Big Changes Coming to USPS in 2018
The U.S. Postal Service is undergoing some big changes, with new prices set to go into effect on in the new year on January 21. The average shipping services increase will be 3.9 percent, but the biggest rises will be seen in lower weight categories in inner zones. However, it’s worth noting that the year-on-year rises remain relatively modest and no new surcharges have been put in place for next year.
The USPS has struggled to turn a profit in recent years thanks to the prevalence of email and other shipping alternatives as well as the need for the service to pay out retirement benefits to workers.
Nevertheless, Postmaster General Megan J. Brennan insists that the financial problems plaguing the postal service can be solved. One way that they are hoping to turn their fortunes around is by using autonomous vehicles to their advantage. As driverless cars become more and more feasible, the Postal Service could benefit by getting on board with this technological game-changer.
Cutting Costs Through Automation
The Office of Inspector General says the Postal Service could make use of this technology for last-mile deliveries and trucking. For example, autonomous vehicles could be used to help carriers deliver mail, while mobile package lockers could also be used. In addition, autonomous trucks could be tasked with transporting mail on highways.
These solutions might not be possible in the short term, but the Postal Service could position itself for a more certain future by researching and testing these technologies now. One solution could see them gradually automating vehicles in a strategic manner that reduces the initial investment for the already-struggling postal service.
Some of the benefits they could see include a greater level of driver safety and better worker productivity. These automated solutions also keep fuel costs down, which could prove to make a big difference in their bottom line.
This blog post was based off of an article from Supply Chain 24/7. View the original here.