The United States Postal Services (USPS) has decided to discontinue the Saturday deliver of letters. Postmaster General Patrick Donahue made the announcement last week, stating that the USPS would save $2 billion per year by making this change alone.
$25 million is reported loss everyday by the postal service. Compare the 160 billion pieces delivered in 2012 to the 202.1 billion delivered in 2003. First class mail peaked in 2001 and has been steadily declining ever since, resulting in the loss of jobs due to downsizing, along with increased effort to automate the process.
Independent agencies currently employ around 574,000 employees in the 31,000 post offices. In addition, they boast the largest vehicle fleet. Independents also operate without government assistance and don’t rely on tax money to operate, their source of funding is strictly from the sale of stamps, products and services.
With the introduction of the “Internet age”, social interactions and bill pay options are now available online and have resulted in the decline of letters being sent. Furthermore, digital media has made it easier and less expensive for marketers to advertise through email marketing and social media campaigns.
The recent announcement that the USPS would end it’s Saturday mail delivery has been met with a mixed bag of responses. While 63% of Americans favor the change, according to a Gallop Poll, there are people who strongly oppose the change. Interestingly enough, the poll shows that responders 18-29 years old were among those who least approve of the decision.
It is not surprising that this younger generation has taken to social media sites to save Saturday mail deliver. The Charton Family of Little Rock, Arkansas decided to start a movement to encourage people to send snail mail. They set up a Facebook Event and invited people to send snail mail on Sat. February 16th.
They currently have 935 people who have joined it, 125 maybes and over 8,000 invitations sent out. The response to the event has been positive, with people sharing their enthusiasm for stamps. Employees thanked them for their support and others posted pictures of the postcards and letters going to the post office.
The family intends on building on this event by starting a Facebook Group under the same name, “because we love snail mail.”
Whether the USPS is able to follow through with their decision is still not clear. According to a press release on their website, the change will take effect on August 5, 2013. However, Congressional legislature that was passed back in 1981 requires them to deliver mail six days a week and that is still applicable now.