US may cut Saturday letter deliveries

Last updated 08:01 07/02/2013

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The United States Postal Service is planning to abandon Saturday letter deliveries as the struggling carrier looks for ways to cut costs.

The move comes just a week after New Zealand Post announced it was seeking to potentially cut delivery days from six to three in order to maintain profitability.

The New Zealand national carrier's decision came as a shock to some elderly citizens, who are still heavily reliant on daily mail.

But NZ Post said mail volumes and revenues had plummeted in recent years, with paper letters increasingly replaced by electronic mail and text messaging.

NZ Post will have to change the Deed of Understanding it signed with the Crown in 1998 in order to implement the "greater flexibility" it is seeking.

In the United States, the US Postal Service will probably require approval from Congress before it can go ahead with its cut, which is set for August.

The 237-year-old institution lost nearly US$16 billion (NZ$19b) last year and is now in the middle of a major restructuring.

Its parcel service, which has grown strongly with the advent of online shopping, will continue six days per week.

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