USPS Cuts Saturday Delivery

Will keep package delivery, a rare bright spot for postal service

By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 6, 2013 7:11 AM CST | Updated Feb 6, 2013 7:55 AM CST
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(Newser) – Our nation's mailboxes will soon begin to gather dust all weekend long: The US Postal Service will stop delivering mail on Saturdays in a move expected to save it $2 billion a year. An announcement from the postmaster general will come later today; he's expected to reveal an Aug. 1 start date, reports CBS News. All Saturday service won't come to a screeching halt, however. In a nod to one of the agency's strong points—package delivery has increased 14% since 2010—the USPS will continue to deliver packages six days a week, along with mail-order medicine and priority and express mail.

Mail will still be delivered to post office boxes on Saturdays, and offices now open on Saturdays will remain open. The USPS has pushed for the five-day delivery schedule for years, and it repeatedly but unsuccessfully appealed to Congress to approve the change, reports the AP. It's unclear if the USPS can push the move through without congressional approval, which is technically required; CBS reports that the service's lawyers say they've figured out a way to do so. Postal Service research has indicated that nearly 70% of Americans support the switch to five-day delivery. But don't expect the "how will we save the USPS" stories to cease once the new delivery schedule kicks in: The Postal Service lost $16 billion last year.

Letter carrier Kevin Pownall delivers mail in Philadelphia, Tuesday, March 2, 2010.
Letter carrier Kevin Pownall delivers mail in Philadelphia, Tuesday, March 2, 2010.   (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
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