USPS still delivering worldwide – on time

If you have a package to mail these days, you may wonder how soon it will arrive if you use the United States Postal Service (USPS)

If you have a package to mail these days, you may wonder how soon it will arrive if you use the United States Postal Service (USPS). The government entity is struggling to survive, predicting a $7 billion loss in fiscal year 2009 and now asking Congress for approval to cut back on delivery days.

Those troubles won’t affect its international business, though, as the USPS has re-upped with FedEx Express to continue providing its Global Express Guaranteed (GXC) date-specific delivery service to more than 190 countries and territories.

“The Postal Service is pleased to renew this important agreement with FedEx,” said Pranab Shah, USPS vp and managing director, Global Business. “We plan to build on the accomplishments of the initial agreement, enhancing GXG's world-class service reliability by using the resources of both organizations to provide quality and value for our customers.”

The companies have had a relationship since 2001.

“Global Express Guaranteed leverages the two great transportation networks of FedEx Express and the Postal Service to bring greater choice and convenience for customers,” said T. Michael Glenn, FedEx executive vp for market development. “This agreement combines the global reach, convenience, speed and reliability of the Postal Service and FedEx Express in a natural extension of our long-standing relationship.”

On the home front, USPS is struggling as customers have found other ways – including paperless billing options – to conduct business. A government entity that dates back to before the Declaration of Independence, USPS is the only agency that is self-sufficient. As such, it is subject to the economic climate. USPS has 37,000 Post Offices, although it is hoping to shutter some of those to save costs.

“As mail volume sales continue to plunge, we are simply unable to generate the revenue necessary to support our retail and delivery network at their current size,” Postmaster General John E. Potter told Congress earlier this month. “Other national postal administrations complement their traditional offerings with banking, cell phone, logistics and other services to generate the income necessary to offset the costs of their universal service obligation – costs that cannot be met solely by the price of postage.”

At the beginning of this month, the USPS and FedEx Express reached agreement on a new contract for FedEx to provide airport-to-airport transportation for Priority Mail, Express Mail and First-Class Mail within the U.S. That contract, which runs through 2013, is estimated at $1 billion a year, according to the USPS and replaced one that was signed in 2001 and set to expire this year.

“The new contract allows the Postal Service and FedEx to continue our successful business relationship,” said Postmaster General John E. Potter. “This relationship benefits postal customers by allowing us to maintain our high service standards while keeping costs affordable.”

Terms of the new international agreement were not released.

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