Postal Delivery Hits a Major Slowdown Just Before Its Busiest Time of Year

by Madison Miller

Another holiday season is quickly and silently approaching.

As each year passes, the surge to shop online instead of in traditional stores continues to grow. According to CNBC, there were over 150 million people planning to shop the Saturday before Christmas, which is a common occurrence. In 2020, however, 42% of those people were planning to do so online from the comfort of their own homes.

Many people chose to do this in 2020 especially, considering the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the desire to avoid crowded shopping areas.

Postal Service Delays

Now, mail delivery is facing certain obstacles that may set them behind right as the holiday season approaches quickly. According to NPR, the U.S. Postal Service is implementing what is being called “new service standards” for first-class mail and periodicals.

The new standards are going to slow down delivery time by about 30%.

That shouldn’t impact everyday mail delivery too much, however. Those who send packages across the country or other extremely long distances may see an increased time for the package to get to its final destination. For 61% of first-class mail and 93% of periodicals, there will be no change evident.

If you’re sending something that is small and lightweight around the same region as you, you’re looking at a two-day delivery time. Other larger packages that fall into the first-class packages category will start to fall under these new standards starting tomorrow, October 1.

That’s not all that goes into sending packages this year. Starting on October 3 and extending all through December 26, the busiest time for mail services, the Postal Service will increase the price tag on commercial and retail domestic packages. Due to the massive surge of packages and mail at this time, the Postal Service is trying to account for this.

10-Year Strategic Plan

It’s all part of a bigger plan and vision. Namely, the 10-year strategic plan that was announced by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy in March. This plan included some forward-thinking and innovation for the future of mail delivery. This includes different delivery vehicles, new technology investments, and further training programs for workers.

“The need for the U.S. Postal Service to transform to meet the needs of our customers is long overdue,” DeJoy said at the time of the announcement, according to the USPS site. One of the biggest goals in the plan is to meet or exceed 95 percent network-wide, on-time delivery. In August, USPS was at 83.63% for its first-class mail delivery.

As of now, the Postal Service is reporting some pretty serious losses as of recently. For the last quarter ending in June, the loss totaled $3 billion.

The moral of the story is that it may be wise to send out any packages as early as possible. Also, expect delays during this busy and hectic shopping season.