Postal Service Outlines 10-Year Plan to Address Declining Revenue, Volume

Seeks Flexibility on Operations, Delivery; Possible 2011 Price Increase

WASHINGTON –Facing unprecedented volume declines and a projected, cumulative $238 billion shortfall during the next decade, Postmaster General John E. Potter today outlined an aggressive plan of cost cutting, increased productivity, and an array of legislative and regulatory changes necessary to maintain a viable United States Postal Service.
“The crisis we’re facing gives us an historic opportunity to make changes that will lay the foundation for a leaner, more market responsive Postal Service that can thrive far into the future,” Potter said, stressing that there is no one single answer or quick fix to the crisis.

 The Postal Service examined revenue, volume and consumer trends; analyzed revenue and product opportunities employed by foreign posts; and examined more than 50 possible actions to realistically address volume declines that will not return, increasing health care and delivery costs, and dramatic changes to consumer behavior.

 “The future depends on a suite of solutions that takes a balanced and reasonable approach, one that cuts across every aspect of our industry but one that, in the end, does the greatest possible good for our stakeholders and the American public,” Potter said.

 Mail volume is projected to fall from 177 billion in 2009 to 150 billion in 2020. That represents a 37 percent decline in First-Class Mail alone. Revenue contributed by First-Class Mail will plummet from 51 percent today to about 35 percent in 2020.

“Ensuring a Viable Postal Service for America,” the Postal Service business plan, addresses these challenges, and describes a flexible, agile Postal Service that can adapt to America’s changing mailing habits and preferences.

If the Postal Service takes no action, it will face a cumulative shortfall of $238 billion by 2020. But Potter outlined a number of actions that could amount to as much as $123 billion in savings during that same time period. These actions build on the Postal Service’s record of saving more than $1 billion every year since 2001 and include continuing to aggressively control costs and eliminating hundreds of millions of work hours.

Despite these efforts, an estimated $115 billion shortfall will remain. The business plan identifies actions to close that gap:

Restructure retiree health benefits payments to be consistent with what is used by the rest of the federal government and the majority of the private sector and address overpayments to the Postal Service Civil Service Retirement System pension fund.

Adjust delivery days to better reflect current mail volumes and customer habits.

Continue to modernize customer access by providing services at locations that are more convenient to customers, such as grocery stores, pharmacies, retail centers, and office supply stores. Increase and enhance customer access through partnerships, self-service kiosks and a world-class Website.

Establish a more flexible workforce that is better positioned to respond to changing demand patterns, as more than 300,000 employees become eligible to retire in the coming decade.

Ensure that prices of Market Dominant mailing products are based on demand for each individual product and its costs, rather than capping prices for every class at the rate of inflation.

A modest  exigent price increase will be proposed, effective in 2011.

Permit the Postal Service to evaluate and introduce more new products consistent with its mission, allowing it to better respond to changing customer needs and compete more effectively in the marketplace.

“Lifestyles and ways of doing business have changed dramatically in the last 40 years, but some of the laws that govern the Postal Service have not. These laws need to be modernized to reflect today’s economic and business challenges and the dramatic impact the Internet has had on American life,” Potter said.

The business plan is a path to the future, the Postmaster General said, a future where the Postal Service remains a vital driver of the American economy, an integral part of every American community and continues to deliver the greatest value of any comparable post in the world.

“If given the flexibility to respond to an evolving marketplace, the Postal service will continue to be an integral part of the fabric of American life,” Potter said.
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17 thoughts on “Postal Service Outlines 10-Year Plan to Address Declining Revenue, Volume

  1. I see so many post from people with 30 + years.
    You wanna help? RETIRE!!!!!!!
    Quit being a leech on the service!

  2. Carrier Mike, I dont know what survey you saw, But the proper survey done by has mail Carrier as job #186 of 200 . When my Grandmother worked for the post office, TIME magazine did the Top 10 Jobs in the USA in 1964. And the mail Carrier position was #3 . this is clearly a case of too many Chiefs and not enough Indians.

  3. sniff sniff 18% of you bye bye no more worries anymore..Be glad the rest that you fall within the 82%….You can still cry about your job, but at least you have 1 to cry about….

  4. Twenty Seven years in the Post Office and I have never seen anything like this. Bob is so right. They talk about flexibility, is he joking? Our local Post Master can’t do anything without checking with the Dristrict. Then they try to “Micro Manage” every situation as if the same answer works in every situation. The carriers and Post Masters know their jobs, they know their customers, they could handle so much on their own without a Dristrict Office 3 hours away telling them the tiniest detail. They have turned Post Masters into glorified record keepers. Want better results? Back off upper management. Everyone is into covering their behinds instead of satisfying the customer. I still can’t believe that at Christmas I was told if I was going to be in overtime, bring some of my packages back and don’t deliver them. Swear to God, I was told to deliver them tomorrow because it was the first day of a new pay period and maybe I wouldn’t be in overtime at the end of next week. I stood their in disbelief. Don’t deliver the mail if it was going to cost extra. God Help Us.

  5. As a 30+ yr employee I think this has to be intentional [as no one could be this stupid on purpose]!!

  6. If they are serious about saving money why don’t they ask craft employees for suggestions on how to do this? There are so many things that we can suggest as a cost savings to the USPS yet they would rather ask someone in management who has never done these jobs. Makes sense to me…….

  7. Kathy-that’s exactly the line that stuck in my head: “a more flexible workforce”!?
    I’m a city carrier, whose route is constantly changing, and I’m so micromanaged, the supervisors might as well carry the mail for me!
    What exactly is a more flexible workforce in Potter’s opinion? People that bend over and take it, without saying a word? Wait a minute-we already do that, every day, day after day.
    I don’t know what they want, short of robots, maybe that’s next-Potter’s cutting a work day, and causing turmoil in the system so he can spend big bucks on some government program to see if robots would be more efficient than the HARD WORKING men and women at the USPS!

  8. I really feel that the Postal service needs to take another look at how we do business. If we want to become more of a package business then we need to work like one. Most of our competitors customers require a later pickup. Yet the Postal Service refuses to do business that way. There is a huge loss of revenue lost because of this even though we are much cheaper than our competitors.

  9. I just have one question here
    what does it mean when he says a more flexible workforce???
    most of us are pretty flexible in the rural system really if they would just let us do our job and quit trying to micro manage us just to justify there own position ??
    if fact our office runs so much smoother when our pm is on vacation or out of the office which is pretty often i know i do not have that much leave to use ..
    the truth is one manager could run three or four offices my size by being in each one one day a week to do paperwork and a phone call if needed any other time .
    when there is a problem it seems alot of the time she makes it worse instead of better ,
    like we cant back our vehicles into our parking spaces now because they claim they wont be able to tell if they were broken into or not ?????but the next week we have a stand -up that says we should always back into driveways and things to deliever so that we can leave facing out into the street HUH???? isnt that telling me two different ways to do the same thing ????idiots

  10. Sirs, I have a few questions to ask.
    1) How do we encourage people to use the Postal Service if we make it harder to mail letters by removing the blue collection boxes?
    2) Why are the same labor issues concerning overtime,discrimination, and harrassment that end up costing the USPS large sums of money not addressed by either re-training or demotion?
    3) Why are income producing programs such as the Customer Connect program, being under supported and under funded by national mangement?
    4) Why, unlike rival UPS, are we not addressing the excessive managerial workforce, which substantially exceeds the average manager to employee ratio?
    5) Dispite the fact that the President of the United States has said that he supports 6-day delivery; why is the Postal Service saying that they re going to 5-day delivery?

    With the preceding issues being indisputable, why has the Congress not acted?

  11. I have 33 yrs with the Postal Service myself. I’ve been involved with the Union actively for the past 4 yrs. I have seen stuborn managers deny grievance after grievance at the lower level only because they do not want to deal with it. Yet when I meet at the next level, that person consistantly says that the 1st level manager has the power to settle. 2 yrs ago we got a new plant manager and this idiot has no regard what so ever for the Collective Bargaining Agreement. There were well over 500 grievances processed in our facility of 600 people last year. How does that save money?
    Then theres the EEO process…. Our managers refuse to admit that they show discriminatory practices even after they have been drug through a few EEO Redress meetings.
    ANd what about the Tour MDO’s who have been there for 25+ years and walk around with their heads hung low because they dont want to look at anyone that they supposedly supervise?

    Or, the elimination of positions during the past few years of managers and what? They get another title and 2 yrs of saved grade before they are out the door?
    Wheres the savings there?
    I could go on and on about where the money is being wasted, but whats the point? Management knows it. Start chopping those postions and perhaps they might get the idea that changes need to be made.

  12. Bob, you are absolutely right.

    BTW, I heard on the radio yesterday that being a letter carrier is the tenth worst job to have in some study. Not sure what the nine that beat us out are.

  13. Start with laying off all the layers of management who walk around with a clipboard.the postmaster position is no longer needed.

  14. While I don’t disagree with a few things the Postmaster General reported I do think it’s time the Obama Administration replaces Mr. Potter and Congress launch a full scale investigation into the inner workings of Postal Management. I am a 31 year employee who has seen Postal management destroy from within this great American Institution. The morale of all employees from the bottom up is by far the worst I have ever experienced. Area managers are micro-managing the Districts who in turn micro manage the local installations. One common thread being used is every level is using discipline against the next lowest level. Postal management in an effort to save a dime is spending ten dollars. And with all the acrimony in the work place grievances are way up and EAP will soon become overwelmed. talk with any current employee and you will hear the same message.

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