Local News

Cutting hours part of postal service's cost-savings plan

Posted January 6, 2011 6:11 p.m. EST
Updated January 6, 2011 7:23 p.m. EST

— Rain, hail, sleet and snow can't stop mail service, but money issues can, and at post offices in Raleigh, they have.

Carl Walton, a spokesman for the United States Postal Service, said Thursday that many offices in the Raleigh area and across the country are cutting hours of operation by an hour in an effort to reduce operating costs.

Last year, the postal service lost $8.5 billion. Although he did not have an actual estimate, Walton said that closing branches for about an hour each day will help save hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The move was based on a two-year study that found there were periods throughout the day where customer traffic was drastically low.

Some post offices may open an hour later or close an hour earlier. Others might close in the middle of the business day.

The Cameron Village Post Office, for example, is closed from noon to 1 p.m.

For many postal customers, the cost-saving measure poses a huge inconvenience.

“It’s the reality of the world we’re living in,” customer Ann Sayers said. “It’s very frustrating, but it also makes me really sad.”

Walton said the postal service does have plans to re-evaluate some of the closings to determine if they are effective.

“We understand the customer wants the option to be able to go to an office,” Walton said. “We still want to be able to have an office for them to go to.”

Walton added that the postal service has added a new post office in Raleigh at 8710 Glenwood Ave., Suite 102. It will be open weekedays from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.