Mission of the Postal Service

The United States Postal Service, an autonomous institution, is solely responsible for providing citizens with reliable and inexpensive postage services (Crew, Michael, and Paul 14). The institution, an executive government branch, does business in a professional way. Among the major functions of the postal service is the provision of postal services which brings the nation together through the educational, business and literal correspondence of most people (Crew, Michael, and Paul 14). Postal services are an integral part of information management because they are deeply involved in the planning, organizing, and structuring of the clients’ needs. The use of technology in the service is amongst the critical elements that have increased efficiency considerably. This essay will analyze the United States’ postal service, its history as well as relevant information pertaining to the service.

Postal History/20th-Century Changes

The post office department was started and took effect in 1775 when members of a Philadelphia agreed that the appointment of a postmaster general was of the essence (Leonard 4). Benjamin Franklin was given the position of the postmaster general an since then; the service has considerably grown and evolved. The most recent changes involve the embracing of new technologies with the principal aim of ensuring that better service delivery is achieved.

Up to the beginning of the 20th century, the American people have always used the post office department for the postal services (Bumgarner 226). The situation has since changed in the sense that, currently, the United States Postal Services took over the function. Currently, the organization has grown as evidenced by a large number of employees, with over 620,000 as at 2016 (Bumgarner 227). Also, the agency is charged with the responsibility of operating the largest fleet of civilian vehicles in the world.

The change from the use of the post office department to the United States Postal Services was necessary since, at the end of the 20th century, the country has changed from rural orientation to being thoroughly industrialized and of international pre-eminence (Leonard 3). Further, the need to make the services more efficient and streamlined led to the necessity for a shift from the post office department.

Taking into consideration part of the historical data of the United States Postal Service is an essential part of this research since it takes us through a pass of no technology in its inception to a full-blown technological institution in the present time. I hope to show you the technological advances of this great Federal Organization and how it has impacted each one of us along the way.

The research breakdown into various aspects that have to change the way business is done in the Postal Service are as follows (Issa 151):

Changing Customer Demands

The demand for printed business transactions and marketing materials has decreased as the adoption of broadband and smart devices have increased. The result is the secure digitizing service delivery. Broadband and mobile device adoption and changing consumer buying habits have resulted in increased e-commerce, leading to a significant growth in package volume, especially in the “last mile” package delivery service, which has been the fastest growing product over the last six years as the table below demonstrates.

Total Shipping / Package Volume













The last mile is considered the service of taking your package from your local Post Office to your home. Along with this growth also comes the extremely high demand of the customers to increase the visibility on every package they are to receive.

The Postal Service processes three types of mail known as Letters, Flats {magazines/large envelopes} and parcels. I will focus on the parcel service {packages}since this has been the type of mail that has shown the most significant growth. It is also the type of mail customers have the visibility of from the time the mailer ships it to the time it reaches the customer’s door.


This is provided by using a hand-held device that transmits information as soon as a piece of mail is scanned which is part of the last mile service to the customers done by carriers delivering mail or retail clerks servicing at the Retail Counters. This daily action by these employees has produced an astounding over 99 percent accuracy for FY 2017. {The Postal FY runs from October 1st. on September 30th}.

Postal Reach

With more than 31,600 retail locations and the most frequently visited website in the federal government, usps.com, the Postal Service has annual revenue of nearly $69 billion and delivers 47 percent of the world’s mail. With more than half a million employees, the Postal Service is one of the nation’s largest employers. The Postal Service links close to nearly 32,000 facilities enabling communication between hundreds of thousands of employees, as well as customers.

Customer’s Reach

The post office is opened on a daily basis for 24 hours. There is, therefore, no restriction and the users can access the services whenever they want, increasing efficiency. The government sites receive close to 1.7 Billion visits a year, representing close to 5 million visits on a single day.

The Postal Store

the official online Post Office: In 2016, stamp and retail sales totaled nearly $280 million. This site provides the customer with a shopping experience where they could buy postal related merchandise and services.

Internet Change-of-Address

This allows customers to conveniently change their addresses online due to reasons such as change of states and localities. In 2016, more than 16.6 million addresses were changed successfully.

In order of popularity, the top usps.com sites in 2016 (Issa 153):

1. USPS Tracking

336 million visitors

2. ZIP Code Lookup

32 million visitors

3. The Postal Store

24 million visitors

4. PO Locator

21 million visitors

5. My USPS

19 million visitors

There’s a Post Office on your phone. The Postal Service app — USPS Mobile

The service is available on smartphones, notably Apple and Android. Amongst the most popular functions available on the website are USPS Tracking and Post Office Locator. The ZIP Code Lookup, as well as calculation of various services, can also be done over smartphones (Issa 151)

Customers who have Android or Apple smartphones or tablets with cameras and have downloaded the USPS Mobile app can scan barcoded shipping labels to track packages and other mail. The success of the mobile application is as illustrated. In the year ended 2016, the post service application was downloaded 2,2 million times. Further, 50 million visitors visited the site, an average of 448,000 visits a day (Gandy, and Cynthia 227).

Innovation in the Mail

The launch of My USPS, launched in 2015, presents a simple way through which customers track and manage their postal packages. Therefore, Customers signed up for this service can be able to check the status of their packages at any time from a computer or smartphone. As at December 2016, more than 5.7 million customers had already signed up (Gandy, and Cynthia 229).

Another way the Postal Service has made its information available to the customer was by creating informed delivery.

It is remarkable the access that customers can interact with the Postal Service in the manner explained in past paragraphs. This large organization has adapted to an ever and fast-changing economy and customer demands. The ease of use of the applications and the accessibility by using smartphones and other electronic devices has brought the visibility demanded by the customers to become a reality.

Giving Customers Greater Access

The service has integrated the use of over 2500 kiosks deployed which are known as Automated Postal Centers (Gandy, and Cynthia 228). The centers offer customers the alternative to avoid having to rely on counter services but provides the mail service with an integrated touch screen menu and scale.

Postal Transformation

The postal services have undoubtedly undergone vast reorganization and technological advancements which have improved the operations and services offered. Judging by the continuous changes and the rapid increase in digital media and how fast the Postal Service is adapting to these changes it is to expect that businesses will continue to conduct more transactions electronically with consumers thus requiring that the Postal Service continue to work in innovation to maintain itself competitively. Robust mobile e-commerce will continue to drive growth in Package volume, especially for “the last mile” delivery services to consumers from retail locations and fulfillment centers.

Customers appreciate being able to access information concerning their own mailing needs and the Postal Service keeps working in making this information as accessible as possible by using all the digital media available in the market. Some strategic ideas to consider would be:

Expand the deployment of self-service kiosks and lobby assistants equipped with mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) technologies to improve the customer experience. This technology makes the postal visit a quick one for the customers who cannot spend time waiting in line (Gandy, and Cynthia 228).

Expand post office box and parcel locker operations to better support the growing demand for packages and to improve our customer’s experiences when dropping off and picking up packages.

Ensure new developers provide delivery units with sufficient parcel lockers the customers could have their packages delivered without to make an unnecessary trip to the local Post Office.


The Postal Service is one of the Governmental Agencies that is most sought after. Customers depend on their services to receive all types of mail including packages not only from domestic mailers but also international ones. There is a sentimental value to the service given to customers since it creates a personal relationship between the customers and the local Post office that serves them. Making the information needed by the customers available to them with ease of use applications demonstrates the seriousness of its mission.

Dates to Remember:

1994 Postal Service launched a public Internet site

1996 Postal Service released automated postage software via the Internet

1997 StampsOnline instituted

1998 U.S. semipostal stamp issued

Confirm service tested

1999 Delivery Confirmation launched

PC Postage introduced

POS (Point of Service) ONE began

2001 Business alliance with FedEx formed

Signature Confirmation launched

Internet change of address instituted

2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act signed into law

“Forever” stamp proposed

Intelligent Mail devices with signature capture deployed

New barcode instituted (later called Intelligent Mail barcode)

Works cited

Bumgarner, Jeffrey B. Federal law enforcement. Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 2013. 226-232

Crew, Michael A., and Paul R. Kleindorfer, eds. Managing change in the postal and delivery industries. Vol. 25. Springer Science & Business Media, 2012.

Gandy, S. Kay, and Cynthia Williams Resor. "Changing Technology and the US Mail." The Social Studies 103.6 (2012): 226-232.

Issa, Darrell E. "The Postal Reform Act: A Plan for an Affordable, Sustainable Postal Service." J. Legis. 38 (2012): 151.

Leonard, Devin. Neither Snow Nor Rain: A History of the United States Postal Service. Grove/Atlantic, Inc., 2016.

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