On CNN Live today: U.S. Postal Service loses $5 billion so far, wants to close 681 post offices

No podcast today, but I’ll be on CNN Live‘s Blogger Bunch today at noon.

We’ll be talking about the Postal Service, which lost $2.4 billion for the quarter ended June 30, with a total loss of $4.7 billion so far this year. Additionally,

It has an annual obligation to chock up to $5.8 billion to pre-fund retiree health benefits, but is banking on passed legislation that would boost its ability to take from the Treasury Department.

The U.S. Postal Service is considering closing 681 offices nationwide, including several in the Denver area, as well as weighing whether to cut post office hours, consolidate processing centers and end Saturday delivery.

The service said it is on pace to achieve its 2009 target of more than $6 billion in total cost reductions and reduce work hours by more than 100 million for the entire year.

Meanwhile, FedEx is expanding overseas

UPDATE
Arsalan Iftikhar of The Muslim Guy and Eric Hasseldahl of Business Week were also on the panel. Here’s the video:

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7 Responses to “On CNN Live today: U.S. Postal Service loses $5 billion so far, wants to close 681 post offices”

  1. Anthony (Los Angeles) Says:

    Closing more post offices will be rough on people without cars who still depend on their services, such as the elderly or the poor.

    And I wonder how a mail-dependent business like Netflix will fare if USPS makes major cuts?

  2. Fausta Says:

    Netflix is already downloading on line, and they also have the Roku box through which you can access the films on your list.

  3. Anthony (Los Angeles) Says:

    Hmmm… I don’t consider watching movies on my PC to be a great experience. Never heard of the Roku box – a type of DVR?

  4. Fausta Says:

    Roku

  5. barnee Says:

    You were definitely the weakest link. You know nothing, you said nothing and why they had you on the show was a mystery to me.

  6. Fausta Says:

    Barnee, why do you drop by here, then?

  7. Obloodyhell Says:

    > Barnee, why do you drop by here, then?

    Because he hopes someone will teach him how to spell “Barney”, his favorite purple dinosaur.

    ===============================================

    My take on the USPS is that we need to take it out back and shoot it.

    Only the USPS could manage to spend billions and billions on handwriting recognition software, instead of updating its technology with a fully functional tech which has been in steady use for around 30-35 years, now: Bar codes.

    In actual fact, two humans should touch your mail — they guy who pulls it out of the depositing mailbox, and the guy who puts it into the terminal mailbox. The rest of it all should be handled by routing and sorting machinery which scans a bar code for the destination and sends it there (and, of course, mails without barcodes would cost more money to deliver, requiring as they do human intervention — which would create and affix a proper bar code).

    Computers have been able to print bar codes for decades, and the USPS should have produced a program in the mid-80s to produce a standard bar code from a typed-in address which could be printed on a standard bar code label and affixed to an envelope or post card. Discounts for bar-coded mail would have encouraged adoption, and machines could have been located in any PO for use by anyone who did not have access to a computer (and companies like Dymo would eventually produce an independent hand-held device, too).

    People have completely forgotten that the USPS once delivered *twice* a day — morning and afternoon. Now Saturday delivery is once again being threatened for removal… The fact that I now have to drive a half-mile to even find a PO box through which to send a piece of mail is ludicrous, since the local modular boxes (located a block away from where I live, of course, wasting still more of my time) can’t possibly have a mail drop-off built into them. The poor, hardworking post employee would have to actually do some additional work in emptying it daily. Awww….

    :-/

    As you can tell, my scorn for the USPS, its employees, and more importantly its leaders and directors, is difficult to properly express, but it’s not small.