Big Mail Delays Are Showing The Urgent Need For Reforming The USPS

TROUBLES CONTINUE at the U.S. Postal Service, whose performance in terms of on-time delivery suffered a sudden and precipitous decline in the last two months of 2020. In the last week of December, only 71 percent of local first-class mail arrived within two days of being sent, which is USPS’s goal — down from over 90 percent in the first half of the year. The causes of the decline are not fully understood, but clearly the coronavirus pandemic had something to do with it: Online shopping caused a 61.5 percent end-of-December surge in package volumes even as a wave of infections forced nearly 20,000 postal workers off the job. The system was also feeling the lingering impact of disruptive changes imposed by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy in July, followed by its all-out — and largely successful — effort to deliver election mail in November.

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