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Mon Mar 14 2022 13:24:27

USPS Boasts Best Mail Delivery Performance Ever

By: Ina Steiner

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The USPS reported its best delivery performance for First Class Mail for the week of Feb. 26 - March 4th. In a press release on Wednesday, it heralded, "Weekly Last Mile Delivery Scores Best Recorded In Postal Service History." 

That includes only mailpieces (letters) and packages sent via First Class Mail - meaning it excludes packages sent Priority Mail, etc.

But if you read further, you'll see the Postal Service reported for the first 2 months of the year (January 1 through March 4), the percentage of First Class Mail delivered "on time" decreased 2.3 percentage points to 86.9 percent. And that's after it lowered the bar for what was considered "on time" delivery on October 1, 2021. This is how the USPS explained the move to slower mail: 

"Most First-Class Mail (61 percent) and Periodicals (93 percent) will be unaffected by the new service standard changes. Standards for single-piece First-Class Mail traveling within a local area will continue to be two days. The Postal Service will increase time-in-transit standards by 1 or 2 days for certain mail that is traveling longer distances. By doing so, the Postal Service can entrust its ground network to deliver more First-Class Mail, which will lead to greater consistency, reliability, and efficiency that benefits its customers."

However, the Postal Service did note in its March 11th press release that, "Consistent with the rest of the shipping industry, USPS experienced delays in both ground and air transportation during the month of February due to inclement weather events including winter storms in the Midwest, South and Northeast regions."

All that said, we want online sellers to provide a reality check - how fast are you seeing your First Class Mail packages delivered? And while you're at it, what about packages sent USPS Priority Mail?

The other part of the equation is buyer expectations. And that's where delivery estimates come into play. So we'd like to hear from online sellers:

1) How is the delivery performance for your packages sent via USPS - are they getting to their destination on time? (Specify which service you use - we're eager to learn if First Class Mail is performing differently than competitive services the USPS offers.)

2) And how accurate are the USPS delivery estimates provided to buyers and sellers on marketplaces like eBay and Etsy?



Comments (26) | Permalink

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Perminate Link for USPS Boasts Best Mail Delivery Performance Ever   USPS Boasts Best Mail Delivery Performance Ever

by: lessthanthreerecords This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 14 14:20:11 2022

I'm glad you asked!  Very little of the packages I ship have been arriving "on-time" based on USPS and/or eBay estimates.  In fact, it is not uncommon for a package to take 6 to 10 TIMES longer than estimated.

Most of what I ship is either square/rectangular boxes/envelopes via media mail or tubes via first-class or priority.

Over the years, most media mail tends to be delivered on-time, or very close to on-time, however, starting September 2020, that all changed.  Spring and Summer of 2021 did get a bit better, though not great.  Then, for the holiday season of 2021, it got worse than ever.  The past month has been a bit better, but some media mail packages are still taking two weeks (about twice the time they are supposed to take.  However, more are arriving on-time, or close to on-time, over the last month or so.

Now on to the real problem... TUBES!  I've been shipping tubes regularly for well over a decade, and there has never been a time when they've routinely been on-time.  If 1 out of 100 is on-time, it's a miracle (I'm not exaggerating!).  I've spoken to both USPS and eBay at length about the issue, and neither seems willing to provide more honest delivery estimates.  They provide the same estimate regardless of package shape.  So, if a square box shipped first class to a certain location has a 3 day delivery estimate, a tube shipped the same way to the same zip code will have the same estimate.  However, in my experience, first class tubes take an average of 3 weeks to be delivered, with an occasional tube taking as long as 10 weeks (of course, I have to issue a refund before that time, then it's up to the goodwill - or lack thereof - of the buyer to return it or repay).  The short end for a first class tube might be about 2 weeks.  And shorter than that is pretty rare.  Tubes sent via priority mail do tend to get there faster than first class, but never (or very nearly never) on-time.  I would say the average time for a priority mail tube is about 1.5-2 weeks, with some taking a lot longer.

I don't ship very many square packages or envelopes via first class or priority mail, but I will say that the ones I have shipped are on-time at least 80% of the time, and when late, are normally no more than a day or two late.

I guess I chose the wrong business to get into!

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by: RL15 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 14 14:27:52 2022

service I have been getting for first class mail (letters) is horrible and keeps getting worse.

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by: terry55 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 14 16:12:25 2022

Most my packages have been on time, at least "super fast shipping" on my feedback is a clue. The problem I'm having now is their not scanning 80% of my packages. They get scanned picked up, because my excellent mail lady breaking policy but their not getting scanned in St. Louis MO sorting hub or the sorting hub destination, some aren't even getting scanned until out for delivery. I received 3 emails last week wanting to know where their package was because nothing after being scanned picked up for 4 days. If their going to only randomly scan 5 packages per pick up, the sorting hubs need to scan them or my on time shipping metrics is going be high.  

Perminate Link for USPS Boasts Best Mail Delivery Performance Ever   USPS Boasts Best Mail Delivery Performance Ever

by: UB This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 14 17:52:15 2022

@ terry55 Your mail carrier is not ''breaking policy.'' USPS carriers are required to scan every package as picked up (prepaid acceptance on their scanners) when they pick them up. That is the policy of USPS.  

Perminate Link for USPS Boasts Best Mail Delivery Performance Ever   USPS Boasts Best Mail Delivery Performance Ever

by: Vigilant Eye On eBay This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 14 21:33:43 2022

As noted in my Goggle customer service reports, with instant payments coming from PayPal, my orders are shipped out fast.

This would not have been the case if I were still selling on eBay, which after twenty-two plus years ended because of managed payments and (in the capacity of a VeRO program member) continued intellectual property rights violations that as of April 2021 were sanctioned when a seller used their copyrighted material to sell products on the venue..

Although the majority of my non-venue ecommerce shipments are under one pound, due to the value of the typical order, I do not provide a First Class Mail option.

Barring a few weather related incidents, no noticeable delays in customer delivery have been observed thus far.

In fact, a significant portion of my Priority Mail shipments have arrived ahead of schedule.

From a buyer's perspective, approximately half of all of my purchases from eBay have arrived late.

The half that were late were typically shipped by First Class Mail, with the greatest delays coming from Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, and certain parts of California.

Exasperating the situation is the partial tracking information (i.e., due to employees failing to scan parcels in transit) that the postal service has been increasingly providing and a growing number of casual eBay sellers who take from five to seven days to ship order and often fail to provide any online tracking information once a parcel has been sent.

Perminate Link for USPS Boasts Best Mail Delivery Performance Ever   USPS Boasts Best Mail Delivery Performance Ever

by: terry55 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 15 10:07:59 2022

@UB
a couple weeks ago the USPS started a new policy that carriers only randomly scan 5 packages per pick up, they actually have change the scanner program, she has to scan my pick up sheet, scan 5, rinse and repeat.  

Perminate Link for USPS Boasts Best Mail Delivery Performance Ever   USPS Boasts Best Mail Delivery Performance Ever

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Tue Mar 15 11:48:15 2022

@terry55 - I started putting large "Please Scan Me" stickers on all my packages as a few years back I had a plethora of packages not being scanned on delivery around Christmas. Luckily I didn't get any INR claims, but I easily could have since they never showed as delivered on the USPS site.

Perminate Link for USPS Boasts Best Mail Delivery Performance Ever   USPS Boasts Best Mail Delivery Performance Ever

This user has validated their user name. by: Mighty Mouse

Tue Mar 15 12:57:52 2022

Our accountant mailed some forms from the West Coast of Florida, which is less than 3 hours car ride from us.  It took over a week for the letter to make it across the state, you could walk the letter faster than the USPS took to deliver.
SAD!

Perminate Link for USPS Boasts Best Mail Delivery Performance Ever   USPS Boasts Best Mail Delivery Performance Ever

by: terry55 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 15 16:21:31 2022

@iheartjacksparrow
I've been lucky and had great mail lady's, she was the one that actually called me and told me of the policy. It also robs the carrier's of 13 seconds per scan, so add that up with hundreds of packages per month and I'm not the only seller on her route.
BUT now I have a package sitting in IN for the last 14 days and they tell me to open a missing mail request, their too lazy to look for it.

Perminate Link for USPS Boasts Best Mail Delivery Performance Ever   USPS Boasts Best Mail Delivery Performance Ever

by: UB This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 15 19:34:08 2022

@terry55 That is not a postal policy. I have family that works for USPS. Anyone that has issues with carriers/clerks not scanning their packages as picked up/acceptance should file a complaint then get Contact Congressional Reps if needed.

Perminate Link for USPS Boasts Best Mail Delivery Performance Ever   USPS Boasts Best Mail Delivery Performance Ever

by: BatmanOfOz This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 16 04:16:27 2022

One of my packages went on its way from AZ to NM...by way of CA, where it SAT for several days, before Finally getting to its NM address! Another went to the post office in Bell Gardens, CA...where it was Never Seen Again! I spoke to a postal employee about it, and was told that that facility is Notorious for 'Losing' packages!
So...ebay Refunded the buyer and My item was just Gone!

Perminate Link for USPS Boasts Best Mail Delivery Performance Ever   USPS Boasts Best Mail Delivery Performance Ever

by: terry55 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 16 16:36:28 2022

@UB
that's what I thought too but ask them about scanner program, they updated my mail lady's scanner last week, now she can only scan 5, re-scan and repeat until all my packages are done.  

Perminate Link for USPS Boasts Best Mail Delivery Performance Ever   USPS Boasts Best Mail Delivery Performance Ever

by: I_Fix_Dolls This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 17 00:44:07 2022

Just today I put two important (to me) business sized stamped envelopes in my mailbox to be picked up. The carrier put the flag down, threw in a piece of junk mail & left without taking the outgoing mail. It was probably the person who subs for the regular carrier's day off, but could they not even give them a list of do and don't  do so that I don't have to make a trip to the PO? Now that mail is going to be at least a day later than I intended. Plus I have to call and let them know so they can train their employee.

Perminate Link for USPS Boasts Best Mail Delivery Performance Ever   USPS Boasts Best Mail Delivery Performance Ever

by: Tunnelboy This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 17 00:50:43 2022

Best delivery of all time. Sounds like someone else made that statement. Hmmm.

Been the usual snail-like performance for me. Nobody scanning anymore. Either "Out for Delivery" that hangs for weeks or "Awaiting acceptance" for several days after being picked up. I honestly don't see the big deal with scanning a package? Why can't it be enforced?

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This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Thu Mar 17 01:48:25 2022

They really should survey their customers.  Cuz this is not true for me at all.  I have all kinds of packages arriving late, VERY late.  I have had to file for a half dozen traces on packages just in the last few days.  It is a mess.  It is no where near what it use to be before the Pandemic and/or Mr. DeJoy.

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by: Eagle This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 17 02:32:28 2022

I started noticing USPS wasn't scanning first class packages mid-December. Started getting complaints from customers wondering if we were ever going to ship packages. If you track number at USPS it states, "WE have been notified of a shipping label being purchased, but that doesn't mean we have the package in our possession." They were really getting anxious before Christmas. We ship out of San Antonio suburb and the only time they were getting scanned was either at customers area dist. hub or at customers local post office. We have been taking to local post office now and have them scanned in in front of our eyes. Still no scan at SA Hub or any other drops unto customers hub or local PO. Priority is getting scanned at every interval. Been waiting for an anxious customer start freaking out and file back charge. It seems to me USPS is trying to force vendors to use Priority if they want scanned packages? What it's doing is directing my customers to choose FedEx for shipping even though it's a few $$ more. Since DeJoy was assigned to damage the USPS our FedEx shipments have increased to 20% of our orders up from 2-3% before DeJoy was assigned Postmaster.

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This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Thu Mar 17 05:27:06 2022

If this is USPS's best, we're in trouble.

Perminate Link for USPS Boasts Best Mail Delivery Performance Ever   USPS Boasts Best Mail Delivery Performance Ever

by: cvsharkey This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 17 06:19:27 2022

Too many lost 1st class packages--I can't risk it anymore. Won't ship it that way from now on.

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by: all in the family This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 17 12:19:54 2022

Selling handmade on etsy, I do spot checks on delivery of packages on and off all year, and more frequently in Nov/Dec due to holidays. This way I can see how things are going, I don't wait to hear how they are going from etsy because that information is too slow to arrive to my inbox.

I ship almost exclusively USPS, mostly small boxes 1/2 lb or so, and mailing pouches, also under 1 lb. None of these are imprinted with my logo, nor are the boxes from USPS, so even my priority shipments aren't USPS priority boxes.

I have found that over the past couple months orders have arrived on time always with one exception, and this includes a little over 30 orders from the Northeast to every single region of the US except AK and HI, including some very small destination towns in states like TX, CO, MT and FL. Most were shipped First Class and arrived just about what you'd expect (2-4 days), even meeting the old standards for First Class; a handful were surprisingly fast (2 days to CA and NM); only one in that time was at 6 days, and I'm not sure that's technically over; and it might have shipped on a weekend (shouldn't matter of course, but timing a shipment to go out earlier in the week when possible can help). One in-state shipment took longer than several that were bound for far off regions. Go figure.

I worry about rising costs and the impact to the small sellers; while I'm a fan of my local post office crew, who do a stellar job as far as I can tell, I am not at all a fan of the current leadership, and wonder how much spin is in their reports. Thanks to EcommerceBytes for keeping us all informed of important issues, and providing a place for feedback.

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by: ADINA72 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 17 15:13:12 2022

I am in New York and ship an equal amount between padded envelopes and smaller boxes, first class, priority and media mail. I drop off most packages and wait to get them scanned, although my mail carrier is very good at scanning also. But since our post office closes at 3pm and most days he is not done with his route until after the post office is closed, I drop them off to make sure they actually leave the same day. Anyway, I've noticed over the past month or two that packages are not getting scanned as often as they used to, but there have been very few that have been late. Shipping to California is even faster than shipping across my state, for some reason. I really have no complaints.

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