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The USPS Cost-Saving Plan: The Postman Always Rings Never

Having lost billions of dollars for quarter after quarter, The US Postal Service has a cunning plan to cut costs - end door-to-door postal delivery. More than 30 million American homes get door-to-door delivery and another 50 million get their mail dropped at their curbside mailboxes, but as Reuters reports, with the 'entity' buckling under massive financial losses, it sees savings in centralized mail delivery. This is good news for the customer though - apparently - as Postal Service spokeswoman Sue Brennan explains "converting delivery away from door delivery to either curb line or centralized delivery would enable the Postal Service to provide service to more customers in less time."

The Postal Service last year lost $16 billion, mostly due to dwindling mail volumes and massive payments into a mandatory fund for its future retirees' healthcare.

The agency, which does not receive taxpayer funds, is under pressure to modify its business model and raise revenues or risk requiring a bailout of nearly $50 billion by 2017.

So, as Reuters reports, under a cost-saving plan by the U.S. Postal Service, millions of Americans accustomed to getting their mail delivered to their doors will have to trek to the curb and residents of new homes will use neighborhood mailbox clusters, the agency said.

The Postal Service has been quietly phasing in the change with some aspects starting in April, and it has given no timeline for the shift. It's unclear if delivery to the door will be eliminated entirely.

 

"Converting delivery away from door delivery to either curb line or centralized delivery would enable the Postal Service to provide service to more customers in less time," Postal Service spokeswoman Sue Brennan said.

 

More than 30 million American homes get door-to-door delivery and another 50 million get their mail dropped at their curbside mailboxes.

 

But the Post Service, which is buckling under massive financial losses, sees savings in centralized mail delivery. Door-to-door delivery costs the Postal Service about $353 per address each year.

 

Curbside delivery costs $224, and cluster boxes cost $160 per address. With cluster boxes, mailboxes for individual addresses are grouped together at a central neighborhood location.

 

The move is one of many controversial cost-cutting steps the Postal Service is trying as it continues to plead with Congress for permission to overhaul its business and avert a bailout.

Not everyone is sure this is good idea...

Some in the mailing community such as the Greeting Card Association support a switch to a cluster box system.

 

But others such as the National Association of Letter Carriers and the American Postal Workers Union oppose it.

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