US Postal Service eyes reduced mail delivery

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Facing rising costs and declining demand, the United Stats Postal Service this week unveiled a cost-cutting plan that would trim mail delivery to five days a week and slash some 40,000 jobs.

Generations of Americans have grown up reciting the unofficial postman's motto, that "neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night" can impede delivery of the US mail delivery.

But they never counted on grinding recession and gaping budget shortfalls: The USPS said in a statement that it is facing an expected 238 billion dollar budget deficit over the next decade.

USPS officials said have targeted Saturday as the day when mail delivery would fall out, because it is the day with the lowest volume of mail.

And since more than one-third of US businesses are closed on Saturdays, businesses would be less affected that were they to lose mail delivery on a weekday.

Officials said they plan to scale back mail delivery by early 2011, as it attempts to reinvent itself as a leaner, more efficient postal service.

Accelerating the rate of the downsizing is the increasing impact of the technology revolution, especially declines in mail volume as customers eschew "snail mail" and make greater use of email and text messaging.

USPS officials said there were 25.6 billion fewer pieces of mail delivered in fiscal year 2009 than in the previous year, a nearly 13 percent decline.

"For many, electronic media have replaced the letter as the primary means of social and business communication," the agency's statement read.