Here’s Where Mail Will Slow Down in October and Beyond

Advertising Disclosure: When you buy something by clicking links on our site, we may earn a small commission, but it never affects the products or services we recommend.

Boy waiting for mail to arrive
goodmoments /

On Oct. 1 — just weeks after various postal rates increase — the amount of time it takes for some of your mail to be delivered also will increase.

The U.S. Postal Service has submitted its finalized plan for changes to the time frames in which it delivers mail (service standards). It will be published in the Federal Register on Wednesday, the last step in the process.

The changes will affect the speed of first-class mail, periodicals and marketing mail.

While 61% of first-class mail would remain at its current standard, the rest would be slowed by one to two days, with the Postal Service noting that most mail would just be delayed by a single day.

In a statement issued on Sunday, the Postal Service said the changes are part of its strategic plan and “will improve service reliability and predictability for customers and enhance the efficiency of the Postal Service network.”

The service standard changes also reflect the Postal Service’s desire to reduce its use of air transportation, which the Postal Service characterizes as “less reliable” due to factors such as weather delays, network congestion and air traffic control ground stops.

Instead, the USPS will shift to greater use of surface transportation, which the federal agency notes is also less costly.

According to the Postal Service:

“The basic logic of the changes is that the addition of one or two days to current service standards for First-Class Mail and Periodicals would enable the Postal Service to convey a greater volume of mail within the contiguous United States by surface transportation, thereby achieving a better balance of on-time reliability and cost-effectiveness. It would also enable the Postal Service to enhance the efficiency of its surface transportation network.”

An analysis by The Washington Post suggests that some states are more likely to see delayed mail delivery than others.

States west of the Rocky Mountains and states in the country’s mainland extremities — such as large parts of southern Texas and Florida — will bear much of the brunt of the changes, according to the newspaper. Cities that can expect to see slower service include:

  • Las Vegas
  • Orlando
  • San Diego
  • Seattle

According to the Post:

“Seventy percent of first-class mail sent to Nevada will take longer to arrive, according to The Post’s analysis, as will 60 percent of the deliveries to Florida, 58 percent to Washington state, 57 percent to Montana, and 55 percent to Arizona and Oregon. In all, at least a third of such letters and parcels addressed to 27 states will arrive more slowly under the new standards.”

Get smarter with your money!

Want the best money-news and tips to help you make more and spend less? Then sign up for the free Money Talks Newsletter to receive daily updates of personal finance news and advice, delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for our free newsletter today.