The US Postal Service is considering dropping the number of postal delivery days from six to five.  The only problem with this idea is not going far enough.

What’s the right delivery frequency?  I’d suggest starting with weekly deliveries.  This would not significantly degrade the quality of service.   Most mail is not time-critical.  Larger items that are time sensitive could be handled just as well by services like UPS and FedEx.  For short messages, we have telephones, email, IM, SMS, or, for those who want to drag along, fax machines.

Physical mail should not be protected as if it were still the only or even the best form of long-distance communication.  It’s one option among many and neither needs nor deserves the level of subsidy and protection it receives.  More, as recent losses have demonstrated, it simply can’t afford to operate at these levels.

It’s time to allow the postal service to adjust to current realities.  Congress needs to drop the requirement for daily delivery and the USPS needs to respond with more than a minor restructuring.  These services have their place and can be profitable, but not if they remain stuck in the past.

Advertisements