The financially struggling U.S. Postal Service plans to stop delivering mail on Saturdays starting Aug. 1, the agency is set to announce Wednesday.
This means that for the first time Americans will receive mail only five days a week, a significant shift for the storied mail agency that has suffered tens of billions of dollars in losses in recent years with the advent of the Internet and e-commerce.
USPS plans to continue Saturday delivery of packages, which remain a profitable and growing part of the delivery business. Canceling Saturday mail deliveries will save USPS $2 billion annually, according to congressional and postal officials, who confirmed the news ahead of a formal announcement later Wednesday.
The move has been expected for years. USPS is moving absent explicit congressional approval, which lawmakers have argued is necessary in order to make the operational change. Postal officials are expected to argue Wednesday that they do not need congressional authority.
The Postal Service said that it suffered a $15.9 billion net loss for fiscal 2012, which ended Sept. 30. That’s three times the loss recorded a year earlier.