Post Office to End Saturday Delivery

USPS

The United States Postal Service (USPS) is likely to announce today they will no longer deliver mail on Saturdays, in what can only be viewed as the latest sign of an agency that is well past prime time.

While such a change to their operating practices will require congressional approval, Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe claims widespread public support for the move:

… the agency clearly thinks it has a majority of the American public on its side regarding the change.

Material prepared for the Wednesday press conference by Patrick R. Donahoe, postmaster general and CEO, says Postal Service market research and other research has indicated that nearly 7 in 10 Americans support the switch to five-day delivery as a way for the Postal Service to reduce costs.

Quite honestly, if these numbers are correct, they are not surprising. They also most likely can’t be traced back to the public wanting a weekend break from receiving junk mail and bills either. While the Post Office claims their package deliveries have increased 14% since 2010, the private sector and efficiencies that come with it have created competition that is difficult for the heavily-unionized USPS to overcome.

More importantly, despite urban legends that “email stamps” are just around the corner, email is free. It also is faster, has a more dependable delivery track record (unless you happen to put the wrong address in the “To” line), and there is no additional postage if you send lengthy emails or large attachments. And while people are still getting many of their bills by USPS, they are paying them online more and more everyday.

The Post Office is a dying model, and Congress needs to take a serious look at privatizing it. And like Amtrak, it is more proof the government has no business running businesses.

LegitSlater

LegitSlater is a SayAnythingBlog.com contributor who focuses on features primarily pertaining to state and local government as well as political parties, but has been known to dabble in other areas. LegitSlater has also been known to pinch hit for Rob when he is out and about in his worldly travels, or attending the occasional Yankees-Twins series. LegitSlater's numerous awards include the personal satisfaction received from informing the vast readership of SAB, spurring respectful debate, and hunting the trophy sacred cows which have been otherwise deemed off limits by the traditional media, elected officials, and the political parties.

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  • mikemc1970

    Why bother? Why not just go off the financial cliff then blame someone else for their troubles like Obama does?

  • Jonesy

    They’ve been trying to stop the Saturday deliveries for years but Congress wouldn’t let them. The USPS path to profitability has always been roadblocked by Congress.

    • RCND

      That may be, but their union has been an even bigger one

  • Guest

    Pretty funny. They are losing 16 billion a year
    and will save 2 billion cutting Saturday. So if they cut the other 5 days left
    they will only lose 6 billion a year delivering what they call their profitable
    package delivery service. You can’t make this stuff up, only government is this
    stupid.

    • WOOF

      I think you made this up:” They are losing 16 billion a year”

      • LastBestHope

        The U.S. Postal Service announced Thursday that it lost a record $15.9 billion in the most recent fiscal year

        Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/domestic-taxes/268193-usps-loses-record-159-billion-in-fiscal-2012#ixzz2K8TRPhBN

        • WOOF

          “the 2006 congressional mandate that the USPS pre-fund future
          retiree health benefits for the next 75 years, and do so within a
          decade, an obligation no other public agency or private firm faces.
          The roughly $5.5 billion annual payments since 2007 — $21 billion total
          — are the difference between a positive and negative ledger.”

          • LibertyFargo

            Are you saying that they are cutting $2B to make up for $5.5B instead of $16/21B?

            Cutting 2 when you need to make up for 5.5 is like throwing a 2 yard pass on 4th down when you need 5.5 for a 1st down. Gaining 2 when you need 6 or gaining 2 when you need 16…either way you lose the ball and turn the ball over.

          • retirenowconrad

            You are correct WOOF. No private firm is required to pre-fund because private firms do not offer retiree health benefits, unless they are union shops.

          • WOOF

            Good private firms offer retire health benefits to employees and their dependent spouses.

          • JoeMN

            Even when they are loosing 16 billion a year ?

          • retirenowconrad

            Broke means good? Why do private firms need to provide health benefits? We have obummercare.

  • Thresherman

    Typical screwed up bureaucratic reasoning. While cutting Saturday delivery will save expenses they forget that they also pick up mail on Saturdays as well, which is revenue. If people can’t put mail in their boxes on Saturday for pick up that day, a fair portion will opt to use some other method and if they get in the habit of doing that they may do that through the week as well. This “cost saving measure” may well wind up costing them as much in revenue as they project to save and the bureaucrats will be scratching their heads wondering how that happened.

  • 11B40

    Greetings:

    Back when Mission Statements became a managerial rage, I came up with my Universal Mission Statement in order to prevent my having to attend any more Mission Statement management seminars. It went like thus: Our Mission is to provide quality goods and services on a timely basis at prices that our customers perceive as a value and that allow for continuing operations.

    In that light, my approach to the Postal Service’s problems would be to end not only Saturday delivery, but also deliveries on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

    The mail that comes to my residence is mostly invoices (bills), magazines, and direct (advertising) mail. None of it requires same day or even next day action. So, in my opinion, the Postal Service has worked itself into a position in which it is delivering more service than is rationally required and at prices that do not allow for the above “continuing operations”. Its customers may indeed see this as “a value”. I see it as both “a value” and a “get-over”.

    But in the historical way that it takes a committee to redesign a horse into a camel, the Postal Service has preferred to kick the can around and around while ignoring all the information available about its inexorable market decline. My advice would be to cut deeply, not just the marginal Saturday bit, and then hope to develop some new services and revenue sources in the future.

    The Empire, as it stands, can no longer be defended.

    • retirenowconrad

      The problem with your suggestion is it would FIX the problem.
      I would add post men/women should be paid on the paperboy scale, after all they do the same job.

  • opinion8ed

    The mail processing facility in Bismarck does not sell stamps they refer you to the grocery store. strike one!

    Your accounts payable people are going to love the late fees as your lcheck which takes 4 days to get to North Carolina with a 6 day system, but your ipad takes 2 days from China. Strike two.

    After paying said late fees, you will go to autopsy and that will be another loss revenue. Strike three

    • LibertyFargo

      +1

      “Your accounts payable people are going to love the late fees as your lcheck which takes 4 days to get to North Carolina with a 6 day system, but your ipad takes 2 days from China. Strike two.”

  • devilschild

    The plus side of this issue is … if you go out of town for the weekend you don’t have to worry about your Saturday mail delivery.

  • http://thepoliticalinformer.com/ John-Pierre Maeli

    Awesome! Now I won’t get my mail on Saturday because the Post Office is too lazy and incompetent to actually produce any profit.

    • Roy_Bean

      I think that lazy and incompetent is a moot point. The death of the Postal Service started in 1964 when Xerox patented the first commercial FAX machine. Even if Al Gore hadn’t invented the internet the FAX would have brought about the demise of the postal service because they didn’t recognize the challenge and adapt.

  • Stuart

    Personally I am pleased to see that President Obama is keeping his promise to get rid of things not working and to build up this that are working. Next Amtrak should be taken over by private industry so it can at least break even. There is nothing wrong with breaking even. The scalpel is finally being used,but a larger scalpel should be created!
    To lose Billions of dollars per quarter then blame President Bush for propping up the retirement funds and Postal benefit packages in the future is not useful propaganda.
    We need tangible results not rhetorical propaganda based on self interests.

  • nimrod

    We have been told the Postal Service is the wonderful model of how Gov’t is able to efficiently do things that the private sector cannot, I suspect that outlandish pensions and such are more the reason for losing 16 billion than the costs of Saturday delivery.

  • tomorrowclear

    I look forward to the day that we have no delivery from the Post Office and the private carriers step into the breach to fulfill the needs of businesses and individuals in rural North Dakota. Now, you see kids, when businesses have to spend ten times what they used to have to spend on mailings, that will not be a tax on small businesses. No sir. That will simply be the golden rays of freedom, the Holy Free Market, to be exact, shining down upon our small businesses! And what a glorious day that will be!

  • http://nofreelunch.areavoices.com/ Kevin Flanagan

    Obamacare has the same business model as the USPS; good luck.

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