The U.S. Postal Service doesn’t just deliver the mail; it also buys a ton of goods and services, as a new compilation of the mail carrier’s top 150 contractors reminds us.
Leading the list for the ninth straight year is Federal Express Corp., which received almost $1.5 billion from the Postal Service in fiscal 2011 to transport Express, Priority and First-Class Mail; runner-up Kalitta Air LLC was paid about $549 million to send military mail to troops deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to Husch Blackwell, the Washington, D.C. law firm that puts the list together each year.
For those that think of Northrop Grumman as a defense contractor, it claimed the number three spot by providing $411 million worth of automation design and other products and services. Another big recipient of USPS work was consultant Accenture, which placed seventh at $125 million.
Given that Federal Express competes with the Postal Service for package and overnight mail business, it might seem surprising that it is also the single biggest USPS contractor. But David Hendel, a partner at Husch Blackwell, noted that both FedEx and United Parcel Service use the Postal Service for delivery on the “last mile.”
Nowadays, Hendel said, “they are more business partners than anything else.”