50,000 employees to attrition over 10 years to reach his goal of “break-even.” He added that over this period, 200,000 USPS workers will retire. That means he will need to hire people to fill these jobs. However, what is not clear is what will happen to wages, particularly in an inflationary period.

Americans have expressed criticism about delivery times. It appears this problem will get worse.

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