The United States Postal Service cannot keep up with demand in this new global economy that values e-commerce and connectivity above all else. The Biden Administration recently exacerbated the problems by tasking the USPS with delivering millions of home COVID tests. But the cracks already existed in the foundation long before the pandemic changed the American economy forever.
The Postal Service says it deals with staff shortages, pandemic restrictions, and a glut of packages never-before seen in the history of the agency. To combat the issues, the USPS has created a new initiative. It is set to change some of its delivery options and timing for the better, they hope.
The USPS wants to offer businesses more options for deliveries
According to a press release, the USPS will soon launch a program called USPS Connect. The initiative will help businesses manage the growing consumer demand for fast shipping options.
“USPS Connect provides businesses of all sizes what they have been asking for — an affordable way to meet consumer demand for fast delivery,” Louis DeJoy, Postmaster General and CEO of the USPS, said. “A pivotal point in our Delivering for America plan, it positions us to more fully leverage our network capacity to increase volume and revenue so we can continue to serve the American people with affordable, reliable mail and package delivery.”
USPS Connect is comprised of four solutions: USPS Connect Local, USPS Connect Regional, USPS Connect National, and USPS Connect Returns.
“We’ve listened carefully to our business customers to develop this program,” Jakki Krage Strako, the Postal Service’s chief commerce and business solutions officer, said in a statement. “We’re increasing next-day deliveries. We’re also giving smaller businesses big-business rates and all businesses more user-friendly ways to interact with us.”
Connect Local will give businesses the ability to provide next-day service, Sunday delivery, pickup options, and even same-day delivery to their customers. Connect Regional and National offer similar perks for businesses, but at a larger scale. Per the USPS, Connect Returns is a “service for businesses to offer their customers convenient returns. We offer free en-route pickup by their carrier or drop-off at a nearby Post Office location.”
When will Local be available in your market?
All aspects of the program are available right now; though Connect Local — probably the most innovative solution in the new offerings — is only available in select markets to begin. Local began in Texas markets in January and now services over 800 Texas locations. USPS hopes to offer Local delivery in the majority of major markets (3,400 locations) by the end of September 2022.
USPS Local also sports a mail component for urgent documents up to 13 ounces. “Through [USPS Connect Local], a business can have a package ready and its carrier will pick it up on their normal delivery route. A business can also opt to drop a package at the local Post Office near the end of the day to get next-day delivery. Or it can drop off between 5 to 7 a.m. to get same-day delivery,” Strako said.
“We have consumer demand for next-day delivery that can be fulfilled very affordably. It is great for consumers who want to shop local and still receive their purchase the next day.”