Slowing mail delivery is part of USPS 10-year plan


So while pre-sorted local mail will take a day to be delivered, mail traveling up to 139 miles has two days to reach its destination, mail traveling 140-930 miles is given three days. Mail traveling from 931 to 1,907 miles is allocated four days and mail traveling 1,908 miles or more is allocated five days, with a punctuality rate of 95%.

Packages will now arrive in two days if delivery is within an eight-hour drive, three days within 32 hours, four days within 50 hours and five days for anything beyond. The previous service standard set delivery times of two or three days, regardless of destination.

“The changes to the service standards that we have decided to implement are a necessary step in achieving our goal of consistently achieving 95% service performance,” the Postal Service said.


With the new standards introduced last Friday, the standards for first class mail and first class parcel service are no longer the same. FCPS is designed for standard size letters and dishes and FCM is primarily designed for shipping small, light packages.

“Whether it’s 300 miles or 3,000 miles, the current FCPS standard requires 3-day service to any destination in the contiguous United States with a drive time greater than 6 hours,” Dhalai said. “This is inaccessible and forces us to depend too much on air transport, which makes a service unreliable. With this change of service offering from 2 to 5 days depending on distance, we will improve service reliability and predictability for customers, while improving efficiency across the postal service network. “

The change in service standard also expands the scope of USPS 2-day FCPS to better position it in the 1-2-day market, a market that grows as consumer expectations change, Dhalai said.

“For example, while we are reducing the 2-day standard for FCM letters and apartments from a 6-hour drive time to a 3-hour drive time, we will be extending the 6-hour drive time for the FCPS standard from 2 days to 8 hours, ”she said.

These changes would position USPS to take advantage of more cost-effective means of transporting first-class packages by land rather than using expensive air transport, which is also less reliable due to weather, air traffic, availability constraints. , competition for space and extra hand-offs involved, Dhalai said.

Customers can still choose to use Priority Mail Express and Priority Mail services to ship packages to the contiguous United States with a service standard of 1-3 days, she said.

The comprehensive 10-year plan also includes “a combination of investments in technology, training, post offices and a new fleet of vehicles; modernize the postal processing network; adopt best logistics practices in all delivery and transport operations; the creation of new income-generating offerings in the expanding e-commerce market and the price changes authorized by the Postal Regulatory Commission, ”according to Dhalai.

Experts warn that delivery changes will lead to mail disruptions and are a sign of regression that would mean higher costs for consumers.

“We went from the days of airmail at the start of the 20th century, or optional airmail, to airmail for all long distance mail from the 1970s onwards to no airmail,” he said. said Doug Carlson, an advocate for better postal services who cross-examined postal officials during a June hearing before the United States Postal Regulatory Commission. “It’s a step back from a time when people would expect communications to be fast, not slow. This is doing the nation a disservice and will likely hurt the postal service in the competitive shipping market as well. “

Paul Steidler, senior fellow at the Lexington Institute and postal service expert, recently took charge of social media, stating that “America has exceptional logistics capabilities. There’s no reason it takes longer to deliver mail today than it did in the 1970s. ”

Steidler said the USPS plan, developed by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, reflects what the agency did in 2014 “and the results have been bad.”

A postman delivers mail on Watervliet Avenue on Monday, October 4, 2021. Mail could soon be more expensive and take a long time to arrive under the postmasters' ten-year plan.  JIM NOELKER / STAFF

A postman delivers mail on Watervliet Avenue on Monday, October 4, 2021. Mail could soon be more expensive and take a long time to arrive under the postmasters’ ten-year plan. JIM NOELKER / STAFF



“The cost savings were not realized, the dramatically reduced service standards were never met, and large amounts of First Class Mail, USPS ‘most profitable product, left the system for good,” he said in a statement. “Then like today, USPS said it would be good to have a lower service standard because it would provide more predictable delivery times, which would benefit customers as well. has never met the goal of delivering 96% of first class mail on time, and first class mail delivery times have declined in five of the past seven years, as shown below.

A net increase in costs to consumers ahead of the holiday shopping season is the new temporary USPS price increase on mail and packages.

Introduced on Sunday, the increases will last until Dec. 26 and range from an additional 75 cents to $ 5 for Priority Mail, Priority Mail Express and First Class Parcel Service, according to the agency’s price list.


With the new service standards implemented on October 1, USPS is offering these tips to consumers:

Plan ahead: For mail or correspondence that requires a deadline, the Postal Service encourages consumers to plan ahead and send their mail early so the Postal Service can ensure it reaches its final destination on time.

When sending long distance mail, mail early: If it takes you more than a day to drive your mail to its destination, be sure to give your long-distance mail a little extra time to travel with USPS.

Continue to send letters: The majority of first class mail will not be affected by the new postal service standards.


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