Come August 1st, the United States Postal Service will no longer offer Saturday mail delivery. It's a cost-saving move that's been discussed for the past few years as the agency has struggled with massive losses — it was in $15.9 billion in the red last year — and it is now becoming a reality, according to multiple reports. News agencies report that the USPS will announce the change later today, and it's expected that it will save $2 billion per year. All mail activity on Saturdays will not cease, however: the quasi-governmental agency will continue to ship and deliver packages on Saturday (that remains a profitable part of its business), post offices will remain open, and P.O. Boxes will still receive mail.
The USPS has unsuccessfully appealed to congress in the past to approve ditching Saturday mail delivery, and today's announcement will reportedly be made without congressional approval. While mail volume has been dropping precipitously over the years as email and other digital forms of communication have taken hold — 167.9 billion pieces of mail were sent in 2011, 45.1 billion less than 2006 — the primary cause of the agency's financial woes has been mandatory retiree health care benefits. According to early copies of the USPS' announcement, the American public is behind cutting Saturday mail delivery — snail mail just isn't as important in people's minds anymore with so many alternatives out there.