USPS Just Announced These Major Changes to Deliveries

·4 min read

The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has been servicing Americans for decades now, delivering more than a billion pieces of mail every single year. But the past few years have been filled with challenges for the postal agency, including financial shortcomings and staffing shortages that have only gotten worse amid the COVID pandemic. And these issues have fallen back on the customers the USPS serves, leading to delivery delays and ongoing problems with stolen mail. To combat these problems, President Joe Biden signed the Postal Service Reform Act to provide additional funds to the USPS, while the agency kickstarted its own Delivery for America plan set on making changes over the next 10 years to put itself back on solid ground. Now, the Postal Service has announced a new adjustment in line with its initiative. Read on to find out what major changes the agency is proposing for deliveries.

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The USPS has made a number of changes to its deliveries over the past year.

Over the past year, the Postal Service has made several changes impacting postal customers. In Oct. 2021, the USPS implemented new service standards for First Class Mail, increasing the amount of time it takes to deliver about 30 percent of mail in this category. Then in April 2022, the USPS introduced two new shipping fees for customers to cover non-standard dimensions. Just this week, the agency increased the price of its First Class Forever stamp and raised the cost of several other First Class Mail shipping fees.

But now, the USPS has announced yet another plan for delivery changes—this time getting rid of something for customers altogether.

The Postal Service just proposed plans for new delivery changes.

The USPS announced on July 13 that it has filed plans with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) to make changes among its delivery classifications. According to the agency, it plans to "enhance and expand" its First-Class Package Service (FCPS) product by combining three different ground shipping options into just one.

"Specifically, ground shipments up to 70 pounds will be offered through First-Class Package Service, instead of being split between three different services—First-Class Package Service, Retail Ground and Parcel Select Ground," a spokesperson for USPS told Best Life.

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The agency says this is meant to simplify deliveries for customers.

The Postal Service is looking to simplify package shipping options with this change. According to Shipping School, both Retail and Parcel Select "offer the same exact type of service (ground transportation), with the same exact delivery timeframe of two to eight business days." The only main difference is that Parcel Select is typically much cheaper than Retail but is only offered to shippers who have access to special commercial pricing rates through free online shipping software and not at your local post office or on the USPS website.

The agency's spokesperson told Best Life that USPS customers "will gain access to simplified, enhanced, economical products and increased service performance" when the Retail Ground and Parcel Select Ground shipping options are incorporated into the "enhanced" FCPS product.

"We are improving service and simplifying product offerings for our customers," Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said in a statement. "By upgrading the customer experience and optimizing our package processing and surface transportation networks, we are becoming the best option in the industry."

The changes will take place next year if approved.

The proposed changes are part of the Postal Service's Delivering for America (DFA) initiative, which is a 10-year plan brought forth in March 2021 meant to transform the USPS from "an organization in financial and operational crisis to one that is self-sustaining and high performing." The Postal Service is looking to implement the FCPS shipping adjustments and get rid of Retail Ground and Parcel Select Ground services on Jan. 8, 2023, but the proposed plans will need to be favorably reviewed by the PRC first.

"These changes are designed to further realize the Postal Service's 10-year strategic plan for service excellence, on-time delivery, and revenue generation from enhanced package delivery services," the USPS spokesperson told Best Life. "The plan will seek to balance the Postal Services' shipping products portfolio by streamlining its product suite to meet the demands of consumers and businesses it serves."