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No more Saturday mail delivery by US Postal Service

Posted on Feb 07, 03:29PM | IANS

Washington, Feb 7 : The United States Postal Service (USPS) has announced it planned to end Saturday mail delivery from Aug 5 this year in an effort to save USD 2 billion each year.

The financially struggling company Wednesday said it will deliver mail Monday through Friday for the first time in its history, but will continue to deliver packages Saturday, reported Xinhua.

Over the past several years, the Postal Service has advocated shifting to a five-day delivery schedule for mail and package, but this time the agency kept Saturday package delivery as it was one of the few business units that witnessed a strong growth.

It is still unclear whether the Postal Service can enforce the plan because the US Congress has the final say over the agency reform and may pass a bill in the next six months to disapprove the newly-proposed delivery schedule as it had done in the past.

However, the Postal Service is in urgent need of cost saving measures, as it suffered a USD 15.9 billion net loss for fiscal 2012 ended Sep 30, which was three times the loss recorded a year earlier.

The record loss was mainly due to communication evolvement. Nowadays more people shift to emails and online bill paying services, which increasingly drove down traditional mail volume. The huge loss can also be attributed to a 2006 law that requires it to pay about USD 5.5 billion a year into a future retiree health benefit fund. Last year, for the first time, the agency defaulted on two payments after it had reached its borrowing limit from the Treasury Department.

The Postal Service is an independent agency of the US government and the only US delivery service that reaches every address in the country, involving 151 million residences and businesses. It receives no funding from government but is under the oversight of the Congress.