Head of U.S. Postal Service says delivery could be scaled back to 3 days a week
With Internet usage rising and mail volume steadily falling, Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe warned the U.S. Postal Service is going to have to make significant cutbacks that could mean no more Saturday service and eventually lead to mail delivery just three days a week.
The Postal Service’s “cashflow crisis is at a critical level,” Donahoe told USA Today in an interview published Wednesday. Donahoe said eliminating Saturday mail would save around $3.1 billion a year for the cash-strapped agency, projected to lose $8.3 billion this year.
“At some point, we’ll have to move to three” days a week of mail delivery, possibly in 15 years, he told the newspaper.
The steady loss of revenue has prompted the Postal Service to evaluate possible cost-saving measures. Donahoe said the USPS is on track to miss a Sept. 30 payment of $5.5 billion to the U.S. Treasury that would allow the Uncle Sam to “pre-fund retired health benefits” of postal workers.
Congress mandated the six-day delivery schedule in 1983, but Donahoe said there may be more support for cutting Saturday service now as the U.S. faces more pressure to improve its fiscal condition.
The idea has “a much better chance today than a year ago. I don’t know if I’d say ‘likely’ yet,” Donahoe said.