The United States Postal Service (USPS) just informed the Postal Regulatory Commission that it plans to launch an experimental same-day delivery service called Metro Post. The USPS says this test is specifically designed for e-commerce companies and will initially focus on a single (currently undisclosed) metropolitan area. The market test for Metro Post is scheduled to begin around November 12 and run for at least one year.
The USPS as it currently exists is nothing but a bureaucratic nightmare and a black hole for money. It ranks second only to the DMV as the worst thing ever. It’s not entirely clear why it still exists in the 21st century. To ensure junk mail gets delivered?
But this could actually be a decent idea. The infrastructure is in place. Of course it will come down to execution — not exactly the USPS’ strong suit.
Update: Wow, lots of postal service supporters. How dare I say it sucks! It does suck. Have you been to a post office recently to try to mail something? The past few times I’ve gone, the average wait time has been about 20 minutes. It’s a relic of decades gone by. If it exists in 20 years it will look completely different than it does now. And it may not exist at all, since, you know, it technically went broke in August.
Devin Leonard for Bloomberg Businessweek:
The U.S. Postal Service essentially went broke today. It skipped a $5.5 billion payment to the U.S. Treasury for future retiree health-care payments and said it would do the same early next month when another $5.6 billion is due. This comes as no surprise. The USPS has been losing $25 million each day, due in large part to the decline of first-class mail. But the service—which dates back to the days of Ben Franklin—now finds itself in uncharted territory.