City and rural carriers deliver and pick up mail, including letters and packages. In addition, they are familiar figures who care about the people they serve, often helping in dramatic ways while making their rounds in neighborhoods 6 days a week. The U.S. Postal Service has many examples of carriers sending for help when senior citizens fail to collect their mail, alerting residents of fires, aiding accident victims, and even stopping burglaries.
But what else can carriers do? Could they provide additional services because, after all, carriers and their vehicles are present 6 days a week in every neighborhood in the U.S.? Each potential service opportunity for carriers should be evaluated by three criteria: the investment required, the risk assumed, and the potential benefits that could be achieved. So, what are some other responsibilities that carriers can take on while delivering the mail that would result in a positive return on the Postal Service’s investment?
- Meter Reading.
- Gathering data on road and weather conditions in metropolitan areas by placing Global Positioning System (GPS) devices in carrier vehicles.
- Collecting Census Data.
- Updating mapping components in metropolitan areas (new addresses, etc.).
- Delivering other items besides mail. Right now, the Postal Service offers last mile delivery service to UPS and FedEx. Who else can benefit from this service?
What do you think about carriers handling non-postal related tasks? Do you think the Postal Service should provide additional services that can be handled by carriers? In addition to the services listed what would you suggest? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.
This blog is hosted by the OIG’s Delivery Directorate.