The US Postal Service has announced another major change, this time to one of its most popular shipping services. No earlier than May of 2021, USPS will simplify Priority Mail Express service to a single guaranteed delivery time of 6pm, instead of the three delivery times USPS currently offers.
Priority Mail Express Service Will Now Have a Universal Delivery Guarantee of 6pm Local Time
Currently, Priority Mail Express (PME) has three different guaranteed delivery times. In this sense, the service is similar to the overnight services that both UPS and FedEx provide, with a few different delivery options throughout the day. However, unlike FedEx or UPS, USPS doesn’t charge extra for an earlier delivery slot.
All three current Priority Mail Express delivery options fall within the 1-2 business day service standard, and are as follows:
- 10:30 a.m. (only available in select locations for an extra fee)
- 12 p.m.
- 3 p.m.
Beginning in May of this year, these three time slots will be no more. Instead, Priority Mail Express will only have a single guaranteed time of 6pm local time. This new delivery time will stand regardless of the package’s origin and destination, as well as the time customers drop off the package at their local Post Office.
“Slowing Down” Service is Part of the 10-Year Plan to Revitalize USPS
This alteration to Priority Mail Express is part of larger, sweeping changes USPS is imposing over the next 10 years to steer itself back to profitability.
While USPS faced the largest backlog of packages in its history, an unprecedented amount of packages were delivered late, including Priority Mail Express parcels. This, in turn, led to USPS paying out a substantial amount of money-back guarantees. Extending PME delivery guarantees to 6pm is a strategy for USPS to still offer express service, while potentially limiting the amount of money-back guarantees it must pay out.
Customers should note that the price of Priority Mail Express will not change.