Saturday mail axed

Marie Havenga • Jul 21, 2015 at 12:10 PM

Your mailbox will be letter-less on Saturdays beginning in August.

The U.S. Postal Service announced Wednesday that it will stop delivering mail on Saturdays in an effort to trim costs. Weekend package delivery will continue status quo.

The move is expected to save about $2 billion annually for the struggling government agency, which suffered close to a $16 billion net loss last year.

Mike Story, acting postmaster in Grand Haven, said he believes six-months notice is enough for residents to adjust their bill payment and letter-mailing habits.

Come August, don't plan on receiving your $10 birthday check from Aunt Thelma on a Saturday. But if auntie ordered you a gold bracelet or other nifty gift from the Internet, it will still be delivered in time for your weekend outing. The Grand Haven office — and other community post offices throughout the nation — will still be staffed on Saturdays.

Post office box customers can still retrieve their mail on weekends with no changes.

“Any post office box customer or any people that come to the window will still be able to get service on Saturday,” Story said. “We'll have the same hours we currently have.”

The Grand Haven post office has 18 rural route carriers and 12 city routes. Story said it is unknown at this time if the Saturday cutback will result in any job losses.

While e-mail and online bill payments have taken a toll on traditional mailing, online orders have spiked package delivery — up 14 percent since 2010, according to postal officials.

“E-mail is eroding our First Class mail volumes,” Story said. “Our bulk business is somewhat leveling off. Our greatest growth potential is in the packages.

"I do anticipate significant growth service-wide in our packages because we are much cheaper than (other delivery services)," he continued. "By delivering packages on Saturday, we will still have that presence seen.”

To read more of this story, see Saturday’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

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