Home Delivery of Mail on Its Way Out?

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The day when you merely had to open your front door to pick up your mail may be fading away. The U.S. Postal Service has begun notifying residents of some new and fast-growing housing communities that they will have to pick up their mail at a centrally located cluster of mail boxes.

According to a report at cnn.com, some postmasters have already begun sending notifications to postal customers of the change. As with most things related to the Postal Service, it’s a matter of money.

A report by the Postal Service’s inspector general cited by cnn.com indicates that it costs $353 per stop for a personal mail delivery in most American cities. A curbside delivery costs $224, while the cluster box delivery costs just $160. The Postal Service currently spends $30 billion on mail delivery and replacing delivery-to-the-door in new housing communities could save $4.5 billion, more than the $3 billion in projected savings from stopping Saturday delivery.

For now, exiting delivery-to-the-door will continue unless Congress changes the law. Republican Congressman Darrell Issa wants to do just that, requiring everyone to pick up mail from a cluster box. Of course that means that many fewer mail carriers would be needed and that is not something that the postal workers’ unions want to have happen