Archive for May 18th, 2012

Final Rule to Revise USPS Service Standards

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From a USPS Industry Alert –

Today the Postal Service sent the final rule to revise service standards for market-dominant mail products to the Federal Register.  The final rule will be posted on our “Information for Mailers” webpage at http://about.usps.com/news/facility-studies/welcome.htm by COB Monday, May 21. Highlights excerpted from the final rule are provided below.

Highlights

The Postal Service is adopting new rules for market-dominant service standards, with an interim version that will apply from July 1, 2012, through January 31, 2014, and a final version that will apply on February 1, 2014, and thereafter.  Should subsequent events or changed circumstances so warrant, the Postal Service will be able to revisit the final version before February 1, 2014.

First-Class Mail

Under the interim version of the overnight business rule for First-Class Mail, the overnight service standard will be applied only to intra-Sectional Center Facility (SCF) mail.  It will no longer apply to any inter-SCF mail. Under the final version of the overnight business rule for First-Class Mail, the overnight service standard will not apply to mail that is entered anywhere other than the designated SCF, nor will it apply to mail that does not meet all of the preparation requirements for Presort mail.  On February 1, 2014, when the final version of the rule takes effect, the Critical Entry Time (CET) at the SCF will become 8 a.m., with a 12 p.m. exception that will be available only to intra-SCF Presort First-Class Mail that is sorted and containerized to the 5-digit ZIP Code or 5-digit scheme level.

Under the current two-day business rule for First-Class Mail, a two-day service standard is applied to mail pieces for which the driving time between the applicable P&DC/F and ADC is twelve hours or less. The interim version of the two-day business rule will revise this metric to six hours.  The final version will revise it to six hours between the applicable P&DC/F and SCF. The current three-, four-, and five-day service standards for First-Class Mail will remain unchanged.  All First-Class Mail that qualifies for a two-day service standard under the current two-day business rule, but does not qualify for a two-day standard under the new rule, will qualify for a three-day standard.

Periodicals

The Postal Service is changing the delivery day range for end-to-end Periodicals mailed within the contiguous forty-eight states, from the current one to nine days, to two to nine days in the interim version of the new rules, and three to nine days in the final version.

The new rules make three significant changes to the service standards for destination-entry Periodicals.  First, they revise the overnight service standard to exclude Periodicals entered at Network Distribution Centers (NDCs) and Auxiliary Service Facilities (ASFs).  This revision is being made to reflect the capabilities of the Postal Service’s transportation network.

The Postal Service is changing the delivery day range for destination-entry Periodicals mailed within the contiguous forty-eight states, from the current one to two days, to one to three days in both the interim and final versions.  The Postal Service is changing the delivery day range for destination-entry Periodicals that originate or destinate outside the contiguous forty-eight states, from the current one to seven days, to one to eleven days in both the interim and final versions.

On February 1, 2014, the CETs for destination-entry Periodicals at facilities that do not employ the Flats Sequencing System (FSS) will change from 4 p.m. for mailings that require a bundle sort, and 5 p.m. for mailings that do not require a bundle sort, to 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., respectively.  The CETs at FSS facilities will not change.

Standard Mail and Package Services

The new rules do not revise the service standards for Standard Mail and Package Services pieces mailed within the contiguous forty-eight states.

Expanded appointment windows and BMEU impacts

In response to mailers’ concerns about potentials for loading dock shortages and longer waiting times at mail entry locations, the Postal Service will expand appointment windows at facilities and modify volume restrictions.  Further, the Postal Service plans to retain all current business mail entry units (BMEUs) for the time being.  Should the Postal Service decide to relocate or consolidate any BMEU operations, it will notify mailers 120 days beforehand, and it will relocate or consolidate the units to nearby locations that minimize impacts on mailers.  As the Postal Service moves forward with implementation, it is committed to communicating any changes simply and clearly.

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Lisa Note:  The rule was attached to the Industry Alert, if you can’t wait until Monday, contact me directly and I will forward…

Written by Lisa.Bowes

May 18th, 2012 at 4:42 pm

Posted in USPS

USPS Network Consolidation

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This letter and information came from the Northeast Area Manager yesterday, good communications on the Network Consolidation changes:

To our Valued Business Customer;

Yesterday, Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe and Chief Operations Officer Megan Brennan announced the Postal Service’s plans to move ahead with a modified plan to consolidate its network of 461 mail processing locations in phases.  The first phase of the consolidations will begin this summer and result in up to 140 consolidations through February 2013.  Unless the circumstances of the Postal Service change in the interim, a second and final phase of 89 consolidations is currently scheduled to begin in February 2014.

The Postal Service has committed to ensuring the consolidation process will not impact the election and fall mailing seasons.  With that in mind, the consolidation process will start with 48 locations this summer and these locations should be completed by late August.  No Network Consolidation activities will take place from September through December 2012.  Consolidations of the other first phase locations would continue early next year.  A list of the 140 first phase locations is available at http://about.usps.com/news/electronic-press-kits/our-future-network/welcome.htm.  COO Brennan stated, “The Postal Service will be communicating with our customers and employees in great detail.  We will work closely with our customers to ensure there are no surprises as we move forward.”

The Postal Service also announced it would soon issue a new regulation to modify its existing Service Standard for overnight delivery.  A final rule will be published in the Federal Register to shrink the geographic reach of overnight service to local areas and to enable consolidation activity in 2013.  The change will allow the Postal Service to collapse the distance for overnight service to the distribution area served by a particular mail processing facility.  The new rule would further tighten the overnight service delivery standard in 2014 and enable further consolidation of the Postal Service mail processing network absent any change to the circumstances of the Postal Service.

When fully implemented in late 2014, the Postal Service expects the network consolidations and Service Standard changes to generate approximately $2.1 billion in annual cost reductions and lead to a total workforce reduction of up to 30,000 employees.

 

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Also included were the following attachments –

News Release
Impacted Sites
Fact Sheet
Network Ops Presentation

 

Written by Lisa.Bowes

May 18th, 2012 at 9:56 am

Posted in USPS