HomeNewsUSPS Slowing Delivery Times: Here’s What to Know

USPS Slowing Delivery Times: Here’s What to Know

by Josh Lanier
(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Saying “the check is in the mail” just bought you some extra time. That’s because the United States Postal Service started to slow delivery times Friday to cut costs.

The USPS announced recently that as much as 40 percent of first-class mail could see an increase of a day or two to its delivery times, the New York Post said. Though, the post office said it will continue to deliver local items — anything traveling less than 139 miles — within two days.

The USPS gave this timetable to explain the new delivery times.

Delivery StandardDistance TraveledTransit Time
1 Day Presorted local mail
2 Day139 miles3 hours
3 Day140-930 miles3-20 hours
4 Day931-1,907 miles20-41 hours
5 Day1,908 miles+Over 41 hours

The move is part of the postal service’s plan to deal with a projected $160 billion loss over the next decade. To address this, the USPS is cutting back on the amount of mail that it moves via air transportation as well as consolidating 20 processing centers across the country.

“We’ll make better use of our trucks and existing surface network to move the mail, relying less on costly air transportation,” the USPS said in a statement, via CBS News. “By improving service reliability and increasing efficiency, we can keep costs at reasonable levels and help keep postage rates affordable for our customers.”

The new delivery times are permanent unless Congress acts. Forty representatives sent the postal service a letter this week questioning the motives behind the move.

“We are worried that moving forward with facility consolidations during the ongoing public health emergency … would result in further service delays and erosion of public trust in one of our nation’s most important institutions,” the bi-partisan letter says.

Experts call New USPS Plan ‘Disastrous’

The new mail delivery schedule will do more than just add a day or two to mail deliveries. It will have serious impacts on the quality of life for many Americans, experts warned. The USPS handles millions of checks, bills, and critical medications every day, and any change in delivery times could have far-reaching implications.

Paul Steidler, an expert on the postal service, called the move “disastrous.”

“The bottom line is this very ill-conceived action is going to make mail delivery slower than in the 1970s,” Steidler told CBS.

Experts warned that this move won’t improve the USPS’s budget problems as people will stop using the service for pricier — but faster — delivery options.

Porter McConnell, the spokesperson for the Save the Post Office Coalition, said the plan causes more problems than the plan hopes to solve.

“It’s destroying public trust in a public institution,” McConnell told NBC News. “We’ve seen a lot of folks who don’t get their paycheck on time or they send the rent check and it gets there late and they face possible eviction because of the mail delays. There’s a lot of small businesses that get bad reviews because they can’t get the product there on time. There’s no path in which the postal office slowdowns don’t affect everyone.”