The Coronavirus pandemic first led to major disruptions in the international mailing world, as dozens of countries closed their borders. However, COVID-19 is now starting to take its toll on domestic mailing and shipping in the United States. Due to limited transport ability as a result of the pandemic, USPS has changed its service commitments for all Priority Mail and First-Class Package products.
USPS Service Commitments for Priority Mail and First Class Package Have Changed Due to COVID-19
Typically, service commitments for Priority Mail and First Class Package are between 2 and 3 days. These timeframes stay the same, regardless of the distance a parcel travels within the United States. Now, the Postal Service has extended those delivery timeframes by one day. Effective on April 17th, all Priority Mail and First Class Package products’ 2 and 3 day service commitments are extended to 3 and 4 days.
That means the Postal Service may deliver these shipments up to 1 business day later than usual. So, if you have customers expecting packages, this is good information for you to pass along to them.
This Includes All Sub-Services of Priority Mail
The amendments to the Priority Mail service commitments extend to all sub-services of the mail class. That means Priority Mail Cubic, Priority Mail Regional Rate, as well as Priority Mail Flat Rate are all subject to the new 3 to 4-day service commitments.
Priority Mail Express and Local Priority Mail to Stay the Same
Fortunately, USPS hasn’t changed their service commitments for Priority Mail Express. This service is still overnight to urban destinations, and 2 days to and from rural locations. Priority Mail Express also still features a money back guarantee if delivery occurs after the designated timeframe.
Local Priority Mail packages will also remain the same as before, with the service commitment still being 1 day for local deliveries (deliveries taking place within USPS Zone 1).
What About International Packages?
International packages is where the Postal Service has made the most changes as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. USPS suspended Global Express Guaranteed service to a number of countries. The Postal Service also suspended Priority Mail Express International delivery guarantees to several countries due to COVID-19.