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Mon Nov 22 2021 10:37:01

USPS Predicts 1 Billion Fewer Pieces of Mail This Holiday Season

By: Ina Steiner

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The USPS recently predicted it would handle 1 billion fewer pieces of mail (letters, cards, and packages) during this year's holiday season compared to last year (12 billion instead of 13 billion). We asked the USPS if higher costs affected the forecast and are awaiting a response.

On November 12, the USPS issued a press release in which it stated: "The 2020 holiday season was a record-setting year for the Postal Service. Specifically, 13 billion letters, cards and packages were processed and delivered under some of the most difficult circumstances we've faced in the past century."

It went on to state: "For the 2021 peak season - the period between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day - the Postal Service will deliver more mail and packages to homes than any other shipper. It's anticipated that between 850 million and 950 million packages will be delivered for the holidays. The total number of letters, cards and packages processed and delivered is estimated to be more than 12 billion."

We are curious about the reason for the lower forecast. Was it COVID related (if so, how)? And how much did higher mailing costs factor into this year's holiday forecast, if at all? 

As noted in the press release, the cost of a Forever stamp increased to 58 cents from 55 cents this year, and there are temporary price increases during the holidays on all retail and commercial domestic competitive parcels (Priority Mail Express, Priority Mail, First-Class Package Service, Parcel Select, USPS Retail Ground and Parcel Return Service). International products were unaffected, it noted.

The press release also contained other facts of interest to sellers:

- The USPS expects customer traffic at Post Office locations to steadily increase beginning December 6.

- It anticipates the busiest mailing, shipping, and delivery period to be the week of December 13, when it predicts it will process and deliver nearly 2.3 billion pieces of First Class Mail (including greeting cards and packages).

- The USPS predicts December 19 will be the Postal Service's busiest day online. (That's a Sunday, and Christmas falls on the following Saturday.)

- The USPS expects to deliver more than 9.7 million packages each Sunday throughout the holiday season. 

The USPS 2021 holiday commercial celebrates postal workers and ends with a familiar tagline: PRIORITY: YOU and includes a link to usps.com/magic.
 

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by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 22 12:40:42 2021

Lots of folks ‘shopped early’ this year, taking advantage of both way lower prices during pandemic related slow buy periods, and the fact those stim checks are now exhausted.  

Also, USPS increases and lags have decreased USPS desirability in the competitive market, even if prices are not a factor.  Interesting note - UPS hands off a significant % of their last mile to the USPS.   Because they can’t do it for the price they charge.  USPS ‘projections’ don’t account for those since they are ‘outside’ the network, and thus unpredictable by the USPS.

Those out there seeking postal demise would do well to remember all that.  Loss leaders don’t last.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Mon Nov 22 15:33:40 2021

"USPS Predicts 1 Billion Fewer Pieces of Mail This Holiday Season"
Well, a package just over 4 lbs to Washington state costs a little over $74.
So, I'm pretty sure their "Choke" strategy is working......

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by: terry55 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 22 18:56:07 2021

Post master General is getting his way, destroying the USPS, my sales have dropped 50% since Oct's rate increase. Every rate increase sales dropped, if in deed they adding $15 to packages over 30", just from the boards on ebay, there will be 30-50% drop in USPS packages.  

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by: airbrake This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 23 08:40:48 2021

The mail has already started to slow up. Half of the 40 packages I sent out last week 1st. Class, Priority, missed their delivery date by 1 - 2 days. Weather has been exceptionally good as of late so that had nothing to do with it. I am in the approximate middle of the country and items were going to all coasts and four corners so I can really see what the picture is as they track.

Anything going East, Northeast, Midwest, Upper Midwest has slowed. Anything going to West Coast, Ca., Ore., Wash State seems to be okay so far, probably because of Lost Wages flights. The airlines have already announced they over sold for the entire holiday season by 17% so the first thing thrown off airplane overloads is the mail. The one exception I see is anything going West to Central California is going by truck through Salt lake City. Just wait until the weather turns with a majority of the mail moving on trucks.

Thanksgiving in the coming week should be a good picture window of coming events. New Jersey & New York sorts has never really gotten over Ida.

As far as less mail being handled this year over last year, again the Post Office shows their inability to forecast properly. I say it's going to be more than last year. What's everybody going to do, walk their cards, letters and packages to the recipients? Covid is raising its ugly head again, so the press and Government say. FedEx is already having problems and UPS is starting to have problems with on time delivery.

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This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Tue Nov 23 12:36:05 2021

What does DeJoy expect when the rates keep increasing and the service keeps decreasing? I just wish someone would start a service similar to the First Class Package service. Amazon would be the logical choice since they have not only their own vans but use the Piggy Cars.

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by: eBaySince2006 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 23 15:46:43 2021

It's the higher costs. 25% our packagies (usually 3 lbs and over) used to ship with USPS now they ship with FedEx or UPS due to USPS price increases  

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by: COVID-19 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 23 19:05:10 2021

Gee, this couldn't possible have anything to do with the price increase AND a slowing down of service, could it? So shocking.

This is all good news for the USPS workers though. Less work for them to do. Less packages for them to abuse.

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by: terry55 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Nov 24 09:42:59 2021

COVID-19
I know my mail lady is loving it, she use to come by and pick up my packages around 3-4Pm for the last year and half, mid way thru her route, since about mid Oct when ebay messed up the site, rates jumped and amazon started delivering , she's back on her regular time, 11am-noon, home by 3pm

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by: leavingNY This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 29 00:30:36 2021

After what happened last year to sellers, especially small sellers with HUGE delays and hassles from buyers that come with it. To insulting sellers by holiday surge pricing that started earlier this year, so the USPS can capitalize on it, is the reason why the USPS strategy failed in trying to shake us down this year and giving us lousey service with higher prices on top of it. AND it doesn't stop there. The USPS is raising their prices AGAIN in January when we were misled that they would not. Making the flat rate boxes smaller is NOT a good way to do business either. For years I have items that fit exactly inside the older boxes, now they won't. Its like the USPS is discouraging business now.  

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by: Stone Cutter This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 29 00:30:38 2021

Postal price increases have nothing to do with less packages being delivered...NOTHING at all.

1) Consumers shopped early because of Covid and are concerned about a short supply of products. This information has come from the banking industry.
2) Inflation is putting the breaks on many shoppers as "sticker shock" is an issue. Already reported is that those deep discounts by retailers are not so deep this year.

Inflation, inflation, inflation....Those with money continue to spend. Those living on the edge are pulling back. So the question...Who is your customer...rich or poor? If my customers have to spend an extra $2 bucks to ship a product, my customers don't care.

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by: Stone Cutter This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 29 00:50:01 2021

First class mail is dead. I spend $13.00 to ship a piece of jewelry (which includes insurance), and I've never had a complaint about USPS...their service has been awesome! USPS gives me an estimate of a 3 day delivery but consistently delivers in 2 days. USPS can no longer afford to mail deliveries for cheap. You gotta pay to play! Sellers can no longer afford to sell cheaply priced products...period. Cards, letters to grandmas are all concepts of the past.  Reality check!

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by: Disgusted This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 29 05:04:16 2021

Higher prices and slower service.  What do they think would be the result?

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by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 29 05:25:27 2021

I think these are the reasons why: 1) For a priority mail cost, UPS/Fedex/Smartpost have comparable rates and deliver just as fast.  2) Delivery costs are causing shoppers to "hesitate" when buying; I know it does me.  3)  More shoppers are shipping to the store, which is free.  Usually the company (Home depot) already has the product in a nearby warehouse or another store and can deliver to that neighborhood store.

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This user has validated their user name. by: epuise

Mon Nov 29 12:31:52 2021

I sell antiques & collectibles...
There is a MAX people will pay... e.g. $125 for a Lamp.
People do not ADD shipping to the $125.
They want to SPEND $125.
When postage was $25, before fees, the lamp fetched $100.
Now that postage is $50 plus...
Combined w/ labor, materials, returns...
The lamp is no longer WORTH selling online.
Sellers like me are ONLY doing Local Pickup now.

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by: BargainzBabylon This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 29 12:36:17 2021

Comparing anything to the pandemic year is silly.  OF COURSE there will be less mail...people can shop in person this time.  Stores are hopping.  This is a nothing burder.  



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