In a Wednesday news release, the U.S. Postal Service announced it will end Saturday mail delivery in August. On Thursday, Stephen A. Seewoester, USPS regional spokesman, clarified the new schedule.
“All letter mail service nationally will be Monday through Friday beginning Aug. 5,” said Seewoester, who represents USPS offices in Augusta, Macon and South Georgia. “Any customers who need Saturday mail delivery may rent a post-office box at their local post office. Mail will be delivered to those boxes on Saturday.”
Seewoester clarified information in the news release that stated those post offices currently open Saturdays would continue to be open Saturdays. Mail will continue to be delivered to post-office boxes Saturday at those post offices. However, Saturday mail delivery to homes will stop in August.
What does that mean for Bryan County News, which is delivered by mail on Wednesday and Saturday?
“We’ve anticipated this decision by the Postal Service for some time and have several options available to continue delivery of Bryan County’s newspaper on Saturday,” said Bryan County News publisher Mark Griffin. “We’re weighing those options now with the overall goal of making sure our readers get local news and information in an accurate and timely way.”
The Postal Service news release quoted Postmaster General and CEO Patrick R. Donahoe discussing what he called a “strong growth” in package deliveries while recognizing “America’s changing mailing habits.”
Seewoester admitted he didn’t have the exact figures about how the increase in package deliveries or the decreases in mail deliveries were broken down by state or region. He said that nationally, package deliveries were up 14 percent while letter mail deliveries were down 20 percent. The news release attributed the decrease in letter mail to increased use of email and other forms of Internet communication.
“The change to the five-day letter delivery will have no effect on post office hours,” he said, explaining the USPS was following other measures to cut costs. “However, separately, the post office is reducing hours of many smaller post offices in lieu of closure, based on local usage. This information is broken down on our website (about.usps.com/news/electronic-press-kits/our-future-network/post-plan/welcome.htm.) ... by zip code.”
Read more in the Feb. 9 edition of the News.