OIG finds “growing problem” with carriers working after dark in Capital District

From the USPS Office of the Inspector General:

uspsoigThe number of city carriers returning after 5 p.m. is a growing problem in the Capital District, increasing by 14 percent from FY 2011, Quarter 1 to FY 2013, Quarter 4. City carriers returned after 5 p.m. because mail coming from processing facilities did not always meet times established in the integrated operating plan and management did not always properly supervise city delivery operations. Adhering to integrated operating plans will improve mail arrival time at delivery units. Further, better supervision of city letter carriers will reduce the number of carriers returning after 5 p.m., increase carrier safety, and reduce late mail delivery.

In other matters, external stakeholders suggested the Postal Service take additional safety measures such as providing brightly colored, reflective clothing to make city carriers more visible and identifiable in the dark. Other suggestions included providing additional safety training and realigning delivery routes so carriers can deliver mail earlier in the day in dangerous areas.

Full report (.pdf format)

  • matt

    Just get the mail to the us earlier so the carriers can get on the street. Funny how mail volume is at “records lows” and they can get the mail to the ao’s’ before 7. 15 years ago we would be on the street by 730 and done by 3 if no pivoting. The mail volume hit it’s all time high in 2006. Since then volume has decreased Start times have increased now we have carriers out after dark. What a bunch of moron running this place!!!!

  • butch

    well duh! how many tens of thousands of dollars did this cost?just drive around any major city in the us after five and look.morons!

  • IIlIIl111

    “providing brightly colored, reflective clothing to make city carriers more visible”……and make them a better target in the process………………………..

  • jjfad

    5 oclock is a big deal? im out to 630 everyday. some r out to 7. At least now its still light out, when it gets darker sooner it still doesnt change. All these new machines, computers, “less mail” (which is really hidden in dps), and still mail cant show up on time. Solution – start the carriers later so where out later, how bout starting the handlers sooner.

  • postalworker1


  • Old timer

    Wait till Amazon gets into full swing

  • Bob

    All they have to do is who ever is managing the mail being run is 1 bring operators in earlier and 2 back all the mail by one day and 3 manage the mail so you have equal amounts every day. It seems on Mondays and the day after holidays they seem to load us down then the rest of the week the volume trails off.

  • Bob

    This is a problem throughout the country!


    As has been already pointed out, this problem is not specific to the DC area. The problem is all over the country.

    We have discussed it with management on multiple occasions. We have also sent multiple letters to the poom, to safety and right on up to the PMG. The responses we have received back have been to the “we are looking in to it” affect.

    We suggested all of these solutions as well. Except the safety gear idea, as this does little to solve the problem.

  • http://postalnews.com/ hollywood

    D.C. in the dark ? No thank you .

  • carrier

    I start at 8am. 8hrs is 430. Tell me where the problem is? It gets dark in the winter at 5 which every carrier knows slows us down. This is unreal that time start is not corrected.

  • Rebecca

    In the city I work in, we have carriers out till 8 and 9 p.m. Absolutely ridiculous and uncalled for. We have complete idiots living in fantasy worlds deciding our routes are not keeping us busy enough. So when someone retires, they simply disperse their territory onto other routes, all the time insisting that the route is under 8 hours and questioning our integrity. These geniuses have Carriers delivering to the same Cluster Boxes and leap frogging business and residential areas, senseless. There seriously needs to be an investigation into the Postal Service and their ethics on how they treat their employees with their insane expectations. I have delivered mail in the dark one too many times. I cannot see pedestrians next to my truck, or bicyclists. It is very unnerving. Not to mention my own safety.

  • Bob

    Mail volume is low because they are hiding it in the DPS and FSS, as the saying goes figures never lie but liars always figure. They make the routes look any way they want. They did a route count in our office and they took my 8 1/2 hour route and added an hour to it and said that now I have an 8 hour route.

  • matt

    Yes I totally agree. I don’t believe mail volume is down compared to when I started 1997. The way we sort the mail has changed. We use to deliver 950 stop routes in 5 hour and cased for the other 3. Delivery was much quicker on the street. Now I have a 680 stop route that take 1.5 hour to case but it take 6.5 to deliver. Way to many bundles to look after on the street.

  • Saul Kaplan

    A lot of the problem lies in the fact that there are lots of African Americans in DC. Their ability to blend in, coupled with their propensity towards violent and criminal actions put innocent letter carriers at a far greater risk in dark conditions.

  • carrier for 24 years

    Automation and time standards are a HUGE problem. FSS has eliminated clerk jobs and not saved the post office money. The post office even admits it. They expect us carriers to handle what the machines drop on us EVERY day while we start the work day later. We used to make sure that our customers got their mail about the same time every day by rotating some 3rd and 4th class to the next day if we had to. This was more efficient because 1st and 2nd class mail would be delivered in a timely manner and the carriers would know they could go home and have a life at night. This was also SAFER. The perseverance of a 6 day a week schedule, never knowing when your day will be done is inhumane. The time standards are unrealistic as most of the year it takes more time than what is allowed to do all the functions of the job. With an engineered time study going on, maybe some day this will be corrected, but I will probably never see it as I will have to get out before this job kills me. They have gone for the blood, now they are going for the guts. The LACK of DIGNITY and RESPECT does NOT help either even though the CODE of ETHICS poster is plastered on the wall at my place of employment.

  • carrier for 24 years

    I’m from CT

  • carrier 4 years

    Its a trickle-down effect. It all gets dumped on the carriers!