B00! OCTOBER ENDS UP WITH SOME TRICKS AND SOME TREATS.
The Postal Service stumbled through October, a busy month, with middling performance when you round it all out. First-Class letters had a lousy week to wrap up a lousy October. Last week, only 82.4% of First-Class letters were delivered on time, 85.0% for the month. First-Class flats had a relatively good week, with “relatively” being the operative word. 84% of First-Class flats were delivered on time, at least better than the October average of 78.5%. Yay?
Marketing Mail, bless its heart, motored along with Flats and Letters both over 95% on time for the week and the month.
- THING ONE: Last year, in an election year, 90.9% of First-Class letters were delivered on time in October, 86.2% for flats. Those were the gool old days, right? Well, the headline for the October 31, 2022 US Mail Traffic Report was: “FIRST-CLASS MAIL STAYS BELOW AVERAGE. SHOWS DRAMATIC DECLINE VS OCTOBER 2021.”
- THING TWO: I have puzzled for months trying to understand how Marketing Mail stays so consistent, while First-Class Mail…doesn’t. I think it comes down to this: Marketing Mail involves very little origin processing – it’s routed right to the delivery facility, and the Postal Service is great at delivering the last mile. First-Class Mail requires a lot more origin processing, and most delays occur at the origin facility. And yet, the 10-year plan is focusing on delivery facilities, where they are already pretty good. This is just a theory, and I will be trying to bear it out with data.