on Sep 20th, 2010 in Delivery & Collection | 58 comments
 
Although eliminating Saturday delivery has been heavily debated, reducing delivery to 5 days a week may not be enough. There has been some discussion of whether the viable model for the U.S. Postal Service of the future will incorporate 3-day delivery. A 2010 study by the Boston Consulting Group for the Postal Service forecasts that the average pieces of mail per delivery point per delivery day will drop from 3.8 to 2.8 by 2020. If this projection holds true, then more households will likely receive no mail on any given day. With the increasing availability of alternative communication choices, it is unlikely that the demand for mail delivery will ever return to previous levels. Therefore, postal delivery may only be needed 3 days a week. Some homes could receive mail on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, while others, on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Delivery would still occur 6 days a week for Post Office boxes. This additional benefit for P.O. Boxes would meet the needs of customers who have need of 6-day delivery, while generating higher revenue and increasing traffic for the Post Office. For many customers in the future, the amount of mail they will receive on a given day may not warrant the effort required to check their mailboxes every day. Delivering 3 days per week roughly doubles the amount of mail a household receives on a given day, making the “mail moment” of receiving mail more significant. The savings could be significant. With the Postal Service estimating a $3.5 billion saving from cutting one day of delivery, cutting three days could save roughly $10 billion. An additional benefit of this every-other-day schedule is that about 50 percent of the mail will have an additional day to reach its destination. These savings can be realized through the use of less costly modes of transportation, additional use of hub-and-spoke mail consolidation network design, and additional load balancing for the mail processing equipment. What do you think? Can this model balance the need to be financially viable while meeting the needs of the public? This topic is hosted by the OIG’s Risk Analysis Research Center (RARC).

58 Comments


not everyone has a computer to make online payments. i have a computer but i refuse to make online payments.

I think that it is real easy to sit back and say lets eliminate one sixth of the letter carrier work force. If you look at the 2009 Annual Report, you will see that while the City Letter Carrier craft employees has been reduced every year since 2005, the number of Inspector General employees has not.

Oh yeah this sounds like a great idea. I'm sure the public would love this one. I can just imagine the customers calling their local PO now. How come I didn't get any mail today? Sorry Sir we don't deliver to the odd side of your street until Wednesday.

Lets not focus on the real problem say over paying the retirement funds but lets drop service down to only 3 days a week.

If the USPS wanted to save money then how about a no day delivery week??? We would save billions!

I just lost a little respect for the BCG.

You don't try to build a business by dropping service. We should be going after business not try to make it harder for businesses and patrons to use us.

Is everyone out to destroy people with jobs? I love getting mail in the mailbox I get tons of it.

why is it ever time i vote it says

You Had Already Voted For This Poll.

Is it because i don't always agree with the postal Service?

if congress REALLY cared about the future of the united states postal service, they would have someone clean house of all the useless management positions the usps has created, then they would close plants and distribution centers that arent needed, then go to the big cities that have multiple post offices and look into closing one to two in each of the big cities and lastly they would need ALL unions to rewrite their labor contracts to fit todays postal service and stop following rules that were made in 1950!!!!!!!!!

Sounds like a Government plot to het rid of the Post Office. Somebody will be lining their pockets. Dumb,Dumb,Dumb

I can see on residential customers would have to accept mail delivery every other day. But major businesses that would want their mail delivered everyday from that percentage of people that would still mail in their payments, and other important mail.
Plus you never know, all it would take is one major online banking failure and people would go back to mailing in their payments.

3 day delivery, alternating coverage within a city over the current 6 day structure, makes more sense than attempting to civer the same territory over a 5 day period, basically achiving nothing. The 3 day model would truely save on energy and maintaine the current "value" of the letter carrier's hourly rate.

3 day delivery, alternating coverage within a city over the current 6 day structure, makes more sense than attempting to cover the same territory over a 5 day period, basically achiving nothing. The 3 day model would truely save on energy and maintaine the current "value" of the letter carrier's hourly rate.

No matter how much mail the USPS has or doesn't have the main problem is they are terribly mismanaged. In my 34 years of working for the USPS I saw it every day. Changes need to be made in upper management including firing Potter or nothing will ever improve. We all know that won't happen so all these other ideas don't mean squat.

If anything the postal service is discriminating against all americans who do not have access to a computer. To get a job with them you have to do it all online, how many veterans do not have a computer or have access to one. I'm waiting for the class action suit to be filed by some minority group or veterans group.

I work for the USPS and I can tell you that because of the drop in mail volume my route has gotten much longer, and many city carrier routes have been eliminated. I still get over 6 ft of presort a day along with 6 buckets of flats in the morning. I only get 2 hours to sort all the mail and then carry my 17 mile route. When there is a Holiday and there is no mail for 2 days, it takes me all week to catch up. Going to 5 day or 3 day delivery makes absolutely no sense what so ever. There needs to be some cuts to all of the people I see everyday doing next to nothing before there can be a cut in service. 5 bosses walking around doing nothing, 3 janitors standing around, 2 light duty people knitting, and OIG coming up with numbers to say the workers aren't working. That is only the tip of the ice burg. Cut the waste before you even think about cutting more service. Wake UP!!!

Just another moronic idea from higher ups who have nothing better to do than sit around and come up with these brainless ideas. Get real

When I mail something I want it there in a reasonable time. Going to every other day will not only destroy that it will ultimately destroy the USPS as well. Shame on you for not being the SERVICE your supposed to be!

This simply shows how disconnected many levels of the US Postal Service are from the front lines. People need their mail 6 days a week. Carry a route and find out. Want to cut costs? Enforce Title 18 and start weeding out the falsifiers. Set policy for physical fitness on a yearly must pass or retire basis. Don't punish the customers for mismanagement.

Seriously, are you people in the OIG really this stupid?!

I can see a future where the carrier no longer delivers to each house. Soon it will be mandatory to have a PO box. In newer neighborhoods they will be gang boxes on the corner or in a central place. In older neighborhoods, they will be PO boxes at the USPS in that zip code. the cost of the yearly fee would come out of the property tax for that house address. And yes, the mail will be put up when the USPS is good and ready to allow a clerk to put the mail up. So it could sit for days.

For people who order Prescriptions and other time sensitive mail pieces, there will be an extra charge to deliver to the house.

I don't like this at all, but I can easily imagine this new way of things happening in the next 5 years. And that will end up spelling the end for the USPS. Because UPS will answer with their own boxes, marked way down to draw away from the USPS box sections.

I think this makes sense. As society "progresses" the need for physical transport of mail becomes less necessary. Go for it.

If you want to post office to no longer exist, then 3 day delivery would be the key. I've NEVER heard of a SERVICE cutting the only thing they have to offer (service) and expect business to improve. I fix computers for people and I wouldn't make myself less available to save money. I'd be shooting myself in the foot. Think about that.

Just when I thought 5 day delivery was a dumb idea, someone comes up with an even dumber one. Stupidity is non-stop! Just when you think you've met the dumbest person in the world, an even dumber individual surfaces. No wonder this country is going down the tubes! The stupid people are running the country! Lets just get on with privatization; that seems to be what the real agenda is. They just can't get people to swallow the idea all at once, so they slowly destroy the Postal Service so that it is more palletable later on.

What do you expect from the OIG ? USPS execs are their bosses and pull their strings.

In short, they're just as corrupt as the USPS execs.

About 1 trillion dollars worth of economic activity and 8 million jobs depend upon the timely delivery of mail. Slow delivery will slow economic activity and negatively impact millions of jobs. Do we really want to go back to the 1800s level of economic communication? The USPS does not just deliver supermarket flyers. People have to stop thinking that mail and mail delivery are somehow optional.

This coming from people that have never touched a piece of mail that does not belong to themselfs?
thats like working the day after a holiday everyother day and your going to pay me what regular pay for three days a week i dont think so,when i will still be doing 6 days worth of mail.
the idea that so many people recieve no mail every few days is also crazy at least not on my route even on my lightest days i may have 4 or 5 people with no mail thats out of over 500 boxes
even tho i would lose money i,m not totally aposed to 5 day delivery i dont thinks its fair as we will still be working the same amount of mail but if it would save many many jobs of working people it might be worth it .but first thing that has to go is the many many many layers of management that do nothing all day long and thats the truth when they come to work at all they do very little.

I have never seen the USPS make an intelligent decision. It's time upper management was tossed out on their tails and bring in some intelligent life to TRY and correct all the wrongs they've done. Back to basics is what we need, service is what we should be doing, not bean counting. In which they can't do that right, they purposely "alter" the numbers to make themselves look good. What does that do for our customers? NOTHING. They want service! Too much politics is interferring with simple service. People just want their mail delivered on time. They could care less about the nonsense going on inside the PO. But as employees, we can't seem to be left alone to do our jobs that include preparing the mail for carriers, we have to deal with unintelligent decisions by management. They throw out all these ridiculous hurdles for us to do instead of letting us process the mail and get it out the door on time. Which somehow only gets them a promotion. It's all working backwards, move up the idiots instead of demote or get rid of them.

Sounds great - I'd rather not have to check the mail everyday anyway.

Anyone who runs a business depends on their mail, for orders, confirmations, and the volumes of communications with government agencies.

Are we going to have to send someone to the post office every day to get our mail in a timely manner?

Large businesses can aford this. Small businesses can't. We see yet another way for big business to use the government to undermine their competition.

hey, i have an idea to save EVEN MORE money than going to 3 day delivery--go to 0 days delivery. that way you won't spend ANY money. fools

Works for me. This is a cost efficient way of saving money while still providing good service.

I submitted this idea to the OIG some time ago. The USPS would realize a 50% savings in vehicles and fuel, and an estimated 40% reduction in carrier hours. This is the logical solution to the problem.

how does being the mouthpiece for corrupt and thuggish USPS upper management involve investigating "waste, fraud, and abuse"? certainly the USPS must adapt to the times, but do you guys really think that the current decision-makers, who have run the ship aground, are the ones to make the call? what is it that the OIG actually does?

This might not be a bad idea. Something has to be done to get the USPS out of what looks to be a death-spiral, and this would allow for minimal disruption to postal operations. And with a loophole for those who want daily delivery.

I think a better idea would be to not deliver to a particular address unless they have a piece of 1st or 2nd class mail. If it is all Presorted standard, then hold until they have a piece of First, or until the volume dictates a delivery. With rurals the count would reflect this.

Been there, done that, own the t-shirt. For over twenty years I have carried mail and the only death spiral the USPS is taking is creating more and more management positions that are making a mockery of what used to be a trusted dependable public service. These do nothing individuals have no clue; but are hell bent on figuring out what the carriers are doing wrong that they can (fix) corrupt, to make us work harder and faster. PMG Potter is yelling that the sky is falling and pouring gasoline on a wildfire. Your average carrier is a hardworking honest person that would do a much better job if management would let us clock in do our job and go home, in peace. As it stands we are very resentful, frustrated, stressed out, that's where the term POSTAL comes from.

One manager I respected told me that "there are some really smart, sharp people working in upper management".
If that's true, every single one of them must have taken the early out!
Did anyone notice, that after every time you cut service to save costs, mail volume wemt down.
We are making it harder to deal with us, when everyone else is making it easier.
The fact is our customers make cost cutting decisions too. The first time they pay a $29.00 late fee on a bill they mailed, they make a decision.
The 2nd time they wait in line for over 1/2 hr, they make a decision.
When they realize, by how many more non-postal deliveries that come to their house, because big companies have lost patience with the Post Office, they make a decision.
It has gotten to the point where joking about the Post Office doesn't get laughs anymore.
If that doesn't scare you, then you really "don't get it".

Wouldn't it be a novel idea to ask the customer this
question? Not just the public.

One simple card, or special notice in a poll of each
existing customer.

How many time day, per week, month, year do wish to receive mail service, if any?

Daily, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, etc.

Of course, special provisions will supercede all service agreements. Warrants, Certified, Accountables,
etc....

Think of the energy savings alone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Think of the economic impact alone!!!!!!!!!!!

This will serve two purposes.

1. It will define the extent of need for mail service
in this new century.
2. It will identify the actual extent of mail services
to the overall economy and information network in the
U.S., and abroad.

The ancillary benefit would be to identify the true
footprint of the U.S. Postal Service, and it's link
to other competitive similar services.

I know the customer already has options available to them.
But, rather than depend on current service agreements and service. PAY AS YOU GO....

Unbelievable but true, Should the $75 billion be returned to the Postal Service, (which is rightfully theirs) it will be used to help cover current fiscal year deficit and beyond ...... I would like to blame this fiasco on the Post Office, but they did nothing wrong. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) actually manages the federal government and civil service. It (OPM) is another branch of the US Government . They (OPM) are responsible for the Postal Service retirement funds. OPM tells the Postal Service what amount is necessary for this funding and the Postal service pays it... which they did. Eventually, they (Post Office) ran an audit which discovered OPM overinflated the payments using the wrong calculations based on projected pay & future inflation. The audit was presented to the Postal Service, Management, OPM & Congress and all agreed the $75 billion was overpayment. It's hard to believe that one branch of the Government could do this to the other, but that's exactly what took place. Now it will take Congress to return the money. If they don't, all taxpayers will in some form or another have to cover the Post Office current shortfall. most likely by raising postage rates again & cutting services. If or when that happens, at least we will know why. Raising rates is bad, it has a big trickle effect, a chain reaction... Post Office charges more- customer pays more-advertisers pay more- so stores charge more for product , the trucker's delivery charges increase on & on..you get the picture ...in the end we all pay. Now I understand the postage rate increases for the past few years, I often wondered why they needed to do it. That $75 billion would have had the Postal Service in the black every year. The reality here is that there never should have been increases over the past few years, and probably wouldn't have if OPM calculated things right... looks like Government bites themselves in the _ _ _ on this one!

Your right Ron, get back the $75 billion, and they won't have to worry about 5 day delivery, raising rates, or any other measures to cut costs, as they will be in the black. OPM overcharged the Postal Service. The $75 billion belongs to the Postal Service...give it back! Wow, the Government screws one of their own,........ only in America!

5 day delivery is very likely and will save the postal service money. But want about MONDAY...the LETTER CARRIERS will be working 10-12 hours just because the POSTAL SERVICE want to cut a day of service...IF so then have all regular carriers work 8 hours only and have TE's or PTF's do all the rest of the hours that it will take to deliver the mail...WHY PUT THE BURDEN ON THE LETTER CARRIERS>>>>

3 days 5 days you all are nuts that write articles like this it only hurts the service you write about. It would be the best service if people like you quit putting out this kind of crap. Get rid of the law that creates a slush fund for the government and rid of the people that sit around dreaming up ways to cut customer service to make us look bad. Keep only the hard working people who sell postage, sort mail, and deliver mail the ones who really provide the customer service!!! Day to day 6 day mail delivery is the best service offered in this country by the USPS!!!

Heck I can't even get the post office to deliver my mail anytime of the week. I live in OKC and have been here for 7 months and every bit of my mail has been returned to sender with a stamp saying undeliverable! I did receive one piece of mail the other day and it was rolled up in a ball. What kind of people does the USPS hire to deliver our mail.

Mailoser: Thank you for your comment. Please contact the OIG Hotline at 1-888-USPS-OIG or at http://www.uspsoig.gov/contact.htm.

The Post Office is in dire need of restructuring. Someone needs to step in and refresh the whole system.
Why are there rural and city carriers doing essentially the same thing and their rules are very different. Find the best characteristics from each and use the best method which should in some way be like the private sector. City carriers have more incentive to not work efficiently. Some rural carriers make up to 80k per year plus benefits and work less than 40 hours per week.
Establish a rational high and low salary and give incentives to all carriers. Pay carriers to work rather than being on the clock and the number of routes will shrink and the mail will get delivered earlier in the day (city carriers).

I am a rural carrier, have never heard of a rural carrier that makes that much money, true some of us are done with our rts under the evaluated time. the best way to handle the rural carrier craft is to combine the J rts and aux to the exiting rts in the office. we have 3 J rts in the office where I work.rural carriers save the postal service money. thats way they aren't breathing down our necks like they do city carriers. maybe all carriers should be on evaluated system, no more overtime, do your job and go home. the postal service does need to refresh its system to the times at hand. with fax machines and email we have to move ahead.

Rural Carriers may be paid an evaluation and beat that evaluation, but how many people who work if given the same incentive could do the same. We work hard to do this and perform more services for our customers than city carriers. So please don't knock us if you have not been there. We work for years with no benefits and "rights" we have to run routes with no training at all, and are expected to run it as well as the regular carrier and within the evaluation. We are supposed to be available 6 days a week (and years ago it was 7) with no promise of work and no pay if you don't. So we have paid our dues.

maleit,i work for the post office.i can assure you,no carrier working under 40hrs a week makes 80k a year!!a average 40 hour week they make 50k a year,and we put our money in retirement and health care.we get nothing from the post office except a hard time.theres 1 supervisor for every 10 workers,as well as someone in management 1 for every 4 workers.look it up.to many people in management! supervisors make double of a worker,and it keeps going up from there,the avaeage post master makes over 100k a year!!

Rural routes are the way to go, but the union doesn't want that system to work. If its about incentive and productivity, rural routes are the way to go! Eliminate city deliver!

The Post Office would do OK if we could only get the goevernment off our back.

I for one do not want a 5-day delivery. This means that the USPS will outsource the 6th delivery day to a subcontractor, who is not a federal employee. I personally do not want just anyone going into my mailbox or delivering my mail.

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