People across the country got a look at what package delivery will look like if the Postal Service is privatized after both UPS and FedEx ruined Christmas by being unable to delivery holiday packages on time.
UPS admitted that some children would not receive their Christmas gifts on time because their system could not keep up with demand, “We understand the importance of your holiday shipments. However, the volume of air packages in our system exceeded the capacity of our network.” A spokesperson for Fed Ex said, “We’re sorry that there could be delays and we’re contacting affected customers who have shipments available for pickup.” Fed Ex’s solution was to make customers who paid for Christmas delivery go to their local Fed Ex store and pick up their packages on Christmas Day. If you didn’t have a local Fed Ex store, you were out of luck.
Things were so bad at Fed Ex that local depots were overwhelmed with packages to the point where they didn’t attempt to make deliveries. The AP confirmed that the delivery issues impacted Alabama, California, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia.
Some people will blame the customer for waiting until the last minute to place their order, but the problems at UPS and Fed Ex illustrate why the Republican plan to kill the USPS would be a total disaster. As private companies, UPS and Fed Ex have no incentive to make sure that they have the amount of capacity needed to handle a last minute holiday flood of orders. Their main incentive is to maximize profit, not serve the public.
Both companies are blaming the weather for their inability to deliver as promised, but the United States Postal Service was able to deliver in time for Christmas, so the weather excuse appears to be a bit flimsy. If Republicans got their way, and the Postal Service was privatized, the horror stories from UPS and Fed Ex would become the norm for every American 365 days a year.
UPS and FedEx are good businesses, but they can’t replace the U.S. Postal Service. In fiscal year 2013, the USPS turned a $660 million profit delivering the mail. The red ink that Postal Service is drowning in is caused by the ridiculous requirement that they must prefund retiree healthcare benefits.
The fiasco at UPS and FedEx has proven Republicans wrong. The private sector can’t do it better. America needs the United States Postal Service.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association