Calling the six-days-per-week mail delivery business model “no longer sustainable,” the U.S. Postal Service announced Wednesday it will eliminate Saturday delivery of mail by Aug. 1.
The plan to change delivery from six days a week to five would only affect first-class mail. Packages, mail-order medicines, priority and express mail would still be delivered on Saturdays, and local post offices will remain open for business Saturdays.
According to the U.S. Postal Service, the reasons are continued economic struggles and the increasing use of the Internet for communications and bill paying by consumers. The U.S. Postal Service is also the only federal agency required to pre-fund health benefits for retirees, and those costs are escalating quickly.
Local U.S. Postal Service spokesperson Pete Nowacki told Plymouth Patch that impacts at local offices, like the one on Plymouth Boulevard in Plymouth, are still unknown.
"There’s really no way to determine impacts to individual offices yet," Nowacki told Patch. "As for customer and community impacts, the only change is that we won’t be doing regular delivery on Saturdays as we have [been]."
On Plymouth Patch's Facebook page, one user shared concern for the carriers that may be affected by this change.
"Since I was a letter carrier for two years decades ago, I know that the immediate impact will be the loss of letter carrier jobs," Facebook friend Theresa Ann Ziegler said."'Regular' carriers have their own route and deliver it 5 days per week. The "Relief" carriers deliver mail to 5 different routes one day per week. So, imagine ALL the mail delivery routes in the entire country and divide by 5 - the answer is how many good paying jobs with benefits will be lost."
On Maple Grove Patch's Facebook page, residents said that they were concerned that no delivery on Saturday would make for a heavy work load come Monday.
"I am fine with not getting mail on Saturday, but workers already have a heavy load on Monday," Facebook friend Sue Jacobsen Bringgold said. "Will be worse for them on Mondays. Although there will be less substitutes on routes with only 5 days and mail won't get mixed up as often. I leave cookies or something in my mailbox once in a while for them."
Saturday is the lightest mail delivery day by volume and many businesses are closed on Saturdays, according to the U.S. Postal Service. However, many residents receive print magazines and ads on Saturdays in the mail that may be shifted to another day.
A Rasmussen poll on mail delivery in 2012 showed “Three-out-of-four Americans (75%) would prefer the U.S. Postal Service cut mail delivery to five days a week rather than receive government subsidies to cover ongoing losses.”
A USA Today/Gallup poll in 2010 found the majority of U.S. residents surveyed were ok with eliminating Saturday delivery. The March 2010 telephone survey of 999 adults revealed people age 55 and older were more likely than younger people to have used the mail to pay a bill or send a letter in the past two weeks.
Speak out: How will this change affect you? Will you miss getting mail on Saturdays?