There have been a number of suggestions relating to the pillar and wall post boxes, apart from being auctioned off, they could be used as collection points for charitable donations. I think that's possibly a bit problematic, as if opened for money, unless there was a special small slit, someone would undoubtedly post a letter through it regardless of what it said on the box.
I've had an email from Jeff Hathaway who has come up with a different suggestion – keep some of the lower volume boxes open, but licence people to make collections from them. He said:
"I wonder if Kevin Keen ever considered licensing collections from these under-used boxes? Nice little part-time earner for someone?? They could re-deliver into the nearest core service....that is how many distribution networks operate."
"I think it should be a serious suggestion to Jersey Post to consider licensing the collections from the boxes currently under to cosh, as a part-time undertaking for someone. The licensee could deliver the said collections to the nearest hub collection point."
"These collections could be just once daily - suggest early morning - in order to make to pm sort and locally at least, delivery next day. Since the volume will by all accounts be low, there is no reason why they could not also be pre-sorted to local and overseas."
I note that Australia also has some kind of subcontracting collections (especially for remoter areas), where companies can make bids, and are remunerated according to the volume of the mail brought in to the central postal system. For Jersey, with the small volumes, it would not be a livelihood, but it could provide welcome extra income for a household with a once a day collection.
Another good idea from Jeff to improve collections on outlying areas is split vehicles, so avoiding duplicated journey:
"For what it is worth, I have suggested to Kevin before that postmen serving outlying areas (La Moye for example) could have 'split' vehicles. One 'hold' for mail to be delivered and one 'hold' for collected mail. At the moment both sides of that equation are operated by different staff in different vehicles."
That is a suggestion that seems to be the case elsewhere in the world. For example, in the USA, the National Association of Letter Carriers mentions on their website that a number of their members (who are employees of the United States Postal Service) go out on rounds and both deliver mail and have collected from street letter boxes. Busy street boxes may have specialist workers who are just collecting mail from letter boxes, but others do both delivery to homes and businesses and collection from homes, businesses and letter boxes.
And Jeff also has a few other suggestions for improving Jersey Post's operations:
"I have previously indicated to Kevin Keen myself that it is entirely possible to deliver stamps online through electronic franking. Most printers will handle envelopes and (just like the system developed by one of my clients) place a bar code on an envelope which when read at the sort end charges the clients account. The amounts are relatively small so a cash buffer (minimum credits) would be needed. This is used a lot on sites and works fine."
"There are all sorts of innovations they could consider too. In the UK, for example, post is distributed by businesses that have a need to deliver other goods in the area. That could be turned on its head for Jersey with the Post Office offering a collect/deliver service for smaller business. Also hold a stock of forms that re in common use i.e.: application for a driving licence which you can 'order' online and have posted to you direct for Jersey Post HQ. A service to Parish Halls and government in general. Lots of ways they could get an economy out of what they do best - delivering stuff!"
All very good suggestions and I'm pleased to share them on my blog today.
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