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How Bad Are USPS Package Delays? Shippo Breaks It Down

How Bad Are USPS Package Delays? Shippo Breaks It Down

eBay and Etsy have sounded the alarm on USPS package delays, but shipping company Shippo has actually published hard data that shows which services are impacted and by how much.

Shippo data from July and August revealed that 24% of Priority Mail and 17% of First Class shipments sent by its customers were delivered later than the originally scheduled delivery date.

Shippo focused its analysis on Priority Mail and First Class Package Service using aggregate data from all 50,000 of its small and medium-sized customers who shipped tens of millions of packages during the time period analyzed.

Compared with May and June, 17.45% more Priority Mail packages were delayed in July and August overall, taking 9.03% longer to arrive. Priority Mail packages traveling shorter distances (Zones 1-4) saw smaller increases while Zones 5-8 saw increased transit times.

Shippo also found that overall, 31.28% more First Class Package Service packages were delayed in July and August compared to May and June, taking an average of 8.8% longer to arrive.

The data also pointed out certain problem routes. “While the average Priority Mail package has a 24% chance of being delayed nationwide, a package shipped within Massachusetts (MA to MA) jumps to 54%,” a spokesperson for Shippo told EcommerceBytes.

“For First Class Packages, the national average delivery delay is 17% – however, nine of the top ten most-delayed routes originate in California, with average delays nearing 30%,” he said.

Despite the delays, Shippo said that overall, the USPS remains a reliable choice for most ecommerce shipments. While it saw no comparable delays at UPS or FedEx, sellers who make a switch to a rival carrier could incur higher operational and shipping costs, and it offered guidance to those considering a transition.

Detailed data can be found on the company’s website (GoShippo.com), and it published an accompanying post on the Shippo blog.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.

6 thoughts on “How Bad Are USPS Package Delays? Shippo Breaks It Down”

  1. No complaints. My Priority Mails are running a day or two late, and 1st Class is a bit worse.
    In fact, had a 1st Class delivered in 3 days to Hawaii from Texas last week.
    eBay is encouraging alternatives for ONE reason…money. Other services cost more, and they get that sweet percent of the incremental cost.

  2. I think if they investigated harder, they would find an internal revolt, protest, self sabotage of employees disgruntled about losing th ovwertime theft hours and of course “Orange Man Bading”.

  3. I’ve only had one package get delayed from Saturday delivery to Monday and it never got scanned as delivered (in California). I haven’t noticed any issues on our postal peeps’ end, thankfully.

    I’m not sure exactly what sort of actions have been taken to produce such a backlog, other than postal workers staying home out of fear of a virus. I’ve heard that they’re not only reducing overtime, but are cutting people’s regular shifts in half. If that’s true, that’s taking it too far. Every available employee should be working a complete day.

    It’s funny because sellers have been accusing Trump (et al) for trying to intentionally ruin the USPS during the election so people don’t resort to mailing in their votes. Yet, Trump (et al) are accusing the USPS of trying to influence an election by slowing down the mail for election ballots.

    So, if they’re postponing changes, then why are people still working shorter hours and further delaying our mail? I can only imagine how much of that mail has ended up in the trash. Plus, when you think about all that merchandise just sitting around in boxes, how many will actually make it to their destination with their contents intact?

    I don’t know, but it always seems like any solution any government-related entity conjures up only serves to make things much worse than even the slightest bit better. You would think that they would have it down to a science by now. Heck, at the moment, it would seem The Pony Express would be giving the USPS a run for its money right about now.

  4. Several of my packages (both Priority and First Class Parcel) have arrived late over the last six months — almost all, I am positive due to COVID-19 and the staffing in USPS facilities. The sorting facility in Springfield Massachusetts has been the absolute worst for me. There is no way to guess whether my package scans will show a parcel moving right along or stalled there (sometimes for weeks).

    Yes, there occasionally was a delay before, BUT since these really bad delays were NOT happening as of this past March or earlier, only AFTER March, I am 99.4% convinced it is because of the same problems EVERY company is experiencing because of the Pandemic, only more hard hitting than most, because USPS is so massive and internally complicated. Throw in FedEx and UPS other huge companies with their OWN problems, and what a morass it becomes. With sick people out (and well people out because they are afraid of catching it) at every level, the entire system is drastically affected.

    I liken this to trying to find (just ONE of MANY examples) “Clorox” brand hand wipes, which after hoarders emptied store shelves in March have been about impossible to find. A container on the local grocery store shelf has gotten there because of MANY earlier interactions, from separate chemicals being made at a distant plant; to those chemicals delivered to a plant that will actually combine them to make the product that then goes to the “Clorox Company.” Equally as important are the other involvements – from getting the plastic containers made and delivered; not to forget the “fabric” wipes themselves. Then after the actual containers of wipes are finished, it is finding markets and arranging shipping to middlemen, more “layers” before reaching my grocery shelf.

    I do not know why delays in USPS have become such an issue unless it is political. I am willing to give a businessman outside the system a chance to use fresh eyes on rearranging things that insiders do not seem to have been able to fix. I hear one of the cutbacks is in handling letter mail … so if you do not like that, quit sending emails instead of letters ??? And, regardless, stop blaming DJT for something he has nothing to do with.

    1. I hope you don’t think I was blaming DJT. I was just mentioning how others were, which I find ridiculous. I applaud DJT for his attempts to get fairer deals with vulturous-like countries.

  5. Two of my packages (one ebay, one amazon one first class, one media mail-one to California, one to Georgia) showed a delivery within 24 hours of shipping — TO A LOCAL ZIP CODE, not the addressed zip code … both USPS. Both buyers contacted me. My email to the local PO was returned the next day via phone with the following explanation: The packages were scanned wrong but they are being delivered. (Both did arrive.) I’m told the local PO is sorting by hand. Incidentally, my friend had an ABE shipment with the same problem. All packages arrived without delay.

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