Mail cutbacks, forced by federal budget reductions, are starting to be felt by customers who are finding some windows closed at post offices and their out-of-town mail being delayed.

Post offices have dropped their third shift on Sundays, said Postal Service spokeswoman Meg Harris. The group works from about 3 p.m. to midnight and sorts mail bound to other cities.The move is expected to save between $55 million and $60 million toward covering the $160 million the agency has to absorb in cuts in the current fiscal year, she said.

In addition, $50 million is expected to be saved by closing post office

window services for a half-day a week, with the balance to come from cuts in transportation, management travel, training and other expenditures.

Dropping the third-shift of mail processing on Sundays is expected to primarily affect mail going out of town, said Ms. Harris. She said Sundays were chosen for the cut because that is the day when the least mail is deposited in the system.

The first and second shifts, which generally sort mail for delivery within the city where the office is located, are remaining at work on Sundays, Ms. Harris said.