BLOUNTVILLE, Tenn. – When was the last time you paid a bill by mail? If you said, ‘not lately,’ you’re not alone.
The U.S. Postal Service is struggling. Customers aren’t mailing like they used and business is changing.
Mail carriers like Lori Sullivan make as many as 800 stops a day. The entire Blountville, Tenn. post office makes about 6,000 deliveries each day. Postmaster Tom Kiser said, “They’ve had to do more with less including people and services are at an all-time high.”
With the internet, not as many people are mailing first class, and that has meant a drop in profits. That means the post office has had to adapt, and now there’s more focus on packages.
Carriers like Lori deliver about 100 packages a day. The postal service often beats competitor prices, and they’re trying to boost sales of other products.
The package business is up by eight percent in the last quarter, and that means a lot more work for the carriers. They are in and out of the vehicle a lot more than they used to be years ago. There’s no stopping for carriers like Lori.
Delivering mail is more than just a job, it’s part of history and a service that’s been going one door at a time for many generations.
Part of the money issues are due to a federal mandate requiring the U.S. Postal Service to pre-fund retiree health benefits. To help save money, the postal service has cut the number of employees through attrition. Other measures being debated include stopping Saturday delivery and ending door-to-door delivery for millions of Americans in favor of communal or curbside boxes.
These measures need approval from Congress before any changes can be made.