Apparently everybody is tightening their belts.
In testimony before a Senate subcommittee yesterday, Postmaster General John E. Potter said the post office may be forced to cut back to five-day delivery for the first time in the agency’s history, citing rising costs and an ongoing decline in mail made worse by the global recession. The potential move, which would have to be approved by Congress and postal officials, could mean the elimination of mail on either Saturdays or Tuesdays, the system’s slowest days, postal officials said.
“It is possible that the cost of six-day delivery may simply prove to be unaffordable,” Potter said, adding that the agency may face a deficit of more than $6 billion in the current fiscal year. “I do not make this request lightly, but I am forced to consider every option, given the severity of our challenge.”
The prospect of a shortened delivery week marks the latest setback for the storied post office, which was founded in 1775 with Benjamin Franklin serving as the first postmaster general. It ranks as one of the nation’s largest employers, with about 700,000 career employees.
The benefits of this are two-fold.
First, the fewer the days the mail is delivered, the less gas the Post Office uses. Demand goes down, price goes down.
Second, I’d rather miss a Tuesday delivery than a Saturday one. That way the mail carriers have a normal work week and a premium is placed on getting mail to you on the weekends via Express Mail. This model would be much more competitive with FedEx, etc.