U.S. Mail Transit Times Are Changing. Here’s What to Do Now.

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US Postal Service logo on laptop screen


In a time when technology is continuously speeding everything up, the U.S. Postal Service is slowing down—at least for nearly 40% of First-Class Mail.

The USPS changed service standards for some First-Class Mail® (letters and flats), effective October 1, 2021. The former 3-day delivery standard is now a 3- to 5-day standard, depending on the distance traveled from the point of origin.

If you send mail to addresses more than 930 miles away, add a day to your previous mailing time. Add two days if you are mailing communications more than 1,908 miles away.

Fortunately, most First-Class Mail (61%) will be unaffected by the service changes. Overall, 70% of First-Class Mail volume will arrive within 1-3 days, per the new standard.

The USPS says the changes will drive efficiencies and cost savings across its network and help it improve to 95% on-time delivery. As part of the overhaul, the USPS is reducing its use of air transportation. Air transport adds multiple handling and transfer points and is subject to inconsistent charter plane and cargo space availability.

What to do now

  1. Assess your workflow and delivery schedules.

Most Expresso® clients’ print production and mailing workflow already builds in extra time for change management or weather-related delivery challenges. Nonetheless, we’re advising clients to review their current file delivery/mail strategy, particularly for time-sensitive mailings, to accommodate the new USPS delivery timelines.

We will work with your team to plan your print production and mailings to allow for USPS’ extended delivery times.

  1. Change the channel.

It’s time to ramp up efforts for digital adoption. The Postal Service has levied multiple price increases this year and will continue to raise prices for postage and services such as Certified Mail®. Add the new slower service standard and the attraction of digital just keeps growing.

Many clients already rely on omni-channel communications. That’s in line with customer expectations: 49% of consumers prefer digital billing and 24% want digital and paper.

Contact us today to learn how to leverage our cloud CCM technology with digital and print mail distribution for a single, complete solution.

Read more: You’ll find a fact sheet on the new service standard at the Postal Service’s Delivering for America site.



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