U.S. Postal Service and Six-Day Delivery: Issues for Congress [November 1, 2011]   [open pdf - 478KB]

"After running profits from FY2004 through FY2006, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) lost $20.4 billion from FY2007 through FY2010. At the conclusion of the third quarter of FY2011, USPS had $901 million in cash--a low level for an agency with an average weekly operating expense of more than $1.4 billion. USPS leaders, Congress, and the public have suggested methods that may increase revenue or reduce expenses. Among these suggestions is reducing the number of days per week that USPS delivers mail. On March 30, 2010, USPS made its first formal step toward a move to five-day delivery when it asked the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC), an oversight body, for an advisory opinion on the elimination of Saturday delivery. Some lawmakers have criticized the elimination of a delivery day, stating that reducing service days could cause even greater reductions in mail volume and lead to a 'death spiral' for USPS. […] S. 1010, introduced by Senator Thomas R. Carper, would give USPS the authority to determine the number of days it delivered mail. H.Res. 137, on the other hand, would express the sense of the House of Representatives that USPS should maintain six-day delivery. In 'The President's Plan for Economic Growth and Deficit Reduction', released in September 2011, the Office of Management and Budget supported authorizing USPS to eliminate a delivery day. The 112th Congress may consider the elimination of a mail delivery day as part of a larger debate over the future of USPS. This report will examine the history of six-day mail delivery, compare delivery options in other countries, and analyze potential effects of reducing USPS delivery from six to five days. It will then examine some potential policy options for Congress."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R40626
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Via E-mail
Media Type:
Help with citations