The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) will begin controversial new service standards on Friday that could slow down some mail delivery in another disruptive and widely denounced move from Postmaster General Louis DeJoy.
Transit time for first-class mail traveling longer distances will be extended.
The changes, part of DeJoy’s “strategic 10-year-plan,” will cut costs by transporting first-class mail through trucks, not airplanes as is the current standard.
A USPS spokesperson claimed that 61% of first-class mail and 93% of periodicals would not be disrupted by the changes.
DeJoy’s plan, which was announced in March, has been widely criticized by congressional Democrats, 21 state attorneys generals and the Postal Regulatory Commission, a regulatory oversight board. The new strategy is just one of several controversial moves by DeJoy, and part of the reason Democrats hope for his ouster. DeJoy, who took reins of the organization last year, drastically changed the way mail was processed and the tools available to employees in the leadup to the 2020 election, when more people voted by mail than ever before because of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to 538. DeJoy’s former employer, XPO Logistics, was awarded a $120 million contract with the USPS in April — and though DeJoy recused himself from the bidding process, his critics haven’t let up. Despite the complaints, the USPS maintains the cost-cutting measures are necessary to keep the organization afloat — the agency lost $69 billion over 11 years.
What We Don’t Know
How much mail will actually be affected. A Washington Post analysis of the plan shortly after it was announced calculated that 5 billion pieces of mail could be slowed because of the changes.