Monday, February 21, 2011

Bypass Mail in Alaska

The Artic Sounder website reports Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe has given reassurances to United States Senator Mark Begich (D-Alaska) on the future of bypass mail during recent discussions about postal services in Alaska.

According to the website, "The bypass mail system has been in operation since 1985, and it allows businesses to ship directly to customers in rural Alaska, bypassing the post office. The aim of the program is to lower the cost of living for rural Alaskans."

United States Senator Mark Begich is quoted as saying after his meeting with Donahoe. ""The U.S. Postal Service is crucial to Alaskans and our way of life, It is more than just a mail service; it is food, supplies, and medicine for our communities. The Postmaster General and I talked about how to continue improving services for Alaskans."

Bypass mail, also referred to as Intra-Alaska mail, is the system used to get federal postal service to rural Alaskans who live in ruarl parts of the state with no road system.  Bypass mail is freight usually shipped from a supplier in pallets and delivered to air carriers at their operations centers at airports, bypassing traditional postal destination sorting and delivered as cargo directly to the receiver's destination.

"The Postal Service reports it spends $150 million on bypass mail yearly and has instituted this change to reduce per mile charges. "The Postal Service hopes to save as much as $8 million of its $150 million annual transportation costs if mail is flown directly to the villages, and more if other new hubs are implemented statewide," according to a May 2010 write-up on the Tundra Drums website.

Shown above, Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe and United States Senator Mark Begich.

For more on bypass mail in Alaska, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM