U.S. Postal Service wants a new look

Global Business

The iconic U.S. Postal Service trucks seen delivering mail around the U.S. have operated out of trucks from a design that dates back to 1987. Now the financially strapped USPS wants to replace these iconic blue and white boxy vehicles with a new model.
CCTV’s Roza Kazan reports from Chicago

U.S. Postal Service wants a new look

U.S. Postal Service wants a new look

The iconic U.S. Postal Service trucks seen delivering mail around the U.S. have operated out of trucks from a design that dates back to 1987. Now the financially strapped USPS wants to replace these iconic blue and white boxy vehicles with a new model.

The U.S. government-operated mail delivery service is trying to revamp its failing business which reported a $2 Billion dollar loss in 2014.

“Neither snow nor rain nor gloom of night” goes the unofficial United States Postal Service motto, will keep US carriers from delivering the mail. Their fleet of aging, rusting, gas-guzzling delivery trucks isn’t making the job any easier or cost efficient. So in typical anti-austerity U.S. style, the USPS is taking a chance, believing spending money now will make them money later.

“Sometimes you get a vehicle, it doesn’t work, you have to wait for another one. There is really nothing you can do but just deliver the mail,” said Aaron Moore, a USPS mail carrier.

The trucks now on the road date back to 1987. Maintenance costs are in around hundreds of millions of dollars a year. And so is fuel. These trucks average just over four kilometers per liter. Last year, that cost the USPS more than $500 million for gas.

So postal officials have put out the word. They’re in the market for a makeover. They are looking to buy some 180,000 new vehicles that are bigger, safer and more fuel-efficient.

The current trucks were designed when letters were the most common cargo. In today’s e-commerce environment, packages are claiming much more of that space. USPS package deliveries have increased more than 20 percent in the last five years. That means the new trucks need to be bigger.

“We think in the future, more growth is going to be in packages than in letter mail, so we want to have vehicles and the infrastructure that’s able to handle that,” said Mark Reynolds, USPS spokesperson.

Though government bidding is highly competitive and margins tend to be small, experts say the winning bid could still snag a carmaker upwards of $500 billion.

“When you’re making that many automobiles, you’ll get a lot of economies of scale and production, so it’s going to be very lucrative long term,” Scott T. Young, Chair of Management Department at DePaul University said.