Experts Debate: Will Amazon Replace the United States Post Office (USPS) As a National Delivery Office?

Joel Eisenberg

The concern is controversial favorable treatment of Amazon by the USPS, coupled with the government agency’s current business challenges, have enhanced a potentially unsustainable business model for the federal delivery entity.

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Amazon Delivery Mock-UpiStock

Author’s Note

This article is based on corporate postings and accredited media reports. Linked information within this article is attributed to the following outlets: GovExec.com, Facts.USPS.com, BusinessInsider.com, Cheddar.com, and Forbes.com.

Introduction

NewsBreak recently published “United States Post Office (USPS) Closing Locations and Suspending Services,” my article about the increasingly beleaguered independent agency of the executive branch of the United States federal government.

As excerpted from the article: On August 26, GovExec.com published “USPS Lists Hundreds of Post Offices and Other Facilities Where It Will Consolidate Operations.” Such changes are to be effectuated from the duration of this month onward. The article states: More than 200 post offices and other U.S. Postal Service facilities are set to shed some of their operations as soon as this year as the mailing agency seeks to consolidate those functions at larger buildings, according to documents shared by management… The impacted sites are located in Georgia, New York, Texas, Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, West Virginia, Kentucky, Washington, North Carolina, Indiana and Arkansas.

Per an archived May, 2020 piece from BusinessInsider.com, “The Postal Service Is Subsidizing Jeff Bezos' Quest to Turn Amazon Into a Delivery Machine That Competes With UPS and FedEx — But USPS Can't Break Up With Bezos,” Amazon.com was considered by the previous presidential administration as having an unusual and politically fraught advantage due to its delivery partner: Amazon's relationship with the US Postal Service has become political fodder in recent years as Trump has demanded USPS to up its rates on the megaretailer. Industry experts say Amazon does indeed take advantage of not only USPS's low rates but also its imperative to deliver to every address in the US. Amazon is building delivery stations in only the densest ZIP codes in the US, according to a 2019 Morgan Stanley analysis. USPS must handle the rest — and it's pricey for the agency.

Those costs have remained and, compiled upon the USPS’ existing business challenges, have created what some are calling an unsustainable environment for the agency.

According to Facts.USPS.com: There are 31,247 Postal Service-managed retail Post Offices in the United States. The Postal Service recorded 749.1 million retail customer visits during 2021.

How long the USPS will remain as a recognizable entity with as many functional locations is in question.

Let us explore further.

Amazon and the USPS, 2022

An archived September, 2020 article from Cheddar.com, “Amazon Is Quickly Replacing USPS With Its Own Delivery Network,” was published four months after the Business Insider article, above, and directly addressed mounting concerns: "Amazon is in the best position of all the carriers right now, from a technology perspective, from a model perspective, from a sophistication perspective," said Daniel Sokolovsky, founder and CEO of AxleHire, a logistics company that sees itself in competition with Amazon. "Do I think that in 10 years Amazon can kill UPS and FedEx? Yeah, probably."

The article further states: While USPS, FedEx, and UPS also saw package volume spike during the COVID-19 pandemic, Amazon is positioning itself for future dominance, said Sokolovsky of AxleHire. "Not only are they operating normally, they're operating better now than UPS and FedEx and everybody else," he said. "I think a lot of this actually has to do with having technology as your infrastructure more so than speed. UPS has been in business for over a hundred years. Why are they opening up delivery stations so much slower than Amazon?"

In May, 2022, Forbes.com published “How Amazon Could Speed Up By Dumping USPS.” The article stated: There have been many unhappy customers of Amazon because of delayed delivery by USPS. Amazon’s pride is speed of delivery, and customers are frequently disappointed when USPS delivers 2-3 days after the promised date. Sure, Amazon’s delivery fleet is growing. There are 70 airplanes, 40,000 semi-trailers, 30,000 vans and other delivery vehicles that service the U.S. UPS gets a portion of the merchandise to be delivered while FedEx gets none. Amazon and FedEx cut ties in August 2019.

The article concluded that Amazon going astray may be the best outcome for both parties.

Conclusion

The for-profit Amazon.com will likely never truly replace the USPS, a federal entity, but the larger Jeff Bezos’ company becomes, the likelihood of vocal concerns in that regard will increase.

In the event of any related updates I will post them here, on NewsBreak.

Thank you for reading.

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I am an award-winning author, screenwriter for film and television, and producer. My mission on News Break is to share socially important perspectives on both culture and pop-culture. Member of PEN America, and the WGA.

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