Because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Postal Service faced unforeseen and uncontrollable challenges, including higher package volumes and employee absenteeism. In addition, on July 10, 2020, the Postmaster General implemented operational changes, specifically, eliminating unnecessary late and extra trips outside of regularly scheduled transportation service. This initiative would require mail to be transported on regular routes or held until the next regular route is available.
Late trips occur when various conditions cause a delay in the arrival or departure of transportation beyond the scheduled times. Late and extra trips to delivery units can cause disruptions and increase the number of carriers returning after 6 p.m. When carriers return after 6:00 p.m., customer service can suffer, and mail collected by carriers may be late to the P&DC. In addition, late returning carriers can cause increased overtime and penalty overtime costs.
The Los Angeles P&DC is in the Southern California Division of the Logistics and Processing Operations Western Region. The P&DC processes letters, flats, and parcels. From July 1 to September 30, 2020, it reported 4,637 late trips (highest among P&DCs) and 1,535 extra trips (second highest among P&DCs) from the plant to delivery units. Our objective was to assess the causes of late and extra trips.
Source: USPS Office of Inspector General