** NOTE: THE DECISION REPORTED IN THE STORY BELOW HAS SINCE BEEN REVERSED. SATURDAY MAIL DELIVERY IN THE UNITED STATES WILL NOT BE GOING AWAY. READ: U.S. Postal Service Will Keep Saturday Delivery After All.
For several years, the United States Postal Service has been talking about the possibility of doing away with mail delivery on Saturdays in order to help balance its budget. Congress and the American public have debated whether or not this change could have a negative impact on consumers and businesses.
The USPS has officially announced that mail will no longer be delivered to residential addresses on Saturdays beginning the week of August 5, 2013. Packages will continue to be delivered on Saturdays, and Post Offices that currently have Saturday hours will remain open, some with limited hours, to sell stamps and accept packages for shipping. Mail to PO boxes will also continue to be delivered on Saturdays.
Since package delivery remains a more profitable part of the business than traditional mail, businesses like online retailers that ship products to consumers shouldn’t really be affected by this change.
But for other types of businesses, like those that use direct mail for marketing purposes, cutting Saturday delivery could potentially have more of an impact. However, since mail will still be delivered Monday through Friday, any potential negative impacts from the new schedule should be minimal.
The USPS has been contemplating cutting Saturday delivery for some time, due mainly to loss of business from email and other forms of digital communication, as well as competition from private carriers like FedEx and UPS.
The Postal Service expects that this measure will help to save about $2 billion annually, once the new schedule has been fully implemented.
The USPS is a self-supporting government enterprise, and the only delivery service that reaches every address in the nation. In addition, the Postal Service receives no tax dollars or government funding for running its operations. Post Offices are funded by the sale of postage, and its other products and services.
I am so disappointed with how the Federal government has treated the US Postal service. Spending is out of control everywhere else in the government, in all the ways that do not help the average citizen or business owner, but in one of the few areas where traditionally we’ve gotten a decent bang for our buck, Congress suddenly got frugal.
I for one don’t understand (a) what’s wrong with increasing the cost of a letter to 90 cents or something similar, and (b) why so much needed to be set aside for healthcare costs when no other agency is required to set aside such funds.
I understand the USPS need to cut costs–and in many ways, reducing some service makes sense. However, the news made me wistful! Although I mostly get junk, I still look forward to getting the mail each day. And when I do get real mail, I’m over the moon! It reminds me of times in my life before e-mail when snail mail provided one of the few links back to family and friends.
To honor the USPS, a friend and I have started a postcard/letter campaign: http://www.lesliefarnsworth.com/blog/2013/2/6/a-new-media-salute-to-old-media.html