Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe announced at a news conference today that the financially struggling U.S. Postal Service plans to stop delivering mail on Saturdays starting August 1,but will continue delivering packages.

The five day a week delivery schedule will go into effect unless Congress forbids it to do so. The move will save about $2 billion a year for the Postal Service, which has suffered tens of billions of dollars in losses because of the Internet and e-commerce.

Post offices would remain open on Saturdays so that customers can drop off mail or packages, buy postage stamps or access their post office boxes, officials said. But hours likely would be reduced at thousands of smaller locations according to Donahoe.

The Postal Service said it suffered losses nearing 16 billion dollars during the last fiscal year which is three times the loss recorded a year earlier.