Get ready to wait an extra day for the next DVD of The Wire: The mail is going to slow down. As part of its plan to save $3 billion, the cash-challenged US Postal Service will be closing roughly half of its 500 mail processing centers as soon as next March, a move that could bring new meaning to the term "snail mail," the AP reports. The plan will make next-day delivery of first-class mail a thing of the past, and deal a serious blow to things like time-sensitive magazines, mail-order prescription drugs, and Netflix.
Currently, about 42% of first-class mail is now delivered the following day; after the cuts, about 51% of it will arrive on day two. "It's a potentially major change, but I don't think consumers are focused on it and it won't register until the service goes away,” one shipping industry analyst says. “"Over time, to the extent the customer service experience gets worse, it will only increase the shift away from mail to alternatives.” The USPS will also be increasing stamp prices by 1 cent, closing 3,700 local post offices, and laying off as many as 100,000 workers. (Read more USPS stories.)