Postmaster General Louis DeJoy ‘plans to eliminate two-day delivery for first-class mail and hike postage rates’ as USPS struggles with billions in losses
- DeJoy is reportedly considering eliminating two-day delivery for first-class mail
- Already, less than half of letters in that category are delivered on time
- Plan would also see all first-class mail shipped by truck instead of airplane
- Changes would coincide with a significant price hike in postage
- USPS is struggling financially even after a record holiday quarter last year
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy plans to propose changes to the U.S. Postal Service that could make mail delivery slower and more costly for both consumers and commercial mailers, according to a new report.
DeJoy has discussed eliminating first-class mail designated for delivery in two days, and instead make all first-class mail targeted for a three- to five-day delivery window, people briefed on his strategic plan told the Washington Post.
Currently, letter-envelope sized first-class mail sent to a local address is supposed to be delivered within two days — but frequently it is not.
At the end of of 2020, only 38 percent of two-day mail was delivered on time, the USPS has admitted in court.
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy reportedly plans to propose changes to the U.S. Postal Service that could make mail delivery slower and more costly
DeJoy’s plan also prevents first-class mail from being shipped by airplane, instead relying on trucks and a relay of distribution depots, the sources said.
The changes would coincide with a significant hike in postage rates, which DeJoy has already said is ‘imminent’. He said that the plans had not yet been finalized when contacted by the Post.
It comes as the USPS struggles financially and seeks to find ways to control costs, after reporting net losses totaling $86.7 billion from 2007 through 2020.
Top postal officials are scheduled to testify before a U.S. congressional panel on February 24, as lawmakers consider how to repair U.S. Postal Service finances.
The hearing ‘will examine legislative proposals to place the Postal Service on a more sustainable financial footing,’ said Representative Carolyn Maloney, the Deocrat who chairs the committee, and top Republican Representative James Comer.
U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a supporter of former President Donald Trump who was named postmaster last year by the USPS board, has agreed to testify before the House Oversight and Reform Committee, his spokesman said.
Ron Bloom, a former Obama administration official elected on Tuesday as new chairman of the U.S. Postal Board of Governors, confirmed Friday that he will also testify.
It comes as the USPS struggles financially and seeks to find ways to control costs, after reporting net losses totaling $86.7 billion from 2007 through 2020
DeJoy came under heavy criticism for making service changes that delayed deliveries, so he suspended them ahead of the 2020 presidential election. Still, complaints of slow deliveries have continued.
‘We must acknowledge that during this peak season, we fell far short of meeting our service targets. Too many Americans were left waiting weeks for important deliveries of mail and packages,’ DeJoy said Tuesday, apologizing to customers.
American Postal Workers Union President Mark Dimondstein, also set to testify, said USPS will ‘soon introduce a 10-year plan that has had to this date little or no input from postal workers or customers.’
USPS reported $318 million of income for the quarter ending December 31, delivering a record 1.1 billion holiday season packages amid the pandemic, though first-class mail revenue decreased by $177 million.
But the service has bled billions in recent years. One reason for the red ink is that Congress in 2006 passed legislation requiring USPS to pre-fund more than $120 billion in retiree health care and pension liabilities.
Labor unions have called this requirement an unfair burden that other businesses do not share.
DeJoy warned Tuesday USPS faces massive projected losses as it faces declining mail volumes.
He warned that unless ‘service, reliability, and costs do not improve’ USPS’s ability to deliver to all 161 million U.S. households ‘will be threatened, and our relevancy diminished.’