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California and the West

Southland Mail Service Sets On-Time Delivery Record

Postal centers: All cities in region beat U.S. average of 92% for next-day arrival of letters mailed before 5 p.m.

June 26, 1997|ROBERT A. ROSENBLATT | TIMES STAFF WRITER

WASHINGTON — Southern California set a new record in the quality of mail service during the past quarter, with 94% of the overnight mail arriving on time, the Postal Service reported Wednesday.

All local postal service centers, including the city of Los Angeles, the San Fernando Valley, the San Gabriel Valley, and Orange County, surpassed 90% for next-day delivery of letters mailed before 5 p.m.

Moreover, all cities in the region, stretching from San Luis Obispo to the Mexican border, beat the national average of 92%.

It was an "an outstanding performance," said Gene Howard, vice president for the Postal Service's Pacific area, which includes California and Hawaii. "We're very pleased with their success."

The Postal Service has focused special attention on improved delivery of first-class letters in recent years. Enhanced personnel training and an ambitious automation program have produced steadily improving results.

"The credit goes to our hard-working employees who continually strive to provide our customers with the best mail service ever," said Howard.

Mail delivery is checked by the Price Waterhouse accounting firm, which sends out more than 2 million pieces of mail each year, tracking delivery in 96 metropolitan areas. The latest survey covered the period from Feb. 28 through May 23.

In a metropolitan area, a letter mailed by 5 p.m. is supposed to be delivered the next day.

The Los Angeles district, which includes the central city, downtown and the Westside, had a 92% on-time rate, a record performance.

The Long Beach district, which covers the coastal cities and the South Bay, hit 94%, also a record.

Van Nuys, covering the San Fernando Valley and the area north to Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo, also reached 94%.

The City of Industry, which covers the San Gabriel Valley, had a 94% rate.

Santa Ana, covering Orange County, hit 93%.

The Marina district, which includes Inglewood, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Marina del Rey and Culver City, had a 91% record.

The city of San Diego had a 95% record, tied for second place in the nation with several other cities.

The record for Southern California means that any letter mailed in the region will reach any other point in the region the next day 94% of the time. The region includes the city of San Diego, although some areas in San Diego County have a two-day delivery standard.

The two-day standard covers areas extending as far as 600 miles. Mail going anywhere beyond 600 miles, including Alaska and Hawaii, should be delivered within three days.

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