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Fri Nov 4 2016 09:15:09

Shipping Carriers Hungrily Eye Your Mailbox

By: Ina Steiner

Sponsored Link

Should the Postal Service have a monopoly on your mailbox? The Postal Service delivers so many packages it may be easy to forget that it has a mandate to deliver the mail to all citizens (universal service), and with that mandate comes a monopoly on the mailbox.

PostalVision 2020 is holding an event where it will discuss the issue. The "Delivery by Design" event will include a session where key stakeholders debate on the "pros and cons of the existing USPS mailbox monopoly in relation to the anticipated growth in ecommerce and increasing consumer delivery demands."

Moderator: The Hon. Robert Taub, Acting Chairman of the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC);
Debaters: 
- James Campbell, renowned consultant and USPS monopoly expert; 
- David Williams, Distinguished Visiting Professor of Public Policy at George Mason University's Schar School of Policy and Government (and former Inspector General for the USPS)
- Jim Sauber, Chief of Staff for the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC).

"Each panelist will take a position on the existing monopoly (to retain, modify, or abolish), with participation and feedback around each position being provided by the diverse group of stakeholders attending the event."

The USPS has argued that its exclusive access to mailboxes means secure, efficient delivery of mail, and says it helps it deliver on its mandate of universal access - not just delivering packages to the most profitable addresses or with hefty surcharges. 

A spokesperson explained last year: "open mailbox access would make it easier for competing delivery services to strip certain profitable types of mail away from the Postal Service, such as catalogs and certain types of advertising mail. 

"The Postal Service would be left delivering less profitable types of mail to less profitable areas, and yet it would have less of the more profitable types of mail with which to support those deliveries."

It's easy for people in urban and suburban areas to be dismissive of universal access, but for people in rural areas, the Postal Service is a lifeline that for-profit companies could exclude. 

If you live in a sparsely populated part of the country, what do you think?




Comments (18) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Shipping Carriers Hungrily Eye Your Mailbox   Shipping Carriers Hungrily Eye Your Mailbox

by: gizmo This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 4 11:07:34 2016

I own my mailbox , bought and paid for by me. I do not see how the USPS can say its solely for their use. I have always wondered why. It will be  interesting , to see how they respond .

Shipping Carriers Hungrily Eye Your Mailbox   Shipping Carriers Hungrily Eye Your Mailbox

by: hopeforthebest This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 4 11:36:14 2016

Federal law dictates the ownership of the mailbox. Just by putting in a mailbox and accepting mail in it, the USPS gains ownership.

If you don't like that you don't have to use the service...  

Shipping Carriers Hungrily Eye Your Mailbox   Shipping Carriers Hungrily Eye Your Mailbox

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Fri Nov 4 12:44:47 2016

As always, this is less about improving delivery service and more about crippling the Constitutionally-enumerated federal post office for partisan profit.  I live in a rural area but it would serve many rural people right to have their universal access to lots more than just the mail taken away.

Shipping Carriers Hungrily Eye Your Mailbox   Shipping Carriers Hungrily Eye Your Mailbox

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 4 13:56:15 2016

I can think of more serious problems that the mail box at the end of my driveway....By the way which has been welded shut at the mail carrier has a daily pick up on the porch.

Shipping Carriers Hungrily Eye Your Mailbox   Shipping Carriers Hungrily Eye Your Mailbox

This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Sat Nov 5 06:43:20 2016

It's TRADITION !
Leave it alone.
Stop tearing America apart.

Shipping Carriers Hungrily Eye Your Mailbox   Shipping Carriers Hungrily Eye Your Mailbox

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Sat Nov 5 13:34:50 2016

Sounds like a hot mess to me.

If other carriers can leave packages in someone's mailbox, then can we request a pick up again using the mail box?

If we can request a pick up from a different carrier than USPS do you put the flag up on the mail box?  

What if you had mail to go out from multiple carriers?!?  Then are those carriers to sort through what you put in your mail box to see what is really for them to pick up?

What happens if the wrong carrier picks up what you had in your mail box?  Now you have some time to spend trying to track down where the heck your packages / mail went.

I'm sure there are other things that could and would make this very messy and potentially cause the loss of packages / mail.

It isn't just as simple as it seems.  There is lots of What If's that could happen.        

Shipping Carriers Hungrily Eye Your Mailbox   Shipping Carriers Hungrily Eye Your Mailbox

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Sun Nov 6 13:46:26 2016

Killing USPS is exactly what a Republican Congress and President had in mind when they passed the patently absurd pension funding requirement several years that mandates USPS to have fully funded pension money in plkace for employees not yet born.

I suspect many of those voting for this received hefty campaign contributions from UPS, Fed-Ex, et. al.

Why do (I say this? Because IT'S ALWAYS ABOUT THE MONEY. Always.

Shipping Carriers Hungrily Eye Your Mailbox   Shipping Carriers Hungrily Eye Your Mailbox

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Sun Nov 6 14:58:17 2016

USPS has now for 10 years, had to prefund their retirement benefits.  Prefunding started in 2006.  With as Ming stated, we had a republican president and a republican Speaker of the House.

Now I have no idea if it was their intent to dismantle USPS or not.  From my point of view there is a whole lot of value in having USPS and even more importantly a healthy USPS.

With that said, I do feel as many here feel, I own my mailbox.  But I still don't want other carriers using it as I see so many problems with that.

FYI - This is from USPS website on the prefunding of retirement.

Retiree Health Benefits Prefunding

Challenge
Significant financial losses result from a legislative requirement that the Postal Service pre-fund its retiree health benefits.

SOLUTION
Adopting a traditional “pay-as-you-go” method would produce an average of $5.65 billion in additional cash flow per year through 2016.

Unlike any other public or private entity, under a 2006 law, the U.S. Postal Service must pre-fund retiree health benefits. We must pay today for benefits that will not be paid out until some future date. Other federal agencies and most private sector companies use a “pay-as-you-go” system, by which the entity pays premiums as they are billed. Shifting to such a system would equate to an average of $5.65 billion in additional cash flow per year through 2016, and save the Postal Service an estimated $50 billion over the next ten years. With the announcement of our Action Plan in March, we began laying the foundation for change, requesting that Congress restructure this obligation.

The pre-funding requirement, as it currently stands, contributes significantly to postal losses. Under current law, the Postal Service must follow a mandated pre-funding schedule of $5.5 billion to $5.8 billion per year through 2016. In 2009, Congress granted a much needed deferral, allowing us to pay $4.0 billion less than the orignally required $5.4 billion payment. This year, Congress opted not to provide this deferral.

In the absence of legislative relief, the Postal Service was required to make — and made — this year’s $5.5 billion payment to the Retiree Health Benefit Fund. We had sought a deferral of this payment to minimize the risk of defaulting on financial obligations in fiscal year 2011. This risk remains. Even with the careful stewardship of resources we are committed to in the coming year, current forecasts anticipate insufficient cash to enable the similar $5.5 billion payment in September 2011.

Given the severity of our financial situation and the fact that we already have implemented aggressive cost-cutting and productivity-improving measures, we continue to seek approval from Congress to shift away from our unique retiree health benefits pre-funding mandate. We are committed to upholding our obligation to current and former employees but wish to do so in a way that does not constrain cash flow during difficult financial periods of declining volume.

Ensuring that the Postal Service remains a viable business depends upon elimination of legislatively-imposed constraints that impede our efficient and profitable operation.

Congressional action, both to restructure our obligation to pre-fund retiree health benefits and to address overpayment to our Civil Service Retirement System pension fund, is still urgently needed.

USPS is experiencing unprecedented losses
POSTAL SERVICE NET PROFIT/LOSS (dollars in billions)

Shipping Carriers Hungrily Eye Your Mailbox   Shipping Carriers Hungrily Eye Your Mailbox

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Sun Nov 6 18:45:50 2016

"Now I have no idea if it was their intent to dismantle USPS or not."

If your dogma says that government cannot work, then any instance of government working calls your dogma into question.  The post office works, therefore Republicans and their moneyed masters must destroy it to save face.  It's as simple as that.

Shipping Carriers Hungrily Eye Your Mailbox   Shipping Carriers Hungrily Eye Your Mailbox

by: mjbocanegra This user has validated their user name.

Sun Nov 6 23:29:27 2016

I'll install two mail boxes at the curb.  One for USPS and other for UPS and FEDEX.  

Shipping Carriers Hungrily Eye Your Mailbox   Shipping Carriers Hungrily Eye Your Mailbox

by: Moonwishes This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Mon Nov 7 02:01:27 2016

I echo what gizmo said. We buy the box and as we are rural. In the 9 years we have lived here, we had bat wielding teens destroy one box so that we had to buy and install another and due to the online business needs we are talking about the large rural box which is a lot more expensive than the regular size. Then after the township snowplow knocked it down, we had to pay for a new holder to be built as well as re-installing it again. The township won't pay when they destroy mailboxes, the USPS won't pay when a box is destroyed, we have to pay for it all and each time one is destroyed. Then the USPS thinks and insists that they have the exclusive right to use it which I have never understood. Nor do I understand how mail sitting in a box almost a 100 feet from our house makes it 'secure'! Yes, there could be problems with other companies using the box but at this point, they all seem to be working together anyhow. Last wee I got a package that started out UPS and landed at the UPS site in town (a bicyclic shop) then it got sent to the PO about a block away to be then delivered into my mailbox. So weird and knowing the contents are something that I get sent free monthly, I know the package could go FCM for about $2.60, instead of FedEx which is how it used to come, and now the UPS/PO route. You can't tell me that was cheaper than just sending it via the USPS in the first place. So in essence, some of the packages appearing in my mailbox are UPS ones.

I don't understand it, but I will never understand why an item we buy and maintain is for the exclusive use of one governmental entity.

Shipping Carriers Hungrily Eye Your Mailbox   Shipping Carriers Hungrily Eye Your Mailbox

by: Blockpusher This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 7 07:36:14 2016

Do you want flyers for everything from lawn service, Chinese food, babysitters, roofers, driveway pavers, basement leak services, "I buy your used cars", "Houses bought for CASH!!"  etc etc etc clogging your mailboxes EVERY DAY??   Because that's what you'll get when the PO no longer has a monopoly on mailbox delivery.  ANYONE can put anything in your mailbox after that.  And forget about leaving outgoing mail for the mailman.   With a bunch of folks leaving trash in your mailbox..can you say IDENTITY THEFT???????

Shipping Carriers Hungrily Eye Your Mailbox   Shipping Carriers Hungrily Eye Your Mailbox

This user has validated their user name. by: Rural artist

Mon Nov 7 08:42:23 2016

First of all think back to when service was offered to you, all you had to do is put a box up. Gladly you did so by the size and height specified by USPS. People the only reason anyother service wants your box is for investors pockets--they could give a real Dam by you. Get over your freedoms of free speech on social media outlets and let's just deliver the mail. Do Gooders???

Shipping Carriers Hungrily Eye Your Mailbox   Shipping Carriers Hungrily Eye Your Mailbox

This user has validated their user name. by: Rural artist

Mon Nov 7 08:50:39 2016

One more thing they are hiring Real people, or Investors, or GOP belivers put your money were your mouth is--go see what took over 200 years to get right!! I Dare You!!!!

Shipping Carriers Hungrily Eye Your Mailbox   Shipping Carriers Hungrily Eye Your Mailbox

by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Wed Nov 9 08:04:52 2016

One thing to bear in mind:  Most eCommerce parcels don't fit into mailboxes already.  Amd most ads and catalogs these days don't either, particularly true now that more and more urban multi-resident housing complexes these days resort to clusterbox delivery.  

Shipping Carriers Hungrily Eye Your Mailbox   Shipping Carriers Hungrily Eye Your Mailbox

by: mcposty This user has validated their user name.

Wed Nov 9 22:51:05 2016

No. The mail box is for usps.

Maybe carriers should offer free lock boxes to everyone. It would cut theft. The boxes can be big to contain large packages.

Or maybe they can offer a service that shipping is cheaper if you do pick up shopping requiring buyers to pick up items

It's really ignorant that I can come up with simple solutions and carriers just act stupid

Shipping Carriers Hungrily Eye Your Mailbox   Shipping Carriers Hungrily Eye Your Mailbox

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Thu Nov 10 11:00:45 2016

It's not an act, they _are_ stupid.

Shipping Carriers Hungrily Eye Your Mailbox   Shipping Carriers Hungrily Eye Your Mailbox

by: damailman This user has validated their user name.

Sun Nov 13 16:37:58 2016

if your box is full of stuff for other carriers what do I do with your mail? leave it on the ground near box  for the dogs and weather to get? Just throw the checks and whatever on the ground for anyone to see or grab if the wind does not blow it away. Even if box is not full you going to blame me if something is missing? Not a good idea



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