Today’s Pickup: Trump demands USPS overhaul

(Photo: Shutterstock)

Good day,

President Trump is demanding a sweeping overhaul of the Post Office. In an executive order, Trump has called for the formation of an administration task force to be chaired by Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin with a report outlining proposed changes delivered within 120 days.

In October 2013, Amazon struck a five-year deal with the Post Office. The specific terms of the contract aren’t available to the public because the postal service’s deals with private shippers are considered proprietary. In 2006, however, Congress ruled that the USPS couldn’t set its prices lower than its costs, otherwise it would be able to unfairly charge less than its competitors like UPS and FedEx.

“A number of factors, including the steep decline in First-Class Mail volume, coupled with legal mandates that compel the U.S.P.S. to incur substantial and inflexible costs, have resulted in a structural deficit,” Trump said. “The U.S.P.S. is on an unsustainable financial path and must be re-structured to prevent a taxpayer-funded bailout.”

Did you know?

According to AlixPartners data, 56% of American households have at least one member with Amazon Prime.


“Oh it’s tough alright, and it’s not for everybody. But I do hope to see more women drivers.”

-Becky Ascencio, UPS driver

In other news:

Shipping Regulators Reach Deal to Cut Carbon Emissions

Historic pact aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by half by 2050; the U.S. and Saudi Arabia offer only objections to otherwise unanimous agreement. (WSJ)

Supreme Court Decision Could Bring Sales Tax To More Online Shopping

A pending Supreme Court case could potentially spark change in the way online sellers are charging shoppers in the Midwest and across the nation. (Forbes)

How a day in a UPS big rig opened my mind to trucking

Is trucking an untapped career route for millennial women? (NBC)

U.S. West Coast ports report mixed message for first quarter

While Long Beach had record volumes in March, LA and Oakland had lull. (Logistics Management)

3 International Transportation Trends Impacting Shippers in the First Half of 2018

When it comes to international transportation service providers – oftentimes the “service” aspect of the service provider is lost in the shuffle of price competitiveness and transactional management of daily shipments. (SupplyChain247)

Final Thoughts:

The results of the capacity crunch are being felt throughout the supply chain, as rising transportation costs and delays in shipping have cause disruptions and backlogs in overall economic activity. To combat this, carriers have begun offering higher wages and improved benefits to truckers in an effort to attract and retain drivers in the industry. Hourly earnings growth for trucking employees has outstripped the growth in the rest of the economy through March of this year, and survey evidence suggests that benefits have also improved.

There is still considerable room for improvement, however, and the pace of hiring will need to accelerate further to address the industry’s issues. The ATA estimates that there will be a shortage of over 60,000 for-hire, over the road drivers by the end 2018. This shortage is projected to continue to rise as economic growth remains strong, reaching a whopping 175,000 workers by 2026. In addition, data from the Job Openings and Labor Turnover (JOLTS) survey suggests that the transportation industry remains plagued by high turnover and rising quits.

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Chad Prevost

Chad is radio host and broadcast media specialist for FreightWaves.