No, you’re not imagining it. It does, in fact, take longer for letters to get to their destination via snail mail. Since January, letters that used to be delivered overnight are now taking an extra day or two to reach their destination.
The slowdown is the result of far less volume (people are sending fewer things by USPS) and processing plant closures. The Postal Service closed 150 plants to save $865 million and another 82 starting in January to save an additional $750 million.
The USPS has had billion-dollar budget shortfalls in recent years, prompting the agency to ask Congress for help. It wanted to cut Saturday service all together, but an outcry prevented that measure.
Former postmaster general Patrick Donahoe argued, just before he retired earlier this year, that the longer delivery times only affect between 2.5 percent and four percent of the mail anyway. “So you can’t hold an entire system hostage and continue to run up debt and continue to avoid making investments over 2 percent to 4 percent of the mail,” he told the National Press Club.
However, the USPS’ own numbers say the impact is on 16 percent of mail. And even then, many times the mail took longer, sometimes up to five days.
I don’t really send or receive too much mail these days with the exception of regular magazine deliveries or Netflix. (Yes, I know, everyone streams. Can I live?) It might just mean that everyone has to recalibrate how long it takes things to get to where they’re going after they drop it in the mailbox.
Have you noticed a difference?