As the economy continues to beat down on industries around the nation, one of the country’s oldest businesses is facing the decision to close its doors or file for bankruptcy.
The United States Post Office has been diligently working to keep up with the changing times as an effort to stay profitable in the evolving market. As technology continues to advance, the mail courier service isn’t what it once was. Aside from massive lines out the door at Christmas time, many post offices are empty throughout most of the day. Increases in shipping rates, the cost of stamps, staff layoffs and even location closures haven’t proved to be enough to save the postal service from financial disaster.
What It’s Store
The United States Postal Service has announced it is at risk of closing the doors for good by this winter if they do not get help from Congress. The USPS is facing nearly $5.5 billion in debt and is anticipates that number to reach $9 billion by the end of the year. 3,700 locations have been closed, laying off nearly 120,000 workers; many of which are in small, rural areas where alternative means for communication are already limited.
The USPS is scrambling to find ways to avoid future layoffs or shutdowns, but also has to find a way to fund the $5.5 billion owed in retiree’s benefits. Once the source of great workers benefits and retirees compensation, the USPS is at risk of defaulting in delivering those hard earned funds. USPS spokesman Dave Partenheimer says “Right now we think we can make through until next summer most likely but then some hard choices will have to be made.”
Besides finding ways to cut costs other than from benefit funds, the USPS is considering revenue boosting measures such as allowing commercial advertisements on trucks and in offices and the right to deliver restricted commodities such as wine and beer.