Postal service to continue Saturday mail delivery

After announcing in February that it would halt delivery of regular mail on Saturdays, the United States Postal Service officially withdrew those plans on Wednesday.

For political direct mail consultants, the decision means there’s no need to rush to alter mail plans for the 2013 election season.

The agency’s board of governors announced in a statement that it would delay implementation of its plan to move to five-day delivery as a result of the stopgap budget measure recently passed by Congress. The budget included language that required six-day mail delivery.

“The board believes that Congress has left it with no choice but to delay this implementation at this time,” the statement reads. “The board also wants to ensure that customers of the Postal Service are not unduly burdened by ongoing uncertainties and are able to adjust their business plans accordingly.”

After posting a loss of some $15.9 billion dollars last year, the postal service warned in its Wednesday statement that delaying the end of Saturday mail could end up costing taxpayers in the long run.

“Delaying responsible changes to the Postal Service business model only increases the potential that the Postal Service may become a burden to the American taxpayer, which is avoidable,” USPS said in the statement.

Earlier this year, several direct mail consultants told C&E that the loss of Saturday delivery would force slight adjustments in their mail plans, but

“It’s something the industry was expecting to happen at some point,” Achim Bergmann, partner at Bergmann Zwerdling Direct said in February.

Consultants were ready to account for the loss of Saturday delivery with some minor changes. The biggest loss, according to Democratic direct mail consultant Andrew Kennedy, would have been not being able to get a mail piece to voters the Saturday before Election Day.

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