Archive for the ‘USPS News’ Category

5 Day Delivery Schedule To Be Delayed

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

Statement From the U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors

 

“The Board of Governors of the United States Postal Service met April 9th and discussed the Continuing Resolution recently passed by Congress to fund government operations. By including restrictive language in the Continuing Resolution, Congress has prohibited implementation of a new national delivery schedule for mail and packages, which would consist of package delivery Monday through Saturday and mail delivery Monday through Friday, and which would have taken effect the week of August 5, 2013.

“Although disappointed with this Congressional action, the Board will follow the law and has directed the Postal Service to delay implementation of its new delivery schedule until legislation is passed that provides the Postal Service with the authority to implement a financially appropriate and responsible delivery schedule. The Board believes that Congress has left it with no choice but to delay this implementation at this time. The Board also wants to ensure that customers of the Postal Service are not unduly burdened by ongoing uncertainties and are able to adjust their business plans accordingly.

“The Board continues to support the transition to a new national delivery schedule. Such a transition will generate approximately $2 billion in annual cost savings and is a necessary part of a larger five-year business plan to restore the Postal Service to long-term financial stability. According to numerous polls, this new delivery schedule is widely supported by the American public. Our new delivery schedule is also supported by the Administration and some members of Congress.

“To restore the Postal Service to long-term financial stability, the Postal Service requires the flexibility to reduce costs and generate new revenues to close an ever widening budgetary gap. It is not possible for the Postal Service to meet significant cost reduction goals without changing its delivery schedule – any rational analysis of our current financial condition and business options leads to this conclusion. Delaying responsible changes to the Postal Service business model only increases the potential that the Postal Service may become a burden to the American taxpayer, which is avoidable.

“Given these extreme circumstances and the worsening financial condition of the Postal Service, the Board has directed management to seek a reopening of negotiations with the postal unions and consultations with management associations to lower total workforce costs, and to take administrative actions necessary to reduce costs. The Board has also asked management to evaluate further options to increase revenue, including an exigent rate increase to raise revenues across current Postal Service product categories and products not currently covering their costs.

“The Board continues to support the Postal Service’s five-year business plan and the legislative goals identified in that plan which will return the Postal Service to financial solvency. The Board additionally urges Congress to quickly pass comprehensive postal legislation, including provisions that would affirmatively provide the Postal Service with the ability to establish an appropriate national delivery schedule.” 

– USPS Consumer & Industry Affairs

13 Things Your Mail Carrier Won’t Tell You

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

from Reader’s Digest, | February 2011

1. Maybe your dog won’t bite you. But in 2009, 2,863 of us were bitten, an average of nine bites per delivery day. That’s why I wince when your Doberman comes flying out the door.

2. Remember this on Valentine’s Day: It takes our machines longer to read addresses on red envelopes (especially if they’re written in colored ink).

3. Why stand in line? At usps.com, you can buy stamps, place a hold on your mail, change your address, and apply for passports. We even offer free package pickup and free flat-rate envelopes and boxes, all delivered right to your doorstep.

4. Media Mail is a bargain, but most of you don’t know to ask for it. Sending ten pounds of books from New York City to San Francisco through Media Mail costs $5.89, compared with $16.77 for Parcel Post. Besides books, use it to send manuscripts, DVDs, and CDs; just don’t include anything else in the package.

5. We don’t get a penny of your tax dollars. Really.

6. UPS and FedEx charge you $10 or more for messing up an address. Us? Not a cent.

7. Paychecks, personal cards, letters—anything that looks like good news—I put those on top. Utility and credit card bills? They go under everything else.

8. Sorry if I seem like I’m in a hurry, but I’m under the gun: Our supervisors tell us when to leave, how many pieces of mail to deliver, and when we should aim to be back. Then some of us scan bar codes in mailboxes along our route so they can monitor our progress.

9. Yes, we do have to buy our own stamps, but a lot of us carry them for customers who need them. If we don’t charge you, that’s because we like you.

10. Use a ballpoint pen. Ink from those felt tips runs in the rain.

11. Please dress properly when you come to the door. A towel wrapped around you doesn’t cut it. And we definitely don’t want to see you in your underwear—or naked!

12. We serve 150 million addresses six days a week, so we’re often in the right place at the right time. We pull people out of burning cars, catch burglars in the act, and call 911 to report traffic accidents, dead bodies, and more.

13. Most of us don’t mind if you pull up to our trucks while we’re delivering and ask for your mail a little early. But please get out of your car and come get it. Don’t just put your hand out your window and wait for me to bring it to you.

USPS Sets New Five Day Letter Delivery Schedule

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

Six days per week package delivery, five days for mail begins next August

The USPS has announced plans to transition during the week of Aug. 5 to a new delivery schedule that includes package delivery Monday through Saturday and mail delivery Monday through Friday. The Postal Service expects to generate cost savings of approximately $2 billion annually once the plan is fully implemented.

“The Postal Service is advancing an important new approach to delivery that reflects the strong growth of our package business and responds to the financial realities resulting from America’s changing mailing habits,” said PMG Pat Donahoe. “We developed this approach by working with our customers to understand their delivery needs and by identifying creative ways to generate significant cost savings.”

During the past several years, the Postal Service has advocated shifting to a five-day delivery schedule for mail and packages. Strong recent growth in package delivery (14 percent volume increase since 2010) and projections of continued strong growth throughout the coming decade led to the revised approach to maintain package delivery six days per week.

Once implemented, mail delivery to street addresses will occur Monday through Friday. Packages will continue to be delivered six days per week. Mail addressed to PO Boxes will continue to be delivered on Saturdays. Post Offices currently open on Saturdays will not be affected by this decision and will remain open on Saturdays. Express Mail, delivered seven days per week, also will not be affected.

USPS is making the announcement more than six months in advance of implementing a five-day mail delivery schedule to give residential and business customers time to plan for the new schedule. The Postal Service plans to publish specific guidance for customers about the new delivery schedule soon.

The operational plan for the new delivery schedule anticipates a combination of employee reassignment and attrition. The Postal Service is currently implementing major restructuring efforts throughout its retail, delivery and mail processing operations. Since 2006, the Postal Service has reduced its annual cost base by approximately $15 billion, reduced the size of its career workforce by 193,000, or 28 percent, and has consolidated more than 200 mail-processing locations. During these unprecedented cost-cutting initiatives, USPS and its employees have continued to deliver record-high levels of service to customers.

“Our customers see strong value in the national delivery platform we provide. Maintaining a six-day delivery schedule for packages is an important part of that platform,” said Donahoe. “As consumers increasingly use and rely on delivery services especially due to the rise of e-commerce we can play an increasingly vital role as a delivery provider of choice, and as a driver of growth opportunities for America’s businesses.”

Market research conducted by the Postal Service and major news outlets indicates that almost seven out of 10 Americans (70 percent) supported the switch to five-day delivery as a way for the Postal Service to reduce costs in efforts to return the organization to financial stability.

Given ongoing financial challenges, the Board of Governors last month directed postal management to accelerate the restructuring of Postal Service operations to further reduce costs in order to strengthen Postal Service finances.

“The American public understands the financial challenges of the Postal Service and supports these steps as a responsible and reasonable approach to improving our financial situation,” said Donahoe. “The Postal Service has a responsibility to take the steps necessary to return to long-term financial stability and ensure the continued affordability of the U.S. Mail.”

While the change in the delivery schedule announced today is one of the actions needed to restore the financial health of USPS, legislative change is urgently needed to address matters outside the Postal Service’s control. USPS continues to seek legislation to provide it with greater flexibility to control costs and generate new revenue and encourages the 113th Congress to make postal reform legislation an urgent priority.

Jeffrey S. Olson I Manager Business Alliances I U. S. Postal Service Headquarters I 100 S 1st Street I Room 123 I Minneapolis MN 55401-9998 I 651.260.0709 I usps.com

Complete Listing of New USPS Rates

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

Please click on the link below for a complete listing of the new USPS postal rates. Contact your TC Delivers representative with any questions you may have.

USPS_Jan_27th_2013_FINAL_Notice123_Rates

USPS Urges Customers To Switch From POSTNET To IMb Barcodes

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

USPS is urging users of its POSTNET barcode system to switch to the new Intelligent Mail barcode (IMb) system if they want to keep all their postage discounts for business mail.

The Postal Service has been phasing out its old barcode system this year in favor of the more capable IMb system.

This week saw USPS writing to 800,000 business mailers who hold a POSTNET permit to encouraging them to start making the transition to IMb.

If they don’t make the switch by 28th January, 2013, those mailers will no longer be eligible for discounts for business mail prepared to standards for automated processing.

Companies that use a mail service provider are also being advised to check that their mailings will qualify for the automation price.

All Permit Reply Mail and Qualified Business Reply Mail are also required to have the IMb code for their full discounts.

The IMb system was first introduced in January 2009 and currently supports two options – basic and full service. Basic has fewer preparation requirements, and is easier to implement, but full service offers better discounts and tools like address correction and better intelligence on the mail stream, but preparation standards generally require specialist software to achieve.

From January 2014 automation prices will only be available for those on full service IMb.

Pritha Mehra, the USPS vice president mail entry & payment technology, said: “By starting the transition to the Intelligent Mail barcode now, you will continue to benefit from automation prices and will set the foundation to participate in the Intelligent Mail Full-Service option.”

Mehra said mailers could get more information about the IMb system through the RIBBS website, while help could also be provided by their nearest Business Mail Entry Office.

Full service

USPS published proposed rules in the Federal Register on Wednesday (17th October) on the move to require full service IMb on all mail seeking automation prices.

Comments from stakeholders are being invited until 16th November.

USPS said it recognized that “significant” changes would be required for mailers currently benefiting from automation discounts, and said it will therefore attempt to minimize the impact that requiring full service IMb will have on smaller or infrequent mailers.

Additional tools and simplified requirements would be offered to these mailers, it said.

USPS wants to create 100% visibility in its mail stream by 2014, providing mailers with near real-time data on the location of mailpieces within the network, the time of delivery for full-service IMb mail, and also address correction.

It said full visibility would mean mailers able to respond more effectively to their customers’ inquiries on the status of bills, statements, catalogs and other publications.

Permit fees will be waived for mailings that are at least 90% full-service mailpieces, and mailers will be able to use a national account to mail through, rather than needing to use local permits at each mail entry destination.

For the Postal Service, the IMb system will allow a better monitoring of the processing network, and the ability to react quickly to problems in order to avoid delays. Simplified acceptance processes and better planning for volumes coming through the system will also mean more efficient and cost-effective services, USPS said.

USPS Announces New Prices For 2013

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

WASHINGTON — Beginning early next year, the United States Postal Service will introduce a First-Class Mail Global Forever Stamp. The new stamp will allow customers to mail letters anywhere in the world for one set price of $1.10, and is among new mailing and shipping services filed with the Postal Regulatory Commission today.
The price for First-Class Mail single-piece letters will increase by just a penny when prices change in Jan. The new 46 cent Forever stamps will allow customers to mail letters to any location in the United States. Forever stamps are always good for mailing a one-ounce letter anytime in the future regardless of price changes.

Highlights of the new single-piece First-Class Mail pricing, effective Jan. 27, 2013 include:

• Letters (1oz.) – 1-cent increase to 46 cents
• Letters additional ounces – unchanged at 20 cents
• Letters to all international destinations (1oz.) – $1.10
• Postcards – 1-cent increase to 33 cents

Prices for all products (Mailing and Shipping services) will increase by 4-percent, but prices for Mailing Services, such as regular letters and advertising matter, will increase only 2.6-percent.

The Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) will review the prices before they become effective Jan. 27, 2013.

Shipping Services

Several new Shipping Services products will be available in January. Free tracking will be offered to all competitive packages, including retail Priority Mail and Parcel Post (recently renamed Standard Post).
Also new, customers shipping Critical Mail letters and flats will now have the option of receiving a signature upon delivery as part of the service offering.

A large variety of flat-rate boxes and envelopes for Express Mail and Priority Mail, including the padded and legal-sized flat rate envelopes will continue to be offered by the Postal Service.

New domestic retail pricing for Priority Mail Flat Rate products include:

• Small box – $5.80
• Medium box – $12.35
• Large box – $16.85
• Large APO/FPO box – $14.85
• Regular envelope – $5.60
• Legal envelope – $5.75
• Padded envelope – $5.95

Postmaster General: USPS Focused On Innovating

Friday, September 21st, 2012

In his annual state of the business address to the mailing industry, Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe today emphasized that the Postal Service has a solid business plan to return to long-term financial stability and that nothing will have a bigger impact on the health and future of the mailing industry than resolving legislative issues.

“The Postal Service is moving forward with the parts of our business plan that we can control, and securing comprehensive legislation will allow us to implement the rest of the plan,” said Donahoe. “Our industry is fundamentally strong and has a bright future. Mail remains an incredibly effective and important part of marketing America’s products and services.”

Donahoe spoke during the National Postal Customer Council (PCC) Day, an annual event that brings together thousands of mailers, industry partners and customers nationwide to recognize their contributions to the Postal Service and outline future plans and goals. PCCs are a network of community-based business mailers and representatives of the Postal Service, who meet regularly to share ideas and resources to create a closer working relationship.

Despite concerns about obtaining legislation, Donahoe said the Postal Service is focused on innovating to create new opportunities for growth in the mailing industry. “That means that in an increasingly digital world, we need to continue to find ways of increasing the value of mail for both senders and receivers,” he said.

Donahoe underscored one of the most important aspects of innovation at the Postal Service: the way technology is used through Intelligent Mail™ barcodes to harness data in the Postal Service network. He urged mailers to adopt the new barcode technology as it will provide them with greater visibility into the effectiveness of mail. Donahoe also pointed out that tracking data is only going to become a more powerful marketing tool for mailers in the future.

The Postmaster General also reminded PCC members to speak with one voice to and stop the misconceptions that many in the business community have about the mailing industry. “One of the biggest misconceptions is the idea that mail is somehow losing is value,” he said. “According to our research, two-thirds of consumers polled said they value what they receive in the mail.” Another misconception is that the Postal Service is going out of business. Donahoe assured the audience that the Postal Service is not going out of business and remains a strong vital engine of the nearly $800 billion dollar mailing industry.

Even as the Postal Service focuses on finding new ways to add value to the mail, it continues to forge ahead with plans to realign its network of mail processing facilities to become a leaner, more efficient logistical model. These streamlining efforts will keep mail affordable and support the needs of the mailing industry in American commerce for decades to come.

USPS Announces Facility Closures for 2012

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

As reported in earlier, the United States Postal Service® (USPS®) announced the facility closures, which are currently underway and will continue through 2014. The USPS previously proposed closing a large number of processing facilities in an effort to cut costs and optimize their processing network to more closely align with the decreased volumes of mail.

Network facility changes
Over the next 2 – 3 years, the Postal Service plans to close a total of 229 locations. The first phase already began this month and involves the 48 facilities listed below. The USPS plans to halt closures during the busy mailing season of September through December 2012, but will resume them in January 2013 for an additional 92 locations. The second phase of the project will take place in January 2014 for an additional 89 facilities, unless circumstances change in the interim.

The List (Please click on link below for complete list):

Copy of NetworkRationalizationConsolidationsSummer2012

A more detailed version of this listing in Excel format is available from the RIBBS web site.

What it means for mailers
So, what does all this mean for mailers? Now that the closures are underway, mailers will need to make sure their mailing software solutions – both presort and post-presort – are updated with the most recent postal destination data updates. This includes Labeling Lists, destination drop ship data files (including re-directions), etc. Mailers will also need to pay close attention to the changes in the USPS service standards and monitor mail delivery so that any necessary adjustments can be made to mailing schedules. On the dedicated web site, the USPS provides a fact sheet, a facilities list, and a copy of the USPS network realignment presentation. Stay tuned for further updates as this initiative progresses.

USPS MOVES AHEAD WITH CONSOLIDATION PLAN

Friday, May 18th, 2012

May 17, 2012

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Postal Service today announced plans to move ahead with a modified plan to consolidate its network of 461 mail processing locations in phases. The first phase of activities will result in up to 140 consolidations through February of 2013. Unless the circumstances of the Postal Service change in the interim, a second and final phase of 89 consolidations is currently scheduled to begin in February of 2014.

“We revised our network consolidation timeline to provide a longer planning schedule for our customers, employees and other stakeholders, and to enable a more methodical and measured implementation,” said Patrick R. Donahoe, Postmaster General and Chief Executive Officer of the Postal Service.

“We simply do not have the mail volumes to justify the size and capacity of our current mail processing network. To return to long-term profitability and financial stability while keeping mail affordable, we must match our network to the anticipated workload,” said Donahoe. “Our current plan meets our cost reduction goals, ensures seamless and excellent service performance throughout the implementation period, and provides adequate time for our customers to adapt to our network changes.”

The Postal Service will begin consolidating operations this summer – which mostly involve transferring mail-processing operations from smaller to larger facilities. Due to the volume of high-priority mail predicted for the election and holiday mailing seasons, no consolidating activities will be conducted from September through December of 2012. Approximately 5,000 employees will begin receiving notifications next week related to consolidating and other efficiency-enhancing activities to be conducted this summer.

“We will be conducting consolidation activities this summer at only 48 locations,” said Megan Brennan, chief operating officer of the Postal Service. “As a result, nearly all consolidating activities in 2012 will occur in August and then will resume again the early part of next year.”

These consolidating activities will reduce the size of the Postal Service workforce by approximately 13,000 employees and, when fully implemented, will generate cost reductions of approximately $1.2 billion annually.

“The Postal Service will be communicating with our customers and employees about these changes in great detail,” said Megan Brennan. “We will work closely with our customers to ensure there are no surprises as we move forward.”

The Postal Service also announced it is working with its unions for an employee retirement incentive, although no final decision has been made. “The Postal Service has reduced the size of its workforce by 244,000 career employees since 2000 without resorting to layoffs,” said Brennan. “We are a responsible employer and we will work with our employees to ensure a smooth transition to a much leaner organization.”

The Postal Service also announced that it would soon issue a new regulation to modify its existing Service Standard for overnight delivery. The Postal Service said a Final Rule would soon be published in the Federal Register that would initially shrink the geographic reach of overnight service to local areas and enable consolidation activity in 2013. The new rule would further tighten the overnight delivery standard in 2014 and enable further consolidation of the Postal Service mail processing network absent any change to the circumstances of the Postal Service.

“We are essentially preserving overnight delivery for First-Class Mail through the end of 2013, although we are collapsing the distance that we can provide overnight service to the distribution area served by a particular mail processing facility,” said Megan Brennan. Approximately 80 percent of First-Class Mail will still be delivered overnight.

The Postal Service stated its expectation to pursue additional consolidation activities for an additional 89 mail processing locations beginning in 2014 unless its circumstances change. These consolidations would be based on long-term service standards that would significantly revise mail-entry times for customers seeking overnight delivery.

“Given that the Postal Service is currently projecting a $14 billion net loss in FY2012, and continuing annual losses of this magnitude, we simply cannot justify maintaining our current mail processing footprint,” said Donahoe.

When fully implemented in late 2014, the Postal Service expects its network consolidations to generate approximately $2.1 billion in annual cost reductions, and lead to total workforce reduction up to 28,000 employees.

For a complete list of proposed consolidations, please click on link below.

USPS Potential to Consolidate List

The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

USPS TO CUT HOURS, INSTEAD OF CLOSING FACILITIES

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

(Reprinted from CNN Money)

The U.S. Postal Service is backing off a previous plan to close thousands of post offices, and will instead cut hours at 13,000 rural facilities in an effort to save $500 million a year.

In response to a backlash against massive closures, the Postal Service said Wednesday it will cut hours at the targeted post offices, which would remain open between two hours and six hours a day.

In addition, thousands of employees will be impacted when jobs shift from full-time to part-time positions.

The announcement is part of a broader plan that aims to save rural post offices from closing.

The Post Office plans to allow rural communities to choose whether their local post office will remain open with shorter hours, become a “village post office” that’s operated through a private company, or close altogether.

Most communities will choose shorter hours to keep their post office open, Postal Service officials say.

“Any rural community that wants to retain a rural post office, we’ll work with them to do that,” said Patrick Donahoe, the postmaster general.
Postal Service bill faces roadblocks

The plan to introduce shorter hours would happen over the next two years and be completed by September 2014, according to the postal service.

The new plan also includes buyout packages to be offered to 21,000 postmasters — the people in charge of post offices — eligible for retirement in offices throughout the nation, not just in rural areas. The cash buyouts will run up to $20,000 over a two-year period.

The Postal Service is in a financial bind, facing a $5.1 billion loss last year, due to the recession, declining mail volume and a congressional mandate to prefund retirement health care benefits.

The agency has said it wants to cut Saturday service, delay mail delivery and close hundreds of postal processing plants triggering thousands of job cuts nationwide.

Under the new plan, some 500 postal offices that have been closed over the last two years will remain closed.

Another 400 post offices that were ready to be closed when the May 15 moratorium on closures expires will now remain open while communities have an opportunity to decide what they’d like.

The news came as a relief to many lawmakers in the Senate who had spent the past few weeks lobbying the Postal Service to keep post offices open until legislation to save the post office got completed. Much of the Senate bill made it very difficult to close rural post offices.

“The Postal Service’s plan gives local communities a voice in ensuring that essential postal services are preserved,” said Thomas Carper, a Delaware Democrat who is one of the authors of the Senate postal bill.

House Republicans were not impressed with the meager savings on the plan to curtail rural post office hours, especially compared to the $12 billion debt that the Postal Service has racked up in loans from the Treasury Department.

“To achieve real savings creating long-term solvency, the Postal Service needs to focus on consolidation in more populated areas where the greatest opportunities for cost reduction exist,” said Rep. Darrell Issa of California, author of the House plan to save the service. To top of page