Key Notes Vol. 02 No. 37

HOT NEWS: Senator Introduces Another Bill to Save the USPSSen. Tom Carper, D-Del., ranking member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and longtime crusader for a legislative reform package to fix the ailing USPS, will once again take a crack at saving the Postal Service.  He introduced the 2015 Improving Postal Operations, Service and Transparency (iPost) Act.  One item likely anger large-scale mailers, the bill would make permanent an emergency price increase (exigent) instituted in 2013.  The rate is currently set to expire next year, though the Postal Service is fighting that in court.  The Postal Regulatory Commission would be tasked with establishing a new rate-setting process starting in 2018.  Source:  Government Executive
Shipping Slowdown According to a CNBC report, several major retailers have lowered the minimum requirements for “free shipping,” another sign the competition for online shoppers is heating up.  The surge in online shopping has driven major growth in the shipping sector, especially during the holidays.  The Postal Service alone delivered approximately 524 million packages last December, an 18 percent increase over 2013. While free shipping options may not be profitable in the short run, retailers are betting that gains in customers will outweigh the costs, industry analyst Rafi Mohammed told CNBC.  Source: USPS Link
UPS Expands Hybrid Electric Fleet – UPS announced it has purchased 125 new technology hybrid electric delivery trucks, as part of a broader program to deploy electric-powered vehicles with greater range and performance.  The new trucks will deliver significant fuel economy equivalency gains – up to four times the fuel economy of a gasoline powered vehicle, compared to a 10 to 15% improvement with previous hybrid designs. They will be deployed in Arizona, Texas, Nevada, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Florida the first half of 2016.  Source:  UPS
Uber MagazineWhen you request an Uber this week, look out for something new in the backseat pocket—our first-ever in-car magazine, Arriving Now. In celebration of Fashion Week, Arriving Now’s first edition is packed with pro tips, hotspots, and exclusive details about upcoming promotions.  Source: UBER
Postal Union Goes to Court Over Service StandardsThe APWU filed a brief in D.C. Circuit Court on Sept. 14 against the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC), arguing that USPS service standards must be “legally enforceable.”  In 2013, the union filed a complaint with the commission asserting that the Postal Service was systematically violating service standards as a result of plant closures.  Source:  APWU
FedEx to Increase Rates FedEx Express, FedEx Ground and FedEx Freight, subsidiaries of FedEx Corp., will increase shipping rates effective January 4, 2016.  FedEx Express will increase shipping rates by an average of 4.9% for U.S. domestic, U.S. export and U.S. import services.  FedEx Ground and FedEx Home Delivery will increase shipping rates by an average of 4.9%. FedEx SmartPost rates will also change.  Source:  FedEx