Guest Column: Facts about the United States Postal Service

By Steve Wenzel

With the New Year under way, the Postal Service will celebrate 238 years of delivering America’s mail. A changing economy has created challenges for our organization, leading to speculation about the future, so here are some facts about the Postal Service.

The Postal Service does not receive taxpayer dollars. The Postal Reorganization Act of 1970 transferred the Post Office Department into the United States Postal Service (USPS), an independent agency, and has not received taxpayer subsidies since 1982. We rely on the sale of postage and mail products and services for revenue to cover our costs, and we are at the core of the trillion-dollar mailing industry that employs more than 8 million people.

The Postal Service is the most efficient and reliable post in the world. We deliver 40 percent of the world’s mail with 10 percent of the world’s postal employees. Though the number of addresses in the nation has grown by nearly 17 million in the past decade, the number of employees who handle the increased delivery load has decreased by more than 200,000. We were ranked number one in overall service performance of the posts in the top 20 wealthiest nations in the world by Oxford Strategic Consulting. And when it comes to safeguarding personal information, the Postal Service has been named the Most Trusted Government Agency for six years and the sixth Most Trusted Business in the nation by the Ponemon Institute.

The Postal Service is green. Our fleet of alternative-fuel-capable vehicles includes electric, ethanol, fuel-cell, biodiesel, and propane technology. We use more than a half-billion recyclable packages and envelopes made of environmentally-friendly materials. We’ve aggressively reduced energy costs in our facilities by making changes in lighting, HVAC and water consumption, generating a 30 percent reduction in energy usage. And we recently received Gold status by The Climate Registry for our leadership in reducing greenhouse gas emissions by more than 5 percent.

These are a few facts about the Postal Service as we continue to adapt to a digital world. To learn more about us, go to

Steve Wenzel is the district manager for the Lakeland District of the U.S. Postal Service, which covers a majority of Wisconsin and northern Illinois.

From the Feb. 13-19, 2013, issue

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