Tags: Postmaster | Five-Day | Delivery | Critical | Survival

Postmaster: Five-Day Delivery Critical to Survival

By Rick Pedraza   |   Tuesday, 02 Mar 2010 10:07 AM

Mail delivery must be cut from six days a week to five for the U.S. Postal Service to survive, Postmaster General John Potter says.

Mounting labor costs, massive debt, and growing competition from e-mail will make it necessary to make the move by the end of the month, Potter told a gathering of officials in Washington, The Washington Post reported Tuesday.

Potter said the agency will submit a formal request to the Postal Regulatory Commission outlining his plan to rescue the Postal Service from fiscal collapse by the end of the month.

Any change in mail service that would have national impact requires congressional consent. Once the request is made, public hearings would follow. Federal law now requires six-day delivery, so changing to a five-day schedule may not be that simple.

But Potter told Capitol Hill and union officials the move is critical to the Postal Service's survival. The agency plans to borrow $3 billion from the U.S. Treasury this year on top of the $10 billion that the agency has borrowed.

Other factors in the decision to cut mail delivery from six days a week to five include:

  •  A 13-percent drop in mail volume from last fiscal year.
  • Estimates that 26 billion fewer pieces of mail (150 billion) will be delivered by 2020 compared with 2009.
  • The continued migration of letter writers to the Internet.
  • And cheaper standard-mail options that will continue to erode at the Postal Service's withering customer base.
"At the end of the day, I'm convinced that if we make the changes that are necessary, we can continue to provide universal service for Americans for decades to come," Potter said Monday. "We can turn back from the red to the black, but there are some significant changes we need to make."

Just over half of Americans support eliminating Saturday deliveries to reduce costs and rising debts, according to a June Gallup poll.

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Mail delivery must be cut from six days a week to five for the U.S. Postal Service to survive, Postmaster General John Potter says. Mounting labor costs, massive debt, and growing competition from e-mail will make it necessary to make the move by the end of the month,...
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2010-07-02
 

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