Houston/ Politics & Govt
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Published on February 24, 2024
Houston USPS Mail Delivery Performance Falls Below Standards Amid National SlowdownSource: Unsplash/ Joel Moysuh

In a revelation that has left Houston residents frustrated, the United States Postal Service's (USPS) performance data paints a bleak picture of mail delivery in the area. Performance has plummeted below standards, particularly since November, with a significant drop during January's hard freeze. The Houston Chronicle reports, USPS service performance tracker indicates that Houston has been lagging behind the national average for the past three months.

Amidst the chaos, the USPS declined to participate in town meetings with elected officials to discuss the ongoing issues, causing some to call for increased transparency. Despite the presence of an uptick in early February, USPS admitted in a release obtained by Houston Chronicle that "service admittedly very poor in January." The expansive Texas 2 district, which includes Houston as its hub, stretches along the Gulf Shore and encompasses other cities like Beaumont, Corpus Christi, and Brownsville/McAllen. This district has seen one of its worst performances in years, registering scores well below the USPS goal of 92.50% for on-time first-class mail delivery.

While marketing mail in Houston initially maintained high on-time scores, these numbers have also started to decline according to the USPS data. "Marketing mail averaged 95.20% in the final quarter of FY2023. That dropped to 92.60% in Q1 of FY2024 and 72.83% through the first few weeks of Q2," the Houston Chronicle detailed from USPS reports. The other types of mail, including periodicals and bound printed matter, media, and library mail have similarly suffered significant dips in their service scores.

The USPS's poor performance is not just a local problem. Nationwide delivery times are slowing down, as seen in data shared with the Postal Regulatory Commission and reported by Save The Post Office. They reported that only 70.5% of 3-5 day nationwide mail was delivered on time in the first quarter of FY 2024, a significant decline from the previous year's 81.8%. Acknowledging the national problem, local elected officials like Congressman Al Green from Houston are calling for more transparency and a Congressional hearing.

This slump in performance could be attributed to the "Delivering for America" plan initiated by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, aimed at cost-cutting through consolidating the processing and delivery network. "This is the fourth time the mail has slowed down since DeJoy became Postmaster General," stated Save The Post Office, highlighting the adverse effects of the policy changes on timely mail delivery. Even before this recent drop, Texas 2's December performance was more than seven percentage points below that week's national average. Efforts to resolve this have included dispatching additional resources, with USPS indicating some improvement in local delivery services as a result.