New Service Standards Raise the Bar, Add Classes of Mail to be Measured

WASHINGTON, D.C. — National on-time performance scores for the delivery of First-Class Mail reached 96 percent and 93 percent of customers gave the U.S. Postal Service highest satisfaction marks as the Postal Service debuted a new, national standards rating process.

For almost 20 years, the Postal Service has contracted with an outside entity to measure First-Class Mail service performance independently and objectively. USPS is the only shipping or mailing company that measures and reports its service and delivery standards.

The fiscal year first quarter, ending Dec. 31, marks the first time the Postal Service is piloting a new ratings system, a system that is tougher on the Postal Service, includes more than 850, three-digit ZIP Codes and, for the first time, includes delivery tests and standards for International mail and the classification of mail that large, commercial mailers routinely use.

“The target is still the same, to measure our successes in on-time mail delivery so we meet the needs of our customers,” said Delores Killette, Postal Service vice president and consumer advocate. “We’ve set some ambitious goals and we will strive to meet those goals as we continue to improve the measurement system.”

The service standards were set in consultation with business and residential customers and the Postal Regulatory Commission, as required by the Postal Act of 2006. The results announced today acknowledge a more competitive business environment and increased customer demands. The results also reflect pressures from costs and the time needed to deliver to 1.2 million new addresses each year.

The benchmarks that will be set will reflect progress that’s been made by the Postal Service in mail preparation, processing and transportation. The fact that more mail is being delivered by ground transportation, and not being transported by air, also will mean longer delivery times in some geographic areas, Killette said.

While some time might be lost in ground transportation, it is more economically and environmentally friendlier than air transport.

“We are committed to providing our customers with the level of service they have come to expect. Our scores remain strong and we’ll continue striving to make them even better,” said Killette.

The first set of service standard scores measured during the pilot test period are:

Customer Satisfaction is 93 percent
Overnight delivery is 96 percent
Two-day delivery service is 92 percent
Three-day delivery service is 86 percent
International (single piece) First Class Mail is 86 percent.

An audio news release on this topic is available in the newsroom at usps.com.

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