After blogging for several months, the Office of Inspector General wants you to know how it’s going. So far, we’ve posted seven blogs (including this one) and received more than 100 comments. There have been a number of thoughtful observations about the Postal Service, and the Mail Transport Equipment blog actually led to a tip that resulted in the recovery of some pallets.
In 1970, the Postal Service delivered fewer than 85 billion pieces of mail. Thirty years later, mail volume had more than doubled to nearly 208 billion pieces of mail — average growth of about 3 percent per year. The Postal Service relied upon this dependable growth in mail volume to finance the expansion of its network. The traditional business model worked.
The Postal Service moves mail using planes, trains, trucks, cars, boats, ferries, helicopters, bicycles, hovercrafts, subways and even mules. It operates the largest civilian vehicle fleet in the world with more than 219,000 vehicles. Its fleet of trucks drives nearly 4.1 million miles and uses more than 400,000 gallons of fuel daily. To put this in perspective, when fuel costs increase by one penny, the cost to the Postal Service increases by more than $8 million annually.
The Woodfield Station located in Schaumburg, Illinois is an innovative, new retail environment that tests the limits of how the United States Postal Service interacts with customers and sells products and services. Dubbed the “Retail Learning Lab,” this completely redesigned post office serves as a testing ground for new products, new methods of serving customers, and new models for partnering with commercial businesses.
USPS Mail Transport Equipment (MTE) consists of specialized containers such as sacks, pouches, trays, hampers, over-the-road containers and pallets. The Postal Service has more than 1.1 billion pieces of MTE, which is used at close to 400 processing facilities, over 33,000 post offices and hundreds of major mailers nationwide to help achieve the safe, secure and timely movement of mail between Postal Service facilities and its customers or contractors.