In early 2021, amid the slowest prolonged mail delivery in decades, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) offered America a deal: more predictable, but longer delivery times. Specifically, in return for lengthening the target delivery times, or mail delivery standards, for 39 percent of first-class mail, 95 percent of all first-class mail would arrive on time.
But while USPS put the longer target delivery target times in place on October 1, 2021, they now say they never intended for the 95 percent on-time delivery to be in effect on October 1, 2021. USPS’s prior words and actions, however, tell a different story, as documented below.
First, though, a review of the continued, systemic deterioration in first-class mail delivery times is in order.
During Fiscal Year 2021, USPS delivered 50.7 billion pieces of first-class mail. Under the new mail delivery standards that USPS uniformly was able to put into effect on October 1, 2021, 19 billion pieces of first-class mail can be delivered at least one day later throughout the year. This means legal documents, bill payments, sympathy cards, and other important business and personal documents will be delayed.