US Postal System Crisis

Did you know that the US Postal Service (USPS) is the second largest civilian employer in the country, after Wal-mart? It has also been running in the red and after cutting 25,000 jobs earlier this year it is offering to pay some 30,000 additional workers to leave.

Facing a $2.6 billion loss in the last quarter (projected to be $7billion by the end of the year), the USPS has been badly hit by the recession. Not only has the volume of regular mail gone down as more electronic options abound (email and electronic bill paying systems), the source of 25% of its revenue in the past has drastically been reduced: JUNK MAIL or as it is euphemistically called “standard mail”!! As all retailers have been hit by dwindling revenue streams they have been forced to cut marketing budgets, and make smarter choices about what fliers/catalogs that need to be sent, and to whom.

Trying to cut costs, USPS has also selected 677 post offices to be closed or merged, mail routes are changing and mail boxes are being reduced. Congress is holding hearings to review the changes that USPS is proposing, including changing their delivery schedule to 5 days a week (instead of the current 6).

On the positive side, at least there are no strikes yet as are being seen in Scotland, England  and Northern Ireland protesting similar cost-cutting actions.

We are reaching a stage where the concept of mail needs to be re-examined and revamped to better meet the needs of today’s technology-savvy consumers.

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