DENVER — The U.S. Postal Service maintained most of its recent productivity gains in the year's second quarter but again failed to improve the overall productivity of its delivery operations, according to a new study by the nation's large coalition of postal customers.
The data from the third Quarterly Report Card on the Postal Service, published by the Mailers Council, was distributed at the National Postal Forum on Monday.
The latest quarterly report shows minor changes in most of the 10 grades. Bob McLean, executive director of the Mailers Council, said, “That also includes the poor scores for delivery productivity. The trend line shows no improvement for the quarter, resulting in a grade of C-minus. Clearly, the postal service's attempts to use technology to reduce handling time in this operational area have failed.”
The delivery rating is not a grade based on whether USPS carriers consistently deliver letters at the expected time each day but rather indicates whether the postal service is improving the productivity of all employees working in the delivery area.
“To improve delivery productivity,” McLean said, “the postal service must find new systems and technologies that will reduce the time letter carriers spend preparing to deliver mail and more time on the street delivering it. Investments in new technology will be essential to reducing costs, which is the key to restraining future postage increases.”
The Mailers Council report cards grade the postal service's productivity compared with its own performance in previous quarters and with productivity trends in the private sector. Highlighting such trends encourages the USPS to achieve greater productivity growth, thereby reducing the frequency and size of postage rate increases, the council said.
The report cards are not intended to be a reflection on the efforts of postal employees and managers. They measure how well the postal service as a whole is improving the efficiency of its operations. The USPS has shown sporadic periods of productivity gains since 1970 but never consistent gains, the council said.
The Mailers Council is a coalition of corporations, nonprofit organizations and major mailing associations.