The U.S. Postal Service apparently thinks its salvation might lie in offering same-day delivery of groceries and other products to individual households much in the manner of Amazon.com and similar companies.
Speaking at a recent PostalVision 2020 conference, Nagisa Manabe, USPS chief marketing and sales officer outlined her ideas for how the postal service can offer its services to companies with which it can form joint ventures. The postal service’s edge: its massive nationwide infrastructure, according to ecommerce bytes.com http://www.ecommercebytes.com/cab/abn/y14/m04/i15/s02.
Not only that, but Manabe thinks the USPS will be able to increase its use of massive consumer data to further tailor its consumer offerings just as industry has been doing for many many years.
She also said she foresaw the day when cars would drive themselves and refrigerators would order groceries on their own and that the USPS would have to be ready to survive in such a world.
Fair enough, but won’t people still want and need their mail delivered every day?
Her prophesies all go along with the tired rhetoric that postal mail is doomed and our future communications will all be electronic.
On the face of it, the postal service looks like it’s doing everything it can to hasten its downfall and seeming irrelevance. In one of its latest moves just last week the USPS said it wanted to consolidate bulk mailing facilities in Palos Verdes, CA. This has scared local residents who believe (probably correctly) that their local mail[i] would suffer as a result, says the Daily Breeze of Torrance, CA http://www.dailybreeze.com/government-and-politics/20140412/usps-wants-to-consolidate-bulk-mailing-services.
To say nothing about the jobs and community connections that would be lost and have been lost since 2011 when the USPS announced massive nationwide facility closures.
The postal service says one of the facilities slated for closure is only lightly used and that it must conduct a “feasibility study” to see if this is consolidation is indeed warranted. But the USPS can’t get seem to get away from its corporate profit-driven mindset that it must cut back on jobs and services that are still sorely needed by the bulk of the population, particularly the less advantaged.
This mentality has many proponents in Congress and extends well beyond the postal service. In his much criticized budget proposal, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), chairman of the House Budget Committee, reportedly wants to cut postal worker benefits and otherwise weaken their unions as part of his latest budget proposal which would also end Medicare as we know it. Although not explicitly stated, privatization of the postal service may well lurk in there between the lines.
After all, Ryan’s political ally, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), chairman of the House Government Reform Committee, has been pushing for postal privatization in one form or another for years.
Many have dismissed Ryan’s budget as empty political grandstanding that has no chance of passing. On the other hand, it might just serve as a negotiating position in the next Congress if Republicans win majorities in both houses.