Posted on July 1, 2015
People love to complain. And they seem to love nothing more than complaining about the post office. But that is really unwarranted. For every delivery challenge you hear about, there are millions (more likely billions) of pieces of mail delivered without incident.
So, I’d like to take this day to compliment the USPS.
The sheer magnitude of what the employees of the USPS accomplish every day is almost too much to comprehend. There are 154 million deliverable addresses in the USA. They deliver 150+ billion (with a B) pieces of mail annually.
The delivery network that is the US Post Office is massive. The USPS delivers 40% of the mail delivered on earth. Yes, 40% off all the mail in the world is handled by the USPS.
And, you can get a birthday card from one coast to the other in a few days for $0.49. That’s a pretty great deal.
Of course, mail has changed. We pay bills, read the news and even wish old friends happy birthday on line. But the majority of us still check our mail boxes every day. We get a thrill when we see something hand written, or that package we’ve been waiting for, or a catalog that we love to browse through and we know we shouldn’t place that order for the thing we already have too much of…but we do it anyway because the catalog came and we are looking through it.
But as much as mail has changed, it is still basically an endeavor with a human face. That mail doesn’t get into your mailbox without about 500,000 employees operating this giant network of mail processing equipment. There are retail clerks receiving your envelopes (and selling you stamps, generating express mail labels, facilitating your passport application, etc. etc). There are mail processing plant workers who check to make sure that your mail is put on the correct conveyors and into the correct trucks and airplanes or making sure the robots (yes, robots!) are moving mail from place to place correctly. There are local post office employees who are receiving trucks full of mail from the central processing plants and giving them to your local carrier. It is a giant team of people making sure that your birthday card gets to the right place as quickly as possible.
I’m obviously biased since I run a mail house. But, take it from someone who meets more than the average number of postal employees…this is a great team of people getting 150 billion pieces of mail delivered.
Thank a postal worker today. I promise you, it will be appreciated.