Changes Coming to USPS

Photo by Rhodi Alers de Lopez on Unsplash

In the coming months you may notice you are paying more for shipping your online orders than ever before. That’s because the United States Post Office may be changing what they charge e-commerce companies like Amazon and Walmart to ship.

This news comes after a report was released by the USPS Task Force earlier this week. The Task Force was put in place in April of this year after President Donald Trump made an executive order to help determine why the USPS was failing and losing billions of dollars.

“The USPS is on an unsustainable financial path which poses significant financial risk to American taxpayers,” said United States Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin in press release. “President Trump tasked us with conducting a thorough evaluation of the USPS, and today’s report contains achievable recommendations that fulfill the President’s goal of placing the USPS on a path to sustainability, while protecting taxpayers from undue financial burdens and providing them with necessary mail services.”

Some of the suggestions to help increase the USPS successfulness include:

  • Developing a new pricing model that removes price caps and charges market-based prices for both mail and package items that are not deemed “essential postal services”;
  • Modernizing the USPS’s cost standards and cost allocation methodology;
  • Pursuing cost-cutting strategies that will enable it to meet the changing realities of its business model;
  • Reforming USPS employee compensation in a manner consistent with proposed reforms to the broader federal workforce;
  • Restructuring retiree health benefit liabilities with a new actuarial calculation that is based on employees at or near retirement age;

Another one of the suggests says to specify pricing on shipments that are “commercial in nature”. This is talking about companies that you and I order from daily. Like Sephora, Target, Amazon, Etsy, Walmart, etc.

The report doesn’t give a timeline on any the changes that were suggested. But, because the USPS is a government entity, it is fair to assume lawmakers will be involved in future changes.