on Mar 28th, 2011 in Delivery & Collection | 57 comments
 
[dropcap style="font-size: 60px; color: #9b9b9b;"]L[/dropcap]ast Thursday the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) issued its advisory opinion on the U. S. Postal Service’s proposal to switch to five-day delivery. Following a year-long analysis, the PRC voiced concerns with the request, questioning the potential savings, the impact on service, and the effect on communities, especially in rural areas. However, the Commission was unable to reach a consensus and did not issue an opinion to endorse or reject the proposal to cut Saturday delivery. The Postal Service responded with a statement from the Postmaster General, reiterating that five-day delivery is a core element of the Postal Service’s strategy for the future. The statement also said the Postal Service will continue to press its case before Congress, which has the authority to change delivery requirements. Do you think the Postal Service has a case for five-day delivery? Although 5-day delivery is a key element of the Postal Service's future plans, there are many other options under consideration at this point in time. In your mind, what do you think are the most important options? Give your comments below. Note: The U.S. Governement Accountability office just released its own report on 5-day delivery. This topic is hosted by the OIG’s Risk Analysis Research Center (RARC).

 

 

 

57 Comments

Fine with me. All my billsand statements are online. Packages can come by other carriers. I think 6, even 5 day delivery is crazy in 2011. There must be a better way. Maybe the Govt should assign every home an email instead of an address

You know what gets me Lenny? Everyone seems to think email is so great. They'll say it doesn't cost anything. It's cheaper than paying 44 cents. Granted I like my email too, but how long before we start getting charged for an account once the government gives us an email address as you suggest. Also what about the cost of computers, internet service, antivirus programs, etc...? When all the additional costs are added in just to be able to receive email, it's expensive. I think the cost of a stamp is a bargain.

Sorry about that. Not Lenny, but Ben.

I read a good part of the PRC's report, and I would be in favor of 5 day delivery if a few issues would be addressed. But I feel that eliminating collections on a Saturday would be a big issue. If you drop a letter off in a blue collection box and just missed the cutoff time, that letter won't leave the office until Monday afternoon- or Tuesday afternoon on a holiday weekend. That is too long of a stretch that will do more harm than good, only accelerating the migration to online billpay.

To address the issue with rural residents, maybe a form of a no fee PO box at the nearest office could be offered in lieu of rural delivery. Not only would many of them be able to get their critical mail on Saturdays, but the PS could be saving a good amount of money by not delivering to those houses on the other 6 days. Street delivery is obviously must more expensive than putitng mail in a PO Box, and most rural residents have a small level 11 type office much closer to them than the office from where they are getting their mail deliverd from. I'm suprised this hasn't been given any thought as a way to save money on delivery expenses.

Looks like a lot of rural carriers on here didn't like what I said.

I'm a rural carrier in a small town and although the union is telling me to fight the 5 day delivery I can see the cost savings in cutting Saturday delivery. I started out in a large office and one of the biggest problems we have is getting and keeping subs to carry the routes when we have or need a day off. The quit rate on new subs is very high. Not only because most come in thinking it's an easy job and find out it's not, but we lose many others when they figure out they are expected to be available 6 days a week but usually only work Saturdays, and oh yeah no benefits and you will have to do this for many years (I waited 7 years and have known people to wait much longer) and the years you put in don't count for squat.

I agree with Lenny that they should have the collection boxes serviced on Saturdays, they offices are supposed to be open and mail processing is supposed to continue so why wouldn't they. As for important packages being delivered to the rural areas, anyone can get a PO box if they have the need of one. I believe having the rural packages delivered to the PO on a Saturday should be done and the customers could be notified that they have a package, then they would have the option of picking it up before Monday's delivery.

This has been going on for years about 5 day delivery just do it already the union never has answers for the carriers about it we know they have all laid out just waiting for the word eliminate saturday yes it would hurt us carriers but somethings got to change.

As a rural customer I would rather see them not deliver my mail on Saturday then to shut down our post office. We'll all adjust, I'll just have to make sure I order my medicine sooner.

If the American people only knew the amount of people on the payroll of the USPS that don't touch the mail. Layers upon layers upon layers of managers and support jobs. It is beyond ridiculous. If they are not gonna cut the fat now then when?? I bet they could eliminate 50,000 positions without affecting service and save 8 to 10 billion. Congress should force USPS to cut the fat. Then and only then talk about eliminating service.

There is no need to deliver mail 6 days a week. The volume just isn't there. Most city businesses have already cut back to 4 days a week. Either leaving early on Fridays or not coming in at all, yet here we (USPS) sit. Waiting for Congress to make up their minds. Yes, we would lose a lot of carriers, but I can see tremendous savings. Something needs to be done and when I talk to people, they all seem to be for it.

If 5 day would be good then 3 day would be great. Mon-Wed-Fri. delivery would suffice. Who would know the difference?

We need to go to 5 day.

I am all for going to Monday to Friday delivery if it makes the USPS stronger financially. Let's face it, the USPS is losing money hand over fist and it may just take a move such as this to make the Postal Service solvent.

I also think eliminating Saturday delivery is a smart move, not only saving us money, but conserving fuel in these times of high gas prices. I know how much fuel I use and when I think of all the other rural routes across the nation, that is an awful lot of fuel being used for usually minimal amount of mail.

The reason why unions do not want five day delivery is because they would have less people paying union dues

This is the United States postal SERVICE.
Reducing service, in a SERVICE INDUSTRY is a suicidal "business model."
If you want to call us a "BUSINESS", who's goal is to make a profit. then say so!
But what does a business do to generate more business? Do they reduce service? Do they close up shop for another day? No, they don't. They do the opposite. They make themselves more user-friendly. They put their products on sale.

I will attention here!

Medications, Netflix, Blockbuster and any packages that are delivered depend on speed. That speed is reduced with any disruption in service. Even if by another day. Throw Holidays in there, especially when talking about all the Monday ones, and no deliveries on Saturday are a real problem for a lot of people. Everyone talks about the letter they and bill they can wait an extra day on but what about those others I have mentioned. Look at the big picture. Also, the Postal Service is becoming more dependent on those packages and the speed with which they are delivered. To cut Saturday deliveries will only force some of these companies to find alternate means to get their packages delivered quicker. Companies like Fedex Ground who deliver on Saturdays will benefit from any change in Post Office policies. And the Postal Service will loose every more revenue causing a downward spiral. Service is part of the name of this institution and while they may need to get leaner elsewhere it should not be at the expense of the service they provide their customers.

Eliminate all Saturday service, retail and delivery. Offer civil service employees a realistic early retirement option.Pay all new employees Walmart wages and give them very little benefits.good luck getting anything valuable thru the mail. You get what you pay for.

Elimination of Saturday delivery is inevitable. On average, I deliver 3 trays of letters and a little over 1 tray of flats on Saturdays. The mail volume will continue to decrease as the older generation dies off and the "new digital generation" takes over. Ask your teenager if they ever mailed a letter or if they ever plan too.....

Of course we will see 5 Day delivery. Manye not right away. But the mail volume isn't projected to increase, and if it keep dropping, there will be no excuse NOT to go to 5 Days. Its funny in a pathetic sort of way........all of the politicians screaming for "smaller government", and "The Post Office should be run like a business", but every time the PO wants to change something, or streamline service, the politicians have to put in their 2 cents, and the whole matter goes into gridlock.

"Pay for Performance has destroyed the USPS.
Instead of rewarding customer service, PFP rewards the slashing of numbers. (Must beat "SPLY"-same period last year).

It results in a business attitude by management that is the exact opposite of any real for-profit business.

Supervisors are LITERALLY giddy on a light mail volume day.(They'll "make their numbers!").
Likewise, they are miserable when mail volume is heavy. (Need to pay OT, late leaving).

Here's a good analogy. Notice how ridiculous this sounds. We'll use a restaurant, "Jonny's Pizza" for comparison.

A) "Hey Jonny, how's business today?"
"It's a DISASTER! The place is full! There's a line out the door! I'LL HAVE TO PAY OVERTIME TODAY!!!"

B) "Hey Jonny, how's it going today?"
"GREAT! Look! The place is empty! I CAN SEND EVERYONE HOME EARLY TODAY! No overime. UNDERTIME!!! I'll beat "Same Period Last Year" today for sure!"

See how ridiculous the USPS "Business Model" is?

So with pizza sales down should Jonny raise rates and close down on Saturday? Or should Jonny run a "Buy 2-get one free" sale and expand his store hours?

People, this isn't that hard to figure out.

you people have no idea and some of you carriers that post your comments should be fired, the facts are the post office is forced to pay pre payments that are unjust and that is the reason for the losses , you people that say three day s a week is fine me you need to re think your thinking here why it not you that matters the moms and pops that use the mail system is only 8 to 10 percent of revanue , it is the big bussinesses like walmart amazon and a lot of other that pay the bill at the usps. they want there mail to be delerered in a timely matter which incudes saturdays alot of th big retailers want there mail to hit on saturdays ,most of you people have no idea about the big picture !!!!!!!

there will be no five day delivery,because if you think about it prc agrees in the long run you will lose more and more bussiness the people that want there mail to hit on saturdays without delays will find other deliverly source to do this will futher be a death spiral to the postal sevice, cutting management should have been done a long time ago and is being done as we speak , cut the people that don,t touch the mail, cutting mail service will kill the postal service

5 day delivery should be allowed. Most doctor's offices are closed on Saturday. Most banks are closed on Saturday. The electric co is closed on Saturdays so what makes the USPS so what makes the Postal Service closing on Saturday so bad. Gas is steadily going up and look at the amount paid in gas and salaries on Saturday that could saved.

we must close on saturdays..no question...we will get back volume on our routes and have much better service..we should also give city carriers the choice of evaluated routes and put all boxes on the street..get rid of these walking routes..they are the most expensive service we have and should have been stopped 30 years ago...these things will give us back the post office

Right or wrong, I see a five day delivery as inevitable. If the PMG and the board want it they are going to push hard for it and continue to push until they get it. This is something that Congress will pretend to be against and find all kinds of reasons to tell the public what a bad idea it is, and then they will go ahead and pass it. The cost savings should come from made changing the rules for FEHBP and contributions to CSRS and FERS. The next step would be to consolidate all the one man offices. Try and imagine if USPS consolidated one office per county in every state. How about pushing out all the extra supervisors and managers. That would be a large savings also.

Most people don't care if they receive mail on Saturday. Quite often they are out of town anyway. From a maintenance and gas usage viewpoint, five day delivery would save the USPS a huge amount of money. It would also raise moral amongst letter carriers, for then they could all have Sat/Sun off. The only problems that I can see is the larger mail volume to be delivered on Mondays and the scheduling of subs to cover vacation and sick leave.

the facts is right, alot of you people are not lookin at the big picture

the losses a inflated, by pre payments , do not belive fiveday would do anything but make things worse

they will go back to meeting again for another year when they will issue the same report. which will be---maybe yes---maybe no

Every plan that is tried falls short when it comes to big savings.Andf so will 5 day.

But usps has to cut so i say go for ir or there will be a reduction in force.The

new contract does not prvent a R I F.so 5 day may prevent a R I F.

i am tired of hearing they will use someone else if we cut saturday delivery. please, who else will deliver a letter for 44 cents across country. no one. so shut up

I see the 5 day delivery plan to be a bit short-sighted, in the same basic rationale expressed by The Facts; however, I do not believe that he/she is correct in asserting it will never happen. All the statistics showing money saved vs. lost parcels = less hemorrhage by the Postal Service is not seeing the big picture. I would say that ideally one of the other parcel services would like to absorb our business, either in the same way that is happening overseas and taking over the Postal Service, or by simply taking over our business until we become obsolete. If Saturday mail is removed, the businesses that rely on that availability, like the pharmaceutical companies, are not going to just wait until Monday to send out their items, they are going to turn to someone who can distribute. Those other distributers will likely want to seize on this opportunity and advertise their ability and compete for low prices to attract those businesses full time rather than just one-day a week. At that point, it no longer matters that "if it fits it ships," because after a couple years of this, people will no longer be shipping, and the delays in the mail will cause more and more people to become disgruntled over standard mail thus leaving the USPS with very little to work with. Saturday mail will help keep USPS afloat long enough to become relevant again (FedEx and UPS are still running despite not having any standard mail business), but who knows maybe we are just "slow dancing in a burning room."

The Postal Service's push for 5 Day delivery in efforts to carry out its constitutional mandate, providing affordable universal mail service to the American public, is misplaced in my opinion. More radical change to its delivery business model is needed, such as changing it from "FREE" door-to-door delivery service to fees for service AND free po box service at mini postal hubs (existing post office locations). The focal point should be determining if delivery hubs for self-service pickup rather than delivery points is the future for "affordable" universal mail service.

I love the fact that the PRC takes a year to study this and then can't come to a consensus. Great job!

5 day delivery ? is a win, win , win for the postal service.. 30,000 workers that the postal service can let go. The saving is big. The gas saving is big. My postal customers tell me that they can do without Saturday delivery. Who needs junk mail on Saturday ? That is what they tell me. Most businesses are close on Saturday anyway.. UPS is close on Saturday, why not the Postal service ? 30,000 will lose their jobs, but we have to do it to save the postal service. If it was my business ? i would do it.

Can't wait till 5 day delivery so the carriers will have a chance to take an early out offer. Those that wish to stay will have Saturdays off which I'm sure they will appreciate.

Five day delivery is not the answer to the current problems. The Postal Service needs to get legislative changes that would allow it to operate effectively. Five day delivery may be a good idea, but don't do it in an attempt to save the Postal Service.

Come on now you have been losing money for years and have talked about 5 day delivery the last few years, do it. Stop talking and do it. People are not mailing as much with email and online bill pay, why do you keep wasting money and raising rates. You need to do what the Feds need to do and stop spending and run it like a business and cut back expenses to go along with the decrease in work.

Most business offices that actually handle mail are closed on Saturday, regardless of whether their retail or service operations are open.

I am a carrier, and my customers, mostly residential, that have commented, declare they don't care if they get mail on Saturday. Most of my businesses are completely closed on Saturdays.

Overnight (Express Mail) will still run on Saturdays.

Mail will still continue to transport on Saturday and will be available for handling and delivery Monday.

It is a sacred cow, but so was cheap gas, care-free flying, etc. Times change, and so should we.

As was mentioned, no one will "take over". Fed Ex and UPS basically don't run on Saturday,either, and they surely don't want the low/no profit business we do have.

The issue is not about 5-day vs. 6-day delivery, but about creating a smarter, more cost-efficient, delivery model that services a destination point only if it respects service commitments AND covers its costs (e.g., it accumulates enough mail to make each and every delivery profitable to the Postal Service).

In other words, envision a day when mail delivery is organized, not by carrier routes, but by a grid of destination points shared by multiple letter carriers. Servicing the grid would only be performed if economically justifiable (and if service commitments require it).

When this day comes, delivery would occur on an as-necessary basis and would no longer be tributary of days of delivery per week.

This is becoming increasingly necessary and feasible because:

- there is more Standard mail to deliver than there is First Class mail to deliver - thus, we must accumulate more mail before delivering it (because the margins/contributions of Std Mail are lower than those of FCM). The slack built into Std Mail's service standards could be used to that advantage.

- the IMB brings the 'intelligence' required to modulate the flows of mail between Plants and Delivery. The plants must, however, learn to hold their mail, prioritize it, etc. Mail inventory should no longer be perceived as a plan failure, but a concerted decision to help manage the 'destination point economics'

- mail sorting schemes can be dynamically adapted to sort mail to a grid of destination points using multiple DBCSs as a 'single sorting system', rather than statically assigning a sort scheme/DBCS to a zone.

No doubt that this is a longer term view, but one warranting further study.

UPS is closed Saturday! I am sure USPS picks up business on Saturday because of it!. Often Saturday is only day I have to mail stuff.!! Stick with 6 day work week please!

Melissa keetsa

Yes, I agree that the postal service must go to 5-day delivery at this time. 5 years ago almost every customer on my route was receiving first class mail each and every day. Today it seems like 40% of my customers are not receiving first class mail on any given day. And there are lots of boxes that I drive by completely because they have no mail at all what so ever. In other words. The majority of my customers are ALREADY on 5-day delivery (if not 4 day or 3 day delivery) meaning they only receive mail 5 days out of the week because the volume is so low. Wshould the postal service pay fuel and labor to drive/walk to each and every address in the nation when most people are not receiving first class mail (the important stuff) every day? I think the reduction in fuel costs alone would be very significant.

Why not have a special service for Saturday delivery of parcels? (for those that must have their package delivered on Saturday). Have one or two carriers come in for the day and deliver just the special Saturday delivery? instead of paying the 100 + carriers in some stations to drive who knows how many miles.

I support a 5-day delivery. Most other businesses work Monday through Friday, why not Postal Service? I can live without my mail until Monday.

Lets focus upon determining if delivery hubs for self-service pickup rather than delivery points is the future for “affordable” universal mail service.

If we go to 5-day delivery, Wednesday & Sunday would make the most sense to not have delivery. There are 5 federal holidays that fall on a Monday, sometimes 6-7 when New Year's, Independence, Veteran's & Christmas also falls on a Monday. On Monday the mail load tends to be heavy because there's no delivery on Sunday. If you have Saturday & Sunday off, that means mail will be overburdened for 3 days (Saturday, Sunday & Monday), so Tuesday will be a mother load of mail & a lot of people who are lazy will call in sick on Tuesday cause they don't want to deliver a heavy load.

I'm a city carrier and I must say that this one of the most mismanaged, excess spending organizations in America and the profits show. I work with some of the laziest, most overpaid bums in history. Most hide behind seniority and the post union and it's doing nothing but killing the organization. Meanwhile temporary employees that get much less and can be let go at a moments notice carry most of load. 5 day delivery is a smokescreen for a deeper issue.

I agree with 5 day delivery but think the biggest savings would come from eliminating door to door delivery. Can you imagine how much the postal service would save on labor, dog bites, & injuries? There's nothing wrong with cluster boxes. I believe more mail would be secure with these locking boxes anyway. Should have been done long ago. Has there ever been a public vote on it?

Come to Chicago and check out how the majority of these have already had a crowbar put to them to get at whats inside.

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