Is electronic messaging / mail killing the US Post Office?

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Post 3+ Months Ago

This article caught my attention because it's big news here that a very longstanding and rather large local Post Office is facing shut down and mail being rerouted through the Pittsburgh branch. The article states that the US Postal Service is facing about a $7 billion dollar loss this year and has eliminated over 150,000 employees since 2000.

Quote:
The post office is facing a $7 billion loss this year despite a 2-cent rate increase. The agency has shed 150,000 workers since 2000, removed hundreds of mail collection boxes and taken other steps to save money.

Now the agency has sent a list of nearly 700 potential candidates for closing or consolidation to the independent Postal Regulatory Commission for review, and officials say more may be added.


Quote:
Last year, mail volume fell by 9.5 billion pieces to a total of 203 billion pieces. It is expected to fall by 28 billion pieces this year to a total of 175 billion pieces.


Personally, I use the internet for virtually all my communication, including bill pay. In the last four years, I send 2 "snail mails" a month total and those are to pay two bills I can't pay online.

In my mind, I see both the postal service as well as Newspapers eventually becoming extinct. I don't think they can afford to compete with electronic media.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

With regards to the postal service, I do not see them completely becoming extinct. I still order products online and need the packages delivered to my home. Sometimes I use other carriers such as UPS or Fedex, but sometimes it is still done through USPS. However for bill paying and communication it is much simplier and quicker to do it online and I can understand why many post offices may be consolidating or shutting down.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Is the USPS something which could be purchased by UPS or Fedex-Kinkos ?
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hmmmm. Government agency go private? Interesting concept.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Both carriers already use a 'smart-post' system (carrier delivers your pkg to local post office, regular mailman/woman delivers to your door). I don't know that acquiring them would be _much_ different.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Federal agency means funded by tax dollars right ?
If the USPS is funded by tax dollars, why do I still have to pay $0.44 for a stamp ?

What if the USPS scaled back to only handling certified mail such as legal documents and things that need to be signed for as far as physical delivery goes. Then, started providing electronic mail which would be a federal offense to tamper with just like todays "snail mail" is ?

It wouldn't have to cut jobs, just change the types of jobs there is.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Here's an interesting read from Fortune Mag about the USPS. Looks like they're a govt agency but don't get govt funding. However, I do agree that privatization might not be a bad idea. Its worked well for national mail services in Europe and Japan why not in the US.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Only the USPS would make you pay to go to the post office to get your mail from a box but charge you nothing to have items delivered 30 miles away.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I have had a few post office boxes before and even though you pay for the box, they sure put alot of junk bulk mail in there too. I noticed the smaller post office gave way more junk bulk mail than the larger one.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Outside of a couple magazine subscriptions, and a couple bills I don't have set up for online bill pay, all I get is junk bulk mail. And when I moved to this place I even put in a brand new mail box for them to put it in *lol. My routine: drive by my mailbox, pick up mail, walk to house, open door, toss mail in garbage.

I don't even get birthday cards in the mail anymore. My friends and family all send them online.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

dyfrin wrote:
Only the USPS would make you pay to go to the post office to get your mail from a box but charge you nothing to have items delivered 30 miles away.

Bigwebmaster wrote:
I have had a few post office boxes before and even though you pay for the box, they sure put alot of junk bulk mail in there too. I noticed the smaller post office gave way more junk bulk mail than the larger one.


Out here in the sticks we don't have door to door delivery if you live within "city limits", but they do have the rural mail routes for people living in the boonies. But since they don't deliver it straight to your house they don't charge us for the box. And it isn't really a hassle to pick up mail either because the post office is within walking distance of everywhere. The crap mail we get is all stuff like this Ruralite magazine sent out by our power company and stuff from dish network and junk.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

kc0tma wrote:

Out here in the sticks we don't have door to door delivery if you live within "city limits", but they do have the rural mail routes for people living in the boonies. But since they don't deliver it straight to your house they don't charge us for the box. And it isn't really a hassle to pick up mail either because the post office is within walking distance of everywhere. The crap mail we get is all stuff like this Ruralite magazine sent out by our power company and stuff from dish network and junk.


A couple years ago I had that exact same setup. What's funny was my place was also within walking distance of the post office. In fact one block right across the railroad tracks. I never could figure that one out.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

There is only a tire shop and a restaurant between me and my post office, its pretty nice really.
  • joebert
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I had to use the USPS for tax documents today. It just donned on me that Netflix might be different without the USPS as well.
  • mk27
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Post 3+ Months Ago

joebert wrote:
Is the USPS something which could be purchased by UPS or Fedex-Kinkos ?


I really hope not; the USPS is like 1/5 the cost of UPS. Maybe that's why they're losing money.

I would point a finger at the mass mailing industry, which has probably constituted an ever increasing proportion of the business. Those things cost way less than 45 cents to send, but the PS still has to pay someone to deliver them. I don't get mail everyday, but everyday the mail person is there, putting more garbage in my box. On rural routes, if you added all that up, I bet the expense totally outstrips the measly $0.06 a piece or whatever they charge. I also bet mass mailings make up a hefty percentage of the weight carried in the vehicles. We are probably in effect subsidizing the garbage stuffing.
  • Wicked_Goddess
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Post 3+ Months Ago

snail mail is not really an option nowadays, so I'm aware that this will happen eventually to many P.O.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Wow, Those are some sick figures as far as "You-are-fired" employees are concerned.

On the lighter side, The governments should start their own email sites and start earning from adsense and YPN to make up the deficit they are facing.

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