Saturday Mail To Come To An End? Finally!

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Posted on 2nd March 2010 by Ben Krasner in In The News

NEW YORK ( — Snail mail might soon get even slower.

Will the USPS be making its final Saturday deliveries soon?The U.S. Postal Service plans to propose Tuesday an adjusted mail service schedule, which will likely cut Saturday delivery. The agency will also suggest closing some branches and expanding its use of self-service kiosks in grocery stores and other popular retail spots, as part of its effort to work its way out of a mountain of debt.

USPS posted a $3.8 billion loss in its 2009 fiscal year, the latest in a multiyear string of whopping losses. Mail volume was down 12.7% for the year, a trend the agency expects to continue over the next decade as more consumers opt for online bill payments and message delivery.

The Post Office was $10 billion in debt as of Sept. 30 — not far off from its $15 billion debt limit, which the agency expects to hit in its 2011 fiscal year.

Read more about USPS proposing a 5-day mail schedule, here.

It is this blogger’s opinion that this is a decision they should have come to several years ago when their debt was mounting fast and their volume dropping sharply.  With electronic options abound, who really needs Saturday mail service at all, especially during non-holiday weeks?  Sure it’s nice to have some mail come on Saturday or have the option to drop something off at the post office while you’re running some other errands, but a simple adjustment to the Monday-through-Friday USPS work schedule would likely enable anyone who really was serviced by Saturday post office hours or delivery to do what they needed to do.  Besides, when you drop off that parcel at the post office on Saturday it isn’t actually moving until Monday anyway.

There is nothing wrong with a limiting a work week to only those days which make sense to the bottom line for any given business and I have never understood how an entity so closely tied to the government was working on Saturdays.  If the USPS was a private entity and they believed it made good business sense to offer the Saturday services, then so be it – like banks.  However, that is not the situation at hand for the USPS.

I hope this proposed service adjustment is approved.  US mail just isn’t the same volume or requirements as it once was and the system needed to start adjusting this radically years ago.

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