on Oct 31st, 2009 in Delivery & Collection | 65 comments
 

In these challenging times, reducing the cost of delivery operations — one of the Postal Service’s largest expenses — could save millions. One option the Postal Service is considering is to discontinue Saturday city and rural delivery and collection services.

Saturday is said to be one of the lowest mail volume days. It’s also a day when many businesses are closed. The September/October 2009 digital issue of Mailing Systems Technology included a survey of managers working in the mailing industry. Of those surveyed, 98 percent said changing to 5-day delivery would not require a change in staffing. The survey results also indicated that most managers surveyed (81 percent) preferred Saturday as the day of the week that the Postal Service would stop delivering mail. An additional 62 percent of the managers surveyed felt that once implemented, there should be no exceptions to 5-day deliveries such as for holiday weeks or high-volume mailing periods.

Gallup also conducted polls on ways to help the Postal Service solve its financial problems. They found that 66 percent of Americans supported reducing mail delivery days from 6 to 5 days, and 66 percent also supported reducing the number of days the Post Office is open from 6 to 5 days.

The Postal Service is currently studying the reduction of mail delivery from 6 days to 5 days. Should the Postal Service consider eliminating delivery, collections, retail, and remittance services only for delivery units with low mail volume? Should the Postal Service eliminate these services for all delivery units nationwide?

This blog is hosted by the OIG's Delivery directorate.

65 Comments

No G Rural,
I'm not suggesting you carriers are not getting beat up.
This is a brainstorming blog man. No matter how wild the
idea, under the current econ conditions the USPS is
experiencing, we'd better be changing sumthin.
I delivered newspapers door to door when I was 9-12yr
old. My route was suburb/city & apartment complex.
Around 160 papers at peak. Never a mail carrier though.
But, I certainly talk carrier's every day.
And, the only way Washington's going to read the
volume's we're all speaking every day, is right here
on this Blog.

Take the mailboxes off the house and put them curbside on the street! Stop walking across lawns to deliver mail. Would probably eliminate thousands of routes, and the mail would be dryer when it's raining. A no-brainer, but I wouldn't expect the idiots in DC to recognize it.

Ask craft employees where to save and generate money before we destroy our service further. Why don't we charge for mail forwarding and vacation holds? We hold mail on "check day" without a fee, why? Hire only capable honest supervisors and you won't need all the managers managing managers. There are only two out of 13 in my office that I would consider hiring. Two are blatently dishonest and would be so easy to fire but the watch dogs aren't very capable either. Service in our office is falling fast, lets not push it over the edge.

Start by firing every incompetent USPS employee, beginning with PMG Potter! After all, you can't pay Potter what he is worth - you would violate the minimum wage law!

What would the private sector do?

Nothing can be done without Congressional approval. NOTHING! Post offices are like military bases; No politician wants to lose one. There will be no 5 day delivery without Congress approving it. Capish? No matter how many proposals are circulating, there must be legislative approval.

Start charging people a fee to get their mail. Even a dollar a month will help. Who else will deliver to every home, apartment and business for free? Times-a-changin'.

It may become absolutely necessary, for the continued economic survival of the Postal Service, to reduce service to only 5 days per week. But why discontinue on Saturday? Why is that the only day that, apparently, is under consideration?

I can make a guess at answering my own question -- the Postal Service does not want to upset businesses, but is quite all right with the idea of upsetting citizens. Otherwise the idea of stopping delivery on Monday might at least be discussed.

As for shutting down the actual offices on Saturday, this would be disastrous for me. My local post office is only open Monday through Friday during the hours that I'm at work. As I live in an apartment, items that won't fit into the small mail box assigned to me have to be picked up at the post office -- on Saturday. Currently my local office is only open for two hours on Saturday (and half the town shows up to pick up packages during that time). Shutting down offices on Saturday means I'd NEVER get a portion of my mail.

But I'm just a citizen, and not a business, so the Postal Service doesn't give a darn about me, right?

Arbitrary pay for performance and internal evaluations are a fraud. Cancel mail on mechanical cancellers to get the numbers. Waste the labor because mail must be re-run on an ISS machine.
Bypass the BDS and undermine national security for the BONUS!
Mandate non-ODL employees to work 10 hours. Assign 10 hours of preventative maintenance routes. Expect employee to sign off as completing 10 hours of PM routes knowing the machines are only available for PMs for 7 hours or less. Pay the employee 2 hours of overtime for work that cannot be done. Collect the BONUS for 100% route completions. Harass employee if he refuses to participate in the FRAUD.
Machines do not get their PMs completed.
Employee receives 2 hours unnecessary overtime.
Management receives unearned PFP incentive.
Post Office continues to bleed red ink.
Supervisor says "Its a game, and I'm going to play it.
I will not be left behind".
OK. Your the BOSS!

As a letter carrier, I see fraud and waste on the part of usps management everyday. Up in New Hampshire, they just caught managers stealing from carriers by way of shorting their time cards, will these managers be punished? If past experience is any indication, NO! They would rather browbeat craft employees who do the work- MSP, GPS, etc. I for one would LOVE to have Saturdays off to spend time with my family just like the rest of the civilized world. And for those who don't think the time has come for that, look at Canada or Australia, no Sat. delivery! They and other countries seem to get along just fine! I know that if you put this to a secret vote, you would get a majority of craft people to say yes, In my office, Sat. off is unanimous, the only ones who oppose this are the union bigshots who have'nt carried mail in years and have Saturdays off anyway. Just let the postal service give a REAL "early out", and through that and attrition, you shoud'nt even have to lay anyone off. And by the way, I am a union member! To close, let me just say to those who think this is a bad idea, UPS and FedEx don't want Sat. any more than the USPS, otherwise they'd be delivering, and didn't the buggywhip industry make the same argument when the automobile first showed up?

Wow! The very core of USPS is to DELIVER! It is my humble opinion that the USPS should rid itself of all employees that are nonessential to core of the USPS....delivery of the mail and services that support this function. Instead, the USPS would consider sacrificing the very reason it's in existence by considering 5 day delivery. Just doesn't seem like good business from the stand point of someone "on the front line" delivering mail for the USPS such as a Rural Carrier like myself. Should I purchase a van or perhaps a huge SUV, because that's exactly what it will take to deliver 6 days volume of mail in 5 days. The USPS desperately needs some full disclosure and a huge dose of common sense.

Isn't ironic how some parts of the postal services is closing down, eventually completely evaporating from our world. One might wonder, why has this postal crisis arisen? With high competitive environments, everyone has to be on their guard. There is no stretch of fault or error. This is an example to all of us, of such a huge system crippling down to ashes slowly.

The question of can we handle a 5 day delivery schedule keeps coming up year after year. The obvious day to cut is Saturday. Businesses complain that they need Saturday delivery for marketing materials and such. I can see that. Why not cut a random day throughout the week, like a Wednesday. Thats my vote. Except at the holiday season. Just to handle volume I'm sure they would have to do a full 6 day schedule.

I support having USPS only operate 5 days a week. Saturday and Sunday off would make sense as they are consecutive. Keep the parcel costs significantly lower than UPS & FedEx, and cut down the fracking junk mail!

Competition -FedEx, UPS and DHL. poor customer service. usps lost customers. despite the economic challenges some have the extra 20 or 30 cents to pay the other provider. its not putting a dent in their pocket plus cservice is better. perhaps early retirement for some. few businesses-agencies-bureaus can withstand the economic abuses caused by the rich and the poor. i say cut to 5 day delivery!! i usually get 2 days worth of junk mail and sales circulars in my box.

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