Sen. Carper Responds to U.S. Postal Service Announcement Regarding Efforts to Optimize Its Retail Network

WASHINGTON – Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chairman of the Subcommittee with jurisdiction over the U.S. Postal Service, released the following statement in response to U.S. Postal Service’s announcement regarding efforts to optimize its retail network:

“The Postal Service is facing a dire fiscal crisis and two challenges – the rapid transition to electronic communications and the lingering after effects of the Great Recession – which threaten its very existence. In order to survive, let alone thrive in the 21st century, all options have to be considered and the Postal Service has to modernize the way it does business – including where and when it does business.

“Today’s announcement underscores the serious nature of the Postal Service’s financial situation and reflects the commitment of its leadership to adapt and overcome the challenges it faces. Closing a significant number of Post Offices that are losing money or are no longer necessary to meet the current demand for Postal Service products and services is a difficult but necessary step in the broader effort to save the Postal Service from total collapse.

“A provision of my comprehensive postal reform bill, the Postal Operations Sustainment and Transformation (POST) Act of 2011, would allow the Postal Service to eliminate costly, dated and inconvenient Post Offices, and replace them with more cost-effective and more convenient retail options, such as automated kiosks and facilities. These retail options would be co-located in other businesses such as pharmacies and grocery stores that are closer to where customers and potential customers live, work and shop. Shifting where and when the Postal Service offers its products and services to more convenient and cost-effective locations will allow the Postal Service to save money and, more importantly, better serve its customers.

“The Postal Service cannot win this fight alone, Congress and the Administration need to work together quickly to give the Postal Service the freedom it needs to save itself before it’s too late.”