U.S. Postal Service May Cut Saturday Mail Service to Cut Costs


post-officeNeither rain nor sleet nor snow stops the mail — but Saturdays are another matter. Six-day mail service will be a thing of the past if the U.S. Postal Service gets its wish to eliminate Saturday deliveries in a move to crawl out from under a mountain of debt.

Postmaster General John Potter said an adjusted delivery schedule is critical to debt reduction, and he will submit a formal request by the end of this month to the Postal Regulatory Commission to cut service and eliminate some branches.

Potter is expected to release on Tuesday the details of a $4.8 million study that projects steep drops in mail volume by 2020 and deep Postal Service debt.

“At the end of the day, I’m convinced that if we make the changes that are necessary, we can continue to provide universal service for America for decades to come,” Potter said.

“We can turn back from the red to the black, but there are some very significant changes that are going to have to be made.”

A substantial postal price hike is also under consideration, but the price of a first-class stamp — the issue most snail mailers care about — is locked in at 44 cents for 2010.

The agency will also suggest expanding self-service kiosks in grocery stores and other popular retail spots.

“We know we’re going to have less mail in 2020 than we have today,” Potter said.

“We can’t freeze wages. We can’t freeze fuel costs.”

The move requires Congressional consent because federal law now requires six-day delivery.

The Postal Regulatory Commission must hold public hearings in Washington and around the country before the proposal is put before Congress, said Commission Chairwoman Ruth Goldway.

“The Postal Service is an essential part of the country’s infrastructure, so you don’t want to change it willy-nilly,” Goldway added.

The Postal Service posted $3.8 billion in losses in fiscal year 2009, the latest in a string of heavy losses.

The agency has borrowed $10 billion from the U.S. Treasury and expects to seek another $3 billion this year, leaving it just $2 billion under the $15 billion cap set by Congress, Potter said.

The Postal Service delivered about 177 billion pieces of mail in 2009, a 12.7 % drop from the year before — a trend the agency expects to continue over the next decade as Americans turn to emails and online bill payments.

The Post Office, an independent government agency, does not receive taxpayer dollars and is funded entirely by its own revenue.

However, the Postal Reorganization Act of 1970 prohibits the agency from closing small branches based on economic factors and prevents the agency from expanding its services beyond postal delivery.

The Postal Service has already begun swinging the budget ax, cutting $6 billion last year, reducing its workforce by about 40,000 employees and chopping overtime hours, transportation costs and other expenses.

Congress passed legislation allowing the organization to cut retiree health benefit payments by $4 billion. About half the agency’s 600,000 workers will be eligible to retire in the next 10 years.

{NY Daily News/Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. I guess you don’t get any important mail ever so why should you care about others who want their mail quickly?

    Oh and for the record Akum Sheshavas Chayiv Meesah!

  2. “…why should you care about others who want their mail quickly?”

    Yeah! Why should I have to wait until the delivery of Monday’s junk mail to get Saturday’s junk mail? I demand Saturday’s junk mail on time! Wait a second. Are there people who still get *real* mail in their mailboxes? What’s wrong with them? Don’t they have email accounts, fax modems and on-line billing and bank statements? Is there really anybody left who gets something other than junk???