The USPS five-day delivery plan and what it means for retailers

Order Management

The United States Postal Service has made several moves to shave a day off the traditional delivery week, bringing it down from six days to five. The end goal is to help the company save money while minimizing inconvenience to businesses and consumers. That program was scheduled to go into effect soon, but the USPS recently announced it would delay the implementation until legislation is passed that gives the organization the authority to do so.

For the USPS, the implementation of this program would help the organization save $2 billion annually, a significant amount of cash considering the service is currently losing $16 billion a year.

"To restore the Postal Service to long-term financial stability, the Postal Service requires the flexibility to reduce costs and generate new revenues to close an ever widening budgetary gap," the statement from the organization reads. "It is not possible for the Postal Service to meet significant cost reduction goals without changing its delivery schedule – any rational analysis of our current financial condition and business options leads to this conclusion."

For retailers, the shorter delivery week may have major ramifications.

the loss of a day for conventional mail could impact marketing campaigns, invoice delivery and a number of other functions vital to eCommerce operations.

Although the USPS will continue to follow the six-day delivery week for packages, the loss of a day for conventional mail could impact marketing campaigns, invoice delivery and a number of other functions vital to eCommerce operations.

For example, if a day is shaved off of the delivery week, retailers sending promotional mail will have to compete with more clutter in the mailbox. This may make mailing initiatives less valuable overall, and merchants may even consider switching mediums as a result.

Although the five-day delivery week has not yet been put in place, the USPS remains convinced that it's a crucial move to stay in business. As such, merchants should continue to consider the ramifications it may have.

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