Us Postal Service Essay Research Paper United

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Us Postal Service Essay, Research Paper United States Postal Service Thinking Outside The Mailbox This paper will analyze the constraints and opportunities facing the United States Postal Service since development of the email-to-paper system. “The Post Office predicts that in 2003, first-class mail, a $35 billion business and its top revenue-producing service, will begin an unprecedented decline at the hands of booming e-mail and on-line billing services. Under its own online bill system, the Postal Service charges customers $6 per month to send 20 electronic transactions, or $2 per month and 40 cents a piece for unlimited transactions. The e-mail-to-paper United States Post Office (USPS) is 224 year old service that is supposed to run like a business, but is essentially a

government agency. It is controlled by a 9-member Board of Governors and a Postal Rate Commission, which authorizes postal rate increases. Membership to the Board and Commission are by political appointment. Since the days of the Pony Express the Postal Service has played an integral role in the evolution of the nations infrastructure as it searches for more economical ways to deliver the mail. “The Internet is transforming American commerce and already the US Postal Service is playing a role in that transformation” (1999 US Postal Service Annual Report). With the increasing use of the e-mail-to-paper system the Postal Service has been forced, by the new technology, to adapt to the 21st Century in order to survive. According to the United States Postmaster General William

Henderson, “if the Postal Service is not revamped, its ability to deliver mail to everyone cheaply–one of its congressional mandates–is in serious jeapardy. After years of losses, the Postal Service began making a profit in 1995, but net income has dropped every year since” (1999, USA Today). The e-mail-to-paper proposal, virtually every American would be assigned a free e-mail address corresponding to their street address. Customers could simply link the service to any present e-mail address they have, or opt for a special online postal box. Customers could then get their street address– with “usps.com” tacked at the end (2000 Associated Press). A new study by the Pew Internet and American Life Project (www.pewinternet.org) found that more than 90 million people

have Internet access, of those 84 million use e-mail regularly and 16 million have used some sort of online banking service (2000, Associate Press). Government research indicates that competition from online transactions could threaten the United States Postal Service ability to provide universal service. “More bills are being sent and paid electronically over the Internet. Such e-payment competition, as well as that from mail parcel companies, is expected to cause an “unprecedented” drop in first-class mail beginning in 2003 (1999 USA Today). Many Americans have grown very comfortable shopping and paying bills electronically and this change in demand has presented the Postal Service with several problems. 1) Declining revenue and 2) obsolete equipment. The United States

Postal Service hold a virtual monopoly on the database of 130 million addresses of US consumers. This monolopy on domestic first-class mail delivery is reinforced with additional benefits. “It doesn’t pay corporate taxes or real estate taxes on buildings and owns; it doesn’t pay for license plates or even parking tickets and it has access to lower-rate government loans when needed” (2000 USA Today). However, the changing market has critics and sympathizers calling for significant changes that allows the Postal Service to compete with private businesses in the expanding distribution sector well beyond letters and parcels. Representative John McHugh, has introduced the Postal Moderization Act of 1999, which would allow “Unpostal commercial activity” to be carried out by