To provide better service and reliability to its customers, USPS is considering slowing down First Class Package service. If USPS proceeds with this plan, delivery timeframes for First Class Packages will change from the current 3-day delivery standard to five (5) days, in some cases.
Only 32% of First Class Packages Would Slow Down
In a press release, USPS maintains that this change will not affect the majority of First Class Packages. In fact, the Postal Service expects that the change would only affect 32% (or roughly one-third) of their total volume.
Slowing Down Some First Class Packages is Part of the Postal Service’s Plan to Achieve 95% On-Time Delivery
Currently, the on-time delivery percentage for package services is well below the Postal Service’s goal of 95%. The proposed slowdown to First Class Packages is a direct result of the Postal Service’s effort to increase on-time delivery. Increasing reliability and on-time delivery, in turn, is a key objective of the USPS 10-year plan to achieve financial sustainability.
Currently, the majority of First Class Packages travel via air transportation. However, to execute its vision of 95% on-time delivery for all packages, USPS plans to rely more on surface transportation for First Class Packages. Utilizing more surface transportation will allow USPS to cut its end-to-end delivery process down from 11 steps to just 5 steps. However, doing so will also inevitably slow down the delivery timeframes.
The Tradeoff Between Slower Delivery and More Reliable Service
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy believes Americans value reliability over timely delivery when it comes to their mail and packages. Thus, by that logic, the best way to boost reliability while simultaneously shaving costs is to relax the delivery benchmarks.
Critics have argued that—despite package services being the fastest-growing revenue driver and the consistent decline of mail volume—USPS shouldn’t focus on optimizing packages at all. Instead, they argue that USPS should focus on the core service it provides to all American people: delivering the mail.
In an email regarding the proposed slowdown, a USPS spokesperson said the following:
“Customers value and need predictability so they can plan for when to order or ship something. By setting attainable standards, we can and will hold ourselves accountable to meet those standards on a consistent, sustained basis. [This] will ultimately help establish meaningful expectations and rebuild trust with the American public.”
To read the full press release regarding slowing down some First Class Packages, visit the USPS website.