Contributed By:

Alex Johnson

Slower Snail Mail?

OPB | Dec. 7, 2011 9:06 a.m. | Updated: Sept. 10, 2013 10:56 p.m.

The US Postal Service may close four mail processing centers in Oregon, along with over 200 others across the country, in an effort to cut costs. Processing centers in Springfield, Salem, Bend, and Pendleton are under consideration for closure, which would result in slower service across the state. Instead of taking one to three days to reach its destination, the average first-class letter would take two to three days. Overnight delivery would be largely eliminated.

Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) pointed out on CSPAN that without processing centers in Eugene or Salem, a letter mailed from Springfield to Eugene would have to be trucked to Portland to be sorted before returning to Eugene to be delivered. The changes will only affect delivery of first-class mail and periodicals. 

In its defense, the Postal Service says that these cuts are necessary in order to return to profitability. The Postal Service receives no direct tax money, and the price of stamps is determined by inflation. Mail volumes have decreased dramatically in the last few years because of the recession and more communcation over the Internet.

How would slower delivery of first-class mail affect you? What do you think about the proposed methods for cutting costs?

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