USPS Post Office – 10 Advantages and Disadvantages

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Post Offices can be a hot topic with people being either very pro or vehemently against them. I thought it worthwhile looking at both sides of the argument to see where the truth lies on this.

USPS Post Office Advantages and Disadvantages

Table of Contents

The Evolution of Postal Services

The concept of post offices is thought to originate in India where it was first introduced for commercial interests in late 1773 when the country was still under British rule. People were permitted to use the system from 1774. Initially, there were not many branches, but gradually every major location in the country started having a post office. 

Are there Enough Post Offices?

As for the US, you are no doubt aware post offices have been around for a considerable period and there was a time, albeit a few years ago, when most places had one. With the advent of better transport routes and aided by technology, some Post Office locations became commercially unviable and were closed. This wasn’t helped by the gradual shift away from people writing letters to communicate to the use of email or phones.

The universal shift towards eCommerce over the last decade, led by Amazon and eBay, has seen a shift with far more people becoming reliant on courier companies – not least of which is the post office.

Aside from the growing needs of e-commerce, there is still a place in modern society for the more traditional postal service catering more specifically to those people who may not be entirely comfortable conducting business wholly online and would prefer to visit a brick-and-mortar facility.

Let’s look briefly at some of the pros and cons of the postal service that we know so well.

Post Office Advantages – The Good (Advantages):

Post Offices offer a recognizable focal point for sending out mail and packages. This is particularly so for an older, more traditional generation.

  1. Mail is often sent very quickly due in no small part to their extensive network of facilities and vehicles.
  2. If sending less bulky items, or those weighing less than 20-30 kilograms then it’s an effective way of doing this.
  3. It’s a good method if you have a small number of items to send.
  4. Post Offices are centrally located and easy for people to get to. This also allows the delivery trucks easy access. 
  5. Payment can be made over the counter. This is particularly good because they either are not entirely comfortable using the internet or possibly don’t use debit or credit cards.
  6. There is still an older generation that likes a more traditional approach to doing things. I think that there’s something in this as who hasn’t become frustrated when shopping online and said something along the lines of ‘I’d like to speak to a real person!’

Post Office Disadvantages – The Bad (Disadvantages):

As we’ve just seen, using a brick-and-mortar office can be quite user-friendly, particularly when trying to iron out a problem, but everything has its own cons. I’ve laid out a few of these below. 

  1. You might be able to send out a large number of smaller items through the post office, but it’s generally not the most cost-effective option. True it’s a tried and tested option but it’s not free.
  2. There is no facility to compare prices. This is most definitely far easier to do when shopping online.
  3. You will not be able to send heavy or items with large dimensions by this method as the post offices have size and weight limits regarding the items that you can send. With regards to dimension, the maximum you can send is usually 1m long. Try sending a hockey stick or fishing pole if you don’t believe me.
  4. Need to send something quickly? Speed post is a form of delivery that sends items within the shortest time however it’s available in less and places than it used to be and can also be quite expensive to use. Several courier companies offer this service at more competitive rates.

Even though there are certain disadvantages, people are still using post offices for their day-to-day tasks. On the face of it, you could assume that the post office is a throwback to simpler times and that it has been overtaken by advances in communication methods such as telephones, emails, phone messaging applications. That said there is still a very real need within our communities in certain areas. The reasons for this may well be:

Emotional value – there is a massive emotional value that post offices play with people. For some people, it’s an anchor to something stable and familiar. 

Saving schemes – the post offices still offer a good number of high-value saving schemes. Anyone can invest a sum of money whether on a one-off or monthly basis.

● Accessibility – people can access post offices quite easily as there is a post office almost everywhere on the main road of most towns. It is especially easy for those who have been using their services for a longer period as those individuals will be familiar with the mailing process and all the services they offer. Not everyone likes or welcomes change after all.

● Technical issues – at post offices, work does not necessarily stop if there are any technical issues pop up. Rather, it’s a rather technical reliant environment within a post office, compared to using a computer, phone, or tablet where a syntax error can pop up at any point in time. It is very user-friendly to use the services of post offices without too much hassle. 

Conclusion – Post Office Advantages and Disadvantages

While it is quite easy to assume that post office services are somewhat outdated and out of place in a modern world where there are multiple alternatives that, on the face of it at least, offer a more comprehensive and streamlined range of services. I don’t believe that we can underestimate the human factor completely. Our nature is to interact with other people. This could well be that there is still some ways to go before we see the end of our traditional post offices on our streets.

As well as post offices the USPS has other brick and mortar locations. These are known as Regional Facilities. It is worth knowing more about these places there are times when your parcel may be delivered there for you to pickup. We have an article here on Regional Facilities.

Avatar of Brent Watson

A delivery boy by profession, A traveler by passion. I love to explore new varieties of food. He also worked in many popular courier companies such as USPS and UPS. He likes to educate people on how they can save money while using these courier companies to send their parcels.

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