Possible Solutions to USPS’s Pandemic-Related Problems

Pre-COVID-19, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), would typically deliver priority mail within three days. However, poor mail service has become rampant due to pandemic-related challenges such as understaffed or closed postal offices, increased online shopping practices, and the prevailing economic recession. For instance, at least one million Christmas packages did not reach their destinations by Christmas in 2020, according to CBS News.

To revive the financial strength in the postal service, Louis DeJoy, the current Postmaster General, came up with a 10-year plan titled “Delivering for America.” Here’s a detailed look at some of the measures outlined in the plan.

Abolishment of the Post-Retirement Health Care Benefits

In 2006, the U.S. Congress passed a law that required the U.S. Postal Service to set aside $72 billion for funding post-retirement health care expenses for its employees for up to 75 years in the future. While this favored USPS employees, it drove the USPS into a financial crisis that has lasted to date. According to the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS), the financial crisis could justify the USPS service cuts and delivery delays. DeJoy’s plan includes getting rid of this law in an attempt to ease the USPS’s financial burden and stabilize their services.

Closing Some Stations and Reducing Working Hours for Post Offices

Currently, there are over 34,400 post offices in the U.S., as reported by Statista. Due to the increased demand for delivery services, the USPS hired additional employees during the pandemic to improve service delivery in these post offices. This caused expenses to rise, considering the agency was already struggling financially.

Specifically, the operating revenue for the 2020 fiscal year was $73.1 billion, and the operating expenses amounted to $82.2 billion, representing a $9.2 billion loss. To help minimize expenses, DeJoy, in his 10-year plan, announced that “a small percentage” of post offices will have reduced hours while some stations will close permanently. Although this may help lower operating expenses, it will most likely increase delivery delays.

Shutting Down Sorting Machines

In 2020 alone, the USPS shut down 711 sorting machines leading up to elections. DeJoy, in his defense during a court hearing, said that this was a common practice in the agency and that it was not a political move. This is also part of his 10-year plan, and it will further delay mail deliveries. The debate around this topic is becoming intense, with most people blaming the Postmaster General for failing to adequately consult postal stakeholders in developing the “Delivering for America” plan.

As the U.S. Postal Service strives to get back on its feet, service delivery will remain a challenge. Therefore, you should consider using private delivery services or another alternative if you don’t want late deliveries or lost parcels. Located in Southern California, we’re your custom courier and mail delivery service experts for all your mail and delivery needs in Orange County. For more information, today, contact us today.

Who Governs and Funds the U.S. Postal Service?

Similar to other public corporations, a government-approved 11-person board runs the USPS. The Board consists of up to nine governors, the Post Master General, and his/her deputy. A separate entity, the Postal Regulatory Commission, has five members who are all presidential appointees. This commission oversees USPS operations, including rates.

How Does the Postal Service Finance Its Operations? 

The Postal Service is not financed directly by the taxpayer. It relies on the revenue it generates from stamps, parcel delivery, and other services. While in recent months, the effects of COVID-19 have annihilated a huge chunk of USPS’s revenue, the circumstances that have contributed to the decline of the USPS’s financial situation emerged years before coronavirus, as reported by the Wall Street Journal.

Why Is USPS in Financial Trouble?

The underlying problem is that USPS’s revenue only covers its operational costs, but it has immense retiree health care and pension liabilities, which push it into losses. The USPS has been a loss-making entity since 2007. Between 2008 and 2018, the Postal Serve had losses amounting to $69 billion. In the 2019 financial year, its losses on operating revenue of $71.1 billion amounted to $8.8 billion.

Furthermore, the USPS’s dire financial situation has been exacerbated by the rise of digital communication and email, which has led to a decline in First-Class Mail volumes. The USPS has attempted to boost revenue by increasing marketing mail delivery and competing with FedEx and UPS in parcel delivery. By 2017, the USPS had a 19% market share in US package delivery. With the drop in the volume of First-Class Mail, the Postal Service has been reducing its number of blue mailboxes over the years.

What Kind of Support Has USPS Received from Congress?

In the third quarter of 2020, USPS reported a net loss of $2.2 billion. Through the CARES Act, Congress provided the USPS with a $10 billion loan. The loan can adequately cover the Postal Service’s immediate financial needs. However, the Treasury-imposed conditions for the loan led to the resignation of the board’s vice chair, who alleged that demands made by Treasury threatened to transform the organization into a political tool.

Cost Cutting Measures

To improve its financial position, the USPS has implemented several cost-cutting measures, including some controversial ones. For instance, a leaked internal memo outlined there should be an effort to limit extra delivery trips and late departures, even if it means leaving some mail behind. The USPS projects that if its package volume gets back to pre-pandemic levels, it will exhaust its financial resources by mid of 2021, and if the package volume goes 15% above pre-pandemic levels, it will run out of funds by October 2021.

With the USPS currently facing service delivery challenges, you should consider an alternative courier service. Located in Southern California, we’re your custom courier & mail delivery service experts for all your mail and delivery needs in Orange County. Contact us for more information today.

How to Choose an Effective Shipping Strategy: Courier Services Vs. Postal Services

Developing a shipping strategy can seem complex considering the hundreds of global delivery services available. The key is to find a service that matches your business needs rather than having high expectations from the first courier service you find online. Here are important considerations when comparing courier services with postal services.

Why People Still Use the Postal Service

Long ago, the U.S. Postal Service delivered a bulk of mail across the nation. Like elsewhere around the world, a postal service is operated by the federal government. Businesses still use this service to send non-urgent messages and parcels, but in recent times they’ve diversified with alternative forms of delivery.

One of the major benefits of using a traditional postal service is that it usually provides more affordable rates. However, the lower cost often doesn’t necessarily amount to quality service. Due to underfunding and limited staffing, the post office can get backlogs of undelivered mail that might arrive later than expected. So, businesses that need a more reliable service often turn to independent couriers in their own market.

Benefits of a Courier Service

The reason for working with a courier service is it typically handles the transport of important documents. The majority of these operations are conducted by private firms specializing in certain types of delivery, such as local or global. They may also offer next-day or same-day delivery. Both FedEx and DHL fit this category. Although USPS is not considered a courier service, its express mail service is.

If you want to launch a global business, partnering with an international delivery service would be a cost-effective solution for distribution. Couriers are often called upon for speedy delivery of time-sensitive items, especially for local destinations. They are often hired by hospitals, law firms, printers, manufacturers, and food services.

More Personalized Service with Couriers

One of the ways in which a courier service might be more valuable to a customer than the post office is that couriers can provide a more personalized experience. An independent service in your region that’s familiar with your business can put more care into ensuring your packages do not get lost or damaged.

During the pandemic, the postal service underwent tremendous strain as it was downsized to a level that led to unreliable service. Many businesses reported lost packages or late deliveries through the postal service in 2020. Since the pandemic has led to tighter budgets for businesses of all sizes, no company can afford to consistently lose valuable packages either from suppliers or en route to customers.

Smart technology and real-time tracking are opening doors for couriers to become even more efficient for customers. The future is bright for courier services that establish a favorable reputation through personalized services. More than ever, customers want to choose businesses they trust based on reputational research from reviews.

Finding the right delivery service for your specific business involves asking questions about speed and accuracy in getting parcels sent to the right place by the expected time. It helps to work with experienced leaders in your region. Located in Southern California, we’re your custom courier & mail delivery service experts for all your mail and delivery needs in Orange County. Contact us for more information today.

4 Creative Ways to Celebrate Mother’s Day During COVID-19

Mother’s Day gives you a chance to show your mom how much she means to you. Since COVID-19 has limited your options when it comes to going out to dinner or a movie, it’s up to you to find an alternative that your mom will enjoy. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to impress your mom. It will be the effort you put into her gift that means more to her than anything else.

Here are 4 creative ways in which you can celebrate your mom this Mother’s Day!

Breakfast in Bed

Letting your mom sleep in for an extra hour or so will give her a boost of energy she needs. Whether you give her a bowl of her favorite oatmeal or fix her eggs, bacon, toast, and pancakes, she will savor every bite. She may even share a little with you! Put a flower on the tray for a small splash of color. If your mom isn’t a fan of big breakfasts, coffee and toast may be just what she needs.

Create a Photo Collage

A photo collage is a great gift for Mother’s Day. A photo collage for each child is just one way to celebrate being a mom. Create a final collage that is made up of photos of all the children as a group. Collages can also be made for favorite vacations, family reunions, or any other event that holds special meaning for your mom. Go through your old family photo albums and see what you can dig up and put together for her.

Pick a Bouquet of Wildflowers

During the spring, wildflowers are in bloom almost everywhere. Look around your home or in nearby fields or meadows. If you can’t find the kinds of flowers you want out in nature, call your local florist. Ask about the different arrangements they offer. Depending on what you prefer, you can pick and choose the type of flowers you want and then choose a vase or planter. You can always choose a live plant and add a few accent flowers for color.

Queen of the Day

The best gift you can give your mom is making her feel like the queen she already is. Spend some extra time doing things with her that she likes. Clean the house for her. Make sure the laundry and dishes are done and put away. Buy a wax or mani/pedi kit and treat your mom with a home spa. It’s the little things that will make the day special and memorable for her. Buy her a tiara and crack open a bottle of champagne to celebrate her royal status. Give her a chance to enjoy herself on every level.

Put these ideas into effect to make this Mother’s Day memorable for your mom!

Are you looking for delivery services for the delivery of your goods? Choose MDS. Located in Southern California, we’re your custom courier & mail delivery service experts for all your mail and delivery needs in Orange County. Contact us for more information today.

6 Benefits of Incorporating Personal Service in Your Courier Service

When it comes to courier services, personal service can make a great difference. Personalized attention here means going the extra mile to deliver cargo or mail to your doorstep. Timeliness is of equal importance, enabling you to order and receive what you want when you want it. Whether you’re shipping documents, electronics, or other personal items, here’s how a highly customized courier service can efficiently satisfy your delivery needs.

How Personal Service in Your Courier Service Saves the Day

A personal courier service shouldn’t just deliver your package—it should bring it to you when and how you want it. It comes to your rescue when traditional shipping options might cause several inconveniences, including costly schedule delays. Such a service can provide personalized attention at a customizable scale.

For example, if the only store that stocked a rare item you wanted to buy neither took online orders nor shipped products, you’d have to go there in person to get it. However,  a personalized courier service may do the shopping on your behalf and ship the product right to your location.

The Benefits of a Personalized Courier Service

  • Safety– Competent and thoroughly screened drivers are responsible for hauling your parcels or cargo. Courier services usually check their employees’ backgrounds to ensure they’re only hiring professionals you can count on to satisfactorily complete all the work. When necessary, they train their drivers on safety, professionalism, and important elements of customer service, including courtesy and reliability.
  • Insured and bonded-Your courier service assumes any risks arising from moving your package, which can include valuable loads. Their drivers are insured and bonded, giving you the confidence that your shipment will arrive intact, no matter what happens in transit. The company, not you, worries about insurance and its cost.
  • Customized timing-You receive your shipment when you want it, on-demand. Mail delivery personalization options include express, standard, and first-class, depending on the urgency of the package. You can even schedule daily, weekly, or monthly delivery.
  • Customized routing-The service delivers your item to your preferred location. It could be your office, brick-and-mortar store, school, or lab. Wherever you might be, your mail or cargo will get to you on time.
  • Personalization at scale-The provider meets your delivery and mail service needs regardless of the volume of the package. Whether you’re ordering a single item or in bulk, you’ll receive what you ordered at the most competitive market rates.
  • Cost-effective-A personal courier service may offer customized deliveries not available with traditional options, but that doesn’t make it more expensive. It might even offer you competitive pricing for hauling items in bulk, no matter your preferred routing. Keep in mind that timeliness is of the essence when it comes to shipping mission-critical or urgent items. Next-day or overnight deliveries enable you to quickly receive and get started on your package, which may save you a lot of worries both in the short and long run.

When you need important items shipped to you overnight so that you can have them the following morning, traditional delivery services may not always fit the bill. However, greater personalization, attention to detail, and promptness are possible when you choose a personal courier service. This is where MDS comes in! Located in Southern California, we’re your custom courier & mail delivery service experts for all your mail and delivery needs in Orange County. Contact us for more information today.