The future of mail delivery in the United States is murky. This gives magazine publishers and direct mail marketers much to be concerned about, including increased deliver times and costs, fewer options, and overall more uncertainty. Consider that:
- Currently the number of distribution centers are being slashed. This will increase efficiency but also add one day to most deliveries.
- Routes will be lengthened. This means that mail will arrive later. Currently our Monday mail often arrives after the business day is over. And if there’s a snowstorm it may not be until after 8 or 9 pm. If our carrier is given an additional 10 or 20% stops to make, how much more will mail be delayed?
- Saturday mail delivery may be stopped altogether. This will mean more mail needing to be delivered on Monday with even later delivery times. Plus if Monday happens to be a holiday, then there will be even greater pent-up volume for Tuesday. Remember that mail will still be entering the mail stream over the weekend, it’s just that it will have no place to go.
- Some post offices are being closed and more will likely be closed. That means more time and costs will be incurred when you need to go to the post office.
- Rates will need to be increased, but no one knows how much.
The wise mailers are already looking for options and contingencies. Unfortunately, this will serve to remove even more mail from the system — and less volume is exactly what the US Post Office doesn’t need.