Postal Service Seeks to Lease Vehicles It Can't Afford to Buy

Flickr user Rdoke

The Postal Service will soon begin adding more leased vehicles to its fleet, as a cash shortage has prevented it from purchasing new vans and trucks.

The decision marks a shift for the agency, which currently owns nearly all of the more than 211,000 vehicles in its fleet. USPS decided to begin leasing vehicles as “presently, there are not sufficient capital funds to purchase new equipment,” according to procurment documents posted to FedBizOpps.

The Government Accountability Office said in 2011 the Postal Service needed a strategy to address its “aging delivery fleet.” It confirmed, however, USPS could not afford to replace or refurbish a large portion of its vehicles. As the vehicles continued to get older, the maintenance costs associated with them continued to grow, GAO found.

Two years later, the Postal Service has finally reached a breaking point, and without the congressional action GAO called for, USPS has turned to increasing the use of leasing to replace old vehicles.

“Our vehicle delivery fleet is aging and we have been limited in our ability to do large scale vehicle purchasing because of our financial crisis,” said David Partenheimer, a USPS spokesman. “Vehicle leasing is one of the ways we are making sure we continue to have the fleet resources needed to deliver the mail in a timely manner while we continue to take action under our control to return to sound financial footing and urge for the passage of comprehensive postal reform legislation.”

The Postal Service included a $624 million proposal to purchase 24,000 new vehicles in its preliminary fiscal 2014 budget, though USPS officials said the request was unlikely to survive final prioritization.

The leasing solicitation announced the Postal Service will seek a contract to rent or lease, with the option to purchase “motor vehicles suitable for mail delivery,” such as minivans and cargo vans. USPS will sign a lease of up to three years. 

The Postal Service said it initially anticipates a small need for leased vehicles, but expects the number to grow in the coming years as its fleet continues to age.  

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.