Compete with the USPS

Would it be feasible for a competitor of the United States Postal Service to deliver mail as they do?

UPS is probably the closest to doing that now. How could it be done and why hasn`t it been done?

The USPS continues to grow in the volume of delivered mail and there would seem to be room for competition.

After viewing the information below you may come to the conclusion that it would be impossible to ramp up a delivery system as complex as the USPS.
I wonder what the start up costs would be?

Just the Facts
(Deleted copyrighted article already linked to in this post-Czarcasm)
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from here

By US law, no one is allowed to deliver first-class type mail except the USPS. UPS/FedEx/etc. deliver packages and such. Yes, people stick normal first class letters in FedEx folders and send them off, but that is getting iffy legally speaking.

There have been attempts by utilities to hire people to deliver their bills, like 10 cents a letter, but they have always been quashed by the USPS’s legally enforced monopoly.

Also note that only USPS delivered mail is supposed to go in or on mailboxes.

If the legal monopoly of the USPS were to be removed, large sectors of its business would go away instantly. Esp. local mail.

And it’s coming.

It would take a great deal of effort to replace the infrastructure the USPS has but it could be done. Especially for large bulk mailers.

THE USPS: What a scam! They claim they are NOT part of the Federal government, yet their very existence and enpowerment is embedded in our Federal Laws. Ever heard of a McD’s created by US Code?

The best is how they are entitled to the benefits of the Feds without being part of the Feds, why? Maybe we could drive down the cost of postage if they had a little friendly competition! More power to emails! :slight_smile: - Jinx

More power to emails… I know, someone will be sure to point out that emails have caused the rise in the cost of postage, correct? -Jinx

I don’t think anyone could effectively compete with the USPS. They just simply do everything cheaper.

For instance, to shipe a 5 pound 12x12x12 package from VA to CA would cost 27.30 overnight with USPS. It would cost 37.54 with FedEx and 39.89 with UPS.

Sorry, but competition isn’t likely to bring down costs (the U.S., BTW, has one of the lowest first-class postage rates in the world).

The biggest expense for a would-be competitor is infrastructure. Sure, you may be able to set up mail delivery in major cities, but it just isn’t going to be profitable to deliver two letters a day to East Hicksville. So any postal service that isn’t subsidized by the government is going to have to charge a lot more for its services.

Look at FedEx. It costs $2.90 ($3.95 for Priority Mail*) to send a 12-ounce package via USPS. It costs a minimum of $8 to do it via FedEx. (In both cases, I’m talking two-day delivery, not overnight.). If you were sending a letter, the USPS charges $0.37, while FedEx still charges $8 or more.

And, despite the griping, the USPS’s record for on-time delivery is within a few percentage points of FedEx’s – and they handle many more pieces of mail.

*Despite its name, there is no difference between Priority Mail and First Class mail.

What would the USPS be worth, if it was feasible to buy it?
Actually I`ll throw this out in GQ and see if someone will take a stab at it.

No, but I’ve heard of a Tennessee Valley Authority, a Bonneville Power Authority and other federally-chartered agencies that were created by the federal government to provide services to large interstate areas that private industry wasn’t serving.

Until the deregulation of the Carter and Reagan eras, trucking companies, airline companies and telephone companies all basically operated as chartered and regulated monopolies.

All of this comes down to a single question – Is there any product or service SO important that government should provide it or mandate it if the free market is unable or unwilling to provide it?

If you send a FedEx package to some rural areas, Fed Ex will, at some point, hand it over to the USPS for final delivery. They simply can’t or won’t provide delivery to every address in the U.S.

I can attest to that.

Fedex will only deliver to my house during the week. There IS no Saturday delivery regardless of price. That makes it a royal pain in the ass when the item in question requires a signature.

Jeez - where are you guys getting your quotes from? I just shipped a 2 lb. package from CLT to ATL overnight via FedEx for $3.23. A 5lb package from CLT to Union City, CA only cost $3.79 for two-day delivery via FedEx. You guys need to get better rates from them!

i hate USPS, i love UPS.

thats all.

I can’t believe you folks are even considering this. Look, I’d like to see the private sector people who’d get a letter to East Frigid, Alaska at all, let alone for 23 cents or whatever it is now.

37 cents at the moment.

Hey, it’s the entreprenuerial spirit that makes me wonder if we could known off a monolithic monopoly.

Lest any of you think that the USPS monopoly is just some contrived porkbarrel legislation that a bunch of legislators passed as an amendment to some dam bill or something, think again. It is written explicitly into the Constitution – right there between the power to coin money (and punish counterfeiters) and the power to issue patents and copyrights.

Note that certain parts of USPS subsidize other parts. Urban/local first class mail subsidizes rural/distant mail.

If another company was allowed to deliver 1st class mail, it would only deliver local mail in cities. This would create havoc elsewhere. The cost to send mail to people living 100 miles from the nearest city would skyrocket. “Rural free delivery” would basically go away.

The price of postage reflects an average. The attempt is to be fair to everyone. Being fair to everyone somehow ticks off people who don’t think that other people belong in the same group as them.

(The reason there is no cost difference in 1st class letter postage by distance within the US is that it would cost too much to implement. The overall cost to everyone would go significantly up.)

That’s for you guys in the public sector. They sure can try to make different postage levels per zone for those of us that mail commercially.

well as a USPS carrier I can clear somethings up for some of you.

First off the USPS doesnt get tax money, all its funds come from postage and other services.

second by law the USPS can not make a profit. it is a service not a business, thats why the USPS prices are so cheap. also its against the law for the USPS to offer different prices to different groups. Commercial mail gets by this through bulk, which is a disscount for sending thousands of pieces of mail in one mailing or for presorting thier mail so that it is in delivery order.

Thirdly, the last figure i remember dealing with volume of mail delivered was that nation wide, in a single day, the USPS delivers more pieces of mail (first class and packages), than UPS and Fedex do in a year.

By law the mail can not be tampered with, we take an oath, we can be prosecuted by law, we have an internal police force that investigates not only fraud, theft, distruction, etc… from persons who use the USPS, but also USPS employees.

The USPS delivers mail 7 days a week, most only think its 6 because only express mail is delivered on Sundays and holidays.

The USPS is the largest employer in the nation.

we deliver in every type of weather as the motto goes

our on time, national, delivery %'s are in the 90’s, which considering the volume we get thats very impressive.

for those who want to see competition with the USPS, there wouldnt be any. I dont mean that no one could compete with the USPS, i mean that if the monopoly was broken, the USPS would be desolved, there would nolonger be justification for a Federal institution for delivering mail. the private sector would have to do it by itself.

I wouldnt trust any one delivering my mail other than the USPS and i dont think that any company even UPS could afford to set up maintain or make proffitable a mail delivery system equivalant to the USPS with out jacking the prices to an outrages amount or reducing services.

Most likely what would hapen would be a 5 day delivery week, and the mail wouldnt be door to door, it would be cluster boxes on every so many corners and you would have to go to that to pick up your mail, thats what the USPS has been doing in new city developements.

as for a price for buying the USPS with all its Buildings, machines, equipment, trucks, and not taking into account the wages needed to pay the employees which number in at i belive 800,000 +, i’d guess the price tag would be in the hundred billions if not trillions.

The Post Office is going to be next on the block for the deregulators to screw up. It will be like the busses and the airlines: bad service unless you are sending mail between the most porfitable points.

Thanks for the info!

minor nitpik; most emmployees?