Archived Story

USPS announces new schedule

Published 10:52am Saturday, February 9, 2013

Though rain, sleet and snow can’t stop the U.S. Postal Service from delivering mail, Saturdays soon will.

The U.S. Postal Service made the announcement Wednesday that it plans to discontinue Saturday home delivery of mail, going to a Monday through Friday schedule. Packages, however, will still be offered on Saturday.

“The Postal Service is advancing an important new approach to delivery that reflects the strong growth of our package business and responds to the financial realities resulting from America’s changing mailing habits,” said Patrick R. Donahoe, postmaster general and CEO. “We developed this approach by working with our customers to understand their delivery needs and by identifying creative ways to generate significant cost savings.”

The change is expected to save approximately $2 billion annually.

Officials with the U.S. Postal Service has discussed the possibility of transitioning to a five-day delivery schedule for both mail and packages. However, a 14 percent growth in volume in package delivery led to the decision to only nix Saturday mail delivery.

Once implemented in August 2013, mail delivery to street addresses will occur Monday through Friday. Packages will continue to be delivered six days per week. Mail addressed to P.O. boxes will continue to be delivered on Saturdays. Post offices currently open on Saturdays will remain open on Saturdays.

The change should not affect home-delivery subscribers to The Outlook – which are delivered by a contract delivery service. Those who receive The Outlook by mail may be affected, as the Weekend edition is delivered on Saturdays, unless these subscribers receive their paper at a P.O. box.

The end of Saturday delivery is one of many major measures the postal service has taken as part of restructuring throughout its retail, delivery and mail processing operations. Since 2006, the Postal Service has reduced its annual cost base by approximately $15 billion, reduced the size of its career workforce by 193,000 or 28 percent and consolidated more than 200 mail processing locations.

Officials with the postal service made the announcement Wednesday , more than six months in advance of implementing five-day mail delivery schedule, to give residential and business customers time to plan and adjust. The Postal Service plans to publish specific guidance in the near future for residential and business customers about its new delivery schedule.

The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.