USPS Slowdown 2021: Major Changes in First-Class Mail and Package Delivery, New Rates

USPS Slowdown 2021: Major Changes in First-Class Mail and Package Delivery, New Rates
USPS will slow down in 2021. USPS announced that longer delivery time and price increase will be experienced in the holiday season due to limited budget and COVID19. Photo : FREDERIC J. BROWN / Getty Images

Due to the present predicament of COVID19 in our lives and numerous economic difficulties, a USPS Slowdown will be experienced this 2021. USPS gave a heads-up to its customers for a longer delivery time accompanied by a higher price increase in the new rates.

According to Cnet, the updated service standards for first-class mails and packages, which took effect on Oct. 1, would delay delivery for around 30% of the volume. Thus, it indicates that the USPS Slowdown in 2021 for longer-distance mail, shipments, and magazine subscriptions could take up to five days to arrive instead of the usual two or three days.

In addition, the Postal Service recently raised the prices of shipping a parcel over the holiday season, on top of the recent pricing increases that went into effect in August.

For many people, sending out letters or packages throughout the country through the use of the USPS is already a game of luck. Around 20% of first-class mail was delivered late in the first quarter of 2021.

The present modifications are part of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy's 10-year Delivering for America plan, which aims to restructure the agency and address its vast debt. DeJoy's plan, which has sparked debate, not only lengthens mail delivery times and raises fees but also cuts post office hours.

The Postal Service processes and delivers an average of 17.7 million mail pieces per hour, including parcels from online retailers such as Amazon. However, as Americans become increasingly reliant on electronic payments and communication, the number of first-class mail such as letters, cards, and bills has decreased dramatically.

And, as e-commerce grows in popularity, the agency is finding it difficult to keep up with competitors like UPS, FedEx, and even Amazon, which has its own delivery network.

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USPS New Cost-Cutting Plan

The Postal Service has stated that it is struggling to match high-performance requirements and has been financially unstable for some time. The COVID-19 pandemic compounded the company's poor service and budget crisis, as personnel shortages coincided with a boom in online needs shopping and a flood of 2020 election ballots, thrusting DeJoy into the national limelight.

The USPS intends to cut expenses by utilizing fewer planes to transport mail and instead relying on more trucks to transport a greater volume of mail for less money. According to the Postal Service, ground transit is more reliable than air in all seasons.

New Rates

The Postal Service increased the price of a first-class stamp from 55 cents to 58 cents on Aug. 29. As a result, Forever stamps are now 3 cents more expensive. However, because Forever stamps never expire, those purchased in 2020, or any previous year, will remain valid even if the postage rate has increased.

For the peak fall and holiday seasons of 2021, the US Postal Service has announced a temporary pricing increase for commercial and retail domestic package shipments, which will be in place from Oct. 3 to Dec. 26. Priority mail, priority mail express, and first-class package delivery will see price increases ranging from 25 cents to $5 per box.

According to the agency's plans, rate increases could be substantially higher throughout the next decade. While the Postal Regulatory Commission has stated that there will not be another increase until the next summer. The Postal Service is expected to raise prices twice a year in 2023.


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