USPS and the 5 day salvation


mailman1Yesterday we got the official news that the Post Office would be going to a 5 day delivery week in August.

This was after a pretty long period of rumors and waiting…wondering if the USPS would ever get the go ahead from Congress to implement their plan.

I get the impression that the PO got tired of waiting, too….and just decided to go ahead with it whether  Congress approved it or not.

What this means for people out on the routes remains to be seen.

Apparently, packages are still going to be delivered 6 days a week…the folks that have PO boxes are still going to get their mail six days a week…Post Offices that are open on Saturday will remain open.

I wonder how many people will switch to PO boxes if the delivery schedule will stay the same for them?

From what I understand, this move…stopping mail delivery on Saturday…will save the PO about 2 billion a year.

That’s a lot of money….2 billion dollars is a lot of money.

If you listen to or read the news, our annual losses at the Post Office are about 15 or 16 billion dollars.

That’s the trouble with huge numbers…the smaller huge number looks kind of inconsequential next to the really huge number.

Now…a huge chunk of the money that shows up on the books as being a shortage is the amount that we’re mandated to pay into the retiree’s health and retirement fund.  We are required to prefund this account.

I can’t think of many business that are companies that are supposedly separate from the government that are required to prefund like this…especially when they are hemorrhaging money like the Post Office does.

The Post Office gets no tax payer money.  I didn’t know if people really understood that.  We are, except for being told what to do by Congress, reasonably independent of the government.  Maybe it’s one of those “all the control, but none of the support” situations.

So the new move will save two billion dollars…only fourteen billion to go.

That’s not really fair to put it in that context.  Moving to a five-day delivery schedule is a pretty bold move…it’s not for me to say whether it’s the right move or not…I don’t really understand much more than what I have to know to deliver the mail.

Big shake ups in an organization that is known for being kind of a  slow-moving behemoth….it will be interesting to see how it all shakes out.

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