The United States Postal Service announced today that it will cease its Saturday mail delivery services beginning in August 2013. The measure is being implemented as a way to save up to $2 billion annually within a government service that lost $16 billion last year alone. While the postal service cites retiree health care as a primary reason for their financial troubles, they also equally cite technology.
With traditional postal service customers increasingly turning to online communication forms for everything from personal correspondance to thank you notes and even birthday cards, many question whether or not the service needs to make last-mile stops at virtually every residence and business within the nation six out of every seven days.
Legislators are taking note of the impact that technology has had on mail and parcel service within the United States. Rep. Elijah E Cummings of Maryland stated, “The Postal Service’s declining mail volume poses a significant challenge” but falls short of supporting the plan from the USPS, and instead supports issuing legislation that would alter operating parameters rather than autonomous policy making by those who run the postal service.
Unless congress forces the postal service to not reduce their delivery days in March when the current restriction on doing so expires, the postal service will be able to legally reduce the number of delivery days on their own without legislation.