Postal Service Outlines Five-Day Delivery Proposal and Launch of Web Site
The U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors approved management’s request to move forward with its five-day delivery proposal and to file a request for an advisory opinion with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) on March 30.
Postal Service vice president Sam Pulcrano, who has been leading an internal five-day delivery task force, also told the board at its meeting today that a Web site will be launched to provide customers with the details of the proposal. The Web site also will include a special section telling business mailers how to manage a change in delivery. The site can be accessed at http://www.usps.com/communications/five-daydelivery.
The five-day delivery proposal is a critical element of a larger plan, “Delivering the Future,” announced March 2. An action plan for the next decade, it presents a balanced approach needed to ensure a viable Postal Service for decades to come. The plan includes legislative and regulatory changes needed to give the Postal Service the flexibility to make necessary business decisions in a timely manner, including the prefunding of retiree health benefits, pricing and delivery frequency.
Two of the plan’s key proposals require action by the Congress: a restructuring of the payment schedule the Postal Service is required to make to prefund retiree health benefits and the elimination of existing statutory language mandating mail delivery six days a week.
Pulcrano told the Board that the five-day task force has spent the last several months seeking stakeholder input and refining the proposal to address mailer concerns. He also said extensive market research has been conducted and Postal Service findings have been consistent with most national polls that have shown that the American people would approve of a five-day delivery schedule if it would ensure a viable Postal Service well into the future.
A USA Today/Gallup poll conducted earlier in the month showed support for five-day delivery across all age groups from 58 percent in the 18-34 bracket to 73 percent among those 55 or older. An earlier Gallup poll showed that 69 percent of all Americans were agreeable to a five-day schedule if it would mean stable stamp prices and a Rasmussen poll showed 66 percent in favor if it would help the Postal Service maintain financial stability.
Pulcrano also highlighted the key elements of the proposal which will be detailed in the filing with the PRC: street delivery and blue box collections will be eliminated on Saturdays, Express Mail service will continue seven days a week, Post Offices currently open on Saturday will remain open, PO Box accessibility will continue and bulk mail and drop shipments will continue to be accepted at facilities that are currently open. If implemented, Pulcrano told the board the estimated annual savings would be $3.1 billion.
About the USPS
A self-supporting government enterprise, the U.S. Postal Service is the only delivery service that reaches every address in the nation, 150 million residences, businesses and Post Office Boxes. The Postal Service receives no direct support from taxpayers. With 36,000 retail locations and the most frequently visited Web site in the federal government, the Postal Service relies on the sale of postage, products and services to pay for operating expenses. Named the Most Trusted Government Agency five consecutive years and the sixth Most Trusted Business in the nation by the Ponemon Institute, the Postal Service has annual revenue of more than $68 billion and delivers nearly half the world’s mail. If it were a private sector company, the U.S. Postal Service would rank 28th in the 2009 Fortune 500.