Online ordering and low-cost delivery have become a way of life for most Americans. Just about everything we buy, including food, goods, prescription medications and more, can be delivered through the United States Postal Service (USPS). However, recent supply chain fluctuations, increasing consumer demands, and Covid-19 concerns have resulted in concerning USPS delays, and contract carriers providing USPS hauling and delivery are struggling to meet service standards.
Today’s USPS Carrier Challenges
Like any organization, the USPS has met and overcome significant challenges in the past, from fuel shortages to budget concerns to fleet management, and more. However, there is currently a perfect storm of challenges and struggles hitting the USPS. And between our fluctuating supply chain and the looming election and holiday seasons, the postal service is also facing unprecedented demands.
If your company supports USPS delivery, you’ll want to keep ahead of the following market conditions that could make or break your ability to deliver the mail on time:
Covid-19 and the Supply Chain
The global pandemic has had a profound effect on both the global supply chain and consumer behaviors. With people spending more time at home, the distribution of goods has shifted with a sharp demand for home delivery. Throughout the shift, the USPS has maintained its status as an essential service. The organization and the carriers that support it recognize the critical need for timely delivery of goods and supplies, especially to rural and remote areas that are cost-prohibitive for service by private parcel carriers. As the pandemic continues, carriers that support the USPS need to have a flexible workforce that is ready to handle the fluctuating landscape of our supply chain.
Mail-order Medicine: When the Mail Must Be on Time
Conventional wisdom has, in the past, told us that if something is due in the mail and you haven’t gotten it yet, then simply wait another day. However, in this age of Covid-19, more people are relying on the mail for important supplies. As Covid-19 keeps people with serious medical conditions at home, more and more Americans are relying on the post office to deliver their medications and supplies. If mail-order prescriptions or other medical supplies are late, the recipient might suffer greatly.
Mail-in Ballot Pressure on the USPS
With the pending election and a hot focus on mail-in ballots, the USPS is going to need trucks and drivers at the ready once ballots start going out. A full 44-million voters across nine states, plus Washington D.C., receive mail-in ballots by default. And 57% of voters–another 114-million–can elect an absentee or mail-in ballot. That means three-quarters of Americans stand to receive mail-in ballots for the 2020 election. Because private parcel carriers cannot legally handle federal mail, the entirety of the mail-in ballot surge will fall on postal carriers and contractors.
A Very Merry Mail Season
With widespread quarantine and “safer at home” directives, we’ve all become accustomed to doing more online. As the holiday season approaches, retailers and market analysts are expecting a much different sort of holiday. While it seems that holiday decorations and deals come earlier each year, surveys indicate that consumers will start their shopping earlier, too. Many online retailers are already gearing up with promotions aimed at attracting early online shoppers, which means a prolonged increase in shipping demands from warehouse to doorstep.
A Flexible Solution to Keep the Mail Moving
Carriers that support the USPS will see dramatic fluctuations in demand between now and the end of the year. While many of the current challenges are beyond anyone’s control, you don’t have to let a driver shortage impact your schedule or threaten your contract. To keep the mail moving, you’re going to want to make sure you can always staff your trucks, even when drivers call out sick or you’re facing unprecedented surges in demand.
F|Staff provides instant access to a ready workforce of badged postal service drivers who can keep your trucks moving. Whether you need long-haul or last-mile delivery, F|Staff can help. Our drivers are DOT verified, drug tested, and background checked, and F|Staff lets you target your search based on need, including USPS badge holders. With F|Staff, you also have the flexibility to hire drivers for all your routes without a lengthy new-hire process. Just post your job requirements, and qualified drivers come to you, ready to drive. It’s that easy! And remember, with F|Staff, you only pay for the drivers’ time you use, so there’s no risk in signing up.
Ready to keep your trucks moving through and beyond the USPS busy season? Fill out the form to try F|Staff. We’ll give you a call to walk you through the process.