Key Notes – Volume 03 Number 15

USPS Ratemaking System to be Reviewed – The PRC is required to review the market-dominant regulatory system to determine whether it is achieving the statutory objectives mandated by Congress.  The obligation to conduct the review arises 10 years after enactment of the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, which occurs in December of this year.  To offset long-term declines in the use of First-Class Mail in particular, the Postal Service continues to aggressively improve efficiency and has reduced our annual cost base by USD 15 billion since 2008.  Nevertheless, and despite strong multi-year growth in package deliveries, the Postal Service continues to record unsustainable financial losses due to changing market conditions and legislative and regulatory mandates which prevent the Postal Service from fully adjusting to the new market realities.  Source:  The Economic Times & Postal Regulatory Commission

Smart Ways to Use Your Postal Savings – In response to the exigent increase in January of 2014, many mailers cut back on prospecting. It’s a common reaction very much like a decision to defer home maintenance in response to budget pains in our personal lives.  Eventually, what’s deferred must get done and the cost is both higher and the work more extensive than if it hadn’t been neglected in the first place.  Click here to read 7 ideas on how to use that savings.  Source:  Quad Graphics

Same-day service:  How does Amazon do that? – The company doesn’t disclose a lot of detail about how it operates its same-day service.  This HowStuffWorks.com story has interesting information how the company uses a network of fulfillment centers across the country.  It has built 50 such warehouses between 2011 and 2015, according to the story.  Amazon ( NASDAQ: AMZN) has two fulfillment centers in the Louisville area, in Shepherdsville and Jeffersonville, where it employs about 5,000 workers and uses lots of delivery services — FedEx, USPS, DHL  and numerous others.  Source:  Louisville Business First

USPS Revenue and Volume Loses – It is helpful to look at what has happened to postal volume in ways outside of revenues that cannot be distorted by inflation.  In terms of pieces, Standard Mail has stabilized while others have declined.  Click here to view charts on USPS volume.  Had volume kept up with population, it would be 13% higher than in 2001.  In terms of weight, mail is getting lighter.  This may be a surprise, but mailers react to price increases by redesigning the nature of their mailings.  All postal price changes are reacted on by its customers.  Postage rates are not the only costs for customers.  Nor is the USPS their only choice to reach their target audience.  There remains little comprehension that USPS pricing is out of line with competitors, and they are shackled by numerous political rent-seekers who influence their actions in destructive ways.  Source:  WhatTheyThink

Mark Your Calendars – Pass the word around the office, the National Association of Letter Carriers will hold its 24th annual food drive on Saturday, May 14.  The Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive, the country’s largest single-day food drive, provides residents with an easy way to donate food to those in need in the community.  Customers simply leave their donation of non-perishable goods next to their mailbox before the delivery of the mail on Saturday May 14, to be collected and distributed to local food agencies by letter carriers.  Visit www.nalc.org/food to learn more.  Source:  Ruralinfo.net

NRLCA Approves New Contact with USPS – The National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association (NRLCA) membership has ratified a new three-year labor contract with the Postal Service.  The contract covers approximately 119,000 employees represented by the union.  Highlights of the agreement include annual general wage increases, a reduction in the employer share of health premiums, and the preservation of workforce structure modifications achieved during a collective bargaining process in 2010.The new agreement, announced in February, runs through May 20, 2018.  Source:  USPS Link

Senator Urges Postal Reform in Wake of Rate Cut – Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), the ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, is pushing once again for postal reform legislation—a move he said is even more necessary given the expiration of an emergency surcharge on U.S. Postal Service rates.  Carper introduced his latest postal reform bill, Improving Postal Operations, Service, and Transparency Act (S. 2051), or iPOST, last September.  “Congress has a sworn duty, enshrined in the Constitution, to ensure that the Postal Service is fiscally sustainable and able to provide the American people with reliable mail service,” Carper said in a statement.  Source:  Federal Soup

What Does Personalization Mean to You? – Personalization is definitely the most popular buzzword these days, though it means different things to a lot of people.  What does not change is that this movement is here to stay in the age of information overload, as marketers must stand out, for their survival, with relevant messages to ever-distracted consumers.  Source:  Target Marketing