We’ve seen it coming for awhile, but the Post Office is such a staple in our world that I don’t think any of us really expected to see it fail. Then again, think about all the things you don’t mail anymore. Letters to friends and family have become emails, ecards have taken the place of invitations and announcements. Bills have gone “green” and banks no longer mail statements. The only upticks come from online retailers but even they have options other than going Postal.
Today’s press release states that the US Postal Service will have a $14 billion net loss at the end of this year. To stop the hemorrhage, they will close 140 processing centers by February 2013. That will likely be followed by another 89 closures in 2014. You can see a list of the centers here.
What this means for the average person is that mail delivery will take a little longer if you’re sending it out of your local area. 80% of First Class mail will still be delivered overnight.
What this means for the online retailer is you might have to start shipping via UPS or FedEx if you want to guarantee fast delivery. This is a tough spot because we know that shipping is a big factor in ecommerce. Shipping fees can make or break the sale and during the holidays, timing is extremely important.
In the end, we’ll all find ways to muddle through because it’s what we do and that includes the 13,000 employees who will be let go as a result of the closures. Maybe they all get jobs online.
For more information, visit the “Our Future Network” section of the US Postal Service online newsroom.