Postal service

Postal Service: First Class Slows, Priority Speeds Up


The USPS said some packages may soon take longer to arrive. This file photo was taken in Wisconsin.


Some packages may soon take longer to arrive, the US Postal Service said.

From May 1, the standard time for about one-third of first-class parcels will be one to two more days. The change is expected to have the greatest impact on deliveries that travel long distances, such as those that go coast to coast, the USPS said on its website.

The change impacts first class packageswhich are supposed to be small and light.

An additional 4% of those packages will be “upgraded from a 3-day to 2-day service standard,” officials said in an April 18 press release. There will be no change in delivery times for the remaining 64% of deliveries.

Officials said the new “standards will allow additional package volume to be transported by surface transportation, which is more reliable and affordable compared to air transportation.”

Also in its announcement, USPS said some delivery times could be faster. The change will reduce one day of delivery of goods transported by land by priority mail, an option that provides customers with item tracking with standardized flat rate packaging sent to the contiguous United States.

“The additional day was temporarily put in place in April 2020 to accommodate the current global supply chain, transportation and employee availability challenges across our network posed by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said officials in their press release. “Given the continued high demand across the entire air network, the Postal Service is currently retaining the extra day for priority mail carried by air until the reliability of our major suppliers improves.”

The USPS suggests people plan ahead and send first-class packages early, especially if they’re traveling far or need to arrive by a certain date. Their website managers have also reassured customers that the changes won’t affect most plans.

“In fact, these new standards mean your packages will be delivered more reliably and consistently than they have been in previous years,” the Postal Service said.

This story was originally published April 19, 2022 1:26 p.m.

Simone Jasper is a reporter who covers breaking news for The News & Observer and real-time news in the Carolinas.