What Would Reduced Mail Delivery Mean to You?
Postmaster General John Potter recently asked Congress to lift the requirement that the agency deliver mail six days a week. Dropping Saturday or Tuesday delivery seems to be the option. The obvious question then becomes: How will this affect my business? The obvious answer (at least in my opinion): It’s going to happen, so prepare for it.
More importantly, everyone needs to realize the problems and challenges facing the U.S. Postal Service aren't going to get better any time soon, and it's going to continue to have a negative impact on your businesses. It's not just this one event, but rather the future course and direction of one of our largest “partners” that concerns me. Consider the following:
- The USPS lost $2.8 billion last year.
- For 2009, the projected loss is estimated to be “$6 billion or more,” according to the postmaster general.
- The postmaster general also predicts that 2009 will be the first year since 1946 that the amount of money collected by the USPS declines.
- Total mail volume in 2008 was 202 billion pieces, 9 billion less than the year before and the single largest annual drop in USPS history.
- There's a huge pension fund contribution liability outstanding … the amount and state of which seem to change with the political winds of the day. (In all likelihood, the guy or gal who delivers your mail will have a better pension than you do.)
- Postal rates are expected to increase again, this year by 4 percent to 5 percent. That's after the punitive rate increase of 2007.
I'm not an expert reader of tea leaves, but as a businessman, this isn't a “partner” I'd want. Problem is, you can’t live without the USPS. The only prudent course of action is to try and manage the negative impact on your business. Here's 11 tips to help you make the most of your relationship with the USPS: