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Postal Service to End Saturday Mail: Will You Miss It?

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 Wednesday morning announced 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. But eliminating Saturday mail deliver is expected to save the Posal Service, which is in debt, $2 billion a year.

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. However, many residents receive print magazines and ads on Saturdays that may be shifted to another day.

A Rasmussen poll on mail delivery in 2012 showed “Three-out-of-four Americans 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? Post a comment below.

Davis February 07, 2013 at 12:23 AM
I think 5 days a week is a great plan. It will give us the opportunity to have a regular mail delivery person for a five day work week. This should mean that we would receive our mail close to the same time every day. This will give the mail person proprietorship of their route and giving the customer some piece of mind worrying when their mail will be delivered. Of course, in addition to this move, their upper management should be reduced.
John February 07, 2013 at 12:43 AM
They should end Monday's mail......Saturday is the busiest day at the post office as it is the most convenient day for everyone who works from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. when the post office is open during the week.....very inconvenient, and such a shame.
Heather O February 07, 2013 at 01:42 AM
It's my understanding that the hours the post office is open will not change. This change is just for the days that delivery happens.
Davis February 07, 2013 at 01:48 AM
John, The article says the Post Offices will remain open on Saturdays. Just the deliveries will be 5 days. Another thought is that their delivery vehicles will only be on the road 5 days a week with should relfect a reduction in fuel/maintenance costs and exposure to liability.
Jessica Gardner February 07, 2013 at 04:38 AM
I agree with Nathan one day a week is fine.
David Ross February 07, 2013 at 05:18 AM
The USPS would be making a profit or at least breaking even if it wasn't for the absurd restrictions regarding retirement health care funding. I may be in the minority in thinking that the USPS generally does a good job of delivering the mail. Unlike FedEx and others, you quite often know when you will get your mail. With FedEx, et al, you get your package sometime between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. With the USPS you know about what time your mail will come (except when you have a temporary carrier due to vacation or sickness of the regular carrier). In my case, I know that mail will arrive at my place between 9:30 and 10:00 every day. What other carrier allows you to mail a letter or a package anywhere in the nation for the same price? With the USPS you can mail something to New York or Hawaii (both about the same distance from California) for the same price yet FedEx et al charge extra for the Hawaii service. What's happening to the USPS is a direct cause of the government privatizing a service but then telling it what to do. The same thing is happening with health care.
Christine Rolleri February 07, 2013 at 04:33 PM
I honestly thought they were going to start delivering the mail on Sunday.
Rob Sorensen February 07, 2013 at 05:07 PM
The postal service should be a privately run enterprise that can make business related decisions much more quickly. They can't because of labor contracts and bloated management layers. Why would they ever have needed to sponsor Lance Armstrong's cycling team in the first place? They pre-funded the pension plan for a decade, self serving?
Robert Swartz February 07, 2013 at 06:10 PM
The volume of mail will not drop much, so you can expect your mail to come even later in the day than before. Same person covering your route now has another full days worth of mail to deliver - spread out over 5 days. Add in all the sort centers they are closing and virtually everyone down the line is going to see a slow down in delivery times. Workers at those hubs that remain open get to sort tons of extra mail from closed centers. None of these moves improve service. It's a bit like saying - gee, I'm limping, so I will shoot myself in the foot and see if that helps. David is right about the historical bondage of being a quasi-gov't agency - there are so many layers, regulations, and outdated procedures and paperwork still.
Sharon - Fremont February 07, 2013 at 06:12 PM
I agree
Sharon - Fremont February 07, 2013 at 06:13 PM
UPS and Fex Ex stores are open on Saturday and you can do any mailings/buy stamps from them
Sharon - Fremont February 07, 2013 at 06:14 PM
LOL
YENRAB February 07, 2013 at 07:05 PM
If this was a private business, they would've gone under at least a decade ago. What other business can lose $18 billion a year and have unlimited credit source that don't have to be paid back? So why would anyone working for the USPS want to fix it? It is great to get mail from across the country within a couple of days, but times are changing and USPS has not. Their business model or lack of one is obsolete.
Nancy Pascale February 07, 2013 at 07:19 PM
I already miss the mail boxes on the corner, now this, guess I am too old, to adapt.
Judy D February 07, 2013 at 07:43 PM
Now when we have a holiday on a Monday which is almost every month guess what? No mail for three days
x February 07, 2013 at 07:43 PM
Maybe this is something that the local library can start to help out with, for our older community members anyway. You could go to the library and scan your hand written letter(s), and prepay the fee to have the library at the other end (U.S. only) to print it out for the recipient. Sort of like a mailbox-less mailbox. Take that one step further, and the recipient can pay a monthly fee to have the mail printed and delivered as it comes. Just an idea.
Jeannie February 07, 2013 at 07:49 PM
The absurd 75-yr. retirement fund requirement is what's bound up the operating ability of the post office. No other entity has this requirement and it should be removed. There are forces intent on busting and privatizing the postal service and we all should protest this. You WILL miss them when they're gone, trust me.
Karen Alexander February 07, 2013 at 08:29 PM
I will absolutely miss getting mail on Saturdays. A lot of businesses mail their checks on Fridays, and since I'm an independent contractor (accountant) I usually get "paid" on Saturdays. Throw in a Monday holiday, and I don't get a check until Tuesday ~ probably really late in the day, since the poor letter carrier will be so overloaded. If they have to cut a day, why don't they make it on a Tuesday or Wednesday? That way, we don't have 2 non-mail days in a row (or three even). My final two cents (or is it 46 cents now?) ~ I never understood how they could afford to GIVE away all those packaging supplies at the post office. They have the nicest boxes and envelopes and I've seen people take bunches at a time from the lobby... I also have a PO box for my business, and although I've been benefiting from it, I think the price for a PO box is way too low, especially compared to those "Mailboxes, etc." places.
Gary Allsebrook February 07, 2013 at 11:22 PM
They can stop the junk mail anytime (which I signed up for stopping at "Stop Waste.org) but I presume that would be the straw that broke the camels back since that seems that's all they have left. I do, however prefer USPS for packages as their rates are very good, damage far less then UPS or Fedex. The minute amount of 1st class and bills I get, they could cut it back even more -say 2-3 days a week
Fred Eiger February 08, 2013 at 06:47 AM
When I was a tot we got mail twice a day 6 days a week. Then it went down to once a day. We survived on that, I'm sure we'll survive on 5 days.
Ron February 08, 2013 at 09:04 PM
I agree. I know all about the pre-funding and that was started by Republicans because that money sits and then the politicians pilferate it for them selves to use as they please but the public doesn't know about this truth.
Ron February 08, 2013 at 09:19 PM
The price of postage here is lowest in the entire world. People don't understand they have it made. Stopping Saturday will delay mail service 3 days, then the Monday holidays will make it 4 days delay because now the carriers will be backed up and over loaded and will not be able to deliver the extra delayed mail on that Tuesday. You'll get it Wednesday now. $5 billion $$ a year for 75 years later retirement is in reality a sham by Republicans who were paid millions by FedEx and UPS to start this mess, knowing this would take P.O.'s operating cash and put them in a bind. The publics doesn't know this truth. The politicians use these monies, that are sitting up for 75 years, for they self and junk they want to fund, with P.O.'s money, no one can stop them. This is the real truth the public doesn't know about.
Ron February 08, 2013 at 09:23 PM
Ron 1:19 pm on Friday, February 8, 2013 The price of postage here is lowest in the entire world. People don't understand they have it made. Stopping Saturday will delay mail service 3 days, then the Monday holidays will make it 4 days delay because now the carriers will be backed up and over loaded and will not be able to deliver the extra delayed mail on that Tuesday. You'll get it Wednesday now. $5 billion $$ a year for 75 years later retirement is in reality a sham by Republicans who were paid millions by FedEx and UPS to start this mess, knowing this would take P.O.'s operating cash and put them in a bind. The publics doesn't know this truth. The politicians use these monies, that are sitting up for 75 years, for they self and junk they want to fund, with P.O.'s money, no one can stop them. This is the real truth the public doesn't know about.
Jessica Gardner February 10, 2013 at 03:31 AM
Cut it back more
Albert Rubio February 10, 2013 at 05:22 AM
Why not abolish the USPS? No one has alluded to this obvious conclusion? Does anyone really support a government monopoly in mail service?
Jeannie February 10, 2013 at 07:00 AM
You're kidding, right? Aren't you?? Maybe you want to abolish the police and fire fighting monopolies too?
Albert Rubio February 10, 2013 at 08:05 AM
Jeannie, >Maybe you want to abolish the police and fire fighting monopolies too? As a matter of fact, YES I DO. but I hope you are not misunderstanding me. By saying this I AM NOT saying i want to abolish delivery of mails, or fire services or security services. I merely want to abolish Government Monopolies. Bastiat said it quite well in 1850: "We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain." -Frédéric Bastiat I hope this clarifies.
Albert Rubio February 10, 2013 at 08:11 AM
To argue for a continued monopoly on mail delivery would be equivalent to arguing that Fed Ex and UPS and DHL should close their doors and allow the Gov't to resume monopoly package delivery. (these companies had to fight for the right to enter the business and not be shut down) Does anyone think we are served by Gov't Monopolies? If not then the same benefits are open to society if we adopt a policy of an open market in mail delivery. What could be more obvious? if anyone thinks this is "crazy" please support your view to the contrary. I would like to know why you think so.
Albert Rubio February 10, 2013 at 08:37 AM
From the Cato Institute Privatizing the U.S. Postal Service: Lessons from Abroad Declining demand and an inability to cut costs are not unique to the USPS, as government postal services in other countries have experienced similar problems. However, numerous countries have responded by shifting away from a government-run postal monopoly toward market liberalization, including privatizing the government postal agency and opening postal markets to entrepreneurs. The United States has lagged behind many countries on postal reforms. As a result, the U.S. rates near the bottom of the Consumer Postal Union’s 23-country "Index of Postal Freedom." For some people, the idea of liberalization conjures up fears of a decline in the quality or universality of postal service. However, those things have not happened in the countries that have introduced pro-market postal reforms. Rather, these liberalizing countries have shown the ability to offer affordable, reliable, universal, and more efficient postal-delivery services. In some countries the private sector has taken large ownership stakes. For example, 69 percent of Germany’s formerly government post office Deutsche Post is now privately owned. In the Netherlands, 100 percent of its formerly government post office is privately owned as TNT Post. The British government is considering selling off to private investors its ownership of the Royal Mail. http://www.downsizinggovernment.org/usps
Albert Rubio February 10, 2013 at 09:09 AM
From WSJ: "The Postal Service ... predicted it will have to default for a third time on a more than $5 billion annual payment required by Congress to prefund future retiree health care. Postal Service Chief Financial Officer Joe Corbett. "We cannot continue to operate on the precipice ... there are a lot of ways of going out of business." If that happens, it would require either a taxpayer-funded bailout or a combination of widespread layoffs and deferred payments to suppliers. The Postal Service has maxed out its $15 billion borrowing authority from the U.S. Treasury. The biggest drag on the Postal Service is a congressional mandate that requires it to prefund health benefits for future retirees. The Postal Service employs 522,000 full-time employees covered by a government plan. The Postal Service has reduced its work force by about 20% in the past five years. It is in the process of closing or consolidating more than 200 plants. "The post office is supposed to act like a business, but it's board of directors is Congress, who make decisions based on politics, not finance," said Tad DeHaven, a budget analyst at the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank. Mr. Williams said the Postal Service suffers under several untenable mandates from Congress, including the requirement to prefund retiree expenses, the resistance to closing post offices and processing plants and the inability to raise prices more than inflation."

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