Undoubtedly, 2020 was a challenging year for the United States Postal Service, just as it was a difficult year for businesses and Americans. Despite an unprecedented holiday shipping season, financial reports demonstrate that the Postal Service’s competitive package business continues to grow and remains profitable.
As policymakers discuss potential postal legislation, they should look to solutions that support the Postal Service’s role as an essential service and a critical part of the nation’s economic infrastructure.
Reforms must build around the Postal Service’s core strength — maintaining an integrated delivery network for mail and packages at least 6 days a week.
Since the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis, organizations have been forced to move quickly to digitalize and optimize their business processes. The Postal Service’s delivery vehicles have evolved from horse-and-buggy days to the latest design, complete with air conditioning and a large windshield to give drivers a better view. In fact, some of the early vehicles were battery powered, before the internal combustion engine became the dominant power source.
In one of his first actions in January, President Biden announced an ambitious plan that he said would create jobs and reduce the federal government’s greenhouse gas emissions.
A group of 17 U.S. House of Representatives Democrats introduced legislation on Monday to provide $6 billion to the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) to buy tens of thousands of additional electric delivery vehicles.
Last month, the USPS said it was committed to having electric vehicles make up 10% of its next-generation fleet as part of its multibillion-dollar plan to retire its 30-year-old delivery vehicles. It said it could boost that percentage if it received billions of dollars in government assistance.
The integrated network of both letter mail and packages is essential to the health of the Postal Service. Delivering mail and packages together are essential to sustaining the Postal Service. The efficiencies of an integrated network allow the Postal Service to provide more affordable delivery services for mail and packages.
By pairing them together, the competitive package services’ profitability supports the nationwide delivery network. Americans’ shift to e-commerce in the face of the pandemic will have a lasting impact on how we expect to send and receive basic goods beyond the pandemic.
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