What Happens if the USPS Shuts Down?

Posted by Benjamin Meskin on Oct 23, 2020 9:00:00 AM
Benjamin Meskin

The USPS has seen many changes over the past 20 years. As email and electronic bill payments have become more commonplace, snail mail is seemingly becoming a thing of the past. However, the USPS is necessary for many throughout America. It provides an invaluable service to people who are often overlooked or live in remote corners of the country, offering affordable mailing and shipping options to people and businesses that other package delivery companies cannot match.

As the USPS’s stability continues to be threatened, an important question must get answered. What happens if the US Postal Service shuts down?


What Services Does the USPS Provide?

The USPS supplies many essential services to communities across the nation. It’s an affordable and efficient way for people to send greeting cards and holiday cards. Ballots for US elections are another critical piece of mail that is handled by the USPS. And while many people receive their bills online and make payments through electronic banking, upwards of 25% of Americans still opt to receive paper bills via the USPS. 

The United States Postal Service provides more than just delivering mail. It also offers the following shipping services that are not widely available through other shipping providers:

  • Shipping medications to the elderly
  • End destination services for large shipping giants, such as UPS, FedEx, and DHL
  • Shipping service to rural US residents

If the USPS shuts down, people may not receive vital medications and other orders. In some cases, to utilize larger shipping carriers, the shipping rate alone would cost a fortune for people. 

USPS delivery van

Why Shipping Medication is Important

The impacts of Covid-19 on the shipping industry are endless. One of the most significant effects is the increased need to ship essential medications and healthcare supplies. Many people with underlying conditions, including the elderly, have had to avoid going to the store. They’re using no-contact services, such as grocery and medication delivery services, to obtain daily necessities safely.

Many pharmacies have noticed a steep decline in in-store pickup for life-saving medications. Instead, their customers are opting to have them shipped through USPS. Due to the postal services’ low costs in local shipping, many pharmacies are providing shipping at a very low or even no cost to their customers. 

Prescription medications

While shipping costs may not always remain low cost, the courtesy continues during the pandemic. The USPS allows low-income patients, elderly patients, and those seriously concerned about the effects of COVID-19 due to their underlying conditions, the ability to safely receive the life-saving medication they need without breaking the bank. If the USPS shuts down, pharmacies may no longer have the option to affordably offer these items the customers who need it the most. 

Furthermore, many people see the need to insure their shipments of medication. The extra pennies become worthwhile to make sure that they receive their medication in the case that it gets lost in the mail. Shipping insurance costs may stay reasonably low. However, the cost to ship the medicines may be too high to allow extra money in the budget for shipping insurance. 


How the USPS Helps Large Corporate Shipping Companies

The USPS provides other valuable services that complement the likes of UPS, FedEx, and DHL. These companies frequently utilize the US Postal Service to deliver packages purchased from eCommerce websites, such as Amazon and Etsy.

Among the best practices for packing and shipping is allowing the USPS to provide end location delivery to those purchasing products online. Small packages that can easily fit into a mailbox take time to deliver. Since larger shipping corporations have shipping deadlines that must get met, utilizing the USPS to finish the shipping process saves time and money so larger companies can deliver bigger packages on time.

Another way the USPS helps large corporate carriers is by providing shipping to rural areas. Many remote regions are not on the routes for UPS, FedEx, or DHL. They include tiny back roads that can be located over an hour from any main shipping facility. However, the postal service often provides shipping to these areas as part of their regular shipping services.

Mailboxes in a rural area

The USPS also provides package pickups from these locations. Doing so saves the customer time and money. The customer does not need to drive an hour or longer into “town” to send a package out. The costs are also typically cheaper for USPS shipping than for corporate shipping partners. Once again, by keeping the price down, customers can afford to add necessary shipping insurance.

If the USPS shuts down, customers will have few shipping options. If they live in rural areas, they may need to go into “town” to retrieve and send packages. The cost to drive and the time to collect shipments can create a significant hardship many people in rural communities cannot afford.

The other issue is that the shipping rates with UPS and other corporate shipping companies may increase. If they are forced to complete small package deliveries previously completed by the USPS, they may need to charge more money for the extra time and expense. This expense can also impact companies such as Amazon and others, leading to a stop in free shipments or it may result in raised prices overall.  


The Need for Shipping Insurance

One question that often arises when dealing with the USPS is "Should I get shipping insurance"? The short answer is yes. Insurance is vital to protect your shipments. If the USPS or any shipping company loses your item or damages it, Cabrella shipping insurance has fast claims processing, with a guarantee of receiving payments within 30 days for products worth up to $20,000. 

Like any insurance, shipping insurance gives you peace of mind. You hope you never need it, but you are glad you have it when you have an issue. Ecommerce companies make shipments every minute of the day, and during that process, anything can happen. The product can get lost in transit, arrive broken or destroyed, or get stolen from the front porch. 

package delivery

Cabrella Ecommerce shipping insurance protects most shipments, including valuables, jewelry, art, and electronics. However, it can also protect smaller items, such as face masks, clothing, and kitchen gadgets. Your company may choose to pass the shipping cost to your client or take on the costs yourself. Either way, your client is guaranteed to receive their product intact and ready for use. 


Final Thoughts

While the USPS is still operating at some capacity, Cabrella can help provide shipping insurance at reasonable rates. The insurance through Cabrella is exponentially cheaper than the USPS’s shipping insurance costs. In some cases, Cabrella offers shipping insurance at 90% less than the USPS’s insurance cost. 

For as long as the USPS operates, Cabrella can help you save money on shipping costs by offering low-cost, high-quality shipping insurance. To learn more about the need for shipping insurance in the event of a USPS shut down, contact the experts at Cabrella. Our professionals will be happy to answer any questions you have. 

Tags: #USPS, Shipping Insurance

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