Cuts to first-class U.S. mail to slow mail delivery in 2012

December 5, 2011

Government/Politics

Cuts to first-class mail to slow delivery in 2012

By Hope Yen
Associated Press

WASHINGTON—Unprecedented cuts by the cash-strapped U.S. Postal Service will slow first-class delivery next spring and, for the first time in 40 years, eliminate the chance for stamped letters to arrive the next day.

The estimated $3 billion in reductions, to be announced in broader detail later Monday, are part of a wide-ranging effort by the Postal Service to quickly trim costs and avert bankruptcy. They could slow everything from check payments to Netflix’s DVDs-by-mail, add costs to mail-order prescription drugs, and threaten the existence of newspapers and time-sensitive magazines delivered by postal carrier to far-flung suburban and rural communities.

The cuts would close roughly 250 of the nearly 500 mail processing centers across the country as early as next March. Because the consolidations would typically lengthen the distance mail travels from post office to processing center, the agency would also lower delivery standards for first-class mail that have been in place since 1971. Currently, first-class mail is supposed to be delivered to homes and businesses within the continental U.S. in 1 to 3 days; that will be lengthened to 2 to 3 days, meaning mailers could no longer expect next-day delivery in surrounding communities. Periodicals could take between 2 and 9 days.

http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2011/12/05/cuts_to_first_class_mail_to_slow_delivery_in_2012/

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