Boston residents may have to wait a little longer for their mail after an investigation showed the city’s Postal Service processing and distribution center saw a 56 percent increase in the amount of delayed mail within a single year.
In just the first three months of fiscal year 2014, the Boston center delayed delivery of 28 million pieces of mail – far above the average 8 million for similar sized facilities, according to the Postal Service’s Inspector General.
Most were standard mail, but some 1.4 million delayed pieces were sent first class, for which customers pay extra to ensure quicker delivery.
“Consequently, service scores in Boston declined and the percentage of carriers reporting back after 5 p.m. increased,” the IG added.
Officials at the processing plant said they have changed the way the flow of work is structured and improved training for employees. They told the inspector general they believe they’re getting the situation under control.
Part of the problem was a deluge of mail. The Boston center absorbed most of the letters and packages after the Postal Service closed another processing facility in Middlesex-Essex.
But investigators said officials at the facility didn’t plan properly for the flood of new pieces of mail, and didn’t use many existing USPS processes for organizing mail to ensure its delivery on time.