U.S. Post Office to Stop Saturday Mail, Locals React

Lynchburg, VA - The Postmaster General made a big announcement Wednesday: Saturday mail delivery will stop in August.

That decision has letter carriers, even small business owners, in our area concerned. But it's a move the Postal Service has been trying to make for years now in order to save money.

For clarity, there will be some delivery on Saturdays. The Post Office will still deliver packages. But that's it for Saturday service.

At JMJ Landscape Supply Wednesday afternoon, the mail has arrived. This one delivery isn't from the U.S. Postal Service but, owners say, most mail is. In fact, a good chunk of the paperwork is still done on paper, not online.

"As a family-owned and a local-owned business, we don't do as much on the Internet. We are working on getting there, but we still rely a lot on the Postal Service," said Katherine Hensley.

Losing Saturday service is a pretty big disappointment for JMJ. They understand the Post Office's challenges - hemorrhaging $15 Billion last fiscal year - but businesses also use Saturday to catch up on mail.

"Just being able to have that throughout the year is, ya know, a good thing for business," said Hensley.

For the Postal Service, this change will save about $2 billion a year. First Class mail has dropped off, while packaged mail - thanks to online purchases - has picked up.

"We have found that 70% of our customers support this switch to a 5-day delivery plan," said Cathy Yarosky, a spokesperson for the U.S. Postal Service.

Customers may support it, but Congress is another story. Criticism is flying that only Congress, not the Postal Service, can cancel Saturday delivery.

At JMJ, no matter what the future holds, they'll make due.

"We've been around since '79. I think we can keep going," said Hensley.

Saturday delivery is expected to stop the week of August 5. The Postmaster General says the agency's financial condition is urgent. The letter carrier's union, NALC, says this is a "disastrous idea".