The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is reportedly considering a strategic plan that would severely erode the quality of first-class mail delivery, its most popular product with the American people. According to a February 12 article in The Washington Post, USPS wants to eliminate the two-day standard for delivering first-class mail to a local address and instead lump it into a three- to five-day delivery window.
The American people deserve much better. And for decades they had much better.
From 1971-2012 USPS had a one-day delivery standard for first-class mail. USPS delivered 42 percent of first-class mail in one day in 2011, 57 percent in two to three days, and the remaining one percent in four to five days.
Mail delivery standards were previously degraded in 2012. Starting then, USPS had at least two days to make first-class mail delivery. USPS never met these new, lower standards. In six of the past eight years, service declined further culminating in the currently abysmal service levels.
Despite all this, first-class mail is alive and well in the United States as USPS’s most profitable business line. For fiscal year 2020, USPS reported 52.6 billion pieces of first-class mail were sent, resulting in revenues of $23.8 billion.