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August 2020 - Newsletter #1

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Will the Cutbacks Announced by USPS Impact Delivery Times?

Our last few newsletters have focused on developments that could increase the price of prescription drugs and about the drug shortages occurring internationally. We encourage you to read about those issues if you have not already done so.

For orders shipped to our customers in June 2020, the average delivery time was three to six weeks. Please note that these are the average delivery timelines we are observing but some parcels are arriving as quickly as a week after shipping while others can take more than six weeks. We will know more about the average delivery time for orders shipped in July toward the end of this month.

Why Are Packages Taking Longer to be Delivered During the Pandemic?

There are several reasons that it is taking longer for packages to be delivered from e-commerce merchants worldwide since the coronavirus pandemic began. With most of the world's passenger flights grounded, so too is the cargo capacity that they once provided for international mail parcels. Not only has this driven up the cost of shipping parcels, it also means it is more difficult to secure bookings of cargo space and there can be delays at air transit hubs where packages need be offloaded from one aircraft and onboarded to a connecting one while en route to the destination country. Once they arrive in the U.S., they can face extended customs clearance times due to backlogs. After that, they may experience longer than normal last mile delivery with USPS because the postal agency is grappling with a massive increase in mail volumes as online shopping has skyrocketed and surged the amount of parcels entering the mail system at a time it is faced with reduced staffing due to the pandemic.

While current delivery times are still longer than our delivery times under normal circumstances, they are much better than in the previous months since the coronavirus pandemic grounded international air travel. However, we are not celebrating. Rather, we are working hard to get orders processed as quickly as possible and on their way to you from dispensing facilities with the least possible flight connections to your destination, which helps eliminate the delays at air transit hubs to thereby reduce the overall delivery time.

The good news is that NorthWestPharmacy.com has been successfully taking, processing and delivering affordable prescription drugs throughout the entire coronavirus crisis and continues to do so. But we do want our customers to be aware of everything that can impact the timing of the delivery their vital prescription drugs so they can plan ahead.

Mail Delays Across the United States Could Get Worse

A recent article in the Blade newspaper that is aptly titled, "Mail delays continue as U.S. Postal Service grapples with financial crisis", reports that local residents of Toledo, Ohio, are frustrated with delayed mail delivery and that “households across the United States face similar delays and deficiencies with their mail service.”

The newspaper further states that "[e]arlier [in July], local letter carriers were told to delay delivering mail in order to save money for the United States Postal Service, a direction that apparently came from top federal officials to mail carriers throughout the country." It appears that the newly appointed postmaster general is trying to rein in employee overtime costs at the financially troubled postal agency during a time when senior USPS financial officials have declared to Congress that package volumes are 60% higher than pre-pandemic levels. While this has led to a partisan political debate in the United States, our focus is solely on the potential impact to delivery times of our customers' orders.

… "'I can 100 percent guarantee that mail is not being delivered, sometimes for days at a time,'"

Though there is some suggestion in the Blade newspaper article that parcels are being prioritized over letter mail by USPS, we continue to see extended last mile delivery times. Prior to the pandemic, it would typically take less than three days for parcels to be delivered after clearing customs. We now routinely observe customs-cleared packages taking one to two weeks to get delivered by USPS.

According to the Blade newspaper, "[p]ostal union workers have voiced opposition to the delays, including Mike Hayden, president of the local National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 100." He says, "'I can 100 percent guarantee that mail is not being delivered, sometimes for days at a time,'"

We are concerned that the recently implemented and any further cutbacks at USPS could extend the delivery times for packages so we advise our customers to plan accordingly to ensure continuity of their prescription drug supply. (Unfortunately, using private couriers as an alternate means of delivering your orders is not an option.)

Take Advantage of the Reduced Shipping Fee

It may seem counterintuitive with the slower delivery service from postal agencies, but we are incurring significantly higher shipping rates when shipping customer parcels. Yet we've reduced our shipping fee to help minimize the impact on our customers and make it easier to order their medications now. But we do not know what further Covid-19 surcharges or other rate increases we will face in the coming weeks so we may only be able to maintain the lower shipping fee of today for a limited time.

Please take advantage of the potentially time-limited reduced shipping fee and don't wait for product price increases, more pharmaceutical shortages or delivery systems to experience further delays as the coronavirus is spreading again. We encourage customers who may need medications in the coming months to place their orders now and those whose pending orders await shipping to keep their orders active and in the queue, which ensures they are locked in at the original price quoted at the time of placing the order. That's beneficial to you because we've absorbed much of the coronavirus-related increases in product acquisition and shipping costs that we've faced to date but may be unable to do so for much longer. Also, the limited pharmaceutical supply, available cargo space for transport and customs clearances will all be allocated to customers on a first-come-first-served basis and we anticipate that it may be quite some time before worldwide drug supply and delivery systems return to normal.

With more than 375,000 customer reviews, NorthWestPharmacy.com is the most reviewed and independently five-star rated online pharmacy in the world providing lower cost medications from abroad to customers worldwide. No competitor offering lower cost pharmaceuticals from abroad can match our supply and delivery capacity during this difficult time so please be assured we are successfully leveraging all our capacity to ensure orders reach customers as fast as possible in the circumstances.

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