Salt Lake Mailing & Printing Blog

United States Postal Service (USPS)

The American colonies were permitted to form their first postal system in 1692, by King William and Queen Mary, who granted the right of Thomas Neale to form a postal system for a period of 21 years. He was told to open an office or offices for sending and receiving letters and “pacquets.”

Almost 100 years later, the United States Postal Service (USPS) was founded on July 26 of 1775. Benjamin Franklin was appointed as the first postmaster general, at the inception of the USPS. In 1792, Franklin formed the cabinet-level Post Office Department. This department was finally changed only a few decades ago in the 1971 Postal Reorganization Act.

Today, the USPS still operates as an independent agency of the federal US government. Employing 574,000 workers, the USPS grosses $67.05 billion (2010) and, after paying its expenses including employee salaries, $8.37 billion (2010) remains as income.

Declining mail volume in the 2000s has led the USPS to make drastic cost reductions and attempt to branch out into other areas. As the USPS is the third largest employer, after only Wal-Mart and Best Buy, it has a great deal of responsibility to maintain employment for so many employees.

The USPS has worked hard to maintain its massive operation. But with competition from UPS and FedEx, not to mention the advent of email and instant messaging, only time will tell what will come of the USPS.

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