Why does USPS still deliver on Saturdays?

IIRC, about 2 or 3 years ago, USPS had stopped delivering mail on Saturdays. Well, I haven’t missed my usual delivery on any Saturdays. Why is this?


The Government Accountability Office ruled that the law requires Saturday delivery (or at least six day delivery), and Congress has not yet acted to change that.

Because they didn’t stop Saturday delivery after all. They intended to in 2013, but it was blocked by Congress.


Not only did they not stop Saturday delivery, that added Sunday delivery. I think they always had Sunday delivery for super extra important (pay a lot of money) deliveries. But I’m always surprised when I walk into work Monday morning to find a package on my desk from Amazon of something not that important (like staples) that was delivered via USPS.

I don’t know if Amazon paid extra for the service or if USPS offered to do it in order to get some of the business back from UPS/FedEx. It would be odd if they’re doing it for free since Saturday and Sunday don’t count as business days WRT to Prime delivery days. That is, if I order something on Thursday afternoon and it shows up on Sunday, that’s a day early. Unless Amazon paid extra, USPS did that on it’s own dime (the taxpayer’s?).

ETA, the first article I found when I googled for Amazon Sunday deliveries.

I’ve long wondered why Monday, Wednsday, Friday delivery wasn’t a thing. I stop at my home mailbox once a week to get what has accumulated, with junk mail accounting for 90% of the mail.

Congress listens disproportionately to little old ladies who demand their daily mail and who would really like USPS to reinstate the twice-a-day deliveries they had as a child.

That and the rural “the USPS is my only connection to the outside world; don’t cut me off” brigade.

Agreed. Our mailbox is in one of those group boxes down at the end of the block. We’re lucky to get down there twice a week to pick it up, so if they only delivered two or three times a week I would not care one bit.

We still get Saturday deliveries from Royal Mail but not Sundays - I am not sure that they ever did Sunday deliveries. No doubt the Powers That Be thought postmen ought to be in church on Sundays.

We lost twice daily deliveries a few years ago, and although there was some protest at the time, most of us hardly noticed. I think they still do it for businesses that get a lot of mail but that’s it. Fifty years ago people in The City of London had up to four deliveries a day.

Because there are people other than you?

It’s difficult to imagine someone who couldn’t skip a day of mail delivery.

Tell that to a fiend who is waiting for his prescription Oxycontin. :smiley:

Yes, I know—that was mean.

That’s why I love my Amazon Prime, order it Friday - get it on Sunday. For some reason I’m always realizing that I need something desperately on Fridays.

I used to spend a good portion my weekends trying to hunt down these items because I didn’t want to pay a fortune to get them on Monday or a smaller fortune to get them on Tuesday.

I’d be happy with 2x/week delivery. IF they could eliminate all the junk mail.

Right now, even though I’m on the DMA do-not-mail list I need to empty my box every day. If I let it go two days the box is overstuffed and today’s mail ends up jammed inside yesterday’s advertising circular.

The real problem is undersized mailboxes in this condo building. But my desired fix is to apply a spam filter to the junk mail rather than get a bigger box.

This being GQ, we’re going to need a cite for that. I have never received regular mail delivery on a Sunday, ever.

He was saying the USPS delivers for FedEx & UPS on Sunday. Which they do, as shown by his cite. He’s not saying USPS delivers conventional US mail on Sundays. Which they don’t.

these schemes can be superficial. if a day is eliminated then the cost of labor for that day is saved is what some propose.

but the mail has to be delivered, so 3 days of mail has to be delivered on Monday. but that is more than a carrier can deliver on one day say some of that gets pushed to Tuesday, which leaves some of that mail pushed to Wednesday. so that day of lost delivery has pushed into disrupting half a business week of mail.

you can find lots of situations where batching does less good than a stream. toll roads flow better with automated tolls than toll booths. commercial package delivery systems are sorting and shipping around the clock. email is streaming rather than batches of five days per week.

There’s a bit of circularity in that USPS charges bulk mailers very low rates because they have to drive to every address in the country every day anyway because Congress says so. So they charge what amounts to their marginal cost and now bulk mail counts for a huge percentage of the total.

USPS might well be able to be more profitable by delivering all the first class mail and a much smaller amount of much more expensive bulk mail 3x week. Workers would still work a full schedule, but half of any post office’s delivery area would get MWF delivery and the other half TTS.

What about businesses? There are millions of businesses in the country, which certainly do a large volume of mail. You can’t always tell a business from the outside; many of them are located in peoples’ homes. You probably have neighbors running businesses from their homes.

Additionally, a 2013 study found that 20% of Americans do not have an Internet connection. They connect with the world in other ways. (And undoubtedly so do a large number of those with Internet connections.)

The problem with the USPS is Congress and the way it makes it account for pensions. Solve that and it becomes profitable. Losing Saturday service would be a hardship for many people, even if it isn’t for you. And it’s totally not necessary in a sane political world.

Agree completely that about 90% of USPS’ problem is Congress in general and the pension accounting stupidity in specific. But …

They are caught in an exogenous squeeze where the volume of first class is going nowhere but down. And the cost to serve rural low-density areas is going nowhere but up.

Universal, cheap, daily service. Pick 2. We’re not irretrievably there yet, but we’re going that way.

Thanks for all the answers, guys.