The USPS posted net losses of $5.7 billion for the first nine months of its fiscal year with hints of a possible default if not bailed out by the federal government.
Although it falls under the control of the federal government, the USPS receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on its own retail services to fund operations. Last month, the USPS announced plans to study almost 3,700 under-utilized post offices for possible closure and introduced the new village post office concept. Under the village post office model, postal services would be handled by local businesses such as pharmacies and grocery stores.
“We continue to take aggressive actions to reduce costs and bring the size of our infrastructure into alignment with reduced customer demand,” Postmaster General and CEO Patrick Donahoe said in a press release on the USPS 3rd quarter results.
Another press release Friday (Aug. 5) urged people to make use of the Automated Postal Centers located in the lobbies of many post offices in the metro Atlanta area. The Boggs Road and McClure Bridge Road post offices in Duluth are among the 51 in the metro Atlanta area that offers APCs. The Boggs Road Post Office is located at 165 Boggs Road. The McClure Bridge Post Office is located at 3470 McClure Bridge Road.
The APCs in local post offices work like ATMs and can process many of the transactions that would normally be handled by a staff member at the counter. APCs accept major credit and debit cards, but not cash, and are located in post office lobbies. In most cases, APCs are accessible 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. According to the press release, this frees up staff to handle the more complicated postal transactions.
The APC performs the following services:
- Dispenses First Class Mail, Priority Mail, Parcel Post, Express Mail, and APC postage in any denomination.
- Dispenses First-Class Mail stamp booklets.
- Provides Postal Service and mailing information, including ZIP Code lookup.
- Offers domestic insurance up to $500.
- Weighs and rates envelopes, flats, and parcels up to 70 pounds.
- Prepares Express Mail forms and Certified Mail return receipts.
- Offers Delivery Confirmation and Insurance Services.
- Provides a system-generated receipt for payment.