Busting myths about the U.S. Postal Service

The Postal Service has been in the news a lot lately. Sometimes the information isn’t entirely accurate. It’s time to dispel common myths associated with the Postal Service.


Myth: The Postal Service wastes taxpayer dollars.

Fact: the Postal Service receives NO Tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage and other products and services to fund operations. We’re required by law to cover our costs. And it’s been that way for more than 30 years.

Myth: The Postal Service is inefficient.

Fact: Ten years ago, it took 70 employees one hour to sort 35,000 letters — today, it takes two. U.S. addresses have grown by more than 12 million in the past decade, while the number of postal routes has declined by 13,000 and the number of employees has declined by more than 200,000. That reduction in employees has been achieved without layoffs.

Myth: Mail is not reliable.

Fact: Independent quarterly surveys confirm the Postal Service has achieved record service reliability. On-time overnight delivery of single piece First-Class Mail is better than 96 percent. Mail is also trusted, safe and secure, as federal laws protecting the sanctity of the mail are enforced by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. The Federal Trade Commission estimates approximately 2 percent of identity crimes occur through the mail. Theft of a wallet or purse is responsible for 5 percent — meaning your documents are safer in the mail than they are in your pocket.

Myth: The Postal Service is not environmentally friendly.

Fact: The Postal Service is a respected sustainability leader; promoting environmentally friendly practices long before doing so was encouraged or mandated. Last year we saved more than $34 million and generated $24 million in revenue by reducing energy, water, consumables petroleum fuel use and solid waste to landfills. USPS has won more than 75 environmental awards. It is the first federal agency and the first company in North America to receive the prestigious Gold Award from The Climate Registry for sustainability efforts and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Myth: The Postal Service can’t compete with the private sector.

Fact: The Postal Service can and does compete. Our closest competitors, UPS and FedEx, pay us to deliver more than 400 million of their ground packages every year in residential areas and on Saturdays. In turn, we contract with UPS and FedEx for air transportation to take advantage of their comprehensive air networks.

Myth: Mail is no longer relevant.

Fact: While it is true that mail volumes have fallen 25 percent over the past 10 years, mail remains a great communication tool and the Postal Service is the backbone of a $900 billion industry. Regardless of geographic location, anyone can send a letter for just 45 cents anywhere in the United States and its territories. And last year, Americans did just that – The mail service was utilized – 168 billion times.

Joshua Phillips, Officer-in-Charge

Soldotna Post Office

Hector R. Rivera, Postmaster

Kenai Post Office

Jerry Nassen, Postmaster

Seward Post Office

Angel Haberman, Postmaster

Sterling Post Office


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