The global recesssion has had an effect on many businesses, some of which have had to file bankruptcy or have completely gone out of business. The U.S. Postal Service, according to reports is no exception. With the advent of the internet and the e-mail system, fax machines, reduced advertising by businesses and recessionary pressures, the agency has sustained a reported loss of seven billion dollars. During the year of 2008, the volume of mail handled by the postal service fell by a reported 9.5 billion pieces to a total of two-hundred and three billion pieces. Expected volume according to agency statistics, should fall by twenty-eight billion pieces in 2009, to a reported total of one-hundred and seventy-five billion pieces of mail. Due to this anticipated reduction, the agency is in the process of considering closing or consolidating many post offices and branch offices. Postal officials reportedly have submitted at least seven-hundred potential offices, to the Independent Postal Regulatory Comission for review.
The review will entail determining the impact of any closings or consolidations of any office or branch, on employees, customer accessibility, efficiency, cost savings and long term Postal Service needs. Local managers will reportedly study a total of three-thousand and two-hundred offices and branches, make their determination after review and file a report. There are, according to current records, 32,741 post offices in the United States. The changes will reportedly come after the current fiscal year, which ends on the 30th of September.
According to news reports, the General Accounting Office (GAO), recently placed the Postal Service on its list of troubled agencies, stating that serious and very significant structural financial challenges are facing the agency. In addition that if these changes are not undertaken, in essence, some time in the very near future, the U. S. Postal Service will no longer be able to pay its bills. Will this be the next bailout, or do we look forward to our first-class stamps increasing to one-dollar before too long? A change appears to be a neccessity for the agency, if the service is to survive in the future.