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Omaha Magazine

Keith Reid

Aug 25, 2016 04:50PM ● By Daisy Hutzell-Rodman

Coming home to a pile of packages on the doorstep is like…well…celebrating Christmas. Postmaster of Omaha Keith Reid knows that, because his team of postal workers deliver tons of packages to people each and every day.

Those packages that come from UPS? They actually come from the U.S. Postal Service…at least they are dropped off by someone at the USPS. Those books and electronics from Amazon? Yep, USPS again.

KeithReid1It is one of the many ways the postal service is combatting the decline in correspondence.

Reid says Omaha, specifically, has found increased revenue in packages.

“Packages have increased by 20 percent over 2015 and 18 percent over 2014,” Reid says. “That is a volume count from our machines. We now track every package. For Omaha, our package delivery volume was up 21.9 percent from same time last year.”

That 20 percent increase represents eight million packages delivered as of early July.

They also created a revenue stream by delivering packages for United Parcel Service. While UPS delivers 90 percent of the way to a home or office, the USPS goes the extra mile to send those packages down the last mile.

“The last mile is the most costly,” Reid explains. “For them it’s more practical to bring it here. If you think about it, just at Boys Town (Post Office), I have about 55 routes. It’s more cost effective for them to drop it at the post office when we have seven carriers going to those places anyway.”

UPS pays the USPS for that last mile.

Conversely, packages that need to fly from one place to another, even when mailed from the USPS, often come through FedEx, for the same reason. It is costly to fly packages.

In terms of revenue, however, the biggest increase has come from efficiency.

Need a passport? There is only one place in Omaha to go. That’s Postal Impressions at 132nd and Q streets. And an appointment is necessary.

“That way the customer knew they wouldn’t need to wait,” Reid says. “It used to be 15 minutes per passport.”

In order to reduce the wait time, customers go online and make the appointment. The customer is then emailed with instructions on what to bring with them.

“It’s down to seven or eight minutes,” Reid says. “I have four clerks doing passports.”

Postal service employees also offer more personalized services than they used to.

Need stamps to send a letter or bill? Need to send a stack of fliers regarding a coming sale? Let your local carrier know. He or she will help you.

“We are getting our employees involved,” Reid says. “We originally looked at where our competitors went. Now, we will go right up to businesses and ask how we can help them.”

Friendliness goes a long way.

“We’re over a million in revenue, just by having our carriers talk to customers,” Reid says.

Reid also believes the USPS’ positive results will continue.

“Every time people refer to us as a dinosaur, we establish ourselves as bigger and stronger.”

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