WestView Letter April 2013: Would Anyone Buy The Post Office?

Would Anyone Buy The Post Office?

For years, our printer has been delivering WestView subscription copies to the 10014 postal zone Varrick Street post office and within two or three days, we receive our paper. However, that was until March 1, when the loading dock boss demanded that they be taken to the bulk mail office on 9th Avenue with the papers taking two weeks to reach us.

Calls to Washington uncovered the problem – the bulk Union wanted to send the mail to 9th Avenue and send it back to Varrick Street so as to keep jobs in that sad email-eroded organization.

Usually, Corporate Communications is a shield against the press but the post office is so big, so amorphous and so lacking in firm-hierarchical control, that anything goes. (You get the impression guys are just sitting around the office with nothing to do.)

So when I called and spoke to a member of staff, he was generous with his time and gave an unusually objective portrait of the Post Offices problems.

OK, he has a little sell in there but you might find this interesting:

Dear George,

The Postal Service is a trusted American institution and delivers tremendous value to our society and economy. And yet, its business model stopped making sense years ago.

It’s no secret that people are increasingly communicating through text messages and sending e-cards, and paying bills online. Unfortunately, these changes in the ways people communicate have eroded use of the mail. And today’s Postal Service simply isn’t structured to be profitable and financially self-sustaining when mail volumes are far below historical levels.

Fortunately, if given the flexibility in the law to adapt, the Postal Service can thrive in an increasingly digital and dynamic economy. The plan is based on a vision for a Postal Service that is leaner and smaller than today, and quickly returns the Postal Service to profitability and long-term financial stability.

And while the Internet has contributed to the decline of First-Class Mail, it is contributing to double-digit growth in our package business due to online shopping. It may surprise your readers to know that with growing frequency, other package delivery companies, like UPS and FedEx, look to the Postal Service to reliably deliver their packages “the last mile” to homes everywhere in America. They rely on the Postal Service’s national network to deliver to more remote outposts they deem too expensive to serve.

Even in an increasingly digital world, the Postal Service remains part of the bedrock infrastructure of the American economy. It only requires greater business model flexibility to continue to provide secure, affordable, and universal service – without taxpayer dollars – to the nation long into the future.


David Partenheimer

Manager, Media Relations

Leave a Reply