Royal Mail in the United Kingdom was founded in 1516.
The first post-master general was appointed in the US in 1775.
Canada Post was founded in 1867.
But yet it’s Canada Post that could be the postal service to show how struggling postal services may yet survive in the twenty-fist century!
As reported in this post over on The Economist Blogs, Canada Post, also looking at large pension shortfalls (to the tune of 6 Billion), is the first of the big postal services to make the drastic changes required to keep financially viable in the new world of online advertising, billing, and payments and private delivery services. It appears that Canada Post is going to be the first to eliminate home mail delivery — putting everyone on community mailboxes.
Home delivery to the 5 million households who still receive it will be phased out over four years, beginning in 2014. They will join the 3.8 million households that already go to a group mailbox to collect mail and parcels. (Canada’s remaining residents collect mail from building lobbies, public and private post offices, or rural mailboxes.)
Unfortunately, staying alive will also result in 8,000 postal workers being cut from a postal staff of 55,000. Hopefully the private parcel delivery services will continue to grow, especially with the growth of online commerce in Canada (led by Amazon and it’s recent introduction of its Prime Service in Canada), and pick up a large number of these displaced workers.
Now, the home mail delivery alone, estimated to save 500 Million a year, won’t make that much of an impact against a 6 Billion pension shortfall, but it’s a good start, especially if Canada Post’s savings projection of 700M to 900M a year by 2020, from all of the changes it plans to make, comes true.