America's Town Post Office and Its Workforce

There are over 34,000 post offices in America. Some are in towns with fewer than 5,000 people. One such post office in a Connecticut town has seven workers to deliver mail to 2,800 people and fewer homes. The situation is at the center of deep trouble in the U.S. Postal Service (USPS).

The USPS will not acknowledge in how it operates that many Americans do not need physical mail delivery. Many of these only receive junk mail. Bills and important documents can be sent electronically, along with “letters” in the form of an email. All these communications can be done within seconds instead of over several days.

An additional practice the USPS should encourage is using FedEx and UPS. It is another way the USPS can be made much smaller. This, in turn, would cut the agency’s number of workers and allow it to cut both expensive offices and its massive fleet of trucks.

Yet another way the USPS could decrease costs is to eliminate the practice of six-day-a-week delivery. It is hard to show that Americans need mail to be delivered more than twice a week.

The USPS continues to lose money. It prides itself on the size of its workforce and fleet of vehicles. Instead, management should be ashamed of its size, which reflects inefficiency. Packages and mail are delivered in an average of fewer than three days. With an organization of over 600,000, it is a wonder it takes that long.

The USPS has a long-term strategic plan called “Delivering for America.” Management describes it as a “10-year transformation plan.” The only plan the USPS should have is to cut service and end the existence of the small-town post office with seven workers.

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