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EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 2995 - February 06, 2013 - ISSN 1539-5065    6 of 6

USPS Set to Stop Saturday Mail, Online Sellers Get Reprieve

By David A. Utter
EcommerceBytes.com
February 06, 2013




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Online sellers worried about a move to 5-day package delivery of USPS mail may get some relief. The Postal Service Board of Governors is meeting today, and one of the likely topics of discussion - a change to Saturday delivery that has been rumored for a long time.

It looks like the official word on the change should happen ahead of that meeting according to USA Today and others. Effective August 2013, mail delivery on Saturdays will cease.

However, the package delivery side of the US Postal Service business will continue to have a six day a week schedule. Delivering packages, such as those generated by ecommerce businesses, has proven a bright spot in the Postal Service's otherwise challenging business model.

Email and similar fast and cheap ways to keep in contact with others, and even to send business documents, has carved into the Postal Service's revenue for years. There simply isn't a way that a company that depends on people driving trucks from point to point can match the instantaneous fulfillment of email or texting.

A substantial cost savings is on the horizon should the planned Saturday cutback take place. The Postal Service is looking at an annual savings of around $2 billion a year should they cease Saturday mail delivery.

Much of the Postal Service's woes have been blamed on requirements that the business pre-fund benefit obligations. As noted by US Congressman Adam Schiff of California, the Postal Service is legally required to prefund its retirement health benefit program by $5.5 billion a year. Schiff and others have co-sponsored a bill that would help USPS with this situation.

Comment on the AuctionBytes Blog.

See update in Thursday's Newsflash newsletter.

About the author:

David A. Utter is a freelance writer based in Lexington, KY. He has covered technology topics from search to security to online business and has been quoted in places like ZDNet and BusinessWeek. He considers his appearance on NPR's "All Things Considered" with long-time host Robert Siegel a delightful highlight. Send your tips to media@davidautter.com and find him on Twitter @davidautter and on LinkedIn.

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