Have New Service Standards Impacted First-Class Mailers?

webart_timeliness_1st_class_mail_flatsProject Title:
Timeliness of First Class Mail Flats
Start Date:
June 16, 2015
Estimated Report Release Date:
December 2015

In 2011, based on dramatically declining mail volumes and the subsequent excess capacity in its mail processing network, the Postal Service announced plans to revise its service standards, which would enable it to streamline its mail processing and transportation. In January 2015, the Postal Service implemented Phase 2 of its plan to update its processing network. Phase 2 changed operations for processing and distribution centers, which process and dispatch mail to and from post offices and collection boxes within a region.

Phase 2 also changed the service standards for several mail classes, including First-Class Mail. Generally, the time it takes First-Class Mail to reach its destination increased from an overall average of 1.8 days to an overall average of 2.1 days. The critical entry time (CET) for First-Class Mail also changed. The CET is the latest time mail can be inducted into the postal network to be processed and dispatched in time to meet service standards. If the Postal Service accepts a mailing before the posted CET for that day, the day of receipt is designated as the arrival date. If the mailing is accepted after the CET, the mailing will have an arrival date of the following processing day.

Under the service revision, the current process for entering mail will remain in place while the Postal Service evaluates how to make changes that will minimize the impact on business mailers inducting large quantities of mail.

1. Have the service standard changes had any impact on processing of your First-Class flats? If so, please explain how.

2. Have the new critical entry times for First-Class Mail presented difficulties in service commitments? If so, please explain how.

3. Have you noticed any significant delays in delivery of your First-Class flats? If so, please explain how.

Source: Have New Service Standards Impacted First-Class Mailers? | Office of Inspector General

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