On February 6, 2013, the United States Postal Service (USPS) announced that as of the week of August 5, 2013 it will suspend Saturday mail delivery (see: USPS Announcement). This reduction in delivery is estimated to save the USPS approximately $2 billion annually.
Patrick R. Donahoe, Postmaster General and CEO stated:
The Postal Service is advancing an important new approach to delivery that reflects the strong growth of our package business and responds to the financial realities resulting from America’s changing mailing habits….We developed this approach by working with our customers to understand their delivery needs and by identifying creative ways to generate significant cost savings…. Our customers see strong value in the national delivery platform we provide and maintaining a six-day delivery schedule for packages is an important part of that platform. As consumers increasingly use and rely on delivery services — especially due to the rise of e-commerce — we can play an increasingly vital role as a delivery provider of choice, and as a driver of growth opportunities for America’s businesses.”
This change only affects mail delivery. Packages will still be delivered on Saturdays, as package delivery volumes have grown dramatically in the recent past and are projected to be stronger in the coming future. Post offices that are currently open on Saturdays will continue to remain open as well as mail addressed to PO Boxes.
The new initiative seems to be in concert with consumer sentiment. The announcement stated that market research indicates that 7 out of 10 Americans support the switch to a five day delivery schedule. The USPS’ approach to change their historical approach with changing times is important and necessary. The USPS has struggled financially and needs to make changes that reduce costs. Government organizations should examine whether the way they’ve always done things makes sense in the current marketplace and whether their costs are justified. Unnecessary or outdated methods need to be curtailed. The USPS is taking responsible steps and others should follow in their footsteps.