In an effort to trim costs, the U.S. Postal Service on Wednesday will announce that it will no longer deliver mail on Saturdays, the Associated Press reported. The change in service will not take effect until August in order to provide customers ample time to prepare.
It's a decision that has long been anticipated for the cash-strapped USPS. According to the AP, the government service is expected to say that the elimination of Saturday mail delivery will result in annual savings of about $2 billion. The USPS will continue to deliver packages six days a week.
Under the new plan, mail would be delivered to homes and businesses from Monday until Friday. Delivery to postal boxes would continue on Saturdays. The USPS has lobbied for an elimination of Saturday mail delivery in the past, but has failed to earn congressional approval to usher in the change. As the AP noted, it remains unclear if the Postal Service will be able to institute the change without a green light from Congress.
In advance of Wednesday's announcement, the USPS circulated material detailing the proposed change. From the AP:
Material prepared for the Wednesday press conference by Patrick R. Donahoe, postmaster general and CEO, says Postal Service market research and other research has indicated that nearly 7 in 10 Americans support the switch to five-day delivery as a way for the Postal Service to reduce costs.
"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," Donahoe said in a statement prepared for the announcement. "We developed this approach by working with our customers to understand their delivery needs and by identifying creative ways to generate significant cost savings."