JackieBlue - 5:36 pm on Dec 14, 2011 (gmt 0)
UPS and Fed EX do not have mandatory Federal Pension requirements. Fed Ex I am pretty sure has a normal 401k type plan (a matching plan) and UPS has something similar but may be bulked up some. The postal system is required to provide a fully funded pension and the US Congress has mandated the payments to the system (part of the Federal System) to help shore up the overall system, not just postal employees.
Regarding the boxes, both UPS and Fed Ex provide "free" packaging for many of their services and even include pouches and branded thermal labels.
The postal systems problems are about 75% interference from the government. They are told how to run their business, where to go, how much to charge, etc, but are expected to be self funding a profitable. You cannot run a business this way. About 15% is due to fundamental changes due to technology (email, fax, etc). You cannot adapt to this if you are not allowed to change by your overseer.
The other 10% is from having an older unionized work force. In my mind, this is a smaller issue in that the post office could have adapted to this given time, mainly through attrition, as this work force retired.