How to Plan for Slower, More Expensive Mail Service This Holiday Season

If it feels like your mail has been slower to arrive this month, it’s not your imagination. The U.S. Postal Service has been delivering first-class mail more slowly since new service standards were enacted on October 1. They’ve also raised prices for sending packages…….just in time for the holidays. Part of a 10-year postal service reorganization plan designed to stop the agency from hemorrhaging money, the new scheme is expected to slow delivery times by about 30%. The mail you could previously expect to arrive in 3 days can now be expected to take 3, 4 or even 5 days, depending on how far it has to travel. To add insult to injury, in August the Postal Service raised the price of a standard stamp from 55¢ to 58¢, and it’s also jacking up the cost of sending packages — but only for the holidays. Between Oct. 3 and Dec. 25, shipping parcels will be from 25¢ to $5 more expensive, depending on the service you use to send them and how far they have to travel. If you think going to UPS or FedEx will solve your shipping problems, think again. Still bogged down from residual pandemic delays, both carriers won’t fare much better than the good old U.S. Postal Service.