Maintaining Rural Retail Networks: Best Practices Abroad and Implications for USPS

March 25, 2020 (RISC-WP-20-003) To maintain their rural networks of post offices, some foreign posts have reduced hours, outsourced post office operations, or generated various forms of non-postal revenue. The Postal Service is legally entitled to request a $460 million annual subsidy from Congress for retail operations but has chosen not to do so since…

 Continue reading

USPS OIG: Same-Day Delivery – Implications for the Postal Service

The same-day delivery of merchandise and groceries in the U.S. accounted for only 249 million packages in 2018, making it a niche market with uncertain financial and growth prospects. The next-day delivery of parcels may well become a more critical segment than same-day — which bodes well for the Postal Service’s leading role in this…

 Continue reading

USPS OIG Report: First-Line Supervisors in the Postal Service

Executive Summary Due to the impact of first‑line supervisors on Postal Service operations, the OIG sought to gain an understanding of the structure, footprint within the organization, and investments made in first‑line supervisors. As such, key human capital and performance data related to first‑line supervisors was examined to assess patterns of historical performance, evaluate comparability…

 Continue reading

USPS OIG: A Closer Look at Postal Labor Costs

December 2, 2019 (RISC-WP-20-001) The Postal Service is a labor-intensive organization, with labor accounting for 76 percent of costs. As letter volume declines, managing labor costs will become critical to the Postal Service’s financial health. The Postal Service continues to face financial challenges due to declines in letter mail volume. As declines persist, strategic cost…

 Continue reading

Addressing the Diverse Needs and Wants of Rural America: Opportunities for USPS

September 16, 2019 (RISC-WP-19-009) Rural customers value the social aspects of the Postal Service in their communities — more than half of rural customers know either their postmaster, clerk, or carrier by name. The majority of rural and non-rural customers want weeknight post office retail window hours, but rural post offices offer a disproportionately small…

 Continue reading

USPS OIG Report: Rural and Urban Origins of the U.S. Postal Service

August 26, 2019 (RISC-WP-19-007) From its earliest beginnings, the Postal Service wrestled with conflicts between the needs of rural and urban communities. Congress has played a key role in shaping postal policy throughout history, particularly in rural areas where it worked on granular issues such as the selection of specific delivery routes and the appointment…

 Continue reading

USPS OIG Report: Geographic Variation in Productivity

August 19, 2019 – RISC-WP-19-006 The productivity of the Postal Service varies significantly around the country. The principal factors we examined affecting productivity were weather, cost of living, and terrain ruggedness. Identifying other factors causing productivity to vary around the country could give the Postal Service opportunities to pinpoint and address them. As a follow-up…

 Continue reading

USPS OIG Report: Foreign Posts’ Retirement Asset Investments

The U.S. Postal Service participates in two government-wide pension plans that are administered by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM): the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS). The assets of these plans are held in one trust fund, the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund, and are managed by…

 Continue reading