With every passing quarter, the bad news keeps piling up for the United States Postal Service. For a wide variety of reasons, the USPS has been experiencing record losses for several years now. The proliferation of shipping alternatives like UPS and FedEx is partially to blame. The decreased use of first-class mail services has also played a major role. The USPS has considered many different options to cut costs, and closing nearly 300 mail processing and sorting centers is one option that has been given the green light. Find out how these closures could impact the trucking industry below.
USPS and the Trucking Industry
The USPS doesn’t handle all of its own ground transportation needs. Instead, it works with more than 8,000 ground transportation contractors to get mail where it needs to go. Many truckers have regular routes to and from major mail processing centers. As these centers close, many truck drivers and trucking companies will lose those routes. As a result, the livelihoods of many full-time truckers could be negatively impacted. While people around the country worry about the future of the USPS due to concerns about getting the mail in a timely manner, truckers are worried about how these closures will affect their careers.
Closures to Cut Losses
According to the plan that was developed by the USPS, nearly 50 processing and sorting centers were scheduled to be closed this summer. Another 150 or so are slated to be closed by February 2013. Another wave of closures is expected to hit in 2014, when approximately 90 centers will be closed. These changes are being implemented gradually in the hopes of reducing the huge losses that are being experienced by the USPS. Currently, it is estimated that the USPS loses around $57 million per day. Between April and June of this year, the USPS reportedly lost around $5.2 billion.
Will the Closures Help?
It remains unclear whether these closures will be effective or not. Some experts still claim that the USPS needs to stop delivering mail on Saturday in order to get its head above water. In the meantime though, truckers are among the unlucky folks who are being immediately impacted by these changes. As processing and sorting centers become fewer and farther between, such jobs will become more difficult for truckers to find. They are reliable sources of income for people in the trucking industry, so these closures are extremely troubling for truck drivers and other trucking company employees.