Saturday mail delivery through the United Stated Postal Service will be a thing of the past beginning August 1, 2013. It's a move focused on cutting costs as the USPS tries to deal with, and recover from, massive financial losses due to mandatory retiree health care benefits, and should end up saving the struggling agency about $2 billion per year. Not all Saturday mail activity will go away--packages will still be delivered, P.O. boxes will receive mail as usual, and post offices will still be open on Saturdays. Of course, with the proliferation of email, snail mail demand has decreased significantly over the years. We're sure that this is unwelcome news for Netflix DVD subscribers, but on the bright side, with Saturday mail delivery ceasing, it's another junk mail-free day to look forward to on the weekend.
Read More | AP
DHL, a popular shipping alternative to FedEX, UPS and the U.S. Postal Service announced today in a press release that it will end all domestic shipping services effective January 30, 2009. According to the release, DHL’s U.S. Express business will focus entirely on its international offerings and will discontinue its domestic-only air and ground services, eliminating its U.S. ground hubs, and reducing the number of stations from 412 to 103. This will result in a reduction of 9,500 U.S. jobs at DHL Express on top of the approximately 5,400 positions already reduced since January; retaining 3,000 to 4,000 U.S. Express employees, tailored to the needs of international express customers. This reduction is expected to allow DHL’s U.S. Express business to reduce its operating costs from $5.4 billion to under $1 billion, a decrease of over 80%.
We’re hoping that this loss in competition doesn’t drive up the cost of shipping, seeing as the majority of our gadgets are doorstep-delivered by one of these shipping giants. Cross your fingers.
Apparently, the office of the USPS Inspector General is not happy because the mailers that Netxflix uses have to be sorted by hand. They estimate that it is costing them about $21 million a year and have suggested that the company include a 17 cent surcharge from now on. Tony Wible, a Citigroup analyst who wrote the report, says that the income that Netflix receives per subscriber would fall from $1.05 to 35 cents. We know that Netxflix, which mails out about 1.6 million movies a day, is clever enough to create a redesigned mailer sometime soon.
Read More | The New York Times
We didn’t know this, but apparently Star Wars fans are in need of even more things to collect! Luckily for them, the US Postal Service is releasing a poster-like sheet of 15 Star Wars stamps on May 25 (the stamps will not be available individually.) The 41-cent stamps—the new price goes into effect May 14—commemorates the 30th Anniversary of Lucas’ classic, and will feature the series’ most popular characters, from Darth Vader to the enigmatic Boba Fett. Even the Millennium Falcon gets some love! Fans will even get to vote for their favorite stamp at the appropriately-named www.uspsjedimaster.com, and the top vote-getter will be released as an individual stamp later this year. Sadly for Billy Dee Williams fans, there’s no Lando Calrissian stamp.
Read More | MSNBC