Lest anyone’s forgotten, today’s the day that the U.S. Postal Service kicks off its biggest campaign to close post offices since . . . the last one, which quickly flamed out two years ago.
Postmaster General Patrick Donohue released a long-awaited “post office study” of nearly 3,700 potential closings in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.
“The Postal Service of the future will be smaller, leaner and more competitive and it will continue to drive commerce, serve communities and deliver value,” Donahoe said.
Postal officials developed the list based on low workload among post office employees and customer foot traffic. They also considered whether the location could be combined with other postal facilities nearby.
Currently the post office operates more than 31,000 retail outlets across the country, down from 38,000 a decade ago, but in recent years business has declined sharply as first-class mail moved to the Internet.
In fiscal year 2010, the Postal Service suffered a $8.5 billion net loss, compared to a loss of $3.8 billion the prior year. Last quarter, the U.S. Postal Service posted a loss of $2.2 billion. Its fiscal year ends in September.
In addition to closing offices, the Postal Service has sharply reduced its staff over the past several years and cut billions of dollars from its costs. It also has asked Congress to allow it to cut back delivery to five days a week and to ease the requirement for an annual $5.5 billion payment to fund future retiree health benefits.