Comments on the PRC Advisory on Load Leveling

with one comment

First off – it’s not just load leveling.  It’s the rate increase.  The exigency increase.  The uncertainty.  Things like Load Leveling, which in all honesty, if well thought out, considered, and properly implemented may improve operations.  It’s the lack of respect for advice given freely by mail owners and mail service providers.  Mail suddenly seems to be Packages ugly sister, and not as much valued.

Mail matters.  Customers matter.  Rowing the boat, together – matters.

On to the PRC Advisory.  Keep in mind the USPS requested the advice from the Commission, it was not forced on them.

Excerpts from the full document are in quotes.  My comments are italicized.

“The Commission finds the Postal Service’s initial assessment and identification of potential benefits shows some promise, but cautions this evaluation is based on limited test information and sometimes anecdotal accounts. The Commission urges the Postal Service to undertake a more rigorous cost-benefit analysis, additional field testing and service performance analysis, and volume impact studies before committing to a nationwide rollout of the Load Leveling Plan.”

This was raised by industry early on.  Speed of implementation, regardless, seemed to be the USPS goal.  Hence…

“The Commission is also concerned that the Postal Service has not generated more support within the mailing community for its plan. A Mailers Technical Advisory Committee (MTAC) with representatives from 18 different companies was formed to consider options for workload equalization. The committee was unable to come to a consensus that the Load Leveling Plan is the appropriate solution that will smooth workloads across days of the week. The absence of significant support is an indication that the Postal Service may not provide the level of service desired by its customers, and thus may negatively affect mail volumes.”

Here are the recommendations from the PRC:

“The Commission provides the following recommendations to the Postal Service for consideration before proceeding with its plan:
>The Postal Service should perform a cost-benefit analysis at the national level to ensure that the Load Leveling Plan is cost effective, while providing the anticipated benefits;
> The Postal Service should assess the plan’s impact on volume and co-mailing/co-palletization activities;
> The Postal Service should perform additional field testing, since the results of the limited testing may not be representative at the national level;
>The Postal Service should further analyze the plan’s effect on service performance; and
> The Postal Service should conduct more extensive customer outreach to obtain a clearer understanding of mailers’ questions and concerns.”

Here is my summary of the recommendations –
>Take the time to do things right – test / analyze / plan
>Consider the affect on your customers
– maintain service (and value)
Sadly enough, the recommendation overall seems to be “apply some common sense”.  It’s a shame that advice is necessary. 

Written by Lisa.Bowes

March 27th, 2014 at 10:42 am

Posted in USPS

One Response to 'Comments on the PRC Advisory on Load Leveling'

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  1. Actually, oftimes there is load leveling at the carrier level. 3rd class mail is delayed a day to attempt to level the carrier’s workload. For instance mail is delayed on Monday to get the carrier off in 8 hours an then delivered on Tuesday which might be a lighter volume day. Of ourse any delayed mail has to be reported so it can be monitored by someone upline whose sole purpose it review the data. Those people aren’t needed because they generate no income or move ANY mail.

    Mike Turner

    27 Mar 14 at 1:03 pm

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