UPS CEO: “Clearly, there’s a role for the post office”

UPS CEO Scott Davis was asked about the future of the US Postal Service yesterday in an interview for the Oregonian. Davis suggested that “Clearly, there’s a role for the post office”, and noted that “the post office is a competitor of ours and a customer of ours and we have a pretty good relationship”.

Davis also said that the USPS needs to “reduce services, reduce post offices”, to become “fiscally sound”.

Davis pointed to the USPS’s uniform pricing for letters and flats as the agency’s “big political challenge”: “For us to deliver every package around the world at the same price, it just wouldn’t work.”

What’s odd about Davis’s comment is that the USPS doesn’t “deliver every package around the world at the same price” any more than UPS does- priority and parcel post rates are based on distance, the same as UPS and FedEx. It’s only first class and standard letters and flats that get the flat nationwide rate- markets that UPS doesn’t compete in, and, contrary to conservative political dogma, has never shown any desire to compete in.

Update: I received a tweet pointing out that the USPS offers flat rate Priority boxes and envelopes good for shipping anywhere in the US. That’s true- but it has nothing to do with the Universal Service Obligation- it was a marketing decision. The USPS has no obligation to provide a flat rate Priority option, and could eliminate it tomorrow if it chose to. (It’s also worth noting that the USPS now offers “Regional” flat rate Priority boxes that are cheaper than the nationwide flat rate boxes- zone based pricing by another name.) The “political challenge” Davis refers to is strictly the USO requirement.

via Q&A with United Parcel Service boss Scott Davis, a Portland State University graduate |

  • suzie

    UPS CEO failed to mention that the UPS is also a customer of the USPS. UPS has many accounts across the country where they drop the packages for rural areas so the PO delivers them the next day.

  • curly

    What about the managers who are making big money and nnot doing a thing. There are so many managers in the usps that are dragging the company down.The usps needs freah ideas from outside sources.The managers who run the usps are putting the usps into a very bad debt.The usps wastes billions on transportation. Let a congressman look into the transportation and they will find out the truth.

  • brian

    Yes- that’s exactly what we need! Let’s have a Congressman manage our transportation!! Brilliant! What could go wrong!

  • Nutzy

    Brilliant IDEA!!! Congress wants to close it anyway! USPS produces no product.SERVICE is all that they ever had. Cut service to survive ? Just put plywood over all PO doors.You will save ssoooo much. All clerks and carriers can convert to CEO.

  • Ronnie

    @curly – can you spell “dumb”?