WASHINGTON, Dec. 5 (UPI) -- As expected, the U.S. Postal Service proposed to move first-class mail delivery to a 2-3 day standard to try to help turn around its cash problems.
"The U.S. Postal Service must reduce its operating costs by $20 billion by 2015 in order to return to profitability," David Williams, Network Operations vice president, said in a release. "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 and will generate projected net annual savings of approximately $2.1 billion."
The standard, which would effectively end next-day delivery for stamped first-class mail, would be accomplished through the rule-making process.
The Postal Service will seek an advisory opinion concerning the change from the Postal Regulatory Commission, postal officials said. Shortly after that, the Postal Service will publish a notice in the Federal Register soliciting public comment on the specific proposed changes.
In September, USPS also announced it would begin studying 252 of its 487 mail processing facilities for possible closure to help reduce costs.
The Postal Service also is considering a new online mailbox system that could receive and store official documents such as bills, legal correspondence and health records, Politico reported. The "eMailbox" would be linked to a user's home address and would only receive messages from other eMailbox users.
The Postal Service faces a 20 percent decrease in mail volume on top of the 20 percent drop it has already experienced. It accumulated $5.1 billion in debt this year and faces a deadline to make another $5.5 billion payment to its healthcare retirement fund Dec. 18.