What the USPS’s future could mean for your holiday gifts

U.S.

ATLANTA (NewsNation Now) — If you’ve been frustrated by slow service by United States Postal Service in the time since the pandemic started, you probably don’t want to hear this but the service is about to get even slower — and temporarily more expensive.

The phrase “snail mail” may have even more meaning starting Friday. That’s when the USPS implements its new service standards. It will slow the time first-class mail, periodicals and things that travel a longer distance take to land in your mailbox.

“A service that’s been around as long as the post office has should definitely have it figured out by now,” said USPS customer Charles McConnell.

The agency is slowing its delivery target time by about 30%. Mail that normally took two to three days to deliver may now take up to five days.

The move is part of Post Master General Louis DeJoy’s 10-year “Delivering for America Plan.”

For years, the agency has been riddled with financial problems and that only got worse during the pandemic.

The plan aims to overhaul the service and slash costs to get ahead of the $160 billion it’s projected to lose over the next decade.

But critics doubt it will work.

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“The issue of a slowdown and an increase in prices will only serve to disappoint USPS customers. It will not solve any of their problems,” said University of Notre Dame professor Dr. James O’Rourke.

Shipping will also temporarily cost more this holiday season. The adjustments start Monday and last through Dec. 26.

Experts recommend getting an early jump on holiday shopping and shipping.

“You’re going to have to get creative this year because people who think, ‘Oh, it’s Dec. 21, I better do my shopping,’ are in for a huge surprise because most of those packages won’t arrive until February,” said O’Rourke.

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