Why Amazon Can’t Save the USPS

April 26, 2017

Back in 2013 and 2014, the partnership between the USPS and Amazon.com made headlines as a potential saving grace for the struggling postal service. Amazon’s Prime membership rates were exploding – the primary benefit being free two-day shipping – and somebody needed to deliver these packages dependably and efficiently. The USPS was a natural ally due to its daily neighborhood canvassing, and the postal service even announced it would begin some Sunday deliveries for the first time in history – likely to please its new convenience-focused friend.

Unfortunately, the partnership was not as mutually beneficial as once hoped. But that’s not for lack of trying.

In 2015, Amazon shipped nearly 500 million packages, and approximately 40% of them were delivered by the USPS – nearly double that of both UPS and FedEx. While dominating the e-commerce behemoth’s deliveries was certainly a much-needed boon for the USPS, the sharp increase in package deliveries came hand-in-hand with additional costs due to labor, supplies and technology.

Fast forward to August 2016, when the USPS released a sobering statistic: package revenues would have to increase 260% to make up for the losses in first-class profits. Package deliveries were more prevalent than ever, but their earnings still paled in comparison to that from first-class mail. But first-class revenue is on a landslide, of course. And delivering packages is significantly more expensive.

To accommodate market changes and what Postmaster General Megan Brennan clearly sees as a package-dominated future, the USPS has invested heavily in larger vehicles, sorting equipment and additional labor. This would make Amazon’s potential withdrawal even more devastating.

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91 Comments on "Why Amazon Can’t Save the USPS"

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Michael Mohr

Not even mentioning when they start their own delivery service and we lose that 40% of packages and then more when shippers start using them over us.

Rachal Tryon

That’s fine. I never got any Amazon packages during the last count.

Michael Mohr

When you get 1000+ box routes, we’ll see I guess.

Leland Grant

the article title should be ” why amazon ruined the usps”

Laura Atzinger Klingman

Ruined? I disagree. Without Amazon we all know our routes would drop significantly.

skip

They were dropping before Amazon …

Tim Williams

Our routes got counted before amazon started pounding us.

Tom Stephens

When they pull out that is what will ruin it.

Lisa Heydinger

With Amazon, the routes should have grown exponentially, but we haven’t had a count since the onslaught of Amazon. We are delivering volume for which we’ve not ever been counted, i.e., for free.

Carole

Exactly!

KrazoMailLady

Very true! We are not being rewarded with any compensation. The corporate USPS is most likely the one reaping the benefits. They don’t even have to do a mail count. They can use the daily count evaluation to solve and start paying the carriers for the job they are going.

Leland Grant

wait and see ———————– easy to do since you have zero input or say in anything at the post office when/if amazon goes way in a large way, they will find away to screw carriers over

Sean Robinson

And if we ever get another mail count, they will mysteriously disappear for a few weeks.

Jesse Koleszar

Drop? That’s funny. I didn’t start to see any real Amazon volume until well after the last count. Granted, I opted out and we had just gotten Amazon but it was nothing in comparison to where we stand now.

Christine Mather- Hinkle

Even with the po screwing us, Amazon can’t save it!

Noelle Rocco Loki

Amazon will have their own delivery service just like UPS… and we’ll lose a lot of money

Jacki

They already do have their own vans….had the Amazon logo on it, then removed it …because their drivers literally threw the packages wherever they pleased …and they still suck at delivering them.

skip

or why the USPS allowed Amazon to ruin them…

Jennifer Spell

We are not getting paid for Amazon

Todd Hoffarth

Amazon is not paying full parcel rates. The PO has been grinding the rural carriers into the ground without compensation, all the while giving a discounted rate to amazon.
Funny that it all happened when it was announced that we wouldn’t have a count for 2 years. I’ll be happy to see them go.

Heather Gibson-Broyles

What will happen to the newer (lower seniority) employees when they pull out? Will we be downsized?

Julia Kelly

The next Mail Count will be. About 2 weeks after Amazon Contract ends !

Sean Robinson

That’s what I’ve been saying since it started. They’ll probably say something like “we’re renegotiating a contract” or something like that.

Leland Grant

and a pause in amazon will last the duration of the mail account

Teri Slavik

You are absolutely right. 2 zip codes in our office. One gets packages delivered by Amazon. The other – mine – does not. The other gets half the parcels. We had Amazon at last count. Not nearly like now. I went up one hour. Big freakin deal. I’m so disgusted with the whole union.

Heart of Texas

Please explain how it is the unions fault.

Tracy

Agreeing to no
Mail count until 2018.

Heart of Texas

I seem to remember the membership voting to approve the contract. Did you vote for it or against it? Regardless, the membership approved the contract, so if you want to blame the union, blame yourself and your fellow carriers.

Foodman

Because the post office knew about this and asked the Union to allow them not to count for 2 years while Amazon was getting their own parcel service set up and screwing us out of money.

William Mcintyre

The union convinced amazon to use a different shipper in you zip?

Jennifer Spell

BINGO!!!

Craig Fisher

That why I don’t waste money on union dues. Our union sucks b***s. We can’t strike. Thus giving us no real power. It’s a f*****g joke.

Mike S.

Do not blame the union for the inability to strike. That is dictated by federal law.

Steve

Oh, but they do have ability to strike. Yes, it would be unlawful. Remember air traffic controllers from Reagan era? They lost jobs but they did strike.

Mark Salka

We have the majority of their parcels versus ups and FedEx because the people making business decisions have no business making business decisions no pun intended. We undercut those guys way too much. It’s a joke what they pay for these huge f’n parcels. Just saying

Sean Robinson

They get such a great price because rural carriers are delivering then for free.

Aaron LaFollette

And no one really has a clue what we’re delivering other than Amazon. They drop the packages directly to the offices, the clerks scam and throw them, we load and take them out. Who’s even measuring volume?

Tracie Sargent Wrisley

Larger vehicles?? More employees?? I haven’t seen ’em

Amy Reese

Seen them on the city side

Aaron LaFollette

ARC employees, pulling in RCAs in some offices to run packages before the carriers leave, etc. My address gets serviced in the afternoon, during the holiday period last year packages were being delivered at 9-10am. I used to work in that office and no carrier can get out of that building before 10:30am with a 6am start time.

Christiana Lee

What larger vehicles has the Postoffice purchased? We can’t even get llv’s

Aaron LaFollette

They’ve been renting vans and box trucks to carry packages in some areas.

Steve

More costs less profit. Not a good formula

Christiana Lee

Stupid. Just for amazon which we’re losing money on.

Cher Ekstrand Bradt

Yet the USPS bought new Samsung 7 phones for postmasters in a level 18 or higher offices. A $600.00 phone!!! Hey…we got cool blue towels yesterday that we can wet and wear around our neck to keep us cool…$6.00 towel.

Sean Robinson

We didn’t get any towels! ?

Jo Kappus

You got towels??

Penny Harlen Barker

We didn’t get any either.

Holly Graham Williams

You got towels ?!?!

Cher Ekstrand Bradt

Yeah…and i asked our pm if he was going to wet them down for us and what about the subs….they have to use ours…gross!

Sherry Stiles

All we get is harassment.

Melissa Lennon-ivey

Just think all we got in moss point is screwed lol. No pretty blue towel

Heather Gibson-Broyles

What towels?

Aaron LaFollette

Just tie it around your head like a blindfold when you walk past your package pile in the morning….

Sherry Mccoy

Pay me for my work ??

Aaron LaFollette

If we were counted, which we’re not so far, we’d get all of 30 seconds plus 18 if we scan it – to deliver a pile of parcels that don’t fit in a standard mailbox. How long does it take to properly secure the vehicle??

Kurt Kreiger

Bad managers are the problem. Always had…always will be

Angela Kornhauser
True. It’s not Amazon killing the USPS, even though, many would like to believe that they are the culprit. It is management that is killing the USPS- for the simple reason, that management directly influences employee retention. Think of all the wasted money, and time, that has been spent over the last decade training people, who literally work for a week or less, and then quit. Then, there is the problem management has with the over, and under utilization of employees: with some being ridiculously over-worked, while others are being WAY under utilized. AND, management has ZERO reason to aspire… Read more »
Bizzyby
Actually management does have to reason to aspire to do well. They do not get raises if we don’t do well. While craft employees have contracted raises and colas, management does not. Regular craft employees are salaried as well so you could say a craft employee has no reason to aspire to do better because they’re getting paid for every dime worked in addition to time and half and penalty when it comes into play. They’re also getting contracted raises. Craft employees make more than any supervisor does. Management plays a part in the demise of the post office as… Read more »
Steve

What? This needs fact checking. Supervisor in our office paid more than highest paid senior craft employee.

Kurt Kreiger

Revamp their dang bonus system for managers! That c**p has gotten out of control

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