If you follow the mainstream philatelic press like I do, you will see many different stories about the USPS these days. In my opinion, he USPS is in a state of disarray at the moment. Why do I say this?
There is the open letter from the Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee (CSAC). The CSAC is supposed to oversee what subjects become stamps. I wonít reproduce the letter here. I would summarize it as the committee members collectively saying, ďNo one seems to listen to us anymore. We seem ineffective and serve no purpose any longer.Ē
The stamp distribution network isnít working well. Post offices are not getting the stamps they order in a timely fashion. Some post offices donít get any stamps at all. Other offices take days or weeks until they get a supply of stamps.
The USPS has partnered with Amazon to deliver packages to customers in large market areas. The USPS has said that it isnít going to hire new workers. It is going to shuffle the hours around of current employees so that someone is available on Sunday to deliver any Amazon packages. I applaud the USPS attempts to conquer more of the lucrative market for packages. Iím sure shuffling hours around of union workers will ruffle the feathers of union leaders.
The USPS has teamed up with office supply store giant, Staples, to put small USPS retail outlets in selected stores. Staples customers will be able to buy stamps and mail packages from these outlets. Again, Iím sure this will anger the USPS labor unions.
There are other stories that I could go on and on about.
With the steady decline of First class mail and the USPS continues to hemorrhage red ink, we are seeing external signs of what the USPS is going through to try and re-invent itself. This doesnít totally surprise me.
To survive, the USPS is going to have to make changes. Sticking with its current business model is surely just waiting for the asteroid to hit and devastate everything. With change comes a certain amount of turmoil. Iím sure there is more turmoil inside of the USPS that many of us donít see.
I hope the USPS comes out on the other end as a much better and more profitable agency. Changing many decades of old habits is going to be hard to do. But those old habits just arenít going to work in todayís fast paced society that is going through a technological revolution with the Internet and so forth. It will be a bumpy ride with successes and failures as the USPS finds the right things to do to survive.
Will the USPS continue to utilize a CSAC to recommend stamp subjects? What other partnerships and alliances will they form? Some executives will be forced out and new executives will come in. Responsibilities will change over time.
Until the USPS gets back on solid financial ground again, donít be surprised if you see more turmoil going on. Stay tuned!