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Your Take: Is Five Days of Mail Delivery OK?

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USPS Mail TrucksDid you know that that the United States Postal Service is slated to lose $6 billion or more this year? It lost $2.8 billion last year.

With all the outrage over lending billions to financial institutions, you’d think more people would be fired up about running an operation that lost $2.8 billion last year and could lose $6 billion this year. No one is sending packages on credit for people without jobs. There aren’t multi-million dollar bonuses for anyone at the post office. It’s just a business that is spending more than it earns because mail volume is dropping.

In reading more about it, some people argue that delivery days is a red herring and that the USPS can save money in other areas. While I can appreciate that to a degree, sometimes it comes down to an argument of “less filling” or “great taste.” The reality is that the post office is losing money and we’re paying for it, with taxes and with higher postage stamp prices, and they need to stop arguing and start fixing.

I am perfectly fine with getting mail five days a week.

What do you think?

(Photo by icanchangethisright)

{ 172 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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172 Responses to “Your Take: Is Five Days of Mail Delivery OK?”

  1. cscoot03 says:

    So how much mail have you received this week? How much of it was junk? Is it worth this many days delivery?

  2. daemondust says:

    I’ve been living with about three times a month for as long as I’ve had my current letter carrier. I guess they can’t be bothered to actually deliver mail more than once every week or two. Complaining fixed it for a couple days until it rained and my mail was ‘delivered’ to the lawn instead of the mail box.

  3. cscoot03 says:

    I’ll say for you great door to mailmen, a day off might not be a bad idea…

  4. John R. says:

    If the private sector (free market) would be allowed to compete they would solve this “crisis” in about a week. I would argue the USPS is subsidized in one form or another and therefore the actual cost of a 1st class letter is more then $.44.

    1) ENVIRONMENT – Junk mail would be greatly reduced if business paid the true cost of their bulk mail.

    2) LOGISTICS – private sector would find the most efficient delivery methods. The previous mentions of Walmart (love ’em or hate ’em) They are the most successful logistics company in the history of business. They manufacture NOTHING, yet is the worlds 8th largest “economy”. Private delivery services would offer delivery options: $.40 cents for non-time sensitive mail (10 day delivery), $.50 for 5 day , etc.. Basically, customer decides on the velocity and pays accordingly.

    3) EQUITABLE – competition would charge more for letters sent cross country vs. cross town. More for rural delivery (This is unfair? Rural dwellers are not forced to live there. The higher postal rates should be a factor when choosing where to live. )

    4) COMPETITION – a free market oligopoly is NOT a perfect free market environment, but is definitely better than ANY GOV’T monopoly. Competition would keep salary/benefits in check with the PERFORMANCE and level of the job.

    5) EFFICIENCY – Competition ALWAYS breeds efficient business practice. If a letter carrier gets paid to deliver 500 letters a day regardless of how long it takes, they will find the most efficient way to deliver. (bike, rollerblade) The harder/smarter the letter carrier works the more money you make.

  5. John R. says:

    BTW, when I owned a retail store, the posted hours were 10:00 – 8:00.
    Doors would not be locked until 8:10… If we have customers wanting to spend money we would not slam the door in their face. Second shift employees knew and accepted that they may leave at 8:10 if it was slow or 8:30 if there are customers and to plan accordingly…

    In contrast, postal employees are standing by the office doors and locking them at 4:59:59… nothing worse when struggling through rush hour and being 5 microseconds late and trying to reason through the glass with an employee of that lacks any customer service skills whatsoever.

    • nikhil says:

      actually, I second that. Infact the postoffices here in Richmond, VA close their doors a 5 minutes before closing time. Once I had an important package that I needed to sign and pick up from our post office. I saw the closing time onine and it said 5PM. I took off early from office, got to the entry door at 4:59 (checked the cell phone for time) and the entry door was locked. A guy was coming out of the exit door and I used that to get in and the desk lady starting screaming at me for using the wrong door! I said it’s not even 5 yet so I should be allowed to pick up my package regardless. Anyway…it was pointless. After much argument and my boiling blood pressure, they kicked me out and I had to go again the next day. Very unfair and poor service.

  6. Old bellringer says:

    Mail delivery six days a week along every street and road is the largest use and waste of fuel and largest single polluter in the nation. It is a luxury that in unnecessary today. Three days a week would be more than enough. Why not once a week?

  7. PCG says:

    Well lets see,first off if the usps decides on a five day delivery,obviously a competitor will step in and take revenue away from them…hmm…second,the post master general has already been before Congress numerous times about this.He has been told by them that the USPS is top heavy and shld cut from the top asap…hmm…nope..hvnt dont that either..just laid off and closed offices,the very people that,collect,process and deliver the mail to you,not the over paid supervisors who do almost nothing.You cant have fewer delivery days,smaller work force,higher costs to deliver the mail(stamps are scheduled to rise again)and make no management cuts and think this is an awsome model.By the way…did you know the Postmaster General makes in excess of 750,000.00….not too shabby for a man who has done nothing to improve the working environment(as in still using old 1970’s vehicles and decrepid old bldgs in most cases..oh..except for branches near state capitols…gotta look good to the public now dont we)check out UPS’s and Fedex’s vehicles and workplaces and honestly tell people that the USPS puts money back in to improve about some fuel efficient cars huh?or maybe realigning routes,so that the carriers dont have to drive miles in between deliveries…do your homework,and make an honest attempt to really find out whats going to your carriers(you know..the hard working people who you actually see everyday…WORKING!)they will tell you whats going on…ok now…go…learn.

    • Andrew says:

      Why would a competitor want revenue? Companies want _profits_. And I doubt anyone could make a profit carrying letters from Alaska to Florida for 44 cents each.

  8. Gail Gampbell says:

    I have to say I think our post office is one of the best around. Yes it does have a lobby that you can get stamps at and mail letters and it’s open 24/7 my mail carrier is at my door by 10:30 AM & always says Good morning rain,sleet,snow or sun! Those men & women bust their butts. And every time I go into the main office which is not a hung over size brick building by the way, the lines move nice along pretty quick. Even if there are people that don’t know what they are doing and the people in the office always smile and help you you get out as quick as they can. So if they have to raise the price of a stamp I’ll pay it just to see their Happy Faces. They can use a raise !

  9. Chris says:

    As a postal employee, I wanted to point out that your tax dollars are not used to fund the USPS. Postage alone is the source of funding.

    • Anonymous says:

      Tax payers do subsidize the USPS. The USPS does not pay tax on property and equipment and other taxes that private companies such as UPS, FEDX etc. pay.

  10. Chris says:

    Here’s an idea. As a carrier retires, have every citizen on his/her route put up a curbside box or place large boxes at central locations per neighborhood with parcel lockers for mail pickup. This would reduce costs by up to 50%. Secondly, listen to the letter carriers, they can tell you how to eliminate costs. I would love to meet some of the people making the decisions which cost the post office more money. Will they listen to their workers?

  11. Anonymous says:

    We all pay the cost for the USPS operation even if we mail very little. The cost of mailing bills by service providers we use such as utilities impacts the cost of that service and is included in what we pay. Reducing expenses such as eliminating Saturday delivery will reduce the need for rate increases that affect us all.

  12. cscoot03 says:

    Thursday is junkday here, Saturday is an important day for many to mail. Asking the carrier shows there are a couple of days that mail doesn’t need to be delivered. I’m not suggesting these people receive time off but with todays economy & electronics, on these couple extra days, there are many items that can be done to help organize the USP. There are many that must tighten their belts, money is being spent like there’s no tomorrow, common sence seems to be the simplest & best answer.

  13. b. says:

    I hate this change. It’s crap! With the advent of the internet came the influx of internet purchases. Purchases that must be delivered. I now pay over night delivery on something on a Friday and I’m LUCKY to get it by Monday. It’s absolutely disgusting bullshit entirely engineered to make all the wrong people a lot more money.

  14. David says:

    I can not believe how ridiculous people are sounding. If the PO goes to five days, it does not mean they will eventually go to four days lmao. Every other nation in the world, including Canada , has been fine with five day week. Saturday mail delivery at this juncture is a lesson in futility. It makes absolutely no sense. Think about the secondary effect of saving our environment. That can not be omitted from the debate. Lets just go to m-f. Everyone will be fine. If you are worried about your meds, just order them a few days earlier .

  15. Old bellringer says:

    Published by USPS:
    218,684 — number of vehicles in our fleet the largest civilian fleet in the world
    1.1 billion — dollar amount spent on fuel in 2009,
    1.25 billion — number of miles driven each year by our letter carriers and truck drivers
    444 million — number of gallons of fuel used in 2009
    This may be owned vehicles only. It does not indicate that it includes the personal vehicles of rural carriers. They have the largest fleet and are the largest fuel user in the world. Eliminating one day would reduce fuel consumption by more than 7,000,000 gallons per year.

    • David says:

      Could not have said it any better myself. It just shows what hypocrites the unions are for fighting this tooth and nail. Unions which are generally green friendly , suddenly flip flop when union dues are involved. That is the ONLY reason the union is concerned; Even though through attrition no jobs will be lost.

      • Tony says:

        Exactly. At our local branch !! office the head moron is talking about the need to sacrifice our wages and future raises in order to help others keep their jobs. When I signed up I was told from day one that You do not really work for the post office until you reach that six year layoff cut off date. The union is only worried about their union dues and lavish conventions as well as the possibility of having to actually go back to carrying mail like the rest of us. We need to support leaders that will stand behind real solutions. I for one support five day delivery for being greener and because their is literally half the mail volume as when i started fifteen years ago. We need to fix this now.

  16. Tammy says:

    Personally, i like getting mail on Saturday. I try to use USPS when sending packages and when i have the choice of how to receive packages i choose USPS.

    I think cutting out Saturdays would save money in the beginning, but i think alot of places and people would get used to using UPS or FEDEX for their shipping needs, and then the USPS would end up not gaining all that much from cutting out Saturdays.

    I live in a town of about 1500, there is a Post Office here, and there is also one about 2 miles from where i live in a town with a population of about 500 (if that). Another 5 miles down the road there are 2 Post Offices (to separate small towns right next to each other, literally a stones throw).

    If i drive in the opposite direction from where i live there is a Post Office about 6 miles away in a town of about 200. I don’t understand the need for so many Post Offices, couldn’t they consolidate? I know most of these Post Offices aren’t making any money, yet they all have a Post Master (making a pretty good wage) and paying for heat, electric, etc.

    I know you don’t want to just fire people, but maybe when a Post Master retires in one of the small Post Offices, they could just shut it down.

    I understand it’s probably easier said than done, and maybe they wouldn’t save as much as I think they would, but just a thought.

    • David says:

      The post office will still be open. There just will not be mail delivery to homes. If you want mail that badly, you can buy a PO box for about 50 bucks a whole year. That is cheap.

  17. Tony says:

    Exactly. At our local branch 11 union office the head moron is talking about the need to sacrifice our wages and future raises in order to help others keep their jobs. When I signed up I was told from day one that You do not really work for the post office until you reach that six year layoff cut off date. The union is only worried about their union dues and lavish conventions as well as the possibility of having to actually go back to carrying mail like the rest of us. We need to support leaders that will stand behind real solutions. I for one support five day delivery for being greener and because there is literally half the mail volume as when i started fifteen years ago. We need to fix this now. We need to thing about the future of our employer which directly affects us and our families

  18. Anonymous says:

    everyone who has a negative opinion about their mailman should have to deliver the mail for one week to all the whinning complaining customers that have their post office number set on speeddial just waiting to call and complain about one silly thing or another. especially during the holidays when we cant even get all the mail in our vehicles and have to run our routes in all kind of cold,hot and wet weather then go back to the po and load up and go again. we dont make as much money as everyone thinks. the bosses (who all seem to think they are some kind of royalty) are the ones making the big money from their climate controlled offices. get rid of most of them. they are the dead weight pulling the operation costs into the red.i deliver to the wealthy part of town where doctors wifes sit on the couch and try to order everything qvc puts out. some of these people get 5 or 6 packages a day and a box full of magazines. there is no way they can read all this stuff. if the poor people in america had what the rich waste no one would have to do without. if the 44 cents is to much to send your letter take it yourself. counting your time and gas would you really save money that way? and we didnt get a cost of living raise last year. would the politicians allow their salarys to stay the same? one thing that chaps my rear is the people with high paying jobs walk around looking down their noses at the ones of us who cant play golf twice a week. rush limbaugh said on the radio last week that he makes 58.9 million dollars a year. that is more than a million a week for 5 3hour days. id like to know i could make a week of his salary in 5 years. dont turn your anger to the mailman who works harder than 80% of the people in want to talk about waste in government look at our president (mr. vacation) how much did we spend to send his mooching wife to spain? enough to feed every starving person in america for a month. yall gripe about that for awhile and leave the backbone of america alone.

  19. terry says:

    no 5 days is not ok….. I want my mail 6 times a week like it is now

  20. Mike says:

    5 days of mail would be great! Businesses all do 5 day weeks and it works great. Get it right USPS and raise the rate as needed for mail. There is no need for the Gov to subsidize your costs.

  21. Mike says:

    5 days of mail would be great! Businesses all do 5 day weeks and it works great. Get it right USPS and raise the rate as needed for mail. There is no need for the Gov to subsidize your costs.

  22. thefactsrhere says:

    One thing I don’t understand is how someone that has no idea how the postal service operates can even comment on what the postal service needs to do to fix its budget woes? Now with that said take it from someone who knows what they are talking about> why would you want to stop mail delivery for 1 day per week when this is what it will do for the postal service> All of the offices would continue to be open on the days that just the delivery personal will be off> This would mean that most if not all of the substitute carriers would loose their jobs which could add a profit to the budget, but then that means that since the delivery or mail carrier which gets paid by the amount of work he carriers(not an hourly wage base) with the offices remaining open and the mail trucks/plants and such still running , The mail delivery person would be delivering the mail that was supposed to be delivered on the day he or she was forced to be off on the next day along with the mail for that day also, which means he or she will be delivering two days or being forced to do two days of work in the next day he is allowed to work. And I am quite sure he or she will be expected to do this double day of work with the same pay as one. Now with that said if you pay that delivery person by the work he or she is doing (which is how they are suppose to be paid) You will have to pay them for the extra days worth of mail which will wouldn’t be much of a saving at all (maybe a little for equipment allowance would be all you would save). Also lets say that you stop a day of delivery and keep the offices open which is what the postal service is wanting to do and you force the delivery person to do this extra day of work for free> then that would mean the budget for each office would save quite a bit> then as you probably don’t know is that the supervisors/managements pay and bonuses are based on the profit margin for that office so then most of the saved money would go to extra pay for the supervisors/managers and such since the profit for that office would increase. So where is the savings? This proposal just want work unless you put a pay lock on the overhead at the same time you stop mail delivery and also you should close all operations on that day. Now with all that said why should just the delivery personal be the ones to take the majority of the cut in salary for the entire postal service and the rest of the employees pay continue as normal or even at an increase? And might I add that as the mail volume has decreased over the past years the mail delivery personal pay has already been cut with the decrease in mail volume (they get paid by the work they do not an hourly rate) and be rest assured as the mail has decreased so has their pay been adjusted already. And that is probably something else you don’t know the postal service has and is continuing to adjust the pay for their delivery personal as the mail volume changes. So now I ask you this question where or what is the postal service savings going to be by stopping mail/parcel delivery on any day of the week? Also what has the postal service done with the pay they have already taken from the mail delivery personal over the past years as the mail volume has decreased? I know the answer; let’s see if you can figure it out?

  23. willy says:

    just think about when all your technology fails and the way the world is going when that happens you will be glad to get any mail on that satuday lol just wait and see

  24. John J. McGuire says:

    Raise the price of stamps and other Postal Services to become solvent. We have cheaper postal rates compared to the rest of the world. Let the people who use the service, pay for it. like everything else. If the demand is there, the Post Office will survive. Then, if that doesn’t work, change the system. John from Long Island, N.Y.

  25. John J. McGuire says:

    This is John from Long Island again, I was looking at the “FRANKING” priviledge of Congress, which provides Congress with “free” mailings proportianate to their constituancy. I would advise Congress to consider how important or unimportant it would be to cut postal service to the public, remembering that elections come-up year-after -year; moreover, would the internet be as affective as the written word in getting a point across?

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