Is the Post Office slowing down First Class Parcel delivery?

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d_green
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Is the Post Office slowing down First Class Parcel delivery?

Post by d_green » Thu May 14, 2015 3:20 pm

I've been doing a lot of selling on eBay recently. Much of what I sell weighs under 14 ounces and can be shipped via the First Class Parcel service. In recent years, it seemed to me that First Class Parcel moved pretty much as fast as Priority Mail. However, it seems that in 2015, First Class parcel is moving much slower than Priority. Packages to zip codes that used to take 2 days are now taking 4 or more. There just seems to be some new delays this year.

It almost seems like something at USPS changed this year and they are trying to push packages into the more expensive Priority service by slowing down First Class. Has anyone noticed anything like this? I'm also curious if there are alternatives to First Class for light packages. Thanks
Last edited by d_green on Thu May 14, 2015 11:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Sidney
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Re: Is the Post Office slowing down first class parcel delivery?

Post by Sidney » Thu May 14, 2015 3:35 pm

Hard to know without data. It could be that their express business has grown so much it is consuming most of the logistical resources that can get stuff from A to B in 2 days.
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cheese_breath
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Re: Is the Post Office slowing down first class parcel delivery?

Post by cheese_breath » Thu May 14, 2015 3:39 pm

My wife does a lot of shopping online, and we've stopped paying extra for first class because it never arrives within the expected time.
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Re: Is the Post Office slowing down first class parcel delivery?

Post by nisiprius » Thu May 14, 2015 3:49 pm

In our area? everywhere? they are now delivering packages on Sunday, which is almost creepy. Perhaps that's a factor... somehow.
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hornet96
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Re: Is the Post Office slowing down first class parcel delivery?

Post by hornet96 » Thu May 14, 2015 4:51 pm

Actually, I noticed something similar but with a slight variation when I recently went to send a normal-size package (gift-type box) at the post office. My options were only "parcel post" or one of the priority/express mail options (and which, it seems that priority mail pricing is no longer competitive with UPS and FedEX ground services). Parcel post was promised to arrive within "10-14 business days," which was way too long, and I had to bite the bullet and pay for priority mail. I couldn't even send it first class mail if I wanted to.

Looking back I should have just walked out and went down the street to the UPS store to send it UPS ground, but I seem to recall being in a hurry at the time (and of course had waited the requisite 30 minutes in line at the post office before they could possibly help me).

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Re: Is the Post Office slowing down first class parcel delivery?

Post by rec7 » Thu May 14, 2015 4:51 pm

I think so because our post office would empty the outside mail boxes fives time a day. Now they empty them once a day. That would slow things down several hours maybe a day.
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Re: Is the Post Office slowing down first class parcel delivery?

Post by TerryDMillerMBA » Thu May 14, 2015 5:56 pm

I haven't sold much in the last twelve months online, but I have bought quite a bit. From what I have experienced, they are pushing Priority. In their defense, it is a pretty good deal for many situations.

Now, as far as being on the receiving end of eBayers/Amazonians/et al, the USPS bends over backwards to keep the UPS, FedEx, and other shippers who contract with them to finish the delivery of smaller packages happy. I usually get packages earlier than normal.

So "business-oriented" parcel post is "business as usual." But Joe Consumer is getting pushed towards Priority Mail.

Jim180
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Re: Is the Post Office slowing down first class parcel delivery?

Post by Jim180 » Thu May 14, 2015 6:39 pm

The Postal Service has closed and consolidated a lot of mail processing plants to try and cut costs. The remaining plants have more mail than they can handle. They announced some time ago that they were lowering service standards on first class letter mail. So it is not surprising to hear that parcels are being affected also.

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magellan
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Re: Is the Post Office slowing down first class parcel delivery?

Post by magellan » Thu May 14, 2015 6:54 pm

This google search has lots of links discussing it:
https://www.google.com/#q=first+class+p ... +slow+down

I made an ebay purchase in March that was shipped first class parcel and it took almost 3 weeks to arrive. I had assumed it was lost as the tracking hadn't been updated in almost 2 weeks. I was working with the seller on a resolution when the item finally showed up.

IMO, the USPS is on its last leg and this is yet another sign. Whenever I make an online purchase, I try to avoid online stores and sellers that use USPS unless it clearly says that it's priority mail.

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Re: Is the Post Office slowing down first class parcel delivery?

Post by tomd37 » Thu May 14, 2015 8:10 pm

For the past year I have found significant reduction in delivery service of regular first class mail. Just today received a card that was mailed from Asheville, NC to Brentwood, TN (Nashville suburb) on May 8th afternoon. Asheville is just 300 miles from here via Interstate 40 and yet it took six days. Have similar delivery problems from and to Wilmington, NC which is 665 miles via I-40. :annoyed
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Re: Is the Post Office slowing down first class parcel delivery?

Post by Mudpuppy » Thu May 14, 2015 10:24 pm

USPS has been "consolidating" sorting centers, which really means they're closing some regional sorting centers and using another center to do the sorting. For example, mail for my area actually gets sorted about 100 miles away, when it used to be sorted right here. The simple act of closing down the local sorting center added a couple of days to the time it takes mail to move around.

Here is a brief page from USPS on the consolidations: https://about.usps.com/news/electronic- ... elcome.htm

A good deal of these consolidations have taken place this year. So the slow-downs you are observing may simply be due to the consolidations, not any intentional manipulation of mail by USPS. There are fewer sorting centers handling the same mail and package volume, so delays are not surprising.

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Re: Is the Post Office slowing down first class parcel delivery?

Post by dolphinsaremammals » Thu May 14, 2015 10:34 pm

[OT comments removed by admin LadyGeek]

d_green
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Re: Is the Post Office slowing down first class parcel delivery?

Post by d_green » Thu May 14, 2015 11:56 pm

magellan wrote:This google search has lots of links discussing it:
https://www.google.com/#q=first+class+p ... +slow+down

I made an ebay purchase in March that was shipped first class parcel and it took almost 3 weeks to arrive. I had assumed it was lost as the tracking hadn't been updated in almost 2 weeks. I was working with the seller on a resolution when the item finally showed up.

IMO, the USPS is on its last leg and this is yet another sign. Whenever I make an online purchase, I try to avoid online stores and sellers that use USPS unless it clearly says that it's priority mail.


Thank you for pointing this out. It looks like this First Class issue may be a real and it may be permanent. I think I may need to change my shipping methods on eBay and start using Priority exclusively.

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Re: Is the Post Office slowing down First Class Parcel delivery?

Post by vtjon » Fri May 15, 2015 8:50 am

They closed our local (regional) mail processing center which was about 30 miles away and moved it to one that is about 150 miles away. It has impacted our delivery times. I read an article, maybe in the local paper, that the Postal Service has adjusted their "expected average delivery time" from like 1.2 days (guessing, can't remember exactly) to 2.8 days.

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Re: Is the Post Office slowing down First Class Parcel delivery?

Post by dbCooperAir » Fri May 15, 2015 9:29 am

I have noted a slow down as well in my Ebay shipping.
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Re: Is the Post Office slowing down First Class Parcel delivery?

Post by LadyGeek » Fri May 15, 2015 2:11 pm

Please stay focused on mitigating (reducing the impact of) the effects of slower US Post Office deliveries. Opinions on Post Office funding issues are off-topic.
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555
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Re: Is the Post Office slowing down First Class Parcel delivery?

Post by 555 » Fri May 15, 2015 11:47 pm

I don't mind packages being slow, to get cheap postage on a non-urgent item.

I do mind when packages don't arrive at all or totally disappear.

I was expecting a package today that tracking said was "out for delivery" but then changed to "undeliverable. I totally call BS on that. I bet the driver wanted to start their weekend early and simply couldn't be bothered finishing their route.

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Re: Is the Post Office slowing down First Class Parcel delivery?

Post by jlawrence01 » Sat May 16, 2015 2:49 am

I have a friend who works at a contract post office in the Tucson area. Two identical packages were mailed out the same day to the same Texas post office. One was routed through Phoenix and on to Texas and arrived in three days. The other was routed through Los Angeles and made it in eight days.

I have had similar situations occur when mailing Christmas gifts back in November.

I do not attribute it to any intentional "slowdown"; I think it is a matter of when and where the USPS has space. If they have room for your package, fine. If not, priority mail takes precedence.

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Re: Is the Post Office slowing down First Class Parcel delivery?

Post by jbuzolich » Sat May 16, 2015 9:13 am

I'm definitely noticing it on letters. Items that used to arrive within 1-2 days are now averaging a week or more. At work we pay a lot of bills that arrive by mail and I see the date gaps getting longer and longer.

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cheese_breath
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Re: Is the Post Office slowing down First Class Parcel delivery?

Post by cheese_breath » Sat May 16, 2015 9:38 am

Last Thursday we mailed a graduation card to our grandson in 1300 miles away in Texas and a Mother's day card to my MIL in our same zip code. The gradation card got there early this week. The Mother's day card got there yesterday.
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Re: Is the Post Office slowing down First Class Parcel delivery?

Post by Barefootgirl » Sat May 16, 2015 10:14 am

The whole business model seems to have changed. I live in a large, heavily populated suburb and we only have the most minimal of USPS services here. No post office, no blue drop off boxes and delivery only to a box cluster at the end of each street.

If we want to send something, we can ship locally via privately held shipping stores or drive to far off USPS locations and yes, I've noticed they are gaming their prices as they try to figure how to optimize or keep their model afloat...and yes, delivery is wonky.


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555
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Re: Is the Post Office slowing down First Class Parcel delivery?

Post by 555 » Sat May 16, 2015 1:26 pm

555 wrote:I don't mind packages being slow, to get cheap postage on a non-urgent item.

I do mind when packages don't arrive at all or totally disappear.

I was expecting a package today that tracking said was "out for delivery" but then changed to "undeliverable". I totally call BS on that. I bet the driver wanted to start their weekend early and simply couldn't be bothered finishing their route.


I think I'm cracking the code.

"Out for delivery" means "We're faking it".

"Undeliverable" means "We couldn't be bothered".

"Delivered" means "Stolen".

They should change the name from "First Class Parcel delivery" to "Third World Parcel delivery".

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Re: Is the Post Office slowing down First Class Parcel delivery?

Post by sawhorse » Sun May 17, 2015 11:31 pm

I haven't noticed a difference with USPS, but FedEx Ground seems to be really slowing down. Three days to travel 100 miles. 9 days cross country. I'm not talking remote locations at all. Overnight delivery is still good but FedEx Ground takes longer than USPS. Plus a crushed package and one that was completely lost.

Has anyone else been experiencing this?

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Re: Is the Post Office slowing down First Class Parcel delivery?

Post by dolphinsaremammals » Mon May 18, 2015 6:56 am

I mailed three small boxes first class Thursday. The one going in state arrived Friday. One going out of state arrived Saturday. The one going cross country has not arrived yet, but I am not sweating it at this time.

One thing USPS has never done is deliver something addressed to me to the wrong address. UPS and FedEx do that fairly often. I think that's a reflection of USPS actually having employees who know their neighborhoods and one or both of UPS and FedEx use contractors who seem to come and go and UPS and FedEx people in general don't give a darn.

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Re: Is the Post Office slowing down First Class Parcel delivery?

Post by cheese_breath » Mon May 18, 2015 7:14 am

dolphinsaremammals wrote:....One thing USPS has never done is deliver something addressed to me to the wrong address....

You must have a good letter carrier. I often get mail addressed to others delivered to my house, so I'm guessing my mail sometimes might get delivered to others as well.
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8foot7
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Re: Is the Post Office slowing down First Class Parcel delivery?

Post by 8foot7 » Mon May 18, 2015 7:46 am

I routinely receive checks from vendors paying invoices. It so happens I have a lot of clients in the Boston area.

Remittances used to come in a very predictable rhythm -- the checks would be mailed from Boston on Friday, and they would arrive here in North Carolina on Monday, almost like clockwork.

However, over the past few months these same checks mailed on the same days of the week out of greater Boston routinely take until Wednesday or Thursday to be delivered here, and in no case have they been delivered earlier than Tuesday.

I noticed this slowdown about the time Boston was getting buried this winter and thought it might have something to do with the weather and snowbanks making regular outgoing mail pickups more difficult or sporadic, but we're well into the thawing and this continues so I think it's more than weather.

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