The Office of the USPS Inspector General has come up with a new idea that could help the U.S. Postal Service raise money that’s not likely to ruffle that many feathers at least among corporate types: to “sell” its brand
Earlier this year the USPSOIG estimated the postal service brand is worth $3.6 billion and is now seeking companies that could help the postal service make some extra money.
Among ideas for accomplishing this are: licensing out its logo, uniforms and trademarked names as well as finding new and different ways to capitalize on its position as the most trusted government-related agency.
Selling its brand, the Inspector General said, could also help the USPS pay down its more than $5 billion-a-year obligation to pay for the health care benefits of future retirees for most of this century. This obligation, stuck into the 2006 postal reform act, has been a steady drain on postal finances for many years and is impeding the USPS from becoming profitable again.
For the year ended Sept. 30, the USPS reported a net loss of $5.1 billion http://about.usps.com/news/national-releases/2015/pr15_060.htm.
That’s of course if the USPS, or more specifically Congress, really wants to do anything to benefit the postal service. So far, Congress isn’t showing much inclination despite Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE)’s repeated efforts to introduce new postal reform legislation.
One doesn’t see Congress doing much, if anything about postal reform on the eve of a Presidential Election year.
What’s more, extolling the merits of the postal service isn’t likely to run into entrenched opposition such as that of the Inspector General’s two-year-old proposal to establish banking services aimed at poorer Americans shunned by large commercial banks.
But efforts to sell the postal service brand would probably run into fierce opposition from unions who might see it as a backdoor route to postal privatization.
Speaking of privatizing, the Federal Trade Commission has come out against the proposed merger of Staples and Office Depot on anti-trust grounds https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2015/12/ftc-challenges-proposed-merger-staples-inc-office-depot-inc
Such a merger would effectively create an office supplies monopoly and possibly make it harder for the American Postal Workers Union to continue its campaign to prevent the USPS from selling stamps and other postal products through non-union Staples stores.
The APWU has been locked in this battle with Staples for the past few years.
Maybe the FTC’s opposition to this merger will help stem the tide of the postal service’s longstanding movement toward downgrading and essentially trying to make post offices obsolete, says savethepostoffice.com http://www.savethepostoffice.com/bill-rights-post-office.
If the postal service is going to promote its brand in good faith, maybe it should start by halting its longstanding efforts to dismantle itself. Ironically, that could even make the USPS more attractive to potential buyers