Published February 06, 2013
Postal Service mailboxes are seen awaiting disposal Sept. 1 in San Jose, Calif. (AP)
The U.S. Postal Service plans to announce Wednesday that it will end Saturday mail delivery, in one of the most significant steps taken to date to cut costs at the struggling agency.
A source familiar with the decision confirmed the plan to Fox News.
Under the proposal, the Postal Service will continue to deliver packages six days a week. The plan, which is aimed at saving about $2 billion, would start to take effect in August.
The move accentuates one of the agency’s strong points — package delivery has increased by 14 percent since 2010, officials say, while the delivery of letters and other mail has declined with the increasing use of email and other Internet use.
Under the new plan, mail would still be delivered to post office boxes on Saturdays. Post offices now open on Saturdays would remain open on Saturdays.
Over the past several years, the Postal Service has advocated shifting to a five-day delivery schedule for mail and packages — and it repeatedly, but unsuccessfully, appealed to Congress to approve the move. Though an independent agency, the service gets no tax dollars for its day-to-day operations but is subject to congressional control.
It was not immediately clear how the service could eliminate Saturday mail without congressional approval.
But the agency clearly thinks it has a majority of the American public on its side regarding the change.
Material prepared for the Wednesday press conference by Patrick R. Donahoe, postmaster general and CEO, says Postal Service market research and other research has indicated that nearly 7 in 10 Americans support the switch to five-day delivery as a way for the Postal Service to reduce costs.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.