USPS Unprecedented Move: Longer Delivery Time and Price Increases

Toni Koraza

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Photo by Joel Moysuh on Unsplash
  • USPS holds a commitment to reach "every address in the nation, six days a week, and strives for financial sustainability."
  • First Class mail could now officially take up to 5 days, instead of the standard 3 days delivery window.
  • USPS posted an unexpected $3 billion loss in the third quarter of 2021
  • Shipping volume is lower than pre-pandemic levels
  • Postage prices to increase at an unprecedented rate

Postal Service is About to Make an Unprecedented Move

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has proposed a plan to revamp the way the postal service works.

"Effective August 29th, 2021, the USPS has received approval from the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) to increase postage rates across the board for its market-dominant services."

Standard users will feel two major changes this August:

1. Price surge

2. Slower service

Postmaster General DeJoy has been adamant in restructuring the US postal service. As a result, USPS has been getting less volume over the years. But with less volume, somehow the debt mounted, and shipping times increased. What took a couple of days to arrive in the 1990s now takes 3-4 days, and it may soon take up to 5 days.

The piling debt is another ticking bomb, and it's one of DeJoy's main reasons for these unpopular moves. DeJoy claims he wants to introduce much-needed changes to meet production demands in a financially healthy manner.

Postal changes come as a surprise

USPS is working with end customers as well as many American businesses. Companies in every line of work have to rely on USPS to help them handle mail en masse. Moving companies send Direct Mail to reach their prospects. Realtors send recipes to new potential homeowners. Marketing agencies are leaving tangible promotional prospects in people's homes. The latest price and delivery time surges would negatively impact their budgets.

Companies usually prepare annual budgets at the beginning of the financial year. After the USPS implements the latest policy changes, the majority of these companies will have to re-budget and find either more cash, cut back on post service, or fire employees. Taking from historical accounts, we can expect all three scenarios to happen across the United States.

Mail is a fundamental way of communication.

DeJoy claims the plan will save USPS an estimated $160 billion over the next decade

Delivering for America” is Postmaster General's 10-year plan for financial stability. The following changes could potentially save USPS an additional $160 Billion until 2031.

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Screenshot Courtesy of USPS

Silver lining: 6×9 first-class postcards cheaper ~20%

USPS has more mail classes than we can fit in one story. However, among the most relevant price changes, the price for 6x9 postcards is set to drop in the ballpark of 20%. "This is something that the commercial mail industry has been pushing for years," according to Dennis.

The American Public is unaware of upcoming changes

While the majority of the American public report overall satisfaction with USPS, the popularity has been winding down. Some 91% of respondents reported overall satisfaction with USPS in 2019, but only 68% hold the same sentiment today, according to Bellwether Citizen Respons.

The worrisome fact is that the majority of surveyed Americans (77%) don't expect the August 29th price increase.

We're yet to see the real outcome of this policy.

Sending bulk mail as a company after August 29th

The upcoming price increase is assumingly inconvenient if your business relies on direct mail as one of its major communication channels. Realtors, moving agencies, and even tech companies send direct mail to their prospects every day.

Automated Direct Mail providers like Postalytics have already pepared contingency plans and took a step forward to educate their user base on the upcoming USPS price increase.

USPS will implement the above price profile starting August 29th, 2021.

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