HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The United States Postal Service is changing its delivery service standards for certain mail, which could mean a lengthier transit time. The changes start this Friday, October 1st.
First-class mail and packages that are sent longer distances could take an additional one to two days to reach their destinations with these new service changes, meaning up to a five-day delivery time instead of two to three days.
The change will affect delivery times for about 30% of the postal service’s volume.
The change is part of a financial restructuring plan to help get the USPS out of debt, as it’s been a tough year already for the postal service, with a fifth of first-class mail arriving late during the first quarter.
A USPS spokesperson said a little more than 60% of first-class mail will remain unaffected by the new changes, and less than 10% of periodical deliveries like magazines will be slowed down.
Spokesperson Debra Fetterly says the whole premise of the change is meant to allow for more first-class mail to be delivered by ground with greater consistency.
“[The changes] will improve service reliability and predictability for customers and enhance the efficiency of the Postal Service network. The service standard changes that we have determined to implement are a necessary step towards achieving our goal of consistently meeting 95 percent service performance,” she said.
Fetterly went on to stress the importance of planning ahead and making sure to mail letters with a deadline as early as possible, especially if it’s mail that would travel far enough to take more than one day in transit.
Read the statement from USPS spokesperson Debra Fetterly in full below.
“On October 1, the Postal Service will implement new service standards for First-Class Mail and Periodicals. These new service standards will increase delivery reliability, consistency, and efficiency for our customers and across our network.
Most First-Class Mail (61 percent) and Periodicals (91 percent) will be unaffected by the new service standard changes. Standards for single-piece First-Class mail traveling within a local area will continue to be two days.
The Postal Service will increase time-in-transit standards by one or two days for certain mail traveling longer distances. By doing so, the Postal Service can entrust its ground network to deliver more First-Class Mail, which will lead to greater consistency, reliability, and efficiency that benefits its customers.
The service standard changes are part of our balanced and comprehensive Delivering for America Strategic Plan and will improve service reliability and predictability for customers and enhance the efficiency of the Postal Service network. The service standard changes that we have determined to implement are a necessary step towards achieving our goal of consistently meeting 95 percent service performance.” – Debra J. Fetterly, USPS Spokesperson, Alabama District