USPS Mail Delivery Will Soon Get Slower and Temporarily Pricier

By Isabel van Brugen
Isabel van Brugen
Isabel van Brugen
Reporter
Isabel van Brugen is an award-winning journalist and currently a news reporter at The Epoch Times. She holds a master's in newspaper journalism from City, University of London.
September 29, 2021 Updated: September 29, 2021

The United States Postal Service (USPS) on Oct. 1 will implement “new service” standards for first-class mail and periodicals, meaning some mail will take even longer to be delivered in some cases, and some prices will be raised.

USPS will “implement new service standards for First Class Mail and Periodicals,” spokeswoman Kim Frum said in an emailed statement to several media outlets, noting that the changes will slow the transit time for mail traveling long distances by roughly 30 percent.

“Most first class mail (61%) and periodicals (93%) will be unaffected” by the new service changes, Frum said.

Single-piece first-class mail or “standard sized letters and flats” being delivered in the same region will still have a two-day delivery time the spokeswoman said, noting that first-class packages will be affected by the changes starting Oct. 1.

Further, from Oct. 3 until Dec. 26, the USPS will temporarily hike up its prices on all “commercial and retail domestic packages,” Frum said, citing the holiday season.

International products will not be affected by the temporary price increases, she said.

The latest changes are part of the USPS’ 10-year strategic plan, which was first announced in March by USPS Postmaster General Louis DeJoy.

DeJoy also said at the time that the plan would shift more deliveries to trucks rather than airplanes, consolidate mail processing, and cut hours at some retail locations. He said in March that without changes the Postal Service would need a “government bailout”—something it does not want to seek.

DeJoy said USPS performed poorly over the holiday season last year as it was inundated by package deliveries even as first-class mail volume shrank.

The Postal Service has reported net losses totaling $86.7 billion from 2007 through 2020. One reason for the red ink is that Congress in 2006 passed legislation requiring USPS to pre-fund more than $120 billion in retiree health care and pension liabilities.

USPS also said it could commit to an all-electric delivery fleet by 2035 with assistance from Congress—and vows to spend $11 billion on vehicles over the next decade.

“With this change, we will improve service reliability and predictability for customers while also driving efficiencies across the Postal Service network,” Frum said.

The Epoch Times has contacted the USPS for additional comment.

Reuters contributed to this report.

Isabel van Brugen
Isabel van Brugen is an award-winning journalist and currently a news reporter at The Epoch Times. She holds a master's in newspaper journalism from City, University of London.