Key Notes – Volume 03 Number 39

PRC Publishes Five-Year Plan – The US Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) has announced its Strategic Plan for the next five years.  In a statement, the PRC said that its plan had four strategic goals.  Commenting on the new plan, the PRC’s Acting Chairman Robert Taub said: “Strategic planning and goal setting is important for any organization; such efforts help to articulate priorities and focus key efforts.  The Strategic Plan for 2017-2022 is available on the Commission’s website, www.prc.gov.  Source:  Post & Parcel

Enterprise Payment System – The U.S. Postal Service is upgrading its payment architecture for business customers.  The new Enterprise Payment System (EPS) will replace the current product-centric payment system with a centralized account management system enabling commercial customers to pay for and manage their services online using a single account.  EPS has been designed to be part of USPS products and services offered through the existing Business Customer Gateway (BCG) portal.  Source:  Federal Register

Millennials Are Out-Reading Older Generations – Millennials, like each generation that was young before them, tend to attract all kinds of ire from their elders for being superficial, self-obsessed, anti-intellectuals.  But a study from the Pew Research Center offers some vindication for the younger set.  Millennials are reading more books than the over-30 crowd, Pew found in a survey of more than 6,000 Americans.  Some 88 percent of Americans younger than 30 said they read a book in the past year compared with 79 percent of those older than 30.  At the same time, American readers’ relationship with public libraries is changing—with younger readers less likely to see public libraries as essential in their communities.  Source:  The Atlantic

Amazon’s Newest Ambition: Competing Directly with UPS and FedEx – Tackling the delivery business, Amazon executives publicly say, is a logical way to add delivery capacity—particularly during the peak Christmas season.  But interviews with nearly two dozen current and former Amazon managers and business partners indicate the retailer has grander ambitions than it has publicly acknowledged.  Amazon’s goal, these people say, is to one day haul and deliver packages for itself as well as other retailers and consumers—potentially upending the traditional relationship between seller and sender.  Source:  WSJ

New USPS Mail Trucks May Use Hybrid Or Electric Powertrains – The USPS’s search for an updated, modern mail delivery truck — which has been dubbed the “Next Generation Delivery Vehicle” search — may lead to an electric or hybrid design, according to recent reports and the USPS itself.  The US government mail delivery organization has apparently now identified the 6 “prime suppliers” that will be producing prototype vehicles (a total of 50) from which the Next Generation Delivery Vehicle (NGDV) will be chosen.  The new prime suppliers’ contracts total $37.4 million in business.   Source:  Clean Technica

ACMA Announces 2017 Annual National Catalog Forum – The American Catalog Mailers Association announced their 10th Annual National Catalog Forum will take place in Washington, May 2-4, 2017.  The Forum will be part of their year-long 10th Anniversary celebration, which includes a special logo, and a forthcoming complete overhaul of the ACMA website.  The event will be held at the beautiful DuPont Circle Hotel in D.C. Source:  ACMA

Uber to Move Freight, Target Trucking for the Long Haul – With its recent acquisition of self-driving truck startup Otto, Uber Technologies Inc. is plotting its entry into the long haul trucking business, aiming to establish itself as a freight hauler and a technology partner for the industry.  Uber aims ultimately to transform the competitive and fragmented $700 billion-a-year trucking industry, which is notorious for low margins.  Source:  Transport Topics

USPS Will Continue Dabbling in Grocery Deliveries – The U.S. Postal Service got the go-ahead to continue trying out the grocery-delivery business for another year so that it can experiment with different pricing and service models.  The USPS told the Postal Regulatory Commission that it’s still trying “to determine the operational feasibility and the desirability of making Customized Delivery a permanent product.” The PRC approved an extension of the two-year market test for a third year, through October 2017.  Source:  Dead Tree Edition