U.S. Postal Service's Big Budget Cuts Will Slow First-Class Delivery

That nice feeling you get when a card you mailed your friend arrives the very next day? It’s going to be a thing of the past, as huge cuts by the U.S. Postal Service will ensure that no stamped letters will arrive so fast, as well as a general slowdown in first-class mail delivery.

The Associated Press says the USPS, which is in danger of bankruptcy, is slashing $3 billion from its budget. That means your paycheck might not arrive so speedily, Netflix DVDs will show up later and magazines might be outdated by the time they arrive in rural areas.

“It’s a potentially major change, but I don’t think consumers are focused on it and it won’t register until the service goes away,” said Jim Corridore, analyst with S&P Capital IQ, who tracks the shipping industry. “Over time, to the extent the customer service experience gets worse, it will only increase the shift away from mail to alternatives. There’s almost nothing you can’t do online that you can do by mail.”

Beyond the inconvenience to consumers sending mail, these cuts would shut down 250 out of around 500 mail processing centers as early as March. First-class mail standards dating back to 1971 will be adjusted due to the farther distances mail will travel from post offices to processing centers.

Currently, first-class mail should take one to three days to arrive, but will be extended to two to three days. Magazines might take as long as nine days to arrive.

Facing bankruptcy, US Postal Service plans unprecedented cuts to first-class mail next spring [Associated Press]