USPS Regulator Approves Price Spike but Warns Mail Slowdowns Could Have Worse-Than-Expected Impact

Commission criticizes postal management for faulty assumptions, insufficient testing and disregard for customers.

The U.S. Postal Service’s regulator is warning that the mailing agency’s case for slowing down mail rests upon “unproven assumptions,” suggesting USPS should revise its plan just one day after approving sharp rate increases.

The Postal Regulatory Commission on Tuesday did not flat out reject Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s plan to slow down delivery windows for some mail, but suggested the proposal was not fully thought out and its success was far from guaranteed. On Monday, it signed off on the Postal Service’s new pricing structure set to go into effect later this year. It will mark the first time postal management instituted higher-than-inflation rate hikes under a new authority the commission granted the Postal Service last year.

The slowdowns are expected to impact about 40% of First-Class mail. Postal officials have said USPS can no longer meet the standards it had set and the new windows would more accurately reflect what is already occurring. With the goal of slashing air transportation by 43% for First-Class mail, letters sent within the continental United States will take a maximum of five days under the new plan instead of the current limit of three days. Kristin Seaver, USPS’ chief retail and delivery officer, said earlier this year that 70% of First-Class mail would still be delivered within one-to-three days and the changes concern the “fringes of our network.”

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