This Service Performance Dashboard provides easy access to recent performance reports shared by the Postal Service with the Postal Regulatory Commission, Congress, the courts (as part of litigation involving mail delays), and FOIA requests. NB: This is not an official USPS website. See below for an explanation of service standards and service performance.
The USPS Office of Inspector General initiated its own service performance page in June 2021. It is an excellent source of performance data, available here.
There’s an archive of previous charts here.
The following table was submitted by the USPS to the PRC as part of the 2021 annual compliance report. It shows on-time performance for Market-Dominant mail classes for Q2 FY 2023. View on Google Docs here. Download from the PRC website here (May 10, 2023).
The following table shows the percent of mail delivered on time during the first quarter (Oct-Dec) of FY 2023, for the nation, disaggregated by month, for each First-Class Mail product (all service standards and combined). View on Google Docs. Source: Postal Regulatory Commission, ACR 2023, February 9, 2023.
The following table was submitted by the USPS to the Postal Regulatory Commission as part of its annual compliance review. It shows average delivery times: Tabs FY21 and FY22 show the national averages disaggregated by class and service standard; the tab 2004-2022 shows the historical averages for single-piece First Class, workshare (presort) First Class, and periodicals going back to 2004. (The shaded columns have been added.) View on Google Docs. Source: Postal Regulatory Commission, ACR 2022, February 6, 2023.
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The following charts are based on the service performance data recently provided by the USPS, with specific sources as noted. You can use the links above each chart to download the data used to make the chart and a jpg version of the chart itself. If the charts aren’t showing, please refresh your browser.
First Class Mail (Composite), 2020 – 2022
Source: The scores since May 2021 were submitted as an exhibit in Pennsylvania v Louis DeJoy. Earlier scores were submitted in Vote Forward v. DeJoy. The scores for 4/9/21 to 5/7/21 are unavailable, so those numbers are estimated.
First Class Mail (Composite), May 2021 – May 2022
Source: The scores since May 2021 were submitted as an exhibit in Pennsylvania v Louis DeJoy. Note that service standards were downgraded on Oct. 1, 2021, so scores after that are not exactly comparable to those before.
Service Performance for Q1 FY2022
The service performance reports published last week provide district-by-district data for each of the categories of First Class mail — single-piece and presort, with delivery standards of 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 days. Note that before the changes in standards, the categories were 1, 2 and 3-5 days (with 99 percent of 3-5 day mail being 3-day), so the reports have a composite figure to make comparisons with the past possible. Here’s a summary of the scores on the national level. (The single-piece report is here; the presort is here.)
|Single-Piece First Class|
|FY 2022 Original Target||N/A||95.0||95.0||95.0||95.0||95.0|
|FY 2022 Revised Target||N/A||90.3||90.0||90.0||90.0||90.00|
|Q1 FY2021 (SPLY)||N/A||81.5||N/A||N/A||N/A||54.6|
|FY 2021 Annual||N/A||86.4||N/A||N/A||N/A||63.2|
|FY 2020 Annual||N/A||91.5||N/A||N/A||N/A||78.8|
|FY 2019 Annual||N/A||92.0||N/A||N/A||N/A||80.9|
|Presort First Class|
|FY 2022 Original Target||95.0||95.0||95.0||95.0||95.0||95.0|
|FY 2022 Revised Target||94.75||93.0||90.5||90.5||90.5||90.50|
|Q1 FY2021 (SPLY)||91.3||84.7||N/A||N/A||N/A||78.0|
|FY 2021 Annual||93.4||88.3||N/A||N/A||N/A||80.9|
|FY 2020 Annual||94.7||92.8||N/A||N/A||N/A||89.9|
|FY 2019 Annual||95.5||94.1||N/A||N/A||N/A||92.0|
Service Performance for First Class Mail, Q1 FY2022, by District
The following table summarizes the data in the service performance reports for Q1 FY2022. These reports can be found on the PRC website here; for easier access, they’re posted on Google Docs here. The on-time scores and average days for delivery are volume-weighted composites of all categories of First Class mail — presort and single piece, with service standards of one-to-five days. Note that these numbers are my calculations based on the USPS data; they do not appear in any USPS reporting.
The columns can be sorted by clicking on the arrows in the headers. To return to the original format, with districts categorized by area, refresh your browser. To find the USPS district for a particular zip code, a list can be found here. A map of the districts can be found here. Service standards maps are on Postal Pro and on the Washington Post.
|District||Area||Service Perf Q1 FY2020||Service Perf Q1 FY2022||Service Perf Percent Change||Average Days to Delivery Q1 FY 2020||Average Days to Delivery Q1 FY 2022||Average Days to Delivery Percent Change|
|Greater South Carolina||Capital Metro||92.62%||84.01%||-9.30%||2.51||3.05||21.13%|
|Northern Virginia||Capital Metro||89.27%||85.48%||-4.25%||2.7||3.2||18.34%|
|Western New York||Eastern||93.69%||90.80%||-3.09%||2.47||2.82||13.98%|
|GREAT LAKES AREA||AREA||90.52%||87.47%||-3.37%||2.6||3.01||15.63%|
|Central Illinois||Great Lakes||90.22%||87.50%||-3.01%||2.71||3.02||11.20%|
|Greater Indiana||Great Lakes||91.73%||90.01%||-1.87%||2.59||2.96||14.62%|
|Greater Michigan||Great Lakes||91.53%||89.88%||-1.81%||2.44||2.84||16.09%|
|Northern New England||Northeast||90.50%||87.94%||-2.82%||2.5||3.02||20.42%|
|Northern New Jersey||Northeast||91.50%||90.14%||-1.49%||2.58||3.27||27.10%|
|Salt Lake City||Western||92.01%||92.09%||0.09%||2.78||3.5||25.80%|
First Class Mail (Composite), May – Dec. 2020 vs. 2021
Source: Weekly scores have been submitted as exhibits in Pennsylvania v Louis DeJoy and Vote Forward v. DeJoy.
Percent of Volumes by Service Standard and 1-digit zip zones
This chart shows the percent of volumes for each service standard as they occur in each of the ten 1-digit zip zones, based on service standards (not actual performance data). The chart combines originating and destinating volumes for each SCF (each piece is counted twice). The regions with a prefix of 1 to 4 would have about 20 percent of their volumes shifted to 4 or 5 days, while zones 5, 7, 8 and 9 would have over 40 percent of their volumes downgraded to 4 or 5 days. Overall, Zones 0 to 8 would have about 6.4 percent of their volumes shifted to a 5-day standard. For zone 9, the Pacific region, almost 31 percent of mail volumes would be downgraded to a 5-day standard. (See SH-LR-N2021-1-1, tab “Fig 9 % vol SSD & 1-digit.”)
First Class Mail Volumes by Service Standards
The Postal Service does not provide the PRC with data showing the proportion of First Class mail delivered according to each service standard (overnight, 2-day, and a 3-5 day), but here are a couple of charts that show estimates. Note that over 99 percent of the 3-5 day mail is actually 3-day, with days 4 and 5 applying to mail sent or received outside the contiguous U.S.
The following table shows the proportion of First Class mail that was subject to each service standard. The chart shows the effects of changes in service standards that took place in 2012 (“interim standards”) and 2015 (“final standards”). These changes eliminated overnight delivery for all but a portion of presort mail and shifted some 2-day mail to 3-day. The numbers for 2015 are for the first quarter of the fiscal year and do not reflect the changes in service standards that took place that year, but they can be seen in the numbers for 2020.
Sources: 2005: N89-1 Advisory Opinion (p. 1); 2011-2015: USPS MTAC presentation (which cites FY2005 & FY2014: 2014 Fact Sheet; FY2011: 9/21/11 Federal Register notice; 2015: MTAC FCM Focus Group meeting); 2020 and proposed, USPS Delivering For America 10-year plan.
The following table was created using the Service Performance Aggregation data and Cost Revenue Analysis data that the USPS shares annually with the PRC. Note that this methodology uses actual measurements of volume, so it produces somewhat different results compared to the previous table. For example, it shows the volume of First Class with an overnight standard falling to 30 percent in 2011, before the “interim” service standards went into effect. In any case, the workbook for this chart is here.
Source: PRC Service Performance Aggregation data and Cost Revenue Analysis data.
Definitions and Descriptions
Service Standards are the stated goal or operational benchmark for how many days it should take to deliver the mail. The standards are determined by the class of mail, where it originates, where it is going, and other factors, like the way it’s been presorted (or not). Service Standards were first published in January 2007 in accordance with requirements of the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006. The standards have since been changed a few times, notably in 2012 and 2015 for First Class mail. Since January 2015, the Service Standards — as set forth by federal regulations (39 CFR Part 121) — have been as follows:
- First Class Mail: 1-day, 2-day, and 3-5 days. More specifically:
- Overnight delivery for presorted mail dropped at a mail processing center (called a Sectional Center Facility, or SCF) by the Critical Entry Time (usually 8 a.m.) for delivery to zip codes within the same SCF area (intra-SCF);
- 2 days for mail to be delivered to zip codes within the SCF area (intra-SCF) and also for presorted mail deposited by the CET and transported between two processing centers (inter-SCF) within a six-hour drive;
- 3 days for all other mail within the contiguous U.S.;
- 4 or 5 days for mail originating or destinating outside the contiguous U.S.
- Marketing Mail: 3-10 days, depending on distance, type of preparation, the time the mail is dropped off at a processing center, etc.
- Periodicals: 3-9 days, depending on distance and other factors.
To assist business mailers, the Postal Service publishes maps for each 3-digit zip codes showing the area that qualifies for overnight, 2-day service, 3-day, and so on. These maps can be found here. The Postal Service also shares Excel files showing the service standards for each zip code pair, available on PostalPro.
The Postal Service has proposed changes in these service standards that would slow approximately 40 percent of First Class mail. The changes reduces the use of air transport for 3-day mail and shorten the drive times for inter-SCF 2-day mail from six to three hours. The details can be found here.
Shipping and package services have service standards ranging from two to eight days, and Priority mail products have service standards ranging from one to three days. But these are classified as Competitive products, and the Postal Service does not share service performance data for them, so they are not included in this dashboard.
Service Performance is the percentage of the volume delivered within the service standard for each type of mail. In years past, the Postal Service developed performance scores using a sampling method that involved an outside contractor (IBM), which had people send pieces of mail to and from various locations. In 2015, the Postal Service changed to an internal measurement system that takes advantage of the fact that so much mail is scanned. The new system tracks about two-thirds of the mail — way more than the earlier sampling method — but it does not actually follow a piece of mail from deposit to delivery. Instead, it measures the end-to-end transit time for a “virtual” piece of mail, which includes estimated time for First Mile, actual time for Processing between scans, and estimates for the Last Mile.
Service Performance Targets: Each year the Postal Service sets targets for service performance for the coming year. For First Class mail, the targets are about 95 or 96 percent, and for Marketing Mail and Periodicals, about 92 percent. The Postal Service rarely meets these targets, with First Class averaging about 92 percent and Marketing Mail and Periodicals, about 89 percent. (More details in this PRC report.)
Official sources of performance data