In its five-year strategic plan, the U.S. Postal Service emphasizes the importance of regularly maintaining its facilities. In fact, it outlines an initiative to standardize, upgrade, and realign maintenance operations across field offices to reduce operating expenses.
We hear a lot about the U.S. Postal Service’s brand. And rightfully so. The brand is among its most precious assets.
The post office lobby is certainly a lens through which the customer views the brand. A post office lobby is the principal business office of the Postal Service and often the only close-up look at postal operations that many customers get. Its appearance directly affects the Postal Service’s public image.
Hold everything, folks. That’s the recent message from the U.S. Postal Service on phase two of its network consolidation plan and associated changes to service standards. The Postal Service has delayed the second phase, which was set to take effect this month.
With a large network of facilities and post offices, and yet mail volumes in decline, the U.S. Postal Service finds itself with a good deal of unused capacity. The dynamics over closing and consolidating facilities has raised the question of whether there are other uses for them. Further, the Postal Service could still own the facilities even after it closes or consolidates operations. Rather than sit empty, could the Postal Service use some of that capacity in non-traditional ways to generate additional revenue?
Twenty years ago, when professional sporting teams started selling naming rights to their stadiums and arenas, many purists called it a low point in the commercialization of sports. But today, the number of arenas and ballparks not named after a corporate sponsor is small. For revenue-seeking team owners, it is just too hard to pass up the money that comes with selling your stadiums’ name. Strategy, business development and marketing all play huge factors in naming-rights deals, with top prices for these deals reaching about half a billion dollars, according to Sports Business Journal.
The U.S. Postal Service is one of the largest real estate owners in the United States with more than 8,600 facilities and 950 million square feet of land. (The Postal Service leases another 24,600 facilities.) It also has about 357 unused land parcels with no structures on them, which have a book value of $128 million. The lands’ assessed values are likely to be significantly higher.
This is the second topic in our "Five Elements of a Postal Solution" blog series. Link to last week's topic.
Link to the March 13 blog by Cliff Guffey.
Link to the March 14 blog by Alan Robinson.
Link to the March 15 blog by John Callan.
Link to the March 16 recap.
The Postal Service Network of the Future
The U.S. Postal Service owns or leases more than 33,000 facilities with approximately 284 million interior square feet (SF). These facilities are in virtually every community throughout the country and range in size from 55 SF to 32 acres under one roof. We visited 717 of these facilities as part of 10 facility optimization audits and identified over 21 million excess SF of space. During our subsequent national facility optimization audit, we statistically projected that the Postal Service has about 67 million SF of excess space nationwide.