It seems pretty strange that the U.S. government still delivers mail six days a week, and I was pleased to hear that there are discussions underway to discontinue Saturday delivery. After all, the postal service has been running at a deficit for years, in some cases, multibillion dollar deficits. At the moment, it does seem reasonable to have mail delivery services a few days a week. After all, we still get some bills and checks in the mail, though the trend is clearly moving to on-line banking and direct deposit. You may receive the occasional important letter or notification, and a favorite catalog from time to time. To accomplish this, according the United States Postal Service Web site (www.usps.com), these items are delivered by, “685,000 career employees and 101,000 non-career staff, making it the second-largest employer in the United States (behind Wal-Mart). The Postal Service employs more workers on U.S. soil than General Motors, Ford and Chrysler combined.” The site goes on further to say, “The USPS operates the largest fleet of commercial vehicles in the country-some 212,000 vans and trucks.” That’s a lot of vehicles, a lot of gas and a huge expense! Imagine the energy savings if we stopped sending junk mail, encouraged opt in email, cut down on the USPS delivery days, and encouraged electronic signatures for legal documents. Imagine the post office needing 100,000 or even 150,000 fewer vehicles! liteblue login
It won’t be long before most traditional catalogs are replaced by cheaper, faster, better on-line versions. It won’t be long before people stop writing hand written letters and notes. When was the last time your twelve year old wrote a letter and mailed it to a friend? The last time my 20-year-old daughter wrote a letter was six years ago when she was in summer camp and didn’t have access to a computer. My 33 year old nephew receives all his bills on-line, and is still using the same book of traditional bank checks received in his first order. Liteblue USPS Gov Login It won’t be long before traditional mail is almost completely supplanted by email, eBilling, Instant Messaging and digital documents. And all of these events will move us into a progressively more pervasive on-line existence and a more environmentally friendly communication and distribution system. So I guess the obvious message in this article is, “Don’t go postal – go virtual”.