U.S. Postal Service: Saturday is for e-commerce packages

U.S. Postal Service: Saturday is for e-commerce packages

Summary: The USPS has been rattled by digital payments, email and online marketing. However, e-commerce bolsters the USPS and may even help save it.

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TOPICS: E-Commerce
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The U.S. Postal Service is cutting Saturday mail delivery as of Aug. 5 in an effort to save $2 billion, but the engine of e-commerce is forcing the independent agent to keep service.

The USPS has been rattled by digital payments, email and online marketing. However, e-commerce bolsters the USPS and may even help save it. The rub is that USPS has to compete with UPS and FedEx.

In a statement, Patrick R. Donahoe, Postmaster General and CEO, said:

Our customers see strong value in the national delivery platform we provide and maintaining a six-day delivery schedule for packages is an important part of that platform. As consumers increasingly use and rely on delivery services — especially due to the rise of e-commerce — we can play an increasingly vital role as a delivery provider of choice, and as a driver of growth opportunities for America’s businesses.

Here's a look at the trend that kept USPS open for package deliveries on Saturday:

usps1

 

E-commerce won't save USPS, but it certainly can't hurt. The agency lost $15.9 billion in fiscal 2012, had an $11.1 billion default the same year and is nearly out of liquidity and borrowing authority.

Also: We still need mail as well as e-mail

Topic: E-Commerce

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16 comments
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  • Role of government

    The US Postal Service is another example of government being involved in something it has no business being involved in. On the one hand, we have anti-trust laws, which are alleged to guard against "evil" monopolies, and on the other hand we have government creating monopolies. Anyone see a contradiction?

    Did you know that the Pony Express was created without government?

    There is no reason whatsoever for government to be involved in the delivery of first class mail, let alone arrogate to themselves a governmentally protected monopoly on it. Delivery of mail is not a function of government. The inevitable result of the government monopoly on first class mail has been steady declines in service over the years combined with rising prices and an inability to make money.

    The USPS should be shuttered. FedEx and UPS would cover it in about ten minutes.
    FDanconia
    • Not a government function? Tell that to the Founding Fathers ....

      The authority of Congress to create a postal service is specifically enumerated in the Constitution. The framers recognized that a postal service was vital to the economic life of the country. It was (and is) a unifying factor in the nation.

      The Pony Express was equivalent to FedEx and mail sent via that service was expensive for its day. I'm not sure how the Pony Express is relevant to the discussion of the post office.
      bkshort@...
      • The USPS should exist....BUT

        But at best MWF deliverly only to homes, business MTWTF is fine.

        Right now it's just a make work program for Public Unions. Honestly I'm lucky if I even check it once a week, and all it is junk mail.
        everss02
        • And this is what people get

          when they don't get real news, they get ignorance.

          Thank you for being the subject of today's lesson.
          Michael Alan Goff
      • True. It is mandated by the Constitution

        But since they dont abide by the rest of the document, why should they abide by this?
        otaddy
    • Huh?

      The USPS is the maine way that people are able to get their letters to people.

      Would you rather people pay dollars per letter instead of less than half a dollar?
      Michael Alan Goff
    • Check your history

      The Pony Express? Yeah, created without the government and folded 18 months later.

      Oh, and by the way, the Constitution DOES mention that the government is chartered to create Post Offices and Postal Roads. Article I, Section 8, Clause 7.

      And as far as FedEx and UPS go, take a look at what their rates are compared to the USPS. For priority services I usually choose FedEx last due to cost. Otherwise it's USPS and UPS for Priority (2-day) packages.
      djlong
  • Or at least....

    ...make it a private enterprise and release it from the obligations that have put into the situation it finds itself in now. Then they can sink or swim. Ending Saturday deliveries is a good start.
    toph36
  • Private Enterprise Not the Answer to Everything

    A purely private scheme shed of any and all public service mandates can (and probably will) service only profitable routes -- potentially mean the end of mail and parcel services for rural areas. Do we want ever more people crowding into cities -- because of an ever decreasing level of services elsewhere?
    ReadandShare
    • Need an Edit Button...

      Ahhhh ... I need to review my posts more.... Try again...

      A purely private scheme devoid of any and all public service mandates can (and probably will) service only profitable routes -- potentially meaning the end of mail and parcel services for many rural areas. Do we want ever more people crowding into cities -- because of an ever decreasing level of services everywhere else?
      ReadandShare
      • That's just the problem

        Shouldnt people in rural areas pay more? It costs more to deliver to them due to the longer distances which means more fuel and more time to deliver as compared to other areas.

        On the other hand, small businesses might spring up to negotiate to deliver the letter for the last mile for the bigger carriers.

        No wonder the USPO cant make any money. But then again, tons of people want something for nothing.
        otaddy
        • No

          The USPS can't actually make money because the best it can do is break even (as Government agencies are unable to actually break a profit, anything goes back to the Government).

          Also, look up the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act.
          Michael Alan Goff
  • Trouble for Netflix DVD

    Hopefully Netflix DVD's will be categorized as 'parcels'. Otherwise, they may have to adjust their prices down a bit to maintain value for the customer.
    SunFire23
    • In 2012, streaming beat by-mail dvd service for netflix

      So they are relying on the USPO less often.
      otaddy
  • Thoughts

    Canada [while 1/11th of the US] hasn't had Saturday delivery in multiple decades. Though Canada Post lost just $75 million last year, they like USPS have increased the amount of package delivery. With exceptions of premium services though, no deliveries on the weekend.
    Canada Post knew the amount of mail is shrinking and responded.
    Unsure how often the USPS increases rates but 1 $16 billion loss is truly nuts. Maybe it's time to jack up the postal rates.
    Gisabun
  • Fedex and USPS , sub-Contracts

    Ever had a Package delivered SmartPost ? I am intrigued about other State Experiences. Usually, FEdex gets the parcel to my area fairly quickly , and then for some unknown reason the local delay is between 2 and 5 days to get from the Fedex point into the USPS subcontractors.
    I enquired at one time about the changes in time and delivery and the relationship between the Couriers and USPS, and to my surprise, contents that comes "GROUND" or SMARTPOST comes part of the way Courier and crawls the last leg on USPS. If USPS has a contractual relationship with the couriers, how "close" is it, and just how much of a role did that screwy 800 Million dollar Netflix contract with USPS play a role in the USPS downturn? Not mentioned much now, is it ??
    boucaria@...