INSIDE THE 2017 POSTAGE RATES: USPS Files 2017 Mailing Standards Changes – MAIL: The Journal of Communication Distribution
We take you inside the upcoming 2017 rate and regulation changed with these excerpts from Monday’s USPS Federal Notice filing of new mailing standards…
This is a great high level summary with topical links for more details.
The United States Postal Service today filed notice with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) of price changes for Mailing Services products planning to take effect in January 2017. The proposal includes a two cent increase in the price of a First-Class Mail Forever stamp, returning the price to 49 cents, which was the price of a Forever stamp before the Postal Service was required to remove the exigent surcharge by the PRC. The new prices, if approved, include a single price for First-Class Mail commercial presort letters weighing up to 3.5 ounces and a reduction in the one ounce meter price to 46 cents. This pricing strategy is designed to keep bills and statements in the mail by continuing to add value to commercial First-Class Mail.
Standard Mail is being rebranded as USPS Marketing Mail to better align the product name with our customer’s use of this mail class. Proposed changes in Marketing Mail include removing the Flats Sequencing System (FSS) pricing which was of concern to mailers. This change will ensure that mailers pay for flats based on their volume density instead of the equipment flats are processed on. In addition, other changes include increasing the piece pound breakpoint from 3.3 to 4.0 ounces for Marketing Mail Flats and Parcel shaped pieces to encourage mailers to include more content, which will lead to more sales for mailers and support volume growth.
Some examples of new prices as follows:
|Exigent Price||Current Price||Proposed Price||% Change
(Current to Proposed)
|Marketing Mail Letters|
|Auto 5-D DSCF||$0.221||$0.211||$0.217||2.8%|
|Flats – Piece Rated|
|Auto 5-D DSCF||$0.348||$0.333||$0.335||0.6%|
|CR Basic DSCF||$0.256||$0.245||$0.252||2.9%|
|CR/CR Pallet DSCF||$0.251||$0.240||$0.232||-3.3%|
|CR/CR Pallet DDU||$0.243||$0.233||$0.221||-5.2%|
The last time Single Piece First-Class prices increased was in January 2014. Today’s price change filing does not include any price change for Postcards, for letters being mailed to international destinations or for additional ounces for Single Piece Letters. Stamp prices have stayed consistent with the average annual rate of inflation since the Postal Service was formed in 1971. In addition, the incentive for Full-Service IMB remains the same at three tenths of a cent for First-Class and one tenth of a cent for Marketing Mail and Periodicals. The PRC will review the prices before they are scheduled to take effect on January 22, 2017.
Pricing for Periodicals, Package Services and Extra Services will also be adjusted next year and can be found at http://www.prc.gov/docs/97/97431/NOTICE-FINAL.pdf. Today’s filing does not affect Postal Service Shipping products and services.
The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.
USPS Postal Pro site http://beta.postalpro.usps.com/ has a really great feature you might not have noticed.
Every page, no matter where you are, has a Tab for providing feedback:
This feedback tab has some very intuitive and slick tools to guide and enhance your comments. While Postal Pro remains in Beta for the next few months, and as things are transitioned from the traditional RIBBS locations, be sure to help the development by providing feedback now. Now is the time to shape the portal into what you might need, what can be improved upon, and what will become a great go-to resource as the content gets filled in.
There is also a MTAC Workgroup specific to Postal Pro.
The United States Postal Service® (Postal Service) is temporarily delaying the implementation date for establishing a new Customer Privacy Act System of Records (SOR) to support the Informed DeliveryTM service. This delay will enable the Postal Service to review and evaluate public comments, and determine if substantive changes to the proposed system are advisable or necessary.
This system was previously scheduled to become effective on September 26, 2016. In view of comments received in advance of that date, the Postal Service has determined that it would be appropriate to delay the implementation of the SOR in its entirety while we consider what, if any, substantive changes may be required. If the Postal Service determines that certain portions of this SOR should be changed or eliminated, we will provide notice of that action, and publish a description of the revised SOR for further comment.
LMB: Interesting development. Could this end up delaying the roll out of Informed Delivery service nationwide?
USPS Statement On OIG Report On Mail Processing And Transportation Operational Changes – Postal Employee Network
The Postal Service takes issue with the audit report’s content, analysis and tone, specifically the inaccurate findings that do not correctly reflect the benefits of Network Rationalization.
PEN Editor: You can read the OIG report here.
After review and discussion of the issues involved in performing a CASS Cycle O certification process, a consensus decision of USPS and mailing industry representatives determined there were no compelling reasons or need to undertake a mandatory CASS Cycle O effort at this time. Accordingly, it is proposed that address hygiene software with CASS Cycle N certification will remain valid through July 31, 2019. A decision whether to perform a CASS Cycle O certification effort for implementation, effective August 1, 2019, will be announced prior to August 1, 2017.
To maintain CASS Cycle N certification through July 31, 2019, address hygiene software vendors must submit a request to extend the expiration and listing of their CASS Cycle N-certified product(s) prior to April 30, 2018. The address hygiene software vendor will be required to stipulate in the request that they have not made any logic changes in their software that would have altered the results from their last CASS Cycle N certification test. Should the address hygiene software vendor be unable to stipulate to this effect, they will be required to pass a Stage II test based on CASS Cycle N requirements prior to April 30, 2018 to extend product certification through July 31, 2019.
Source: USPS Industry Alert
Postal Museum Launches “America’s Mailing Industry” Virtual Exhibition
Partnership Between the U.S. Postal Service and Private Industry Is Explored
The Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum today launched a new virtual exhibition, “America’s Mailing Industry,” telling the story of the partnership between the U.S. Postal Service and private industry, who together have helped American citizens and businesses communicate and conduct business for more than 200 years.
It is the story of a partnership that helps people shop, ship, deliver, communicate and conduct transactions, gain information, seek entertainment, build relationships, enhance communities and foster citizenship.
The mailing industry consists of all those that communicate with customers and constituents through the U.S. Mail on a large scale—from direct marketers, to publishers, to nonprofits, to public entities—as well as all the businesses that help prepare mail, such as ad agencies, print shops, software vendors and transportation providers.
The partnership between the mailing industry and the postal system is a critical part of the American economy, as its total economic value exceeds $1 trillion and it employs almost 8 million people.
At the heart of the mailing industry is the U.S. Postal Service, which has delivered for America for more than two centuries. An explosion of mail in the late 19th and early 20th centuries drove the Post Office Department (through post offices) and large-volume mailers to work together to begin to handle mail more efficiently. Mailers used new methods of paying for postage, which reduced mail handling by postal clerks and enabled the presorting of mail by destination, speeding dispatch and delivery. Mail volume continued to grow to such an extent that by the 1960s it threatened to overwhelm post offices when deposited in bulk by businesses at the end of each work day. This pushed the Post Office Department to embark on a concerted, nationwide campaign to enlist the aid of large mailers in leveling out the daily “mountains” of mail. So began a unique public–private partnership, unprecedented in scope and scale, which continues to this day.
“America’s mailing industry is quite possibly the most successful government–private sector partnership in our nation’s history,” said Allen Kane, director of the museum. “We are excited to tell this story, as most people don’t even know the industry exists.”
In order to present a comprehensive and understandable look at the complex and vast world that is America’s mailing industry, the museum partnered with researchers and experts from the U.S. Postal Service, mailing-industry associations and private companies to present stories of success and service to American consumers and businesses. The virtual exhibition offers stories of the mailing industry that focus on how companies, entrepreneurs and multigenerational family businesses, in partnership with the U.S. Postal Service, have helped to create and enhance commerce and communications channels throughout American history.
In order to enhance this comprehensive story, the National Postal Museum invites companies and organizations that are part of America’s mailing industry to submit their stories. These stories will provide additional resources to this important research project, allowing industry members to chronicle their histories to be viewed by National Postal Museum website visitors. Submitted stories will be subject to Smithsonian curatorial review and museum guidelines created for the project. (The National Postal Museum has limited resources, so the publication of stories will not be immediate. Rather, stories will be reviewed and published as soon as feasibly possible.)
Future plans include the design and construction of an on-site physical “America’s Mailing Industry” exhibition at the museum.
About the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum
The National Postal Museum is devoted to presenting the colorful and engaging history of the nation’s mail service and showcasing one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of stamps and philatelic material in the world. It is located at 2 Massachusetts Ave. N.E., Washington, D.C., across from Union Station. The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (closed Dec. 25). For more information about the Smithsonian, call (202) 633-1000 or visit the museum website at www.postalmuseum.si.edu.
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