The Postal Service launches new service performance dashboard

SteveFeatured, News

The Postal Service just launched its new service performance dashboard, a requirement of the Postal Reform Act. You can find it here.

As specified by the Act, the dashboard contains weekly, monthly, and quarterly data, which can be disaggregated by type (First Class, Marketing, Single-piece, Pre-sort, etc.). One can search for incoming and outgoing mail from any ZIP code, or even between two ZIP codes.

The search results compare the current period with the targets and with the same period last year (but only going back to  the beginning of fiscal year 2022 on Oct. 1., 2021).

The performance results are presented with two metrics — average days to deliver and the percent of the volume delivered on time (and with one extra day as well).

One can also download the results of a search to a csv table, and there’s a helpful documentation page explaining the dashboard’s features and key terms.

The dashboard does have at least one problem, though. When you search for the delivery data between two ZIP codes, the dashboard tells you the percent of the mail delivered on time, but it doesn’t tell you the service standard used to determine the percentage. So you learn, say, that 90 percent of the mail is delivered on time, but you don’t know how many days “on time” would be. (You can find the service standard using the map in this Washington Post article.)

Another problem is that while one enters a ZIP code to get the data, the scores are not for the ZIP code itself but for the district. When the dashboard was being developed with the Postal Regulatory Commission, the Postal Service argued against reporting at the ZIP code level due to the cost, so the compromise was to have users enter ZIP codes while the results are for the district.

Anyway, the dashboard looks great, it’s very easy to use, and it’s a significant improvement over the other ways the Postal Service shares performance data.

The USPS press release is here. Senator Gary Peters’ statement is here.