The United States Postal Service (USPS) has decided to cut delivery on Saturdays.
Since the post office lost $16 billion over the course of 2012, officials are looking for ways to cut back on annual costs. According to CBS News, postmaster general Patrick R. Donahoe will officially announce the news on Wednesday.
This means that first-class mail will no longer be delivered on Saturdays. When the change goes into effect on August 1, it will end a 150-year tradition.
Former government watchdog David Walker is on a panel that is seeking to reform the postal service. He said the removal of Saturday delivery is just a band aid for a deeper problem.
“[The measure] won’t come close to solving the postal service’s problem. It’s got to look at more fundamental changes in its infrastructure, its compensation costs, its retirement obligations, and also what it does and who does its business.”
The Associated Press reports that seven out of 10 Americans support the decision by the USPS to cut delivery on Saturday.
Donahoe said in a statement:
“The Postal Service is advancing an important new approach to delivery that reflects the strong growth of our package business and responds to the financial realities resulting from America’s changing mailing habits. We developed this approach by working with our customers to understand their delivery needs and by identifying creative ways to generate significant cost savings.
“The American public understands the financial challenges of the Postal Service and supports these steps as a responsible and reasonable approach to improving our financial situation. The Postal Service has a responsibility to take the steps necessary to return to long-term financial stability and ensure the continued affordability of the US Mail.”
People are being given a six month window in order to prepare themselves for the end of Saturday mail delivery. When all is said and done, the USPS stands to save around $2 billion.