Postmaster DeJoy: USPS Ready to Deliver on Time This Year

Postmaster DeJoy: USPS Ready to Deliver on Time This Year louis dejoy speaks in meeting Postmaster General Louis DeJoy testifies during a hearing before the House Oversight and Reform Committee on Aug. 24, 2020, on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. (Tom Williams-Pool/Getty Images)

By Sandy Fitzgerald | Thursday, 11 November 2021 08:17 AM

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a year after the U.S. Postal Service delivered only 38% of its holiday season, nonlocal first-class mail on time, is vowing that won't happen again this December.

"Last year, for a variety of reasons, we were overwhelmed and were not able to meet the demands of the nation," DeJoy commented after the agency's governing board meeting Wednesday, The Washington Post reports. "We are ready, so send us your packages and your mail, and we will deliver timely."

The USPS outlined its plan on Wednesday during the board meeting, with panel Chairman Ron Bloom commenting that the service has now added dozens of machines to sort packages, which will allow it to process 4.5 million parcels, for an 18% increase, every day. The postal service is also planning to hire 40,000 seasonal workers.

DeJoy said the moves came as a result of last year's failure to meet the nation's demands, which left lawmakers facing complaints from their constituents and businesses about not only gifts arriving too late, but also about essential mailed items such as prescription medications, bills, and paychecks.

The delays also forced many consumers to pay late fees on utility bills and credit card payments, and some postal processing centers were forced to turn away truckloads of mail because there was no place to store it.

DeJoy's comments come after reports this week that some USPS deliveries will not only be slower but more expensive because of new service standards for some first-class mail and periodicals that will slow target delivery time by about 30% as part of the service's plans to improve overall reliability.

Meanwhile, politics hit the board meeting, when appointees from former President Donald Trump pushed to elect Bloom to a second term as chairman over the objections of Ron Stroman and Anton Hajjar, who were appointed by President Joe Biden.

Bloom is a Democrat and key DeJoy supporter, but his term on the board expires in December and Biden hasn't said yet if he'll appoint him to another seven-year term.

Experts are saying that the Postal Service, under DeJoy and Bloom, has momentum this year that they did not think would happen after last year's failures.

During last year's November governing board meeting, the agency was still fighting legal battles over how it had handled mail-in ballots during the presidential election that had just taken place. It was also facing $169 billion in unpaid obligations and losses of another $160 billion and the USPS's delivery service rates had dropped to levels deemed embarrassing.

This year's numbers, though, are far different, with on-time delivery scores in October climbing to 91% and revenue rising by almost $4 billion when compared to 2020.

Further, the USPS lost $4.9 billion in 2021, but had been projected to lose $9.7 billion, and is close to getting $6 billion from Congress to replace its truck fleet with electric vehicles.