Key Notes – Volume 05 Number 03

New Recyclable Clean-Release Card – REI, a high-quality outdoor equipment supplier to co-op members, along with their suppliers have created an innovative solution to the problem of film backing left on the catalogs, limiting the recyclability of the entire direct mail catalog.  Previously, industry-standard film-backed clean-release cards, applied to the outside cover of direct mail catalogs, created millions of pieces of landfill waste every year.  With the creation of the first 100 percent recyclable clean-release card – the WS Packaging Eco Card – the entire catalog now is recyclable.  Source:  PR News

Industry Associations Release 2018-2020 Mail Supply Chain Strategic Plan – A coalition of mailing industry non-profit trade associations today released its 2018-2020 Mail Supply Chain Strategic Plan, outlining key strategic goals and actions “to work towards the long-term vitality of mail and ensuring that the mail industry remains at the very center of communication and commerce in the United States and around the globe.”  The mission of the plan is to strengthen the end-to-end mail supply chain by improving its efficacy and ability to address the challenge of keeping mail a valued, reliable, and predictively cost-effective mode of communication and commerce.  To obtain a copy of the 2018-2020 Mail Supply Chain Strategic Planclick here.  Source:  Printing Impressions

A Shortage of Trucks Is Forcing Firms to Cut Shipments or Pay Up – A nationwide truck shortage is forcing thousands of shippers into a tough choice:  postpone all but the most important deliveries, or pay dearly to jump to the front of the line.  Trucking fleets are adding capacity, but it can take months or even years to catch up with demand.  Meanwhile, they are getting pickier about which manufacturers and retailers they work with.  Companies sometimes find it hard to convince truckers to pick up cargo at warehouses known for long loading times or traffic jams at the gate.  A new federal safety rule in December requiring drivers to track their hours behind the wheel with electronic logging devices, or ELDs, has exacerbated the problem.  Prices shot up for some routes that now might take two days instead of one because of stricter timekeeping.  Source:  The Wall Street Journal

Shoppers Want Shipping Options, Study Finds – Consumers who shop online want to get their merchandise delivered quickly and for free, new research shows.  More than two-thirds of online shoppers expect free shipping, even if the item costs less than $50, according to a study by the National Retail Federation, the industry’s largest trade group.  Thirty-eight percent of online shoppers said they expect free, two-day shipping, while 24 percent expect free same-day delivery.  Source:  USPS Link

How to Power USPS Vehicles in the Future – The Office of Inspector General recently evaluated the Postal Service’s fuel costs and consumption strategies for the Postal Vehicle Services (PVS) fleet to see how effective they are and how they might be improved.  Their audit report found a number of opportunities to bolster its strategy, particularly around how the PVS fleet might reduce its reliance on petroleum-based fuels.  While USPS has initiatives in place to reduce PVS miles driven, it doesn’t have a specific plan for how it will reduce the PVS fleet’s reliance on diesel fuel and its emissions of greenhouse gasses, or increase its use of alternative fuels, the report found.  The OIG also conducted an analysis on using compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles for part of the fleet and their results differed from the Postal Service.  The OIG determined CNG vehicles would provide a return on investment by saving on fuel costs over the life of the vehicles.  Source:  USPS OIG

Direct Mail is Most Credible Form of Media among Voters – the U.S. Postal Service commissioned a voter survey in the aftermath of last November’s Virginia gubernatorial race.  The results were fascinating and informative.  But perhaps what stood out most was that voters ranked direct mail as the most credible form of political advertising.  Among many findings, the survey found that 68% of all surveyed voters ranked direct mail among their three most credible forms of political outreach.  This outpaced competing forms of political outreach such as TV (59%), in home visits (47%) and digital ads (26%).  Source:  Campaigns & Elections