Longer-distance courier deliveries will take longer, postal service says – Delco Times
With the US Postal Service struggling to deliver on time, it has now given itself more time to ship long distances.
The changes, which went into effect on October 1, also include a temporary increase in package prices.
New standards for first-class mail and periodicals extend the delivery time for items requiring more than six hours of driving, which means customers should expect those letters and parcels to take longer to arrive. .
While the previous standard called for first-class mail to reach its destination in no more than three days regardless of distance, that had become impossible to achieve, USPS spokeswoman Amy Gibbs said in a press release from the agency.
The standard, which applied whether the distance was 300 or 3,000 miles, forced the postal service to over-depend on air travel, resulting in unreliable service, officials said.
The new standard for these first-class long-distance mailings is a maximum of five days, which will allow the postal service to rely more on its ground network, officials said.
“With this change, we will improve the reliability and predictability of service for customers, while improving the efficiency of the postal service network,” the USPS statement said.
The change is included in the service 10-year strategic plan.
These longer-distance deliveries account for 39% of first-class mail and 7% of periodicals, officials said.
Mail traveling within a three-hour drive will still have a two-day delivery time, according to the USPS.
For long distance shipments, customers can still choose to use Priority Mail and Priority Mail services to ship packages within the contiguous United States with a service standard of one to three days.
According to Postal Service data, 1 in 5 items in the United States were delivered late to households and businesses in the first three months of 2021.
About 78% of first-class mail was delivered on time in the first quarter, compared to more than 92% of first-class mail delivered on time a year earlier, officials said.
The strategic plan also temporarily increased domestic parcel prices by 25 cents to $ 5, depending on where the parcel goes and its weight, USPS officials said.
While longer delivery time standards are permanent, the price hike is temporary, officials said. It began on October 3 and remains in effect during the holiday season until December 26.
A similar price increase has been put in place during the 2020 holiday season.
The ten-year plan has been criticized by elected officials across the country, including Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro. In June, he led a group of 21 attorneys general in calling on the Postal Regulatory Commission to oppose service cuts proposed by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy.
These cuts could slow first-class mail delivery times, shorten hours at some post offices and increase the price of a first-class stamp, Shapiro said. The plan would disrupt an essential service that many senior Pennsylvanians and veterans rely on, he said.
Andy Kubat, president of the United States Postal Workers Union in the Lehigh Valley area, was not available for comment.
The American Bankers Association is also concerned about what the new deadlines could mean for consumers who depend on the mail to pay their bills, and has advised bank customers to consider changing the way they submit payments, a spokesman Ian McKendry said.
“We recommend scheduling automatic payments online or over the phone,” he said. “Customers should send payments at least one week before the due date to ensure they are received on time.”
The postal service offers these tips to consumers:
- Plan ahead. For mail or correspondence requiring a delay, the Postal Service encourages customers to send their mail in advance.
- When you send long distance mail, send it early. If it takes more than a day to transport the mail to its destination, be sure to allow your long distance mail a little extra time to travel.
- Keep sending letters. The majority of first class mail will not be affected by the new postal service standards.