Long-distance newspapers delivered at 68% nationally

Feb 1, 2022

Official Periodicals mail service performance in the fall quarter of 2021 continued to show problems, particularly for mail that is not drop-shipped into destination mail facilities.

For newspapers, long-distance subscribers’ mail would typically fall into a category that USPS calls “end-to-end” mail, where on-time service was reported at 68% nationally.

Some areas, such as the Northeast and Great Lakes area, showed even lower on-time service scores in low 60 ranges.

The quarterly report was consistent with the total year performance, which was about 61% for end-to-end periodicals. Within county mail was reported at 75.5% on-time, but with low reporting levels for that mail.

On-time service scores are developed from scans of individual barcodes on mailpieces. Mail without the individual barcodes is not measured. For Periodicals mail, only about two-thirds of mail shows up in measurement systems.

NNA Chair Brett Wesner, president of Wesner Publications in Cordell, Oklahoma, said that closing gaps in USPS data was a high priority for NNA.

“We have work to do — both within our industry and within USPS — to make sure newspapers show up in the service measurement systems. We know there are significant problems getting newspapers to subscribers.”

Wesner continued, “We have a two–pronged attack on these issues. One is in a working group with USPS where we are identifying the bottlenecks in the system. The other is in improving the value both for publishers and for USPS in making our mail measurable.”

The National Newspaper Association was founded in 1885 to represent weekly and small daily newspapers across America. Today, with 1,800 titles, it is the largest national group for locally owned newspapers.

Learn more about NNA at https://www.nna.org/.