94 percent of area's local mail delivered overnight, study finds

Baltimore's district beats national average

January 12, 2002|By Jeannie McDonald | Jeannie McDonald,SUN STAFF

Mail sent within Maryland is being delivered faster than mail within most other regions, despite the terrorist attacks that affected the Postal Service.

In the Baltimore District, which encompasses most of the state, 94 percent of first-class mail sent within its boundaries was delivered overnight. The national average was 93 percent. Mail was tracked between Sept. 8 and Nov. 30, the first quarter of the U.S. Postal Service's fiscal year.

The Baltimore District, which has headquarters across from the Shot Tower on East Fayette Street, handled about 722 million pieces of local first-class mail during that period, said Gary Colburn, a Postal Service spokesman. The region's main post office on Fayette handled about half of it, Colburn said, while the rest went through centers in Linthicum, Frederick and Easton.

"Under the circumstances, our employees really came through," Colburn said, referring to the terrorist attacks and the anthrax contaminations that affected the Postal Service in late September and early October. "There was a lot of stress, but we still maintained our high level of performance."

The Baltimore District includes the BWI airmail facility, which was closed for more than a week in late October after an employee was exposed to anthrax. That employee also worked at Washington's Brentwood center, where two employees died from anthrax exposure, Colburn said.

The Baltimore District, which includes ZIP codes that begin with 210, 211, 212, 214, 217 and 219, covers 2,700 square miles and has 1.56 million addresses.

Data for the Cumberland area and the Eastern Shore were not included in the report because the two areas are not densely populated, Colburn said.

The scores, announced this week, were generated by PricewaterhouseCoopers. The data are compared with Postal Service delivery standards and released each postal quarter.

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