One thing I’ve learned from all the reader email we’ve gotten on this subject this morning is how much UPS for instance relies on the US Postal Service for final delivery of many packages.
TPM Reader DW explains …
I work in online retail, so I know quite a bit about sending packages through different carriers.
Here’s some things you might not know…
1. UPS absolutely does not want to deliver packages to residences. In fact, they’ll up-charge you if you send to a house or even an apartment building. 2. UPS is completely inflexible if the address you provide for them is not the perfectly standardized address. And if they have to correct your address to put it in the error-free USPS format, they will charge you an extra fee for that as well. And those fees add up quickly. USPS does not charge for address correction. 3. UPS needs USPS. They will go broke doing residential delivery without them, which is why they’ve set up a product called Mail Innovations, where they take your profitable packages and do 90% of the bulk work of moving it from the business’ location to the local post office of the recipient, where USPS delivers the “last mile” of the package’s journey.
In essence, UPS kills you on fees, does the easier, less costly (and more profitable) work, then dumps the package at the post office to avoid the costly part of package delivery.
I don’t see why FedEx would not do the same if they could. So your USPS retiree/reader is right - the savings from not having UPS and FedEx and USPS trucks all driving the residential neighborhoods would be tremendous, and it isn’t impractical.
Also, USPS should probably up their rates for these “last mile” services. UPS will pay them. They have no choice, really. And UPS will pass those costs along to online retailers, who will also pay them - they have no choice, either.
Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.