Archive for September, 2015

USPS Presentation on Fall Mailing Season Readiness

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Written by Lisa.Bowes

September 30th, 2015 at 7:03 pm

Posted in USPS

USPS Ordered to Reduce $7.5M SoCal Edison Fine

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…To “issue a revenue deficiency for the entirety of plaintiff’s discounted-workshare rate for 18 months is so disproportionate that it can hardly qualify as reasoned decision-making,” Boasberg said. The postal service argued that the court cannot remand the agency’s final decision back to the service’s Pricing & Classification Service Center – where Edison originally appealed the fine – because the center is not allowed to establish an unpublished rate surcharge without review by the Postal Regulatory Commission.

“This is too cute by half: not only does it mischaracterize the appropriate remedy – a reconsideration of the amount of the revenue deficiency – but it also mischaracterizes the PCSC’s capacity to grant this relief as the dedicated appeals board that can reassess the revenue-deficiency calculation,” Boasberg said.

The judge remanded the case to the PCSC, noting that he is confident that it will be able to “correctly determine a reasoned and reduced sum for the proper revenue-violation deficiency assessment.”

Source: Courthouse News Service

Written by Lisa.Bowes

September 30th, 2015 at 7:01 pm

Posted in USPS

USPS sold Chicago’s Old MPO for $24 million, may be worth $150 million | Save the Post Office

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In 2009, the Postal Service sold the historic Old Main Post Office in Chicago to British real estate developer Bill Davies for $24 million.  A couple of years later, the Postal Service also sold Davies the postal annex to the east of the MPO for $14 million.  After scuttling plans to develop the property with twin towers, Davies put it up for sale late last year.  In December 2014, Chicago-based Sterling Bay offered to buy the building for $150 million, but Davies rejected the offer.

Source: USPS sold Chicago’s Old MPO for $24 million, may be worth $150 million | Save the Post Office

On a personal note, I clearly remember the awe of this place from when I was a child, growing up in Chicago.  The Eisenhower expressway goes under the building, coming out on Congress Parkway on the other side.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

September 22nd, 2015 at 8:23 pm

Posted in USPS

More information on the Service Performance Measurement scanner alerts – Postal News

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Carriers should not be scanning an item in the vehicle and then go to the parcel locker, the door, or inside to a business and then come back to the vehicle to close out the scan, all scanned functions should be completely done at the delivery point of the scanned item. Ex: if a delivery […]

Source: More information on the Service Performance Measurement scanner alerts – Postal News

Written by Lisa.Bowes

September 22nd, 2015 at 8:44 am

Posted in USPS

Testing of new scanning equipment begins soon – Postal News

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The Postal Service will soon begin testing Surface Visibility (SV) mobile devices, new equipment that will help USPS boost efficiency and better serve business customers.

The handheld SVmobile scanners are lighter and feature larger screens and improved software. They will replace existing scanning equipment.

The new devices’ software offers enhanced processing power and provides offline scanning capability. The application is designed to be intuitive and allow users to quickly navigate and perform required scans.

The scanners are part of the Postal Service’s broader efforts to better use technology and promote Surface Visibility, which improves scanning of all mail and packages as items move through the postal network.

Source: Testing of new scanning equipment begins soon – Postal News

Written by Lisa.Bowes

September 17th, 2015 at 9:01 am

Posted in USPS

More Business Customer Gateway Shortcut Changes

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Many good changes in a nimble response to feedback after the last release, which had many unpopular changes.  If you navigate the BCG, you should review this document prior to the release.



Written by Lisa.Bowes

September 17th, 2015 at 8:58 am

Posted in USPS

EXCLUSIVE: Senator Introduces Bill in Yet Another Attempt to Save the U.S. Postal Service – Oversight –

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Unedited excerpts from the article in quotes.

My comments in italics.

“Lawmaker thinks he can finally capture his white whale by making everyone unhappy.”

“Despite the boosted outreach efforts, aides conceded no one will be completely thrilled with the final product. A true compromise, they said, means everyone is unhappy.”

A true compromise should mean everybody has something to be happy about.  Not the above.  Really setting the bar high by expecting everyone to be unhappy…

“The legislation also eliminates the annual payments scheduled to prefund retiree health benefits, which the Postal Service has neglected to make in recent years…”

Eliminate the payments the USPS is already not paying.  Great plan.  But then in the next sentence…

“The bill would amortize payments over the next 40 years and require accounts to be 80 percent, rather than 100 percent, prefunded.”

So, not eliminated.  Perpetuate a bad idea,  just at a lesser degree.

“Another major sticking point of postal reform has been stripped from the bill entirely, namely any mention of the requirement to deliver mail six days each week. ”

Five days, six days, seven days, four days.  Delivery is dictated by Amazon, not Congress anyway, depending on what Amazon considers to be the definition of mail, and what price they want to pay.

“The reform measure will allow postal customers to voluntarily opt into cluster boxes or curbside delivery, rather than receiving mail at their doors.”

Who the heck in their right mind would opt in to this?

“Several more controversial provisions of the bill attempt to right-size the agency’s infrastructure, stabilize operations and boost revenues. The bill would place a five-year moratorium on closing post offices and reducing their hours below certain levels, a similar freeze on cutting delivery standards (though the Postal Service could opt to require faster mail delivery) and a two-year stoppage of closing mail processing plants. The Postal Service in 2012 slowed down its mail delivery standards to enable a dramatic consolidation of its processing network. Further closures scheduled for 2015 were postponed indefinitely after USPS was consistently missing even its more lax delivery windows.”

Since there is no common sense being applied here, no comment.  Aside from maybe a suggestion to apply some common sense.

“In a move that will likely anger large-scale mailers, the bill would make permanent an emergency price increase instituted in 2013. The rate is currently set to expire next year, though the Postal Service is fighting that in court. ”

Anger mailers?  It should anger EVERYBODY who has to pay higher rates!  Exigency should go away, as the courts determined.  USPS has no money to deliver the mail on time, but plenty for an army of lawyers, it seems.  And who ever heard of a permanent emergency?

Carper is also attempting to improve the morale of the postal workforce through studies into and working group discussions on workplace happiness.

See earlier common sense comment.  Consultants, studies, and empty talk accomplish nothing.  It’s not rocket science to understand why postal workers aren’t happy.  And the very next sentence…

“As have Carper’s previous postal reform proposals, the bill includes one element of reform affecting the entire civilian workforce. It would shift federal employees earning workers compensation to less generous benefits once they reach retirement eligibility.”

Yep, that ought to go a long way in improving workforce happiness.  Good plan.

“My legislation offers a comprehensive solution to the Postal Service’s financial challenges that would put it on solid financial footing, improve service and allow the institution to adapt to a digital age. This legislation calls for shared sacrifice from all stakeholders and represents a thoughtful compromise while bringing badly-needed stability to the Postal Service’s finances.”

Keyword here is the first word of the Senator’s summation.  MY.  See opening sentence on white whales.

last but not least…

“For its part, the Postal Service said it is still reviewing the bill and declined to offer a further comment.

Source: EXCLUSIVE: Senator Introduces Bill in Yet Another Attempt to Save the U.S. Postal Service – Oversight –


Written by Lisa.Bowes

September 17th, 2015 at 8:42 am

Posted in USPS

Data Woes

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Attention IMb Tracing® Customer,

Please be advised that we have identified a system capacity issue. No data has been lost, however we are currently experiencing a backlog in processing mail piece scan events.

We are making every effort to resolve this issue as quickly as possible. Until we have reached our normal processing levels, some .pkg files may contain scan events later than what you would expect to receive.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause to your internal processes. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact IMb Tracing Customer Assistance.


Second time this month…so far

Written by Lisa.Bowes

September 15th, 2015 at 9:56 pm

Posted in USPS

APWU files brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals concerning the change in mail delivery standards – Postal News

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U.S. Court of Appeals, DC Circuit: The American Postal Workers Union has filed a brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals concerning the change in mail delivery standards. Download Brief (PDF)

Source: APWU files brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals concerning the change in mail delivery standards – Postal News

Written by Lisa.Bowes

September 15th, 2015 at 9:02 am

Posted in USPS

Postal Service reams proposal for smarter, UPS-accessible mailboxes

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The U.S. Postal Service is keeping the mailbox door closed to private delivery services.

After UPS executive Keith Kellison suggested the agency expand mailbox access to companies like his — in part to encourage technological advancements — Postal Service media relations manager David Partenheimer shot down the proposal.

“The fact is that exclusive mailbox access isn’t some kind of gratuitous privilege,” said Partenheimer in a USPS blog post. “If delivery companies want to discuss stuffing your mailbox with their packages, then that discussion needs to start with why mailboxes are reserved for the Postal Service in the first place.”

Also from this article, an important and accurate observation:

The Postal Service’s watchdog (OIG) has a history of proposing innovative ideas — it also released a report last summer exploring potential applications for 3-D printing — and the USPS has an equally consistent habit of dismissing its suggestions. In July, the USPS strongly refuted an OIG report that concluded its cyber security measures were grossly inefficient prior to the hacks that exposed the records of 800,000 current and former employees.


“Exclusive mailbox access goes hand in hand with the sort of secure, efficient, universal, and affordable mail service that the American people expect and require,” Partenheimer states. “Mailbox access cannot be ‘rethought’ without realistic consideration of how else to provide Americans with the efficient, universal delivery of letters and other mail: a public service that the Postal Service currently performs without taxpayer dollars.”

Source: Postal Service reams proposal for smarter, UPS-accessible mailboxes

Interesting reaction from USPS, especially since USPS does want to stuff your mailbox with packages (only theirs though), and they do have the privilege of doing so.  Apparently they are very afraid of any competition having to do with mailbox access – they certainly aren’t concerned as much with universal delivery, letters, security, or public service as much as they are about making money off package delivery.  And yes, the discussion has already started (a long while ago) about why mailboxes are reserved for USPS in the first place. A google search of “alternatives to USPS delivery” returns 2.1 million results.  

Written by Lisa.Bowes

September 13th, 2015 at 11:30 am

Posted in USPS