This is a big week for retailers and online marketplaces that rely on the postal service to get ecommerce packages delivered. The President’s task force on postal reform will publish its recommendations on Friday – the day after the USPS publishes financial results for the most recent quarter.
While postal reform appears inevitable (and long overdue), there’s a more controversial call to privatize the post office, which readers discussed in this EcommerceBytes Blog post, where you can also find more information about the administration’s views.
Members of Congress are divided on the issue of privatization, but some have proactively drafted a resolution opposing it. Postcom reported that on July 13, Representatives Stephen Lynch (D-MA) and Rodney Davis (R-IL) introduced a resolution calling on Congress to take all appropriate measures to ensure that the Postal Service remain an independent agency of the federal government and not be subject to privatization. (Link to the proposed resolution on Congress.gov)
In response to concerns over the fate of the US Postal Service, a group of companies including Amazon, Pitney Bowes, retailers, and other mailers have formed the Package Coalition. Geekwire linked the recent organization’s formation to political pressure, writing, “For months, President Donald Trump has been accusing Amazon of ripping off the U.S. Postal Service.”
The coalition made clear the reason for its concern in its press release announcing its formation: “The US Postal Service (USPS) is the only daily delivery service that connects every one of America’s 157 million addresses.” That’s powerful for retailers who need to get their packages into the hands of shoppers quickly and cost-effectively, and even UPS and FedEx take advantage of that unique capability through their UPS SurePost and FedEx SmartPost services.
The Package Coalition’s goal is to “work proactively with policymakers and the public to highlight the importance of the postal package delivery services to American businesses and consumers.”
Note that we requested a complete list of coalition members and the fees and requirements for joining, and specifically asked if eBay was a member, with no response as of yet.