Saturday August 22, 2020 |Notes

USPS is already in demise and it will hurt businesses

After months of warnings, the USPS is getting attention from major press sources of all nature. The concerns were initially ignored and after that proved to not be enough, Postmaster General Dejoy finally responded to the controversy with meaningless comments meant to appease, while his actions continue to dismantle the service he was put in charge of running. The changes underway will hurt businesses and consumers alike by providing inferior service, higher prices, and reduced capacity to adapt to high-demaand periods.

Jason Kottke recently wrote about the changes already underway to dismantle the USPS:

The situation here is reversed — e.g. “it’s very hard to rebuild a bridge once it’s torn down” — but the lesson is the same. If you take mailboxes off the streets and junk sorting machines, it’s difficult to put them back, particularly when everyone’s baseline shifts over the next few months and the decreased capacity and delays are normalized (and then exploited for political advantage). Destroying the United States Post Office would be far easier and cheaper than rebuilding it.

Vice’s Aaron Gordon shared internal USPS emails that say sorting machines already removed or disconnected should not be reconnected:

"Shortly after USPS Postmaster General Louis DeJoy issued a public statement saying he wanted to “avoid even the appearance” that any of his policies would slow down election mail, USPS instructed all maintenance managers around the country not to reconnect or reinstall any mail sorting machines they had already disconnected, according to emails obtained by Motherboard"

The USPS is not a business. It's a service provided to the benefit of the people and businesses of the United States. Dejoy's approach is wrong and the changes he is vowing to stop are already underway, to the detriment of the service.

The postal service was critical in helping Amazon in its early days and it should remain a viable option for every ecommerce business. There was no way Amazon could ship books to customers in far off places at an economical rate when they started without the help of the USPS's subsidized rates. New businesses deserve the same benefits, and consumers deserve the service provided at the same rate to every address in the country.

Before this year, the USPS was already cast as the subject of too many jokes. For eocmmerce companies, the USPS is critical in providing fast, reliable service without any volume requirements. There's no possibility for small ecommerce businesses to compete when forced to pay UPS and Fedex rates for home delivery.

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