E-commerce News and Insights | Apr 29, 2022

How Online Merchants Can Adjust To New USPS Delivery Times

Hasan Nabulsi

It’s no secret that when it comes to shipping speed, consumer expectations have grown substantially over the years. It’s become one of the main drivers in making an online purchase. In fact, 85% of online shoppers say that they will shop elsewhere if the delivery speeds take too long.

Meeting those growing customer expectations has been an uphill battle for some retailers, and for those who primarily use USPS shipping to ship their products, that battle may just be getting started.

As of May 1, 2022, the USPS will implement new service standards for two of its most popular shipping services: First-Class Package Service (FCPS) and Priority Mail. Depending on your product and where it’s being delivered, some of your customers may have to wait additional days to receive your product.

How Are USPS Delivery Times Changing?

There are only two USPS shipping services that are being affected by the new standards. Those are First-Class Package Service (FCPS) and Priority Mail.

First-Class Package Service (FCPS)

  • 64% of packages delivered through this service will not be affected by the new USPS shipping standards.
  •  In fact, four percent of packages will see an increase in shipping speed from 3-day transit times to 2-day transit times.
  • For the remaining 32% of packages delivered with this service, the delivery time standard will increase by one or possibly two days.

Currently, the USPS considers a first-class package to be late if it has spent more than three days in transit. This 32% of packages, however, will be considered on time if they arrive to their destination within four or five days.

Priority Mail

The USPS delivery time standards for using Priority Mail will depend on the transportation method being used.

  • For Priority Mail being transported through ground shipping, the USPS is removing an extra day.
  • However, the extra day that was added to Priority Mail being transported through air will remain.

That extra day was added at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and will remain until further notice.

Why The USPS Transit Times are Being Extended

The USPS has been undergoing a substantial amount of change since its 10-year Delivering for America plan has been in place. The plan is aiming to reverse what was a projected loss of $160 billion over the course of 2020-2030, and instead make a profit.

By relying more on ground transportation for first-class packages, the USPS will be able to avoid paying the hefty costs that come with air transportation.

On top of the financial element, the USPS is looking to keep those packages within its network for greater efficiency. According to the postal service, the average truck is only running at 40% capacity. By increasing this number the USPS says it can provide greater reliability to its customers.

What These Changes To USPS Shipping Times Mean for Your Business

The changing USPS delivery times will affect many e-commerce businesses in a couple of different ways.

The first aspect to note is that the First-Class Package Service is intended for small, light-weight packages only. FCPS packages can weigh up to 15.999 ounces and can measure up to 108 inches in combined length and girth. So for e-commerce merchants that sell items that weigh or measure outside of these parameters, their experience shipping with USPS will be fairly unchanged.

The second aspect of these new standards to consider is that packages affected most will be those traveling long distances. If you’re shipping within your zone or general region of the country, your USPS delivery times will likely stay the same or in a few cases be even faster.

For e-commerce merchants selling smaller products nationwide, the need to find a faster shipping service will likely be more prevalent. As shown in Shippo’s 2021 State of Shipping Report, 48% of consumers preferred 2-3 day shipping when given the option and 44% of respondents said that expected delivery date was the most important piece of information on the product page.

In order to adjust to the new USPS delivery times and meet customer demands, the key will be to diversify your carrier mix and compare different shipping services provided by the USPS as well as through other carriers. With Shippo, you can do just that.

Sign up to Shippo for free and start comparing discounted shipping rates and delivery times among the nation’s top carriers all from a single dashboard.

Hasan Nabulsi is the Content Marketing Manager at Shippo.

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