In an effort to improve service, reduce costs and lower their environmental impact, Patrick Donahoe, postmaster general of the U.S. Postal Service, and UPS Chief Executive Officer Scott Davis have announced a partnership between the two operations.
The program, which is titled "Blue and Brown Make Green," will allow the companies to better utilize capacity and the massive networks of the two companies.
During a video announcing the move, the two noted that while they are competitors, UPS and the Postal Service have been working together for some time under UPS' Last Mile program, which sees postal workers deliver UPS packages from local distribution centers. UPS trucks and planes also currently carry U.S. mail. In the video, Davis said these moves help reduce fuel consumption for both parties.
"Our working relationship with UPS supports the Postal Service's goal to
deliver mail at the lowest cost with minimal impact on the
environment," Donahoe said in a statement announcing the deal. "It's a great template for how posts and
private enterprises can work together to better serve customers, the
planet and the bottom line. We hope our partnership can serve as a model
for others to work together in new ways, whether they are competitors,
collaborators, customers or all the above."
The Postal Service is in the midst of a nine-month realignment plan to save the company $1.2 billion. The first phase of the program, which will be complete in February, involves consolidating 140 locations. An additional 89 locations will close, as needed, by February 2014. The closures, first announced last May, are expected to reduce the Postal Service's workforce by 13,000. USPS announced the changes at a time it was projecting a $14 billion net loss for fiscal-year 2012.
Details of how the UPS-USPS collaboration will work were not released, but while the agreement seems geared toward environmental efficiency, the announcement could turn out helping both companies stay ahead during what will likely be a rough 2013.
"The world is changing dramatically as we become a more global economy," Davis said in the video. "And it takes big ideas, and bold moves, to keep up." - Jon Ross