Mail delivery for first-class mail delivered outside of the local area began slowing on Friday, October 1st.  The service degradation is part of the Postmaster General’s blueprint for overhauling the U.S. Postal Service to cut costs. The USPS plans to make increased use of its trucks and existing surface network to move the mail, relying less on expensive air transportation while improving service reliability and increasing efficiency.  Their objective is to hold costs at reasonable levels and keep postage rates as affordable as possible.

Unfortunately, the cost cutting will result in slower delivery of first-class mail that is going outside the local area.  The postal service’s current three-day delivery standard for first-class mail will decline to delivery anywhere within the U.S. within five days.  The USPS will continue to have a two-day delivery standard for first-class mail traveling within a local area.  In the aggregate, almost 40% of all first-class mail will see slower delivery times.

The USPS contends that its 10-year plan (which includes these cost-cutting measures) is essential to erase a projected $160 billion loss over the next decade. The overall effort aims to boost revenue through expanded parcel delivery and postage hikes (the latest postage rate increase went into effect in August). The Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC), the federal regulator that oversees the USPS, earlier this year questioned whether the postal service’s plan to slow delivery standards would actually save money.  Reducing service will likely discourage use of the U.S. mail, which is not a winning plan for improving the long-term financial health and stability of the USPS.  Americans have gotten used to faster delivery – not slower.  Take a look at Amazon, with its focus on quick delivery (sometimes same-day), and its resulting exponential growth.  It’s quite the contrast with the USPS’s plan to reduce service levels to improve its profitability and operations.

The good news is that direct mail remains a highly effective marketing and communication method.  The reason that your mailbox continues to receive marketing mailings is because they work!  Direct mail is tangible and personal, it’s familiar, builds trust, can be creative and versatile, it’s simple, it is cost-effective, and can be integrated with digital marketing.

So, what does this mean if you need to make a first-class mailing?  If all your recipients are in the local area, there should be no impact whatsoever.  If any recipients are outside the local area, you should plan on delivery taking up to five days for them.  Getting your first-class mailing project started a couple days earlier will compensate for the longer non-local delivery times.  Please let us know if you have any mailing questions or need assistance with a mailing project!  The friendly mailing experts at Dallas Printing are ready to help with your next mailing project – whether a postcard, folding mailer, letter, package, or other format.  We can help you obtain maximum postage discounts, get targeted mailing lists with almost any conceivable selection criteria, perform personalization and addressing, and a lot more!