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  (Source: NBC Universal)
This move would have saved USPS about $2 billion annually

The United States Postal Service (USPS) was hoping to axe Saturday mail deliveries in an attempt to save money, but Congress isn't having it. 

USPS announced today that the Board of Governors of the United States Postal Service met yesterday to talk about the Continuing Resolution for government funding. However, Congress didn't approve the new national delivery schedule.

The new national delivery schedule consisted of package deliveries Monday through Saturday and mail deliveries Monday through Friday starting August 5, 2013. 

"Although disappointed with this Congressional action, the Board will follow the law and has directed the Postal Service to delay implementation of its new delivery schedule until legislation is passed that provides the Postal Service with the authority to implement a financially appropriate and responsible delivery schedule," said USPS. 
 
"The Board believes that Congress has left it with no choice but to delay this implementation at this time. The Board also wants to ensure that customers of the Postal Service are not unduly burdened by ongoing uncertainties and are able to adjust their business plans accordingly."
 
Back in February of this year, USPS announced its plan to cut Saturday mail delivery to only five days per week (eliminating Saturday). It said this would save USPS about $2 billion annually.

For fiscal 2012, USPS saw a net loss of $15.9 billion (three times the loss record one year previous).

USPS has been in a financial decline mainly because of digital mail options, such a electronic letters, bills, etc. This eliminates costs of stamps and shipping charges. 

Technology is taking over, and the issue is that USPS can't keep up. In January, it was reported that USPS wanted to be more digital-friendly by working on a digital platform called MyPost, which will allow customers to log in and view all packages that they'll be receiving as well as those they've already received instead of searching several different sites that the packages may be coming from.

However, Paul Vogel, president of digital solutions at USPS, revealed that his office is like "a San Jose startup," with only 15 Android/Apple developers, consultants coming and going, one computer and his BlackBerry smartphone. Technological restrictions make upgrading hard to come by.

Source: USPS



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Please...
By Motoman on 4/10/2013 3:10:49 PM , Rating: 5
1. Cut back delivery to Mon/Wed/Fri.
2. Greatly increase the cost of bulk mail, firstly to cut down on it's volume and secondly to make what remains more profitable.
3. Resize the USPS both in facilities and employees to fit the new requirements.
4. Profit.

And maybe...just maybe, realize that you probably need to compete with FedEx/Kinkos and UPS Stores. They do a lot more than ship stuff these days. That's your competition. At least, for non-letter business.




RE: Please...
By retrospooty on 4/10/2013 3:37:37 PM , Rating: 2
1. Cut back delivery to Mon/Wed/Fri.
2. Greatly increase the cost of bulk mail, firstly to cut down on it's volume and secondly to make what remains more profitable.
3. Resize the USPS both in facilities and employees to fit the new requirements.
4. Profit.


Simple... Brilliant. Why in the hell cant they see it? I have been saying cut it to 3 days M-W-F all along, but the bulk mail thing is even better.


RE: Please...
By Manch on 4/11/2013 7:57:46 AM , Rating: 4
Congress wont let them cut even one day. All they want to do is not deliver pitch mail on Saturdays. Packages would still be delivered.


RE: Please...
By RufusM on 4/11/2013 11:17:32 AM , Rating: 3
Congress will not do hardly anything that results in a perceived loss to their constituents. This is why government grows ever larger day by day.

For every cut in funding, some Congressperson drags someone who lost their job, or had something affect them, in front of the cameras so it becomes an argument of: "You're a bad person if you vote to cut Billy Smith's job."


RE: Please...
By SkullOne on 4/10/2013 3:47:39 PM , Rating: 4
1. Agreed

2. They can't do that. Bulk Rate Mail (BRM) makes up over 85% of their money. They cut that back and what little money they make from that disappears. Large amounts of BRM mail disappearing is what's causing all the grief now, alongside the powerful union and the crazy benefits and pension retirees are receiving.

Remember BRM isn't just junk mail. BRM mail also consists of bills, bank statements, etc. That's all information people are getting digitally more and more often now. Increasing the cost would only help push companies to a pure digital system at a faster pace.

Postal has to stay competitive with package pricing too otherwise FedEx and USPS would leave them in the dust.

3. Agreed
4. Agreed


RE: Please...
By retrospooty on 4/10/2013 4:00:57 PM , Rating: 3
"2. They can't do that. Bulk Rate Mail (BRM) makes up over 85% of their money. "

They can and they should. To hell with what it is. Raise the price to make it more profitable and if that discourages bulk mailers than good!!! All the better. Most of it is junk that no-one wants, needs or reads, and the rest is bills, bacnk statements etc, which should be moving to e-statements anyhow.


RE: Please...
By Motoman on 4/10/2013 4:27:19 PM , Rating: 3
2. Yes they can. Here's why:

A. If junk mail becomes unpalatable in it's postage expense, a lot of it will disappear. Then, the USPS needs a lot less facility and manpower to process it - meaning the costs disappear with the junk mail.

B. What remains, hopefully just "legitimate" bulk mail will be that much more profitable, because the per-piece cost to mail it went up. The USPS may very well make the same profit from vastly smaller volume.

C. For "legitimate" bulk mail, like your bank statement or utility bill, those organizations can adjust their billing rates to accomodate the increase from, what, ten cents a letter to fifty cents a letter. No one is going to complain about an extra forty cents on their electicity bill every month - especially when the tradeoff is no junk mail in your mailbox.

D. Everybody wins. Even the environment - fewer trees turned into junk mail that's just going to get thrown away. Except, I guess, the former USPS workers who used to do nothing but process junk mail all day.


RE: Please...
By Motoman on 4/10/2013 4:28:19 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, on B I probably should have said "make the same revenue" - the profit margin will likely be a lot higher.


RE: Please...
By seamonkey79 on 4/10/2013 7:23:05 PM , Rating: 2
And we'll all stand in line to complain about how we're being punished by having our bills mailed to us and being charged for it ;-)


RE: Please...
By Manch on 4/11/2013 8:10:27 AM , Rating: 2
The unions would try to prevent A from happening or demand that "new" positions be created thus negating the benefit.

Aside from all that, one of USPS biggest problems is that while it will allow you to insure your mail, they will not guarantee that your packages will not be damaged. That is part of the reason why the whole lithium battery issue came up with the airliners and APO's got cut off for a while.

The handling of packages is so piss poor, and the claims process so convoluted, I tell people if it means that much to you, ship it via FEDEX, DHL, or UPS. You'll pay more, but at least your package will arrive intact.


RE: Please...
By Motoman on 4/11/2013 11:40:05 AM , Rating: 1
That's a whole different problem. Unions, like lobbying and political parties, should be made illegal. Vast amounts of our social problems would just evaporate.

Also, I have family that has worked for UPS for a long time...and I've shipped lots of stuff with FedEx too.

UPS family advises strongly not to ship things like computers with UPS...because they'll get destroyed. Indeed, I have had several computers shipped with UPS get destroyed in transit - despite having "the best packaging we've seen", I'm told, as they cut me a check for damages.

Same thing with FedEx. Many destroyed computers - each one with FedEx admitting responsibility, and paying me for them.

The fact of the matter is that *all* shippers treat their packages very roughly, and all of them destroy stuff. Doesn't matter who you ship something with, or how well you pack it - you'd better have insurance on it, because there's always a very good chance it's going to get clobbered.


RE: Please...
By ven1ger on 4/11/2013 6:47:07 PM , Rating: 2
People like blaming Unions, guess what unions are responsible for decent living wages, sensible working hours, paid overtime, paid or subsidized healthcare, and a host of other things that everyone takes for granted when they are employed but just because the politicians like to use unions as scapegoats for problems the politicians cause, unions become demonized for things that they don't control.

Stop blaming the unions, and instead blame the politicians, that corporations have in their pockets. The powerful and the rich (i.e. corporations) have bankrolled many of these politicians into making unions the scapegoats. The unions have helped given the middle class people of this country a way to offset the power of the rich corporate elite that with a weakening of the unions also means eroding the middle-class of this country.

If you're for removing unions and against the middle class, then you're for the rich fat corporate elites that control a lot of the politicians and even in the judicial system.


RE: Please...
By Motoman on 4/11/2013 11:36:19 PM , Rating: 2
I'm for removing unions to preserve the middle class. If you don't understand that, you're probably stupid enough to be a union member.

Unions served a purpose...a hundred years ago. Now their only function is to drive American jobs to Asia, and bankrupt whole American towns in the process.


RE: Please...
By Manch on 4/12/2013 2:40:50 AM , Rating: 2
I understand that FEDEX, UPS, DHL damage packages it happens, but USPS rate of damage compared to them is so bad that foreign carriers refused to carry our mail containing lithium batteries until we could comply with the safety regulations. Other postal services had no problems getting into compliance. Several changes have happened in the past few months in order partially restore service. We can now receive incoming.

I agree, you should always have insurance on high value items. I've dealt with UPS, and DHL with regards to damaged shipments. They are by far much easier to deal with than the USPS. Odds are you'll get your money back too. USPS, will drag it out and try to only pay you a deprecate value.

Theft is also very rampant in the USPS. They lost so much money on APO's alone from damage and missing claims. Everything that comes in now is double bagged. They can no longer use the plastic flatyarn bags alone bc thieves can see whats in the bag, snip the sec tab and help themselves. The outer bag is now those orange opaque ones.

Also, gamestop, amazon, and newegg changed the boxes and label descriptors on APO shipments because of this.


RE: Please...
By ven1ger on 4/11/2013 6:34:39 PM , Rating: 2
I trust the USPS package delivery more than I would UPS or FedEx. At least with USPS, my packages are dropped off on my doorstep which happens to be about 29 steps below my carport which is at street level. I've had Fedex and UPS drop important packages either in the carport which is open to the street or on the first step from the sidewalk, luckily never tripped over one of these packages.


RE: Please...
By ipay on 4/10/2013 3:52:36 PM , Rating: 5
Congress should simply undo the crippling requirements they laid upon the USPS by requiring the USPS to pre-fund both their retirement program and their health plan well beyond what is required by other federal agencies including the military. The income from stamp and other user fees is greater than USPS annual operating costs if the prepaid benefits are lowered to S&P averages -- which is still greater than other federal agencies.


RE: Please...
By toyotabedzrock on 4/10/2013 4:16:53 PM , Rating: 2
Are you really that dumb? UPS and fedex use USPS to deliver some of its packages.

And email is not killing the post office. Congress is in 2006 they made them fund 75 years of pensions. Which means they are funding for people they have not hired yet. But where told they had to fund it in 10 years or so.


RE: Please...
By Motoman on 4/10/2013 4:22:20 PM , Rating: 3
...what did I say that had anything to do with UPS/FedEx and their usage of USPS? Nothing.

Also, what did I say about "email killing the post office?" Nothing.

Yes, the Congressional regulation relating to pensions is retarded, and that needs to go too. Regardless, my previous points stand.


RE: Please...
By KC7SWH on 4/10/2013 6:26:37 PM , Rating: 2
USPS needs to look at both FedEx and UPS as they both have more efficient systems to get mail across the US and then they give it to USPS to do the actual delivery.


RE: Please...
By kwrzesien on 4/11/2013 10:47:57 AM , Rating: 2
USPS is using mail to subsidize the package delivery prices, that is why they are so low. They could make money on their packages if they raised the prices.

Agreed on raising the prices of junk and bulk mail.


RE: Please...
By mikeyD95125 on 4/11/2013 1:42:28 AM , Rating: 2
All this sounds like good general business, but CONGRESS is the entity that has to make these changes. Hence why they haven't happened yet.


RE: Please...
By lagomorpha on 4/11/2013 10:16:34 AM , Rating: 3
Given that the primary purpose USPS serves anymore is to fill your mailbox with junk mail from AT&T, Comcast, term life insurance companies, and requests for campaign contributions is there anyone here that would even miss USPS if it closed entirely?


RE: Please...
By ven1ger on 4/11/2013 7:15:40 PM , Rating: 2
Go ahead, shred all your mail in your mailbox for a month and see what happens, you're perfectly free to live without mail. To make it easier, just place a rubbish bin under your mailbox, cut a hole under your mailbox and bingo you can see how well you live without your mail delivery.

Or else you can get a PO box address and guess what virtually no more junk mail.

Scream about junk mail all you want, you can always throw it away, but USPS mail does serve a useful purpose, just because you can't see it doesn't mean that others see it as a burden.


RE: Please...
By roastmules on 4/12/2013 1:14:23 PM , Rating: 2
1. I would make a slight alteration, and suggest that they cut Business to Mon/Wed/Fri, and residences to Tue/Thu/Sat.
2. Calculate new staffing and financial requirements. Adjust all mail rates to meet financial requirements, based on supply and demand. Only change rates bi-annually in even years. Continue and increase the forever stamp.
3. Agreed.
4. Break even.
5. Agreed. Though, do we want a pseudo-government agency now involved with copy/print operations which the content of which may violate copyright? And, create anti-trust issues with government competing with private enterprise?
6. Create more coordination, especially in very-high-traffic urban and very-low-density rural areas, with Fedex and UPS, to only have one truck visit a location each day.
6. Permit more deliveries to PO boxes.

The USPS offices nearest me are always busy with a line. They have passport service, and


Financial decline reasons
By crimson117 on 4/10/2013 3:12:06 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
USPS has been in a financial decline mainly because of digital mail options, such a electronic letters, bills, etc. This eliminates costs of stamps and shipping charges.

Not to mention a 2006 law which forced them to pre-fund retiree health benefits, but which didn't allow them the flexibility to restructure into a profitable entity: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-08-02/understan...




RE: Financial decline reasons
By DanNeely on 4/10/2013 3:48:22 PM , Rating: 2
That law was a standard congressional case of reacting too late to a coming problem. If nothing was done, the pending implosion of mail volume would have eventually put the post office in the position of having catastrophically large pension funding shortfalls because its revenue would drop massively and rapidly while pension obligations would last until the last of the big post office generation died off a few decades later.

Filling the pension fund up while money was still plentiful actually is a good way to prevent that problem if you can react fast enough to do it. And had Congress done something about it back in the mid 90s they might have been able to pull it off. Instead they didn't act until mail volume was already starting to collapse. Without something like this the post offices short term finances would look much better; but in a decade or so they'd have a much messier and more immediate crisis when they started bouncing pension checks.


RE: Financial decline reasons
By Diablobo on 4/13/2013 10:12:34 PM , Rating: 2
The argument that there was going to be some impending pension funding crisis and therefore Congress acted responsibly to avert it might hold some merit if it weren't for the political circumstances and timing of the bills passage. Why did they wait until the GOP lost the 2006 midterm elections and control of Congress? They passed it in the lame duck session as one last parting shot to sabotage the USPS. It was a cowardly fatal blow by a defeated and vindictive departing Congress. That any Democrats voted for it either points to their ignorance of its implications or their complicity in wanting to kill the USPS.
http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/109/hr6407


RE: Financial decline reasons
By FITCamaro on 4/11/13, Rating: 0
RE: Financial decline reasons
By ven1ger on 4/11/2013 7:01:29 PM , Rating: 2
Damn, what a sense of logic. So the Republicans that voted for this will vote Democratic?


How
By FITCamaro on 4/10/2013 4:57:01 PM , Rating: 2
Is this tech news.




RE: How
By Florinator on 4/10/2013 5:07:08 PM , Rating: 2
I counted "technology", "San Jose startup", "Android" and "Apple" in the article, so it qualifies as tech news to me ;-)


RE: How
By ebakke on 4/10/2013 5:48:38 PM , Rating: 2
If it's government related, it drives traffic.


RE: How
By jarman on 4/11/2013 9:58:38 AM , Rating: 2
Unfortunately DT has a history of rolling in non-tech articles to either drive page hits or push a political viewpoint.


How about...
By Swampthing on 4/11/2013 10:15:03 AM , Rating: 2
They stop paying postal workers 40-50k a year with full government benefits including all those government paid holidays and retirement benefits to do a job that a retarded monkey could do?

There's guys in the small town of 4000 that i live in that have been mail carriers for 30 years because they are pulling in 50k a year in a town where the average wage is somewhere around 10 bucks an hour. And they get this salary for a completely non skilled job. Ridiculous that my IT position that required years of training and skill makes the same as some dude that just walks around sticking mail in people's boxes.

Maybe if they started with their ridiculous labor costs they'd start making a bit more money.




RE: How about...
By RandomUsername3245 on 4/11/2013 11:50:38 AM , Rating: 2
Based on earlier comments, it's not even their salary that is causing the problem -- the problem is funding their pension. Why not just cut off the pension benefit for all future employees. This will help tremendously. How many other delivery people are paid pensions? Lots of other civilian government jobs have no pensions. If the USPS union strikes over this, people probably won't even notice.


RE: How about...
By ven1ger on 4/11/2013 7:05:37 PM , Rating: 2
This has nothing to do with the Unions. This is a problem caused by Congress. You do realize that the USPS receives NO Federal Appropriations, their entire operating budget comes from stamps and other revenue generating operations? But Congress is allowed to screw them over.


....
By BRB29 on 4/10/2013 2:51:49 PM , Rating: 1
They can barely handle the workload at 6 days a week. How are they going to cut a day when the same amount of work has to be done?

At least where I live this is a problem. During holidays, forget seeing your mail for a month.




RE: ....
By CZroe on 4/10/2013 3:57:59 PM , Rating: 2
Fewer days + longer shifts + more volume per day = efficiency.

I say to go with I say to go with Mon, Wed, Fri w/ ~10-12hr shifts for business and residential delivery and short shifts on Sat for residential-only delivery.

Some employees will do 10 hour shift 4 days a week, some will do two 12hr shifts with two 8hr shifts 4 days a week, some will do three 12 hour shifts and a short 4hr Sat, and some will be happy with three 10-12hr days with optional Sats.

Sat will need fewer employees and shorter shifts so people who want 40 can volunteer for a short Sat shift when the volume is too much for the Sat regulars. Having two days back-to-back days to process residential mail when offices are closed helps keep the delayed influx of Mon of business/commercial mail from being too disproportional from the rest of the delivery days.


Netflix
By titanmiller on 4/10/13, Rating: 0
RE: Netflix
By ven1ger on 4/11/2013 7:21:02 PM , Rating: 2
What's funny, I remember a comment I either read or heard awhile ago when the idea of no Saturday delivery was being tossed around, hopefully wasn't from my mail person.

The comment was that Netflix would be happy to see Saturday delivery stopped because then it would lighten their postage fees as Saturdays tend to be a big day for Netflix deliveries. One less day of deliveries for Netflix probably means about a significant cut of their mail costs.


Digital Mail Service
By CaedenV on 4/11/2013 12:35:59 AM , Rating: 2
In addition to what Moto posted, I am always amazed that they do not have some form of 'official' mail service in place.

1) Everyone gets a free acct, but to set it up you need to go into the post office with a valid ID.

2) Proper security and encryption techniques are used in order to keep informaiton private (unlike normal email which is more like a post card).

3)You can only access your account from a limited number specific IP or MAC addresses (home, phone, office, etc.)

4) While everyone gets a free (with adds?) acct, you cannot send more than ~50 messages from the account per month. If you need to send more messages than that then you pay a fee based upon volume. The fee also has to do with the content of the email; The phone company can send things like bills to customers for free, but adds to get people to upgrade service cost extra, and people must have an opt-out option.

5) Business mail addresses (joe.bob@duk eenergy.usps) are not free. Business must pay a yearly fee for the service, a fee for the number of email addresses, and a fee for the volume of emails sent in total. Not big fees, but enough to make scammers annoyed enough to stay out of the system, and to pay for whatever filtering and policing needs to be put in place.

6) Give options to have some amount of physical mail scanned and emailed rather than delivered. Make it selective by the company or persons sending the mail. Junk mail should be able to be filtered out.

7) Make it a closed system. Only usps accounts can mail other usps accounts.

This would not replace a good old relatively anonomus email account which you would use for things like personal communication, but it would create a relatively secure (at least as secure as physical mail is) means to conduct official business via email without the worries of scammers, spam, etc. You would be able to know when your message was received and opened if you want. While anyone could essentially message anyone with just knowledge of a name, messaging caps, billable options, and policing/reporting would be able to keep the spam down to a minimum number of legitimate offers rather than all of the trash that fills our boxes today.

Not saying it would work for everyone or everything, but it would provide a new income stream, cut down on physical mail volume without replacing it, and provide a more trustworthy way to communicate so that when a spam bot claims to be my bank I will easily be able to know it.




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