The Postal Service announced today in an effort to cut costs they would stop delivering letters on Saturdays, though packages would still be delivered and post offices will remain open that day.
Although 7 in 10 Americans support switching to a 5-day delivery, the decision drew criticism from postal unions and businesses that rely on Saturday letter deliveries for revenue.
Postmaster general Patrick R. Donahoe said the savings of $2 billion dollars annually was too big to ignore.
The new delivery schedule would go into effect during the week of August 5, 2013.
Since 2010 the USPS has been trying to cut costs—reducing hours in small towns, cutting staff, and shutting down mail processing plants. Last year’s net loss of $15.9 billion proved these cost cutting measures were not enough.
The fact that some postal employees are trying to dupe the system into losing more money isn’t helping anything.
The new five-year plan is designed to bring the agency out of debt and back in the green.
The mandate normally needed for Congressional approval does not apply since the government is currently operating under a stopgap budget measure (better known as a continuing resolution).
Mail volume has declined in recent years as email and online bill paying services have become more popular forms of communication and for doing business. However, package deliveries have grown 14 percent since 2010, which may be why the Postal Service decided to continue these deliveries on Saturdays.
Also, it looks like the USPS’s new 5-day mail delivery plan would be conforming to current mail operations in other countries. Sweden, Canada, and Australia all deliver five days a week. Germany deliveries mail on Saturdays only for an extra fee.
Unfortunately for the USPS, they still need Congress to give them greater control over new revenues sources if they really want to turn things around once and for all.
Will the elimination of Saturday letter deliveries effect you? Tell us how.