Archive for December, 2013

PMG thanks employees for “banner” holiday season – postalnews blog

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From USPOS News Link:

Preliminary figures from the just-concluded holiday shipping season indicate USPS — and its customers — enjoyed a banner holiday season.During the period Dec. 1-25, USPS processed 19 percent more packages than during the same period in 2012.

Almost every day during that period, the Postal Service processed higher numbers of parcels than on the corresponding day during last year’s holiday shipping season.

via PMG thanks employees for “banner” holiday season – postalnews blog.

I personally greatly appreciate my local small town carriers and postal workers who deliver my mail at home.  Don’t wait until something is gone, and all you can do is miss it.  The USPS is worth fighting for.  And thanks, USPS workforce!

Written by Lisa.Bowes

December 31st, 2013 at 11:35 am

Posted in USPS

USPS requests PRC opinion on plan to level out delivery of ad mail through the week | Ruralinfo Postal News

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Today the Postal Service requested an advisory opinion from the Postal Regulatory Commission concerning its plan to level out the delivery volume of advertising mail throughout the week.

Under the current service standards, a disproportionate amount of that mail is delivered on Mondays, and that imbalance often results in late delivery of mail on Monday, inconvenience to mail recipients, and increased costs to the Postal Service.

The Postal Service is proposing to revise the service standards for a limited segment of Standard Mail (pieces that qualify for a DSCF rate and are accepted before the day zero CET at the proper DSCF on Friday or Saturday), to encourage a more balanced distribution of Standard Mail volume across all of our delivery days.

For those Standard Mail pieces entered on Friday or Saturday at the DSCF rate, the Postal Service is proposing to change the current three-day delivery expectation to a four-day delivery expectation. And for pieces entered at the SCF in San Juan, PR and destined for the U.S. Virgin Islands, as well as all DSCF entry pieces destined for American Samoa, the delivery expectation for pieces entered on Friday or Saturday would change from four days to five days. The Postal Service is not proposing any other revisions to its service standards at this time.

via USPS requests PRC opinion on plan to level out delivery of ad mail through the week | Ruralinfo Postal News.

Telling customers what they should want vs listening and providing the service customers are looking for…is bad business.  Trying to save a buck – at all costs – is also bad business.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

December 31st, 2013 at 12:56 am

Posted in USPS

Senator Collins Statement on Exigency

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United States Senator Susan Collins issued the following statement regarding the U.S. Postal Service’s announcement that the Postal Regulatory Commission has approved an exigent rate increase, affecting first-class, standard, periodicals and package mailing. On October 18, 2013, Senator Collins wrote to Postal Regulatory Commission Secretary Shoshanna Grove, explaining that an exigent rate increase to recover losses caused by electronic diversion of communications from mail to internet is not authorized by the Postal Accountability Enhancement Act of 2006, of which Senator Collins authored.

“I am disappointed that the PRC has approved a postal rate increase averaging six percent. My concern is that a rate increase of this magnitude will worsen the Postal Service’s crisis by further driving down mail volume, eroding the Postal Service’s steadily declining customer base, and leading to a further decline in revenues. The Postal Service should be implementing more initiatives that will increase volume and attract more consumers. Even though temporary, these rate increases may well do just the opposite.

“The rate increase is also contrary to current law which ties price hikes to the inflation rate. Congress intended the authority to increase rates under an exigent case to be used only in extreme and unforeseen instances – such as terrorist attacks, natural disasters, and other events that would cause significant and substantial disruptions in service. The exigent rate provisions were not meant to be used to remedy poor economic performance or to offset an ongoing marketplace trend, such as the increased use of electronic mail.”

via Postal news from around the world.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

December 31st, 2013 at 12:48 am

Posted in USPS

Postal Service’s million dollar fortune teller featured in Senator Coburn’s “Wastebook”

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Right wing Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma recently released his annual list of “100 examples of wasteful and low-priority spending”- and the US Postal Service’s contract with self-styled futurist “Faith Popcorn” made the list:

47. Postal Service pays “Futurist” Faith Popcorn for advice on stamps – (USPS) $566,000

Hoping to divine the future for stamps and how to keep “relevant, interesting and integral,” the Postal Service contracted with “Faith Popcorn’s Brain Reserve.”

via Postal Service’s million dollar fortune teller featured in Senator Coburn’s “Wastebook” – postalnews blog.

A tough news article to swallow, the same week as exigency passes.  Maybe if the USPS had contracted a seer earlier, they would have been able to anticipate the “great recession” and adjust accordingly.  Here’s hoping they got a Magic 8 ball for Christmas to help with predictions and business planning.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

December 26th, 2013 at 11:46 am

Posted in USPS

Extraordinary and Exceptional Error

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ex·traor·di·nar·y
adjective
1.very unusual or remarkable.
ex·cep·tion·al
adjective
1.unusual; not typical.
From Senator Susan Collins letter to the PRC dated October 18, 2013:
“…the “extraordinary or exceptional circumstances” required to initiate an exigent rate case under the PAEA exist only if “terrorist attacks, natural disasters, and other events …cause significant and substantial declines in mail volume or increases in operating costs that the Postal Service cannot reasonably be expected to adjust to in the normal course of business.”
The “great recession” is not a extraordinary or exceptional circumstance – the PRC made a grave error in interpretation.  The price cap so critical to mail owners in planning their budgets has been effectively blown out of the water.  2014 budgets for mailers have long been completed – higher rates will equate to lower volumes that will not be coming back.  The result will be a devastating acceleration of diversion of mail to more predictable and manageable rates afforded by other media channels.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

December 26th, 2013 at 11:18 am

Posted in USPS

Exigency Madness

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Press Release here

PRC Approves Postal Service Request for Exigent Rate Increase;
Rejects Permanent Price Increases

Washington, DC – Today the Postal Regulatory Commission issued Order No. 1926 in Docket R2013-11 partially approving a request by the Postal Service for an exigent rate increase to offset losses suffered as a result of the Great Recession of 2008-2009.
In its majority decision, the Commission found that the Postal Service experienced financial harm as a result of the Great Recession and is legally entitled to implement price increases in excess of the CPI cap for less than two years. The Commission denied the Postal Service’s request to make the increases permanent. It found allowing the increases to remain in effect indefinitely would be inconsistent with fundamental postal policies underlying the price cap.

“The Commission’s decision closely follows the law we are charged by the President and Congress to uphold,” said Commission Chairman Ruth Y. Goldway. “The Postal Service will be reimbursed for exigent losses that can be reasonably quantified. We have determined that amount to be $2.8 billion to cover the 25.3 billion pieces of volume lost between 2008 and 2011. The funds will come from a rate surcharge that will last just long enough to recover the loss,” she added.

The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 requires the Postal Service to demonstrate to the Commission its need for an exigent price increase above the CPI cap by describing the exigent circumstances and showing why they necessitate the increase, showing that the proposed rates are reasonable and equitable, and describing the circumstances under which the increases could be rescinded or reduced.

The Commission determined that the proposed price increases were reasonable in amount, equitable in that they are approximately equal for all categories of mail, and necessary to maintain and continue needed postal services. However, the Commission also concluded that the Postal Service conflated losses that are a result of internet diversion with losses that were a result of the Great Recession, and that it failed to provide justification for permanent price increases in connection with recession-related mail volume losses.

In its order, the Commission directed the Postal Service to report quarterly on revenues generated by the rate increases, and to develop a plan to phase out the rates once they have produced the revenue justified by their request.

The 4.3 percent exigent rate increases are scheduled to be implemented in conjunction with the inflation-based rate adjustment of 1.7 percent (one cent for ordinary mailers), approved earlier by the Commission. The overall adjustment is 6.0 percent (a total of three cents from 2013 rates or 49 cents).

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A baffling decision.  Inconsistent with the law, short sighted,  and a move that will only expedite further mail diversion.  This decision will cause irreparable harm to the already fragile Postal Service…

Quoting Senator Susan Collins –

“The PRC’s approval of an exigent rate increase under these circumstances would be inconsistent with the law. The Postal Service is apparently asserting that this electronic diversion was caused by the recession, but seems to offer no evidence of such a causal link. To allow recovery of diversion-related losses in FY 2012 because the Postal Service asserts that the 2007-2009 recession caused them would be at odds with ongoing changes in Americans’ use of technology.   Allowing the rate increase to go forward would undermine the intent of PAEA to provide predictability and stability in postal pricing.”

Written by Lisa.Bowes

December 24th, 2013 at 4:27 pm

Posted in USPS

Happy Holidays to All

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Happy Holidays

Whatever your tradition, best wishes for a great Holiday season.
Merry Christmas!

 

Written by Lisa.Bowes

December 24th, 2013 at 11:36 am

Posted in USPS

The PRC decides the rate case: What’s in Santa’s bag for the mailers?

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On Monday or Tuesday of this week, the Postal Regulatory Commission will issue an order on the Postal Service’s renewed request for an exigent rate increase. If it’s granted in full, postal rates will go up about 4.3 percent. That’s on top of the 1.7 percent increase already granted under the CPI cap, so the total increase would be about 6 percent.

via The PRC decides the rate case: What’s in Santa’s bag for the mailers? | Ruralinfo Postal News.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

December 23rd, 2013 at 11:49 am

Posted in USPS

January 2014 Price Change and PostalOne! Release Webinars

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January 2014 Price Change and PostalOne! Release Webinars

via RIBBS – USPS National Customer Support Center.

Visit the website for a full Webinar schedule, and take advantage of the USPS information made available.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

December 20th, 2013 at 11:15 am

Posted in USPS

Promotions & Incentive Programs for First-Class & Standard Mail

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Promotions & Incentive Programs for First-Class & Standard Mail.

Resources such as user guides and webinar recordings…

Written by Lisa.Bowes

December 20th, 2013 at 9:44 am

Posted in USPS