• Project Title:
  • Highway Contract Routes – Extra Trips in the Mid-Carolinas District
  • Start Date:
  • Wednesday, February 28, 2018
  • Estimated Report Release Date:
  • August 2018

The U.S. Postal Service uses highway contract routes (HCR) to transport mail between post offices and other designated points where mail is received or dispatched. An extra trip is one made in addition to those outlined in the contract; it results in added costs. Extra trips can be the result of late mail processing or early mail collection.

Management schedules extra trips to prevent serious delays of mail or as a result of high mail volume. Postal Service Form 5397, Contract Route Extra Trip Authorization, is used to authorize the extra trip, and Form 5429, Certification of Exceptional Contract Service Performed, certifies the additional payments due the contractor.

Our objective is to assess the effectiveness of the extra trip processes in the Mid-Carolinas district.

  • How can the extra trip process be improved?  
  • How has the automation of the payment certification process through Form 5429 (including the uploading of supporting Forms 5397 in the system) improved the management of extra trips?
  • How do other transportation companies control extra trips when making their deliveries?

Comments (4)

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  • anon

    OIG has answered this question itself in prior audits.... 1....IOP's....MAPS...and load plans.....Time and time again, audit after audit you folks in OIG acknowledge the dismal failure of management to have, maintain and follow these basic rules....Chaos comes easily. 2...the administration of highway contracts.....Your audits have shown that the people tasked to perform this function do not do a good job. So often it has become standard that simple questions which should be asked before renewing a contract are not asked. For instance: Are the truck sizes and capacities appropriate to the task of the contract? Our product mix has changed which any good manager would then questions the capacities and timing of contracts.....It's not done. Result......The extra trips you are questioning... ..................Perhaps it is finally time for OIG to look at all of your audits of trees, step back, and see what is happening in the forest? .........Would you care to comment back?

    Mar 16, 2018
  • anon

    Thank you for your comments and we appreciate the points you have provided related to the extra trips. As part of this review we have looked at previous audits covering extra trips in other Postal Service areas and are revisiting this subject area to identify improvements made to the process. We will continue to bring this issue to the forefront based on the findings of the Mid Carolinas District.

    Mar 19, 2018
  • anon

    In order to reduce cost, someone need monitor and call see whether can combine routes or adjust pick up time to avoid the extra trip.

    Mar 15, 2018
  • anon

    OIG Audit Team: Thank you for your comments. As part of our audit we plan to review management’s responsibility, oversight, and the efficiency of the extra trips process.

    Mar 19, 2018

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