In a bid to avoid insolvency, the Postal Service today officially proposes eliminating overnight delivery of first-class mail to many destinations --- which is nothing new considering for years it has taken a sluggish two days to get many letters from point A delivered to point B, notes Grumpy Editor.
For example, for years mailing a letter in Los Angeles for delivery in Las Vegas --- a distance of about 230 miles --- takes two days.
The Postal Service wants to change what it calls “overnight standards.” Officially, that means it would take first class mail more than one day to reach destinations.
The agency says it needs to overhaul service standards as it closes hundreds of processing facilities.
Delivering first class mail in two to three days instead of one to three days could save about $3 billion by 2015, claims the Postal Service.
That comes close to Pony Express standards.
And it gets closer to the Postal Service's unofficial label, “snail mail.”
Lowly speed contrasts with 70 years ago when the postal operation was swift. Two mail deliveries a day were common. A mailing in the morning was delivered by afternoon in the same city.
Modern mail operations struggle to offset falling mail volumes as more people and businesses communicate by email and pay bills online.
Adding to the decline in mail activity is the periodic increase in cost of postage.
Another boost comes on Jan. 22.
Cost of a first-class stamp, for a one-ounce mailing, rises to 45 cents from the current 44.