Even as the Postal Service pushes to end Saturday letter delivery it is gearing up to expand its package delivery service to every day of the week.
Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe told reporters at the annual National Postal Forum the Postal Service is focused on growing its package delivery business and has seen great success so far.
“That is why we are moving toward the seven day model,” Donahoe said. He added the Postal Service was even trying out same-day delivery in New York City.
“It has caught on like wildfire in New York, we have a whole group of customers there,” he said.
The Postal Service suffered for several years from declining letter volumes. The agency is also saddled with a requirement to prefund its retiree health benefits - to the tune of about $5.5 billion a year. That pushed the Postal Service to its $15 billion debt limit.
Legislation pending in the Senate would allow the Postal Service to end Saturday delivery of letters and give it greater flexibility to pursue more profitable avenues such as package delivery. The Postal Service said ending Saturday delivery could save billions of dollars, while some lawmakers and outside organizations dispute the possible savings such a move would bring.
The Postal Service is delivering packages seven days a week in areas such as New York City, in some areas of Texas, Los Angeles and in certain parts of the mid-atlantic, according to Postal Service chief information officer Jim Cochrane.
He said the Postal Service is expanding seven day package delivery into new areas and hopes to cover about 80 percent of the population of the United States.
“We are making good progress on that,” he said.