USPS would benefit from international and continued green efforts


The Postal Service would be better poised for a long-term sustainable financial future if it increases revenue through improving logistical support for international small business commerce and cuts expenses by going green, say the service and its inspector general.

In a Jan. 30 report (.pdf), the Postal Service's inspector general explored options for the service to offer new products and services for international small business commerce by filling the gaps and challenges that Internet technologies leave open in small business commerce transactions.

Options for new services, according to the IG, include flat package rates and volume discounts for shipping to and from foreign countries, developing a product return service that simplifies international shipping, the creation of a verified trading partner database, international collection on delivery services, and improvements to the tracking data and speeds of its international track and trace system--which already has partners in 27 countries.

The report says the Postal Service already offers web tools that provide seamless website integration of shipping tools and international options. Tools include rate calculators, address verification and real-time package tracking.

The report notes that China had the fastest growing e-commerce market, with a 130 percent growth in 2011, and that Europe is the largest e-commerce region with a 19 percent growth rate.

The Postal Service said on Jan. 31, that it saved more than $52 million in 2012 through reduced consumption of energy, water, fuel and other resources. The service says its largest savings came from recycling, which saved more than $25 million in landfill fees.

Recycling efforts also generated an additional $24 million in revenue last year.

The service has 850 teams dedicated to green services and they are tasked with the goal of reducing supplies spending by 30 percent by 2020 as well as increasing the use of environmentally preferable products by 50 percent by 2015.

For more:
- download the IG report (.pdf)
- read the USPS green savings release

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