Crisis-hit US mail may cut one delivery day

WASHINGTON — Battered by the global economic meltdown, the US Postal Service asked Congress Wednesday to allow it to cut mail delivery to five days per week from a legally required six days.

Postmaster General John Potter pleaded with a Senate committee to permit his agency “to curtail delivery on our lightest volume days, no more than one day per week.”

“If current trends continue, we could experience a net loss of six billion dollars or more this fiscal year despite the most aggressive effort in our history to take cost out of our system,” he said in testimony to the panel.

Plummeting volume — notably in the finance, credit and housing sectors — as well as soaring fuel costs and other outlays have left the US Postal Service in dire financial shape, Potter said.

“The ability to suspend delivery on the lightest delivery days will save dollars in both our delivery and our processing and distribution networks. I do not make this request lightly, but I am forced to consider every option, given the severity of our challenge,” he added.

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