Postal Service to Cut Saturday Mail Delivery to Trim Costs

February 7, 2013
by: 
Dwayne Page
Smithville Post Office

Unless Congress intervenes, the United States Postal Service plans to stop delivering and collecting letters and other first-class mail on Saturdays beginning August 5, although packages will continue to be delivered.

The Postal Service expects to generate cost savings of approximately $2 billion annually, once the plan is fully implemented.

David Walton, spokesman for the Tennessee District of the United States Postal Service, in a telephone interview with WJLE Thursday, said once implemented, mail delivery to street addresses will occur Monday through Friday. Packages will continue to be delivered six days per week. Mail addressed to PO Boxes will continue to be delivered on Saturdays. Post Offices currently open on Saturdays will remain open on Saturdays so that customers can drop off mail or packages, buy postage stamps or access their post office boxes. "What this means is, customers who are getting mail now to their homes delivered six days a week Monday through Saturday, that is going to change," said Walton. " They will now get their mail delivered Monday through Friday. What we're doing is taking away the letter mail. We're not going to be delivering letter mail anymore six days a week. Now we are going to keep delivering packages. I know medicines are usually sent by priority mail. They are considered packages. We know that is a big concern to customers. So nothing will change as far as medications. They will still be delivered six days a week. If you've got a P.O Box, there won't be any changes for you. You will still get your mail six days a week. For post offices, there is going to be no changes to those as well. If you've got a post office that you use that is open on Saturdays, it will still be open on Saturdays," said Walton

"The Postal Service is advancing an important new approach to delivery that reflects the strong growth of our package business and responds to the financial realities resulting from America's changing mailing habits," said Patrick R. Donahoe, Postmaster General and CEO in a prepared news release. "We developed this approach by working with our customers to understand their delivery needs and by identifying creative ways to generate significant cost savings."

Over the past several years, the Postal Service has advocated shifting to a five-day delivery schedule for mail and packages. However, recent strong growth in package delivery (14 percent volume increase since 2010) and projections of continued strong package growth throughout the coming decade led to the revised approach to maintain package delivery six days per week.

"Our customers see strong value in the national delivery platform we provide and maintaining a six-day delivery schedule for packages is an important part of that platform," said Donahoe. "As consumers increasingly use and rely on delivery services — especially due to the rise of e-commerce — we can play an increasingly vital role as a delivery provider of choice, and as a driver of growth opportunities for America's businesses."

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