While I applaud the U.S. Postal Service for proposing the end to Saturday delivery as a means to lessen its losses, the $2 billion in savings just doesn’t seem enough to come even close to solving their red ink. I have a couple of suggestions that I believe may go further to stop the hemorrhaging.
First, stagger delivery days such that one carrier could now cover two mail routes. For example, one route would receive mail on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, while a second route covered by the same carrier would receive deliveries on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. All of the special categories of mail, e.g. anything requiring delivery on a non-scheduled day, could be handled by a special carrier familiar with four or five routes.
Also any business, or individual for that matter, that wanted five day delivery of its mail could be charged a fee commensurate with the increased costs. I believe that the vast majority of Americans could easily survive on three days of mail per week.
Second, charge more for the “junk” mail that makes up the vast majority of items that are delivered to our mail boxes. These items are things we haven’t asked for, don’t need, and often don’t even bother to open. In the past, the USPS has taken the approach of increasing the cost of first class mail.
This class of mail is the one class that we truly want to see in our mail boxes and which we are using less and less due to the cost while using email and other options more and more. Perhaps if the increased cost of these “junk” items lowered their volume, the USPS might be able to increase the number of stops delivered by each carrier.
While I understand the pain involved in cutting personnel, it seems the better alternative to shutting down a business that is losing billions of dollars a year.
Something more bold than eliminating Saturday deliveries must be done.
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