Postal Service starting in May will slow delivery of first-class packages as 'cost savings effort'

The plan is part of a broader cost savings initiative set to be implemented by the agency operating at a massive loss.

Updated: April 19, 2022 - 7:56am

The U.S. Postal Service as of May 1 will begin slowing delivery times for about one-third of all first-class packages as part of its effort to lower dependence on air transportation and lower expenses overall.

The started date for the change was announced Monday by Postmaster General Louis Dejoy who announced the effort last year. As a result such packages on longer routes will take one or two more days to arrive, but the majority of packages won't be affected by the change.

Beyond cost savings, the Postal Service thinks its increased use of trucks and trains will help the agency avoid some of the reliability issues it has previously faced with air delivery.

The changes are part of the Postal Service's plan to reduce more than $160 billion in projected losses over the next 10 years. The plan unveiled last year also includes higher shipping costs and getting the agency to deliver more packages.

"This action will contribute to our cost savings efforts and improve our reliability across all product classes, including our growing package market," Dejoy said Monday.

But the Postal Regulatory Commission – the federal watchdog unit – has its doubts.

"At present, the Postal Service has not demonstrated that it can achieve reliability, efficiency, and economy in its service standard changes," said the regulator, adding that it believes the service's cost saving initiatives may be overstates and that the plan "would not substantially affect the Postal Service’s overall financial condition."

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