USPS Faces Operational Changes with Appointment of New Postmaster General

August 7, 2020 AJR News

In May 2020, Louis DeJoy was selected to serve as the 75th United States Postmaster General (PMG). Until his retirement in 2015, DeJoy served as a logistics executive at New Breed Logistics, later acquired by XPO. The USPS Board of Governors unanimously elected him as PMG during one of the most challenging times in the 245-year history of the postal service. DeJoy took control of his office on June 15 and notified postal workers of the upcoming changes in the agency’s operation.

Since 2001, USPS has experienced a decrease in first-class mail volumes thus posing some financial challenges. The agency has also seen reductions resulting from the digitization of correspondence that was once sent via mail. USPS experienced a rebound during the COVID-19 pandemic because of an increase in package deliveries due to a spike in online purchases. USPS leadership and Congress decided that changes to the postal service’s business model are necessary. A challenge, DeJoy stated, he will face head on by placing the Postal Service on a “trajectory for success”. The goal is analyzing the challenges currently affecting the agency and eliminating them through the restructuring of USPS operations.

These planned changes have been met with opposition because of concerns that the post office will be run as a business rather than a public service agency. In a video shared with postal workers across the country, several immediate changes were announced including that late and extra trips are no longer authorized because all operations must meet a 24-hour clock commitment. As a result, distribution centers will see mail that is left behind on the docks. Some have voiced their concerns about this because of the implications of letting down the customer in a market where their services are needed more than ever. Competitors like UPS and FedEx are increasing market share because of a rise in package delivery while USPS is held to a standard that is federally regulated.

However, the Postal Service described that these delays are temporary as part of a series of phases of change that will result in a more efficient operation. The plan will ensure financial stability to continue providing reliable and affordable services to Americans. The U.S. Treasury Department also approved a $10 billion coronavirus relief funding loan, which will provide coverage for expenses made during the pandemic.

Written By: Marcela Hurtado