In today’s technology driven economy more and more people are using the Internet to pay bills, look at statements and generally not need paper documents to be sent through the mail. The United States Postal Service is facing a battle with technology that it is sure to lose, and its growing multibillion-dollar deficits prove this theory.
With an astonishing 574,000 employees, the “nation’s second-largest civilian employer, after Wal-Mart” has a fleet of 215,625 vehicles that travel 1.25 billion miles a year. However, this pre-Internet behemoth is having a difficult time adapting to the ever-changing tech fueled environment.
Over the past decade, stamped mail has plummeted by 47 percent, while “junk mail” has only gone down by 8 percent during the same time period. In addition, there have been losses in the billions since 2007, with 2011 looking to be the worst. People are using the post office less and less to send out first class mail. When was the last time you sent a piece of first class mail?
There is no longer the need to send out payments via snail mail when just about every service can be paid for online. Personal letters can now be sent through email or Facebook and communication with and from the various companies we all use can be done electronically.
However, the postal unions say, “that the service ran into trouble solely because Congress has required huge payments for future retirees’ health care costs.” Considering that retirees not only want, but also are going to need these payments, it looks like the Postal Service is going to have to make some dramatic changes to their services in order to stay in business.
The Postal Service is still delivering packages that of course cannot be sent through the Internet, but there are two other competitors, U.P.S. and FedEx, that could pick up the slack.
The Postal Service also provides the vital, and free, change of address and mail hold services. Who is going to pick up those services, for free?