There are countless theories on why the USPS is in financial crisis. But regardless of the underlying reasons for the USPS’ troubles, the postal service has been making a lot of headlines as of late for rate increases and plant reorganization that will affect both businesses and consumers alike. USPS First Class mail time could suffer as a result.
Last Monday, Dec. 5, the US Postal Service filed its proposals with US regulators seeking to adjust key service standards as it cuts the size of its mail processing network by more than a half. The change will affect First Class Mail, as the service will now change from a one-to-three-day service to a two-to-three-day service for the continental United States. The change in USPS First Class mail time will have far-reaching implications for businesses in every sector.
According the PostandParcel.info, “USPS executives told the press today that slowing down [USPS] First Class Mail [time] would allow the Postal Service to consolidate its operations from the current 461 processing plants across America into 200 or less, to respond to the loss of 30% of First Class Mail in the last decade, and the expectation of a further 47% decline in volume by 2020.” This improvement in efficiency is expected to save the agency $2.1bn in operating costs annually.
Post & Parcel estimates that about 28,000 jobs will be lost as a result of the changes to the USPS First Class mail time, along with other concerns and implications. Less service means longer delivery times, and without second-day First Class mail deliveries, there will be fewer days of delivery in general. This will lead to less competition for large private sector carriers like UPS and FedEx, which will mean higher shipping prices across the board.
While there isn’t much you can do about the changes, all hope isn’t lost. Be aware of the impact this most recent news will have on current and future practices, and look to your fulfillment center for advice.
“The proposed changes by the USPS will impact many aspects of fulfillment,” said Ayal Latz, president of a2b Fulfillment. “How the changes affect you will depend on your specific business characteristics. For example, if you are shipping via First Class mail, the delivery times could be extended. And that will depend on the zones you are shipping to. If you are shipping 10 lb. packages via ground, the changes will be less impactful.”
“Generally speaking, a cutback by the USPS will make that service less competitive with the private sector carriers like UPS and FedEx. In turn, that will lead over time to price increases for shippers,” Ayal added. “Your best defense against the service and pricing issues is to consult with your fulfillment company. They should be tracking these developments, and can analyze the impact on your business. At a2b Fulfillment, we take pride in providing our clients with the best shipping solutions for their particular needs”