Delivery of common “mail” on Saturdays to stop in one of the most significant steps taken by the United States Postal Service (USPS) to cut $2-billion costs at the struggling U.S. Congress controlled agency.
Packages (parcels) will continue to be delivered on Saturdays. Delivery of common “mail” to POST OFFICE BOXES will continue on Saturdays.
Patrick R. Donahoe, postmaster general and CEO, said at a press conference that the move is “absolutely necessary” as part of a broader effort to stabilize the service’s troubled finances on the order of more than $2 billion per year in the red.
“Making this change to our delivery schedule is a big-ticket item,” he said. “It would be irresponsible for the Postal Service not to pursue this course.” The plan, which is aimed at saving about $2 billion, would start to take effect August 5, 2013*.
*Of course, their labor union has already indicated it will “fight” the agency’s “proposal”. So, the August 5, 2013 mentioned above is not a done deal. The union could get a legal order granted by the courts to kill, change or delay what the USPS has announced today.
The U.S. Postal Service will stop delivering mail on Saturdays, but will continue to deliver packages six days a week, a congressional source says. The USPS is expected to make the announcement at a news conference this morning [Wed, Feb 6].
While post offices that open on Saturdays will continue to do so, the initiative, which is expected to begin the first week of August, will save an estimated $2 billion annually.
The service reduction is the latest of Postal Service steps to cut costs as the independent agency of the U.S. government struggles with its finances, currently more than $2 billion in annual debt. The USPS posted a near $16 billion loss last year 2012; not to mention previous years major losses in the billion$ per year.
USPS has pushed for eliminating mail and package delivery on Saturdays for the past few years, but recent data showing growth in package delivery, which is up by 14 percent since 2010, and projection of continued package delivery growth in the coming decade made them revise their decision to stop package delivery — instead, they will continue with package delivery.
Packages will be delivered six days a week. Mail to PO boxes will still be delivered on Saturday.
Research by USPS and major news organizations indicated that 7 out of 10 Americans support switching to five-day service.
Since 2006 – the Postal Service has reduced its annual cost base by $15 billion, cut the career force by 28 percent and consolidated 200 mail processing locations.
The USPS announced in May it was cutting back on the number of operating hours instead of shuttering 3,700 rural post offices. The move, which reduced hours of operation at 13,000 rural post offices from an eight-hour day to between two and six hours a day, was made with the aim of saving about $500 million per year.
The cutback in hours last year resulted in 9,000 full-time postal employees’ being reduced to part time plus the loss of their benefits, while another 4,000 full-time employees became part time but kept their benefits.
Over the past several years, the Postal Service has advocated shifting to a five-day delivery schedule for mail and packages — and it repeatedly, but unsuccessfully, appealed to Congress to approve the move. Though an independent agency, the USPS gets no tax dollars for its day-to-day operations but is subject to congressional control.
Click the link for the USPS web site: www.USPS.com
Current USPS mailing rates to rise Jan 27, 2013 (review here)