USPS Mail Delays: What You Need to Know

With the holidays coming up, you may want to mail any packages sooner.

Person partially opening mailbox to look inside

The United States Postal Service (USPS) made changes which are affecting shipping times and prices. Due to these recent changes to USPS standards, mailings can take longer to deliver, especially during higher volume periods such as holidays. Here's how delays in the postal service can affect your finances.

Increased Prices and Updated Mailing Timeframes

According to the USPS, shipping times for 61% of First-Class Mail and 93% of Periodicals will not be affected by these changes. Here are the changes to the standard services:

  • Single-piece First-Class Mail traveling within a local area will continue to be two days.
  • Mail traveling the greatest distances will be most affected, with a day or two of transit time added for some First-Class Mail and Periodicals.

Additionally, the U.S. Postal Service is temporarily increasing its package prices for the 2021 holiday season. International products are unaffected. The new costs affect prices on commercial and retail domestic competitive parcels, including:

  • Priority Mail (PM)
  • Priority Mail Express (PME)
  • Parcel Select
  • First-Class Package Service (FCPS)
  • Parcel Return Service
  • USPS Retail Ground

The temporary rates from the USPS began Oct. 3, 2021, and will remain until Dec. 26, 2021.

Do You Have Auto-Bill Payments?

If you use an automatic bill payment service, you may need to schedule payments a few days in advance to make sure they arrive on time. While you can schedule a payment to a local vendor or merchant, the Bill Pay provider that submits your payment may be from out-of-state.

Plan Ahead

If you want to send packages or letters or order gifts, think about travel time and plan ahead. For mail that has a due date or required deadline, it is important to give your mail enough time to arrive.

When sending mail over long distances, the USPS recommends sending any packages sooner. If it would take more than a day for your mail to reach its destination by driving, it may not arrive last minute. You’ll want to be sure to allow long-distance mail to have more time to go through the USPS.

If You Have a Business

Be aware of these delays, especially if you accept payments by mail. From providing convenience to customers to maximizing sales opportunities, accepting multiple payment methods can benefit your business. Consider accepting online payments, where you can create and send electronic invoices.

Remember, when paying bills by mail, allow plenty of time to meet due dates. You may need to evaluate your cash flow, and consider creating additional sources of income. If your business does marketing through direct mail, consider the implications for your schedule as well. You may need to adjust your strategy.

Why the Changes?

As reported by the USPS, these new service standards are in an effort to increase delivery reliability, consistency, and efficiency. The Postal Service says it will utilize vehicles to deliver mail, instead of air transportation, which is more expensive. By using ground transportation to deliver mail, the USPS says it can keep costs and postage rates affordable. To learn more, view the USPS Plan for financial sustainability and service standards.


  1. Service Alerts, USPS
  2. U.S. Postal Service Announces Proposed Temporary Rate Adjustments for 2021 Peak Holiday Season, USPS

The information provided in these articles is intended for informational purposes only. It is not to be construed as the opinion of Central Bancompany, Inc., and/or its subsidiaries and does not imply endorsement or support of any of the mentioned information, products, services, or providers. All information presented is without any representation, guaranty, or warranty regarding the accuracy, relevance, or completeness of the information.