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Postal Service Proposes Changing Delivery Schedules, Closing Processing Centers

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Closing more than 250 mail processing centers and reducing service standards for First-Class Mail could help save the financially troubled Postal Service more than $3 billion, the corporation said Friday.

The Postal Service is also considering cutting mail processing equipment in as much as half. The closures would affect nearly 35,000 workers.

The Postal Service also proposed changing service standards for First-Class Mail to a 2-3 day window. Currently, delivery is guaranteed between one and three days.

Mail volume has declined by more than 43 billion pieces in the past 5 years, with First-Class Mail dropping 25 percent and single piece First-Class Mail — letters bearing postage stamps — declining 35 percent.

“With the dramatic decline in mail volume and the resulting excess capacity, maintaining a vast national infrastructure is no longer realistic,” Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said.

The Postal Service announced in August a loss of $5.7 billion in fiscal year 2011, for the nine months ending June 30.

The Postal Service intends to file its proposal with the Postal Regulatory Commission this fall.

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