Key Notes – Volume 04 Number 12

USPS Offers Comments on PRC Review – USPS is offering comments on the 10-year pricing system review being conducted by the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC).  Under a 2006 postal law, the PRC must review the system used for regulating rates and classes for market-dominant products, including First-Class Mail, USPS Marketing Mail and other mail categories.  The goal is to determine if the current system is meeting its objectives, which include enabling the Postal Service to be financially stable. If the current system is not meeting the objectives of the law, the PRC can modify it or adopt a new system.  In comments filed March 20, USPS recommended changes to the current system.  In a statement, the Postal Service wrote, “Because the current system is not achieving the objectives of the postal law, including the objective to ensure that the Postal Service is financially stable, the Postal Service has proposed an alternative pricing system that does not include a price cap. Instead the PRC would be responsible for after-the-fact regulatory monitoring to ensure that the prices being charged by the Postal Service are just and reasonable.”  Source:  USPS LINK

ABA Advocates for Stable Postal Rates – In a comment letter to the U.S. Postal Regulatory Commission today, ABA (American Bankers Association) advocated for maintaining stable postal rates based upon the Consumer Price Index. Given that the banking industry is one of the largest users of the Postal Service, ABA emphasized that its members are committed to stable pricing and common-sense postal reform that would allow the USPS to continue operating in an efficient, self-sustaining and affordable manner.  Source:  Banking Journal

Postal Service Offers Professional Certification Programs at NPF – Are you ready to learn about the exclusive opportunity for National Postal Forum (NPF) attendees to expand their professional credentials?  Back by popular demand, three official USPS certification programs will be offered again at this year’s NPF.  Source:  NPF

MPA Preps for USPS Showdown – As the Postal Regulatory Commission’s 10-year review of USPS postage rates moves forward, the MPA (The Association of Magazine Media) has teamed up with a pair of mailer organizations to argue the case for affordable shipping.  Essentially, the Postal Service wants the PRC to recognize that those objectives have not been met, and the current inflation-based price caps on postage rates must be lifted.  The MPA, along with the Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers (ANM) and the Association for Postal Commerce (PostCom), disagrees with that assessment, submitting comments to the PRC this week calling on it to “retain the inflation-capped pricing structure that has protected captive users of the Postal Service’s monopoly services for the past decade.”  Regardless of how the conflict unfolds, don’t expect a resolution to arrive quickly.  In January, the MPA filed a request — backed by several other organizations, as well as UPS — to delay the March 20 deadline for submitting comments on the upcoming rulemaking until after the PRC had conducted its review.  That request was denied, but the PRC still isn’t expected to reveal its findings — or any recommended rule changes — until “early Autumn.”  Source:  Folio

Quick Fact – Paper can be recycled up to seven times.  Source:  Paper & Packaging

Transport Companies and Carriers Lead USPS Suppliers List – The US Postal Service (USPS) spent over $14bn in 2016 on outside purchases, about half of that for transportation.  The list – which was compiled by David Hendel, the leader of Husch Blackwell’s Postal Contracting team – is based on data received in response to Freedom of Information Act requests.  Transport contractors fill half of the first ten spots on the Top 150 for fiscal year 2016 (which ended on 30 September). Click here to view the full list.  Source:  Post & Parcel

Paper2017 is Where the Industry Meets – Join your colleagues at the industry’s premier event, held March 26-28, 2017 in Chicago!  Co-hosted by the American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) and the National Paper Trade Association (NPTA), Paper2017 will provide executives from across the industry with timely sessions on emerging issues and unparalleled networking opportunities to enhance business partnerships and make new connections.  The online registration is now closed, but you can register on site.  Click here for more information.