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Report  | July 2014

The Essential Role of the United States Postal Service in American Daily Life

By Nam D. Pham, Ph.D. and Anil Sarda

The role of the USPS is vital for the U.S. economy, consumers, and the mail services industry to serve 153 million residents, offices, and businesses at every corner of the country. Over the years, the USPS has created major breakthrough innovations that have significant applications for the way Americans do business in the public and private sectors. Without receiving tax dollars, the USPS creates, expands, and maintains a sophisticated infrastructure that no other business entity can provide. The mail services industry is facing a challenging time: E-commerce is growing and businesses are fiercely competing by lowering shipping costs, cutting transit time, and introducing same-day as well as Sunday deliveries.

In contrast, the USPS raised prices and is proposing cutting back services. Since the U.S. mail services industry is highly interdependent, the operational and price changes of the USPS will hurt American businesses, e-commerce, entrepreneurs, and customers, which in turn will have negative impacts on USPS revenues and its future. Given the current trends of consumer and business expectations, the USPS needs to be innovative to create services instead of scaling back their essential operations. Furthermore, the USPS needs to maintain and preserve the high standard and fast services for First-Class Mail, which contributes to the largest share of revenues and the highest profitable mail segment for the USPS.