U.S. Postal Service considers cutting back delivery to five days a week

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Washington, D.C.—Following a loss of $2.8 billion last year and with more losses projected for this year, the head of the U.S. Postal Service asked Congress Wednesday to lift the six-days-a-week delivery required of the service.

Postmaster General John Potter said the USPS could lose as much as $6 billion this year unless it has more financial relief, including the possibility of eliminating mail delivery on Saturdays or on some other day when the volume of mail is light.

A USPS study last fall estimated that going to five-day delivery could save the agency $3.5 billion a year.

Direct marketers long have been concerned about USPS’ budget and service woes. The Direct Marketing Association has established a new Mailing Leadership Summit to work for postal reform and to head off restrictions on direct mail campaigns.

Potter’s request to Congress came less than two weeks after higher postal rates went into effect; another round of increases is expected in May. Nevertheless, Potter said, revenue may decline this year for the first time since 1946.

Mail volume last year totaled 202 billion items, more than 9 billion fewer than the year before and the biggest drop in history.

—Christopher Hosford

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