How U.S. Post Office Delivery Changes Will Affect Your Mail

Category: General Tips

On October 1, the United States Postal Service will implement “new service standards” for first class mail and periodicals. While many are dreading the 30% degradation in delivery time, luckily, for handwritten notes and cards (like those sent by Handwrytten), the situation isn’t really too terrible.

Keep reading for an overview of the new mail delivery standards for handwritten notes and how it will affect you.

New Delivery Standards for USPS

According to the USPS, single-piece first-class mail within a 3-hour drive between originating and destination processing facilities will continue to have a delivery time of two days. Mailing from zip code to zip code beyond that may encounter a day or two of additional delay. However, all mail is scheduled to be delivered within five days. The table below gives a better idea of delivery time your handwritten letter:

Delivery Standard Distance
2 Day 0 – 139 Miles
3 Day 140 – 930 Miles
4 Day 931 – 1907 Miles
5 Day 1908+ Miles

According to the USPS, overall, 70% of First-Class Mail will be delivered within 1-3 days.

usps delivery standards

Why Were These Changes Made?

According to the current delivery standards, any destination in the contiguous United States requires a 3 Day standard. Attempting to meet this service standard led to an over-reliance on air transportation, which is less reliable and more costly than ground transport. This has led to unreliable service delivery times, as the USPS has not met its own standards for nearly a decade. Furthermore, as the USPS does not own a fleet of planes, flying mail across the US has not been cost effective.  Relying on the postal service‘s fleet of trucks can lead to substantial savings.

At the same time, declining USPS mail volumes and revenue have forced the Postal Service to rethink their strategy.  When you add the additional labor demand due to COVID, the only way for the USPS to remain solvent was to make these delivery standard changes.

So What Does This Mean For You?

Plan ahead. If you need to get your birthday card, thank you note, or other piece of snail mail to your destination on time, consider sending it earlier – just to be safe. Sending your handwritten note just a day or two earlier can make the difference, so plan ahead and get wryting!

Have additional questions about the new mail delivery standards? Visit the USPS website or contact the Handwrytten team!

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