New service standards

USPS delivery vehicle on residential street

The Postal Service will implement new service standards for First-Class Mail and Periodicals on Oct. 1.

The new standards will increase delivery reliability, consistency and efficiency for customers across the USPS network.

Most First-Class Mail (61 percent) and Periodicals (93 percent) will be unaffected by the changes. Standards for single-piece First-Class Mail traveling within a local area will continue to be two days.

The Postal Service will increase time‐in‐transit standards by one or two days for certain mail that is traveling longer distances. By doing so, the organization can entrust its ground network to deliver more First-Class Mail, which will lead to greater consistency, reliability and efficiency to benefit customers.

The changes are part of Delivering for America, the Postal Service’s 10-year plan to achieve financial sustainability, and will help the organization achieve its goal of consistently meeting 95 percent service performance.

Interest piqued

A letter carrier has submitted a lead that resulted in a shipping deal worth more than $83,000 for the Postal Service.

After talking with an e-commerce company on his route, Ronald Manzini of Sharpsburg, PA, passed on information through Customer Connect, a joint program with the National Association of Letter Carriers, encouraging carriers to identify sales opportunities for USPS.

John Schanck, a customer services manager, and Brian McDaniel, a Pennsylvania 1 District field sales representative, followed up with the customer.

They closed a shipping deal worth $83,434 in new estimated annualized revenue for the Postal Service.

Sales generated from Customer Connect leads count toward the USPS Power of One campaign to raise revenue through sales leads from employees.

“All it took was letting the customer know that USPS has free tracking on parcels, doesn’t have surcharges and offers free Priority Mail supplies,” said Lou DeRienzo, small-business senior sales specialist at USPS headquarters in Washington, DC. “Our carriers are in a perfect position to share their knowledge about what the Postal Service can do for our customers.”

USPS is encouraging as many employees as possible to submit at least one lead through any of its six lead programs by Sept. 30.

The small-business team is tracking program participation rates through its weekly “Drive to 35” downloadable report. The team has also begun its annual Get the Red Out campaign to encourage employees who haven’t submitted a lead to do so.

The Small Business and Lead Generation Programs Blue page has more information about Customer Connect and the other employee lead programs: Business Connect, Clerks Care, Mail Handlers, Rural Reach and Submit a Lead.

Got TSP questions?

Thrift Savings Plan specialists will offer webinars and live question-and-answer sessions throughout September on the ins and outs of the program, also known as TSP.

Here’s an overview of the webinars and when they’ll be offered (all times are Eastern):

Intro to TSP: An introduction for new federal employees. Sept. 21 at 10 a.m.

TSP In-Service Withdrawals: An overview of the program’s in-service withdrawal options. Sept. 22 at 9 a.m.

TSP Loans: An overview of the program’s loan options. Sept. 23 at 2 p.m. and Sept. 29 at 1 p.m.

TSP Contributions — Taking Control of Your Future: Shows how the future of TSP accounts depend on today’s decisions. Sept. 28 at 1 p.m.

TSP Post-Service Withdrawals: An overview of the program’s post-service withdrawal options. Sept. 29 at 10 a.m.

TSP Death Benefits: An overview of the program’s death benefits. Sept. 30 at 8 a.m.

The online courses are offered by the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board’s Office of Communications and Education.

Preregistration is required. To register, go to

Participation is voluntary. Postal Service nonexempt employees may only participate off the clock or during authorized breaks.

All dates and topics are subject to change or cancellation.

For questions regarding the courses, email For additional information, email