USPS Delays 'Far Worse Than We Were Told,' Internal Docs Show

Across the board, “on-time” scores have fallen sharply since early July, the presentations show.
August 22, 2020, 8:55pm
Image from iOS

You’re not just imagining it: The mail really is experiencing widespread delays, according to new internal United States Postal Service documents.

The documents were published by Rep. Carolyn Maloney ahead of a Monday hearing with Postmaster General Louis DeJoy before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform. Motherboard previously reported that a mix of the coronavirus pandemic, more restrictive overtime policies, and a restriction on the amount of time that mail can be sorted and loaded onto mail trucks before they go out has led to delays in mail delivery. Maloney said that "these new documents show that the delays are far worse than we were told” by DeJoy.

Subscribe to our newsletter about the USPS:

The new documents, a Postmaster General “Service Performance Measurement” briefing prepared for DeJoy on August 12, seemingly show the actual impact of those policies. Across the board, “on-time” scores have fallen sharply since early July. Presorted first-class mail is getting delivered late 8.1 percent more often than baseline, marketing mail (8.42 percent), periodicals (9.57 percent), and even Priority Mail (7.97 percent) have seen similar drops. 

“A marked decline in service performance observed for Priority Mail starting week 7/11/2020,” the document reads. 

USPS has faced an incredible amount of scrutiny in recent weeks as president Donald Trump has tried to sow discord and discourage people from voting by mail in the upcoming election. The Post Office has also decommissioned and dismantled a series of mail sorting machines across the country. 

Screen Shot 2020-08-22 at 4.50.46 PM.png

“After being confronted on Friday with first-hand reports of delays across the country, the Postmaster General finally acknowledged a ‘dip’ in service, but he has never publicly disclosed the full extent of the alarming nationwide delays caused by his actions and described in these new documents,” Maloney said in a statement. “To those who still claim there are ‘no delays’ and that these reports are just ‘conspiracy theories,’ I hope this new data causes them to re-think their position and support our urgent legislation today. We have all seen the headlines from every corner of our country, we have read the stories and seen pictures, we have heard directly from our constituents, and these new documents show that the delays are far worse than we were told.”