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USPS Stops Saturday Delivery: Online Disaster?

The United States Postal Service (USPS) will stop home delivery of first class mail on Saturdays later this year. This news has left many people confused about what will happen to online orders that are delivered by the USPS. We’ve got all the facts you need to know about the change.

What’s is changing? The USPS will no longer be delivering first class mail on Saturdays beginning August 2013. This primarily affects delivery of letters or other parcels sent out via first class mail. Mail that would have been delivered on Saturday will instead be delivered on the following Monday. Expect for Monday’s mail to be more numerous than it has in the past.

What’s not changing? Orders shipped via priority mail, express mail or parcel package delivery will still be delivered on Saturdays. This means if a merchant uses any of the above services to deliver your package it will still arrive on Saturday if the package was scheduled to be delivered on Saturday.

Why is USPS doing this? The simple truth is with the growth of e-mail, instant messaging and websites, far fewer pieces of mail are being sent. The volume is not enough to support 6-day-a-week standard mail delivery. The USPS reported a loss in fiscal year 2012 of 15.9 billion dollars. Even though that figure includes 11.1 billion related to pre–funding of retirement benefits, the loss not counting that expense is still 5.8 billion dollars or almost 15.9 million dollars per day. The USPS hopes to save almost 2 billion dollars by removing Saturday delivery.

What if I need my items faster? It’s always a good idea to contact a merchant directly if you feel the extra day delay may be an issue, but be prepared to pay a lot more. The cost of faster services by UPS or FedEx can run many times the shipping costs from USPS.

While this isn’t a disaster for online shopping, it may mean a day of two more delay in receiving your items and not-so-happy encountners with the mail person on Saturday.