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USPS Volume Drops in 2022 Holiday Peak Period over Prior Years

USPS Volume Drops in 2022 Holiday Peak Period

The USPS said it accepted 11.7 billion packages and mailpieces between Nov. 26-Dec. 30, 2022. It also reported a 2.5-day average delivery time for mail and packages across its network during that period.

Last year, the USPS reported that between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve 2021, it accepted over 13.2 billion letters, cards, flats and packages for delivery, exceeding the 12.7 billion items accepted for delivery during the same timeframe in 2020.

Here’s a look at USPS holiday volume over the past three years:

2020: 12.7 billion
2021: 13.2 billion
2022: 11.7 billion

Unfortunately the USPS does not break out the number of packages it accepts each year.

In a press release on Thursday, the USPS touted its preparation for the holiday season:

“Preparations for the 2022 peak holiday season began two years ago as a part of the Postal Service’s 10-year Delivering for America Plan. These strategic investments and operational improvements included the installation of 249 new package sorting machines across its network since March 2021. These new machines expanded daily package processing capacity to 60 million.

“Additionally, USPS stabilized its permanent workforce by converting more than 100,000 workers to full time roles since the beginning of 2021(with more than 41,000 part time workers converted to full time since January 2022), and successfully hiring an additional 20,000 seasonal employees.”

You can find the full release on the USPS newsroom.

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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/.

8 thoughts on “USPS Volume Drops in 2022 Holiday Peak Period over Prior Years”

  1. USPS has a failed pricing structure. They continue to raise their rates like FedEx while UPS is grabbing their business. USPS rates are insane once you go out of your local zones – why is a package 28$ on USPS and 12$ at UPS? How about charging surcharges to rural areas so you can give better pricing on reg. Deliveries? Why’d they price themselves out of larger boxes? Do they want to keep their mini trucks and stay focused on envelopes? Do they not realize packages is the future? Maybe invest in large vehicles and restructure the pricing making it shipping prices friendly..

  2. The USPS raises their rates twice a year (insane) then they add a HUGE amount for the holiday shipping period. Then they add more days to their holiday shipping rates. After the holiday shipping rates are over, the USPS again raises their rates. Then they take away the regional rate box rate for a bogus reason to even further make prices higher. Their greed is getting outrageous for the consumer, and taking advantage of both the buyer and the seller. The USPS used to be an inexpensive way to ship packages, but NO LONGER serves the public interest. Shipping rates are so high, sellers are using other means to ship, and buyers are buying locally more now. The USPS got a HUGE aid package from the US (taxpayer) government to bribe / use the USPS to rig the vote by mail system, as well as they also spy on citizens social media to report to the government for sensoring now FACT. Many people are not aware of this FACT. The USPS is now an arm of the democrat party. Bkden did announce this two years ago. We all are paying for this. There is alot more going on then meets the eye.

    1. “What-a-year” is right! Even with an increase in postal rates, my Artisan Jewelry shop on Etsy is doing better than ever. Because, here’s the thing…I don’t pay for increase postal rates, my customers do! When selling products at $250+ my customers don’t blink if they have to spend an extra $3.00 to ship.

  3. the surcharge for items 24″ and even more for 30″ was a HUGE error. It took out a good percentage of business. I worked at USPS 30 years, many of those years in management. I can attest that USPS does nothing with a lot of long term thought. They promote from within which sounds nice but maybe a letter carrier shouldn’t be making monumental decisions.

  4. *** Goods vs. Services ***

    This past week, U.S. banks gave earnings reports which were better than expected. All have said that the U.S. consumer is still strong, however much of spending during the holiday season was in SERVICE SPENDING vs. spending on “goods”.

    Since Covid lockdowns are now over, consumers continue to spend on “experiences” instead of on general goods which was a trend that continued into this past holiday season. A good percentage of money this holiday season was spent on…

    General travel…airflights, hotels…etc.
    Restaurant spending
    Concert events
    Sports events…

    I don’t believe that an increase in USPS rates has caused grief for the postal service, but rather, the consumer has decided to spend their money in different ways. Also, gift cards continue to take a good portion in holiday spending and those cards are now sent via email, instead of by USPS mail.

    Also, let’s not forget about Amazon who continues to take market share, while Amazon has their own fleet of delivery trucks that have taken business from USPS.

  5. *** Google “Images USPS EV”

    @ 4yourinfo…You asked…
    “Do they want to keep their mini trucks and stay focused on envelopes?”

    If you Google “Images USPS ev”, you will see images of the electric vehicles that USPS plans to use. The trucks are bigger and much taller. My local postal guy tells me the new vehicles will save USPS time and money in the long run while being able to transport larger packages.

  6. *** American tax dollars at work ***

    When Trump was President, I listened to one of his Press Conferences. He was asked how to fix the deficient problems at USPS. TRUMPS FIX WAS FOR USPS TO RAISE THEIR PRICES. And this is what we got…USPS would have to raise prices to stay afloat. The postal service has said for years that they need larger trucks. Just raising rates wouldn’t accomplish their survival in any timely manner.

    However, Biden and Harris are looking to fix the problem by cutting out the cost of gas and by building larger trucks……Announced on December 20th is an except, below, from Whitehouse.gov.

    “Today, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) announced an historic, $9.6 billion investment over the next five years to electrify its delivery fleet. The USPS investment includes electrifying 75% of its new purpose-built Next Generation Delivery Vehicles (NGDV) and a commitment to acquire 100% electric NGDVs starting in 2026. This $9.6 billion investment – which includes $3 billion in funding from the Inflation Reduction Act – installs modern charging infrastructure at hundreds of USPS facilities, electrifies 66,000 delivery vehicles, and modernizes mail delivery by creating a smarter network to more efficiently reach its 163 million delivery locations across the country and further strengthen the sustainability of this critical public service.

    Earlier this year, President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act to help bring down everyday costs – including costs for energy. The Inflation Reduction Act’s once-in-a-generation investment in America’s infrastructure delivers the most significant action ever to tackle the climate crisis and strengthen U.S. energy security, including $3 billion to modernize the USPS delivery fleet. The USPS actions announced today sustain reliable mail service to Americans while modernizing the fleet, reducing operating costs, increasing clean air in our neighborhoods, creating jobs, and improving public health.

    President Biden’s ambitious goal for 50% of new vehicles sold in 2030 to be electric has accelerated investments and jumpstarted the EV market in America. Since President Biden took office, U.S. electric vehicle sales tripled and are now higher than ever before. One year ago, through the President’s Executive Order on Catalyzing Clean Energy Industries and Jobs Through Federal Sustainability, the Biden-Harris Administration released the most ambitious sustainability plan ever, establishing a goal for 100% acquisition of zero emission light-duty vehicles by 2027 and medium- and heavy-duty vehicles by 2035.”

    **I applaud our current government for attempting to fix the problem instead of just thinking that raising prices would be a fix… that could eventually ruin our postal system.**

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