USPS Announces Big Changes in Priority Mail

Aug 14, 2013 2:03 PM  By

usps-package-delivery-300The United States Postal Service has launched what it is calling “major changes” to its Priority Mail lineup, including free insurance, improved tracking, and day-specific delivery. In a press release the USPS said the changes would generate more than a half a billion dollars in revenue.

In the release, Patrick R. Donahoe, Postmaster General, said he believed the changes would allow the USPS to compete competitively in the shipping marketplace and give smaller businesses and frequent shippers “a continued and compelling reason to do business with the Postal Service.”

The scheduled delivery change, according to the USPS, will now offer 1-day, 2-day or 3-day delivery based on the origin and destination of the package. Tracking and scheduled delivery information, the release said, will now be located on customer’s retail receipts and is also available online.

The free insurance feature, the release said, is designed to “close competitive gaps in the shipping marketplace and meet the growing needs of small businesses and other frequent shippers.” According to the release, Priority Mail 1-day, 2-day, and 3-day delivery will now include $50 or $100 insurance coverage (depending on your payment method).

The revamping of the Priority Mail service, according to the release, will also include:

  • No fuel or residential surcharges.
  • Free boxes and envelopes delivered at no charge.
  • Free package pickup, regardless of the number of packages.

According to the release, the USPS has seen “strong growth” in its package business, as it grew roughly 14% within the past two years.  The growth, according to the release, was based on an “ecommerce fueled growth trend” which includes an increase in online consumer spending.

By 2016, the release said, online shoppers are expected to increase their spending by 62%, the release said. By 2017, according to the release, ecommerce retail sales are expected to grow 41% to hit $370 billion.

“With e-commerce driving major changes in shipping habits, and consumers becoming more reliant on delivery services, the Postal Service can play an increasingly vital role as a driver of growth opportunities for America’s businesses,” said Nagisa Manabe, chief marketing and sales officer with USPS.

  • Kathryn Davis

    Congratulations – that is a thoughtful and important improvement !

    However – to match competition you need to improve you timeliness with delivery of Priority Mail.

    My latest use of Priority Mail through USPS was sent from Las Vegas, Nevada to Joshua Tree, CA . It was accepted in Las Vegas 4:24 PM 8/9/2013, sorted by 8:50 PM, Shipped 8/10……Next information shows it had been processed in a sort facility at 6:46 in MEMPHIS,TN. Scheduled delivery had indicated August 12, 2013 but at that point it was still in Memphis,It did not leave there until 8/12. It was processed next on August 13 in Bell, Ca at 12:23 PM. This “2-day” mail shows it left Bell, CA 90201 at 12:23 PM On AUGUST 13, 2013 AND NOW ON THE 14TH STILL,HAS NOT ARRIVED at 92252 although the local post office felt it should be certainly be received today.

    Seems you need an additional Priority service to rectify misdirected Priority mailings if it cannot be prevented. This package was correctly labeled according to the invoice from the company. This I can’t yet verify although expediting was IMPORTANT…..after 1 week in transit, I have still not had delivery.

    Your reputation can only be REBUILT by giving as good service as your competitors…..evidently a matter of “caring” throughout the ranks.

    • David Rupert

      Kathyrn, Did your package come through yet? If not, send me an email to david.g.rupert AT

      • Kathryn Davis

        Just a short time ago, the package arrived here – Saturday, August 17th! It had spent two days in Bell, CA and finally found it’s way to Los Angeles and eventually San Bernardino for an overnight stay and finally was sent on to Joshua Tree, CA. arriving at the local Post Office at 5:30 AM on the 16th. Unfortunately it still could not be redirected to my mail carrier until the 17th – But – it WAS DELIVERED today.

        The most unfortunate part of the delay was that the package contained medication unavailable locally and the delay caused the patient to be excessively uncomfortable during the extra 5 days..
        I have learned the hard way that depending on Priority Mail can be pure fantasy – and disappointing.

        I do wish yo “Good Luck” in efforts to renovate and improve the future of the Postal Service.

        • marc zazeela


          Nothing is 100% reliable. Fed Ex, UPS, DHL, etc., all have service failures from time to time. It is unfortunate that your experience happened at such a critical time.

          I would not be so hasty as to indict the whole system because of one missed delivery.


          • hbk72777

            I sell on ebay. 1200-1500 packages a year.

            The Post Office sucks on delivery time and scanning