The Postal Service will eliminate Saturday delivery in early 2011 and save $3.3 billion in just the first year of the new schedule, according to a regulatory filing. The cutback has been contemplated for some time, but today's announcement marks the first USPS confirmation of the exact plan, which requires congressional approval. “Given the fact that we’re facing such a huge deficit, we’d like to move as quickly as possible,” the postmaster general said today. The agency has predicted a $238 billion budget shortfall within 10 years.
Post offices would not be shuttered on Saturdays, and mail would still be processed, but the plan would eliminate the equivalent of 40,000 mail carrier positions. Americans won’t particularly miss the service, according to a poll commissioned by the USPS. It found 68% of respondents favor a 5-day schedule, and more than half of businesses find Saturday delivery “unimportant.” (Read more USPS stories.)