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Saturday mail deliveries are on the budget-cut table...
Old 09-06-2011, 11:21 AM   #1
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Saturday mail deliveries are on the budget-cut table...

Postal Service, With $10 Billion Loss, Needs Help, CEO Says - Businessweek

This has been getting only minor media attention, but it's about to go bigger.

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The U.S. Postal Service may lose $10 billion in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, more than an earlier $9 billion loss estimate, as mail volume drops 2 percent from last year, Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said in testimony for a Senate hearing today.
The loss will leave the Washington-based service unable to make required payments to the federal government and puts it at risk of default as it reaches its $15 billion borrowing limit, Donahoe said in testimony prepared for the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing.
The Postal Service, which Donahoe said may lose $9 billion next year, is asking Congress to let it break union contracts to fire workers, loosen a requirement to pay now for future retirees’ health benefits costs and end mail delivery on Saturdays.
I'm a tad cynical about the "breaking union contracts to save the USPS" theme, but I can easily believe that our mail carrier is going to start getting both Saturdays & Sundays off.

I wonder how much it'd cost UPS or FedEx or DHL to take over.
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Old 09-06-2011, 11:33 AM   #2
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Almost all that I get in the mail is advertising, or paper copies of bills that are auto-payed. So, personally I wouldn't miss Saturday delivery at all. The USPS is in the process of cratering (IMO) so it probably won't matter much one way or another, in 5-10 years.
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Old 09-06-2011, 11:43 AM   #3
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Well, if by breaking the contracts they mean obtaining the ability to fire/lay people off then it makes sense to me. If mail volumes are continuing to drop and automation continues to increase they need to be able to lay people off...
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Old 09-06-2011, 12:05 PM   #4
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Rather than giving them Saturday and Sunday off, how about, say Wednesday? To me that makes more sense so there aren't 2 full days with no mail delivery.
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Old 09-06-2011, 12:08 PM   #5
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I would be ok with once a week delivery if they could stop losing my mail. My perception is that they are generally unreliable for delivering something without tracking on it. I guess like a third world mail service.
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Old 09-06-2011, 12:13 PM   #6
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Considering the USPS is a business run with constant meddling by all 535 elected officials in DC and subject to civil service employment rules, I'd say it's doing a good job. I'd prefer wednesday over saturday off but that's just because I have a weekly magazine that's supposed to be delivered on saturday - although it rarely is.

The USPS has had difficulties improving productivity at the same pace of US business overall.
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Old 09-06-2011, 12:20 PM   #7
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because I have a weekly magazine that's supposed to be delivered on saturday - although it rarely is.
That's my biggest beef, too. Specifically, The Economist.
The best thing I've done in a while is to get my iPad 2. Now I can download the entire magazine on Thursday evening (when it's actually mailed) and read it on a screen that is at least as good as the printed copy.
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Old 09-06-2011, 12:23 PM   #8
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The P.O. on my side of town will be closing soon. Not a big deal to me but some people are raising hell. I buy my stamps at the grocery store and put any out going mail in my box on the street. Rarely have a need to go in their office. As for as eliminating Saturday's delivery, that is fine with me. Like most, it's mainly junk mail anyway. Wouldn't surprise me to see them go to a 4 day week someday.
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Old 09-06-2011, 12:29 PM   #9
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I'll take 2X's a week, no need for more than that. Most everything I get is on line anyway.
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Old 09-06-2011, 12:34 PM   #10
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That's my biggest beef, too. Specifically, The Economist.
The best thing I've done in a while is to get my iPad 2. Now I can download the entire magazine on Thursday evening (when it's actually mailed) and read it on a screen that is at least as good as the printed copy.
Right. I've read recently it can be also be downloaded and viewed on Kindle but needs an application, which I really need to look into soon. If I don't read it during the weekend I almost never have time during the week.
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Old 09-06-2011, 12:40 PM   #11
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Rather than giving them Saturday and Sunday off, how about, say Wednesday? To me that makes more sense so there aren't 2 full days with no mail delivery.
+1 -- though in reality I'm OK with no mail delivery on Saturday. I would like to see post offices remain open on Saturday, though -- that's often the only time we poor working stiffs can get there to conduct our business.
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Old 09-06-2011, 12:55 PM   #12
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Rather than giving them Saturday and Sunday off, how about, say Wednesday? To me that makes more sense so there aren't 2 full days with no mail delivery.

I see others agree with you... but I am for Saturday...

There is nothing that I get that requires me to do anything that day when it comes to mail... and if there were, Sat is not a working day for all businesses so it does not make sense to deliver on Sat and skip Wed...
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Old 09-06-2011, 01:02 PM   #13
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Postal Service, With $10 Billion Loss, Needs Help, CEO Says - Businessweek

This has been getting only minor media attention, but it's about to go bigger.


I'm a tad cynical about the "breaking union contracts to save the USPS" theme, but I can easily believe that our mail carrier is going to start getting both Saturdays & Sundays off.

I wonder how much it'd cost UPS or FedEx or DHL to take over.

They had something on a show this weekend and the biggest cost for the post office is their workers... the pay and benefits are not in line with 'the market'... they showed some small post office is somewhere North Dakota that probably should be shut down as it is a money loser...

Then some congress critter said 'the total cost of the small post offices are small when compared to the cost of the employees'... so having the ability to adjust salaries and benefits to the market is probably the best solution to the long term problem....

Anybody know the benefit structure Since it is still 'gvmt', it is probably good... just wondering how good and has it changed over the years...
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Old 09-06-2011, 01:04 PM   #14
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I would suggest putting half the zip codes on Monday, Wednesday, Friday delivery and the other half on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday delivery. I can see where this might have some negative impact on some businesses, but they could probably adapt to it. For this to work it would require reducing the number of carriers, though, which might be difficult.
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Old 09-06-2011, 01:13 PM   #15
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I think Saturdays suspension would be nice.......fully enjoy the weekend without the chance of being ruined by reminders of the ratrace of the rest of the week.
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Old 09-06-2011, 01:19 PM   #16
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I could live with once a week delivery. I changed my postal address to a PO Box and as I have to make an effort to go and get it I find I go as infrequently as I can before getting a notice in my box telling me I have too much mail.

Saturday delivery is a thing of the past. So much of our method of delivery has changed to online or via email that one has to start questioning the relevance of the old day model of the Post Office. Personally I am not sure what they could do to find their niche.
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Old 09-06-2011, 01:19 PM   #17
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I agree with Ziggy (#11) and Texas Proud (#12) for the reasons they stated.
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Old 09-06-2011, 01:33 PM   #18
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Delivery once a week would be fine by me. I doubt I check my mail that often as it is, and the only reason I check so frequently is the box fills with junk.

Other than forms mandated by the government (W2's, license plate renewal, etc.), everything that actually needs my attention is automated and online.
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Old 09-06-2011, 01:53 PM   #19
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I vote for delivery Mon, Wed, Fri while keeping the Post Offices as is. Even a slight delay of hours, staying open until 7pm a few days would be nice.

Or, even a more expensive stamp to business for Mon - Sat delivery.
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Old 09-06-2011, 02:16 PM   #20
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I agree with Ziggy (#11) and Texas Proud (#12) for the reasons they stated.
Same here.

While most of us can/have used "electronic processing" for most/all of our required payments, DW's employer still gets many, many paper checks via snail mail, Monday through Friday.

I guess those are the folks that are keeping the PO afloat .

For personal mail? They could deliver once per week to my home, but I doubt if it would work for a lot of business folks.

IMHO, maybe the solution could be two tiered - one for personal an one for commercial business delivery; again, that would impact those that run a "home business", but in that case would probably be better off with a PO box anyway.
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