Federal Manager's Daily Report

The kind of alternative delivery methods that have disrupted the taxi industry could also hit package delivery, one of the few bright spots in USPS finances, the IG has said.

It cited services in which private citizens essentially perform the same function at lower prices than can be charged by traditional taxi companies that are more regulated. Essentially the same could be done with package delivery, it said, for example through phone messaging offering a payment or purchase credit for picking up a package near one’s place of work and delivering on the way home to someone living closeby.

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“Package delivery has become an attractive and competitive business. As consumers do more of their shopping online, everything from groceries to pharmaceuticals to clothing is being delivered to homes and businesses,” the report notes.

It says that while such a scenario is threatening to USPS, such service models already are encountering issues that would apply as well to package delivery. These include unwillingness of individuals to serve as drivers if better jobs become available, the question of whether such drivers can be treated as less-costly independent contractors or would be considered employees of the delivery service, and customer concerns about privacy and safety.