Post Office looks to alcohol to raise revenues

The Postal Service wants to deliver alcohol to help raise revenues.

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night will stop the post office from delivering alcohol to your door - or so it hopes.

U.S. Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe told the Associated Press Thursday that delivery of alcoholic beverages is on his wish list.

The move would be in an effort to offset $16 billion in losses from 2012.

Delivery of beer, wine, and spirits has the potential to raise as much as $50 million each year, according to Donahoe. He says there is a demand for customers who might want to, for example, mail bottles of wine home when they tour vineyards.

"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."

Despite the fact that mailing alcoholic beverages is currently restricted by law, the

US Postal Service

has looking into the possibility of using special boxes that would hold two, four, or six bottles and ship for a flat-rate anywhere in the United States.

The Senate passed a postal reform bill last year that included a provision allowing the agency to deliver alcohol. The bill would require that such shipments would have to comply with any state laws where the shipment originated and was delivered. The measure also said the recipient would have to be at least 21 years old and would need to provide valid, government-issued photo identification upon delivery.

Donahoe also proposes ending most door-to-door and Saturday mail deliveries as a way for the agency to save money.

Earlier this year, the


announced it would stop Saturday mail delivery. However, that plan is now on hold after actions by Congress to block the effort.

The agency faces $15 billion in losses this year and is working toward restructuring its retail, delivery and mail processing operations.

"We don't want to take any more debt on," Donahoe said. "We want to be able to get profitable, pay it down, just like any other business would, so that you stay strong for the future."


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