The U.S. Postal Service issued a worst-case scenario cry for help on Tuesday, anticipating $238 billion
in losses in the next 10 years if lawmakers, postal regulators and
unions don't give the mail agency more flexibility in setting delivery
schedules, price increases and labor costs.
The estimates released Tuesday also predict that letter carriers will deliver just 150 billion pieces of mail in 2020 -- a 26
billion-piece drop from last year as Americans shift more of their
correspondence and transactions to the Internet and as marketers shift
from first-class mail to the cheaper standard-mail option.
"What we wanted to do in the Postal Service is be realistic that this is occurring," Postmaster General John E. Potter said at a briefing for a small group of reporters Monday. "We wanted to
look ahead to determine what the magnitude of those changes were, and
we wanted to build a plan to react to those changes and continue to
provide universal service to the American public."