New Service Standards for First Class Mail Take Effect


First Class Mail is about to get a little slower, traversing from sender to recipient in an average 2.1 days instead of 1.8 days. New service standards mandated by postal network consolidation and the continued decline of First Class mail volume went into effect today. Only 63.6 billion First Class mail pieces were handled by the U.S. Postal Service in 2014, a 35% drop since 2005 when almost 100 billion passed through the system.

Most affected by the new standards will be single-piece First Class Mail sent by private citizens. The majority of this mail will take two days to get to mailboxes instead of just one. High volume mailers can prioritize delivery dates for their Standard Mail shipments by adjusting shipments of the presorted mail to Destinational Sectional Center Facilities (DSCFs).

Since April, big mailers have had to deal with a new load-leveling policy set down by the Postal Service to spread the amounts of mail handled more evenly through the week. Traditionally, postal facilities have had to process as much as 50% of presorted mail on Mondays.

The Postal Service does not expect the change in service standards to have much of an effect on industries such as utilities, telecoms, and financial institutions. Formerly major users of First Class Mail, these verticals have consolidated their mailing operations to the point that now only 11% of commercial First Class Mail is delivered overnight.

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