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Internet Usage Boosts Post Office Revenue 140

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the forward-progress-not-always-bad dept.
setirw writes "Contrary to popular belief, the New York Times reports that Internet usage has actually boosted the USPS's revenue, instead of decreasing it. It is commonly believed that the rise of the Internet has negatively affected the Postal Service's revenue, since e-mail usage is rapidly superseding snail-mail usage. 'Six years ago, people were pointing at the Internet as the doom and gloom of the Postal Service,' said James Cochrane, manager of USPS package services. However, the widespread usage of e-commerce sites has boosted USPS revenue, since millions of packages are shipped from such sites daily."
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Internet Usage Boosts Post Office Revenue

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  • Who cares? (Score:2, Interesting)

    As far as I can tell, with all of the junk mail that comes piling into my mailbox, the USPS ain't going anywhere anytime soon.
    Besides, they more powers and subsidies than any other delivery corporation out there.
    I highly doubt they were scared - considering the quality of service I receive in downtown Philly - job security is not an issue.
    • Re:Who cares? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Jack Action (761544) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @05:22AM (#15830498)

      I highly doubt they were scared - considering the quality of service I receive in downtown Philly - job security is not an issue.

      Unlike the quality of service one receives when dealing with ecommerce sites on the internet.

      If I had to chose between script-reading or even non-existent ecommerce help, or a surly postal clerk -- bring on the surly 45 year old with the beer gut.

    • the usps does not receive funds from congress, so they have "subsidies" only from the philatelists.
    • Content (books, movies, etc) shipments through snail mail will decrease. Hardware will stabilize after the major Vista upgrade. Now they should target essentially-physical things. From the amount of spam I get, it seems viagra does very well. We all need some! That's their killer product: imagine the huge extra amount of porn that could be consumed. They could start an special express service: the quick viagra postmen. Or the pornoviagrapostmen, if they want a german ring to it. And they need a new suitable
      • Content (books, movies, etc) shipments through snail mail will decrease.

        Most likely.. but it won't be anytime soon if it is upto content producers it seems.

        Hardware will stabilize after the major Vista upgrade.

        Don't worry, there will be a new reason for hardware upgrades once most people can run Vista.
    • The Postal Service only gets 20-30 cents on each piece of junk mail going into your inbox. Compare that to the $8.10 they get for every flat rate Priority Mail box a shipper sends. Without packages the Postal Service would have a really hard time

      I live in Bucks County and I have learned that most services in downtown Philly are bad (cheesesteaks excepted). I don't blame the USPS for that.

      Am I the only person who still writes real letters? I am only 20 years old but I think it makes things more person

    • Re:Who cares? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by raehl (609729)
      As far as I can tell, with all of the junk mail that comes piling into my mailbox, the USPS ain't going anywhere anytime soon.

      That junk mail is what allows the post office to offer first class mail for $0.37 when UPS ground and FedEx ground are often $8 and up.

      Besides, they more powers and subsidies than any other delivery corporation out there.

      Powers maybe, subsidies no, USPS has it's own separate budget.

      I highly doubt they were scared - considering the quality of service I receive in downtown Philly - job
    • Besides, they more powers and subsidies than any other delivery corporation out there.

      Actually, that's a common misconception. The Postal Service is not subsidized in any way, shape or form. They are fully independent (in financial terms) and operational solely from stamps and postage rates. They do have given monopoly powers of first and third class mail, mainly what everyone considers your standard letters. But as far as your tax money and government spending goes, no money is given to the USPS to

      • A government enforced monopoly and exemption from all taxes is a form of subsidy. UPS and Fedex don't get to deliver first class mail, and they have to pay income taxes.
  • Bugmenot (Score:4, Informative)

    by 9x320 (987156) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @04:27AM (#15830387)
  • usps (Score:1, Funny)

    by xdxfp (992259)
    not to mention all the anthrax...
  • So?.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Klaidas (981300) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @04:30AM (#15830393)
    I think this is obvious without any researches - if we buy stuff on the internet, they ship that stuff.
    What would be interesting is how much less *letters* are now being sent via snail mail
    • Lots (Score:1, Offtopic)

      by lastberserker (465707)
      What would be interesting is how much less *letters* are now being sent via snail mail

      I send my bills in letters, you insensitive clod!

    • Re:So?.. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Aladrin (926209) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @05:28AM (#15830510)
      I don't think this is obvious at all. In the last 5 years, I believe I have shipped maybe 2 things from online retailers to myself with USPS. Everything else (and I'm talking dozens of packages) went Fedex or UPS. How many sites even -offer- USPS as a shipping option?

      The only 'obvious' thing that would show an increase would be Netflix/Gamefly/etc. There's a LOT of shipping going on there.
      • Re:So?.. (Score:4, Informative)

        by sangreal66 (740295) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @05:35AM (#15830526)
        USPS Priority Mail is pretty common on eBay and smaller retailers
        • by weave (48069)
          Oh yeah, my wife is an ebay addict and she has stuff going out and coming in via Priority mail all the time.
      • If my memory serves me right, amazon.com "free" shipping is by USPS.
        With Prime (like 80 bucks a year) it's shipped ups 2nd day (or ground if you're close enough to the warehouse it came from). but seriously, how many people fork up 80 bucks a year for prime?

        Grump
        • Um... I do. Amazon's free shipping is slow. First of all, they hold the package for a few days rather than shipping it right away, and then it goes ground, either by USPS or UPS. For only $80 a year, I can place an order and it'll have entered the "shipping soon" phase within hours, and I'll have it in two days. Or overnight, for $4 per item. You really have no idea how this changes online shopping habits, especially coupled with not having a minimum order to seek now. (i.e. $25) I've always been a huge
          • Re:So?.. (Score:2, Informative)

            by Gospodin (547743)

            My personal experience is just the opposite. I ship almost everything from Amazon using the free "slow boat to China" method, and I've gotten orders delivered the next day or the day after quite often. If it takes 4-5 days I'm surprised. It really helps that they have warehouses around the country.

            That said, it's interesting to hear your thumbs-up appraisal of Amazon Prime. I've considered the free trial just to see what it's like. So far I'm resisting it - I'm afraid it would lead to a lot of impulse buy

        • If Prime applied to their used sales (amazon marketplace) and sales through their associates (i.e. "buy this piece electronics through J&R Music World") I would use it. The problem is that it basically is only good for stuff they actually stock themselves, which basically means books and movies (all their other "stores" have just token stocks). That might be useful if you buy an ASSLOAD of books and movies and shop for them exclusively on Amazon.

          IMHO, the real savings come from using half.com and amazon

          • Eric,
            Even if you bought an assload of books/movies, it's only worth 80 bucks/yr if each one is shipped independently. Otherwise, just have them box it into one box and you get free shipping and save 80 bucks/year (unless you are on the trial period for prime).

            I had a prime trail for 3 months. In the end, I decided it wasn't worth 80/year. Most of my orders from amazon are for stuff I don't need immedietly. And if I need something bad enough, I'd get it from the local store. Same day, not 2 days later
      • I always choose USPS if it's an option. FedEx and UPS don't have access to my building's mailbox lobby and USPS does. So for anything smaller than a breadbox (whatever that is) it's more convenient to have the PO deliver it, rather than running around, coordinating delivery by the other guys.


      • How many sites even -offer- USPS as a shipping option?


        The largest online retailer [amazon.com] uses them for Super Saver and standard shipping. I also see a lot of QVC [qvc.com] returns by USPS, and they ship to customers via UPS or USPS.

      • There is a ton of people that ship USPS. Priority mail in particular. Priority mail is usually cheaper than others for packages that are three pounds or less (plus they provide free boxes). Also, they are the only cost effective means for shipping internationally; and a very popular method to ship to the military abroad (No one else can ship to APO/FPOs). My business ships 90% of our orders through the postal service.
      • FedEx uses USPS trucks and planes to ship items so you are still using USPS indirectly, whether you realize it or not. Notice that the Post Office doesn't have UPS boxes in front of them, it's because FedEx has a contract with USPS. UPS has sued to allow them to put boxes there, but so far the Post Office hasn't allowed them. I think there was an agreement recently, however, that will allow UPS to place boxes there. Also, I actually find it cheaper to ship USPS in most cases. Just as the article said, a lot
        • by Kadin2048 (468275) <`ten.yxox' `ta' `nidak.todhsals'> on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @10:00AM (#15832080) Homepage Journal
          Er, no.

          You've got that backwards. The USPS doesn't own any planes, and they have a relatively small fleet of trucks for the volume of stuff that they deliver. It's the Postal Service that uses a lot of other people's trucks and planes, not the other way around.

          In particular, a lot of US Mail is shipped on FedEx aircraft. It used to be that a lot of mail was hauled on passenger airplanes (and the passenger airlines used to compete for these contracts, which is a story in itself) but they no longer allow packages on passenger flights for safety/security reasons, so they now put most air mail onto other freight aircraft. FedEx has one of the largest fleets of air-freight craft in the world, so it's natural that they actually do a lot of the transportation.

          See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Postal_ Service#Airline_and_rail_division [wikipedia.org]. All of the air and rail transportation of US Mail is handled under contract, and a fair bit of the over-the-road trucking is as well. It's not cost effective for the USPS to maintain their own fleet of aircraft, when they can just have private companies compete to provide that service to them as contractors.
          • It's not cost effective for the USPS to maintain their own fleet of aircraft, when they can just have private companies compete to provide that service to them as contractors.

            Actually it is cost effective, which is why FedEx does it. I think you may be confusing cost issues with Congressional decree.

            It works like this:
            1) Corporation lobbies Congress.
            2) Congress passes law forbidding "unfair government competition" to corporation.
            3) Government agency contracts corporation.
            4) Profit!
            5) Campaign cont

        • UPS has sued to allow them to put boxes there, but so far the Post Office hasn't allowed them.
          I have seen many cases where UPS, FEDEX, DHL, etc. have drop boxes immediately adjacent to a post office on the easement or right of way (ex: sidewalk). If you obtain town/city approval, there isn't a thing that can be done.
      • As mentioned, eBay sellers often use priority email.

        Why? Because the integration between eBay, PayPal, and the USPS is so seemless. With just a few clicks through a few screens a bidder has paid you, and you are printing out a pre-paid shipping label that you stick on a free box the USPS delivered to your door and that you can drop off in special priority mail drop containers that do not require standing in line.

        You can also pre-print other forms of shipping but Priority is generally a little faster (thou
      • Amazon ships all their free shipping that way. And I have about 5 CDs a week shipped to me courtesy of Half.com on USPS.
      • by knarf (34928)
        Almost every time I order something from the US to be delivered to Sweden or the Netherlands I have to battle the seller to send the goods through USPS instead of UPS. Given my experience with UPS - they managed to damage an oscilloscope beyond repair, the shipping box was almost round when it arrived - and their exorbitant prices I will not do any business with them anymore. USPS on the other hand has always worked flawlessly and the packages can get delivered to my doorstep here in rural Sweden (UPS makes
        • Same thing in Canada. You want stuff from US, it is "cheaper" shipping to get it UPS than USPS. But then they tack on their stupid "brockage free" and your costs are much, much bigger than USPS. So now I also never accept UPS (ie. OOPS). Regular mail service is 100 times better.

      • I don't think this is obvious at all. In the last 5 years, I believe I have shipped maybe 2 things from online retailers to myself with USPS. Everything else (and I'm talking dozens of packages) went Fedex or UPS. How many sites even -offer- USPS as a shipping option?

        It is if you want to be successful at shipping products internationally (either by eBay or as a store). UPS *SUCKS* for international shipping - sure it only costs the sender $10 or $20, but the buyer is then stiffed with a fee to cross the bor

        • Brokerage fees are indeed a great nuisance. I've adopted a policy over the past few years of refusing to buy from any US-based merchants unless they'll ship via USPS. This applies even if their product is a little more expensive.
      • Depends on the type of site. I ship a lot of fairly low-value, small items. Probably 80% of my shipments are by first class mail, or airmail letter post for international shipments. A typical package with an electronic kit and a connector or two might cost $1.10 within the US, and maybe $2.80 to just about anywhere in the world.

        Not only is it vastly cheaper than UPS, FedEx, or DHL, but it's quite a bit faster compared to ground service. Three days is typical for coast-to-coast shipment. I can get a

      • The USPS has, by far, the best package delivery service, in my opinion, for the small business or ebayer.

        Parcel Post is cheap; Priority Mail only slightly less so. Carrier pick-up is the best thing ever. Send at least one priority or express mail package, and your mail carrier will pick up whatever else you happen to have that needs shipping at the same time, for free. I live fairly close to the nearest post office, about 5 miles round trip, yet even with that proximity it's nearly always cheaper to upgr
      • Too many.

        USPS sucks. So does UPS.
  • by arivanov (12034) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @04:31AM (#15830397) Homepage
    I have an extremely entertaining conversation with one UK bank at the moment.

    The clowns insist on using snail mail to reply to mails sent using their "secure" webmail. They have stated that they do not send emails to customers as a matter of policy and they are forced to stick to it even if this means filling Royal Mail coffers.

    As e-commerce grows there will be more and more cases like this until the end-users start to actively use encrypted/signed email and banks start to require this for communicating with them.
    • The company I have my 401k (retirement plan) with lets me send them "email" through a web form, then sends me a confirmation that my message went through via email. When they reply, I get an informational message via email telling me to login to the website to read the message.
    • Could you elaborate a little further? Because with your short description, I can see the sense of the bank's position of preferring snail-mail to encrypted/signed email. Technically, encrypted/signed e-mail is a valid system, but so is snail-mail. Snail-mail has the advantage that it requires nothing extra to be installed from the consumer, who is already used to receiving smail from the bank. Furthermore, it'll cost more for a phisher (why do you think spam and phishing are so prevalent in e-mail and not i
    • Banking is important. Imagine they're trying to send you an important message but your computer is broken or you've reached your ISP's monthly quota. This is why snail mail is important.
  • duh! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Shivetya (243324) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @04:32AM (#15830400) Homepage Journal
    First class mail isn't where the money is, especially home delivery.

    If they could they would not even deliver on weekends. Hell they could save money by delivering fewer days. My Aunt and cousin are Postmasters. Home delivery is the big expense.

    If it wasn't for filler (all that junk mail) first class postage would be even higher. Its still the best deal for getting something to someone.
    • * Winners compare their achievments to their goals, losers compare theirs to that of others. * ARMONK, NY - Aug. 8,

      So if you set unambitious goals and meet them, you're a winner. If you are the best ___________ shop on the planet and fail to meet really ambitious goals, then you're a loser. This sounds like especially unenlightened management-speak.

      By this metric, GW Bush is a winner and may be our best President ever. He has accomplished a great many of his goals. And those historians who compare hi

      • By this metric, GW Bush is a winner and may be our best President ever. He has accomplished a great many of his goals. And those historians who compare him to the other Presidents and say that he may be our worst President ever...losers. Sorry, no sale.

        Let's compare what he has done to some of the great presidents:
        1. Gotten us into an unpopular war - Lincoln
        2. Violated the rights of American citizens - Lincoln, FDR
        3. Racked up a huge national debt - FDR
        4. Pursued an expansionist policy - Jefferson

        I'm not

    • First class mail isn't where the money is, especially home delivery.

      Huh. I guess unfortunately for the USPS, I send a lot of small items by first class, in a DVD-sized box. I know people whine about the cost of mail whenever prices go up, but frankly, USPS is a bargain. As you say, the cost of getting to the home is a lot. Not only is UPS and FedEx more expensive, you have to pay them a certain fee if you want them to stop every day, whether or not packages change hands on any given day.
  • Profit... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by PinkyDead (862370) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @04:50AM (#15830434) Journal
    ..is about minimising your fixed costs while maximising your variable returns.

    Ok - IANAE (economist) and IANAPM (postman) - but this is probably a reasonable simplification.

    With the postal service, fixed costs are about delivering a single item, where as high variable returns come from large packages. With the decline of letters and such (due to e-mail etc), and the concurrent increase in parcels (due to online shopping) - how could they not make better returns.

    If a postal service is making losses and is in decline (as a number are in Europe), I would suggest that they should stop looking at environmental factors, start modernising their organizations and provide a service that complements the needs of their 21st century customer.
    • Err... fixed costs are, well, fixed. That means you owe them regardless of how much business you do. Or even if you open for business in a time period or not.

      Being able to turn more profits on packages doesn't terribly surprise me, though. When I have a game shipped from FacelessCorporateVGRetailer.com, they pack it in a box. I'm sure the box with the game generates less revenue than an equivilent volume of letters. But the box is also less dense. It also only has to be sorted once (per facility?), whereas
    • ..is about minimising your fixed costs while maximising your variable returns.

      Ok - IANAE (economist) and IANAPM (postman) - but this is probably a reasonable simplification.

      With the postal service, fixed costs are about delivering a single item, where as high variable returns come from large packages. With the decline of letters and such (due to e-mail etc), and the concurrent increase in parcels (due to online shopping) - how could they not make better returns.

      If a postal service is making losses and is in
    • I don't think your correct about the margin being that much higher on packages. Where the money really is, is with pre-sorted, barcoded, mass mailings.

      The discount that's given on presorted mail is substantial, but the cost savings to the USPS of all that presorting is even more than the discount; thus they make more money on it. When you do a mass mailing, in order to get the best rate you basically have to presort the mail all the way down (in some cases) to the ZIP+4 or even down below that to the carrie
  • by Don_dumb (927108) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @04:52AM (#15830441)
    That is why they are just about to change the postal charges for packages to include the size of the object as well as the weight. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/5231576.stm [bbc.co.uk] Previously they only charged based on weight.
  • That's the big question... I guess Viagra and Service Packs would be fairly equal in terms of shipments, and together, they should account for 90% of the non-AOL-CD shipments.
  • by Xest (935314) * on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @05:17AM (#15830490)
    The story on the old rumour mill over here was that Amazon was almost single handedly responsible for saving the royal mail in the UK due to the massive increase in revenue it brought with postage of larger packages.

    Personally, I don't beleive Amazon would've single handedly saved it, but no doubt it contributed alongside all the other online retailers. I think it'll only get better for postal services and couriers too, it's the high street that should be (Well, "is" rather than "should be" in most cases) worrying as people shift from a culture of high street shopping to having everything delivered by mail.
  • thank eBay :P

    and I always love how people thought that email would mean the demise of the post office; you can't attach furniture to an email message.
  • Gee... duh! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Opportunist (166417) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @05:30AM (#15830516)
    I mean, even before the advent of emails, who wrote a letter unless he ABSOLUTELY had to? Instead, people called or, if it had to be written, they faxed it. Simply because of the speed difference.
    • I mean, even before the advent of emails, who wrote a letter unless he ABSOLUTELY had to? Instead, people called or, if it had to be written, they faxed it. Simply because of the speed difference.


      Heh, I wonder if people thought about the telephone system making the postal service obsolete when they first started coming into use a hundred years ago. But I suppose the world was too large for technology to have an immediate impact then. :-P

    • I don't know of anyone in the pre-email world who used fax machines for personal correspondence.

      I never wrote a whole lot of letters just because I didn't live that much of my life before email was available, but my parents certainly had whole files of paper letters and would write all the time. Probably still not as often as they send personal emails, so I'd say the amount of communication that people do today via email is greater than what they ever did via mail, but I think you're exaggerating the length
  • by MWelchUK (585458) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @05:54AM (#15830591)
    "When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us."
    - Alexander Graham Bell

    It seems the post office are one of the few places that have found another open door rather than litigating to have the closed door forced open.
    • They didn't really find another open door. They're still moving stuff from point A to point B by way of points C-F.

      The door didn't really close. Just the crap they drag through is different. Or rather, the distribution of small, flat crap is down and bulky crap with pesky, ignored instructions* is up.

      * (This end up, Fragile)
    • It's the same door, it's just different people walking through it.

      Your analogy would be closer if the music industry had litigated to keep people using cassettes, rather than moving to CDs.
    • The RIAA isnt legislating to force open the original door, but rather, litigate the other door shut.
  • Postcrossing (Score:3, Informative)

    by avij (105924) * on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @06:03AM (#15830605) Homepage
    This is probably rather insignificant in the grand scheme of things, but projects like Postcrossing [postcrossing.com] wouldn't exist if people weren't able to send post cards via snail mail, so at least in this case Internet has increased snailmail usage. Check out that site if you're interested in sending postcards to random people all over the world. It's rather weird, but I'm told it's an interesting hobby.
  • by digitaldc (879047) * on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @06:33AM (#15830670)
    Interesting to note that a survey was done recently of the most trusted Government branches/offices/operations and the USPS was ranked #1. This is in direct contrast to the Executive Branch of government.

    http://www.directmag.com/news/usps-022306/index.ht ml [directmag.com]
  • don't forget invoices, letters from lawyers etc.
  • Of course if the USPS didn't have a government-sponsered letter monopoly to use to gouge the letter-sending public, they couldn't ship packages below cost to undercut UPS and FedEx, and then no one would use those bums for anything.
    • The USPS is a self-sustaining company, which in 2005 recieved $37 million from the federal government - which paid for sending congressional mail.
      • The USPS is a self-sustaining company, which in 2005 recieved $37 million from the federal government - which paid for sending congressional mail.
        No, sorry, regardless of what your balance sheet says, you don't get to call yourself a self-sustaining company when you have a government-mandated monopoly. That's the force of law that is sustaining you, not your business practices.
    • Part of that exclusivity is that the postal service, by congressional mandate, must break even year to yaer. It is not allowed to accumulate profit, or run a deficit. Naturally, they can't do this precisely, but they come pretty close.
  • Email Tax? (Score:2, Funny)

    by TheRhino (87111)
    Does this mean they'll be repealing the email tax I've been hearing about?
  • They make more revenue, but they've also raised the price of postage several times in the past 5 years.

    Maybe this is the real story:
    Less mail, higher charges = more money for USPS
    • They make more revenue, but they've also raised the price of postage several times in the past 5 years.

      1) But not much out of line with inflation.
      2) If you don't like it, use their competitors.
      3) Apply some common sense. 1st class mail delivery is really not profitable. It's more of a government mandated service USPS is required to provide that they really don't make money on. Delivering packages using an existing shipping network, however, is very profitable - the USPS makes a much, much higher margin o
    • Of course, you should also take in account the price hike of fuel in the last five years...
    • Both true. Didn't think of those angles.
  • by jackbird (721605)
    Yesterday I got a postcard from the US Postal Service advertising free "how to sell stuff on EBay" seminars to be held at the local post office.
  • by Primis (71749)
    If this were the case, why has postage gone up so much in just the past 10 years?

    Oh they're hurting all right. Maybe if they developed betetr QoS themselves, they wouldn't be in this bind.
  • I think with the advent of spam, The junk mailers realize they have to send out more of their filth to keep their market share of ripping off old people, and annoying the rest of the general population. This probably makes up and more for the loss of general letters and bills comming thru the mail system. I wish unsolicited mail(both regular and electronic) was illegal much like faxspam.
    While I'm ranting on junk mail, I would also like to bitch about the douche that throws the free papers in my yard twic
  • *Slaps Forehead*

    So THAT'S why they keep having to raise the price of a stamp. Uh, wait...
  • There's bunches of online vendors I do business with who I have to use paypal with (if they support it) because they will only ship to my billing address and won't ship to a PO box, and I have my mail sent to a PO box because I've had too much trouble with material sent to my street address going missing.

    I don't know what the underlying reasons that they only use Fedex or UPS are, I just now they're pretty damn pervasive, and I wish the USPS would make them unnecessary.
  • particularly at using those very same information systems to both improve their services and availability. Have you been to a post office with an automated postal center? They're amazingly easy to use and convenient! A number of commercial sites that would have used UPS or Fedex in the past have used USPS, and I notice no decline in service. In fact, our postal carriers are among the most friendly people that visit our house. They're always helpful.

    I think USPS has only USPS to thank for its improved o
    • Funny, the post office literally two doors down from me (in Manhattan) always has horrendous lines which I've called four times now to complain about, and an Automated Postal Center which is broken half the time I go in there.

      To compound things, the APC won't let you send packages via Media Mail anymore, apparently because people were using it to scam the USPS sending non-media items at highly redcued prices, so I have to wait in that horrible line just so a postal employee can stamp it Media Mail without e
    • The postal centers are awesome, but what is even more awesome is that you can access all of those features online as well and just pre-print your postage before you even leave the house - no need to stand in line then. Not to mention the awesome integration with PayPal and eBay.
      • Yes, right. I wasn't merely suggesting the APCs were the only good innovation. Rather, they've become a tight ship such that commercial businesses can depend on them for their livelihoods. Information systems (bar codes, JIT transactions, etc.) are at the heart of this resurgence.
    • The enhanced technology doesn't stop at the APC. See that barcode on all of yoru incoming mail? It is designed to speed up the service by reducing the amount of human handling that occurs. Technology has revolutionized the Postal Service.
  • The internet opened up everyone's junk closet to the world, and we all pay the post office to shift it. They may be losing regular letter postage to email, but parcel mail must be more profitable.
  • amazon has made usps rich
  • why can't they stop stuffing everyone's mailboxes with tons of advertising that no-one reads.
  • USPS can make a bomb on shipping peoples teleporters around, then complain about how they're going to go out of buisness..
  • United States Postal Service is a self-supporting agency. Their entire goal is to make a profit and not receive one dime from Federal government. They ARE a BUSINESS and they run like a BUSINESS. It is why postage goes up and they modernize. They are in reorganization mode now to increase profits. I just hope they see a need to change package tracking. It sucks.

    Also, Postmaster General is also called CEO of USPS. Read USPS website [usps.com]. You can also read their financials and business plans.

    The reason why USPS

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