Beginning next week, the U.S. Postal Service will be implementing new service standards that will impact delivery times on certain items.

The change, which will go into effect on October 1st, will mainly impact first-class mail and periodicals, and will result in the delivery window of up to five days rather than the current two to three day timeline.  It is important to keep in mind that 60% of first-class mail and 90% of periodicals will be unaffected by the new service standard changes, and the increased delivery times will primarily impact mail traveling longer distances - like those holiday cards!

The plan is said to 'establish clear strategies to quickly achieve financial stability and service excellence.'

In their 'Delivering for America' vision and ten year plan, the USPS identified the following problems that will be addressed through the new plan:

  • hastened shift in demand away from mail to packages
  • misaligned mail and package processing operations
  • underperforming air and surface transportation network
  • unattainable first-class mail service standards
  • prolonged underinvestment in retail and delivery network
  • misaligned and redundant organizational design
  • high turnover rate within non-career employees
  • long-overdue pricing regulation changes from the PRC
  • onerous legislative and administrative mandates

Some of the main investment areas in the 'Delivering for America' plan include the mail and package processing network, this addresses USPS facility upgrades as well as new processing equipment.  Next, there will be a significant investment in upgrading technology systems.  Finally, another area of focus will be delivery network upgrades including retail areas and the 'Next Generation Delivery Vehicle Fleet.'  It was announced back in February that the new, modern delivery vehicle fleet production was to begin, introducing the most dramatic modernization of the USPS in 30 years.  We can expect to see the Next Generation Delivery Vehicles (NGDV) in 2023.

As the changes go into effect on October 1st, it is important to plan ahead when you have mail that requires a deadline, giving long-distance mail a bit more time to arrive at it's destination.  Plus, as mentioned earlier, especially with those holiday cards, get them out early so you aren't 'that family' that sends the cards in the new year.

You can read the full 'Delivering for America' plan, including a letter from the Postmaster General, here.

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