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U.S. 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 Postal 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.

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.

People on the Woodinville Patch Facebook page have posted varying reactions:

John Hughes said, "That's really too bad. It's the only day of the week I have time to sit down and actually read the new mail as it arrives. I think many services and societal norms are going to change (especially in our area) over the next few years as the area keeps squeezing residents for the tax dollar based on valuations from the early 2000's. People are cutting back no matter that the TV pundits tell you that the 'recession is over' - its not and wont be for a long time. We used to send USPS packages to my family in England with cookies/candy etc. We cant afford to do that anymore so there's one less customer. Our area has to accept that the day of the Microsoft millionaire is long gone and adjust the taxes to suit. Cut the fat. People are being taxed out of their comfort zone and basic services like the Post Office are suffering.

Helen Clifford said, "Yeah, the world has sure changed!"

Speak out: How will this change affect you? Will you miss getting mail on Saturdays? Post a comment below.

 

John Snow February 06, 2013 at 08:55 PM
No wonder the USPS is having trouble. Do you know of any other business that will take a letter from your house and deliver it to just about any other address in the U.S. for 46 cents? Do you know of any other business that cannot raise its prices without permission from Congress? Do you know of any other business that is required to fully fund its pension plan 75 years in advance, and fund it in only ten years? People complain about the price of postage, but how much do they think it will cost for FedEx or UPS to deliver mail?
Tony Bussert February 07, 2013 at 03:48 PM
They really do have an unsustainable model. I have a friend who used to work for the Postal Service writing software for them. He told me that the USPS is required to deliver to any mailbox no matter how rural. He said that there's a famous story in the USPS about a guy in rural AK that had bought a bunch of bricks. It was super expensive to have a truck deliver it so he had them mailed in boxes to his house which was cheaper. USPS had to hire a heavy freight helicopter for the delivery. They lost a ton of money on that alone. John Hughes above in the article is not looking at this correctly. USPS had a lot of money coming in when folks actually sent letters using stamps. Everyone uses electronic mail which is a huge loss for them. Also the Stamp tax that they had issued on them a few years ago really hit them hard as well. They are an archaic system. They need to come up with a service for email to snail mail to gain some revenue back.
John Snow February 07, 2013 at 04:12 PM
While I agree with what you say, I believe we are looking at the USPS in the wrong way. Our excellent mail service is one that defines us as a civilized society. It is the envy of much the world. But when we try to view the USPS as a business, and not as a crucial service that our government (and that's us) we do it a disservice. Many of our current legislators are clearly trying to privatize our mail service by requiring unattainable goals for the USPS, resulting in reasons to dismantle it. Once again I ask how much do you think it will cost for FedEx or UPS to deliver mail? And how will that make us a stronger nation?
LongTimeWoodinvilleResident February 07, 2013 at 05:26 PM
Nope... I won't miss it one bit. Just makes busy weekends or weekends away that much easier!
Susan Milke February 07, 2013 at 06:39 PM
I think it is amazing that a company can send a letter from Seattle to NY in a couple of days for 46 cents! Try that with UPS or Fex Ex! Also, has anyone thought about when there is a holiday on Monday we will not get any mail from Fri to Tues? The post office will have to work overtime to deliver three days worth of mail on Tues. Also what about paying bills? Will the credit card companies mail their invoices early or change their due dates? I bet we will have a lot more late fees! Yes Congress is trying to put the PO out of business by having them fund their pensions 75 years in advance! Watch UPS and Fed Ex offer Sat mail service, for a huge price!!

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