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Poor brainstorm

June 16, 2013

Well, the "Powers That Be" had this brainstorm of closing our post office processing facility and move things to Harrisburg....

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(40)

wwhickok

Jun-21-13 9:13 AM

My personal concern is of the carriers' safety, They too are human beings and and have families too. Why isn't their safety just as important as our own? Carrying mail after dark? In what way is that safe?

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max4ever

Jun-19-13 11:48 PM

Our mail carrier delivered until 9 PM that night! It was because the truck from Harrisburg didn't get here until noon! They closed the most efficient facility to transfer our mail to the least efficient facility----another situation of our tax dollars "hard at work". I wonder who got their pockets lined for this mess?

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USABorn

Jun-17-13 1:07 PM

BillTriumph - 8:37 AM

"Blame email, texting, social media, UPS, FedEx, on-line bill paying, and generous USPS benefits for the problem."

Does any blame go to the thousands of tons of junk mail every week that gets special low rates yet requires a bloated staff to handle?

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BillTriumph

Jun-16-13 6:32 PM

So why not have the USPS raise the price for first class letters to $1, still way way under UPS (who by the way does not have a business model for delivering mail, and why would they)? USPS says because revenue would most likely decline as MORE people would opt for email, and on-line alternatives. It was fun debating with you. But I figured it would all come down to my bold faced vindictive "hate" for USPS and nothing else. By the way BLS projects the largest decline in workforce will occur at the USPS 139,000... haters!

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CHayes

Jun-16-13 6:16 PM

" Even the federal government is using services other than their own postal service"

Of course they are. USPS doesn't do large parcels. The maximum size package the USPS will ship is substantially smaller than what a carrier like UPS will. Also, it would be my guess that UPS and Fed Ex have contracts with some agencies. Contracts that again, consumers subsidize by paying exorbitant rates to ship with these carriers.

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CHayes

Jun-16-13 6:12 PM

That's a mighty strange question for someone to ask for someone who just posted a different set of revenue numbers.

And monopoly? Really? I could mail a letter tomorrow in a UPS or Fed Ex mailer. It would cost on the order of 50 times more than doing it through the USPS, but you can certainly do it. If you hate the post office that much, stop using it.

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GysgtUSMC

Jun-16-13 6:08 PM

CHayes... actually I have been an Amazon shopper for years and 95% of my packages come UPS. But you are right. The companies that I worked for all had contracts with UPS and FedEx that provided much better rates than the postal service. But why is that? Why isn't the postal service staying competitive so that they aren't struggling from year to year? Bill is correct. Even the federal government is using services other than their own postal service? Yes, Congress did make a major blunder with the requirement to budget decades in advance, but from what I've read even without this requirement the postal service would still be deep in the red.

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BillTriumph

Jun-16-13 5:44 PM

General Motors (GM) had revenue of $149Bil. in 2009, but that didn't prevent them from filing bankruptcy and pave the way for the Obama bailout. So what is your point about USPS monopoly revenue basis as being "proof" USPS is "better" than UPS/FedEx?

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CHayes

Jun-16-13 5:16 PM

You want to play the revenue game Bill? OK, the USPS did over $65 billion in revenue last year. If UPS and Fed Ex are so great, why did UPS have over $10 billion less in revenue last year, and Fed Ex have almost $20 billion less? It sure isn't because they're charging lower prices.

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CHayes

Jun-16-13 5:11 PM

" If USPS is providing such an excellent service, why are so many large companies, Amazon just to name one, choosing to utilize FedEx and UPS rather than take advantage of the lower rates and better service that the USPS supposingly provides?"

Amazon deals mostly with Fed Ex, and as I wasn't privy to their discussions on it, I'll have to take a guess. I'd guess.that Fed Ex has a rate for Amazon, and a rate for everyone else. That may be part of why Fed Ex's prices are so astronomical.

Think about Gysgt. Last year I bought a surround speaker package from Amazon, that packed was about 50 lbs. Amazon let me overnight this box from. DC in the south for $3.99. Say you walked into a Fed Ex office, and wanted to overnight a 50 lb box to GA. How much you think that would cost? All you have to do is look at Amozons pricing structure, and Fed Ex's public pricing structure to tell who ate most of that cost.

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BillTriumph

Jun-16-13 4:32 PM

Washington Post - just a few days ago: UPS has received $122M in revenue since 2010; USPS $28.9M ...FedEx over 48.5Mil.

In contracts from... The US FEDERAL GOVERNMENT!

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BillTriumph

Jun-16-13 4:20 PM

I do not work for UPS, FedEx, or any organization that remotely has anything to do with any shipping company competing against the monopoly that USPS is. In fact my sister is a Postal Carrier. The USPS padded its financials for years by not having a worker health benefit set aside. As a business person I know that mounting debt liability and expenses in light of declining revenue is a volatile mix, so that is why I am concerned for the workers jobs. First Class mail volume dropped 28% in the last decade, and it continues (-4.1% last Qtr.) while junk mail revenue and volume increased.

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GysgtUSMC

Jun-16-13 4:17 PM

CHayes... I have a question for you. If USPS is providing such an excellent service, why are so many large companies, Amazon just to name one, choosing to utilize FedEx and UPS rather than take advantage of the lower rates and better service that the USPS supposingly provides? I have worked in the logistics field ever since retiring from the service and have managed warehouses. We too have always chosen UPS and FedEx because of speed and reliability. Do you think there is anything different the USPS can do to compete with these other services that are maximizing profits?

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CHayes

Jun-16-13 3:51 PM

If I'm not mistaken, several people on this thread have said that "nobody mails", and all the USPS delivers is junk mail. Really?

Here's a breakdown of revenue for 2012.

First class mail- $28.9 billion

Advertising mail - $16.4 billion

Shipping and packaging services- $11.6 billion

Periodicals- $1.7 billion

Looks like more than junk mail to me.

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CHayes

Jun-16-13 3:44 PM

Hey Bill, I was wondering if you overlooked my question, or intentionally sidestepped it?

I asked if you worked for Fed Ex, UPS, or a tertiary company that supports them. Just curious.

Again I think its really interesting to see the US Constitution under attack yet again by the American right.

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GysgtUSMC

Jun-16-13 3:31 PM

Regardless of how the post office has lost so much revenue, the fact of the matter is, it is another agency controlled by congress that is not self sustaining and losing billions. Congress instituted the requirement to pre-fund decades of benefits and eventually this blister is going to come to a head and someone is going to have to pay for it. It makes a person wonder how this same government is going to run healthcare for all of us when it can't even deliver mail without losing billions.

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BillTriumph

Jun-16-13 3:19 PM

I think we owe it to our Postal Workers to do everything in our power to sustain this service no matter the cost. I for one have a strong conviction to want my mailbox filled with junk mail advertising, and since USPS discounts this bulk mail service I want desperately to have our Congress assure me that my taxes go towards continuing this well placed and productive subsidy. $25Mil. losses per day is such a small price to pay for all the offset benefits, and besides the USPS is only forced to lose money because our Congress is unfairly forcing them to despite the great job they are doing holding the line on costs.

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ScienceIsKing

Jun-16-13 2:40 PM

I'm guessing because everyone is doing everything online these days? Postal mail is a thing of the past and quite frankly, I forgot how to mail something. Today we have online bill payments, papers, and smartphone apps to get information. Wake up and stop complaining, this is our future!

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CHayes

Jun-16-13 2:24 PM

" I belong to a club that has a monthly newsletter. Newsletters were mailed on a Friday, and some members didn't receive them until the following Thursday, and we're talking local zips less than 10 miles from the origin zip."

And I just received a first class parcel yesterday that was shipped Fri afternoon from the Allentown area. I've also received first class parcels from NJ the next day. Usually takes 3-4 days for me to get a first class package from CA. So as you can see, the situation you describe is a little difficult to imagine.

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BillTriumph

Jun-16-13 2:20 PM

In 2012, USPS posted a $15.8Bil. loss not a $5Bil. loss. About $11Bil. of the loss was the default on payment of the future health benefits. I said USPS reported that $5Bil. of the loss was attributable to the decline in revenue.

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CaveFelem

Jun-16-13 2:15 PM

"Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night, stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds."

I'm sure it's inconvenient to have to work late on some days, but if the mail didn't get to the carriers until later in the day, did they have to put in more hours? It seems to me they'd still work the same amount of time, just later in the day.

Chayes is right. Closing our local facility has affected local mail timing. I send and receive Netflix DVD's. That hasn't changed, as they go back and forth to/from Harrisburg. What has changed is the timing and delivery of local mail. I belong to a club that has a monthly newsletter. Newsletters were mailed on a Friday, and some members didn't receive them until the following Thursday, and we're talking local zips less than 10 miles from the origin zip.

We will just have to adapt to the new normal.

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CHayes

Jun-16-13 1:25 PM

" Someone should tell Sandy that the closing of the Williamsport facility has nothing to do with local mail delivery."

Wrong. The facility that was closed was used to sort mail. Now the sorting is done at a third location, and the pre sorted mail is shipped in. So it does in fact effect local delivery.

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CHayes

Jun-16-13 1:22 PM

" The red herring of the Congress mandated "prepaid" retiree health benefits has some bearing ...but USPS suspended payment because they didn't have the cash anyway. In fact they lost $5Bil."

And how much was the prepayment the were required to make last year? Why it was $5.5 BILLION Bill. Imagine that. Imagine having a business Bill, that unlike ANY other business in the US, is required to pay BILLIONS every year for healthcare for employees that aren't even born yet. How long would such a business stay in the black?

The "financial crisis" the USPS is in, is an entirely manufactured one. Manufactured just like the frequent claim that the USPS is funded by taxpayer money.

I'd like to ask Bill, are you employed by UPS or Fed Ex, or a tertiary company that supports them? If so, that might be something you want to disclose.

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enigma

Jun-16-13 1:18 PM

Someone should tell Sandy that the closing of the Williamsport facility has nothing to do with local mail delivery. Who knows why her postman was working so late, but it had nothing to do with what she is blaming it on.

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CHayes

Jun-16-13 1:13 PM

" Does anyone believe that the $11Bil. default (so far) to the USPS employee future health benefits won't be "bailed out" by US taxpayers?"

Why would the govt need to step in and pay health benefits for workers that aren't born yet?

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