Waiting by the mailbox? USPS sets new, slower delivery service standards starting July 1

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First Class mail soon will take a little longer to reach all corners of Maine: What took one day will now take two, maybe three days.

It’s part of a national U.S. Postal Service change in service standards beginning July 1.

Maine USPS spokesman Tom Rizzo said delivery times are being changed in reaction to two realities — fewer people are using the mail and the Postal Service has to save money. It’s projected to run a $14 billion deficit this year.

Ahead of the change, a First Class letter mailed in Portland arrived in Aroostook County the next day.

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“It was quite a trip because Maine is so large,” Rizzo said.

Beginning July 1, a First Class letter mailed from ZIP codes 039, 040, 041, 042, 043 and 045 to an address within those ZIP codes will still receive one-day service, Rizzo said.

In the Northern Zone, one-day service includes ZIP codes 044, 046, 047 and 049. A letter sent outside those two areas will take two to three days.

Maine has two postal processing plants, in Hampden and Scarborough. The change will mean fewer trucks and fewer trips between those locations.

The Postal Service has had several meetings with its largest mailers ahead of the changes, Rizzo said. “They understand our predicament.”

The Postal Service can work with companies that bring mail directly to one of its plants, he said. Another option is sending mail a day or two earlier.

Other changes July 1: The First Class standard for mailing a letter across the country is moving from one- to three-day delivery time to two- to three-day. Mailed periodicals will move from delivery time in one to nine days to two to nine days.

kskelton@sunjournal.com

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