on Jul 21st, 2014 in Delivery & Collection | 12 comments

The Internet may have eaten into the U.S. Postal Service’s First-Class Mail volume and revenue, but digital devotion does bring good news, too. Package shipping is on the rise, due in large part to the ever-increasing popularity of online shopping. The Postal Service’s future could brighten considerably because of this expanding market, but is the Postal Service prepared to compete effectively in it?

Our new white paper, Package Services: Get Ready, Set, Grow!, essentially probes that question and comes up with several intriguing findings. As our auditors have noted, the Postal Service has done a good job of managing package growth in terms of mail volume and workhours. But it could do more. And it will have to, not only because UPS and FedEx are offering modernized, end-to-end products and services in response to customer demand, but also because some e-tailers, like Amazon, are expanding to offer their own shipping and delivery options.

Last year American businesses and consumers spent more than $68 billion to ship packages domestically; the Postal Service accounted for almost two-fifths of the total volume but less than one-fifth of the total revenue. That worked out to an average $3.37 of revenue per package for the Postal Service. UPS’s and FedEx’s average revenue per piece for their domestic packages were $9.39 and $9.70, respectively. The main reasons for the disparity? The Postal Service excels in lightweight and last-mile package delivery, which generate comparatively lower revenues.

The white paper says the Postal Service could increase its revenue-per-package average by adding new services that customers want. For example:

  • Improving tracking service and package-return service
  • Offering email and text alerts to parcel senders and recipients
  • Specifying time-windows for delivery

What do you think? How could the Postal Service expand its dominance in lightweight packages to higher-revenue packages? What package services would make you use the Postal Service more than you do now? How much online shopping do you do compared to in-store shopping?


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"Postal service excels in lightweight and last- mile package delivery, which generates comparitively lower revenues." Really? And when was the price negotiated with UPS and Fedex to do their work? When do these contracts come up? UPS and Fedex are laughing to the bank with the profits they are making by doling out the schlep work to USPS......Ya think USPS would hardball them in negotiations? They need USPS more than USPS needs them....Squeeze them to get the profit which USPS rightly deserves for the work performed......Whatta they gonna do? USPS has them between a rock and a hard place. If they don'r play ball with USPS they have only 2 options; Try to build up a network ( they al;ready have said it is impossible) or bail out of the deals with their existing customers.
Either way, USPS wins..
Both would go bankrupt trying to build a delivery system.
If they bail from commitments, those customers would flock to USPS.

If USPS senior management says they are trying to be more businesslike...Then start acting that way..

It is all well and good to provide all the fancy dodadds and doohickees but at what cost and do customers truly need them? Does every parcel or package need to be traced, have text alerts, email notifications, etc?

What are the costs involved? Machine scans may be easy but scanning in sunlight, in the cold and the heat, rain, snow, etc is time consuming and, god forbid, a carrier misses a scan.

If you actually polled end users what would they say? Cheap and reliable.....Just get it to me...

Is USPS working on a nuts and bolts cheap alternative pricing of its own? No frills needed or wanted?

UPS and FEDEX both go out of their way to get me my packages not matter what. Even if it is addressed wrong, they know the name and know where I live and make every effort to get it to me and have done so for the last 25 years I lived at my current address. The USPS on the other hand refuses to deliver my mail which is correctly addressed to me just that it has my home address (which does not have a mail box) and not my PO BOX address even though the carrier knows who I am, where I live and that I do in fact have a PO BOX, and to make matters worst she will return the mail to sender and then write me a note stating (if you want your mail install a mail box at your house) and place this note inside my POBOX! Can you believe the USPS would do something like this? Believe it. This been going on for years. And they wonder why people are using FEDEX and USP more and more.

I order a lot online. But, because I do not have a mailbox at my home, I have to limit my carriers to UPS & FedEx. Recently, a package labeled with my home address was returned to the seller labeled by my post office as "Undeliverable as Addressed". Hmm, very odd, because UPS & FedEx successfully deliver to the exact address regularly. I didn't know that the seller, who refused to ship to my PO BOX, would ship with USPS. HUH?

Then, I found a solution by which both USPS and I could benefit. I discovered USPS offers "PO BOX Services": 1. Street Addressing 2. Signature on File 3. Real Mail Notification. With "Street Addressing", I use the post office street address. In turn, the post office accepts any carrier's package delivered to the post office. Perfect! Immediately, I contacted my post office to request the PO Box services.

But alas, there's a hitch. After all, it is the USPS. Even though these services went into effect early 2012, these services are NOT AVAILABLE at all post offices-only a limited number - late 2014. I'm leaving USPS in the dust as I go to the UPS Store to get a PMB. Yes, it's more expensive. However, once again, the old adage holds true - You get what you pay for.

I deliver mail at the hub in a major city where the Amazon packages are delivered. Many times packages that could have been delivered, should have been delivered, are not delivered because the new CCA's don't know about parcel lockers, or where the mailboxes are at apartments. Maybe they should have the same people do the Sunday delivery, maybe on a volunteer basis with a pay incentive. Let them learn from the regulars the ins and outs during the week.
On another note, UPS and Fedex do not only use USPS services where they don't want to go, they use them here in the heart of a major city. They're probably cleaning up, while we do the work.

I have shipped 4 packages since the 6th of February and three of the 4 were lost. I tried on my own to contact the last post offices on the tracking info to try and track them down myself, you can't get through to a human being if your life depended on it. So I filed a complaint with the Postal Inspector for each package E. Collins was assigned one of them and he was told by the Delivery Supervisor that he believed there was a problem with the address label which made it undeliverable but he would stay on top of it till it was delivered or returned to me. The next morning I got an email from the recipient it was delivered. The second package was a priority mail and was to be delivered two days after it was mailed according to the tracking info the day after it was to be delivered the status changed to package delayed with a delivery date of 2 days later. When the package was finally delivered the box was empty other than a form to be filled out and faxed to the mail recovery department it clearly states on the form the search for your item could take 90 days to complete and there will be no updates and they will only contact you if they need additional information. I refunded the recipient her 540.00 dollars and proceeded to file my claim (which I found out you must wait 15 days to do) I found this out not from the claims page but from the person assigned to the complaint I filed. She offered to contact the mail recovery on my behalf. Why would I want the mishandled item back I'm sure its not in the condition it was shipped. My third package has said out for delivery since the 9th on which I filed a complaint and received an email acknowledgement that they received it and within 3 business days I would either have a response or a resolution, it is the 13th and I have received neither. Yesterday I made the unfortunate mistake of calling customer service to see if I could find out something to tell the recipient who by the way wants their 250.00 refunded. The person I spoke to was making things up and her accent was so strong I couldn't understand a lot of what she was saying I did understand when she said the package will be delivered today. I said oh really so your tracking information is not reliable then, is that correct? She said it is reliable, but it says the package was to be delivered on the 9th and it has been out for delivery ever since. She then tried to back pedal and I asked to speak to a supervisor 1 hour 3 minutes and 54 seconds she came back on the phone trying to act like the supervisor and informed me I would just have to wait to be contacted by whoever is handling the complaint I filed. TODAY still not hearing from anyone I tried calling customer service again and could not get past the automated system so I said I wanted to speak to the Postal Inspector and I was transferred I told whoever answered briefly what was going on and was transferred again to Raul who informed me that all systems had been down since yesterday and to try back later or Monday. My point to this is you should first master what's on your plate now, because clearly there is a huge problem, before you take on more.

I am not satisfied with my service as a USPS customer
Eden M Randolph

Eden I am so sorry you have had such awful experiences with the USPS. I am a 28 yr veteran with the Post Office so I know we do have some problems. Honestly you may find it hard to believe but we do deliver most packages in a timely manner. Our internet at work was down for 2 days Friday when I left (don't know what is going on with that!) I was using my phone to help customers track their packages. Please do file your insurance claims. Again I am personally sorry for all the inconveniences you have suffered. Please give us another chance to show you we can and do deliver for you.
Postal Clerk for 28 years

I would be glad to give you another chance right here and now tracking number 9463009699939646177854 has been out for delivery since the 9th of February, can't get any information on its whereabouts. The recipient wants their 250.00 refunded and if I refund the money and USPS delivers the package tomorrow I have no recourse. I am then out the item, my money and any chance for reimbursement through a claim. Not only are you costing me income, sales, time and energy but every time a buyer opens a case because they didn't get their item that goes against me as a seller (even if its not my fault it shows that a case was opened against me) so my reputation is at stake here also and nobody seems to take any of this seriously. Insurance claims can't be filed until 15 days have passed since it was mailed and do you have any idea how long it takes them to approve a claim and the hoops they make you jump through? I have had one previous claim for a 250.00 pair of shoes I sent priority mail. I made the mistake of not insuring the package because I never thought you guys would lose it but after having my claim denied and going through the appeal process it took over 2 months to get 50.00 plus the postage back. I have one more day before I can re file the 500.00 claim and at least 4 before I can file the 250.00 claim that is a lot of money to have to wait 60+ days to be reimbursed and treated like I'm the one who did something wrong through the entire process. I would love for someone to show me not tell me the USPS will fix what they screw up.

Hello Eden,

Thank you for contacting our offices and notifying us of your inconvenience.

In a situation such as this, please file a complaint with our offices at www.uspsoig.gov/form/new-complaint-form or by calling 1-888-877-7644. By calling or filing a complaint, you formally give us the critical information needed to look further into this matter and move your complaint to the right department.

I have filed a complaint pertaining to that tracking number and apparently it fell on deaf ears so I filed a few more HQ121647519, HQ121718708, HQ121718996, HQ121719138, HQ121719428, HQ121719267, HQ121719727 and still not even an acknowledgement they were received.

This examples is exactly why our company quit using this incompetent government organization and went with UPS and FedEx. We ship on an order of 300 packages a day and we require some small resemblance of professionalism and competence in our carrier. Before we switched to UPS and FedEx it was an every day hassle chasing down packages that this incompetent government organization had either lost or stolen. it was costing us time and a lot of money. If they weren't a government organization did have the whole crowd in jail.

I definitely believe that the USPS has lost all concerns, as well as commitment, as far as having mail delivered in a timely manner. I 'mailed' a small 2 day Priority box to my youngest son who is away at college for his freshman year. It was just a little something for Valentine's Day so that he knew I really was thinking about him. The 2 day Priority package was sent on February 11, 2015. The expected date of delivery was February 13, 2015. I checked to see if it was delivered on 2/13/15 and it said ''was on way to destination'' with expected delivery date still 2/13/2015. It as at the hub in Miami, FL. I mailed it near Orlando, FL and it was going 2 hours NORTH to Gainesville, FL. After arguing with the 'robot' at the 800# for 63 minutes, I finally got a human in customer service. She told me that she couldn't track anything since her system was down. I provided all of the tracking info and her response was that if it states 2/13/2015 as expected delivery date, then that's when it will arrive. It was already 5:20 PM and she insisted it would be there. I checked first thing on 2/14/2015 and it was 'still in transit' from the Opa Locka hub which is about ''this far'' from Miami with new delivery date of 2/14/2015. I thought ok, fine, he will still get it for Valentine's day. It wasn't there by 3PM so I made the dreaded call to 'roboanswer' and it only took 42 minutes to be connected to ''customer service''. Well, I found out that I didn't know anything about mailing packages with an expected delivery date! I was informed that just because the box and my receipt were both marked 2 day Priority mail, there was no guarantee as far as a delivery date. She then proceeded to tell me that since it had not been delivered by now, it would not get there till ---- FEBRUARY 17, 2015 because the next day was Sunday and Monday was a HOLIDAY. Needless to say that at this point I went completely crazy. I asked why in the world did the package go from Orlando to Miami in the first place and she told me that that was probably his route. I again questioned the 2 day Priority mail and that it made no sense to take it 6 hours south of it's destination. She nonchalantly repeated that there is no guarantee of when a 2 day Priority package will arrive. I asked her if she wanted to call my son and tell him that he wouldn't be receiving anything until 2/17/2015 and she said she couldn't make outgoing calls but that I could give him the tracking # and he could call and they could tell him what the ''reason'' was. I declined her 'offer' and told her that I would not put him through the hassle of getting through only to be told he'd have to wait till 2/17/2015. I had already talked to my son and he told me not to worry, he understood. My sister in law in S. Carolina mailed a 2 day Priority package on 2/11/2015 to her mother in Cleveland, Ohio. Even though that area is battling snow and ice, that 2 day package arrived on 2/13/2015-----2 days!! My package finally arrived in Jacksonville, FL which is 2 hours north of it's destination (they probably drove through Gainesville on their way) on 2/14/2015. It is now sitting in the hub in Gainesville, FL where it arrived at 9:01 AM on 2/15/2015 with a delivery date of 2/17/2015 along with a notation of ON TIME. I honestly do not understand how the USPS can promote 2 day shipping when they can tell you there is no guarantee. There is a notation next to delivery date if you click on it that states ''Expected Delivery Day is the estimated delivery day which is based on ORIGIN and DESTINATION of your package. Delivery on a certain day is not guaranteed''. Whatever happened to the pride that the USPS used to have?? Neither rain or snow or sleet....etc. must only apply if you are mailing something to a different state. My boys sent me chocolate covered strawberries for Valentine's day and were getting upset that they hadn't arrived by noon. They did get here on delivery date requested BUT the USPS was not involved. If you have even read this far, I'm sure there are some of you rolling your eyes and saying I need to cut the apron ties or he must be a momma's boy or whatever. I will end this by saying that we do have a special bond and Valentine's day is a day filled with hearts and love. It is this son who had seen me not feeling good and passing out and kept telling me to go to the doctor. He was 15 and not driving yet and I had to get him at school for an orthodontist appointment. When he finished he told me now it was my turn to go ti the doctor and he wasn't going back to school until I did. I promised him that I would go but he needed to go to school. At first I headed home but I went to the ER. He texted me about 30 minutes later and asked if I went. I told him that I went to the ER and they were already admitting me. My son saved my life that day----I needed a pacemaker and was told I should have had one months ago and I was lucky I got there when I did. So yes, I am very upset that the USPS couldn't deliver a package on the day it said it would arrive. But I am even more upset about the 'I don't care' attitudes I got from customer service. Also, WHY have and advertise 2 day Priority mail when there really is no such thing. I'm lost and seems like I'll be looking into UPS or FEDEX since they don't seem to have issues with guaranteed delivery.
I am totally dissatisfied with the (non) service I (have yet to) received as a paying customer of the USPS.