business news in context, analysis with attitude

The Washington Post reports that eBay is shifting some of its business away from the United States Postal Service (USPS), which it long has used as its primary shipping vendor, to the United Parcel Service (UPS).  The reason:  current "reliability issues" at the post office that have resulted in a "decreasing on-time delivery rate."

The Post provides some context:

"The company said that by the end of September, eBay sellers will be able to print out discounted UPS shipping labels, at a cost up to 62 percent cheaper than typical UPS rates.

"For the Postal Service, the loss of eBay revenue could be substantial: A spreadsheet of the Postal Service’s largest customers prepared last spring showed the e-commerce site was agency’s second-largest retail customer, shipping more than 130 million items up to that point in the fiscal year. The USPS generated more than $743 million in revenue from eBay packages in that fiscal year while grappling with a $160.9 billion deficit.

"EBay is second only to Amazon, which generated more than $2.3 billion in revenue for USPS during the same time frame, and whose business top Postal Service managers were fearful of losing, the Washington Post reported this week."

KC's View:

We know that Amazon is trying to build as much delivery infrastructure as possible, and so it seems likely that the Post Office is going to hit with a one-two punch … and, I'd guess, will see some other incoming as well.

It long has been the argument here that while some said that businesses such as Amazon were taking advantage of the Post Office, the fact was that companies like Amazon were actually keeping the USPS afloat.

I know it seems obvious to me that the Post Office is suffering from reliability issues.  It used to be that when I sent a quarterly tax check to the IRS, it would get cashed in a matter of days;  now, it is weeks before it gets cashed.

Which means that when I vote by mail, it won't be by mail - I'm going to fill in my absentee ballot (for which I already have applied) and take it - along with the ballots for my wife and kids - directly to the local Board of Elections.  As far as I'm concerned, neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night will keep me from my appointed round.