Postal Service delivery reduction not set in stone

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The U.S. Postal Service announced plans to deliver mail Monday through Friday only beginning in August.

Package delivery would continue Monday through Saturday. The Postal Service expects to generate cost savings of about $2 billion annually.

In his reaction to the Postal Service announcement, National Newspaper Association President Merle Brananczyk, publisher of the Mountain Mail (Salida, Colo.), called the announcement regrettable.

“NNA disagrees with both the policy and the legal reasoning behind it,” he said. “We hope to still work with the Postal Service on a plan to ensure timely delivery of newspapers.”

Steve Key, executive director and general counsel for the Hoosier State Press Association, agreed with that assessment.

“The Postal Service’s announcement today may not be the final word on the subject,” he told the Rochester Sentinel. “Sometimes what unifies Congress is something defying them. There still may be some legal action on the matter.”

Over the past several years, the Postal Service has advocated shifting to a five-day delivery schedule for mail and packages.

However, recent strong growth in package delivery (14 percent volume increase since 2010) and projections of continued strong package growth throughout the coming decade led to the revised approach to maintain package delivery six days per week.

If implemented during August, mail delivery to street addresses will occur Monday through Friday. Packages will continue to be delivered six days per week. Mail addressed to PO Boxes will continue to be delivered on Saturdays. Post Offices currently open on Saturdays will remain open on Saturdays.

The Postal Service plans to publish specific guidance in the near future for residential and business customers about its proposed delivery schedule.

Given the ongoing financial challenges, the Postal Service Board of Governors last month directed postal management to accelerate the restructuring of Postal Service operations in order to strengthen Postal Service finances.

The operational plan for the new delivery schedule anticipates a combination of employee reassignment and attrition and is expected to achieve cost savings of about $2 billion annually when fully implemented, according to the Postal Service.