USPS Is Making These Changes to Your Mail, Starting Now
The agency is pushing through new adjustments for different reasons.
The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is no stranger to change, but these days, it feels like the agency is always switching things up. There are a few reasons for that, of course. For one thing, the USPS is in the midst of a major 10-year operational overhaul under its Delivering for America (DFA) plan, which began in 2021 and has included a number of changes designed to help get the agency out of its financial hole. Then there are other necessary updates outside of the DFA. Lately, stopping the spike in mail theft has been a priority for the USPS—and, of course, there's also the need to give customers new mailing options to keep them loyal. With all that in mind, read on for a look at some of the newest USPS changes.
People have started spotting new USPS drop boxes.
If you've noticed your community's blue collection mailboxes looking a bit different, you're not alone. A woman from Billings, Montana, recently reached out to her local news station KULR to ask about a change in some of the post office drop boxes in her town.
Resident Barb Tuell said the new mailboxes require people to get out of their car to put their mail inside, when they were previously able to drive through and drop things off with the old ones. The team at KULR also found that the gap is much smaller than before, limiting the drop box to letters and envelopes only.
These new collection boxes have been spotted in other cities recently as well. Customers from the Anderson Township Post Office in Ohio told local CBS-affiliate WKRC about the change in post office collection boxes in May, noting that they are not as easy and convenient to use as the old ones.
"That was a pain," resident Charles Williams told the news outlet. "It defeats the whole purpose of the mailbox being a drive-thru."
The Postal Service is making this change in response to rising crime.
Despite frustrations from customers, the USPS is well aware that its new drop boxes may be harder to use. But that's because they've been designed to make it harder for criminals to steal mail from inside.
In a May 12 press release, the USPS announced that it would be cracking down on mail theft by rolling out expanded crime prevention measures, including the installation of 12,000 "high security" blue collection boxes nationwide.
Kim Frum, a strategic communications specialist with the Postal Service, told KULR that the new post office drop boxes spotted in Billings are part of the agency's efforts to protect its collection boxes.
"These boxes are being deployed across the country through the next fiscal year," Frum explained to the news outlet. "The post office will continue to evaluate additional existing blue collection boxes with these enhanced boxes."
The agency has also made it clear that it has no plans to pull back when it comes to changing mailboxes across the U.S.
"Recognizing these ongoing safety threats, we have been—and will continue to—implement an engaged, robust nationwide initiative to harden blue collection boxes," a Postal Service spokesperson told WKRC.
The agency is also planning to make adjustments to delivery operations.
The rollout of new high security blue collection boxes is not the only USPS change causing controversy at the moment. As part of its larger DFA initiative, the Postal Service is also planning to modernize its delivery and processing network by consolidating facilities across the nation.
In an April 27 press release, the agency announced that it already has six new "larger, centrally located" Sorting and Delivery Centers (S&DCs) opening, and designs underway for 11 "purpose-built or purpose-redesigned" Regional Processing and Distribution Centers (RPDCs).
The Postal Service isn't stopping there either, as it revealed that it is expecting to open about 60 RPDCs across the U.S. in the coming years, and that it is currently evaluating over 100 new S&DC locations nationwide. But the USPS is now experiencing bipartisan pushback on its planned consolidation changes, Government Executive recently reported.
In a July 26 letter addressed to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, Republican Congressman Bill Huizenga expressed concerns around how the agency's plans to open an S&DC near Kalamazoo, Michigan, would affect mail delivery in the community.
"Mail carriers would be required to divert to this single center to pick up the mail before proceeding on their route," Huizenga wrote. "As a result, the workforce would be stretched thin, having to travel much farther to reach the communities they serve. Residents in these areas, including the many older households, rely on prompt mail delivery for time-sensitive materials like medical bills and financial documents."
New stamps are being released in September.
Not all changes are controversial, of course. On the lighter side, customers will soon be able to get their hands on new USPS stamps.
In an Aug. 3 press release, the agency announced that it would be rolling out a series next month to "celebrate the fun of piñatas." This piñata-based collection is set to drop on Sept. 8 as a "booklet of 20 colorful and festive Forever stamps," according to the announcement.
"The Piñatas! stamps feature four vibrant illustrations of the traditional Mexican party favorite," the USPS said, noting that they were designed by artist Victor Meléndez. "Two are of a donkey with either a bright pink or orange background, and two feature a seven-point star set against either a purple or green background."
- Source: https://about.usps.com/newsroom/national-releases/2023/0512-usps-postal-inspection-service-roll-out-expanded-measures-to-crack-down-on-mail-theft.htm
- Source: https://about.usps.com/newsroom/national-releases/2023/0427-usps-improving-service-reliability-in-first-two-years-of-dfa.htm
- Source: https://about.usps.com/newsroom/national-releases/2023/0803ma-celebrate-your-festivities-with-usps-pinatas-stamps.htm