United States Postal Service Dropping Saturday Mail Delivery Starting Aug. 1

Your mailbox is going to feel a bit empty starting next summer, as the United States Postal Service is going to cut Saturday delivery  in a move designed to save the agency $2 billion a year. Partly because it didn’t want to continue waiting around for Congress to do something to help dig it out of its financial hole, beginning Aug. 1 the weekends will be mail-free, although packages will still be delivered on Saturdays.

There are a bunch of other cuts expected in the plan to save the USPS billions of dollars, something it had hoped Congress would help with instead. Previously the agency had said it needed Congress to change the law to cut Saturday mail service, but CNN says two sources have confirmed the USPS plan.

The USPS has been struggling in recent years to make payments into its future retirees’ benefit fund. The agency defaulted twice last year and then ran out of credit with the U.S. Treasury after it borrowed $15 billion.

Basically, the money it’ll save on skipping Saturdays is pretty much a drop in the bucket toward what it needs to really get back on an even keel again. It’s still thisclose to completely running out of cash if Congress doesn’t step in soon.

The U.S. Postmaster General is expected to make a formal announcement later today, so we’ll keep you in the loop when that happens.

UPDATE: Regarding the cessation of Saturday mail service, the Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said in a statement:

“The Postal Service is advancing an important new approach to delivery that reflects the strong growth of our package business and responds to the financial realities resulting from America’s changing mailing habits.”

We must confess a little sadness at this turn of events. After all, it’s been a long time since this country hasn’t had mail on Saturdays, as the Post Office started bringing deliveries on Saturdays in 1863.

So long, old Saturday friend. We’ll miss ya.

Postal Service to end Saturday mail service Aug. 1 [CNN]