Tuesday, January 19, 2016

USPS Backing Down on Saturday Mail Delivery

Postal officials are ready to raise the white flag in their six-year battle to end Saturday delivery of letters and flat mail.

Postal-reform legislation with broad-based support is gradually taking shape in Congress, Deputy Postmaster General Ron Stroman told last week's meeting of the Mailers Technical Advisory Council (MTAC), according to PostCom Bulletin.

"In response to question as to what the USPS has compromised on in the legislative discussions with its stakeholders, Stroman said that 5-day delivery was one of the things the USPS dropped and that other things that used to be on its list are no longer there," said the bulletin, which is only available to members of the multi-industry Association for Postal Commerce (PostCom).

Congress members made it clear that getting approval for five-day delivery was "a politically difficult hurdle to overcome," the Bulletin quoted Stroman as saying. Postal officials dropped their Saturday plan in hopes of getting what they really need from Congress -- reform of so-called "prefunding" of retiree health benefits and of postal pensions.

In March 2010, the U.S. Postal Service released its Action Plan for the Future that called for ending Saturday deliveries, along with several other changes intended to prevent the agency from going bankrupt. Dropping Saturday deliveries would add $2 billion annually to the USPS's bottom line, postal officials claimed, though critics charged it was underestimating potential revenue losses.

Responding to concerns about delivery delays for critical items like mail-order pharmaceuticals, postal officials relented and said package delivery would continue on Saturdays. But Congress still didn't bite and continued to include a six-day delivery requirement in its annual budget.

The boom in e-commerce-related mail, including Sunday delivery of Amazon packages, has made curtailment of Saturday delivery an even harder sell. 

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10 comments:

Joe Strader said...

One area of competitive advantage for the USPS in the package business is Saturday pick up and delivery of standard parcels.

flamale863 said...

It's Sunday delivery of Amazon which makes the idea of ever cutting Saturday delivery absurd...

Millicent Gordon said...

Saturday delivery is part of what makes the USPS a "go to" in package and letter mail delivery and an advantage over other carriers. If Sunday and Mondays were the major off days for craft employees the postal service could save a truckload of money. Craft would know to schedule personal business on Mondays. Look at the statistics. As a retired Postal employee I used to work on Sunday nights. There was very little mail to be worked. The majority of this weekend mail was taken in Friday - and processed that night. The Post Offices would have to be fully staffed on Saturday and overtime might have to be paid, BUT that would eliminate "floater positions, off day hook-ups, etc. "A lot of businesses are closed on Saturday BUT USPS is talking about "central access points" If business owners scheduled a minimal mail staff on Saturdays this mail would be ready for the majority of their staff on Monday...I believe they could be convinced that this is a viable option for them. Express mail service would pick-up

Robert Dyer said...

Millicent, I must disagree with you. Although cutting out any delivery day would eliminate the need for the "floaters" (T-6's), it would also serve to also eliminate the USPS advantage of delivering every day its competitors do, plus one. Yes, we would still deliver Saturday, while our competitors do not, but then our competitors would deliver on Monday and we wouldn't.
Add to that, the fact that, from a carrier's point of view, Monday is the heaviest (mail volume) day of the week. Second only to the day after a Monday holiday. Your proposal would make EVERY Tuesday like the day after a holiday. That would cause serious overtime on a weekly basis.
I celebrate that the USPS is finally relenting in their campaign to eliminate Saturday delivery. I would rather see them"control the flow" of the Bulk Business Mail that gets piled on over the weekendand spread it out over the week. That would do better to reduce overtime because with a steady even flow of mail, routes could be adjusted to be 8 hrs every day.

n.t. tran said...

USPS and FedEx cannot compete with USPS because of Saturday delivery. So, I'm sure they were behind the 5-day agenda--only the former PMG would know this for sure...
Now, Amazon has been putting USPS to work on Sunday too! So, apparently they all have given up, including the former PMG..

Anonymous said...

Don't believe anything in this article from the Drury it is bogus .I am a letter carrier it sounds like they are trying to make the post office look bad

Anonymous said...

You should credit the photo source, as I know who took the photo you used.

D. Eadward Tree said...

The photo is from the Postal Service's 2015 Annual Report to Congress, which does not state the source of the photo or claim copyright protection.

Anonymous said...

" But Congress still didn't bite and continued to include a six-day delivery requirement in its annual budget." What does that mean??? USPS is not funded by Congress!!! Why is the USPS included in Congress's budget?? Could someone please explain this???

D. Eadward Tree said...

Good question on how Congress can require six-day delivery. The answer is here: http://deadtreeedition.blogspot.com/2013/04/5-myths-of-saturday-mail-delivery.html. As you'll see, USPS could legally buck Congress on this point. But then Congress would tie it into even more knots so that the pain would be greater than any gains from reducing a day of delivery.