FIVE-DAY MAIL DELIVERY IS A STEP CLOSER TO REALITY. The U.S. Postal Service filed a request for an advisory opinion on the five-day mail delivery proposal with the Postal Regulatory Commission on March 30.

Some Postal Service executives feel the need for the delivery cutback is dire. With first-class mail eroding, the time is now to implement five-day delivery, according to Sam Pulcrano, vice president of sustainability for the USPS.

“The dilemma we have is [the need is] growing and growing exponentially,” Pulcrano said during a March 29 conference call. “We really can’t do anything without legislative changes.”

The USPS has seen its mail volume fall 20% since 2006, and it’s expected to drop by another 20 billion pieces in the next 10 years. First-class mail is expected to fall by 30 billion pieces, while modest growth is anticipated for advertising mail.

According to the five-day delivery proposal, letter carriers would stop delivering mail to U.S. homes and businesses and picking up mail from blue collection boxes on Saturdays. But post offices would stay open on Saturdays, and mail would be delivered to post office boxes. Express mail services would continue seven days a week.

So with five-day mail delivery, there would be six days of service and seven days of network processing and transportation. The delivery cuts would save the USPS $3.1 billion in the first year, and as much as $5.2 billion by 2020.

Assuming the PRC and Congress approve the plan, Pulcrano said it would take about six months to implement five-day mail delivery.

PRC Chairman Ruth Goldway said in March that it may take six to nine months for her panel to issue an advisory opinion.

Deputy Postmaster General Pat Donahoe said during the ACMA’s National Catalog Forum last month that he believes the five-day mail delivery proposal should go through, based on widespread national support.

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