Postal Service Eliminates Saturday Mail Delivery

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

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On Wednesday morning the U.S. Postal Service announced that it will eliminate Saturday delivery of mail by Aug. 5. Faced with rising costs and falling revenues, officials say that the six-days-per-week mail delivery business model “no longer sustainable.” 

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.

As yet, it's unclear whether the announcement may also portend further cuts at the local level. The Postal Service is in the midst of a large-scale restructuring throughout its retail, delivery and mail processing operations. Over the last seven years, has cut annuals costs by $15 billion, slashed its workforce by 28 percent (about 193,000 jobs), and has consolidated more than 200 mail processing locations. 

"There’s really no way to determine impacts to individual offices yet," Postal Service Spokesman Pete Nowacki told Patch.

Contrary to popular belief, the USPS receives no tax dollars for operating expenses, instead relying on the sale of postage, products and services for funds. 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. Officials with the Postal Service say that eliminating Saturday delivery will save $2 billion annually.

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 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.

Burnsville's USPS post office is located at 13800 Nicollet Boulevard West. 

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

Clare Kennedy February 07, 2013 at 08:03 PM
You may not have mailed anything, but you certainly have received mail. And personally, I don't want something as vital as mail to be run "like a business" because private entities would gouge the living daylights out of everybody. Profit motive can result in extremely wasteful and inefficient business practices, as we've seen over and over again in recent years.
Jennifer February 07, 2013 at 08:54 PM
No, actually Mr. and Mrs. Taxpayer don't because as I said in the comment above the USPS is not a government program.
Jennifer February 07, 2013 at 08:55 PM
USPS: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usps
Rob Hilger February 08, 2013 at 11:55 PM
I have to disagree with you Claire about "profit motive" resulting in wasteful and inefficient practices. Just the opposite happens, "profit motive" encourages efficiency...the more efficient you are, the more profit you have. If you want inefficiency and waste, get government involved, they can destroy any business, very efficiently. As a taxpayer, I am also concerned, we all should be...USPS goes belly up, who do you think will be funding the bail-out? The taxpayer...
Clare Kennedy February 09, 2013 at 12:21 AM
Yes, Rob, theoretically that's how profit motive works. No need to explain basic economic principles to me. But in practice profit motive is often used as a justification to provide the crappiest possible service private entities can get away with, at the highest possible price, while paying their employees next to nothing. If you don't believe me I have three words for you: Cell phone provider. It's also worth noting that the USPS provides the competitive pressure that keeps prices at FedEx and UPS low. Without USPS, I would bet my bottom dollar that service at both will decline and prices will spike dramatically.


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