United States postal service was created in early years of American independence by the decision of the Second Continental congress in 1775 under Benjamin Franklin. In 1792 it was reorganized in US Postal Office department by the decision of American constitution to Congress “To establish post offices and post roads”, it then was reorganized again in semi federal agency of government, which functioned independently from president.
Today United States Postal Service is considered to be among the biggest employers in the USA, which has the biggest civilian vehicle park in the world (more than 260,000 trucks). In an interview on NPR, a USPS official stated that for every penny increase in the national average price of gasoline, the USPS spends an extra $8,000,000 to fuel their fleet. This implies that the fleet requires some 800,000,000 gallons of fuel per year, and an estimated fuel budget of $2,000,000,000”
The lack of reliable means of transportation and lack of communications in the early years of American independence and colonization of West was the main obstacle to establish a developed and reliably functioning mail delivery system. During the years of war for Independence a lot had been by Army in order to improve existing delivery services, as mail service was vital those days. Introduction of new means of transportation such as steam ships and locomotives was perceived skeptical by most of Americans, but the postal service was one, which relied on these projects and funded their realization. Absence of postal roads between most of cities made Postal service to initiated steamboat delivery, which was practiced for a long time.
Expansion to the west had shown that Postal service is not able to operate effectively on such distances as mail was first delivered to new York, then from New York it was made a way to Panama on steamships. In Panama it was then carried on railroad to the pacific cost and only then was delivered to San Francisco, California. It took more than three weeks for mail to get delivered to the recipient. In 1853, Los Angeles Star published the following note about postal service in California: “Can somebody tell us what has become of the U. S. mail for this section of the world! Some four weeks since it has arrived here. The mail rider comes and goes regularly enough but the mail bags do not. One time he says the mail is not landed in San Diego; another time there was so much of it the donkey could not bring it, and he sent it to San Pedro on the steamer – which carried it up to San Francisco. Thus it goes wandering up and down the ocean…” USPS in order to optimize these process initiated pony express: service which carried mail in wagons for long distances called Pony express. Horses were changed every 15 miles on relay stations and riders were able to travel up to 100 miles per day. With development of railroads Pony Express turned into a legend.
Making a conclusion I would like to say that difficulties in MIS of USPS in the 19th century were mainly resulted by lack of communications in the country. Lack of postal roads prevented from creating a centralized effectively operating postal service, in many cases mail was delivered by private contractors such as Pony Express, which created extra obstacles in building a united system of mail delivery.
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