Have you noticed the volume of mail you receive has been steadily declining? Well, even if you haven’t, the United States Postal Service certainly has, and it’s forcing them in to making some tough decisions about the future.
The Postal Service says that it expects mail volume to fall from an all time high of 213 billion pieces of mail in 2006 to a projected 170 billion in 2010. This reduction in volume is for all of the reasons one could easily suspect such as people paying bills online, no longer sending birthday cards or anniversary cards in the mail, even some people are now asking for RSVPs to weddings to be done online as opposed to the old method of including a pre-stamped envelope.
To combat this reduction in volume, the service is taking some extreme measures to try to stem the financial loss. According to The Washington Post, the most visible of these steps is the removal of hundreds of thousands of under performing drop off boxes around the country. Any drop box that is receiving less than 25 pieces of mail a day has been marked for removal and will either be stored in a warehouse or sold off for scrap. Some of the other things that are being done is a consolidation of routes and a reduction in the number of hours some offices are open, hiring and raise freezes. The biggest change may come after postal officials go before congress next month to ask for home delivery to be reduced form six days a week to five, a tactic that has been mentioned for decades, but it has never been successful.
One of the new approaches that are being taken to try to reduce cost as a major push to get more people to print postage and mail items from their homes as opposed to using drop boxes or going to various post offices.
Will the postal service go away? Doubtful, but you may continue to see a reduction in services as the entity continues to tighten its belt in the face of the modern Internet age.