The U.S. Postal Service, struggling to make ends meet as mail volume declines, hopes to cut $2.1 billion in costs by eliminating up to half of its 487 processing facilities and loosening delivery standards.

While the proposed changes will slow delivery times, the details of the Post Office's plan suggest remittance mail won't slow as much as regular first-class items.

"Everyone is going to suffer a bit in the delivery of mail when they go to this new system," says Lex Litton, a senior vice president at Phoenix-Hecht, whose products include a survey of remittance processing performance. "We think our survey is going to show aggregate mail times get longer in remittance, it's just they'll have less of an increase than first-class mail."

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