The report does not address contracts with individual companies, which are confidential, but it says the Postal Service is "unsustainable and must be fundamentally changed if the USPS is to avoid a financial collapse and a taxpayer-funded bailout." The service lost almost $4 billion in fiscal 2018, even as package deliveries increased, and is expected to lose tens of billions of dollars more over the next decade, Reuters reports. The financial stability of the service has been major concern of rural newspapers that rely on the mail and fear further rate increases.
NNA issued a statement that said in part, "We particularly appreciate the task force’s recognition that the rural areas served by our members have unduly suffered from some of the therapies tried thus far. We also like the task force’s agreement with us that universal service is essential and that all areas of the country, including rural areas, must be fairly served. We believe any entity but the United States Postal Service will inevitably fail at providing that service, having seen the challenges faced by other nations who have experimented with privatization. But there are areas within the system where more involvement from the private sector would benefit the system. There are other aspects of the report, such as the recommended removal of the price cap on rates, that would cause our members great concern—unless it is carefully and successfully balanced by serious cost control and by a fair evaluation of the need of readers of newspapers and magazines to receive their periodicals on time and at fair rates."
The report recommends that the service develop a new pricing model that would remove current price caps and charge market-based prices for mail and packages that were not deemed to be 'essential postal services'," Irina Ivanova reports for CBS News. "That recommendation could raise costs for Amazon and other major businesses that are currently using the Postal Service to supplement their delivery operations." That could mean higher prices for consumers, including rural residents who depend on Amazon and other online retailers to access goods not available locally.
"Most of the recommendations made by the task force can be implemented by the agency. Changes, such as to frequency of mail delivery, would require legislation," Reuters reports.