Snail Mail at a Snail's Pace

   By drodriguez  Dec 15, 2011

Snail mail may live up to its name, moving at even more of a “snail’s pace” with the current cuts to first class service that were just announced. A recent report from Businessweek discusses the United States Postal Service’s move to slow down mail and save money all in an effort to avoid what looks like imminent bankruptcy.

Since the inception of the internet and email, people just don’t write letters anymore. Blogger Tami Winbush recently reminded us about “Letter Writing Day” and encouraged readers to take a little time to write a “real” letter to loved ones. The thought of getting a hand-written letter from someone you care about is heartwarming, but with the ease of email and social media it seems unlikely we’ll have full mailboxes any time soon! And it is for this very reason that USPS is facing a huge financial hardship.

How will the planned changes affect USPS customers? Well, the plan is to close half of mail processing centers across the country (roughly 250 of the existing 500) by next March as well as lowering the current standards and expectations for first-class mail arrival.

With mail taking longer to travel between processing centers and lower first-class standards, we can expect to receive mail a day or two later than we get it now. This means people awaiting check payments, dvds by mail, birthday cards, and so on will have to wait a little longer for these items to arrive.

Jim Corridore, analyst with S&P Capital and shipping industry tracker, is quoted in Businessweek describing the bleak future he sees for USPS. Corridore says, “Over time, to the extent the customer service experience gets worse, it will only increase the shift away from mail to alternatives. There's almost nothing you can't do online that you can do by mail.”

What do you think of the current USPS plan that will slow down mail delivery?

Do you still send and receive a lot of snail mail? How will the changes affect you?

Make a Comment

mariedmandi by mariedmandi | andover, KS
Dec 31, 2011

I don't think it's a big deal... a day or 2 later is nothing. Most everyone get their checks direct deposited anyway. People will just have to mail out stuff a little sooner :)

clingrich by clingrich | ORLANDO, FL
Dec 28, 2011

My daughter and I sell on EBAY so we rely heavily on the USPS. We schedule a pickup at least 5 days a week and we are hoping that this doesn't have to change.

juljo70 by juljo70 | MYRTLE BEACH, SC
Dec 20, 2011

I hate that the USPS is shutting down places all over the country, but they have no money!! Where do you think they will find it? Really not with our Re-pubs or Democrats who fight consistency!! Send your packages as you may see more frugal, but also know that it okay to send by your choice!!

Hywelda9 by Hywelda9 | SADDLE BROOK, NJ
Dec 17, 2011

The only reason they are in such dire straits is that the Republicans in Congress are forcing the USPS to prefund retirement benefits for 75 years into the future. This is funding for workers who haven't even been born yet, and is just nuts! (But it also shows you how nuts can easily destroy things, which seems to be their only goal.)

MaggieE by MaggieE | Conway, AR
Dec 16, 2011

I have always used "snail mail" and always will. My children love getting their birthday cards from their grandparents and I do alot of online shopping which always arrives through USPS. Guess we'll have no choice on how long its gonna take now.

Ocvachick by Ocvachick | UNIONVILLE, VA
Dec 15, 2011

I am not impressed with the changes that are going to be happening, but honestly theres nothing to really do about it. I will still use "snail mail" because especially this time of year its nice to get a simple Christmas card, even if we have to send them a little early.