While it may not seem that postal delays are a risk to your operations, slower mail can pose a number of issues for timely correspondence and package deliveries.

The U.S. is facing longer delivery times for first-class mail changes implemented by the U.S. Postal Service on October 1, 2021. Prepare for these changes, and expect delays in mail and parcel delivery. Most of all, be aware that if you’re sending checks close to a deadline, they may not arrive on time under the new delivery standards.

Plan ahead for delayed shipments so that they will still arrive in a timely fashion, and be prepared as the holiday season approaches.

With the new changes, here’s what to expect for single-piece first-class mail (envelopes but not parcels):

  • Presorted local mail will take one day to deliver
  • Mail that has to travel up to 139 miles will take two days
  • Mail that has to travel 140 to 930 miles will take three days
  • Mail that has to travel 931 to 1,907 miles will take four days
  • Mail that has to travel more than 1,907 miles will take five days

According to the USPS, 61% of first-class mail and 93% of periodicals will be unaffected by the new service standard changes. The USPS insists that 70% of first-class mail will be delivered within three days. In addition, in a temporary move starting October 3 and ending December 26, prices will rise on all commercial and retail domestic packages.

In summary, if your company ships and receives parcels on a regular basis and has been relying on deadline-based deliveries using the USPS, you will need to plan ahead for the new schedule. The same goes if you are mailing any important checks that need to arrive by a certain deadline.

Here’s what the USPS said in announcing the new delivery times: “If it would take you more than a day to drive your mail to its destination, make sure to give your long-distance mail some extra time to travel with USPS.”

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