Budget woes forced the U.S. Postal Service to announce recently that it will stop delivering letters and other mail on Saturdays, starting in August.
Package delivery will continue on Saturdays. Plus, post office hours will not change and P.O. boxes will continue to receive Saturday delivery—a key point for many small businesses.
The USPS says the plan, which is projected to save $2 billion, was announced with a six-month lead time to allow businesses to adjust their production and delivery schedules.
The announcement came on the heels of new postal rate increases that took effect on Jan. 27. Catalogs, circulars and packages cost 2.5% more this year. Stamps are up to 46 cents.
Smart mailing tactics can still save your company money on postage. Some tips:
- Sort your company’s outgoing mail by ZIP code and drop it at bulk mail centers—the USPS offers a 12% discount for such action. (Also, using the nine-digit ZIP codes can save up to 4 cents on postage.)
- Use one vendor. Some delivery firms (FedEx, UPS) offer discounts if business customers consolidate shipping with one company.
- Go electronic. Vendors such as Stamps.com and Pitney Bowes offer software to let you print postage at a lower rate.