Describing the six-days-per-week mail delivery business model as “no longer sustainable,” the U.S. Postal Service Wednesday morning announced it will eliminate Saturday delivery of mail by Aug. 1.
The announcement comes a little over a week after the price of postage increased by a penny for one-ounce standard letters (to 46 cents) and postcards (to 33 cents).
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 is expected to save the Postal Service, which is in debt $2 billion a year.
“Our current business model of delivering mail six days a week is no longer sustainable," said Patrick R. Donahoe, Postmaster General and CEO at a news conference to announce the changes. "We must change in order to remain an integral part of the American community for decades to come.”
The Postal Service has struggled financially because of the growing use of the Internet for paying bills and communication. It's also the only federal agency required to pre-fund health benefits for retirees, and those costs are escalating quickly.
As reported by NBC News,
"Though its Capitol Hill critics complain that Postal Service should be made to operate 'more like a business,' Congress has created a set of rules that all but guarantee billion-dollar losses.
"Those losses are almost entirely the result of the now-defaulted 'pre-funding' requirement for retiree health insurance and other accounting charges."
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.
Speak out: How will this change affect you? Will you miss getting mail on Saturdays? Please post a comment below.