The struggling United States Postal Service (USPS) announced plans for additional cuts to its service, including reducing its mail delivery service to five days a week at the beginning of August. There will be no mail delivery service on Saturdays starting the week of August 5, 2013. Package delivery service will remain the same at six days a week.
The service cuts are expected to help USPS generate cost savings of approximately $2 billion annually. These changes are being implemented with customers’ delivery needs in mind and the identification of creative methods that will help with cost savings, according to comment provided by Patrick R. Donahoe, Postmaster General and CEO of USPS, in a press release.
USPS has been advocating reducing mail and packaging delivery service to a five-day delivery schedule in recent years, but it has opted to not change package delivery service for now. There has been growth in service request for that area by 14 percent in volume since 2010.
The new change in service taking place in August 2013 will not impact customers with PO Boxes. Mail will continue to be delivered to PO Boxes on Saturdays and post offices that are currently open on Saturdays will continue to remain open on Saturdays once the change is in place.
These changes are necessary to help strengthen USPS’ finances. Market research by the Postal Service and through independent research have also indicated nearly seven out of 10 Americans support this change in order bring financial stability for the struggling organization.
In recent years, the Postal Service has already put in place other efforts to reduce cost, including closing post office location, reducing its workforce and increasing postage rates. More needs to be done considering it had a loss of nearly $16 billion in the last fiscal year and defaulted on its pension plan contributions.
In addition to these changes, the Postal service is also seeking legislative change that will provide it greater flexibility to control costs and generate new revenue. Currently, the Postal Service relies on the sales of postage, products and services to fund its operations. It does not receive tax dollars towards its operating expenses.