A number of you have asked why your issue was taking so long to move through the mail system.
According to the U.S. Post Office, the estimated time is 9-18 days—but all bets are off during the holidays, and when bad weather sets in.
You may recall the issues were sent bulk mail from Hanover, Pa., on Dec. 20, and at least two subscribers received their issue last Saturday, 24 business days after the mailing.
Thanks to Sheridan Press, the company that prints Military Images, I have a communication from the postal representative in Hanover. The representative details how an issue moves from the post office in Hanover to Arlington by truck to be processed for delivery:
All Periodicals that leave Hanover come here to Harrisburg P&DC – Processing and Distribution Center. The sack label then determines where the mail is transferred to from Harrisburg. If the mail is in a 5 Digit or 3 Digit sack the mail is then sent on transportation to the Distribution center for the zipcode on the sack label. If you are talking about Arlington VA 22205 – and the sack was labeled to either 5 Digit or 3 Digit Arlington – the mail would be loaded on a trailer to send to Southern MD 207. Then from their they would work the mail to go to Arlington 22205 and it would then go to the ADC/SCF office for zipcode 22205 which would be Northern VA 220. Here they would do the actual separation to Arlington and the mail would then go to Arlington to be delivered. The maximum time frame the mail can be held at each office is 3 days. Remember 1st class and Priority are worked first and then Periodicals and then Standard Mail.
So you would be looking at coming to Harrisburg could be held here for a maximum of 3 days then to Southern MD 207 for maximum 3 days – then to Northern VA 220 for a maximum of 3 days and then to Arlington VA for a maximum of 3 days – should be no more than 12 days from mailing until delivery. The standards are 9-18 days for Periodicals depending on where you are mailing to.
Now if the piece was in a MXD sack then you have to add from Harrisburg to (all mixed sacks from Harrisburg go to DV Daniels NJ to be processed) then you start the same process – which would be adding another 3 days until the time frame of 12 days for approximately 15 days. If the 1st class and priority volumes are light then the periodical mail will move faster – if the 1st class and priority mail volumes are heavy you can see the approximate 15 days for delivery.
The time frame you are looking at was over the Christmas Holiday which is the heaviest 1st class and priority time of the year this would then cause delays of the mail pieces. Also you have to take into consideration any weather related delays as this mail is trucked and does not fly. We have had terrible winter weather on the East Coast which also delays the mail delivery.