An email has undoubtedly taken over from physical mail when it comes to keeping in contact with friends and family. But certain things, like postcards or parcels, can’t be sent over the internet.
Millions of Americans rely on the United States Postal Service (USPS) to deliver goods. The USPS has been a reliable form of delivery for decades. No matter where you’re sending a letter throughout the U.S., it gets there quickly. Well, it used to.
It should only take a few days for a package to reach its destination, but that is going to change soon. Not for the better, but for worse. Here is why first-class mail is now going to move slower to get to its destination.
Here’s the backstory
Depending on where you live, you will get your mail at varying frequencies. According to reports, around 20% of first-class mail arrived late to recipients last year. Things will only worsen. Starting October 1, the USPS will be implementing new service standards.
These changes will hurt deliveries. USPS said around 30% of first-class mail volume will be slowed down. So, where you expect a package to take about two days to be delivered, it could arrive in about a week.
But why is this happening? Well, somewhat ironically, it is part of the USPS’s Delivering for America plan. The 10-year roadmap is aimed at reducing the agency’s massive debt burden and streamlining some processes.
This includes reducing operating hours of post offices, raising prices for customers and hikes in postage fees over the holidays. But what will impact delivery times of parcels to far-away places is the reduction in airplanes used by USPS. This will be offset by using more road-based transport like trucks.
Here’s what you can expect
First-class mail is classified as standard-size, single-piece letters and envelopes. According to USPS, around 39% of these will be delivered in three to five days. The remaining 61% won’t be affected by the new standards.
Smaller and lightweight parcels that fall into the first-class package service will see 32% of goods delivered in four to five days. Others will be delivered at a maximum of three days.
If you have a magazine subscription, you will have a 9% chance that your monthly reading will be later than usual. How late? Well, you might have to wait up to five days. At other times, magazines and newspapers will be delivered in about two days.
You might not have noticed, but the price of stamps and postage have already gone up by a few cents. In August, the price for first-class stamps went up by 3 cents to $0.58.