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Postal Service urges cutting delivery to 5 days

The U.S. Postal Service, which expects to lose about $7 billion this year, will post larger losses if Congress doesn't let the agency scale back mail delivery to five days a week, Chief Financial Officer Joseph Corbett said.

The Postal Service, which is required by law to deliver to about 150 million addresses six days a week, would save about $3 billion a year if it eliminates one delivery day, Corbett told reporters Wednesday at the agency's offices in Washington.

"The conclusion is that the volume declines are what they are and they're going to continue, especially for first-class mail," Corbett said. "Therefore, we're really going to need fundamental changes. One of the most obvious fundamental changes is a change to the delivery frequency."

Cutting a delivery day would allow the agency to reduce work hours by more than 93 million, or the equivalent of about 53,000 full-time jobs, Corbett said.

The Postal Service will have $13.2 billion in debt at the end of this fiscal year, closer to its $15-billion debt ceiling than the $10.2 billion it had a year earlier, he said.

"We've got to begin repaying that debt," Corbett said. "That's a huge debt burden. It's unhealthy."

The Postal Service said last week its first-quarter loss narrowed to $297 million from $384 million a year earlier as it trimmed expenses to account for an 8.9 percent drop in mail volume. - Bloomberg News

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