current affairs

Can post offices survive in the digital world?

Written by Mattlj92

Canada Post has announced that they will cease home delivery as deliveries fall and costs rise.

Canada Post has announced that they will cease home delivery as deliveries fall and costs rise.

The move from Canada Post comes as the business, like many other postal services globally have seen a decline in the number of letters sent by the Canadian people but increased wage demands and higher costs.

The five point plan explained that Canada Post aims to “fulfill its mandate to remain financially self-sufficient and avoid becoming a burden on taxpayers. For instance, delivering to community mailboxes provides convenience and security, but costs significantly less than the cost to deliver to the door.”

The idea for Canada Post is a different way to lower the burden on the taxpayer than that used by the British Government who controversially privatised the Royal Mail. Many economists and the general public believed that the Government’s valuation of the company was significantly less than what it should have been; effectively short changing the tax payers.

Relevance of post offices with lack of letters

Along with privatisation comes a string of other competitors who will be looking at how they can take their share of the market. In terms of courier deliveries the Royal Mail have several large candidates vying for the main share of parcel, but they still remain the number one when it comes to home deliveries of letters.

The issue there is that we don’t send as many letters any more. Why would we need to? Whilst some prefer to keep it as a more personal method of communication we’re constantly surrounded by technologies that keep us in touch with each other.

Even e-mails are becoming increasingly more outdated for communication—we’re more likely to send a Facebook message right?

So maybe the lack of deliveries and cost cutting measures will help Canada Post to keep the overheads down. Will this translate to the customers’ pocket? Well if they’re not taking as much tax money you’d hope that it would but you can’t bank on it.

Adapting in a digital world

For the Canadians affected by the move they will have to start getting their post from community post boxes as opposed to getting it straight through their door, perhaps in a system that would mirror the mailrooms we all loved and cherished during our halls years where we dashed to get our post before the office bolted shut for the night.

No doubt if their community post box idea works other fleeting postal services will see it as their future as well. In the modern day when post is becoming more and more redundant any cost cutting measure that won’t hinder their service too much will be considered favourable.

So would the reduction in services really be felt by a modern day world? It would definitely see a digital sway for most forms and things, although a lot of out boring forms now come with online options. The people who would probably be affected most by the changes would be the elderly, who in this rapidly digitising world seem too often be left behind when it comes to education and amenities.

Do you think that postal services are a dying breed? Would you be happy with a community post box? Tell us your thoughts below.

Image: Radagast / Wikimedia Commons