Post Offices Currently Under Review

As an article in Auction Bytes notes, the Postal Service now has two processes ongoing that are or will examine whether Post Offices should be closed.   The Retail Access Optimization (RAO) Initiative has a list of nearly 3653 postal retail facilities.  In addition, there are 728 additional postal retail facilities that are currently under review for closure under existing processes.  The following chart lists the 13 states with the largest number of closures from both processes.  The chart shows that a standard process of identifying postal retail facilities that may be closed was further along in many states than others. The following chart shows the states that have 20% or more of the postal retail [...] Read more »

Postal Reform and the Debt Ceiling Vote

Last night, the House of Representatives put off a vote on Speaker Boehner’s bill to cut the deficit and raise the debt ceiling.   An examination of Republican members on the The Subcommittee on Federal Workforce, U.S. Postal Service and Labor Policy and the full Oversight and Government Reform committee shows that Republicans that will be crafting postal reform legislation are among the most conservative members of the House of Representative.  The vote on the Speaker’s bill was put off because the Speaker could not convince 216 Republicans to vote for his bill.  Six of the seven Republicans on The Subcommittee on Federal Workforce, U.S. Postal Service and Labor Policy, that will have the responsibility [...] Read more »

UPS Comments On Postal Service’s Financial Troubles

During its 2nd Quarter, 2011, United Parcel executives responded to two questions about how proposed changes in operations at the Postal Service would affect UPS’s business.  Here are the questions and answers from the transcript provided by Seeking Alpha. Question on Ending Saturday Delivery John Barnes – RBC Capital Markets, LLC Okay, all right. That makes sense. And then lastly, given how public the postal service’s problems have become and with all the rhetoric anywhere from getting rid of Saturday delivery to 15 years from now going to 3-day delivery, whatever it may end up being. Have you seen — is that uncertainty around their service creating any further opportunities on the [...] Read more »

Politics of Studying Closing Post Offices

Closing a Post Office or processing plant has always caused blowback on Capital Hill.  The following two maps show where the Post Offices under study for closure and the results of the 2010 Congressional election using the traditional red for districts that elected a Republican and Blue for Congressman that elected a Democrat.   The two maps show that most of the Post Offices on the closure list that fall outside of the large metro areas are located in districts represented by Republican.  (Districts in urban areas are too compact to tell whether they are represented by a Democrat or Republican.) Looking at voting results in the 2008 Presidential election by county developed by the [...] Read more »

The Post Office List: Maps That Explain the Impact

Yesterday, the Postal Service announced that it will be study closing 3,653 Post Offices.  The Washington Post has published a very useful map hat locates all of the Post Offices under study.   This map shows that the Post Offices on the list are concentrated in certain regions.   Looking at a map of rurality developed by the Department of Agriculture that identifies counties by how rural they are shows what looks like a correlation between the more rural sections of the United States and Post Offices on the list.  This can be seen by putting the two maps side by side. Rural America is a prime target for Post Office closures [...] Read more »

House of Representatives Losing Post Offices

Today the Postal Service announced that the beginning of a study to close 3653 Post Offices.  Among the list are four on Capital Hill. Capital Station Cannon Station Longworth Station Rayburn Station. For those not familiar with the geography of Capital Hill, the list includes retail stations located in each of the three offices in the House of Representative and one office located on the House side of the Capital next to the flag office. The four Post Offices in the House of Representatives are run by the Postal Service due to the Post Office Scandal of the early 1990′s.  If it turns out that these offices are money losing, [...] Read more »

On-line Sales Share of Retail Sales Hits New High in May

The U.S. Census Bureau retail sales data released last week showed that in May, the share of retail sales that are sold on-line or via a catalog rose to 20.5% of retail sales from merchants selling products that are sold both in brick and mortar stores, on-line or through a catalog. This means that 20.5% of all retail sales that could be delivered by FedEx, United Parcel Service or the United States Postal Service, are being delivered by these firms. (Details on how the proportion is calculated is at the bottom of this post.)May represents the sixth month in a row that on-line/catalog merchant sales were more than 20% of sales of items [...] Read more »

The Clock is Ticking

In Washington, two clocks are ticking.   The clock associated with the debt limit will hit zero days, zero hours, zero minutes and zero seconds on August 2.  The clock associated with the Postal Service will hit the same point next year. Earlier this year, Postal Service CFO Joseph Corbett stated that the Postal Service’s zero hour will come in July 2012.  However, he noted that the date could come sooner or later depending on Congressional action, changes in economic growth, and changes in operating cost factors. CFO Corbett’s projection of a July 2012 shutdown date required the Postal Service to stop making its FERS annuity payments and default on its [...] Read more »

Bloomberg Businessweek Expanding Use of Alternative Delivery

Bernie Schraml, Bloomberg Businessweek’s Director of Manufacturing and Distribution has told the Courier Express and Postal Observer that the magazine will more than double the number of weekly issues delivered by alternative delivery when the magazine switches delivery in the Los Angeles, CA, San Diego, CA, Chicago, IL, and Portland Oregon media markets in August.  With the addition of these four markets, Postal Service competitors will deliver around 20% of all of Bloomberg Businessweek’s circulation, or around 170,000 copies every week.  Mr. Schraml told the CEP Observer that additional markets, will switch to alternative delivery in September with the timing depending upon finalization of negotiations of with delivery firms. Since [...] Read more »

Is it Cheaper to Offer Early Retirement?

In a recent article in Sioux City Journal on the moving of mail processing from Sioux City, IA to Sioux Falls, SD, Jim Price, Sioux City Postal Workers Union Local 186 officer contends that, “Employees who would drive from Sioux City to Sioux Falls and back would include that drive-time as part of their work day.”   The map below shows the shortest route from Google maps between Sioux City, IA and Sioux Falls.  The distance is 87.9 miles with most of the miles on Interstate Highway 29.    View Larger Map If Mr. Price is correct, the Postal Service will be paying employees that commute to Sioux Falls for 3 hours of driving [...] Read more »