At the same time as mail volume is decreasing, people still want the ability to receive mail at any time and at any address they choose. As a result, the number of individual delivery points increased by 735,779. That is to say, the costs of maintaining the ability to distribute mail are going up, even though the volume of mail (i.e. revenue) is declining. The USPS has massive fixed-infrastructure costs built into its core as a national service committed to serving everyone.
That’s why the decline in mail volume, spurred by the availability of that other point-to-point communications network, the Internet, is an existential crisis. Maybe one of the two big pieces of legislation ham-tying the USPS — the 1970 Postal Service Reorganization Act and the Postal Act of 2006 — will get changed and the immediate crisis for the USPS will abate. But in the long term, the Postal Service has got to deal with its revenues and its costs running in the opposite directions.
The other packet mode end to end network. Postal chess anyone?