Thursday, August 6, 2009

Going Postal

The United States Postal Service is about to get stamped *INSUFFICIENT FUNDS*. 
The USPS stands to lose about $7 BILLION dollars this year. 

One remedy would be to shut down Post Offices that are too close to other locations. 

Here is the proposed hit list of Post Office closures (scroll through it because it is by region, not just alphabetical order).

Another cost saver would be to deliver mail 5 days a week, instead of 6. 

We could take a clue from our neighbors to the north. 
Canada Eh?

Every business day, Canada Post provides service to 14 million addresses, delivering 40 million items. Delivery takes place via traditional "to the door" service by 15,000 letter carriers, supplemented by approximately 6,000 vehicle routes in rural and suburban areas, and truck delivery of parcels in urban areas. There are 6,800 post offices across the country.

Canada delivers mail FIVE days a week. 
Can the U.S. handle dropping Saturday mail delivery??

The United States Postal Service employs over 760,000 workers, making it the third
largest employer in the United States, after the United States Department of Defense, and Wal-Mart.
 It operates 32,741 post offices and locations in the US. In August 2009 the Postal Regulatory Commission put forward a preliminary list of about 1000 it is considering closing to save money. Its employees deliver mail at an average yearly cost of $235 per residence as of 2009.

The USPS operates the largest civilian vehicle fleet in the world, with an estimated 260,000 vehicles, the majority of which are the easily identified Chevrolet/Grumman LLV (Long-Life Vehicle), and the newer Ford/Utilimaster FFV (Flex-Fuel Vehicle), originally also referred to as the "CRV" (Carrier Route Vehicle), as shown in the pictures below. In an interview on NPR, a USPS official stated that for every penny increase in the national average price of gasoline, the USPS spends an extra $8 million to fuel its fleet.
 This implies that the fleet requires some 800 million gallons (3.03 billion liters) of fuel per year, and consumes an estimated fuel budget of $2.4 billion, were the national gasoline price to average $3.00.