Folks dropping letters in the mail starting Friday may want to add a few extra days for transit if their missives are going cross-country.
Likewise, anyone sending packages and cards around the holiday season will want to have a smidge of extra cash on hand to pay the postage piper.
The U.S. Postal Service is tweaking its delivery standards in changes set to take effect Friday. Local mail will still take two days, but mail traveling farther could take one or two days longer than the previous three-day guarantee, the USPS said last week.
The changes are negligible and might not be glaring, but their effects may be felt.
“Most first-class mail (61 percent) and periodicals (93 percent) will be unaffected by the new service standard changes,” the USPS said in its statement and accompanying fact sheet. “Standards for single-piece first-class mail traveling within a local area will continue to be two days.”
The overall goal is to increase reliability and reduce inefficiency, the USPS said, imbuing more than 70 percent of first-class mail volume with a delivery standard of three days.
“The Postal Service will increase time‐in‐transit standards by one or two days for certain mail that is traveling longer distances,” the USPS said. “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.”
Part of the changes stem from the increased reliability of ground shipping over air, USPS spokeswoman Kim Frum said.
“The Postal Service can entrust its ground network to deliver more First-Class Mail, which will lead to great consistency, reliability and efficiency that benefits its customers,” she told USA Today.
“Whether it’s 300 miles or 3,000 miles, the current standard for (first-class packages) require 3-day service for any destination within the contiguous U.S. with a drive time greater than six hours. This is unattainable and forces us to rely on air transportation, yielding unreliable service. With this change, we will improve service reliability and predictability for customers while also driving efficiencies across the Postal Service network.”
In addition, in a temporary move that kicks in on Monday and ends the day after Christmas, prices will rise on all commercial and retail domestic packages, USA Today reported. International products won’t be affected by the change, which aims to help the USPS cope with higher holiday volume.
It’s all part of the Delivering for America Strategic Plan that Trump-appointed Postmaster General Louis DeJoy announced earlier this year to “improve service reliability and predictability for customers and enhance the efficiency of the Postal Service network, the USPS said when the plan was unveiled.
Story by Theresa Braine, New York Daily News