Calling the six-days-per-week mail delivery business model “no longer sustainable,” the U.S. Postal Service Wednesday morning announced it will eliminate Saturday delivery of mail by Aug. 1.
The plan to change delivery from six days a week to five would only affect first-class mail.
Packages, mail-order medicines, priority and express mail would still be delivered on Saturdays, and local post offices will remain open for business Saturdays. This includes the post office in Huntley at 11013 North Woodstock Street.
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According to the U.S. Postal Service, the reasons for nixing Saturday delivery have to do with continued economic struggles and the increasing use of the Internet for communications and bill paying by consumers.
The U.S. Postal Service is also the only federal agency required to pre-fund health benefits for retirees, and those costs are escalating quickly.
“Our current business model of delivering mail six days a week is no longer sustainable. We must change in order to remain an integral part of the American community for decades to come," according to information posted on the U.S. Postal website.
The announcement comes after years of the postal service trying to get congressional approval for a five-day mail delivery schedule, according to an Associated Press article.
The AP reports that it is not immediately clear how the U.S. Postal Service, which is an independent agency but still under congressional control, will eliminate Saturday delivery without the OK from Congress.
Saturday is the lightest mail delivery day by volume and many businesses are closed on Saturdays, according to the U.S. Postal Service. However, many residents receive print magazines and ads on Saturdays in the mail that may be shifted to another day.
A Rasmussen poll on mail delivery in 2012 showed “Three-out-of-four Americans (75 percent) would prefer the U.S. Postal Service cut mail delivery to five days a week rather than receive government subsidies to cover ongoing losses.”
A USA Today/Gallup poll in 2010 found the majority of U.S. residents surveyed were ok with eliminating Saturday delivery.
The March 2010 telephone survey of 999 adults revealed people age 55 and older were more likely than younger people to have used the mail to pay a bill or send a letter in the past two weeks.