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United States/Covers & Postmarks : the birth, and death, of airmail delivery

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
12 Feb 2021
10:20:53pm

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It appears that domestic airmail will soon be a thing of the past. PMG DeJoy wants to eliminate domestic airmail as a delivery method.

For those of you who thought delays were Christmas- or COVID-related, while you likely weren't completely wrong, can see in DeJoy's plans further evidence of a man determined to push the USPS back to a time when mail went surface, back to Victoria's time.

Airmail officially ceased to be a domestic option in 1977, but airmail was used when appropriate. It was the choice that was eliminated, not the service. Now, DeJoy plans to eliminate it entirely.

Reagan used to talk about starving the beast as the best means of destroying big government; DeJoy plans to keep it tethered to earth moving in trucks from facility to facility until it arrives.

Ah, to be able to return to the days of the Jenny
For more, see the WaPo article: https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2021/02/12/dejoys-new-plan-usps-slower-mail-higher-prices-sources-say/?fbclid=IwAR07x-swQWJixa1pDUEnPmBYRiw2U2y9pHS-_YJqt5h33YZMJV27A2eFO1c

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
03 Oct 2021
10:19:36am

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re: the birth, and death, of airmail delivery

The Cleveland Plain Dealer (i'm an expat, and still follow their teams, masochist that I am) ran a story on new USPS delivery plans. I had written about this in February, and those plans are coming on line now.

The crux is that 5 days is now the expected delivery time for FIRST CLASS mail if it's far away. Part of this has to do with DeJoy's plans to do away with airplanes as a means of moving mail domestically. According to Brian in his Australia post, we're not using them for delivery internationally either (or at least to some countries).

DeJoy has seemingly been on a crusade to hobble the USPS, first dismantling much of the automation machinery installed over the last 3 decades; then removing mail boxes on the streets.

Of course, the pandemic has not been kind to USPS, decimating its ranks. One wonders if perhaps automation machinery that doesn't rely on humans might have come in handy.

DeJoy, a Trump appointee as PMG, comes with some insights into delivery services, having many millions invested in the USPS' competition.

For more on the story, see the Plain Dealer: https://www.cleveland.com/darcy/2021/10/first-class-mail-snailed-darcy-cartoon.html

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michael78651
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03 Oct 2021
09:52:44pm
re: the birth, and death, of airmail delivery

You think there are any Teamster ties to that decision?

Putting the mail on trucks to haul throughout the country will probably be costly, and slow the delivery process considerably (IMO). Moving the mail certainly has merit considering important mail that needs to get somewhere fast. Premiums are already paid for the expedited service. To move the mail domestically more efficiently, would be to bring back transporting the mail by rail. Trucks then could haul the mail from the trains to the regional distribution centers. Many years ago the USPS did an experiment of placing mail in a few test areas back on the trains to see how delivery times were affected. It was found that delivery times decreased as compared to truck long-hauling. The experiment was squashed at the insistence of the Teamsters Union.

This was reported by Linn's. Unfortunately I do not recall when this happened. It could have been under the Bush or Obama administration.

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
04 Oct 2021
01:43:47pm

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re: the birth, and death, of airmail delivery

Michael,

could be teamster ties; throw work their way on this for concessions on contracts with his companies. It's all speculation on my part; but i just can't figure out other alternatives for what's essentially strangling the USPS

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Postmaster
04 Oct 2021
02:00:12pm
re: the birth, and death, of airmail delivery

I retired from the USPS in 2014 after serving 43 years mostly in management positions. I just can't believe what is going on in recent years. Before I retired, a customer concern had to be addressed within 24 hours. If it couldn't be resolved within the 24, a suspense date was required for follow-up and completion. I recently went to USPS.com to file a complaint for repeated mis-delivery of my mail after talks with the local clerk had no result. You can't even file a complaint at USPS.com anymore. Looks like they don't want to hear of problems. "to hell in a handbasket"..

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
04 Oct 2021
03:45:15pm

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re: the birth, and death, of airmail delivery

Mike

I assume that since the USPS is determined to cause problems, they likely don't want to hear about those things they aimed to do.

It's hard to imagine this is anything other than an effort to clear the field for the other delivery companies, and, from the frustration we all hear, I think they're doing a splendid job.

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Bobstamp
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04 Oct 2021
08:52:37pm
re: the birth, and death, of airmail delivery

Could it be that we — no, not "we," but "you Americans" — have a postmaster general who should be admitted, without delay, to the nearest mental hospital?

Bob

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angore
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Collector, Moderator
05 Oct 2021
06:22:11am
re: the birth, and death, of airmail delivery

In any company turnaround plan, we do not get to see the numbers that supposedly justify the actions nor do we get a choice (choose the poison).

The USPS has always used the first class profit to subsidize other classes of mail. It is supposedly still profitable but less so due to declining volume and rising costs. Of course, cross country mail including Alaska and Hawaii costs more than mail going across town but both pay the same rate. So, what is really losing all the money?

The forecast is high rates increases across the board for some time.









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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
05 Oct 2021
09:28:02am

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re: the birth, and death, of airmail delivery

Al,

your observations are generally correct, in that outsiders don't get to see the internal plans of a major overhaul whose outcome might not be generated for a decade.

We certainly don't, here, in this not particularly transparent administration.

What we do know is scary: USPS led by a man with ties to the competition appointed by a man with antagonism to the industry in general. The optics are awful. The results, to date, are worse.

DeJoy may be employing Pavlovian strategies to train us to avoid the USPS; there are many who would love to feast on the carcass.

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