Home Open Account Help 169 users online

Western Railroad Discussion > More mail moving to trains?


Current Page:1 of 3


Date: 02/24/21 13:33
More mail moving to trains?
Author: Lackawanna484

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy is being questioned on Capitol Hill today about his managment of the Post office, and his plans for the future.  Although one postal governor is an airline industry lobbyist, Mr DeJoy says he is considering taking long distance mail off the airlines. "And, we can't send mail across the country by truck" he continued. 

Less use of air, no use of trucks for cross country sounds like he may be signaling an expanded consideration of trains.  Maybe even add a few mail cars to Amtrak's long distance trains.  He is also weakening the already weakened service standards to add another day to most delivery protocols.

The Washington Post is live blogging the Q&A.  In the meanwhile, President Biden is expected to name a former postal workers union counsel, and a voting rights activist to the current board, which was described as "six millionaire White men" in earlier testimony.
 



Date: 02/24/21 15:02
Re: More mail moving to trains?
Author: funnelfan

I'm really at a loss why it hasn't happened before now. With the USPS losing billions of $$ every year, seems going by rail on the long hauls would have been the choice for second class and parcel service. It might add a day or two to delivery times, but is a small price to pay to keep USPS solvent. With the loss of coal traffic opening up capacity in many areas, maybe the addition of mail traffic might make shorter intermodal lanes viable?

Ted Curphey
Cheney, WA



Date: 02/24/21 15:43
Re: More mail moving to trains?
Author: MojaveBill

I don't think DeJoy will be around to make any decisions...
When UPS sends me something via "SurePost" it always takes several days longer.
A week ago an item arrived in the Mojave PO on Saturday and stayed there until Tuesday until it was delivered.
Also, our postal person frequently gets similar addresses on our street mixed up, further delaying the mail.
BTW., I worked at the local PO for a year out of high school in 1954 until I found a real job.
 

Bill Deaver
Mojave, CA



Date: 02/24/21 16:07
Re: More mail moving to trains?
Author: PHall

You guys who think this will end up on Amtrak are high on something.
There is already COFC/TOFC service in place. Requires nothing more then to lease some trailers/containers and contract for drayage. 



Date: 02/24/21 17:17
Re: More mail moving to trains?
Author: Lackawanna484

For comparison, what are the current typical NY to LA, CHI to SF, DAL to SEA container or TOFC speeds etc ?

Posted from Android



Date: 02/24/21 18:30
Re: More mail moving to trains?
Author: John

When the post office moved mail from trains to the airlines, they eliminatd domestic air mail rates for letters and promised first class mail across the country would have one day delivery (by air).  We know how that workd out.  Shipping ordinary mail by rail would be a good thing.  If you want faster service pay for Priority Mail.  If that's not ffast enough, use email.



Date: 02/24/21 18:57
Re: More mail moving to trains?
Author: PHall

John Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> When the post office moved mail from trains to the
> airlines, they eliminatd domestic air mail rates
> for letters and promised first class mail across
> the country would have one day delivery (by air).
>  We know how that workd out.  Shipping ordinary
> mail by rail would be a good thing.  If you want
> faster service pay for Priority Mail.  If that's
> not ffast enough, use email.

Letter mail (First Class) is way down because most people do like you suggested, use email. But packages are way, way up.
And that's they're moving today. Heck they're even making the new mail trucks bigger so they can handle the packages.



Date: 02/24/21 19:14
Re: More mail moving to trains?
Author: Lackawanna484

Mr DeJoy mentioned in his testimony that "junk mail" now constitutes 50% of the USPS volume, but only 20% of its revenue.  When pressed on that, he said that raising rates on bulk mailers would drive even more of them to leave the USPS.  Many junk mailers have become junk e-mailers, and web display sponsors



Date: 02/24/21 20:33
Re: More mail moving to trains?
Author: BRAtkinson

I don't know about the experience of others, but in the last 12 months or so, the USPS had really fallen on its face, in my book.

To wit:
2 packages sent priority mail from Springfield MA area to Milwaukee WI area 17 days before Christmas both arrived the Tuesday after!

In the last 30 days:
multiple first class packages to me in Springfield MA area seem to be left in a trailer for a week or longer at various cities in the USA
A priority mail package to me from central Illinois went through St Louis, Jackson MS, some unheard of town in MS, then NJ, and finally arrived 10 days from being shipped.  Yes, misroutes happen in all shipping businesses.

In the last 2 weeks:
A small box priority mail package I sent to Houston on 2/15 was last scanned 2 hours after I dropped it off at my local PO.  On Friday, it was reported as arriving in HOU.  HOU did NOT have a power blackout as far as I know.  On Saturday, delivery was attempted at a business that is normally open M-F only.  No further delivery attempts have been made as of 10:40 PM EST Wednesday.
A small box priority mail package sent to Tampa area on Monday was last seen 'leaving my PO' on Tuesday.
Multiple first class packages coming to me (printer ink) have mysteriously stopped moving for over a week.  Another small package (priority mail?) coming to me from Denver left Denver on Friday and not 'heard from' since!

As of today, except for first class packages for some smaller items I sell on ebay, I will NOT be using USPS AT ALL!!!  UPS has already started getting my outbound business!  I can also drop off packages at UPS about 45 minutes after the cutoff at my local post office!

I have a retired mail carrier friend that's been retired for almost 2 years.  According to him, Trumps' order to the post master general about 18 months ago of 'little to no overtime' was the first blow to service. Covid has also taken a big bite out of the number of employees.  The bigger problem, though, is the PO can't find enough people willing to work for them!  The reason?  Potential employees can take home more on unemployment than they can at most entry-level positions, including at the post office.     

As mentioned by another respondent, Smartpost immediately adds a day or two for me to get a package.  I don't recall receiving any Smartpost or the UPS equivalent (or is it Fedex equivalent?) packages in maybe a month or more, mostly Amazon shipments.  Perhaps it's their lousy service, non-competitive price, or simply being handled now by Amazons' delivery fleet at lower cost, I don't know.  Amazon quit using Fedex about 2 years ago, and seemingly UPS about a year ago, seemingly in favor of their own delivery fleet, likely at a lower cost per package to deliver.  I know that the Amazon fleet is actually small businesses employing 10-15 drivers.  There's 3 of these small businesses serving the Springfield MA area based on ZIP codes, so there's no overlap of areas served.  I made contact with one of the small company owners and he said that he was formerly UPS management.  So he knows how to 'git er done'!  Having small businesses do the deliveries solved the problem for Fedex Ground several years ago as their drivers were all contractors and not employees.  I'm not sure whether it was various 'contractor or employee?' lawsuits or the federal government, but groups of 5 or so contractors formed small corporations that contracts to Fedex Ground.  Obviously, Amazon took advantage of that business model for their deliveries.  
 



Date: 02/24/21 21:56
Re: More mail moving to trains?
Author: pbouzide

Didn't DeJoy work for XPO previously? Regardless of all the other pros and cons of what he was brought to USPS to do, he probably has some decent awareness of rail intermodal logistics.

Have any of you noticed what the USPS OTR trailer fleet looks like? I'm sometimes surprised they still pass any inspections that exist to allow them on the interstate.

When I was living in Omaha for a bit there would be dozens heading to and from the largish USPS facility downtown just west of the Amtrak station via 13th St on the way to or from I-80. So many rolling more frequently than the city buses at times I wondered offhand what the very short dray economics of reestablishing a small IM ramp would be in the vacant land between the UP main and the Durham Museum (where a small ramp used to be).

Provided UP would have any interest in adding a work event to drop or pick up the block that is, which I was skeptical of even then (2015-16),



Date: 02/24/21 22:20
Re: More mail moving to trains?
Author: PHall

pbouzide Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Didn't DeJoy work for XPO previously? Regardless
> of all the other pros and cons of what he was
> brought to USPS to do, he probably has some decent
> awareness of rail intermodal logistics.
>
> Have any of you noticed what the USPS OTR trailer
> fleet looks like? I'm sometimes surprised they
> still pass any inspections that exist to allow
> them on the interstate.
>
> When I was living in Omaha for a bit there would
> be dozens heading to and from the largish USPS
> facility downtown just west of the Amtrak station
> via 13th St on the way to or from I-80. So many
> rolling more frequently than the city buses at
> times I wondered offhand what the very short dray
> economics of reestablishing a small IM ramp would
> be in the vacant land between the UP main and the
> Durham Museum (where a small ramp used to be).
>
> Provided UP would have any interest in adding a
> work event to drop or pick up the block that is,
> which I was skeptical of even then (2015-16),

USPS does NOT have an OTR fleet, they use contractors. And like any other government contract, low bidder wins.



Date: 02/25/21 03:28
Re: More mail moving to trains?
Author: dcfbalcoS1

              As long as the US postal service has to prefund their workers health care 75 years in advance, it is impossible to make a profit. And you can guarantee that NONE of that money can ever be found to use properly because it has already been stolen ( redirected ) to other worthless uses or pockets.



Date: 02/25/21 03:41
Re: More mail moving to trains?
Author: sums007

Postage rates in this country are a bargain.  Better service is going to require higher postage rates.  We Americans like to have our cake and
eat it, too.  A first class stamp for a letter in France is about $ 1.35.  Ya get what ya pay for.  Flame on.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/25/21 10:29 by sums007.



Date: 02/25/21 04:19
Re: More mail moving to trains?
Author: Korigaoka1811

sums007 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Postage rates in this country are a bargain. 
> Better service is going to require higher postage
> rates.  We Americans like to have our cake and
> eat it, too.  A first class stamp for a letter
> there is about $ 1.35.  Ya get what ya pay for. 
> Flame on.

Ah, but when I order cake and pay for cake, I expect cake.

The concern that I work for on the East Coast recently sent a document to the US Supreme Court in Washington DC by Priority Mail.  It didn't arrive.  The document was sent to Sacramento California by mistake.  Wrong coast!  Is anyone surprised?

Just an anecdote but it sure seems like there are a lot of anecdotes about our failing USPS.

John



Date: 02/25/21 06:50
Re: More mail moving to trains?
Author: choodude

My experience is that the Post Office's service CRATERED under Louis DeJoy's leadership.

That is what he was hired to do.  Why all the complaints?

Brian



Date: 02/25/21 07:33
Re: More mail moving to trains?
Author: BAB

I have no problem with mail service  in the wester area getting to me but from the east coast you cannot get any shipping updates until it gets well west of there.  Also am finding that the packages end up on the ground not by rail or air to me once I do get the updates. Am in Oregon and usually comes into Portland then south to Klamath Falls then to Chiloquin where if you are lucky it might end up being deliverd first try to our mail box. 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/25/21 07:34 by BAB.



Date: 02/25/21 07:51
Re: More mail moving to trains?
Author: Lackawanna484

Mr DeJoy sold his North Carolina company to XPO, and worked there briefly.

I believe Congress is looking at ways to address the pre-funding of health care obligations for USPS. Unlike most other government enterprises, USPS is required to set aside funds for post retirement medical obligations. Unlike most private corporations, USPS can't take a deduction for funding a trusteed plan. 

There's a lot going on in the hearings, way beyond moving more mail to rails, and the surprising success of the Post Office in delivering ballots to the counting authorities.



Date: 02/25/21 08:55
Re: More mail moving to trains?
Author: DevalDragon

The Post Office has the same problem Amtrak does. They are services which are designed to help the people they serve, not make money.

I'm not sure who they is or when they decided services have to make a profit, but therein lies the problem...



Date: 02/25/21 08:59
Re: More mail moving to trains?
Author: ntharalson

Since I left the Post office over eleven years ago, I can't comment on the current situation.  However, the point about the cost of mailing a letter is spot on.  The Post Office CANNOT deliver a letter for 55 cents postage and make money.  Period. 
That's why the overnight rates are some 15 bucks.  As what has been said, you get what you pay for and if rates go up, people won't pay for it.  I would suspect that any long distance mail taken off air will go TOFC/COFC.  And it is correct that the 
Post Office owns no OTR trucks, that's all contracted out.  And bigger delivery vehicles?  Where are you seeing those?  I've seen the new Mercedes trucks, at least they're right hand drive, and they appear smaller that the elderly Grumman/Chevy
LLV's I used to drive.  (That were real pigs!)

Nick tharalson,
Marion, IA



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/25/21 20:17 by ntharalson.



Date: 02/25/21 11:46
Re: More mail moving to trains?
Author: PHall

ntharalson Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Since I left the Post office over eleven years
> ago, I can't comment on the current situation. 
> Hoever, the point about the cost of mailing a
> letter is spot on.  The Post Office CANNOT
> deliver a letter for 55 cents postage and make
> money.  Period. 
> That's why the overnight rates are some 15
> bucks.  As what has been said, you get what you
> pay for and if rates go up, people won't pay for
> it.  I would suspect that any long distance mail
> taken off air will go TOFC/COFC.  And it is
> correct that the 
> Post Office owns no OTR trucks, that's all
> contracted out.  And bigger delivery vehicles? 
> Where are you seeing those?  I've seen the new
> Mercedes trucks, at least they're right hand
> drive, and they appear smaller that the elderly
> Grumman/Chevy
> LLV's I used to drive.  (That were real pigs!)
>
> Nick tharalson,
> Marion, IA

The new delivery vehicles have been on the news lately because of their "unique" design. They're the replacements for the old LLV's.
Go Google it, and try not to laugh too hard.



Current Page:1 of 3


[ Share Thread on Facebook ] [ Search ] [ Start a New Thread ] [ Back to Thread List ] [ <Newer ] [ Older> ] 
Page created in 0.0705 seconds