United States Postal Service®

Quarterly Performance for Periodicals
Service Variance
Mailpieces Delivered Between 07/01/2017 and 09/30/2017

Quarter IV


Periodicals performance is measured via the Intelligent Mail® Accuracy and Performance System (iMAPS) using the documented arrival time at a designated postal facility to start the measurement clock, and an Intelligent Mail® barcode (IMB®) scan by an external, third-party reporter to stop-the-clock. Mail piece tracking from IMB® in-process scans is used in conjunction with the external data to extrapolate results to the entire volume of Periodicals with Full-Service Intelligent Mail®. Data collected by U.S. Postal Service® are provided to an independent, external contractor to calculate service measurement and compile the necessary reports.

The methodology for estimating performance for Periodicals was modified slightly beginning in FY 2017 Quarter 1. The application of the last mile profile was changed from stratification by the type of final processing operation to stratification by the number of days remaining to meet service standard after final processing. This methodology change was made to improve the accuracy of the performance estimates as the new methodology better accounts for the relationship between time spent in last mile and time spent in processing.

The external contractor determines service performance based on the elapsed time between the start-the-clock event recorded by U.S. Postal Service® and the stop-the-clock event recorded by anonymous households and small businesses that report delivery information directly to the contractor. The service measure consists of two parts: (1) how long mail pieces take to get through processing, and (2) how long mail takes from the last processing scan to delivery. The second portion is used as a delivery factor differential to determine the percent of all Periodicals delivered on the last processing date versus the percent delivered after the last processing date. Service performance is measured by comparing the transit time to USPS® service standards to determine the percent of mail delivered on time.

The Service Performance Measurement (SPM) application of the Full-Service Seamless Acceptance and Service Performance system (SASP) serves as the data source for iMAPS. SPM captures data from all Full-Service Intelligent Mail® and applies business rules for service measurement before sending data to iMAPS.

Service performance measurement was suspended for mail originating from or destined to the Caribbean District starting September 16, 2017 due to the devastating impacts of Hurricanes Irma and Maria.


Data for the delivery factor were based on a combination of Periodicals with IMB® and External First-Class Mail® (EXFC) Measurement System flat-shaped test pieces received by external reporters. The EXFC data were used to supplement the Periodicals data available during this period.

Performance Highlights

National Periodicals service performance was 87.0 percent on time, 3.3 points higher when compared to the same period last year. Pacific Area led the nation with 89.6 percent on time in FY 2017 Quarter 4.

In FY 2017 Quarter 4, 94.6 percent of Periodicals were delivered within the service standard plus one day, 97.0 percent within the service standard plus two days, and 98.1 percent within the service standard plus three days. Individual areas achieved at least 93.5 percent delivery within the service standard plus one day, and as much as 98.6 percent within three days.

The FY 2017 annual national service performance score of 85.6 for Periodicals increased by 5.5 points compared to FY 2016. It represented the highest annual score since measurement began.


Area Percent Within +1-Day Percent Within +2-Days Percent Within +3-Days
Capital Metro 93.5 96.3 97.6
Eastern 95.8 97.7 98.6
Great Lakes 94.6 97.2 98.2
Northeast 93.5 96.6 97.9
Pacific 95.7 97.6 98.5
Southern 93.7 96.5 97.7
Western 95.1 97.3 98.3
Nation FY2017 Q4 94.6 97.0 98.1

Nation FY2016 Q4 (SPLY) 92.9 95.9 97.3

Nation FY2009 Annual 88.2 93.0 95.5
Nation FY2010 Annual 90.2 94.4 96.5
Nation FY2011 Annual 89.8 94.7 96.6
Nation FY2012 Annual 86.1 92.4 95.4
Nation FY2013 Annual 92.6 95.9 97.4
Nation FY2014 Annual 91.2 94.8 96.7
Nation FY2015 Annual 89.3 93.5 95.7
Nation FY2016 Annual 90.7 94.4 96.2
Nation FY2017 Annual 93.8 96.4 97.7
Nation FY2017 Q1 91.7 95.0 96.7
Nation FY2017 Q2 93.8 96.4 97.7
Nation FY2017 Q3 95.2 97.3 98.3
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