USPS says no to delivery of fragile mail
By Bill McAllister, Washington Correspondent
The United States Postal Service is telling customers who want to mail fragile packages to find another shipper.
Effective July 10, the agency is planning to end its Special Handling-Fragile service, according to an April 20 Federal Register notice.
The notice cites “execution gaps” in the agency’s efforts to successfully deliver fragile parcels.
“For those who want USPS to be all things to all people, this is probably an unwelcome development,” said Michael Plunkett, president of the Association of Postal Commerce, who disclosed the planned change in a newsletter to association members.
“But strategy involves choices, and the ability to face up to shortcomings is indicative of maturity and sound reasoning,” Plunkett added.
Plunkett said the move may be related to the recent USPS decision to lengthen the time needed to deliver first-class mail parcels.
“If you can’t meet the 3-day standard, change the standard to five days,” he said.
The ban on fragile items will not affect shipments of live animals under the provisions for hazardous, restricted and perishable mail, the Federal Register notice said.
The exception for live animals puzzled Plunkett.
“I would rather not think about why it will still be safe to send live animals through a network wherein porcelain is at risk, and instead celebrate the Postal Service making an affirmative decision to stop offering a service it cannot satisfactorily provide,” he said.
The USPS will accept comments on the planned end to its Special Handling-Fragile service until May 20.
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