By Drew Wheatley - 03/11/10 08:04 PM EST
The head of the U.S. Postal Service said Thursday that his
organization's business model is as outdated as the newspaper
John Potter, United States Postmaster General, cited changes in technology and channels of communication as justification for a revamp of the Postal Service's delivery schedule and pricing system.
"Twenty years ago we would laugh at the notion that a newspaper would ever embrace the idea that maybe the channel of the future is electronic and that you may have to change your business model," Potter told a group of reporters at a breakfast sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor.
He added, "Likewise, the postal service is in a situation where the behavior of America is changing and we have to fix and change our business model to adapt to it."
Potter made the remarks as the USPS is lobbying Congress to permit it to make organizational changes, including eliminating Saturday service.
Potter noted that the number of pieces of mail delivered by USPS dropped from a peak of 213 billion in 2006 to 177 billion in 2009.
"The migration of mail away from us is something that we don't think is just going to reverse itself and come back," Potter said.
Since 1970, the Postal Service has relied on postage rates and the sale of stamps for operating costs. The organization receives no funding from tax dollars.
Potter announced that the Postal Service will suffer a $238 billion shortfall in the upcoming decade if the adjustments are not made.