Are Contract Postal Units and Village Post Offices the Post Office of the Future?

A Contract Postal Unit (CPU) is a retail postal facility located inside a retail establishment, such as supermarkets, card and gift shops, pharmacies, and colleges. CPUs are operated by the retailer's employees and offer the same basic services available at a regular Post Office. The Village Post Office (VPO) concept was introduced earlier this year and is similar to the CPU in that they are retail postal facilities operated by community businesses. However, they provide limited postal products and services. CPUs and VPOs lower U.S.


Our Fourth Year

Pushing the Envelope is entering its fourth year! So on this annual observance of our birthday, let’s look back at some of the successes of our third year and consider where we hope to take this blog in the next year.

We published our first blog in October 2008, and since that time, Pushing the Envelope has tried to highlight a number of important postal issues for the benefit of postal stakeholders and the public at large. In the last year alone, 1046 comments have been posted in response to topics on our blog.


Postal Service Revenue: What Should be Done?

Much emphasis has been placed on reducing the Postal Service’s costs in response to its financial crisis. Yet financial viability could come in the form of a balanced approach that both reduces costs and increases revenue. How would a smart business respond to declines in its major products? Would it raise prices where possible in stagnant areas and invest the proceeds into existing or new growth areas? Would it selectively discount products to grow volume in price sensitive segments?


Digital Currency: An Opportunity for the Postal Service?

When you buy your groceries, how do you pay for them? What about when you go to the gas station or neighborhood restaurant? How do you buy items online? Cash may still be king, but in everyday life, it is being eclipsed by newer digital payment methods such as credit cards, debit cards, and electronic transfers. These payment methods are often more convenient than carrying around lots of cash, but they are not equally available to everyone. People who don't have bank accounts or credit cards cannot access the full-range of digital currency products.


To Decouple or not to Decouple…

The Postal Service has “coupled” its retail and delivery operations, both managerially and physically, since delivery services were first established almost 150 years ago. Historical patterns, or the needs for delivery service efficiencies, primarily determined the location of physical facilities, which typically house both delivery and retail operations. Demands for postal retail services are changing both geographically and demographically as consumers age and population centers shift.



Recent Comments

  • 3 days 20 hours ago
    I collect mostly foreign philatelic material, but I do collect new issue US stamps in sheet format, in coil format, postal cards and stationery, etc., all new issue items. When I heard about the...
  • 4 days 16 hours ago
    I am a stamp collector, and have been on and off for 50 years. when I began to collect again in the early seventies I started a US collection with the intention of getting up to date and then staying...

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