USPS to discontinue Saturday mail delivery

by Sherry Hamilton - Posted on Feb 13, 2013 - 01:51 PM

Photo: Saturday mail delivery to street addresses will no longer be offered after Aug. 3, but package delivery will still be available. Here, Karen West, left, a regular rural carrier in Gloucester, pauses a moment from preparing mail for delivery to talk with Gloucester postmaster Tracy Sigler. Photo by Sherry Hamilton

Saturday mail delivery to street addresses will no longer be offered after Aug. 3, but package delivery will still be available. Here, Karen West, left, a regular rural carrier in Gloucester, pauses a moment from preparing mail for delivery to talk with Gloucester postmaster Tracy Sigler. Photo by Sherry Hamilton

The U.S. Postal Service announced last Wednesday that after Aug. 3 it will no longer deliver mail to street addresses on Saturdays.

But the new policy applies only to letters, magazines, and "flats" (large envelopes), said Gloucester postmaster Tracy Sigler. Packages will continue to be delivered on Saturdays.

In addition, post offices that have Saturday hours will continue to be open on Saturday, said Freda Sauter with the post office’s corporate communications in Maryland, and post office box customers will still receive express mail.

Sauter said the post office expects to realize $2 billion in savings annually with the new policy. The savings will come from reducing work hours, fuel costs and vehicle usage, she said.

"We are striving to raise revenue, reduce costs, and gain efficiencies through the entire organization," said Sauter, pointing out that the postal service had a $15.9 billion loss last fiscal year and ended the last quarter, from Oct. 1-Dec. 31, with a net loss of $1.3 billion. "We can no longer sustain significant financial losses," she said.

Sauter said the post office conducted market research that showed that nearly 70 percent of Americans supported switching to five-day street delivery as a way to reduce costs.

According to the USPS website, employee reassignment and attrition are also factors in the anticipated $2 billion in savings.