Lately, specifically the last 10 days or so, I have noticed that my Wall Street Journal (WSJ) newspaper was arriving a day later than it has in the last 30 years. In my area, because I am not in a major metropolitan area, the regional Wall Street journal is printed in either Indianapolis or the Chicago area (it has been both over the years) and then the USPS would deliver me Thursday's WSJ on early Thursday afternoon, again because I am on a "rural route". It was delivered to my P.O. Box at the local Post Office by 9am each day. It has been this way since the early 1980's since I originally subscribed.
But just yesterday, I received a letter, one from the USPS and another from the WSJ publisher, Dow Jones News Corp, explaining to me the following, which is word for word from their communications;
"Recent changes within operations at the U.S. Postal Service in Michigan have made it impossible to continue delivery of your Wall Street Journal on the day of publication. Delivery of your Journal will be one day after the publication date by the U.S. Postal service.
We know how much you value the timely delivery of the Journal and we strive to provide you with the highest quality service available. To that end, we would like to remind you that you have unlimited access to the WSJ.com our tablet and mobile apps and WSJ+1 offering invitations to editorial events, access to top golf clubs, seasonal wine cases and more of the finer things in life."
Then there is a bunch of blah, blah, blah and in closing, they continue "We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and will continue to look for solutions to return your service to day of publication."
ironically, i recently noticed the U.S. Postal service delivering packages in our area on Sunday's. A neighbor received a cell phone last Sunday which they had ordered on Friday.
So, apparently postal delivery is one of the very few businesses in the U.S. or world, for that matter, which is getting LESS efficient with technology and who's basic service is declining despite the competitive demands. The USPS continues to offer the "if it fit it ships" deal for one fixed price, regardless of actual weight, as long as the items fit within their special boxes, which defies logic from a business perspective.
Friends of mine who are executives with both UPS and Fed Ex know PRECISELY what it costs to ship a certain weight and size package specific distances. As a matter of fact, they focus on weight and size along with delivery mileage as the MOST SIGNIFICANT components in determining operating costs in the freight business. To specifically illustrate my point, last summer when I was in Montana and needed to ship something back to Michigan, I contacted UPS and their cost was $33.00 and Fed Ex was $34.10 for the same while the USPS would ship the same for $12, as long as I could get it in their "if it fits it ships" package.
The estimated delivery dates were the same for all three, but in reality, the USPS delivered a day later than quoted. Since the USPS operates with taxpayer financial support, why would they intentionally ship items which the others will charge either $33 or $34 while the USPS is doing the same for $12? Why wouldn't they charge $28 or $30, while still offering a better deal than their competitors, but not intentionally losing money, which I am sure they do when charging only $12 for services their competitors receive nearly 3x as much revenue for delivering the same weight and size the same distance?
Apparently, despite the improvements in technology and logistics, the actual service provided by the USPS is declining and they are intentionally giving away their package delivery services, when they could be collecting significantly more revenue for the same service. Now before anyone chastises me for continuing to kill trees to read my WSJ and reminds me I should be reading it online, just realize that I PREFER the paper edition and the paper format and I pay substantially more for the privilege of receiving the actual newspaper, which until now, came on it's date of publish. The same is happening with my Investors Business Daily (IBD) paper.
I asked my neighbor how much it cost her to have the phone delivered on Sunday, verses delivery during a normal business day. She showed me the invoice and she was charged $12 for the Sunday delivery, which ironically is less than the same package delivery rate from others (UPS, Fed EX) for their normal daily delivery of the same based upon the packages origin and size.
It is maddening to me that the USPS would intentionally lose money, then complain to Congress and seek taxpayer funds to cover shortages when they could probably triple their package delivery revenue and STILL be very competitive with their peers. To me, it is just one more example of how inefficient government affiliated operations remain and how out of touch with their marketplace the USPS really is. Frankly, if they raised postage to $1 per stamp, I wouldn't care one bit and it would likely reduce the volume of junk mail which I get, which would be great as well.
It is just interesting to me that at a time when Amazon is developing SAME DAY delivery in many markets, the USPS reduced their service. Oh well............
Thanks for allowing me to share my frustration. Now I am going to read YESTERDAYS WSJ, which just arrived.....