U.S. Post Office changes could delay mail
Michelle Del Rey is reporting for the Times Union changes to the U.S. Postal Service's express shipping, effective Fri., Oct. 1, could delay some mail going across the country. The USPS claims it has not been able to hit its promised delivery targets for years and the upcoming changes will make them more attainable, cost-effective and realistic. The new standards will increase time in transit windows for up to two days, holding up mail with longer delivery routes. First-class mail covers standard-sized envelopes weighing up to 3.5 ounces, and large envelopes and small packages weighing up to 13 ounces. Previously, delivery was promised in three business days or less. According to the Post Office, the updates “will improve service reliability and predictability” and were a “necessary step toward achieving our goal of consistently meeting 95 percent service performance.” Approximately 61 percent of first-class mail and 93 percent of periodical delivery times will remain unaltered. Louis DeJoy, U.S. postmaster general, unveiled the organization’s 10-year-plan earlier this year, which involved adjusting delivery time frames for first-class letters, periodicals and flat envelopes for up to five days. Critics of the new standards worry that they might hurt mail recipients. In a July letter, the Postal Regulatory Commission issued an opinion, writing, "...it is not clear that the tradeoff between financial viability and maintaining high-quality service standards is reasonable.” Read the full story in the Times Union.