Archive for April, 2014

Mailers Ask Court to Deny USPS Motion

without comments

A group of direct mail stakeholders submitted a document to the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) today stating its opposition to the U.S. Postal Service’s motion to have a court stay its first scheduled report on the effects of exigency.

In its December decision approving the 4.3% exigent rate hike, the PRC qualified that the increase should stay in effect only until losses the Postal Service suffered due to the Great Recession were recovered, a period it estimated at about two years. In that regard, it required USPS to report incremental revenue generated by the special increase 30 days after each quarter. The first report is due on Wednesday. A further proposal for the eventual removal of the exigent increase is due from USPS on Thursday.

Noting that the Postal Service’s motion to the U.S. Court of Appeals in D.C. does not satisfy any of four criteria for such a stay set down by settled law, the mailers’ group further took issue with the timing of the request.

“The Postal Service was on notice four months ago that the compliance reports at issue would be due on April 30 and May 1,” reads the mailers’ submission. “The Postal Service knew from the outset the nature of the purported data limitations that it now asserts as a purported justification for its motion. Yet the Postal Service chose to withhold its stay motion until one week before the filing deadlines—too late for the Commission to give reasoned consideration to the motion.”

The opposition letter was filed by a coalition of 16 private companies and industry associations including The American Catalog Mailers Association, the Association of Marketing Service Providers, the Direct Marketing Association, RR Donnelley, and Valpak.

“The Commission is charged with regulating the Postal Service, and the Postal Service must understand that it cannot pick and choose which of the Commission’s orders it will comply with,” continued the doctument. “The Commission should take this opportunity to reassert its regulatory authority.”

via Mailers Ask Court to Deny USPS Motion – Direct Marketing News.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

April 29th, 2014 at 9:56 pm

Posted in USPS

Half of USPS Executives Will be Retirement Eligible in Three Years

without comments

Written by Lisa.Bowes

April 29th, 2014 at 9:51 pm

Posted in USPS

MPA on Recently Issued Periodicals Study

without comments

Late last week, the Postal Regulatory Commission and the Postal Service released their much-delayed joint study of Periodicals costs that was mandated by the 2006 postal reform act.

The report presents two main findings. First, despite questions about the accuracy of Periodicals costs raised by MPA and numerous others over the course of many years, the report asserts that that Periodicals cost measurements are “reasonably accurate for ratemaking purposes.” Second, the report concedes that Periodicals costs could be greatly reduced, e.g., by reducing the manual handling of Periodicals. The Commission and Postal Service differ greatly about how much money can be saved: the Postal Service estimates that the potential savings are only $146 million annually; the PRC estimates a much larger $349 million. Both entities agree, however, that neither estimate is large enough to close the cost coverage gap, which has been measured at approximately $600 million.

The report discusses a number of “options” for above-inflation price increases to close the remainder of the supposed cost coverage gap. These include replacing the class-level price cap with a systemwide one (which would allow the USPS to raise Periodicals rates faster than inflation); breaching the CPI price cap to allow the PRC to raise Periodicals prices enough to achieve 100 percent cost coverage; and a Postal Service long-term suggestion of eliminating the Periodicals class and simply providing publishers with postage discounts from First-Class Mail and Standard Mail rates.

MPA strongly disagrees with the study’s findings.

via MPA on Recently Issued Periodicals Study | MPA.

Read full article for details on MPA points of disagreement.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

April 29th, 2014 at 7:19 pm

Posted in USPS

Postal Service actions jeopardizing security of the mail, demonstrators say

without comments

“Staples employees receive minimal training, and the company’s low pay results in high employee turnover,” said Todd Elkerton, president of the APWU St. Paul Area Local. “With all the concern about privacy and identity theft, that’s just not the right way to handle the U.S. mail.”

“Before they are hired, USPS employees undergo a background check, take an oath to protect they safety and security of the mail and are bound by a code of ethical conduct. It’s also taking away good, stable jobs and replacing them with low-wage, high-turnover jobs,” said Peggy Whitney, business agent of the APWU Minneapolis Area Local.

An internal USPS document makes clear that the goal of the program is to replace the jobs held by USPS employees with low-paying jobs in the private sector. “That’s bad for postal workers and it’s bad for our communities and our country,” Whitney said.

“But this isn’t just about postal jobs,”said national APWU President Mark Dimondstein. “Many people are outraged that a tremendous public asset is being turned over to a struggling private company.” Staples recently announced that it would close 225 stores by 2015.

via Postal Service actions jeopardizing security of the mail, demonstrators say | Twin Cities Daily Planet.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

April 28th, 2014 at 10:40 am

Posted in USPS

Postal service doesn’t know its history

with one comment

It’s becoming clear that the U.S. Postal Service has mishandled sales of historic post offices around the country.

Its in-house watchdog, the USPS Office of Inspector General, is in the middle of a series of audits. The latest, released several days ago, found that the postal service does not track sales or even know how many historic buildings it owns.

It may help explain how Stamford’s Atlantic Street Station was sold right off the National Register of Historic Places to a New York developer.

The USPS shut the 1916 post office, which operated downtown at 421 Atlantic St. for 97 years, with two days’ notice in September. That was when the sale to the developer was supposed to close. But it is held up in court, challenged by a customer, another bidder on the building and a preservation group.

If Stamford’s post office saga sounds confusing, consider the findings of the USPS inspector general.

In its latest audit, the office examined whether the USPS followed regulations meant to protect historic properties, built mostly with taxpayers’ money.

The report cited serious failings. USPS computers do not categorize which buildings are historic and, without accurate data, employees cannot “identify, manage and protect the historic properties in its inventory,” the report found.

via Angela Carella: Report: Postal service doesn’t know its history – StamfordAdvocate.

Of local interest, as I am based in CT, also shaking my head at any company who can’t manage their data.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

April 27th, 2014 at 4:36 am

Posted in USPS

Dead Tree Edition: People vs. Computers: What’s the Best Way To Fix Bad Mailing Addresses?

without comments

Written by Lisa.Bowes

April 26th, 2014 at 2:57 pm

Posted in USPS

Manabe speech raises interest

without comments

Written by Lisa.Bowes

April 25th, 2014 at 9:34 pm

Posted in USPS

Upcoming USPS Promotions « National Postal Forum Industry Blog

without comments

The USPS® is currently offering two promotions: the Earned Value Reply Mail Promotion and the Premium Advertising Promotion, which are both running now through June 30, 2014. And, approaching rapidly is the Mail & Digital Personalization Promotion, which is scheduled to run from May 1 through June 30, 2014.

via Upcoming USPS Promotions « National Postal Forum Industry Blog.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

April 25th, 2014 at 3:10 pm

Posted in USPS

IMb Services Update – DMM Advisory 4/25/14

without comments

April 25, 2014

IMb™ Services Update

PostalOne!® Program Registration Release 10.0.0.4 — will be deployed to Production on Sunday, April 27, 2014, during the scheduled maintenance window from 4 a.m. to 8 a.m. CDT. There will be an outage and the application will be unavailable during that time.

Program Registration WebSphere® update – will occur from 11 p.m. CDT Saturday, April 26 to 2 a.m. CDT Sunday, April 27, 2014, with possible intermittent connectivity issues during that time.

via Postal Explorer.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

April 25th, 2014 at 2:12 pm

Posted in USPS

Issa releases discussion draft of his new postal bill and it is even worse than before

without comments

Issa releases discussion draft of his new postal bill and it is even worse than before | Ruralinfo Postal News.

Excerpts of interest:

SEC. 2. NATIONWIDE MAIL DELIVERY SCHEDULE
>Permits the Postal Service to reduce the delivery of first class mail to five days per week. Requires the Postal Service to deliver of packages six days per week until December 31, 2018.

> Ensures that first-class mail will not go undelivered for more than two consecutive days.

> Permits periodicals, newspapers and unstamped mail to be placed in mailboxes on days when the Postal Service does not provide mail delivery service.

SEC. 4. DELIVERY-POINT MODERNIZATION
>Requires that new addresses must receive mail at a curbside box or centralized
> Requires the Postal Service to convert all businesses from door delivery to a curbside box or centralized to the maximum extent feasible.
•>Requires the Postal Service to identify residential addresses within their service area that are appropriate candidates for conversion to curbside or centralized delivery.
> Requires the Postal Service to convert residential addresses from door delivery to curbside or centralized delivery on a voluntary basis where possible and authorizes the Postal Service to require such conversions in areas the Postal Service “deems appropriate.”
>Permits the Postal Service to create a “Legacy Door Delivery Service” that allows residents to pay a fee to continue to receive door delivery if their addresses have been identified for conversion to curbside or centralized delivery.

 

Written by Lisa.Bowes

April 24th, 2014 at 11:25 pm

Posted in USPS