Dear Customers –

As shoppers continue to show a growing interest in holiday shopping, many large corporations, including Drive Fulfillment, are ramping up efforts to prepare for anticipated delays to support the spike in consumer spending. While a rise in holiday shopping is already underway, global supply chain challenges will force consumers to shop sooner than normal this year. Since many phases of manufacturing and delivery processes are experiencing delays, planning ahead is of the utmost importance.

Not only will this holiday season expose potential shortages in inventory, stock, and supply chain logistics for several companies, a slew of updates to USPS shipping policies are set to be implemented starting October 1st, 2021, which will affect shipping and delivery times. In the spirit of transparency, we feel it necessary to inform you of the following:

The New USPS Cost-Cutting Plan

Beginning Friday, Oct 1st, the U.S. Postal Service will start to implement new service standards for first-class mail and periodicals — slowing its target delivery time by about 30%. These policy changes are part of a larger 10-year strategic plan announced by Postmaster General Louis DeJo.

While these changes will increase shipping times for pieces of mail going cross-country and other long distances, 61% of first-class mail and 93% of periodicals will not be affected by the changes. USPS also added, beginning Oct 3rd and ending Dec 26th, the Postal Service will temporarily increase prices on all commercial and retail domestic packages because of the holiday season. Moving forward, the Postal Service will lean on ground transportation as a more reliable and cost-effective option than air transportation.

How will these changes affect each mail and shipping service

First-Class Mail: Depending on the origin and destination of the first-class mail, USPS says that 39% of standard-size, single-piece letters or envelopes will now be delivered in three to five days, while the rest (61% local mail) will be unaffected, delivering in one to two days.

First-Class Package Service: According to USPS, 32% of smaller lightweight parcels will be delivered in four to five days, with the longest delays accompanying the longest shipping distances, like from New York to California. That said, the rest (61% of local mail) will rest unaffected, delivering in two to three days.

Reasons for the USPS New Cost-Cutting plan

Every hour, an average of 17.7 million mail pieces are processed and delivered by the U.S Postal Service, a large quantity of which are packages delivered from online retailers and marketplaces (like Drive Fulfillment, Amazon, etc.).

Who will be impacted the most by the USPS cost-cutting plan and supply chain shortage?

Generally speaking, individuals and businesses will be the most impacted by the cost-cutting plan, with longer delivery times for both outgoing and incoming mail that needs to travel by postal truck for farther distances. We recommend a healthy buffer window. Unfortunately, delivery lags could become a normal aspect of life, so plan ahead to make the necessary adjustments.

Ways to ensure your mail still arrives on time

According to USPS, customers can still use Priority Mail Express and Priority Mail services with a one-to-three-day standard to ship letters, larger envelopes, or packages within the contiguous United States. Another option is to compare rates and delivery estimates with competing carriers, like UPS.