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article imageUSPS to close 252 mail-processing centers starting next April

By Christopher Bates     Dec 6, 2011 in Business
According to BBC News, starting from next April the United States Postal Service will be shutting 252 mail-processing centers.
There are a total of 461 centers across the United States, meaning 55% will be closed down.
Speaking at a recent news conference at the Postal Service’s headquarters in Washington DC, Vice-President David Williams said the move comes in order to avoid bankruptcy next year.
While the move is expected to cut 28,000 jobs, the Postal Service expects to save $3bn as a result.
Williams also mentioned that the Internet has been a major factor when it comes to customers paying their bills, as well as for other forms of communication.
The move may signal the end for next-day delivery of first-class mail, which has dropped by almost 22 million since 2006, and is also expected to halve by 2020. As of January 22, the cost of first-class post will also increase by one cent.
Letters will now have to travel further before they reach the distribution stage, meaning overnight delivery will only be possible in special cases, such as bulk deliveries.
Letters are expected to take up to two to three days for delivery, while periodicals will take up to two to nine days.
Mr. Williams said: "Customers are making their choices, and what we are doing is responding to the current market conditions and placing the postal service on a path to allow us to respond to future changes."
The Postal Service made a loss of $5.1bn during the last fiscal year, and is expecting to make a record loss of $14.1bn next year.
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