The history and future of the American mail system, an incredible story from 2013 that is relevant once again.
“People don’t necessarily respond as their best selves in the moment. The initial conversations were not totally ideal. But when you make art out of something, they get another chance.”
The U.S. Postal Service is losing $25 million per day—but its leadership is not giving up:
“The investment in the shipping and trucking and sorting infrastructure has already been made, so they’re exploring whether there are ways to get more value from it. Postal carriers already deliver one million packages of drugs and contact lenses per day. For an aging, longer-living, and ever-more-medicated population, Rx by mail could be vastly expanded. Delivery is confidential, tamper-proof, and utterly dependable. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, when subways and many drugstores in the Rockaways and elsewhere were shut down, the postal service was still delivering medicine to many of the elderly in the worst-hit areas.
“But there may also be other opportunities outside of mail and packages. The main battle in retail right now is over the ‘last mile.’ Amazon, Walmart, and eBay all want to be able to deliver their goods almost instantly. The postal service is uniquely suited to offer this. The idea would be that if you order a new toaster or jacket in the morning, your mail carrier would bring it to your door by dinner. According to Leon Nicholas, an analyst at consulting firm Kantar Retail, there have been high-level discussions between the postal service and Walmart over such an arrangement.”