This isn’t exactly the news we wanted to hear right before the holiday mailing rush begins.
The U.S. Postal Service is in a bit of trouble — they have been for a while, but things haven’t gotten much better.
In an effort to help the struggling mail agency, things are about to change just a little bit.
You might have noticed that here, as of recently, shipping times have slowed just a little bit. Not only has shipping speed gotten slower, but some packages are taking bizarre shipping routes.
Things aren’t going to get better any time soon. In fact, they may get worse before we see an improvement.
The USPS has declared that, starting today, mail shipping times may increase — even more. In other words, delivery times will slow way down…
Paul Steidler, a senior fellow at the Lexington Institute and an expert on the postal service, told CBS News that “mail delivery will be slower than in the 1970s.”
While about 61% of its First-Class Mail and about 90% of all periodicals won’t see a jump in delivery time, mail that has to travel a bit further will see more delays. They are saying that local mail will still arrive in a 2-day time frame, but mail that has to travel outside of the local area will now take up to 5 days to be delivered.
What does this mean for you? Well, you may have to plan out your holiday shipping just a bit more. You want to make sure that your package makes it to your recipient on time.
You also need to be very careful watching time frames for bills that you pay through the mail. Accumulating late fees because the mail was delayed, would just suck.
The basic logic of the changes is that the addition of one or two days to current service standards for First-Class Mail and Periodicals would enable the Postal Service to convey a greater volume of mail within the contiguous United States by surface transportation, thereby achieving a better balance of on-time reliability and cost-effectivenessFederal Register
The “surface transportation” is an important key to the increase in delivery times, because the postal service doesn’t want to rely as heavily on air transportation. It is “less reliable than surface transportation’ and costs significantly more.”
Hold onto your Santa hats, because there’s more.
From basically now until December 26th, you will see a temporary price increase for shipping some packages.
The planned peak-season pricing, which was approved by the Governors of the Postal Service on Aug. 5, would affect prices on commercial and retail domestic competitive parcels – Priority Mail Express (PME), Priority Mail (PM), First-Class Package Service (FCPS), Parcel Select, USPS Retail Ground, and Parcel Return Service. International products would be unaffected. Pending favorable review by the PRC, the temporary rates would go into effect at 12:00 a.m., Central Time, on Oct. 3, 2021, and remain in place until 12:00 a.m., Central Time, Dec. 26, 2021.USPS
So, dig in those couches and car floor boards, because you are going to need all the loose change you can find! You’re going to have to really take into account all these price increases and delays when you plan out your holiday gift giving.