With mail volume declining and the mail mix changing, the U.S. Postal Service is adjusting processing capacity and the size of the network to better match the current workload. But getting to the end game has been painful, with plenty of bumps and bruises. Service, in particular, has taken a hit.
The world may be getting smaller, but cities are getting bigger. More than 80 percent of the country’s population lives in urban areas, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.
Fortunately, cities are getting smarter too. Using technology, data, and analytics, cities can implement “smart” projects with the aim of decreasing traffic congestion, cutting pollution, improving infrastructure, and better managing the overall territory of the city. For example, in Kansas City, Internet-connected devices can direct streetlights to dim unless they detect motion, saving energy.
Mail collection boxes are practically as American as apple pie. They also seem to be disappearing as quickly as mom’s homemade apple pie.
Nationally, the number of collection boxes declined by more than 12,000 in the past 5 years. Some customers have complained the U.S. Postal Service has gone too far and removed too many collection boxes in neighborhoods. They’ve also questioned whether this effort is saving USPS money in the long run.
Neither the Internet nor smartphones can hold advertising mail down. Even with digital advertising growing at a rapid pace over the past 20 years, advertising mail has kept its same share of the market — around 10 to 12 percent.
What’s advertising mail’s secret?
There was a time when, if you lived in Spokane, Bing Crosby might have sold you stamps across a post office counter. If you lived in Chicago, Walt Disney might have delivered your mail – or maybe Rock Hudson, if you were just up the road in nearby Winnetka. More recently, before he starred in The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Steve Carell might have put letters in your mailbox if it was in rural Massachusetts. And have you ever wondered where the Grammy-winning John Prine got the title for his album The Singing Mailman Delivers?