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Lower Postal Service Standards Take Effect October 1

New service standards for First-Class Mail and Periodicals will be implemented on October 1, 2021.

WASHINGTON, DC — The new service standards for First-Class Mail and Periodicals will be implemented on October 1, 2021.

The USPS says most First-Class Mail (61 percent) and Periodicals (93 percent) will be unaffected by the changes. Standards for single-piece First-Class Mail traveling within a local area will continue to be two days.

The Postal Service will increase time‐in‐transit standards by one or two days for certain mail that is traveling longer distances. “By doing so, the organization can entrust its ground network to deliver more First-Class Mail, which will lead to greater consistency, reliability and efficiency to benefit customers,” the USPS said in its announcement.

The USPS said the changes “will help the organization achieve its goal of consistently meeting 95 percent service performance.”

From the Federal Register Notice:

The Postal Service is changing some of the service standards applicable to certain First-Class Mail with respect to both of the two components of the standards. First, the Postal Service is promulgating modifications to the delivery day ranges within which mail in a given product is expected to be delivered. Second, the Postal Service is promulgating modifications to the business rules, changing the maximum number of hours of drive time that corresponds to the specific number of delivery days after acceptance of a mail piece by which a customer can expect that piece to be delivered (within a product’s applicable delivery day range).

In particular, the changes to service standards include the delivery-day range for certain First-Class Mail. Currently, a one-day (overnight) service standard is applied to intra-SCF Presort First-Class Mail pieces properly accepted at the SCF before the day-zero CET. A two-day service standard is applied to intra-SCF single-piece First-Class Mail properly accepted before the day-zero CET, as well as to inter-SCF domestic First-Class Mail pieces properly accepted before the day-zero CET if the drive time between the origin P&DC/F and destination SCF is 6 hours or less. A three-day service standard is applied to inter-SCF domestic First-Class Mail pieces properly accepted before the day-zero CET if the drive time between the origin P&DC/F and destination SCF is more than 6 hours and the origin and the destination are within the contiguous 48 states.

Under the new service standards, the delivery day range for First-Class Mail within the contiguous United States will expand from the current 1-3 days, to 1-5 days. The overnight service standard does not change. Among the changes detailed below, a two-day service standard will apply to intra-SCF First-Class Mail where the SCF is also the origin P&DC/F, and to intra-SCF and inter-SCF domestic First-Class Mail where the combined drive time between the origin P&DC/F, destination ADC, and destination SCF is 3 hours or less; a three-day service standard for inter-SCF First-Class Mail would apply where the combined drive time between the origin P&DC/F, destination ADC, and destination SCF is 20 hours or less (but over 3 hours) within the contiguous United States, and the same three-day standard would also apply for intra-SCF single-piece First-Class Mail if the combined drive time exceeds 3 hours and the SCF is not the origin P&DC/F; a four-day service standard for inter-SCF First-Class Mail would apply where the combined drive time between the origin P&DC/F, destination ADC, and destination SCF is 41 hours or less (but over 20 hours) within the contiguous United States; and combined drive times between the origin P&DC/F, destination ADC, and destination SCF in excess of 41 hours would result in a service standard of five days.

Click for Federal Register Notice

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