Packages Sent Through USPS May Take Longer to Arrive this Holiday Season

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black mailbox outside with raised red flag on side

Mail delivery is about to slow down. 

Considering that it’s almost holiday-present-sending season, it’s a good idea to take note that USPS delivery times are potentially going to start taking a little longer.

The USPS reported that about 4 out of 10 pieces of first-class mail will see slower delivery, although they also note that the two-day delivery standard for single-piece first-class mail traveling through a local area will remain the same.

So how much longer are we talking?

A USPS truck in front of a house

Currently, the USPS has a three-day delivery standard for first-class mail. This new plan will loosen that time restraint to “anywhere within the U.S. within five days,” so we’re expecting to receive packages up to two days later than we have in the past. This new slowdown in mail times is part of a 10-year plan to combat a projected $160 billion loss over the next decade.

However, it’s still totally possible that folks will be able to receive packages before the five-day maximum–this new rule is just meant to give the USPS a little more leeway when it comes to delivery times.

For this reason, it’s probably best to start sending bills, checks, or other time-sensitive materials a little earlier just in case it does take an extra day or two for them to arrive.

Check out our comparison of USPS, UPS, and FedEx shipping costs!

Join The Discussion

Comments 21

  1. Kruiz528

    Don’t even send it through them. They’re a mess. I’ve lost so many packages from them the past 1.5 years. And they’re not helpful in giving a refund or locating your item.

    • Lori

      Amen! USPS is a disaster. I’ve had no problems with Fedex & UPS.

  2. Ang

    I have a small business and we are already telling our customers to get a jump on holiday shopping this year. Helping people be aware and prepared for the slow down is the best way to handle it. Thanks for posting!

  3. Csandst1

    I don’t know why we have daily mail. It’s a waste of time and money. One day a week we’ll have 6 or more pieces of mail. The other days we have one or two pieces. Daily mail should be discontinued.

    • Elsa3

      I agree with you. I only receive junk mail and yearly property taxes in the mail. Haha plenty of private companies that can handle what needs to be mailed these days.

    • Hayley Willingham

      I have tons of mail every day. All my free samples (from hip2save posts) and letters and bills. My brothers love getting the mail to see what is inside. Sometimes the free coupons are already spent though….. LOL Then there are my free magazines (again thanks hip2save)….

  4. Suzanne

    In other news, the sky is blue. : )

    • Lori

      LOL 😉

  5. Steph

    Can’t be any worse than Fedex. They are the absolute worst. My packages will say out for delivery for days in a row because they delivery exception them . I was waiting on clothes sent from JCP and it cames almost three weeks after it was shipped. Currently Bestbuy sent an ipad on Monday and I still have not received it. They claim they sent it the equivalent to UPS second day air. It is all just a mess.

    • karikalikimaka

      Agree! Fedex is always at least 5 days late, we are in OR waiting on a package right now that shipped from MN, it has been sitting 100 miles away for 7 days with a “Pending” delivery title! 4 days ago it said out for delivery, then said Emergency Exception the next day……I called and they said they don’t have enough drivers! So they should stop accepting packages they can’t deliver on time! This has been going on for the past year

  6. Laura

    I believe it! Here’s 2 stories for you: 1. I sent a priority envelope ($7.35 I think) to my mom, it just had a letter in it, and it took 10 days, This was just in September. She sent me a letter in September just by regular mail (forever stamp) and it took 4 days to get here. Go figure…. 2. Last holiday season I sent a priority box again to my mom on December 13th, it arrived on January 22nd.

    • Pat Goff

      I send things to my mother but the delivery in Germany is worse. Customs even opens the mail to make sure there isn’t any money or gifts in there. LOL I can’t tell you how many times she got mail that was missing items. I sent her a magazine once and they even opened that.

  7. Debbie H.

    The Postmaster General said the increased postage costs and increased delivery times will “improve service reliability…and efficiency.” LOLOLOL Increasing the delivery time for mail isn’t improvement in reliability or efficiency. It’s the opposite!! So just increase the delivery time from 3 days to 5 days as the standard, and Presto! mail is delivered on time again!! How dumb do they think we are?

  8. Lora

    Let’s make the post office so bad that people will want it privatized. Postmaster’s buddies get rich…

  9. Pat Goff

    Everybody is short staffed. I wish people would go back to work so things can get half way back to normal.

    • Family First

      People aren’t going to work when unemployment has been paying more. It is unfortunate for business but states are coming up with more funding to help people stay at home longer and get paid!

  10. Imsofrugal

    There are over 800,000 postal workers and if they all decided to quit tomorrow or they closed down all offices, those of you that are complaining that you don’t want mail or suggest using other couriers, will be the main ones wishing your mail carrier would deliver your useless mail and packages!! Most offices have to get out Amazon packages before they do Priority or 1st class packages. Go complain to Amazon for dumping the majority of their work onto the post office. These offices are not operating at 100% and have not been, since the plandemic started. You have one carrier trying to deliver 2-3 routes per day. They’re working 12-13 per day, yet you all complain that you haven’t received your dog food on time. Not to mention all of the excessive amount of packages that have to be delivered because no one goes to the store anymore. I know my local office had 17 carriers out and the few regular carriers as well as sub carriers managed to get as much delivered as they possibly could.

    • Ron

      This is true. I am a sub (RCA) Rural Carrier Asst. and I am doing 50-65 hrs. a week. I get one day off, and many days I am doing 2-3 routes. The PO is very understaffed, and our Postmaster for our branch isn’t even hiring holiday help. So I can just say please plan early, be patient, and use the best way you think you should send your packages. I deliver everything that I receive for the day to my customers. If I miss a package I will turn around and deliver it, or deliver it on my way back in. Just another note that USPS delivers everything from UPS, Fedex, Amazon, DHL, and many others. Most business will ship the cheapest route leaving you with the higher cost of shipping. Well blessings, and send early!

    • Pad

      Why do the Amazon packages get priority over USPS Priority and First Class?

  11. rebecca

    “anywhere in the US within 5 days”? This would actually be significantly better in my area. For over a year now, from my address (NOT rural) anything i sent took 5-9 days. I didn’t send a single birthday note or anything else to someone during the pandemic (even just one state away) that arrived in less than 5 days. This includes 1st class envelopes and packages.

  12. Ann

    Just sent the last of the Halloween goodies/birthday gift/Christmas gifts boxed together yesterday to the great-nieces and nephews before the temporary price increase that lasts until December 27. They started the price increase two weeks earlier this year than last year. Have to save on shipping where we can….combine Valentine’s and Easter goodies and early in the year BD gifts in a mailing in February also.

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