Weeks before a Republican donor and top White House ally becomes postmaster general, the U.S. Postal Service has begun a review of its package delivery contracts and lost its second-highest executive, which will leave its board of governors without any officials who predate President Trump.
The moves, confirmed by six people with knowledge of the Postal Service’s inner workings but not authorized to speak publicly, underscore how Trump is moving closer to reshaping an independent agency he has dubbed “a joke.”
The Postal Service in recent weeks has sought bids from consulting firms to reassess what it charges companies such as Amazon, UPS and FedEx to deliver products on their behalf — often in the “last mile” between a post office and a customer’s home. Higher package rates would cost shippers and online retailers billions of dollars, potentially spurring them to invest in their own distribution networks instead of relying on the Postal Service.
I heard a radio spot on Thursday telling people to call Congress to stop this sanity. At the very end, it says it’s paid for by the Package Coalition, and I said aloud to the radio, “You mean Amazon.”
Which is true:
“While we are on the subject, it is reported that the US Post Office will lose US$1.50 on average for each package it delivers for Amazon. That amounts to Billions of Dollars. The Failing NY Times reports that ‘the size of the company’s lobbying staff has ballooned,’” he [President Trump] had said in a tweet.
In reaction, Amazon teamed up with retailers like Walmart, Target, and other small businesses to form The Package Coalition, a lobbying group aimed at ensuring they continue to get the cheapest possible rates for shipping their products through the USPS.
So, basically, profitable companies derive some of that profit shipping through the taxpayer-subsidized USPS, which is losing money and, apparently, should continue to do so to keep profits high.
I’m kind of glad I am the last person in the country who listens to radio.