Postal service makes changes

Published 8:42 pm Monday, December 5, 2011

The U.S. Postal Service on Monday announced changes in delivery times for first-class mail. Some customers at the North Main Street post office, above, are not pleased with the change.

“Snail mail” customers can expect their mail to be even slower from now on.

The U.S. Postal Service announced a range of cost-cutting measures on Monday. The service must cut $20 billion in operating costs by 2015 in order to return to profitability.

“The proposed changes to service standards will allow for significant consolidation of the postal network in terms of facilities, processing equipment, vehicles and employee workforce,” said David Williams, vice president for network operations.


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Among the changes, first-class mail to a destination in the continental United States now will arrive in two to three days, rather than the previous standard of one to three days.

Some customers at Suffolk’s North Main Street office on Monday weren’t very happy about the change.

“I think it’s bad enough they’re closed for an hour in the middle of the day,” said Jamie Mason, referring to the Main Street office’s lunch hour.

Susan Fowler added, “I’m not very happy about it at all.”

But for others, they already take care of so much of their business online that they say it wouldn’t matter.

“I hardly do anything with the mail now, because if I can do something online I’ll do it that way,” Candace Walden said.

Tavonne Copeland said the change won’t matter as far as her personal mail goes, but it may be a problem for the customers of her LaborReady office.

“They want to get their checks on time,” she said.

The postal service also is conducting a study on closing more than half of its mail processing facilities, including the one in Norfolk.

According to a press release on the U.S. Postal Service’s website, the size of the existing postal service network is dictated by the current overnight standard for local first-class mail.

Customers who drop mail at the processing facility early in the morning may still be able to have their mail delivered the following day, according to the press release.

The entire set of cuts is expected to save about $3 billion by 2015.

The postal service relies entirely on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations and receives no tax dollars. It has been losing money for years and earlier projected a shortfall of more than $200 billion during the next 10 years if no changes were made.