(Reuters) - The cash-strapped U.S. Postal Service on Monday moved forward with plans to end next-day delivery of letters, postcards and other First Class mail.
In a notice filed with its regulator, it also sought approval to close more than half of its 461 processing facilities that have been critical for next-day delivery.
The Postal Regulatory Commission will study the proposed changes and issue a nonbinding advisory opinion.
The move could create some headaches for mailers, particularly publishers of newspapers and magazines, industry observers said. But they said the extent of the hassles depend on the way the Postal Service changes are implemented.
The Postal Service, which has been struggling to offset tumbling mail volumes and billion-dollar annual losses, first announced in September it would study 252 processing sites for possible closure in 2012.
The agency is looking to find $20 billion in annual savings by 2015, about $3 billion of which could come from various plans to shrink the network.
U.S. Postal Service (USPS), which does not receive any tax payer money and relies solely on the sale of postage and other products to fund its operations, sees reducing its network of post offices and processing plants as crucial as consumers increasingly pay bills online and correspond by email.