Technology Destroyed The USPS

The United States Postal Service posted a loss of 3.1 billion dollars for the months of April – June 2011.  Total losses for the year are now at 5.7 billion dollars.  Postmaster General, Patrick Donahoe, keeps saying that aggressive actions are being taken to reduce their costs due to less customer demand but obviously his “aggressive actions” are not enough.  I do know, however, that every year the postal rates continue to increase more and more.  Did you really think that you could continue raising your stamp rates and expect the public and technology to just stand by the sidelines doing nothing?   

The reality is technology destroyed the United States Post Office and it maybe to late to save it.  Banks have setup free payment options that make it extremely easy for everyone to get their bills paid ontime. Many digital PO Boxes are now available where your physical mail is delivered to them and with just a click of a mouse you can shread, read online, and/or forward your mail back if wanted.  The monthly cost is very small for the service. The Internet has setup their own payment options (like Paypal) which allow people to send money to an email address instead of the post office.

Our mailing and payment technology only continues to get better while the USPS continues to operate with an older mindset.  In short, like any business you must grow and adapt to public wants and newer creative technology.  Newer and better services are created because the current one in place lacks features or has become outdated (and increasingly expensive).  That is how our capitalistic World works folks.  They have failed due to their lack of technology upgrades (and services they could have provided to the public).  Since they had a monopoly pretty much in the postal niche they could have really capitalized on it – but they didn’t.

I’m sure their solution to this problem will be to raise postal stamps again.  They will also try to limit the days mail is delivered which will cause more damage for them.  What they should be doing is investing and building out better technology.  They need to create services like the ones above that let businesses (local or international) open PO Boxes in any state for a monthly fee.  It should allow customers/companies access to their mail online without having to go to the mail box.  Do they realize how much money they would make with a service like that?  Less gas, employees, trucks, and billing (it’s automated!).  How about a monthly service that pushes all your physical mail to your email address?  Millions of people (maybe hundreds of millions) would order that service for $12 bucks a month.  It would save people time, gas, miles, money, envelopes, etc plus it would be more secure.  Hell think if you made that service a global service where international companies could order one (capturing global currency revenue).  That is some serious hands free and automated revenue.  Many parents have a hard time packing up the kids just to go the post office or store and the monthly fee is easily worth it for them.

There is still opportunities available to make it work for the USPS.  However, technology will destroy them if major innovated changes are not made quickly.  Out the old and in with the new!


Having lived in the Pacific Northwest his entire life, Jeff understands and delivers a different perspective about politics. Even though many may disagree with his language and writing style, you can't debate his passion for the Seattle area and his committment to a better society.

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