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Postal primer

The list: 12 things to know about USPS

Letter Carrier Sasa Maksimovic retrieves mail from a collection box in Rutland, VT.
Letter Carrier Sasa Maksimovic retrieves mail from a collection box in Rutland, VT. USPS is the only organization that regularly delivers to every residential and business address in the nation.

The Postal Service traces its roots to July 26, 1775, when the Second Continental Congress appointed Benjamin Franklin as Postmaster General. To help mark the occasion, here are 12 things to know about USPS, courtesy of Postal Facts.

1. USPS receives no tax dollars for operating expenses. The organization relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

2. The Postal Service is the heart of the mailing industry. The industry, which generates $1.4 trillion annually, employs more than 7.5 million people.

3. U.S. Mail is protected by more than 200 federal laws. These laws are enforced by the Postal Inspection Service, one of the nation’s oldest law enforcement agencies.

4. USPS delivers to everyone. The Postal Service is the only organization with the resources, network infrastructure and logistical capabilities to regularly deliver to every residential and business address in the nation.

5. Mail is affordable. For 50 cents, anyone can send a letter, regardless of geographical location, to anywhere in the United States.

6. The Postal Service is a global leader. The organization processes and delivers 47 percent of the world’s mail.

7. USPS both competes and collaborates with the private sector. UPS and FedEx pay the Postal Service to deliver hundreds of millions of their ground packages, and the Postal Service pays UPS and FedEx for air transportation.

8. The Postal Service has more than 230,000 vehicles. The organization operates one of the largest civilian fleets in the world.

9. USPS is a retail giant. The organization has the nation’s largest retail network — bigger than McDonald’s, Starbucks and Walmart combined, domestically.

10. Postal Service employees go beyond the call of duty. USPS workers regularly protect the lives of customers they serve, including older and disabled customers, through the organization’s Carrier Alert Program. During the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, the Postal Service recognized 318 heroic employees.

11. USPS employs more than 100,000 military veterans. This makes the organization one of the nation’s largest employers of veterans. The Postal Service has also issued more than 140 stamps honoring the nation’s military history.

12. The Postal Service is socially responsible. The organization participates in Stamp Out Hunger, the nation’s largest one-day food drive; educates customers on consumer protection; and delivers holiday cheer to people in need through Operation Santa.

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