Published Friday, February 08, 2013

What do you think about no Saturday mail delivery?

Editorial

No Saturday mail delivery? Do you really care?

This week the U.S. Postal Service announced plans to eliminate Saturday mail delivery for everything except packages. The idea is to cut financial losses in a world in which technology has altered how we communicate and how we pay our bills.

Here’s the Postal Service’s plan: Beginning in August, mail will be delivered to homes and businesses Monday-Friday only. Mail will still be delivered to post office boxes on Saturdays. Post offices will remain open on Saturdays, and delivery of packages of all sizes will continue on Saturday. Postal officials say package mailings have been a bright spot for the post office. Package delivery is up 14 percent since 2010.

Is the Postal Service’s decision a done deal? Possibly, but there is a chance Congress can stop the change.

Will this put the Postal Service in the black financially? No way. The Postal Service had a $15.9 billion loss in the most recent budget year. This Saturday cutback is expected to save only about $2 billion annually.

The Postal Service is in the midst of a major restructuring throughout its retail, delivery and mail-processing operations. Since 2006, it has cut annual costs by about $15 billion, reduced the size of its career workforce by 193,000, or 28 percent, and consolidated more than 200 mail-processing locations, officials say.

It appears this no-delivery-on Saturday plan is just another step to cut costs and improve the financial picture. Further steps will be coming down the road, possibly including more consolidation and closing of facilities.

Public reaction to the no Saturday mail plan has been mixed. There has been opposition, but the Postal Service claims that nearly 7 in 10 people support the change as a way to cut costs. What do you think about no mail on Saturday? How will it impact you?

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