WESTBROOK, Minnesota (STPNS) -- Special — The US Postal Service is swimming in a pool of red ink. In an effort to stop or slow down the flow, the postal service is taking action to save about $2 billion a year. Although it is a fairly small amount compared to the $18 billion lost last year.
According to a press release from the Postal Service, last week the US Postal Service announced plans to transition to a new delivery schedule beginning August 5, 2013. The new schedule included package delivery Monday through Saturday, and mail delivery Monday through Friday.
The Postal Service says the new delivery plan when fully implemented will save approximately $2 billion annually.
The change reflects the strong growth in package delivery and the changes in America’s mailing habits.
Postmaster General and CEO Patrick R. Donahoe said, “We developed this approach by working with our customers to understand their delivery needs and by identifying creative ways to generate significant cost savings.”
When implemented in August, mail delivery to street addresses will occur Monday through Friday. Packages will continue to be delivered six days a week. Mail addressed to PO Boxes will continue to be delivered six days a week. Post offices currently open on
Saturdays will continue to remain open on Saturdays.
Postal Service Market research shows that nearly 70 percent of Americans support the switch to five-day delivery as a way for the Postal Service to reduce costs in its effort to return it to financial stability. The change in service is expected to help the Postal Service to return to long-term financial responsibility and ensure the continued affordability of the US Mail.
The change is a part of a major restructuring throughout its retail and mail processing operations. Since 2006, the Postal
Service has reduced its annual cost base by approximately $15 billion, through reducing work force and consolidation of mail processing locations. During these initiatives the Postal Service continued to deliver record high levels of service to its customers.
While the change in the delivery schedule announced today is one of the actions needed to restore the financial health of the Postal Service, legislative change is urgently needed to address matters outside the Postal Service’s control. The Postal Service continues to seek legislation to provide it with greater flexibility to control costs and generate new revenue and encourages the 113th Congress to make postal reform legislation an urgent priority.
The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.
Locally it has not been established how this will affect employees.
According to Postal Service representative Pete Nowacki, the local offices that are open on Saturdays will continue to remain open with window service.
When asked about how no Saturday delivery would affect local carriers and rural carriers, he said, that has not been worked out at this time, but changes will be made in accordance with current labor contracts. (Although some of the local rural carriers are concerned about losing income from the proposal.) He also said it has not been determined how package delivery will be handled for the rural delivery areas.
Nowacki said, we feel the Postal Service is within the law with the Saturday proposal. We are hopeful with a large percentage of people supporting the move, congress will not attempt to block it.
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