Household Planning Guide: What do you need to know about a potential five-day mail delivery schedule?
The Postal Service has proposed implementing five-day delivery operations as a cost-cutting measure in response to declining use of the mail due to the increased use of the Internet and the economic recession. The Postal Service has proposed eliminating Saturday delivery to street addresses and some associated service changes. Implementation of a five-day delivery schedule by the Postal Service after fiscal year 2010 (which ends Sept. 30, 2010) is contingent upon Congress not enacting legislation to prevent such a change in service. In addition, the Postal Service must request that the Postal Regulatory Commission review its plans and issue a non-binding advisory opinion. If the Postal Service implements five-day delivery, it would take effect in fiscal year 2011 (Oct. 1, 2010, to Sept. 30, 2011).
The Postal Service has developed an operational plan that will provide important details about how five-day delivery operations would be implemented, and this information will be available at usps.com. Customers will receive multiple advance notices and information about changes in mailing services if and when the Postal Service eliminates Saturday delivery to street addresses. Customers also will be informed of what they will need to know to ensure seamless implementation. The Postal Service will begin providing notices and information at least six months before implementation. Notices and information will be sent to customers in the mail, and will be posted at usps.com, on collection boxes and in Post Offices. The information also will be reported in news media.
If a five-day delivery operation is implemented in fiscal year 2011, the Postal Service plans to provide household customers with a variety of options to send and receive mail on Saturdays.
- P.O. Boxes will receive Saturday delivery.
- Express Mail service will not be affected – all Express Mail will be delivered on Saturday.
- Post Offices will remain open on Saturday and additional alternative retail channels will be available.
- Click-N-Ship at usps.com is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for preparing your Express Mail and Priority Mail shipments.
The Postal Service has developed an operational plan that will provide important details about how five-day delivery would be implemented. The Postal Service filed a request for an advisory opinion from the Postal Regulatory Commission on March 30. Under five-day delivery operations, the following would occur:
- On Saturday, there will be no delivery to street addresses, no scheduled collection of mail from blue collection boxes or pickup of mail from homes and businesses.
- Delivery of mail to street addresses will continue Monday through Friday only.
- All mail addressed to a P.O. Box will be delivered Monday through Saturday.
- Mail deposited at a Post Office on Saturday will be processed on Monday.
- Collection boxes will be scheduled for collection Monday through Friday. Mail dropped in a collection box after the last scheduled pickup time on Friday will be collected and processed on Monday.
- There will be no cancellation of single-piece First-Class Mail on Saturday. However, circular hand-stamped postmarks will still be provided on request at post offices on Saturdays.
- Elimination of Saturday collection, processing and delivery of mail will generally add a day to the delivery of mail deposited on Saturday or for which delivery is expected on Saturday.
- Express Mail will continue to be delivered seven days a week. Express Mail will continue to be accepted and processed on Saturday at Post Offices. Dedicated Express Mail boxes will be collected Monday through Saturday.
- There will be no Carrier Pickup, scheduled pickup or on-demand pickup of Express Mail or Priority Mail on Saturday.
- Mail will not be collected or delivered to street addresses over a three-day holiday weekend.
- Priority Mail, Package Services and other parcel items may be delivered on the two or three Saturdays before Christmas, if volume warrants, to ensure delivery before Christmas.
So what does this mean for the typical household customer?
Elimination of Saturday collection and processing of single-piece mail will generally add a day to the delivery of such mail deposited on Saturday. For time-sensitive mail, such as bill payment, customers should account for the additional day if they typically deposit mail on Saturday. They may wish to change when they mail their payments to Fridays or Mondays or change their payment schedules.
Customers could receive more mail on Fridays and Mondays. In the absence of Saturday delivery, customers receiving advertisements, such as coupons and other special offers, may wish to hold on to such mail if they usually do their shopping during the weekends.