Despite regular claims of “steady” service, the Postal Service’s own data shows that the only steadiness of service is in its worsening.
Though the agency has granular service performance data, by weeks and months if not days; by geographic area if not by ZIP Code and processing facility; and by specific products within the classes of mail, what it chooses to share publicly is homogenized to mask when, where, and for what mail service is the worst. The weekly press releases it’s been issuing since 2021 are an example of such statistical blending.
Their own numbers
However, despite the positive spin the agency always seeks to apply to its messages, the numbers can’t be made to tell a different story. The chart below shows the national scores reported by the weekly press releases during the last six months of calendar 2023.
Showing that data in a chart, the trend is clear.
The orange, blue, and green lines (and trendlines) are for Marketing Mail, First-Class Mail, and periodicals, respectively, and the plot points correspond to the weekly data in the adjacent chart.
Since November 13, the Postal Service has been claiming “operational disruptions within our network” such as the insourcing of several surface transfer centers and the “extended shutdown of a critical St Louis (MO) processing facility … have and will continue to negatively impact our service performance scores. ” At that time, the “disruption” was to last two weeks; later that became through the end of the month; and now, in the most recent release, through the end of December. “Significant growth in package volume” is also being blamed, despite the agency allegedly being ready to handle the peak season rush.
Nonetheless, the USPS continues to assert it has “effectively managed these expected increased package volumes along with the unexpected network disruptions … which evidences our ability to rapidly adjust to all conditions.” Despite the Postal Service’s claim of an “ability to rapidly adjust,” the “disruptions” in November seem to persist in their impact on service – and those “disruptions” can’t be used to explain the service decline before mid-November. Louis DeJoy’s publicists need to get their story straight.
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