US Stamps

Is multiday letter delivery in jeopardy in the United States?

Feb 6, 2024, 10 AM
A United States Postal Service letter carrier delivers letters in the snow. Image courtesy of USPS.

Philatelic Foreword by Jay Bigalke

The Daily Mail newspaper in Great Britain published a story Dec. 4, 2023, about Australia Post getting ready to phase out daily letter deliveries.

“The trial model revolves around prioritising parcel delivery, maintaining a five-day-a-week schedule for posties to distribute packages,” the article said. “However, letter deliveries are now spaced out, occurring every second or third day.”

The article provided a statistic saying that an average household received approximately two letters per week, compared to 2008 when the number was eight.

Parcel deliveries would maintain a five-day-a-week schedule under the new trial plan.

On Jan. 24, the BBC in Great Britain reported on a government proposal that could reduce deliveries of letters from six to possibly five or three days a week. According to the article, Royal Mail said that its current delivery network was ‘not sustainable’ and that reform was ‘urgently needed.’ ”

The Great Britain proposal still seems a ways off compared to the Australian one, but reading the two articles and seeing a few similar stories from other countries has me wondering about the United States.

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s Delivering for America plan quotes him and the USPS board of governors stating, “We seek service excellence and financial sustainability that preserves our universal service mission of providing the nation with six days of mail and seven days of package delivery.”

Even with that commitment, it leaves me wondering what the future holds here in the United States. Now seems as good of a time as any to encourage letter writing to keep the delivery of first-class letters at its current schedule here.

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