It certainly looks like the U.S. Postal Service has been super slow in reacting to changes in its mail delivery model brought on by the Internet, cell phone texting and technology, in general.
The bottom line is there is far less mail to deliver than there was 10 years ago and thus a huge drop in revenue possibilities.
At the same time, delivery costs have skyrocketed and their competitors - UPS and FedEx - have streamlined their businesses and kept up with technology.
As someone who uses the mail on a regular basis, both for bill paying and correspondence, I hope the Postal Service can figure out a business model that works and is efficient - more privatization, perhaps.
It does seem a drop in service is inevitable with the closing of so many delivery distribution centers.
So what are your thoughts about the Postal Service and how it can be saved.
Good Blog Jim. I have a few wild suggestions for the Postal Service:
1. Offer delivery routes to the highest contract bidder. I bet the postal unions would fight this one to their death, which may be a good thing.
2. Increase not decrease level of service? What would you do if Burger King told you, to cut costs, you would have to wait longer to get a burger? 3. Streamline the Postal Manual. Too many rules, too many pages. Focus on what you can do rather than what can't be done.
4. Stop charging for annual business permits. What real business gets away with charging a fee just to do business?
5. Develop a one time usage stamp. Sending mail out of town for canceling is a waste and delay.
6. Partner with UPS and FED EX to give customers better service at more locations. Get Snail Mail up to Rabbit Speed.
7. Offer first class service enhancements. I'd send more Christmas Cards through snail mail if it were an easier process using the postal service.
8. Sell envelopes with postage affixed at same rate as postage in grocery stores and minit marts. Envelopes are cheap. Once bought, they are used.
9. Contract with minit marts for simple postal services, if they are any left. More locations mean more business.
10. Stop being politically correct. Make positive business decisions and move forward, if that's possible for a government controlled monopoly.
The $20 billion in losses over the past four years has surprisingly little to do with declining mail volume or the Internet. Rather, it stems from the 2006 congressional mandate that the USPS pre-fund future retiree health benefits for the next 75 years, and do so within a decade - something no other public agency or private firm does. These roughly $5.5 billion annual payments since 2007 - $21 billion total - are the difference between a positive and negative ledger.
Thanks for the post and info, Frank. It's not surprising that Congress has stuck its nose in USPS policy and managed, yet again, to foul it up.
Here's a link to some other ideas about what to do with postal service: