February 7, 2013 |
As AOL used to say, “You've got mail!” But maybe not on Saturdays if the mail you are looking for is being delivered by the much-maligned “snail mail” of the United States Postal Service. On Wednesday, the USPS announced Saturday delivery of letters would be eliminated by August in order to save $2 billion annually. The Postal Service has been struggling financially for a long time, as we all know, so this sort of cutback is hardly surprising. As the latest reduction in service is discussed and debated, though, it is worth remembering that the Postal Service's troubles are not entirely a result of the historic shift in how Americans communicate with one another.
August 7, 2012
Few members of Congress want to take away your Saturday mail delivery or close your underused local post office - or at least, not shortly before election day, when such actions might come back to haunt them. That explains a lot about why Congress has cravenly failed to take the necessary action to put the U.S. Postal Service on a path to solvency, instead forcing it to default last week on a required $5.5-billion payment toward the health benefits of future retirees. The irony is that one of the best and boldest routes Congress could take is also the one that largely absolves it of responsibility: It should let the post office solve more of its own problems.
November 10, 2013 |
Giant online retailer Amazon.com Inc. is turning up the heat on rivals this holiday season and beyond under a new deal with the U.S. Postal Service for delivering packages on Sundays. Starting this week, the postal service will bring Amazon packages on Sundays to shoppers' doors in the Los Angeles and New York metropolitan areas at no extra charge. Next year, it plans to roll out year-round Sunday delivery to Dallas, New Orleans, Phoenix and other cities. Getting packages on Sundays normally is expensive for customers.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 11, 1988
You carried a column by Daniel S. Greenberg in which he charges that the U.S. Postal Service is "medieval," failing to modernize by neglecting research and development (Op-Ed Page, June 22). When he wrote a similar article in 1980 with some identical language, his allegations were, in large part, true. But where has "Rip Van" Greenberg been in the intervening eight years? The Postal Service is in the midst of a massive transition from mechanization to automation for the processing of the ever-increasing volume of mail and possesses the most advanced postal technology in the world today.
February 6, 2013 |
The U.S. Postal Service's announcement that it plans to stop delivering most mail on Saturdays is likely to have an effect on the business world. The Postal Service said it made the announcement Wednesday -- about six months in advance of implementing a five-day mail delivery schedule on Aug. 5 -- to give residential and business customers time to plan and adjust. Hallmark Card Inc., the Kansas City-based greeting card company, said it anticipated problems with the decision. "Hallmark continues to believe a reduction in service will not induce customer loyalty and will negatively impact small towns and small businesses that depend on timely, affordable, reliable mail delivery," the company said . "This move should only be considered once all other cost-saving options are fully explored and acted upon.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 15, 1987
The U.S. Postal Service, which has seen the volume of mail it handles double in the last 20 years to 167 billion pieces annually, says the time has come when it must once again have rate increases. Almost certainly postage costs will rise next year, probably to 25 cents for first-class mail. At the same time the service continues its efforts to economize and hold down even higher user costs.
December 7, 2011
The U.S. Postal Service could hardly have come up with a worse solution to its financial problems than its proposal to slow first-class delivery to the point of irrelevance. Instead of delivering mail in a day or so, it would take two to three — at least. In other words, unless people who still pay bills by mail sent off their checks a week in advance, they wouldn't be guaranteed delivery by the due date. The new delivery times could prove lethal to the DVD-by-mail portion of Netflix operations, though that company has been managing to damage its business on its own. If more than a week is needed to receive a DVD and get it back to the video-rental company (this doesn't count viewing time)
April 14, 2013 |
Many years ago -- it seems like a lifetime -- I used to hang around in a house in the Silver Lake hills lived in by Postal Service producer Jimmy Tamborello. He had a number of roommates, including a friend of mine named Pedro Benito, who once played in a band called Sunday's Best, and later in the Jealous Sound. The house had a great view of the reservoir and was the type of place that facilitated the comings and goings of a lot of creative types and many, many musicians. Tamborello was kind and quiet and spent most of his time in his bedroom crafting beats and instrumental tracks.