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US Postal Service Discontinuing Saturday Mail Delivery

Unknown Lamer posted about a year ago | from the one-more-nail dept.

Government 582

Hugh Pickens writes "The Postal Service has been losing billions of dollars each year as Americans increasingly rely on online communications that drive down mail volumes. Now, Reuters reports that the Postal Service plans to drop Saturday delivery of first-class mail by August, saving $2 billion 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,' says Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe. But the Postal Service is already facing some pushback for moving forward with delivery schedule changes. 'Today's announcement by Postmaster General Donahoe to eliminate six-day delivery is yet another death knell for the quality service provided by the U.S. Postal Service,' says Jeanette Dwyer, president of the National Rural Letter Carriers' Association. 'To erode this service will undermine the Postal Service's core mission and is completely unacceptable.' Package deliveries will continue under the new plan and were a bright spot in a bleak 2012 fiscal year, with package revenue rising 8.7 percent during the year. Donahoe says the changes would allow the Postal Service to continue benefiting from rising package deliveries as Americans order more products from sites such as eBay Inc and Amazon.com Inc."

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582 comments

Man, oh man! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42810987)

If only there were some article of the Constitution that could be used as an argument to convince conservatives that the Post Office is a vital national service and that it is okay to pay for it in much the same way as it is okay to pay for a navy.

I guess one can only wish.

Re:Man, oh man! (5, Insightful)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year ago | (#42811107)

If only there were some article of the Constitution that could be used as an argument to convince conservatives that the Post Office is a vital national service and that it is okay to pay for it in much the same way as it is okay to pay for a navy.

I guess one can only wish.

Why is Saturday mail delivery a vital national service? Will people die if they don't receive their Victoria's Secret catalog on Saturday?

Re:Man, oh man! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42811125)

If there were only some article of the Constitution that could be used to argue that Food Stamps, SS, Medicare, Obamacare, Disability, and other hand out programs are vital and legal to spend federal money on.
If there were only some article of the Constitution that could be used to argue for gun control.
If there were only some article of the Constitution that could be used to argue for killing of US citizens with drones without trial based only on "suspicion"
If there were only some article of the Constitution that could be used to argue for vitural strip searches by the TSA every time someone decides to travel by a quick means.

Oh, wait, there isn't. And if we didn't waste so much money on those things there might continue to be Saturday postal delivery. You voted for a crappy conuntry, enjoy!

Re:Man, oh man! (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42811231)

What? Really? All I can say is finally! Waaaaaaaaaayyy less junk mail will get to me and everyone else now (99% of mail I get is junk -- goes right from my mail box straight into the recycling) Sure, there's probably some poor people who depend on this extra day of mail (I know we kinda did as I was growing up), but too bad...

Re:Man, oh man! (5, Insightful)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year ago | (#42811283)

What? Really? All I can say is finally! Waaaaaaaaaayyy less junk mail will get to me and everyone else now (99% of mail I get is junk -- goes right from my mail box straight into the recycling) Sure, there's probably some poor people who depend on this extra day of mail (I know we kinda did as I was growing up), but too bad...

How will this affect the quantity of junk mail?

It's not like the post office is going to throw away all of the mail on Saturdays instead of delivering it. Instead they will hold it and deliver it on Monday. So you'll still get the same amount of mail.

Re:Man, oh man! (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#42811503)

They should offer that as a service.

Charge $5/month to act as a spam filter. Plus they save on delivery by round filing junk mail for you at its origination point.

Re:Man, oh man! (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42811525)

That's what I don't understand. Was raising the price for junk mail not viable? Part of the problem is that the 1st class mail is being used to subsidize bulk mail and as a result as 1st class mail gets sent less and less the subsidy has become insufficient to cover the cost. I'm somewhat unclear as to why they're not raising the rates on bulk mail.

Anyways, it's a relatively moot point as USPS tends to do a better job in terms of cost control than UPS and FedEx anyways. USPS is just required to do something that aren't profitable. And surprise, surprise, it's the same greedy rural folks that expect their lives to be subsidized who aren't willing to pay the real rate of delivering to them.

Re:Man, oh man! (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42811295)

Preparing to get a Wooosh! but Article 1, Section 8, Clause 7. The enumerated powers of the Federal Government include establishing Post Offices. Same section establishes paying for a Navy. The privatization of the postal service was either a delegation or abrogation of the responsibilties of Congress, depending if you take your politics straight or with soda. I'm in the abrogation camp, myself.

one less day of junk mail (2, Insightful)

alen (225700) | about a year ago | (#42810991)

most of my mail is paper catalogs i throw in the trash without looking at. bills get paid by computer or smartphone.

i guess the old people will be complaining

Re:one less day of junk mail (5, Funny)

maird (699535) | about a year ago | (#42811105)

If they only made those catalogs soft, absorbent and with dye that doesn't run then at least it would be possible to save money on toilet paper.

Re:one less day of junk mail (4, Funny)

Tony Isaac (1301187) | about a year ago | (#42811305)

My father remembers that in the outhouse back on the farm, the black-and-white pages in the Sears Roebuck catalog always went first!

Re:one less day of junk mail (1)

kannibal_klown (531544) | about a year ago | (#42811165)

My mailman hates me. First off, they were trying to deliver my previous tenants mail into the box before I purchased the place, so he was mad when he met me that I hadn't picked up the mail in like 6 months (when it was really like a week).

My mailbox is gets 100% full within a week from all of the junk mail that comes in. It's pretty bad.

I only have a handful of bills that still come in through paper-mail, and most of that is from places that offer e-billing but not to cancel the paper-billing.

SOOO MUCH junk mail.

Re:one less day of junk mail (5, Insightful)

JeanCroix (99825) | about a year ago | (#42811173)

Or people waiting for the next Netflix DVD...

Re:one less day of junk mail (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42811371)

Me and doubly so because I rip and return everything they send me.

Re:one less day of junk mail (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | about a year ago | (#42811189)

Kramer: I got three Pottery Barn catalogs in one day. That makes eight this month.

Jerry: Why don't you just throw 'em out?

Kramer: Oh, no. I've been saving them up here in your apartment. And now, it's payback time. Pottery Barn is in for a world of hurt.

Re:one less day of junk mail (1)

Firethorn (177587) | about a year ago | (#42811255)

Depending on how it works, you might still get the junk mail, as it mentions only that they're stopping delivery of first class. Junk mail is sent Heck, at most it'll just be delivered on Monday.

Re:one less day of junk mail (1)

Mike Frett (2811077) | about a year ago | (#42811281)

And how exactly are you going to get your packages?. I've even seen Fed-Ex packages at local Post Offices that, for some reason couldn't be delivered by truck. And most services prefer to send small, Mail Box sized packages by Postal Mail anyway. Every time you young punks open your mouth you sound ignorant, and just don't you worry, you're getting older faster than you know, as am I. I may be young too, but I'm not ignorant of how the industry works.

The fruits of the young will soon blossom, and oh what sour flavors they will produce.

Re:one less day of junk mail (5, Informative)

tilante (2547392) | about a year ago | (#42811401)

Well, some of us actually read the whole summary, and thus see that Saturday package deliveries aren't being cut out. So it's not going to affect getting packages at all.

Re:one less day of junk mail (1)

alen (225700) | about a year ago | (#42811435)

UPS and Fedex always comes in by delivery driver. nice thing about NYC is you can order diapers and they arrive the next day with regular UPS delivery

any package sent by US Mail is so unimportant i don't care when i get it

Re:one less day of junk mail (4, Informative)

ApharmdB (572578) | about a year ago | (#42811507)

https://www.catalogchoice.org/ [catalogchoice.org] - I've been using the free part of the service for a while now and I get vastly less junk mail than I used to. Not having the extra volume to deal with is worth the time it takes to use the website.

That's actually not bad... (1)

poofmeisterp (650750) | about a year ago | (#42810995)

It saves money (first-off) and more importantly, makes a weekend feel more like a true weekend.

Re:That's actually not bad... (2)

YodasEvilTwin (2014446) | about a year ago | (#42811151)

The potential of mail in your box doesn't affect the "feel" of your weekend. If you get all OCD about it that's your decision.

Re:That's actually not bad... (1)

xclr8r (658786) | about a year ago | (#42811529)

OCD only in the respect that some mail has sensitive private data (S.S., DOB, Address, CC Info, Phone #, kids names) and I don't want that sitting there overnight or even more than an hour really. The real question is when are they going to bump up business spam mail rates.

It doesn't help... (5, Insightful)

moosehooey (953907) | about a year ago | (#42810999)

It doesn't help that Congress is basically stealing $5 billion a year from the post office. They're making the USPS fully fund retirement plans over a very short time, and that money is going into government bonds, which ends up in the general fund. If it wasn't for the budget shenanigans that Congress pulled, the Post Office would be doing fine.

Re:It doesn't help... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42811153)

Ask Congress to grant you a legal monopoly (lie down with dogs), have Congress mess up your business (get up with fleas).

They have no sympathy from me.

Re:It doesn't help... (5, Insightful)

SydShamino (547793) | about a year ago | (#42811163)

Add to this that, without them having to spend the last few years in massive debt trying to figure out how to fund these pension plans, they might have been able to spend the time and money reinventing themselves as a common carrier capable of surviving in the internet age.

I'm pretty sure that half of Congress - ironically the half that prefers a strict interpretation of the Constitution - wants the Constitutionally-mandated postal service to go bankrupt and go away because it interferes with the profits of several other private businesses. (The vote on the bill in the House in 2006 was done by voice, so there's no official record of who voted for it.)

Re:It doesn't help... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42811195)

Right on - thanks republicans...~

Not entirely true (5, Insightful)

Shivetya (243324) | about a year ago | (#42811213)

The post office was forced into this because their unfunded pension fund was a time bomb waiting to happen. They are only paying this increase till 2016 and have had it reduced when it was pressing. As of 2009 it was estimated their unfunded liabilities were over fifty billion dollars.

No, where Congress gets a failing grade is similar to how base closings are done. Just like the military knows which bases are not needed the Post Office can tell you which sorting centers, distribution hubs, and which Post Offices, are not needed. When they go to close them then suddenly every Congressman becomes an expert and you end up with stories about how the PO wanted to close nearly 3000 offices and only got a little over a hundred.

The PO operates under burdensome contracts combined with quickly shrinking sources of income. The number of pieces of mail handled has steadily declined but when the PO tries to downsize Congress interferes or their contracts block them. Trying to hire part time workers is another area they have difficulty with.

So, no their problems don't stem from just having to pay for liabilities they should be paying for; if anything ask Congress why that rule ain't applied to the US as a whole; its from a myriad of items of which two largest are Congress and the unions.

Re:It doesn't help... (5, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year ago | (#42811251)

Actually, you're misunderstanding the purpose of that move by Congress: it wasn't about gaining $5 billion a year, it was about gutting the USPS. There are many people in Congress (mostly Tea Party types) that want the USPS to be a relic of the past, some because that would benefit FedEx and UPS and other companies, and some because their philosophy is that the federal government can't possibly do anything useful so the USPS must be by definition useless.

Re:It doesn't help... (1)

geoffrobinson (109879) | about a year ago | (#42811299)

And they lost $15 billion last year. So they would still be $10 billion in the hole per year.

Re:It doesn't help... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42811581)

Well where the hell did they lose it? Did they check the mail?

Re:It doesn't help... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42811303)

So much this. I'm at USPS NHQ and people that grasp the situation are flabbergasted by the insanity of it.

Re:It doesn't help... (2)

TheCarp (96830) | about a year ago | (#42811319)

Its the combination that burns me.

Once someone pointed out to me (here I think) that fully funding retirement funds is....what every other organization (outside of the gov) is made to do, it makes sense to force them to fully fund, and I would even say...they should ALL be doing it.

It is also kind of bullshit that what triggered these changes was a Postal Service budget surplus.

However.... that the money would get funneled into the general fund like that? Thats just corrupt to allow congress to pull tricks to turn a quasi-independent system into their own revenue source.... based on the dubious argument that an IOU direct from the treasury is "fully funded" when the same by the postal service isn't.

But how much money will they lose to FedEX? (0)

Kenja (541830) | about a year ago | (#42811001)

All political BS aside, without saturday delivery wont a lot of people just go over to FedEX or UPS? Couldn't they charge extra for weekend delivery to make it economical?

Re:But how much money will they lose to FedEX? (5, Informative)

SydShamino (547793) | about a year ago | (#42811051)

Err - that's the plan. Only first class mail is being stopped on Saturdays. If you want something delivered on a Saturday, you can still send it priority or express, and it will still be delivered on a Saturday. That's the second and eighth lines of the summary above.

Re:But how much money will they lose to FedEX? (2)

MrBippers (1091791) | about a year ago | (#42811089)

Article says they're dropping first-class Saturday delivery, no mention of priority or express. If you need something delivered ASAP, you probably aren't sending it first-class.

Re:But how much money will they lose to FedEX? (1)

aardvarkjoe (156801) | about a year ago | (#42811139)

All political BS aside, without saturday delivery wont a lot of people just go over to FedEX or UPS?

Well, yes, if you need Saturday delivery then you'll have to use a different carrier.

It's worth noting that very few shippers will deliver on Sunday, and the world hasn't come to an end. I would think that if getting things delivered on a particular non-business day was that important, somebody would have started offering Sunday delivery to keep ahead of the competition.

Couldn't they charge extra for weekend delivery to make it economical?

The same people who scream when they lose their Saturday delivery would throw an even bigger fit if you raised the postal rates enough to make up the difference.

Re:But how much money will they lose to FedEX? (1)

fermion (181285) | about a year ago | (#42811345)

The package delivery will continue on saturday, something you have to pay extra extra extra for with Fedex and UPS.

The reason saturday delivery of letters is going to save money is because everyone pays the same for a letter. This means that some delivery guy may have to drive 20 miles and be paid an hour of work to deliver one letter to one person. This is why the rural people are so pissed off. They are going to have to pay scaled delivery charges if they want something on saturday.

Pretty much we could live with monday-Wednesday-friday delivery for first class letters. This would not effect most of us, since increasingly we are not sending mail.

And it would still be competitive with Fedex and UPS. Have dealt with rural delivery, I can tell you the USPS wil drive out a deliver a letter or package. Unless a letter or package is overnight or two day guaranteed, my experience is that UPS and Fedex will keep it int he office until they have a few deliveries in the area.

The reality is that much of the money wasted has to do with rural delivery. At one time in the US history, when much more of us were rural, and mail was a prime way to keep us together, this made sense. Now we just need to adjust and let businesses that need frequent mail delivery pay for it.

Eliminating Unnecessary (2)

mrcoolbp (928930) | about a year ago | (#42811005)

Wow, didn't think it would happen but it looks like they may have actually saved themselves a ton of money without too much inconvenience. This seems like a good thing.

Who could have guessed? (-1, Troll)

concealment (2447304) | about a year ago | (#42811011)

Imagine that: unions, affirmative action and compliance with well-intentioned government programs do make you anti-competitive after all.

Gosh.

Re:Who could have guessed? (2, Insightful)

publiclurker (952615) | about a year ago | (#42811119)

imagine that, a corporate whoring teabagger repeating the same old lies in an attempt at blaming the victims, yet again.

Re:Who could have guessed? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42811137)

Imagine that: emails does decrease demand for actual mail. Shocking huh.

Re:Who could have guessed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42811293)

Imagine that: unions

let's reinstate slavery !

Re:Who could have guessed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42811297)

Imagine that: charging 46 cents to send a letter cross-country does make lose you money after all.

Re:Who could have guessed? (5, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year ago | (#42811473)

Imagine that: unions, affirmative action and compliance with well-intentioned government programs do make you anti-competitive after all.

The USPS is the most efficient system for moving things from one place to the other on the planet. Seriously. Its private competitors cost far more to move the same amount of stuff in a similar amount of time, and its international counterparts don't come close to dealing with the kinds of requirements the USPS has to deal with. Their systems and procedures are designed so that practically anybody can get hired, follow the manual, and do the job correctly, and are also capable of working under a wide variety of conditions ranging from tiny towns in the middle of Alaska to lower Manhattan.

It's not that they aren't competitive. It's that the demand for their entire industry has dropped, and their bosses are actively trying to screw them up.

Bout Time (5, Insightful)

slackerfilm (520597) | about a year ago | (#42811019)

I think this is way over due. Although, I like getting mail on Saturday, I don't see a point. It isn't like we can do business on Saturdays.

Now if only Amazon would start letting us choose USPS over UPS for package delivery. As an apartment dweller, this would make my life much easier.

Re:Bout Time (1)

bjackson1 (953136) | about a year ago | (#42811387)

Now if only Amazon would start letting us choose USPS over UPS for package delivery. As an apartment dweller, this would make my life much easier.

Absolutely this, I am tired of trucking my way down to the local UPS distribution center to try to get my packages. Really reduces the usefulness of Amazon. USPS on the other hand delivers my package to the rear of my apartment building. UPS gives up and puts a note on the door.

Re:Bout Time (1, Insightful)

enigma32 (128601) | about a year ago | (#42811431)

Yeah?

I've lived in apartments in the NYC area and the LA area over the past 5 years.
In both places, the USPS has screwed up almost every package delivery, almost always without apology. (Frequently resulting in packages going back across the country with me never having even seen a missed delivery notice.)
There's not even a useful way to complain to anyone higher up the food chain than the local postmaster, who, based on the three I've spoken with, is useless 100% of the time.

I, for one, am thrilled to see them dropping Saturday delivery of some items. They need to start running the operation like a business instead of a government agency if they intend to hang around much longer.

I never have a problem with UPS or Fedex.

Restructure the USPS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42811021)

Considering the spread of email, texts, and IM's, it has to come sooner or later. Considering the post office mostly funds itself with stamps, packages, and advertisements in the mail, the only thing that's still going strong are the packages and maybe PO's.

So why not reorganize the whole thing? I actually like them for packages, so why not use that strength. I don't know how many people don't have access to computers or even want to see stuff in the mail. The only thing I get in the mail are important tax-related documents and paper statements from companies I hate (since I want them to pay for printing, stuffing, and mailing me my statement that gets immediately shredded).

Simply reorganize the post office as such:
1) create an opt-in system where people ask for mail to not be delivered or a monthly surcharge will be billed to them to cover expenses. Monthly surcharge is only applicable in urban areas and areas specifically chosen by the Post Office (ex: some strange mailing hub in the middle of nowhere).
2) keep the package delivery service
3) continue delivering mail to subscribers
4) those that opted out would have to pick up their mail at the post office
5) expand facilities to handle the additional traffic and retrain letter carriers to be inhouse clerks for the new pickup facilities
6) sell PO boxes to people that want to pick up their mail only a few times a month vs. daily.
7) educate people how to add bills online - set up a website where these companies show people how to add online accounts.

I think quite a bit of people - tens of millions - who already get nothing but junk mail wouldn't mind going to the post office a few times a month to pick up the few actual letters they need. I bet lots of people in the cities who already have access to a computer probably won't need to get their letters every day. Heck, if they want to be fancy, simply scan every letter as an image, store it for a month, and give customers access to their account to see what kind of letters they have waiting for them so they can see letters from Grandma.

Yes it's a pain and it'll be slow but it would be worth the wait to make sure your sensitive documents are stored in the facility and not waiting in an outside mailbox that anyone can access. Again, this would be for urban areas mostly where they get more mail than rural (population distribution) and they have more online access where they could be encouraged to switch online. Companies would like this too since it would add more online subscribers saving them money.

Re:Restructure the USPS (1)

rally2xs (1093023) | about a year ago | (#42811241)

Now pretend I'm 85 years old, in a wheel chair, no driver's license, very little income, not enough for innernetz access. How do I get my mail now? Or is mail to become something for just the well-to-do?

Mail is supposed to be for EVERYBODY. That means someone in a cabin that is a 10 mile boat-ride - the post office does this sort of stuff. This system is great for the well-monied living in urban or suburban areas, but I don't think it will well-serve everyone.

Re:Restructure the USPS (5, Informative)

owski (222689) | about a year ago | (#42811519)

That means someone in a cabin that is a 10 mile boat-ride - the post office does this sort of stuff.

No they don't. You don't have to be too far off the beaten track to require that your mail be picked up at the post office. You haven't lived in a rural area before, have you?

Re:Restructure the USPS (1)

SydShamino (547793) | about a year ago | (#42811375)

Senders already pay for mail delivery. If senders aren't paying enough to make delivery viable, then the postal service needs to raise rates.

The post office is Constitutionally-mandated to provide universal service, at least for first-class mail. They could raise rates for junk ("bulk rate") mail, or drop rural service to a few days a week, and still maintain their universal service but save money on gas and salaries. (I say rural only because most suburban and urban service is probably dense enough to still be profitable, assuming the prefunded retirement debacle is fixed.)

How about graduated scale or deregulation ? (2)

i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) | about a year ago | (#42811029)

It never made sense that I could send a letter down the street or Nome Alaska for the same amount of money. Just seems like I shold be paying more. Otherwise why not just deregulate mail delivery? UPS, DHL and/or Fedex may be able to do it more efficiently.

Re:How about graduated scale or deregulation ? (5, Interesting)

0racle (667029) | about a year ago | (#42811235)

It never made sense that I could send a letter down the street or Nome Alaska for the same amount of money.

It does if the cost of the unusual (sending to Nome) is lowered because the cost of sending the usual (sending locally) is slightly increased.

UPS, DHL and/or Fedex may be able to do it more efficiently.

And yet they don't. Both UPS and FedEx use USPS for local delivery often because they're better at it. UPS and FedEx are a coin toss if they can find my house (2 miles from nearest town, 1 mile from highway, not exactly a mountain man), USPS gets it right every time. Unless it needs to be sent next day or so, USPS is far more reliable and cost effective.

UPS and FedEx also don't deliver everywhere USPS does.

Re:How about graduated scale or deregulation ? (1)

SydShamino (547793) | about a year ago | (#42811275)

I'm pretty sure that graduated scales for first-class mail would make postage rates so complicated as to destroy the remaining business.

People like predictable. Hell, the USPS flat-rate priority boxes are expensive but predictable, and many people I know prefer them over variable-rate boxes.

Re:How about graduated scale or deregulation ? (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year ago | (#42811367)

This was the primary argument for being all-encompassing. They could tie the whole nation togetjer for one lowosh aberage price, in exchange for exclusivity of general letter delivery, which supported the goal of the Constitution. Graduated service is little different from the complaint that private companies would focus on high volume cities and between citoes and completely ignore Nome, Alaska.

Re:How about graduated scale or deregulation ? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42811457)

Cost to send a letter via UPS: $30
Cost to send a letter via USPS: $0.46
One of them's certainly more efficient, but it isn't UPS.

Re:How about graduated scale or deregulation ? (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about a year ago | (#42811479)

100 years ago this made more sense, when sending a letter was often the only way to get the message to someone. Without affordable mail, you might be cut off from civilization. But you can send a lot of stuff electronically now (money, letters, etc). So there isn't really much of a need for people to send stuff for such a low price. 90% of the mail I receive is junk mail anyway. Which is basically the only way the postal system is able to maintain a business at all. If they had to support themselves on just letter mail and packages, they'd have no chance of staying in business.

Great! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42811031)

1 less day I have to clean the garbage out of my mailbox.

This isn't going to fix things. (2)

JayRott (1524587) | about a year ago | (#42811073)

Personally I don't really care if the USPS discontinues Saturday delivery, but FTFA the agency was down $16 billion last year and this will only save them $2 billion. $14 billion is a lot to make up each year. I would like to know what they plan to do about that.

Re:This isn't going to fix things. (5, Insightful)

Shagg (99693) | about a year ago | (#42811307)

There's really not much they can do about it. The main reason the USPS is down $16 billion is because Congress is intentionally trying to bankrupt them.

Re:This isn't going to fix things. (1)

j00r0m4nc3r (959816) | about a year ago | (#42811359)

I would like to know what they plan to do about that.

They'll probably stop delivering on the other days of the week also. That would save another $10billion...

Re:This isn't going to fix things. (1)

vlm (69642) | about a year ago | (#42811369)

As seen on zerohedge, cut another 7 days service per week and they're outta the red!

Yet... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42811077)

We could eliminate the DOJ's yearly anti-terrorism funding and not only save Saturday delivery, but put the USPS back in good shape fiscally.
Somehow I don't think expanding the TSA, buying millions of rounds of hollow-point ammo and giving them automatic assault rifles to fight boogeymen is helping anything.

proper tracking (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42811081)

if USPS offered proper tracking on par with fedex and UPS they could be competitive for parcels.

As they are today, tracking is a joke.

Re:proper tracking (2)

SydShamino (547793) | about a year ago | (#42811301)

They offer free tracking if you buy your postage online. Heck, they actually pay you for the tracking since postage rates online are cheaper than if you walk into a post office.

Sooo. (0)

adolf (21054) | about a year ago | (#42811085)

I submit my billing on Wednesday. The check gets cut and mailed on Thursday.

Before the USPS closed every useful nearby processing center, I'd always get it on Friday.

Subsequently, since it now has to travel hundreds of miles instead of 30, I get it on Saturday.

And by August, since delivering on Saturday is expensive, I'll get it on Monday.

Thanks, I guess.

Post office should charge for delivery (1)

schwit1 (797399) | about a year ago | (#42811091)

$5/month if you want it delivered or collect it yourself at the post office.

Re:Post office should charge for delivery (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42811113)

They do charge for delivery, that's what the postage the sender pays for goes to.

Re:Post office should charge for delivery (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42811289)

Except it would cost more to have clerks give you the mail than have delivery guys stopping at every mailbox. And they'd have to rent offices with much larger parking lots.(Yes, almost all post offices are rented, not owned.)

Re:Post office should charge for delivery (1)

rally2xs (1093023) | about a year ago | (#42811325)

Modify that idea somewhat, so that the SENDER pays a higher stamp price for home delivery, and a lower price for "pick it up at the post office" mail. I could get along with that... The PO would need to dramatically expand their PO boxes for people to come and collect their mail without bothering the postal workers, or having the post office be "open."

Perfect job for robots (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42811129)

Robotic mail and package delivery is possible, now that driverless vehicles are being legalized. I can find no downside.

Robots have no interest in reading your mail.
Robots have no need for the contents of your package.
Robots have no need of unions or pensions.
Robots would never be tempted to dump mail in their attic in order to take the day off.
Robots could easily be programmed with alternative delivery instructions in the event that you need your item dropped elsewhere when you're on vacation.

All postal willing postal workers could be retrained as robotic technicians. The transition could be a public works project of the future.

 

Inconvenient (2)

rally2xs (1093023) | about a year ago | (#42811133)

So, I get this note in the mailbox that I have a package that is too big for the mailbox, I have to pick it up at the PO. But, I leave for work before the PO opens, return after it closes, and it's 50 miles away so I can't sneak down there during lunch. Result: If the PO is closed on Saturday too, I have a real problem, having to take off work for yet another thing, getting a package from the PO. If it is open on Saturday, then there will most assuredly be a 2 hour line, out the door and into the snow, because everyone else is going to be doing the same thing.

Re:Inconvenient (4, Informative)

CastrTroy (595695) | about a year ago | (#42811353)

Do what they do in Canada. Place your "Post-Office" inside a pharmacy, and staff it as long as the pharmacy is open (usually pretty late). The staff of the post office is actually the staff of the pharmacy, who can do things like stock shelves during the times when nobody needs the post office services. The post office pays the pharmacy to run the service, but still saves a bunch of money, because they don't have to rent their own space, and pay employees full time when most of the time there's nothing for them to do.

Re:Inconvenient (1)

wcrowe (94389) | about a year ago | (#42811429)

I don't think they're talking about closing the PO on Saturdays, only cutting back on Saturday deliveries.

Makes sense. (5, Interesting)

Dzimas (547818) | about a year ago | (#42811135)

Here in Canada, we only receive mail on weekdays. It works just fine because the majority of letters in our mailbox are not extremely time-sensitive - the occasional municipal bill, magazines, and periodic greeting cards from around the world. They could reduce letter delivery to M/W/F without really causing any issues. Daily parcel delivery makes sense because they're larger dollar transactions and whenever a parcel is on the way, someone is waiting for it. I cringe every time someone suggests getting rid of the post office and relying on FedEx and UPS instead, because they tend to be far more expensive in Canada. As an example, UPS will charge a brokerage fee for surface packages coming from the USA that easily hits $25. Sending a 2 lb package to the USA by UPS Express (even 3-day) costs about $60. Canada Post runs about 25% of that.

Back to the USA, there are already some interesting private/public delivery programs that promise to keep service costs low, too. As an example, Smartpost is an economical FedEx service that uses the USPS to deliver the last mile. Expect more of this stuff in the future.

Re:Makes sense. (1)

garcia (6573) | about a year ago | (#42811271)

re: M/W/F - exactly. I check my USPS mail less than once a week unless I'm expecting something. Why? Because there's nothing in there anyway.

All my billing is online, my paycheck is deposited automatically, and the only thing that appears in my mailbox is garbage anyway.

I only look around the holidays and birthdays or if a package is on the way, otherwise I just let it pile up in there like the GMail spam folder.

Re:Makes sense. (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about a year ago | (#42811273)

From what I've heard, In Canada, they're entertaining the idea of delivering mail every other day. So it would be Monday, Wednesday, Friday on week, and then Tuesday, Thursday the next week. That would be fine for me as well. The only thing of interest I get in my mail is bills, and that can usually wait an extra day. The pay-by date is usually a couple weeks in advance. I usually only pick up my mail a couple times a week anyway, since they don't deliver your my house, but actually leave it at the "community mail box", which I actually like better then having it left in my mail box. Way more secure.

Cheating doesn't help (2)

hort_wort (1401963) | about a year ago | (#42811183)

I bought a plant on ebay. The seller shipped it to me as "media mail" to save money, something that's supposed to be used only for textbooks. I guess it could become a textbook one day so that's alright?

Later, also on ebay, I tried to sell a used game. When I typed in the upc, it told me the shipping information used by other sellers of that item, on average. The average listed weight was 6 oz. The actual weight when I measured it on my scale read 9 oz, not even close. It made a dollar difference in shipping.

Little things like this add up.

Why Not Every Other Day? (1)

Rob Riggs (6418) | about a year ago | (#42811215)

Why not just do "every other day" delivery for residential service? It seems like it would make for a much bigger savings with a similar impact to the recipient. How many residential delivery points needs to get mail every single day? And if people want their mail every day, charge a hefty fee.

Online communications is not the problem (1)

Goetterdaemmerung (140496) | about a year ago | (#42811227)

Why is it that the reason for the post office woes is attributed solely on reductions of first-class mail? While this is true, the post office had no debt as late as 2005. It had a surplus. It would be solvent today if Congress didn't step in.

Congress saw a great way to collect (ie steal) money from the post office and did so. They imposed a requirement on the USPS to pay ~$55 billion dollars per year into an account that can't be touched until Congress lets them. It is conveniently invested in Treasuries.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-morris/usps-budget_b_1545430.html

What about Wednesday? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42811229)

Perhaps it's personal opinion, but I'd rather have a one-day interruption in mail service twice a week rather than a two-day interruption that just happens to correspond to the work week.

The could cut back even further. (0)

wcrowe (94389) | about a year ago | (#42811361)

" 'To erode this service will undermine the Postal Service's core mission and is completely unacceptable.'

Srsly? I get, perhaps, one letter per week that is even remotely relevant to me. Everything else goes in the trash. When it comes to letters, the postal service is just one big wastepaper distribution system. They could cut deliveries back to only three days per week, as far as I'm concerned.

Here's an idea for you. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42811383)

How about you start increasing the price of people who send out spam in bulk?
One of two things happen, you get more money, or we get less spam.

Why not raise the rate on of bulk mail (1)

guzzirider (551141) | about a year ago | (#42811405)

It is possible that 5 day service is needed for economic reasons, but let's make sure bulk mail is not subsidized ...

Just close the post office already (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42811407)

Step 1. Limit the hours of the local post offices so that they open after people get to work, and close before they get off of work to piss people off.

Step 2. Close local post office

Step 3. Cancel Saturday mail delivery

Step 4. ......

Step 5. PROFIT!!!

Netflix (3, Interesting)

acoustix (123925) | about a year ago | (#42811413)

Will Netflix lower the cost of DVD/Blu-ray rentals since I can't view as many movies per month now?

it is every Canadian's duty to save the USPS (2)

i_ate_god (899684) | about a year ago | (#42811455)

This is the only logical way for a Canadian consumer to buy American. Any other way only leads to extortion in "brokerage fees".

Just raise the damn rates (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#42811485)

Just make stamps $1 each. Then you will not have to change it for a while.

Also stop prefunding your retirement 75 years in advance.

Not good enough... (-1, Troll)

tetrahedrassface (675645) | about a year ago | (#42811537)

The USPS sucks. To say this Congresses fault for making them *gasp* fund the posh retirement funds is laughable. If their retirement funds are that difficult to fund, perhaps they need take on the unions that saddled them with these packages. I hope the fuckers go under. :) *flame away libtards*

They should keep Sat delivery but drop Wednesday (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42811549)

I don't want to go 2 straight days without mail.

Stop getting junk mail (1)

spleck (312109) | about a year ago | (#42811567)

A lot of people are using this as an excuse to complain about all the junk mail they get. Why don't you do something about it? Cancel all the catalogs and crap you're getting.

Start here: http://www.optoutprescreen.com/ [optoutprescreen.com]

If you get stuff with pre-paid return envelopes, send back a note asking to be removed from their mailing list.

End their monopoly on first class mail (1)

darjen (879890) | about a year ago | (#42811569)

Perhaps if they can no longer do their job, Congress should consider allowing private companies to step in and do it for them.

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