Archive for January, 2014

2014 Saturation & High Density Standard Mail® Incentive Program

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From an Industry Alert:

2014 Saturation & High Density Standard Mail® Incentive Program

Registration deadline extended to February 7, 2014

The 2014 Saturation & High Density Standard Mail® Incentive Program is a year-long incentive program that provides the opportunity for organizations to increase their Saturation, High Density and High Density Plus volume at decreased cost. Mailers who mailed at least six Saturation, High Density and/or High Density Plus mailings (or combination thereof) between October 1, 2012 and September 30, 2013 will be eligible for postage credit on volume that exceeds a pre-determined threshold. The program began on January 2, 2014 and will end on December 31, 2014.

The registration deadline has been extended to February 7, 2014. Mailers who believe that they have met the eligibility requirements but were not notified by the USPS are encouraged to apply for participation by contacting the Program Office at:

United States Postal Service
Attn: Saturation & HD Mail Incentive Program Office
475 L’Enfant Plaza, SW Room 5538
Washington, DC 20260

or

Email: SatHDIncentive@USPS.gov

More information on the incentive is available on RIBBS at: https://ribbs.usps.gov/mobilebarcode/saturationhighdensity.htm

Written by Lisa.Bowes

January 31st, 2014 at 4:45 pm

Posted in USPS

Speak Your Piece: The Vanishing Postmaster

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Speak Your Piece: The Vanishing Postmaster | Daily Yonder | Keep It Rural.

Well worth a read.  There’s more to brick and mortar than, well, brick and mortar!  There’s also something to be said for community, customer service, and making time for kindness.

I think of the mail carrier who was a daily lifeline for my elderly and beloved grandmother.  I think of my own local small town Post Office, and the folks there I’ve come to know and chat with over the years.  It’s sad that we’ve lost touch with the value of personal interaction.  Process and efficiency are no good if not balanced with the other things that make the Postal Service a SERVICE.

…Remember Service Stations?  Pump your gas, check your oil, tire pressure, clean your windshield.  Now I pay 4 times as much to do it myself.  And I’m not nearly as good as those service station guys were 🙂

…Hate to see the USPS go the same route.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

January 31st, 2014 at 4:31 pm

Posted in USPS

Issa criticizes USPS rate increases, lack of reforms

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“This week, the postal service’s unprecedented, above-inflation rate hike goes into effect,” Issa said. “At the same time, the postal service just recently disclosed that it once again has decided to delay necessary cost-cutting reforms already in motion to appease the avowed opponents of postal reform. Relying solely on rate increases will not save the postal service from insolvency.”

USPS flagged a number of redundant facilities in 2011 for closure and consolidation in an effort to increase operational efficiencies but recently announced plans to postpone a final decision.

via Issa criticizes USPS rate increases, lack of reforms – Ripon Advance.

You know times are tough when something Rep. Issa is quoted as saying makes total sense…we don’t usually agree on much, but we do on this one…

Written by Lisa.Bowes

January 30th, 2014 at 11:20 pm

Posted in USPS

Senators Rethink Rate Clause in Postal Bill

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Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) was unsuccessful in getting Section 301 stricken from the Postal Reform Act of 2014 (PRA) in a Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee markup session on January 29, but she may have succeeded in substantially altering it.

The offending-to-mailers rate setting clause put in the bill by authors Tom Carper (D-DE) and Tom Coburn (R-OK) would install the 4.3% exigent increase as the rate baseline going forward and increase the annual rate cap to CPI plus 1%. Additionally, it would strip the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) of its power to approve or deny rate increases and essentially hand a rubber stamp for price increases to the U. S. Postal Service.

Eager to win bipartisan support for the bill, Carper asked Baldwin if she’d compromise on a Section 301 that returned the cap to CPI alone, minus the additional 1%. But Baldwin stuck to her guns. “I’ve been offering compromise language for months, until last week, and it’s been rejected every time. This amendment is also about governance. I have very strong concerns about the monopolistic aspects of the postal service and the postal service regulating itself,” said Baldwin, who asked for a roll call vote on her amendment.

via Senators Rethink Rate Clause in Postal Bill – Direct Marketing News.

BaldBaldwin holds the line for mailers

Thank you, Senator Baldwin.  You go, girl!

Written by Lisa.Bowes

January 30th, 2014 at 11:13 pm

Posted in USPS

Increased quantity of post-holiday mail blamed for late delivery

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Increased quantity of post-holiday mail blamed for late delivery | Ruralinfo Postal News.

…Let’s hope the USPS doesn’t ask to load level post holiday influx by cancelling holidays completely…

Written by Lisa.Bowes

January 30th, 2014 at 11:05 pm

Posted in USPS

USPS Service Alerts – Business Severe Weather Updates

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Jan. 29, 2014, 1:30 p.m. ETGeorgia   MTE Update: The Atlanta MTESC was unable to operate today. Local authorities continue to communicate a no-travel advisory in the city due to slick roads / black ice.On Jan. 30, if conditions improve, the MTESC’s top priority will be restoring service for business mailers. Please check here for status updates.

Winter Storm  A snow and ice storms have caused impacts in several areas across the eastern region. Currently the Postal Service is experiencing impacts in the states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, and Mississippi.

via USPS Service Alerts – Business Severe Weather Updates.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

January 29th, 2014 at 10:41 pm

Posted in USPS

Letter: Coalition for a 21st Century Postal Service opposes S. 1486

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Written by Lisa.Bowes

January 28th, 2014 at 1:02 pm

Posted in USPS

Reminder – New Service Type IDs (STIDs) for First-Class Mail Available January 26, 2014

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From the DMM Advisory

As a reminder, the United States Postal Service® introduced eight new Service Type IDS (STIDs) for First-Class Mail® on January 26, 2014, that provide expanded options for mailers to effectively manage ACS™ notices provided for their Undeliverable-As-Addressed (UAA) mail. The new STIDs further enhance mailing flexibility, as each existing ACS service option will have its own unique STID.

If you wish to request Option 1 for the ancillary endorsement listed, you must use the newly assigned STID on or after January 26, 2014. If you continue to use the existing STID, your First-Class Mail will receive the Option 2 treatment for that endorsement:

ASR: The difference between Address Service Requested (ASR) Option 1 and Option 2 is that an ACS record will be provided on both forwarded and returned pieces with Option 2. Option 1 provides an ACS notice only for the mail that is forwarded to a new address.

CSR: The difference between Change Service Requested (CSR) Option 1 and Option 2 is that forwardable pieces will be forwarded with Option 2 and mail that cannot be forwarded is disposed of as waste. Option 1 disposes of all UAA pieces as waste.

The links below direct you to a page that provides complete descriptions and details for all STIDs, including the new ones. For easy identification, the new STIDs are highlighted in red on the STID Table.

Appendix A (provides a complete description of each STID):
https://ribbs.usps.gov/intelligentmail_guides/documents/tech_guides/AncillaryServices_STID_Detailed_Explanation.pdf

STID Table (provides all available STIDs, segmented by endorsement and option):
https://ribbs.usps.gov/intelligentmail_mailpieces/documents/tech_guides/stid.pdf

Written by Lisa.Bowes

January 28th, 2014 at 12:53 pm

Posted in USPS

PRC Decision Threatens Financial Viability of Mailers | Multichannel Merchant

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In December 2013, the PRC announced that it would grant the United States Postal Service USPS request for an exigent postage increase of 4.3 percent Order No. 1926 in Docket R2013-11. The 4.3 percent exigent rate is scheduled to be implemented simultaneously with an inflation-based rate adjustment of 1.7 percent approved earlier by the PRC. Thus, mailers are facing a total price increase averaging 6.0 percent.

The PRC decision deals a serious financial blow to both commercial and nonprofit members. “The Commission’s decision, unless overturned by the court, will gut the only real protection that mailers have,” said Peggy Hudson, DMA’s senior vice president of government affairs. “The 6.0 percent postage increase — three times the rate of inflation — will not help the Postal Service shore up its financial base. It will simply drive mail from the system, which harms the financial viability of both the Postal Service and its business customers. It is a lose-lose proposition.”

Rather than filing separate appeals, DMA, along with the Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers ANM, American Catalog Mailers Association ACMA, MPA—Association of Magazine Media MPA, and other mailer entities, joined together to pursue a joint appeal on behalf of both commercial and nonprofit mailers.

In its appeal, DMA and its partners argue that the grounds upon which the PRC granted the USPS an exigent increase are faulty and self-contradictory. The Commission acknowledged that the USPS failed to distinguish properly losses caused by internet diversion from losses that were a result of the 2007-2009 recession. The finding is inconsistent with the Commission’s decision to impose a $2.8 billion above-inflation rate increase on mailers.

In a separate case, DMA, ANM, ACMA and MPA also filed jointly a motion to intervene in a “petition for review” i.e., appeal from agency decision that the USPS filed on December 20 in the U.S. Court of Appeal for the D.C. Circuit. The case is USPS v. Postal Regulatory Commission, No. 13-1308, in which the USPS challenges the PRC’s decision to impose restrictions on an inflation-recovery rate increase sought by the Postal Service.

via PRC Decision Threatens Financial Viability of Mailers | Multichannel Merchant.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

January 27th, 2014 at 11:41 pm

Posted in USPS

Intelligence Delayed, but Not Derailed | Office of Inspector General

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… In particular, we found the Postal Service had fallen short in developing a comprehensive plan for the continued development and use of IMb data. Notably, the Postal Service’s plans around the use of IMb data have grown considerably since its original vision of the program and it has not taken into account the needs of all mailers.

The Postal Service needs to upgrade its data storage capabilities and data systems to accommodate the growing use of IMbs and to support stakeholders’ needs.

The silver lining in this delay could be that it gives the Postal Service another year to develop a comprehensive IMb data plan that includes detailed input from all business users and identifies costs and milestones for the life of the IMb program. It also gives mailers more time to get ready, while letting those already in the Full-Service IMb program keep their modest discounts.

Share your thoughts on the Full-Service IMb and the delayed implementation date.

Do you think another year will make a difference in the readiness of mailers? Of the Postal Service’s systems? What incentives would you like to see to encourage smaller mailers to make the conversion to Full-Service IMb? If you are already Full-Service compliant, what value do you get from the program?

via Intelligence Delayed, but Not Derailed | Office of Inspector General.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

January 27th, 2014 at 11:27 am

Posted in USPS