WASHINGTON (Dec. 10) – Recently, the U.S. Postal Service released its annual financial report. The report showed a continuing decline in letter volumes across the United States. Accordingly, as policymakers chart the agency’s path forward, they should pay close attention to their peers abroad.

In a new policy report, R Street Commercial Freedom Fellow Nick Zaiac provides five examples of policies from abroad that USPS and its congressional overseers should examine.

The report goes on to argue that if the Postal Service is to thrive, it will need to learn quickly and implement the proven, low-risk successes of its peers abroad. Among these, the report suggests that USPS could re-imagine basic letter service. Postal machines could also use off-the-shelf hardware and software to make them capable of any purchase a clerk can process. In addition, changing mail carrier routes to spread out mail and parcels more evenly could make delivery times more reliable. USPS could better serve customers by adopting such strategies.

The author adds, “A changing and generally declining postal market has forced adaptation among world postal operators. It is time for the United States to follow their lead. Regardless of how it adapts, America’s postal agency and Congress are fortunate to be able to look to other carriers around the world and to emulate best ways forward.”