A member of the House Appropriations Committee says it may be time for Congress to consider privatizing part or all of the financially troubled U.S. Postal Service, or at least borrow key practices from private companies that do mail delivery more efficiently.
The suggestion from Rep. Ben Cline (R-Va.) comes after some European countries, like the U.K. and Germany, have yielded state control of their mail services to private industry. For instance, the Royal Mail service in England ended four centuries of government control and went fully private in 2015, and since then has produced better finances and higher revenue.
Cline said it is time to force postal officials to make hard choices, especially when private package and mail delivery companies like FedEx and UPS consistently outperform the national mail service.
“Nobody wants to cut back on mail service,” Cline said. “Everybody values, especially out in rural America, getting postal service six days a week. But the competitors are offering seven days a week. And so what you have is competitors across the board that are doing it better oftentimes and for less in their own operational costs.
“So we’ve got to start either looking to them to provide some of this service or adopting some of their practices that would help improve efficiency.”