As the United States Postal Service (USPS) is struggling through its own difficulties, other mail services across the world are also having a hard time remaining solvent thanks to the growth of email and text messaging. While some groups in the U.S. have only proposed privatizing the mail service or creating a public-private partnership, such a thing will actually become a reality across the pond.
Royal Mail ready for change
After centuries serving the British people, the United Kingdom's Royal Mail service will go private. According to Reuters, the service dates back to 1516, but a current lack in capital has made it much more difficult for operations to carry on as usual. It's expected the agency will make its debut on the London Stock Exchange at some point this coming fall.
The plan has sparked outrage among postal employees, with union members claiming the sale will result in poor working conditions and worse delivery schedules. The government has contested this, according to The Guardian, claiming that even after the entity has gone private, Royal Mail will still deliver letters and parcels to every address in Britain six days a week with no increase on postal costs. However, postal workers are already pledging strikes and taking action to deter potential investors.
Could a similar plan take hold in the US?
For years activist groups, lawmakers and transportation companies have advocated for a plan that would take America's mail service private or create a public-private partnership. These proposals have largely failed to gain much ground thus far.
If the U.K. enjoys success with its attempt to take Royal Mail private, more American citizens could call for a re-examination of the USPS and its inefficiencies. By relying less on the government and more on private fleets that employ the latest route optimization software, the agency could save money and potentially provide more efficient service. Even though the future of both countries' mail services is still relatively uncertain, especially with the U.K. launching plans to go private, the operations could see significant changes in the coming years. Privatizing mail delivery will call for better cost management, meaning the companies in charge of Royal Mail delivery will be taking the most direct route possible and employing other cost savings techniques. The USPS may take some of these tactics into consideration to ensure it also remains solvent in the years ahead.