I enjoyed reading your article in the Sept. 3 News-Post about local impressions of the Postal Service. As it turns out, Frederick is a pretty big city for mail.
There are three major mailing companies scattered along English Muffin Way, and one of the country’s largest mail tracking companies, SnailWorks. SnailWorks tracks millions of pieces of commercial and nonprofit mail every day, and we can see that contrary to what one may read in the news, mail service goes on, pretty much unabated. The Postal Service is really just fine, and we’ve got the data to back that up.
Does the Postal Service have issues? Heavens, yes! The Postal Service always has issues: they’re broke, letter and flat volume is down, they have high absenteeism due to COVID-19, they’re buried in parcels at a Holiday+ level, and many of the flights they put their mail on are canceled. So, there’s plenty to worry about if worrying is your thing.
But none of this is new — the Postal Service has been having financial problems for a decade. We have indeed seen first-class mail slowed down — by about half a day on average since the start of the year. Not bad considering the absenteeism generated by the pandemic. And while certain elements of the Postal Service have been privatized over the years — particularly some of the trucking and logistics — there is no threat that the Postal Service is going anywhere. It is a service required by our Constitution.
If all of this fuss finally gets the Postal Service some attention and some support from Congress, great. No one really needs to picket, but bless their hearts.
Finally, please refrain from using the term “junk” mail. Marketing mail, bulk rate mail, ad mail, any of those terms are fine. Marketing mail provides millions of jobs, helps businesses promote themselves, helps charities raise money, and helps keep letter carriers going to every home six days a week. We deserve better than to be referred to as “junk.” We don’t call newspapers junk papers though they are chock full of ads.
Dave Lewis is the president of SnailWorks.