Calling the six-days-per-week mail delivery business model “no longer sustainable,” the U.S. Postal Service Wednesday morning announced it will eliminate Saturday delivery of mail by Aug. 1.
Post offices will remain open Saturdays and package deliveries will occur on Saturdays, according to the U.S. Postal Service.
According to the U.S. Postal Service, the reasons are continued economic struggles and the increasing use of the Internet for communications and bill paying by consumers. The U.S. Postal Service is also the only federal agency required to pre-fund health benefits for retirees, and those costs are escalating quickly.
“Our current business model of delivering mail six days a week is no longer sustainable. We must change in order to remain an integral part of the American community for decades to come.”
Locally, the Milltown Post Office just reopened its doors last week after serious flooding from Hurricane Irene shut the office down for over a year.
The office is currently open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.
Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ), who was a major player in the reopening of the Milltown office and a cosponsor of a bill that asks to maintain the six-day delivery schedule, issued the following statement on Wednesday:
“For more than 200 years, the U.S. Postal Service has done far more than sell stamps and deliver letters. It has built communities, united citizens, and bound together our vast and diverse country.
"I am deeply concerned that, if the Postal Service were to follow through on this plan to slash services in the pursuit of short-term financial gain, it would sacrifice its most crucial long-term competitive edge: its renowned and respected status as a core American institution.
“The USPS is not just another delivery service. Only the USPS goes, in effect, every day to every address, rich or poor, rural or urban, commercial or residential.”
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 in the mail that may be shifted to another day.
A Rasmussen poll on mail delivery in 2012 showed “Three-out-of-four Americans (75 percent) would prefer the U.S. Postal Service cut mail delivery to five days a week rather than receive government subsidies to cover ongoing losses.”
A USA Today/Gallup poll in 2010 found the majority of U.S. residents surveyed were ok with eliminating Saturday delivery. The March 2010 telephone survey of 999 adults revealed people age 55 and older were more likely than younger people to have used the mail to pay a bill or send a letter in the past two weeks.
Speak out: How will this change affect you? Will you miss getting mail on Saturdays?