Federal Times Blogs

Alternatives to the Postal Service, like…?

Bookmark and Share

If you haven’t seen it yet: We reported on Friday that Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., proposed allowing the Postal Service to “pilot” 5-day mail delivery in a few areas around the country. Polls usually indicate that the public is okay with 5-day delivery; Durbin wants to see if those poll numbers hold up when the idea becomes a reality.

One other item I wanted to highlight from that hearing (at which John Potter, the Postmaster General, was one of the witnesses). Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said several times that she’s worried 5-day delivery will reduce mail volume. At one point, she cited the example of weekly newspaper publishers in Maine. Their papers are usually delivered on Saturdays, so switching to 5-day delivery would cause problems; Collins said many will look for “alternatives to the mail.”

Like what, though? UPS and FedEx don’t deliver on Saturdays, nor would they be cost-effective alternatives to the mail.

5-day delivery will undoubtedly reduce volume, and it will make life more complicated for some businesses that rely on the Postal Service. But many of those businesses have no real alternative, so they can’t exactly stop using the mail.

Tags: ,


  1. Judy Altice Says:
    March 22nd, 2010 at 7:03 pm

    How can five day delivery cause a drop in mail volume when there is already a drop in mail volume. Five day delivery will help the Postal Service from ending period and making making what life it has to live longer.. more then 85% of businesses does all their mailings during the week, including most advertising, wants their ads delivered during the week so that the week enders can shop..I think just a small precentage of businesses would be affected..Give the five day delivery a chance…A lot of people would like to keep the PO around for many years to come..it is a great institution and very safe and reliable..maybe the newspaper people need to start paying people to deliver the paper and opening up jobs, that way they wouldnt have to rely on the PO to deliver the few newpapers that they have the PO to deliver..problem solved??
    Going to a five day delivery will not cause a drop in mail volume..no more then it is now..I vote for the 5 DAY DELIVERY…yeahhhh, go Postal Service..the American people love you and we want to keep you around…

  2. J Walter Says:
    March 23rd, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    Ask any mail carrier (city or rural carrier) what it is like after 2 days of no delivery! Twice the mail with no additional help or time to deliver. Then consider holiday weekends with 3 no-delivery days and the postal workers have an unbelievable work load. Everyone has an opinion on this subject, but sadly the opinions that should matter are ignored, that is, the postal worker”s.

  3. Matt J. Says:
    March 23rd, 2010 at 8:46 pm

    Five day delivery has been a dream of mine ever since i started at the P.O. 15 years ago. All the mail will get delivered in 5 days just like any other business. I can’t tell you how many people’s Saturday mail is stitting in the box on Monday. Anyone who says it can’t be done just isn’t being honest with themselves or is worried about their job. If the P.O. had done this 10 years ago they would not be in the financial mess they’re in now. The idea that taxpayers are getting less is silly being that the P.O. isn’t run with any tax dollars.

  4. Jason Says:
    March 24th, 2010 at 9:30 am

    5 day delivery shouldnt be too bad. But I think we should deliver Express (which we will) and Priority mail on Saturdays (which we wont) and also collections on Sat (which we wont). All that mail will sit in the collection box and not be processed for Monday, which I think is a big mistake. Have the mail processed and ready for Mondays and the extra Monday volume wont be so bad. We could change the carriers starting time earlier on Mondays so it wont effect the returning times. Now what do we do with all of the T-6′s that will be out of jobs when this happens? I say offer a good early out program, since half of our employees will be retiring in the next 10 years. Promote the T-6′s to regulars (they actually take a pay decrease this way) and some PTF’s too. Keep the young ones with 10 years or less employed and let the old timers retire all while avoiding a major lay-off. This will probably cut approximately 30,000 employees nation wide and that is where the savings will be.

    March 28th, 2010 at 3:48 pm


  6. illinoisian Says:
    April 5th, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    I like Durbins idea of picking one or two areas of the country and giving it a try. Trouble is it won’t work. You can’t shut part of the counrty down and run the rest as usual. It has to be all or nothing. I just wish Durbin would have called for the same experiment (give it a try) with our healthcare system. And the ones that should have volunteered to try it are Congress and the White House.

  7. chuckSin Says:
    May 22nd, 2010 at 11:10 pm

    Don’t you people comprehend anything that is being proposed? Post Offices will still remain open. Mail will still be processed. People will still be able to conduct mailing business as they do now. The only difference will be no home deliveries. The only people this will be affecting are the Postal Carriers. Clerks will still work, mail will still be collected at the Post Offices, most people don’t even go to the Post Office on Saturdays except to pick up packages. Most Post Offices are only open two to four hours on Saturday now anyways. Mondays will be heavier, but they are already heavy; the only difference will be some of that volume will extended to Tuesday. If any of you readers are actually Postal workers with any seniority, don’t you remember the 80′s and 90′s when mail volume was ACTUALLY heavy.

  8. illinoisian Says:
    June 14th, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    Yes, Chuckbaby, volume was heavier in the 80′s & 90′s.
    But we also had more employees to handle it too. Where
    I work we have lost 2/3 of the workforce that handle mail.
    We have NOT lost 2/3 of the volumes.

  9. ezautoshippers Says:
    June 18th, 2010 at 11:28 am

    As a business owner in the auto transport industry this sounds like a terrible idea. We receive a lot of mail Mon-Sat and we are a semi small business. I think they could save a lot of money implementing this plan on residential deliveries, but they need to keep the mail flowing to businesses. If they need to implement an additional charge for this then it would be the business owner’s responsibility to make the choice if they want the deliveries or not. It sounds like they would have plenty of people still working on the weekends and if business was picking up the tab for their carriers then this just may be a good business plan for the PO. The carriers that are delivering business and priority mail could also pick up from drop boxes so that the mail could keep flowing.