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USPS (the U.S. Postal Service), which is also widely known as U.S. Mail or Post Office, is the U.S. Government’s independent agency offering all kinds of postal services in the country. It is explicitly empowered by the Constitution of the United States of America.
At the same time, the Unites States Postal Service is not a government enterprise. USPS is an independent division of the U.S. Government’s executive branch. Its activity is supervised by the Postmaster General and presidential appointees.
The Unites States Postal Service, being a government agency, has some privileges, like eminent domain, sovereign indemnity, powers for negotiating postal treaties, etc.
Nowadays the Unites States Postal Service is the world-largest post, delivering more mail than any other company. It delivers mail to over 151 million addresses all across the United States of America.
USPS is ruled by the Board of Governors, which is an analogue of a board of directors. Its members shape and set the company’s policy, fix postal rates for all the services provided and so on.
Nine members of the USPS Board of Governor are assigned by the U.S. President, and the U.S. Senate is to confirm all of them. These members select the U.S. Postmaster General. He is the tenth member of the Board and he serves as the Chief Executive Officer. They all select a Deputy Postmaster General and he oversees activities of the Chief Operating Officer.
Landmarks in the History of USPS
The history of the Unites States Postal Service began on July, 26, 1775, when Benjamin Franklin took the position of the postmaster general on the Second Continental Congress. The following more than two hundred years of USPS activity were full of significant dates. Let us review the most important ones.
United Parcel Service Today
- 1775 – Continental Congress appoints Benjamin Franklin the 1st Postmaster General.
- 1847 – The United States postage stamps are issued.
- 1860 – Pony Express service is started.
- 1863 – Free city delivery is launched.
- 1873 – The United States postal cards are issued.
- 1874 – The General Postal Union is established (later renamed Universal Postal Union).
- 1893 – Commemorative stamps are issued for the first time.
- 1896 – The rural free delivery service starts working.
- 1913 – Parcel Post is set up.
- 1918 – Scheduled airmail is launched.
- 1950 – Residential mail deliveries are reduced to one per day.
- 1957 – The Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee is founded.
- 1963 – The ZIP Code is initiated.
- 1970 – The Express Mail commence in a test mode.
- 1971 – The Unites States Postal Service starts its operations.
- 1974 – First self-adhesive postage stamps are tested.
- 1983 – ZIP+4 Code is used for the first time.
- 1992 – Self-adhesive postage stamps are introduced all across the country.
- 1993 – The National Postal Museum is founded.
- 1994 – The Unites States Postal Service’s official web-site is launched.
- 1998 – USPS introduces its semi-postal stamp.
- 2006 – The Act of Postal Accountability and Enhancement is signed.
- 2007 – The “Forever” stamps are issued.
- 2008 – Competitive price system for expedited mail begins.
- 2009 – The Unites States Postal Service introduces free iPhone application usps.com.
- 2011 – The company launches Every Door Direct Mail service.
- 2012 – The Unites States Postal Service starts testing Metro Post and Gopost
- 2013 – USPS announces that it will stop mail delivery on Saturday since August, 2013.
Now the Unites States Postal Service is the 3rd largest employer in the USA with more than 545,000 regular employees (the federal government is the 1st one and Wal-Mart is the 2nd one). The company operates about 260,000 vehicles which is the world-largest fleet of vehicles.
There are over 31,000 USPS locations and offices in the United States of America. Annually, the Unites States Postal Service delivers over 165 billion mail pieces. An average number of pieces of mail delivered each day is 554 million (6,400 pieces each second).
In 2011, the Unites States Postal Service had the annual revenue of billion.
The Unites States Postal Service owns a huge web-site, which is open 24/7. It was visited by over 423 million people in 2011 (about 1.2 million guests each day). It provides clients with a number of important and convenient services.