Key Notes Vol. 02 No. 38

Postal Reform Bill Needs Work, But Needs to Be Passed  As indicated in the last issue Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) introduced a new postal reform bill called iPOST, but this time he’s on his own.  He has no co-sponsor as yet. Power changed hands in the Senate during the mid-term elections.  Carper is now Ranking Member on the committee and new Chairman Ron Johnson (R-WI) is on record saying he’d rather see the U.S. Postal Service file for bankruptcy before any new legislation is passed. Nonetheless, stakeholders in the postal arena view iPOST as an able vehicle for postal reform, though one that will require many modifications and that will travel a long road to passage.  “This the beginning of a legislative process. The bill’s got to get through committee and the Senate. There’s got to be a comparable bill in the House. But we’re looking at [iPOST] as a good place to start,” says Gene Del Polito, president of the Association for Postal Commerce.  Source:  Direct Marketing
Part of USPS Should be Privatized, Brookings Fellow SaysOn the heels of new Postal Service reform legislation, a fellow at the Brookings Institution offered her own suggestions for saving the agency, including splitting it into two distinct parts.  Elaine Kamarck, a senior fellow in governance studies at Brookings, released a paper Sept. 18, the same day Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) introduced a bill meant to bring USPS back to solvency.  While Carper’s bill tries to help the agency by keeping its current organization intact, Kamarck’s solution is more dramatic.  In order to save the USPS, the organization must be broken into two separate entities – one public and one private, Kamarck argues in the paper (pdf).  “The USPS exists right now in never-never land,” Kamarck writes. “It is not fully public and it is not fully private. It is supposed to compete and innovate but it is stifled by law and saddled with a governance structure that impedes innovation.”  Source:  Fierce Government
Faster Food Target is testing same-day grocery deliveries in the Minneapolis area, joining a growing list of retailers that are aiming to fulfill online orders fasterInstacart, a start-up service, is delivering the orders for Target.  The retail chain also is experimenting with in-store pickups to boost online sales.  Since Instacart began working with Whole Foods last year, the grocer has experienced an uptick in sales, the Star Tribune reported last week.  Source:  USPS Link
FedEx Raises Some Shipping Rates Ahead of Peak Following suit on rival UPS and its move to offset costs related to peak season volume, FedEx has announced a number of rate changes, some of which will take place in January while others will take effect Nov. 2, ahead of the Thanksgiving-to-Christmas package rush. For both carriers, the exploding growth in ecommerce is a primary driver of the increased volume, year round but especially at peak.  Source:
The Holiday Season Is Starting EarlierA recent report from marketing software company SteelHouse shows that 48% of shoppers say they complete the majority of their shopping on or before Cyber Monday—a 40% increase from 2013.  Also, 25% of shoppers say they began their holiday shopping even before Halloween arrived.  Source:  Direct Marketing
National Forest Week Puts Focus on Canada’s Growing Forest Sector As the voice of Canada’s forest industry, the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) is proud to celebrate National Forest Week in Canada, September 20-26, 2015 and remind Canadians about the economic importance of the forest sector.  National Forest Week is a weeklong celebration of our forests and the vital role they play in the cities and towns across our nation.  Source:  Two Sides
USPS Update on Fall Mailing Season Webinar SeriesThe Postal Service would like to update mailers on its fall mailing season readiness plans. Linda Malone, Vice President Network Operations, and her staff will be presenting a series of webinars [Link] throughout the next three months updating mailers on important information regarding fall mail conditions. The first webinar will be held September 28, at 1p.m. (EDT). Two additional webinars will be held on October 23 and November 20, 2015.  Source:  USPS
Holiday Mail Planning – The Postal Service uses a color code system for mail entered at a Section Center Facility (SCF).  This chart is very helpful in trying to reach your requested in-home window.