Latest Headlines

———  POSTAL  ———

All of a Sudden There is an Urgency to Pass Postal Reform

A bipartisan coalition of senators has introduced a new postal overhaul bill, hoping a special legislative rule will assist the measure to finally become law.  The bill appears to be on the fast track with the approval from leadership.  The bill’s sponsors invoked a rule on the same day the bill was introduced allowing the measure to skip the normal committee process and head straight to the floor for a vote. The timing of such a vote remains unclear.  Read more at Government Executive

Business Community Supports The Postal Reform Act of 2018

The Coalition for a 21st Century Postal Service (C21), an organization of the private sector mailing industry, announced support for the Postal Reform Act of 2018.   C21 has very strongly supported the similar Postal Reform Act of 2017, HR 756, and its bipartisan sponsors in the House, and plans to do everything it can to secure passage of the Senate bill before a very urgent financial problem for USPS becomes dire later this year.  Read more at 21st Century Postal Service

Mail Handlers Union Say They Proudly Support The Postal Service Reform Act of 2018

The United States Senate introduced legislation (The Postal Service Act of 2018) that, if enacted, could turn around the U.S. Postal Service finances for years to come and strengthen this most needed institution, stated National President Paul V. Hogrogian.  Though this is the first step, the NPMHU proudly supports this effort and hopes to help push this needed legislation across the line.  Read more at NPMHU

The Ultimate Guide to Recovering Lost Postage

Lost postage is a serious and pervasive issue for many companies, and yet, most have no idea they are losing millions of dollars because of it. Mailers need to know why this happens, where this money goes, how you can go about recovering your funds, and how to prevent this type of leakage in the future.  Read more at Mailing Systems Technology


———  PAPER  ———

NNA President Encourages Industry Response to Tariff Proposals

Susan Rowell, President of the National Newspaper Association, issued a Tweet encouraging a strong industry reponse to tariff proposals.  Ms. Rowell feels “the paper your newspaper is printed on is under attack.”  Read her editorial and fact sheet here.

Newsprint tariffs threaten the newspaper industry

On March 13, 2018 the US Department of Commerce announced tariffs of up to 22.16 percent on Canadian newsprint production, more specifically uncoated groundwood paper, also widely used in book publishing.  A single US mill with 300 employees- NORPAC- located in Washington State has filed countervailing duties and anti-dumping complaints against Canadian mills, claiming that Canadian producers are undercutting US mills. NORPAC is backed by a New York hedge fund.  Read more at Hernando Sun

Federal Regulators Debate if Companies Can Switch From Paper Disclosures To Email

A recent rulemaking that has fallen under particular, and grossly unjustified, scrutiny is SEC rule 30e-3, which would allow mutual funds, pension funds, and other investment vehicles to issue their required disclosures electronically rather than by mail.  The proposed rule generated substantial public comment, with over 900 commenters expressing views. The comments submitted raised issues with respect to this proposal that merit further consideration.  The Commission plans to continue to consider how to promote electronic transmission to those who might prefer it.  [EDITORS NOTE:  Let’s hope the printed copies remain an option.]  Read more at Daily Caller

Old Spice fits a full-size scented paper blazer into GQ print ad

Old Spice’s latest print ad in GQ magazine features an adult-sized paper blazer scented with the Procter & Gamble brand’s new line of fragrances for men, according to Adweek. Once readers open the page in the magazine, they can remove and sport the folded, disposable blazer emblazoned with the brand logo and “live the luxurious life of Old Spice Captain.”  Read more at Marketing Dive



FedEx Reserves 20 Tesla Semi Electric Trucks

FedEx announced it has placed a reservation for 20 Tesla Semi trucks.   The fully-electric trucks, which are scheduled to begin production in 2019, will be operated by FedEx Freight, its less-than-truckload unit.  Read more at FedEx

Amazon is issued patent for delivery drones that can react to screaming voices, flailing arms has been granted a new patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for a delivery drone that can respond to human gestures.  The concept is part of Amazon’s goal to develop a fleet of unmanned aerial vehicles that can get packages to customers in 30 minutes or less.  Issued earlier this week, the patent may help Amazon grapple with how flying robots might interact with human bystanders and customers waiting on their doorsteps.  Read more at Washington Post

Hours of Service (H.O.S.) Violations Set to Skyrocket on April 1

The trucking industry Electronic Logging Device (ELD) ‘hard enforcement’ will begin on April 1st—noncompliant trucks will be taken off the road for 10 hours and CSA scores will be affected.  There has been a substantial amount of non-punitive enforcement of the mandate since its “soft launch” on December 18.  Read more at Freight Waves


———  TECHNOLOGY  ———

Augmented Reality Takes Another Step Forward

AR-enabling hardware is steadily improving, and so are the algorithms that play a critical role in creating and displaying compelling AR content.  One of the most important developments is the greater precision with which the edges of surfaces are identified.  This is an essential capability for positioning digital images so that they do not appear—unconvincingly—to be hovering in midair.  Today, AR delivers the same sort of experience without that requirement, vastly increasing its accessibility.  Read more at Wall Street Journal

Opportunities for Using Geo-Data To Amplify Print-Based Marketing

Approximately 80 percent of all business decisions are tied to location—consumers overwhelmingly still head to a store to make a purchase. In order to spur direct mail momentum, marketers turn to location-based targeting to define the right target audience for each message they create for their customers. Therefore, it’s only reasonable to use geo-data to connect a customer’s location to a brand’s physical place to create a lasting connection.  Marketers can then use location-based targeting to increase customer acquisition rates by building community awareness and finding potential customers near their business.  Read more at GEO Marketing

Augmented Reality is Here to Stay

The past year served as a major turning point for mainstream AR adoption, with Apple launching ARKit and Google following suit, unveiling ARCore at last month’s Mobile World Congress.  With worldwide spending on AR and virtual reality (VR) expected to reach $17.8 billion in 2018, more innovation and opportunity are anticipated in this space.  Reat more at Business Wire


———  PRINTING  ———

Arandell Kentucky Expansion

Arandell Corp., the trusted leader in premier catalog printing and omni-channel solutions, announced the company is expanding through the acquisition of a second facility in Walton, Kentucky.  The Kentucky facility will position Arandell to expand the range of its service offerings, providing additional formats, more cost-effective services and a multi-plant footprint for mailing and distribution capabilities.  Read morea at Arandell

A New Generation of Food Magazines Thinks Small, and in Ink

At a time when traditional food magazines are shrinking and cutting staff, there is an unexpected groundswell across the country: a wave of small, sophisticated print magazines, produced on a shoestring by young editors with strong points of view and a passion for their subjects — from the subtleties of regional Thai home cooking to the intersection of food and queer culture.  Read more at NY Times