Cash-strapped USPS seeks to lease new delivery vans

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Leasing has long been a popular option for drivers too low on cash to buy a vehicle outright, or when keeping and maintaing a vehicle for an extended period didn’t make much sense.

Why should the Post Office be any different?

Having lost lost $16 billion last year, and having exhausted a $15 billion line of credit from the treasury and twice defaulted on payments owed to the government, USPS officials say they are looking to lease the next wave a vehicles needed in its fleet. 

Leasing vehicles would be a first in the 200-plus year agency’s history. 

With more than 211,000 cars, trucks and vans, the postal service owns one of the largest vehicle fleets in the world.

According to its request for bids, USPS is seeking lease terms to extend a maximum of three years, and is primary looking for minivans, cargo vans and high roof cargo vans. Mercedes Sprinter, Dodge ProMaster and Ford Transit are listed specifically. Also listed are Chevrolet City Express Van; Ford Transit Connect Van; Ford Transit Van flex fuel; Ford E150 Series Van4.6 FFV and Ford E250 and E350 Series Cargo Vans; Dodge Ram ProMaster Cargo Van; Chevy Express cargo vans 1500 thru 3500 series; Mercedes Benz Sprinter 2500 thru 3500 series.

“When new vehicles are leased with the intention of purchase, the USPS will have the option to up fit them above the normal base vehicle by paying for the added up fits at lease inception,” the advertisement reads. “The base equipment must include a rubber mat that covers the entire floor area of the unit. Cargo area must have lighting. The cargo area must be separated from the driver area by expanded wire mesh that will keep parcels from flying forward and hitting the operator or any passenger.”

Of course, the vans must be white.