on Feb 6th, 2012 in Delivery & Collection | 17 comments
 
In an effort to reduce costs, the U.S. Postal Service has proposed cutting delivery service to five days per week by eliminating Saturday delivery. For a moment, let’s ignore the argument over whether the delivery days should be cut to five to ask another question: is Saturday the right day to cut? While the Postal Service says Saturday has the lowest daily mail volume, it is the one day when most people are home to accept their mail. Some mail recipients say that Saturday is the delivery day they would least like to eliminate. Many periodicals and advertising mailers value Saturday above all other days because their customers have more time to read their magazines and ads and are more likely to act on them. Equally important, busy households are also available to accept packages—a competitive advantage the Postal Service has over the competition. Lastly, eliminating Saturday delivery could further crowd post offices with customers retrieving their packages. In its recent filing with the Postal Regulatory Commission proposing the end of Saturday delivery the Postal Service did not cite the impact on service of having two consecutive non-delivery days (such as Saturday and Sunday). Eliminating delivery on Saturdays or Mondays could slow service more than eliminating it on some other day. For example, let’s take a product like Priority Mail or First-Class Mail that we will assume takes exactly two days to be delivered after it is deposited. Since the Postal Service does not accept or deliver mail on Sunday, the current average delivery time would be 2.17 days. If you end delivery on Saturday, the average delivery time would increase to 2.50 days (pieces sent on Friday and Thursday would take 3 and 4 days respectively). Alternately, ending Tuesday service would keep the average delivery days at 2.17. So ignoring the argument over whether it makes sense to convert to 5-day delivery, would it be better to cut Saturday delivery rather than some other day? Are there better options? Would it be possible to end Saturday delivery for business addresses while eliminating Tuesday delivery for residential addresses instead? Tell us what you think.

This blog is hosted by the OIG’s Risk Analysis Research Center.

Comments

Do not end six day delivery. Six day is a service that the USPS has been offering for years and also providing. Please keep the Postal Service in America. Keep 6day delivery.

Eliminate free Saturday service. If businesses and residential customers want Saturday service they should pay a monthly fee or opt for a P.O. Box.

I htink they should cut Wed.

Elimination of any delivery day would be a bad idea which would cost the USPS millions more in carrier overtime than they are already paying. First class mail will still be processed 6-days-a-week.

Any holiday Monday currently causes plants and carriers to be hammered with extra volume. Eliminating Saturday delivery would cause this every week. On an actual holiday week, carriers would get slammed with three days worth of mail.

As bad an idea as eliminating a delivery day is; I feel it's inevitable. If it's going to be done, Wednesday or Thursday make the most sense. I just feel there are better ways to 'save' money than to subvert our charter at the expense of the American public.

Uh oh....
Here come those pesky carrier delivery hour requirements again...... M-F 0800 through 1650....

Now, if you were to try 2350-0800 the concept could be Saturday/Sunday mail
with Monday's mail @ the beginning of the week; then T, W, TH, F to round out the business week.....
And, any other important mail can be delivered by Express, or Postmaster.

Eliminate free Saturday service. If businesses and residential customers want Saturday service they should pay a monthly fee or opt for a P.O. Box

DAK NTRESTING ARTICLE BUT NOT ALL TRUE.

#1 ARE MOST PEOPLE HOME ON SATURDAY wAITING TO RETRIEVE THIER MAIL ?I DONT THINK SO.LETS VOTE
#2 SOME PEOPLE SAY NOT SATURDAY.I KNOW OF NO ONE WHO DESIRES SAT MAIL OVER ANY OTHER DAY.ASK YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY.LETS VOTE ON IT
#3 VALUEING SATURDAY? BY SATURDAY ALL MY JUNK MAIL AND MOST PERIODICALS ARE ALREADY DELIVERED.LETS VOTE ON THAT ONE TOO
#4 REFER TO QUESTION #1.ALMOST ALL USPS PACKAGES ARE LEFT AT THE DOOR. LETS VOTE ON BUSY HOUSEHOLDS WHO WILL STAY HOME TO RECEIVE A PACKAGE THAT MIGHT ARRIVE ON SATURDAY ?
#5 DAH! THE LOBBYS ARE ALREADY CROWDED AND CLOSED ON SATURDAYS.CALL THE 800 NUMBER FOR A REDELIVERY.LETS VOTE
#6 SLOWER SERVICE IS CAUSED BY CLOSING PROCESSING FACILITIES BY 1 OR 2 DAYS.SAVEING BIG BUCKS HERE.EXPRESS MAIL SHOULD BE DELIVERED SATURDAY AND POSSIBLY A SPECIAL SATURDAY ONLY PRIORITY RATE CLASS COULD BE ADDED.LETS VOTE
#7 CLOSEING 2 CONSECUTIVE DAYS (SAT./SUN.)WILL RESULT IN BUILDING COST SAVINGS VEHICLE COST SAVINGS AND LABOR COST SAVINGS.LETS VOTE

I COULD GO ON AND ON .BUT IF WE DID A COST ANALYSIS ON THE SUBJECT AND ACCEPT THE FACT THAT MOST PEOPLE REALLY DONT CARE ABOUT MAIL IN THE 21 CENTURY.BUT STILL WANT FREE DELIVERY.CUT THE TOP EXECUTIVES TO BARE BONES RID THE MIDDLE LAYERS OF MANAGEMENT,DUMP FAILED OVERSIGHT COMPUTER PROGRAMS AND OPERATERS.MILLIONS WOULD BE SAVED AND STREAMLINING THE POLITICAL AND EXECUTIVE NON PRODUCEING EMPLOYEES.I BELIEVE WITHIN 3 MONTHS THE PUBLIC WOULD ACCEPT THE DOWNGRADE OF 5 DAY DELIVERY.IF YOU DONT TOUCH THE MAIL OR HAVE AN ACTIVE POSITION OF MOVEING THE MAIL,GET OUT AND SAVE THE UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE !!!

Well said buddy. I might add, banks are closed on Saturday. If you got a check on Wednesday and Post office has no delivery, you would have to wait until Thursday. Saturday makes the most sense. I think people just envy letter carriers and would rather see them work Saturday than have a normal weekend.

The main problem with the USPS is not Saturday delivery but wasteful practices and people. Many managers have no craft experience and are completely out of touch, therefore their actions are highly suspect. Also there are too many managers in general. PMG Marvin Runyon was correct when he said that managers that do not touch the mail have no place in the USPS because they add no value to the mail.

I completely disagree with elimination of Saturday delivery for the reasons already given by USPS management associations and craft unions. A better solution is right-sizing the huge executive beaucracy at USPS headquarters and their Area headquarters offices. Lastly, eliminating hundreds of processing plants would be counter-productive to world-class delivery standards. A better option would be to close very small post offices that lose money every day.

Paul (recently retired EAS USPS employee)

I agree with Paul. I think eliminating Saturday delivery would save costs, but that doesn't outweigh the negative effect on service. Eliminating wasteful bureaucracy is a better solution. Thanks.

Good information...found you through Google.

I would prefer NO Saturday delivery. We have a small business too but on the other hand, some businesses require Saturday delivery so allow those who do NOT want Saturday delivery to OPT OUT and charge an addtional monthly fee for those who want it. The nation works on a 40 hour work week, why not the post office? Those who want more hours can work Saturdays for those who pay for that service.

Close down the whole postal service they really only deliver junk mail anything worth comes from reputable carriers .

I am all for eliminating Saturday mail delivery. Perhaps the local post offices could be open and minimally staffed for those who want to pick-up their mail or mail packages on Saturday. I think no delivery of Saturday mail would obviously reduce fuel costs by 15% or more, and vehicle maintenance costs on delivery trucks, but this also may help reduce mail theft for many of us that are not at home all weekend. I do not think eliminating Saturday delivery would reduce revenue, because people would still mail the same volume, only 5 days a week rather than 6 days a week. I also agree with another reply on this blog, that the post office can serve additional functions. Newspapers seem to have trouble keeping delivery personnel, maybe the newspapers should be delivered by mail. Still, thise that want their mail and or newspaper, can collect it on Saturday at the post office.

Personally, I think delivery for personal residences could be reduced to 3 days a week. Post offices could remain open 5 days, and people could rent boxes if they needed 5 day delivery. Most of the mail I get is direct mail advertising and waiting 1 more day wouldn't make a difference. Businesses and Priority Mail could still be delivered 5 days a week. Times have changed and the Post Office should change with it.

In your risk analysis of ending Saturday delivery please also do an analysis of what this would do to the U.S. economy. One area of the economy not taken into consideration is the intended consequence of the loss of jobs created by ending Saturday delivery.
1. How many full time career jobs would be eliminated?
2. How many non-career jobs would be eliminated?
3. What is the cost to unemployment insurance fund for these, now unemployed, breadwinners?
4. What will be the affect on the U.S. economy as a whole with the massive loss of consumer spending brought about by these people being fired?
5. What will be the affect on operations by the loss of so many non-career employees? When part-time, non-career employees are no longer available, who will replace carriers on vacation, or are out sick?

These are just a few places where risk analysis should be done before willy-nilly jumping off a cliff and then wondering if you are going to be hurt or die as you careen towards earth.

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