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May 12, 2010 12:00 AM
The U.S. Postal Service has taken its case for five-day delivery to the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC). The Postal Service is required by law to seek an advisory opinion from the PRC any time a nationwide change in service is proposed. Today’s filing begins the PRC review.
According to a report accompanying the request notes, “The Postal Service does not take this change lightly and would not propose it if six-day mail service could be supported by current volumes. There is no longer enough mail to sustain six days of delivery.”
The five-day delivery proposal is part of comprehensive plan announced March 2, “Delivering the Future,” a roadmap intended to keep the Postal Service afloat well into the future and help it recover from dramatic losses in volume resulting from electronic diversion and exacerbated by the economic recession.
The report notes, “Ten years ago, the average household received five pieces of mail every day. Today, it receives four pieces and by 2020, that number will fall to three. Reducing street delivery to five days will help rebalance postal operations with the needs of today’s customers. It also will save more than $3 billion a year, including reductions in energy use and carbon emissions.”
Postmaster General John E. Potter stresses that the proposal deals only with Saturday street delivery, and Post Offices will be open on Saturdays, access to P.O. boxes will continue, Express Mail will be delivered seven days a week, and incoming mail still will be processed.
“It’s five days of delivery, six days of service and Express Mail seven days a week,” Potter notes, adding that postal processing operations will continue on a seven-day schedule.
In addition to a review by the PRC, it’s also necessary for Congress to refrain from enacting legislation that would require the Postal Service to generally deliver mail six days a week after the end of fiscal year 2010.
The Postal Service report can be found at http://www.usps.com/communications/five-daydelivery and the request for the advisory opinion can be accessed at http://prc.gov