The U.S. Postal Service(USPS) is making changes to its express shipping as of Friday that could delay some mail going across the country.
The new standards — part of USPS’ Delivering for America Strategic Plan — will increase “time in transit” windows for up to two days, holding up mail with longer delivery routes. The changes are set to delay first-class mail and periodicals.
USPS says it hasn’t been able to hit its promised delivery targets for years – and this makes them more attainable, cost-effective and realistic.
First-class mail covers standard-sized envelopes weighing up to 3.5 ounces and large envelopes and small packages weighing up to 13 ounces. Previously, delivery was promised in three business days or less.
On an information page about the changes, USPS stated that the updates “will improve service reliability and predictability” and were a “necessary step toward achieving our goal of consistently meeting 95 percent service performance.”
Approximately 61 percent of first-class mail and 93 percent of periodical delivery times will remain unaltered. Mail sent locally is unlikely to be impacted, according to a USPS press release.
USPS explained in a report that the standards – with first-class mail expected to arrive within three days – are “unattainable” due to changes in the market and standards “not based on delivery distances.”
The report additionally stated that USPS’ attempt to live up to the current standards produced an over-reliance on air travel, which the report added is more expensive than ground transportation. It further revealed that USPS has been unable to meet its published service standards over the past eight years.
“With these changes and others under the Delivering for America 10-year-plan, the Postal Service expects to meet or exceed its published delivery standards across all product classes 95 percent of the time, improving operational efficiency and precision, service reliability, and generation of efficiencies that help ensure affordable postage rates,” USPS stated in the report.
Louis DeJoy, U.S. postmaster general, unveiled the organization’s 10-year-plan earlier this year, which involved adjusting delivery time frames for first-class letters, periodicals and flat envelopes for up to five days.