Troubled by slowing business and large projected losses, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) said today it will study the feasibility of a five-day schedule that would eliminate Saturday deliveries.
The new study will examine ending Saturday delivery for all mail, except overnight delivery. The study won't consider closing post office windows for other services. The agency's governing board will ask Postal Service management to report their study results within 90 days, said S. David Fineman, the board's vice chairman.
Postal officials say they face a $2 to $3 billion loss this fiscal year. After five years of virtually breaking even, the post office had a $199 million loss last fiscal year. Fineman said the USPS could see substantial financial savings if it goes to a five-day delivery schedule.
“It could offset the amount of the loss that we have and we would hope that whatever actions we take will be able to cause us to ask for less of a rate increase,” he said.
Although it still operates under laws set by Congress, USPS doesn't receive any taxpayer money for its operations. Changing to a five-day schedule would require congressional approval.
The study of consolidating postal facilities will focus on behind-the-scenes operations like mail sorting and delivery and will seek ways to avoid affecting consumers, Fineman said.
Last week, the Postal Service announced that it plans labor, administrative and transportation cuts over the next five years. Earlier this month, USPS said it was freezing more than 800 new construction and leasing projects across the country.