As the United States Postal Service continues to struggle financially, they have implemented a plan "to achieve financial sustainability and service excellence." With the new standards come some changes to when you can expect to receive your first-class mail and periodicals.

Beginning October 1st, the USPS began the new service standards that will create an increase of "delivery reliability, consistency, and efficiency for our customers and across our network," according to a Fact Sheet shared by the organization. They say that 61% of first-class mail and 93% of periodicals will be unaffected with mail traveling within a local area expected to take up to two days to arrive at its destination.

The transit time for some mail traveling outside the local area and for longer distances is expected to increase by one to two days making for a three to five day delivery time. They say that by implementing these changes, "the Postal Service can entrust its ground network to deliver more First-Class Mail, which will lead to greater consistency, reliability, and efficiency that benefits its customers."

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The USPS considers a "Local Area" to be "within a 3-hour drive between originating and destinating processing facilities." So what does all of this mean as we head into the holiday season? If you're planning to send Christmas cards or gifts and you want them to arrive before Christmas, it may be worth planning ahead, especially if your parcel's final destination is outside of the three hour drive of being considered local.

[Source: United States Postal Service]

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