Key Notes – Volume 04 Number 42 & 43

Postal Customer Councils Show Value of Membership – The “State of the Industry” article appearing in the Sep/Oct issue of Mailing Systems Technology contains the following statement:  Almost 54% of managers reported attending local PCC meetings, compared to 38% last year.  This networking and sharing of ideas is what will lead to hard copy communications’ continued relevance in today’s increasingly digital age.  The PCC network helps large and small businesses maximize profits with their mailing and shipping needs.  Are you a member of your local chapter?  With 155 active PCCs nationwide and 80,000 active members, there are countless opportunities to learn, share, and grow with other business leaders and experts.  Check it out at  Source:  PostalPro

Legislation Would Allow Postal Service to Ship Alcoholic Beverages – Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-CA) recently reintroduced legislation that would allow the Postal Service to ship alcoholic beverages directly from licensed producers and retailers to consumers over the age of 21, in accordance with state shipping regulations.  Source:  FedSmith

USPS Aims for 2025 Launch of Self-Driving Trucks – According to American Shipper, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) will work with the University of Michigan on an autonomous mail delivery truck.  The USPS intends to introduce a swarm of the small self-driving trucks on rural routes across the country by 2025.  The USPS is considering three stages.  The first phase is underway, as the University of Michigan is set to deliver a prototype to the USPS by December 2017.  In Phase 2, the agency will partner with a manufacturer to pilot autonomous delivery trucks in 10 rural routes. Then, between 2022 and 2025, the USPS plans to deploy autonomous vehicles on 28,000 rural routes.  Source:  Supply Chain Dive

The Pulse of Employees – Engaged employees are committed and motivated to do their best work, and that’s crucial to every employer – including the Postal Service. In early 2016, USPS created eight activities meant to boost employee engagement. In this week’s Pushing the Envelope Blog, we discuss a recent OIG audit which evaluated metrics of employee engagement throughout the Postal Service. Read the blog here:  Source:  OIG

Still Have Questions About Informed Delivery – The U.S. Postal Service has a webpage that covers most of the frequently asked questions about the program.  From defining the basic program to availability.  Check it out by clicking here.  Source:  USPS

Postal Service to Deliver Holiday Cheer – The U.S. Postal Service estimates they will deliver more than 15 billion pieces of mail this holiday season.  In the period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, the Postal Service also expects to deliver 850 million packages, which is more than a 10 percent increase compared to the same period last year.  “The Postal Service is well prepared to meet our customers’ needs during the holiday season, especially as demand for package deliveries continues to grow,” said Megan J. Brennan, Postmaster General and CEO.  The Postal Service offers a new feature this year to help you track and schedule package delivery.  The Informed Delivery tool not only allows you to see your incoming mail and packages, it also allows you to reschedule delivery of your packages to ensure you’re able to be home to receive them.  Source:  USPS

Sears to Bring Back Its Iconic Holiday Catalog – Sears announced they are bringing back its iconic holiday catalog, something the department store chain hasn’t done since 2011.  This year, Sears said it has “reinvented” the 120-page gift guide, which includes holiday decor, home furnishings, games and toys, appliances, apparel, and more.  There will also be a digital version available on, and one on the retailer’s app.  Source:  CNBC

UPS Announces U.S. Rate Hikes, New Peak Surcharges for 2018 – United Parcel Service Inc said on Wednesday it would raise rates across many of its U.S. services by 4.9 percent later this year, with surcharge increases for next year’s peak season focused mainly on residential addresses.  The rise of e-commerce and online retailers like Amazon has posed challenges for the shipping industry.  Source:  NY Times