Post User Polls

Should the U.S. Postal Service cut Saturday delivery?

The U.S. Postal Service will release projections Tuesday that confirm for the first time the suspicion that mail volume will never return to pre-recession levels. In response, the agency is pushing anew for a dramatic reshaping of how Americans get and send their letters and packages.

In an effort to offset some of the losses, Postmaster General John E. Potter seeks more flexibility in the coming year to set delivery schedules, prices and labor costs. The changes could mean an end to Saturday deliveries, longer delivery times for letters and packages, higher postage-stamp prices that exceed the rate of inflation, and the potential for future layoffs. Read the full article.

By Jodi Westrick  |  March 2, 2010; 8:40 AM ET  | Category:  National Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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I would not mind having delivery reduced to 5 days a week, but the eliminated day should be some other than Saturday. Having no delivery for two days in a row (Saturday + Sunday) creates too much of a delay during the week.

Posted by: crystal4 | March 2, 2010 9:53 AM

I think that, if necessary, the USPS should eliminate Saturday delivery to commercial businesses, but it would be a great hardship to the citizens of the United States to eliminate residential Saturday delivery to homes.

Posted by: midas55 | March 2, 2010 10:15 AM

We need to allow private competition in the postal service delivery business, getting government completely out of the mail business.

Government monopolies like the USPS have absolutely no incentive to streamline or make wise decisions, running up massive debts, etc., because it isn't their money they are wasting.

If you like the $7 Billion in debt the USPS has run up in the past year, just wait until incompetent fools in the federal government get hold of your health care. No health care available on Saturdays? No Thanks...

Posted by: RedRyderz | March 2, 2010 10:19 AM

Another Government failure! Does anyone really believe the Government can run health care, which is one sixth of our economy????

Posted by: Jimbo77 | March 2, 2010 10:31 AM

Like Crystal4, I support cutting back to 5 day delivery in order to cut costs, it doesn't make sense to stop delivery two days in a row (i.e. Saturday and Sunday). For the customer it means a 3-day delay - mail that missed Friday delivery, won't arrive until Monday at the earliest. Moreover, the weekend blackout would mean the USPS would have to contend with a veritable mountain of mail every Monday.

Crystal4 suggested that it would be better to pick a day other than Saturday, and I concur. It would be less of a hardship on mail customers (and postal workers) to pick another day of the week. It would seem logical to cancel delivery on the slowest mail day of the week (Tuesday or Wednesday?).

Posted by: LarryBoston | March 2, 2010 10:38 AM

Deliver the mail every other day regardless of the day of the week -including holidays.

Most mail is probably not that time sensitive. Folks also have the option of PO boxes if they must recieve their parcels more frequently and overnight service is available for those occasional urgent deliveries.

This would be one way for us to begin to scale back on many of our luxuries but without reducing our life quality and at the same time saving resources to improve future life/earth conditions..... and the PO's budget.

Posted by: Llewelyn1 | March 2, 2010 10:43 AM

I am very much in favor of eliminating Saturday delivery - it seems all I get on Saturday is junk mail so eliminating its delivery would have no personal impact.

A better step would be to charge the junk mail senders the first class rate or at least establish a flat rate that applies to all mail under a determined weighty. It is hard to understand why the cost of my first class mail keeps going up to subsidize the mailing of junk that goes from the mail box to the trash. Realizing the average citizen doesn't have a well paid lobby in Washington representing our interests I doubt such a change will take place. (Yes, the Senate and House of Reps are SUPPOSED to represent us but they seem to have lost sight of that obligation).

Such a step would also have a positive impact on the environment.

Posted by: easyede | March 2, 2010 10:45 AM

Less mail will probably be the way of the future so scale back! It doesn't matter the politics of who is running the postal service, it is inevitable that the "snail mail" business will shrink. Personally, I have always had terrific service from the USPO. But this entity must mutate along with all others as we move into a more technological age.

Deliver less often! Save the trucks, the oil, the fumes, the trees.

I can look at what few bills, magazines, my Netflix movie and junkmail tomorrow.

Posted by: Llewelyn1 | March 2, 2010 10:55 AM

Of Course the Post Office knew this was coming, the Internet was an obvious threat to it's health and wellbeing. I see lots of jobs being lost over the next few years, but it was all foreseeable..I say cut out Saturday, who needs all the junk mail anyway, I guess it can arrive on Monday just as easily! They need to trim the fat, cut down in size and make the whole operation efficient.

Posted by: limey13 | March 2, 2010 10:59 AM

I thought it already was every other day. From what I see, they need Saturday to catch up, like many businesses. I'm still waiting for the mail which was supposed to be delivered during the "snow events".

Posted by: Dpete1 | March 2, 2010 11:13 AM

I too would prefer delivery on a split five-day basis, perhaps with mail being delivered on Monday/Tuesday, then Thursday/Friday/Saturday, with Wednesday and Sunday being non-delivery days. It still seems miraculous to me that I can stick an envelope in my box and put the little flag up, and two or three days later my sister who lives a thousand miles away gets her birthday card. I think the USPS does a great job that most of us don't really think about or appreciate.

Posted by: chantooz | March 2, 2010 11:15 AM

Some facts: The Postal Service has not receive taxes to operate since 1982. They can not charge a sur-charge like UPS and Fedx when gas prices go up. They must deliver to every house in the U.S. It takes 10 months to get a increase on products. Postal Board must approve it first. Mail volume on Tuesday is the lightest so that could be the choice they make to cut service. A one cent 1 increase in gas prices cost the USPS one million dollars a day. They can not pass that price on to the customers like a private company. The Postal Service has been trying for years to close some Post Offices, but the folks in those small town always fight it. It is as know win situation for the Postal Service.

Posted by: ocbythesea | March 2, 2010 11:35 AM

It is my belief that the US Postal service should not cut Saturday Delivery. Considering the number of prescription services that now utilize the USPS to provide timely delivery is something to consider, no other company provides the level of reputation that USPS does. There are also other companies such as Netflix and Blockbuster that rely on their 6 day a week deliver schedule so that they can continue to provide an outstanding business. Instead of cutting services, I feel they should increase services. For example, it has become increasingly difficult to locate a drop box for mail. I live in an apartment which has a post office like box system, however no place to drop mail for pickup is provided. This means I either have to drive 10 miles to mail a letter or utilize another service. For me, I've decided to send E-mails most of the time, wait till I'm at work to return my Netflix and just skip mailing when necessary. I rarely even utilize the USPS for mailing packages due to the fact it is difficult to access post offices. I don't have the time to waste 1/2 to 1 hour each time I get in line just to speak to a teller and mail the package. Ridiculous!

Posted by: KD7CAO | March 2, 2010 11:38 AM

Aside from competition and the ability to pay bills online, I think the post office's big problem is its lackadaisical approach to business. I just had an incident where somebody mailed me something CERTIFIED -- that means it is supposed to be tracked. More than a week later, it is not here and when I track it online, it is listed as never having left the original postal site. The sender went there to complain and got nothing but a shoulder shrug in return.

Posted by: lluebbert | March 2, 2010 11:41 AM

It would be better to eliminate delivery on Tuesday than on Saturday. Missing delivery two days in a row would create another level of problems.

Posted by: philipsmom | March 2, 2010 11:53 AM

Why are we tinkering on the margins? How about three days per week for residential delivery? If I really need more, then I'll pony up for a PO Box.
BTW, my local postal service is REALLY GOOD. It's just not as necessary in today's electronic world.

Posted by: bap-va | March 2, 2010 12:04 PM

Like most, I agree that they should shut down one day per week, but not on Saturday. Presently, Saturday is the only day I can go to the post office if special instructions are required (i.e. to pick up an undeliverable package). If they are going to close one day, it needs to be in the middle of the week and keep Saturdays open for those of us who cannot get to the post office without having to take leave from our jobs.

Posted by: florida2502 | March 2, 2010 12:05 PM

Hmm, considering the prior comments, how 'bout this ... keep the post offices open Mon - Sat but cut Monday as a delivery day since it gets cut during most holidays anyway. So delivery would be Tues - Sat. Personally, I only check for mail on Tues, Thurs, and Sat.

Posted by: Eludium-Q36 | March 2, 2010 12:16 PM

Several things to consider here
1 - delivery is in question for the 5-day week - as I understand it the post offices will be open for mailing and picking up packages etc.
2 - to eliminate one day of delivery (be it Saturday or any other day) will eliminate thousands of jobs because substitute carriers will not be needed to serve on normal days off (only vacation and sick time)
3 - carriers who currently deliver 6 days will take a pay cut

Yes - curtailing mail to 5 day delivery will save money for the USPS, but it will also add to the unemployment and underemployment rates.

Yes - Tuesday or Wednesday would be lighter days to cancel delivery but do you ask UPS or FEDEX to do that? if you are going to impact the lives of hundreds of thousands of postal workers, must it be done by disrupting their week? would you want to work that schedule? If it goes to 5-day delivery, let's make it a full weekend like other businesses...

Posted by: wendya2z | March 2, 2010 12:36 PM


If you've ever gone out of town on a weekend, you quickly find Saturday delivery something you don't really need.

A 5-day delivery week with of course people at postal stations still working weekends would make more sense.

I really don't understand the so-called "neo-cons" here who hate our government and postal service. As if the private sector is any better? Would you want ENRON or TOYOTA to deliver your mail!?!?!? You obviously have never been abroad to see how badly other governments really do screw things up!

Posted by: tony_in_Durham_NC | March 2, 2010 12:46 PM

Are we the most selfish pigs in the world or what? You don't need Saturday delivery. You can go without mail for two days in a row. Good grief people.

Posted by: voldenuit123 | March 2, 2010 12:51 PM

Only stop delivery to businesses on Saturday. To many times needed to get a past due bill in the mail or a birthday card on a Saturday. I have personally seen wages get out of hand and feel there needs to be a freeze on the in-office employees. The ones that deliver in the rain, snow, etc. earned their wages. I have personally seen wasted time and management and could see some layoff's needed in the Kansas area. Once again, corporate management in hurting the lower class people!

Posted by: angel1060456777 | March 2, 2010 12:52 PM

I agree- I couldn't have said it better myself...

We need to allow private competition in the postal service delivery business, getting government completely out of the mail business.
Government monopolies like the USPS have absolutely no incentive to streamline or make wise decisions, running up massive debts, etc., because it isn't their money they are wasting.
If you like the $7 Billion in debt the USPS has run up in the past year, just wait until incompetent fools in the federal government get hold of your health care. No health care available on Saturdays? No Thanks...
Posted by: RedRyderz | March 2, 2010 10:19 AM

Posted by: g0716265 | March 2, 2010 1:10 PM

Oh for heaven sakes stop whinning. First of all Goverment needs to get out of the postal bussiness, as well as alot of other areas like health care. Second if the post office is loosing money what the heck do we need seven days a week for anyway. Make it 5 days a week 40 hours a week. People we will not die if they are off Saturday and Sundays. Alot of bussiness do it all the time. Want to save some time and money, Stop the junk mail the postal carriers spend hours sorting and carrying, most of it goes streight in the garbage anyway. Oh, no some times I use it in the bird cage! Now there talking about going into their retirement funds? Once again goverments taking the jobs and money from the working class citizen. I am sick of it. I was so hoping for some change under this administation, but unfortunatly all those favors are being called in and there is no turning back, he's in their pockets.

Posted by: jjohnson7 | March 2, 2010 2:06 PM

Get rid of their one competitive edge they have on UPS and USPS? Not the way to become financially viable. They cut Saturday delivery and I'll have no reason to ship things via USPS.

Posted by: clovis_aa | March 2, 2010 2:12 PM

THERE ARE ALREADY MILLIONS OF PEOPLE OUT OF WORK. TO GO TO 5 DAY DELIVERY WOULD ABOLISH THE JOBS OF OVER 45,000 CARRIER TECHNICIAN'S AND ADD THEM TO THE UNEMPLOYMENT LINES. THEY ARE ALSO A NECESSARY PART OF THE DELIVERY OF MAIL. THEY ARE THE ONLY EMPLOYEES THAT KNOW 5 ROUTES BECAUSE THEY DELIVER ON THE 6TH DAY OF THE SAME 5 ROUTES EACH WEEK. WITHOUT THEM SERVICE WILL SUFFER BECAUSE SUBSTITUTE CARRIERS WILL NOT BE ABLE TO BECOME FAMILIAR WITH EVERY ROUTE IN EACH POST OFFICE. THERE ARE MANY OTHER WAYS FOR THE USPS TO SAVE MONEY.STOP GIVING PAY FOR PERFORMANCE BONUSES TO UPPER LEVEL AND LOCAL MANAGERS THAT DO NOT TOUCH THE MAIL. LOWER THE RATIO OF SUPERVISORS TO CRAFT EMPLOYEES. ABOLISH SOME OF THE HIGHER LEVEL JOBS THAT ARE NOT NEEDED. CREATE A NEW CLASS OF MAIL LIKE WE HAD IN THE 1960S, 3RD CLASS UNSEALED CHRISTMAS,NEW YEARS, BIRTHDAY, VALENTINES DAY, ST PATTY'S DAY, THANKSGIVING CARDS AT A DISCOUNT FROM THE FIRST CLASS RATE. THAT ALONE WOULD GENERATE BILLIONS OF CARDS EVERY YEAR. MANDATE MANAGERS TO ABIDE BY THE ELM AND NEGOTIATED CONTRACTS. THAT IS ANOTHER SAVINGS OF BILLIONS OF $ OVER THE NEXT DECADE IN ARBITRATION COSTS AND PENALTY PAYMENTS. STOP SPENDING BILLIONS OF $ TO MAKE ROBOTS TO HANDLE MAIL. THE IDEA IS TO PUT PEOPLE TO WORK AND THE SOONER THE USPS, AUTO MANUFACTURERS AND OTHER BIG BUSINESSES MAKE THOSE JOBS AVAILABLE THE BETTER OUR COUNTRY WILL BE FOR THE MIDDLE CLASS.

Posted by: herb1013 | March 2, 2010 2:47 PM

This is an article about the USPS, not healthcare...

Posted by: JoeBlo | March 2, 2010 2:59 PM

Bulk mail prices should be increased to at least half of the cost of a regular letter. If I were making the decision, I would equate bulk cost to the ever increasing cost of a letter of minimum weight. Think of the reduction in O/H.

Posted by: yamamah | March 2, 2010 3:06 PM

I think the post office should increase the fees for junk mail. With all that I get, it sure would be beneficial to them. I'm sure the postal workers don't want their day off to be Wednesday.

Posted by: mbrumble | March 2, 2010 3:18 PM

If I had a choice, I'm with those posters who would ask that the post office be open on Saturdays, at least in the morning, to provide a means to mail packages, purchase stamps, etc.
However, Saturday delivery could be curtailed, if that will help them stay viable.
I have discovered that I can trust the USPS more than I do UPS or FedEx for certainty of delivery and the price differential is stunning.
It is a federal responsibility to provide mail delivery nationwide since Ben Franklin proposed it.
I'm with the poster that continues to find it amazing that they take a letter or postcard and deliver it across the country in a timely manner.
In my opinion, since the Post Office was privatized, it has become even more reliable.
And even if the mail gets sidetracked, sometimes for years, it makes it to the person to whom it was addressed eventually.
If they will create a special stamp for certified mail, which would make it easier to mail, that would ease their load.
(If the mail I want to send requires 2 or 3 stamps, the certified mail stamp could be added, along with the card attached).
Since I'm a military retiree's wife and have public option healthcare now, I can testify here that those people who disparage both the Post Office service and the possibility of government-negotiated private healthcare delivery don't know what they are talking about.
As my husband says, he does not regret at all getting up and serving in the armed forces for 33-plus years one bit, because now we have the benefit of those many years of effort.
The ignorance of those who oppose healthcare reform is positively astounding, just as they mouth off about the functioning of the Postal Service.
In both cases, they are so in error they should be ashamed to even post such idiotic comments.

Posted by: Judy-in-TX | March 2, 2010 4:24 PM

71% want no Saturday delivery ??? Talk about being dumb ! ! !
Having worked for the PO and then the USPS I have seen that MONDAY deliveries were a way to save money. WHY??? Because only First Class mail was worked on Sunday. When I got to work I would have 1/2 the amount of mail as Tuesday. The USPS could save, not only Sunday labor, Monday labor, saturday night labor. That's a lot of labor. Maybe 35% of labor cost. AND the reason for the public is: as today I got 1 peace of mail as most other patterns got. I'm not home on Monday BUT I am on Saturday so the letter Carrier could use Saturday to deliver packages and mail that they could not del. during the week.
The way the USPS works is. Call me a liar if you believe other wise.
1. A letter Carrier works 5 days a week on the sixth day a string carrier delivers.
That a large cut in workers. 1 of 6.
2. Sunday is a 25% extra pay. All work done cost 25% more and other days a worker is missing.
A 15% cut in labor cost.
3. Open building cast. In business it's called 'cost to open door'.
Open door cost could be reduced 10%.
4. The bean counters have figured all this into what needs to be done to cut cost. That's fine, but and it's big BUT. The service is hurt by canning Saturday del. If you check (OR if The Wash. POST posted a real question as "Which would you rather have cut Monday or Saturday delivery."

With Monday del. workers would have to work on 25% Sunday to get mail ready.
The machines could still work on sat. sun. with minimum number of workers. Less then 10%. NAD not that I like it but the USPS would use CHEEP labor for those times. They know how to do it but the laws and management agreements would be in play.
I know they could make changes and save money but to do so on the back and the patrons and the labor force will give us lesser service and in the long run would cost the USPS out of service. Check out other countries non service. You will be surprised. We are the ONLY Postal Service which is a service and that is what it should be "A SERVICE" it's not a business, it cost less for what we get then anything but,maybe, E-mail, A thought (there I go thinking again) way not pay $00.01 per E-sent?? It's the Internet which has hurt the real mail service.
In two days I would like to see the Washington Post to have a question
: "Which day, Saturday or Monday, would you rather have you mail delivery?" I am sure the answer would me cut Monday. Try it out.Cuts coming just be for service not cost.
Back in the 60's,70's,80's,90's I was known as THE mailman worked out of West L. A. and delivered my own mail for 12 years. So I think (there I go again) I know.

Posted by: theemailman | March 2, 2010 8:30 PM

I have carried mail for almost 30 years and there's nothing I would welcome more than having Sat/Sun off, but it would be the demise of the postal service. And to have any other day off is assinine! The main thing that needs to be stopped is the GREED at the top. The million$$ spent on relocations, the million$$ on bonuses and golden parachutes, and the over-bloated management staff. Please tell me why we need to pay someone over $200,000 as the VP of Sustainability?? Here is what Pres Burrus had to say:

APWU President William Burrus condemned USPS proposals to reduce mail delivery to five days per week, saying, "It would be the beginning of the demise of the Postal Service." The USPS outlined the five-day delivery plan and other proposals at a conference March 2.

"The assertion that the Postal Service must initiate major changes in its business plan to survive a grave crisis is false," he said. "It masks the central cause of USPS financial difficulties: the congressionally-imposed requirement to pre-pay retiree healthcare obligations.

"Absent this crippling financial burden, the Postal Service would have experienced a cumulative surplus of $3.7 billion over the last three fiscal years, despite declining mail volume, an economy in chaos, and electronic diversion," the union president noted.

"The USPS has achieved unprecedented savings through productivity increases, a series of cost-cutting initiatives, and sacrifices by workers," he said.
More than 100,000 jobs have been eliminated through attrition over the last two-and-a-half years, Burrus pointed out, and workers have begun paying an increased share of health insurance premiums.

"The requirement to pre-fund retiree healthcare payments would shift more than $75 billion from postal rate-payers to the federal budget over a 10-year period, at a rate of more than $5 billion per year," Burrus said.
"This requirement is undermining the Postal Service." The pre-payment obligation is a provision of the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA), which Congress approved in December 2006. No other federal agency bears this burden.

"Postal management has intensified its financial problems by offering excessive worksharing discounts to major mailers and by subcontracting work at exorbitant costs," Burrus said. Worksharing discounts are given to mailers that pre-sort and pre-barcode their mail, he said, but the discounts exceed the costs the Postal Service avoids when the work is performed by mailers. "Subcontracting is another important source of waste and inefficiency," he noted.

"We call for a thorough investigation by the Office of the Inspector General into the expanding role of subcontracting and the inflated costs associated with them," he said.

"Furthermore, we reject any effort to pollute the collective bargaining process with threats of draconian work-rule changes." Contract negotiations will begin in August.

Posted by: GIGlo | March 6, 2010 8:03 PM

No one will miss it. JIMBO77: the government doesn't run the Post Office.

Posted by: jckdoors | March 12, 2010 3:52 PM

The ofices will NOT be closed on Saturdays. Only delivery will be effected.

Posted by: jckdoors | March 12, 2010 3:54 PM

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