Why Is USPS So Slow In 2022? (10 Reasons Why It Is Taking So Long)

The United States Postal Service runs like a well-oiled machine in most cases, delivering billions of mailpieces each year, the vast majority of them without incident.

Recently, though, if it seems like mail service, especially first-class mail, has slowed down, you’re not alone. this is because it actually has, for a variety of reasons.

here are 10 reasons why usps is so slow and why it can take so long for your mail to get to you or your loved ones.

why is usps so slow in 2022?

1. USPS changed their delivery times

the most obvious and recent reason for the slow mail is that ee. uu. the postmaster general announced that the organization would slow down the speed of first-class mail service.

louis dejoy, a former transportation and logistics executive, unveiled a 10-year plan that would include reducing the speed of first-class mail from 1-3 days to 1-5 days.

This plan was conceived in an effort to make the USPS more financially sound, after suffering significant losses in the order of $3 billion in one quarter alone.

and dejoy defended the plan against critics, saying that 60 percent of Americans would see no difference in the speed of delivery of their mail.

however, that still leaves 40 percent (nearly half) of the country with considerably longer wait times for something as simple as a letter.

To put it into clearer perspective, a postal service expert spoke to vox.com and said the delay “means mail delivery will be slower than it was in the 1970s.”

In my own experience, mail that used to take a day now takes two or three, as everything is diverted to a distribution center 100 miles to the south, before heading back north to my small town.

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While that began to happen long before this plan was put into effect, I sympathize with USPS customers who will begin to experience a similar delay. it’s maddening.

However, dejoy emphasized that his plan would ultimately save usps $160 billion.

To see how delayed delivery affects you, you can enter your ZIP code on this interactive Washington Post map.

It’s not just your imagination: mail really does go slower.

2. you live in a rural area

Critics of the dejoy plan mentioned how slower mail could be disastrous for rural communities, where USPS is nothing less than a lifeline to the rest of the world.

Unfortunately, given the geography, rural areas are already more difficult to serve; just look how neither fedex nor ups have an obligation to deliver to our more rural areas.

(although this could change soon, as fedex recently phased out its smartpost service, where usps handled the “last mile” of deliveries, often in rural areas).

With these communities already more isolated and difficult to reach due to their geography, mail delays for them could be even more pronounced.

3. you live outside the us uu. continental.

The issue of geography becomes even more pronounced when it comes to states and territories served by USPS that are not part of the lower 48 states.

which includes hawaii, alaska and usa. uu. territories such as Puerto Rico or Guam. if you live in one of these areas, slower mail service is likely to be apparent.

This is because part of the Postmaster General’s dejoy plan is to reduce airmail and rely more on trucking.

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With fewer planes carrying USPS mail, areas that can only be reached by air (rather than truck) will wait longer.

4. the sender chose a slower service

4. The Sender Chose A Slower Service

If you are expecting something specific, it may be taking longer than expected because the sender chose a slower service.

maybe they said they would ship it priority or priority express, but got confused with the services and did it first class.

or they could have sent a package selection package, the slowest (and cheapest) package delivery option.

5. trucks have been limited

one of postmaster general louis dejoy’s first moves in his 10-year financial sustainability plan for usps was to reduce “extra and late truck trips”.

usps has enjoyed some flexibility in this area, but with dejoy’s limitations, the less flexibility to ship trucks later means some people might wait an extra day for a delivery.

6. there has been a weather disaster

As the planet gradually warms, major weather events become more common.

And whether it’s treacherously icy roads or a major hurricane or tornado, the weather can have a marked effect on how quickly mail is delivered.

However, I found that if you have USPS tracking on your package, if weather has caused a delay, the website will indicate if your delivery will be affected.

7. there was a big traffic incident

Like the weather, major traffic incidents, most commonly in the form of accidents, can be sudden and very inconvenient for mail delivery.

If you were waiting for a package and it didn’t arrive, keep an eye out for any reports of traffic disruptions on the highways.

8. it’s the holiday season

Now more than ever, Americans shop online. and online shopping during the holidays means a huge influx of packages.

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USPS can only hire so many additional temporary workers, so it’s not uncommon for customers to experience delays from Black Friday through the New Year.

And for some, there’s the additional impact of the weather.

be kind and patient with your carriers – they really are doing their best during these kinds of stressful times.

9. it’s sunday

if you didn’t know, sundays are the only non-usps business days.

even if you expect something urgent priority, unless the sender has paid the extra $12.50, it will not be delivered on Sunday.

so while you may think the usps are “slow”, it’s actually that they’re not open on sundays, unless someone pays a little more.

10. it’s an election year

As recent elections have shown, more people than ever are enjoying the convenience of mail-in ballots.

If that trend continues (and the federal government allows it), and we see mail-in ballots become a more ubiquitous part of the election landscape, the increased volume of mail could cause delays.

If you want more information, you can also see our posts on whether or not USPS ships to Puerto Rico, whether USPS First Class has tracking, and whether USPS sends text messages.


usps first class mail delivery has been delayed by the organization’s leader, the u.s. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy in a calculated move to save money.

However, slower delivery can also occur for reasons beyond human control, such as bad weather systems or traffic incidents, or can occur during particularly busy shipping times, such as holidays.

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