Postal Service: No More Saturday Mail Delivery by Aug. 1

The U.S. Postal Service announced it will end Saturday mail delivery by Aug. 1. Speak out: How will this affect you?

Calling the six-days-per-week mail delivery business model “no longer sustainable,” the U.S. Postal Service announced Wednesday it will eliminate Saturday delivery of mail by Aug. 1.

The plan to change delivery from six days a week to five would only affect first-class mail. Packages, mail-order medicines, priority and express mail would still be delivered on Saturdays, and local post offices will remain open for business Saturdays.

According to the U.S. Postal Service, the reasons are continued economic struggles and the increasing use of the Internet for communications and bill paying by consumers. The U.S. Postal Service is also the only federal agency required to pre-fund health benefits for retirees, and those costs are escalating quickly.

“Our current business model of delivering mail six days a week is no longer sustainable. We must change in order to remain an integral part of the American community for decades to come.”

Saturday is the lightest mail delivery day by volume and many businesses are closed on Saturdays, according to the U.S. Postal Service. But many residents receive print magazines and ads on Saturdays in the mail that may be shifted to another day.

A Rasmussen poll on mail delivery in 2012 showed “Three-out-of-four Americans (75%) would prefer the U.S. Postal Service cut mail delivery to five days a week rather than receive government subsidies to cover ongoing losses.”

A USA Today/Gallup poll in 2010 found the majority of U.S. residents surveyed were ok with eliminating Saturday delivery. The March 2010 telephone survey of 999 adults revealed people age 55 and older were more likely than younger people to have used the mail to pay a bill or send a letter in the past two weeks.

Speak out: How will this change affect you? Will you miss getting mail on Saturdays?

Leslie Aitken February 06, 2013 at 06:41 PM
I use the mail service to send parcels, greeting cards and one check a month. With the advent of email, instant messages, on-line bill pay, smart phones and facebook -- communication and banking is so much faster. The only aggravation of the downsize is that it takes MUCH LONGER for a letter to travel. A letter in the LA area used to go overnight......not any more. Today is 2/6. I mailed a letter on Sat 2/2 from Altadena to a location in Northridge. As of today, the recipient had not received it! With Saturday closures, it will take even longer. The postal service has to do this for fiscal reasons, but travel time will take even longer.....which will pretty much further downgrade its effectiveness for the consumer.
Gayle M. Montgomery February 06, 2013 at 09:49 PM
My concern is will the post office be shuttered on Saturdays? As it stands today, the only day most working folk can get to the post office for some transactions that cannot be handled by a machine is to go on Saturday. And, for the record, PO Boxes have gone up again. You may recall I blogged a year ago they went from $28 a year to $52. Now the small box is going to be $54 a year. Pretty pricey piece of tiny real estate.
MellowMaverick February 07, 2013 at 12:32 AM
The Post Office has been losing $25 million dollars a day for years now and I guess their response to lower losses is to raise prices on stamps and P.O. boxes. They don't seem to realize that such action tends to alienate customers, drive away customers or force them to use an alternative method of communication. Personally, I only use the Post Office to send my tax papers to my accountant once a year.
Stephen McCarthy February 07, 2013 at 01:32 AM
This is why governments shouldn't run businesses.
Robert Parry February 07, 2013 at 04:06 AM
Government exists to do that which the private sector can't (or can't efficiently) or shouldn't (i.e. imprison people). When by favorite founding father, Ben Franklin, created the postal service, it was indeed a task ideal for government... bridging the gaps of market inefficiencies, such as taking mail to rural areas where it would be cost prohibitive privately. But, FedEx and UPS have radically altered that model. Email and specifically PDFs have gutted all but the low-revenue-per-piece bulk mail portion of letters. People aren't willing to pay for the USPS' service. As once happened to buggy whip makers.
Gayle M. Montgomery February 07, 2013 at 04:56 AM
BK I get why they would want to raise the rates. But last year's rate hike was like a bee sting where you didn't get all the stinger out. They started out around $22 a year and migrated to $28 over a period of time. I was good with that. But $28 to $52 when they're website indicated about a 2% increase. That was egregious, especially since service kept slipping. I try to do as much of my business online, but some things have to go to a mailbox. It's safer to have a PO Box.
MellowMaverick February 07, 2013 at 05:08 AM
I hear you, Gayle...I agree...that is ONE BIG rate hike! (And yes, I appreciate why people have P.O.boxes...they do serve a need! It's a shame that the cost of one now exceeds the monthly car payment on my first car!
Ivan G February 07, 2013 at 05:17 AM
Yes. Congress wants to please its constituents rather than run the operation efficiently. The Postal Service subsidizes rural areas and junk mailers.
Justanotheropinion February 07, 2013 at 06:01 AM
Needed to send 2 letters overnite - 1 to HI the other to LA. Went to the SP location and they wanted $36 & 25 respectively (with the HI letter getting a 2 day delivery). I walked out and went to Fed Ex. Both were sent for just under $20 and the next day delivery for HI. And they wonder why they can't keep customers. I realize the root of their issue is the insane regulation that they need to pre-fund retirement payments to incld. employees not even hired yet, but at some point you have to throw in the towel. If the insane retirement funding issue can't be changed, then have a private company run the USPS.
not Carl Peterson lll February 07, 2013 at 06:36 AM
Once obamacare becomes single payer.......Just like the post office
Brandon February 07, 2013 at 03:43 PM
The USPS is not a government business though. http://faq.usps.com/eCustomer/iq/usps/request.do?create=kb:USPSFAQ&view()=c%5Bc_usps020310a%5D&varset(source)=sourceType:embedded Since they would be cutting a day out, I would expect a 1/6 pay cut and 1/6 pension cut to go along with the changes.
Gayle M. Montgomery February 08, 2013 at 06:51 PM
B K, the irony of having a post office box, is that I'm really asking the post office not to deliver mail at my home. Just walk a few feet and stick it in a little box right there in their office. To me, that's less work.
Gayle M. Montgomery February 08, 2013 at 06:53 PM
Robert, anecdotally, I have recently learned that one of my ancestral grandfathers, Sir William Keith, who was appointed by the King to be the Lt. Gov. under William Penn, helped to send a 15-year old printer's apprentice he befriended, one young Master Franklin, to England. Kind of exciting to learn.
spidra February 09, 2013 at 03:31 AM
It's the 2006 Congressional mandate to pre-pay for health benefits for *future* retirees that has caused fiscal issues. Were it not for that mandate, USPS is several million dollars in the black. This isn't mentioned enough in reportage. http://www.pbs.org/wnet/need-to-know/five-things/the-u-s-postal-service/11433/ Like postal services in all countries with great Internet penetration, USPS has had its business cut into. And needs to make changes to deal with that changing landscape. But it is not losing money at the rate some would have us believe. It was this Congressional mandate that caused the problem. A mandate that affects no other government agency and a standard to which the private sector isn't held, either. http://www.salon.com/2012/03/14/congresss_war_on_the_post_office/
not Carl Peterson lll February 10, 2013 at 04:53 AM
Spidra, I heard that on FOX news this morning. It was the first time I heard about the pre-pay thing. But on further reading, I am wondering if that is also just one piece of the puzzle.They are independant, however they took a "loan from the gov of 12.1 billion dollars, which is technically a loss on the balance sheet. Also The "pre-pay" for retirement. I would bet that means they need to simply fund the reirement accounts to the level they should have already been to remain solvent in the future, without a bail-out. As with most cities, and states, (California) the projections for returns on retirement savings were unrealistic, and need much more money. Postal workers do work for their money, however I never understood how the idea of full retirement pay after 30 years is a good idea.


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