In an announcement on Wednesday, the United States Postal service said that Saturday mail delivery would cease beginning in August of this year.
Letters will continue to be delivered to post office boxes on Saturdays and packages will continue to be delivered to homes, businesses and P.O. boxes.
The USPS is making the changes in an attempt to stay financially viable in an environment that is becoming more competitive and despite spiraling retirement health benefits – the same problem faced by the federal government.
“The American public understands the financial challenges of the Postal Service and supports these steps as a responsible and reasonable approach to improving our financial situation,” CEO Partick R. Donahoe said. “The Postal Service has a responsibility to take the steps necessary to return to long-term financial stability and ensure the continued affordability of the U.S. Mail.”
Through the changes to the delivery schedule, re-organization and attrition, the service expects to save as much as $2 Billion per year.
The service is not reliant on federal funding for its operation, but is subject to Congressional control. This new announcement comes without Congressional approval and despite previous Congressional opposition to delivery cutbacks which leaves the question of how the postal service will make cutbacks without Congress’ approval.
Donahoe said in his statement, ”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.” 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 majority of costs for the post office comes from rapidly increasing retiree health benefits to the tune of more than $11 Billion – benefits required by Congress.