Saturday Mail Delivery to End by August - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Saturday Mail Delivery to End by August

Saturday Mail Delivery to End by August

Starting in August, you won't be getting that birthday card or the bill from the dentist on Saturday. The United States Postal Service announced plans today to change its delivery schedule beginning in August. In an effort to cut costs, Saturday mail delivery will end. However, packages will still be delivered on Saturday.

The schedule change takes place the week of August 5, 2013 and is expected to save the Postal Service about $2 billion dollars per year. "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," said Patrick R. Donahoe, Postmaster General and CEO. "We developed this approach by working with our customers to understand their delivery needs and by identifying creative ways to generate significant cost savings."

Over the past several years, the Postal Service has advocated shifting to a five-day delivery schedule for mail and packages. But it says that recent strong growth in package delivery (14 percent volume increase since 2010) and projections of continued package growth throughout the coming decade led to the revised approach to maintain package delivery six days per week.

Postal officials say once the change is implemented, mail delivery to street addresses will take place Monday through Friday. Packages will continue to be delivered six days per week. Mail addressed to PO Boxes will continue to be delivered on Saturdays.

And here is an important piece of information for many: Post Offices currently open on Saturdays will remain open on Saturdays.

We talked to several senior citizens about the changes. One woman told me she didn't mind not having Saturday delivery, saying her social security check is now direct deposited. But women Gerris Ferris and Yvonne Creech told me they did mind. "I still want my mail on Saturday," Ferris said. "I like getting personal mail on a weekend instead of waiting until Monday." 75 year old Creech agreed. "I don't use email so getting mail is still really important to me," she said. "I think it is to a lot of seniors."

The Postal Service is making the announcement more than six months in advance to give residential and business customers time to plan and adjust. The Postal Service plans to publish specific guidance in the near future for residential and business customers about its new delivery schedule. Given the ongoing financial challenges, the Postal Service Board of Governors last month directed postal management to accelerate the restructuring of Postal Service operations in order to strengthen Postal Service finances. "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," said Donahoe. "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."

The Postal Service says it's currently implementing major restructuring throughout its retail, delivery and mail processing operations. Since 2006, the Postal Service has reduced its annual cost base by approximately $15 billion, reduced the size of its career workforce by 193,000 or 28 percent, and has consolidated more than 200 mail processing locations.

A news release said that during these unprecedented 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, Postal officials still say that 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 new released points out that the Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

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