Remittance Mail Slows

Last year’s changes to Postal Service delivery standards mean B-to-B payments take longer to arrive.

U.S. Postal Service trucksThe U.S. Postal Service got plenty of headlines with its recent announcement that it plans to eliminate Saturday delivery. But for businesses that collect payments via snail mail, the big impact has come from the changes the Postal Service announced early last year, changes that have slowed delivery times.

In January of 2012, the Postal Service said it would eliminate a number of its processing facilities. It also revised its standards for two-day delivery from mail that originates from within roughly a 12-hour transportation range of a processing center to mail from within a six-hour range.

The survey shows considerable disparities between regions. “There were locations where we couldn’t tell the June survey from October,” Litton said. “Atlanta, Chicago, Philadelphia, Bostonthose locations seemed to be sort of immune from the changes.” But West Coast locations like Los Angeles and San Francisco showed big increases in delivery times, as did Charlotte, N.C., he said, adding that the Postal Service will be looking for ways to mitigate the effects of its changes.

Given the slowdown in delivery, some companies may add lockbox locations, according to Litton. “You may have had companies that have, let’s say, two lockbox locations and are really close to being able to justify a third. Now the not quite becomes justified.”

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