Whitesburg KY

Report: Cluster boxes won’t fix USPS woes

One of the proposals by the U.S. Postal Service to save money—the agency lost $5.5 billion in 2014—is to exchange home deliveries for neighborhood cluster boxes that would allow mail carriers to do their jobs more quickly and effi- ciently, Josh Hicks reports for The Washington Post.

“But a new report from the USPS inspector general’s office casts doubt on how much the change would benefit the agency financially,” Hicks reports.

Mail advertising accounted for 22 percent of the Postal Service’s $28 billion in product revenue two years ago, Hicks writes. The watchdog report says that about 10.6 percent of people who receive home mail service read and respond to credit card solicitations, compared to only 3.1 percent of customers with cluster boxes.

Writes Hicks: “With other types of mail advertisements, the findings were ‘qualitatively similar to the credit card solicitation results, albeit with less dramatic differences by mode,’ according to the report.”

“Republican and Democratic lawmakers have pushed for greater use of curbside and cluster mail boxes, but opponents say the Postal Service should focus on new products and services rather than cuts,” Hicks writes. “It is unclear whether the Postal Service would truly lose advertising revenue by moving away from the door-delivery model or whether it could make up for the potential loss with cost savings.”

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