Delivery of beer, wine and spirits from the post office will come about if Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe has his way.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Donahoe said Thursday that delivery of alcoholic beverages is on his wish list as the agency considers ways to raise revenue and save money after losing $16 billion last year.
He also said he endorses ending most door-to-door and Saturday mail deliveries as a way to help stabilize the service’s finances.
Donahoe said delivering alcohol has the potential to raise as much as $50 million a year. He mentioned that customers might want, for example, to mail bottles of wine home when they tour vineyards. Donahoe said his agency has looked at the possibility of using special boxes that would hold two, four or six bottles and ship for a flat rate anywhere in the country.
“There’s a lot of money to be made in shipping beer, wine and spirits,” Donahoe said. “We’d like to be in that business.”
The Postal Service says mailing alcoholic beverages is currently restricted by law. Customers are even told to cover any logos or labels if they use alcoholic beverage boxes for shipments.
The agency is also urging changes in how it delivers the mail. A House committee has passed legislation to stabilize the Postal Service’s ailing finances that would cut letter deliveries to five days and phase out door-to-door deliveries over 10 years. The bill does not include a provision to allow the agency to deliver alcohol.
The agency faces $15 billion in losses this year and is working toward restructuring its retail, delivery and mail-processing operations.
The service back-pedaled earlier this year on its plan to end Saturday mail delivery after running into opposition in Congress. It has tried repeatedly and unsuccessfully over the past several years to persuade Congress to approve ending Saturday mail delivery.