The United States Postal Service has been in financial problems for decades now, as technology has changed the way we communicate, customer services problems have plagued the entity and prices continue to rise. With Fedex, USPS and local delivery carriers such as Red Express Delivery, Inc always eating into the postal service’s market and revenue, the entity is set for more losses again this year.
When will post offices close?
Despite these record losses and the lessening viability of the United States Postal Service, there are some around the country that still support the organization. In Asheville protestors gathered, including a Ben Franklin actor, to express their support and challenge the cutting back and closing of postal office locations, including one that is set to close in Asheville later this year.
Will the post office go out of business?
Joanne Guess, the president of the local chapter of the American Postal Workers Union, one of the entities responsible for the losses the postal service posts each year, likened the closing down of a postal office as the slash and burning of hardworking people in America. Him and other supporters seek to keep the in the red organization going longer by taking such actions as the repeal of the 2006 law, the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006. Part of the act required the postal service to actually set aside money for employee benefits in advance versus searching for it when the time came to pay out. The annual cost of such procedures is $5.5 billion.
The United States Postal Service would not be saved by repealing that act though, this year the service is expected to post record losses of an estimated $14.1 billion. $5.5 billion saved over one year and spread out over more time would not negate the loss, and still leave the service with over $8 billion in losses.
Postal officer managers got together last year and announced a plan to close near 3,700 post offices, including the one in Asheville. The plan has since been delayed until later this year, along with the plan to also shut down 252 processing centers.
Along with announced office closures, the postal service have announced price increases for stamps, with speculation going around that it could go up from $0.45 to $0.50 per stamp. Only a government entity sees price increases as a way to increase demand, as basic economics shows that demand decreases with increased prices.
Continuing through the year, it is expected that the plight of the postal service will continue to make headlines, as the organization is near a tipping point of being unsustainable, if it have not reached that point yet. Postal services, like all industries need to continue to adapt to compete. 24 hour delivery services, customer service and competitive prices will drive consumers one way or the other.
A $14.1 billion loss is no number to be taken lightly, and it is clear the United States Postal Service has a long way to go to stay afloat and adjust to today’s times.