Some USPS deliveries will soon take longer, cost more

Some U.S. Postal Service mail will now take even longer to be delivered – and cost you more.

Starting Oct. 1, the USPS is implementing new service standards for its first-class mail and periodicals, which will increase the delivery time for mail traveling long distances by one or two days, according to USPS spokesperson Kim Frum.

Its first-class package service will also be affected by the new standards. 

While first-class mail is designed for standard-sized letters and flats, its first-class package service handles small, lightweight packages. 


FILE - A United States Postal Service (USPS) worker looks in the back of a delivery truck while delivering mail.

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The changes will not affect single-piece first-class mail traveling within a local area. The delivery time for that mail will continue to be two days, according to the postal service.

In fact, most first-class mail, 61%, and periodicals, 93%, will be unaffected by the changes, according to Frum. About 64% of first-class package service volume will also be unaffected. 

The postal service claims the move will help its ground network deliver more first-class mail with greater efficiency.

"With this change of offering 2- to 5-day service based on distance, we will improve service reliability and predictability for customers, while also driving efficiencies across the Postal Service network," Frum said.

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For instance, the changes will help USPS utilize "ground rather than using costly air transportation, which is also less reliable due to weather, flight traffic, availability constraints, competition for space, and the added hand-offs involved," she added. 

The move is part of the post service's 10-year Delivering for America plan and is a "necessary step towards achieving our goal of consistently meeting 95 percent service performance," Frum said. 

The USPS is also planning to temporarily increase the price on commercial and retail domestic package shipments for the peak holiday season.   

The temporary price adjustments, will take effect on Oct. 3 and last through Dec. 26. However, the price increases will not affect international products.