Beginning Friday, the United States Postal Service will implement its new service standards for mail delivery. This means that mail delivery is about to get slower and more expensive. As a result, Americans should start thinking about sending their mail and parcels earlier than usual.
New Service Standards Mean Slower Mail Delivery
Beginning Friday, the USPS will launch its new service standards for first-class mail and periodicals. This new system effectively slows down mail delivery time by 30%. This is according to agency spokesperson Kim Frum.
Increased Time-in-travel For Mail Delivery Services
In particular, the system changes mean increased time-in-transit for long-distance mail delivery services. This usually covers coast-to-coast deliveries. Frum clarified that most first-class mail and periodicals will remain unaffected by the changes.
For single-piece, first-class mail traveling within the same region will retain the delivery time of two days.
By definition, the USPS considers first-class mail as “standard-sized letters and flats,” Frum explained. This is different from first-class packages used to ship smaller and lighter items.
At present, first-class mail and first-class packages fall under the same delivery standards. However, all this will change beginning Friday this week.
Changes Will Affect Cross-Country and Other Long Distance Deliveries
According to Frum, some of the changes will result in increased mail delivery time for first-class packages. It will also affect some pieces of mail that require cross-country or long-distance delivery.
Frum assured customers that 61% of first-class mail and 93% of periodicals will remain unaffected by these changes.
For example, single-piece first-class mail traveling in the same region will continue to have two-day delivery times. However, first-class packages will take longer.
Beginning October 3 and ending December 26, the postal service will also temporarily increase prices. This covers all “commercial and retail domestic packages” due to the holiday season. However, the price increases will not affect international products.
USPS 10-Year Strategic Plan
The changes to mail delivery and prices are part of the Postal Service's 10-year strategic plan. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy announced the program last March.
It includes a combination of investments in technology and training. In addition, the USPS will deploy a new fleet of delivery vehicles. These changes can lead to greater “consistency, reliability, and efficiency” benefiting customers, Frum said.
“The need for the U.S. Postal Service to transform to meet the needs of our customers is long overdue,” DeJoy earlier said. Meanwhile, Frum said that the Postal Service will use more ground transportation.
This method provides a more reliable and cost-effective means of mail delivery compared to air transportation. “With this change, we will improve service reliability and predictability for customers while also driving efficiencies across the Postal Service network,” she said.
Previous Performance Records
In August, the USPS announced that its services met its benchmarks 83.6% of the time during the previous quarter ending June 30. Last year, the agency achieved an 88.9% performance during the same period.
In addition, the USPS reported a loss of $3 billion for the quarter. Last year during the same period, the agency posted a loss of $2.2 billion.
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