Post Office Announces New Delivery Schedule
February 08, 2013
The Postal Service made the announcement this week, more than six months in advance of implementing five-day mail delivery schedule, 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.
“Our customers see strong value in the national delivery platform we provide and maintaining a six-day delivery schedule for packages is an important part of that platform,” said Donahoe. “As consumers increasingly use and rely on delivery services — especially due to the rise of e-commerce — we can play an increasingly vital role as a delivery provider of choice, and as a driver of growth opportunities for America’s businesses.”
Once implemented during August of 2013, mail delivery to street addresses will occur 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. Post Offices currently open on Saturdays will remain open on Saturdays.
U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) said in a prepared statement, “Last year the United States Postal Service lost 16 billion dollars, with more and more Americans relying on e-mail, texting and online billpay – so the time has come to reevaluate how they do things. Even the Social Security Administration, which began phasing out mailing Social Security checks in 2011, will completely end mailing checks on March 1st. It is clear to every American that the USPS must evolve to survive."
Murkowski said, “Since 2010, when I testified before the Postal Regulatory Commission on this issue, my priorities were to ensure that Alaskans maintained access to postal services for crucial medical prescriptions and commercial deliveries without additional expense or harm to the economy. This proposal satisfies my concerns by maintaining Saturday package delivery while providing the USPS with an estimated $1.7 billion in savings per year. This proposal will not solve all of the Postal Service’s problems, but as Congress again turns its attention to comprehensive postal reform, I will continue to insist that no cut disproportionately impacts our state and that efficient, effective postal services remain available to serve the challenging needs of Alaskans statewide.”
U.S. Senator Mark Begich (D-AK) expressed disappointment with the U.S. Postal Service’s announcement that it will circumvent Congress and the legislative process to stop delivering all Saturday mail, except for packages.
“This is bad news for Alaskans and small business owners who rely on timely delivery to rural areas,” Sen. Begich said. “This decision to end Saturday delivery will undoubtedly slow overall delivery time. The Postal Service should have allowed Congress to address this issue through the legislative process.”
According to Begich, last year the Senate passed a postal reform bill that would have reduced the Postal Service’s financial obligations, as well as protected services and post offices in Alaska. Since 2006 the Postal Service has faced an onerous requirement to pre-fund retiree health benefits, a situation which the Senate bill would have rectified. The Senate bill would have also prevented the Postal Service from eliminating Saturday delivery for two years while it pursued other sources of revenue. Begich said unfortunately, the House of Representatives failed to pass this bill, so it never became law.
“We wouldn’t be in this situation if the House had done its job and passed a bill,” Sen. Begich said. “I will continue working to protect postal services and post offices for Alaskans. While today’s announcement doesn’t affect Bypass Mail, we need to pass a comprehensive bill that protects that program and our rural post offices over the long term.” Sen. Begich is a member of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, which has jurisdiction over postal reform legislation.
“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. However, recent strong growth in package delivery (14 percent volume increase since 2010) and projections of continued strong package growth throughout the coming decade led to the revised approach to maintain package delivery six days per week.
Edited by Mary Kauffman, SitNews
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