Latest Headlines

———  POSTAL  ———

What’s in a Name? A Potential Decline in Response Rates

When the USPS proposed changing the name from Standard Mail (STD) to Marketing Mail (MKT) on the indicia of every mail piece, there was serious trepidation from the industry.  Fortunately, a few companies recently took the time to quantitatively test what this name change could mean for their response rates.  What they found was concerning and seemed to validate fears from the industry.  Read more at Mailing System Technology

Americans Say They’re Ready For Drones To Deliver The Mail

The U.S. Postal Service has been considering how best to incorporate autonomous robots into mail and package delivery and recently conducted an online poll of almost 3,000 Americans to determine whether the public is on board with the idea.  Read more at Nextgov

USPS Financials Show Net Operating Loss of $1.3 Billion

The Postal Regulatory Commission (Commission) released its Financial Analysis report, which analyzes the overall financial position of the United States Postal Service in Fiscal Year (FY) 2017.  In FY 2017, the Postal Service recorded its first net loss from operations, since FY 2013, of $1.3 billion, largely due to declining mail volume, the expiration of the exigent surcharge, and higher operating costs.  Read more at the Postal Regulatory Commission

Expert Warns of Possible Post Office Bailout

The Postal Service could be headed for a bailout if budget woes are not addressed with significant reforms.  Congress has looked to address the budget problems with the post office facing $15 billion in debt.  The USPS has supported efforts to advance legislative and regulatory reforms to fix the budget shortfalls.  But critics contest that the real issue is mismanagement.  The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) warns that a taxpayer-funded bailout is becoming increasingly more likely as the postal service debt racks up.  The conservative taxpayer advocate notes particular concern over legislation that was recently introduced.  Read more at Inside Sources



Veritiv Chairman and CEO Mary Laschinger discussed packaging, health care costs, and trucking on Bloomberg TV’s Daybreak with David Westin and Alix Steel.  In case you missed the programming originating from Atlanta, click here to view the interview.

Behind the Patch:  Honoring UPS Driver Safety Milestones

UPS has been recognizing its drivers’ safety milestones since the 1920s. This year, there is more to celebrate than ever before. The number of UPS drivers earning elite Circle of Honor status – recognizing those who have not had an avoidable accident for 25 years or more – topped 10,000 for the first time. In 2017, 1,582 UPS drivers joined the Circle of Honor, including drivers in Canada, France, Germany, Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and, of course, in the United States.  Read more at the UPS Blog

Study Shows 95% of Wooden Pallets are Recycled

Preliminary results of a research project conducted by Virginia Tech on the disposal of wood pallets at landfill sites reveal that 95% of wooden pallets are being recycled.  The landfill avoidance study was independently conducted at Virginia Tech over two years.  Both municipal and solid waste (MSW) and construction and demolition (C&D) landfill facilities were surveyed to better understand how pallets were being handled at these facilities.  Read more at Pallet Central

Why Millennials Should Start Considering Truck Driving

2017 report by the American Trucking Association noted that the industry needs to hire almost 900,000 more drivers to meet rising demand, while the latest jobs report noted that 185,000 jobs have been added over the past four months alone.  Bottom line: this sector is getting desperate for talent, and the problem is only worsening.  Read more at NBC News

Supply Chain Stuck in Traffic?

In our increasingly congested world, we often think of congestion as costing us time.  In fact, it costs much more.  According to the Centre for Economics and Business Research, between 2013 and 2030 congestion in the United States will cost citizens and companies some $2.8 trillion.  That’s how much it costs to stand still.  Read more at Wall Street Journal

———  Direct Mail  ———

Why You Should Be Adding Direct Mail to Your Marketing Mix

With all the emphasis placed on digital marketing in E-commerce, it’s important to remember that consumers don’t exist solely on the Internet. They’re everywhere — online and offline, in stores and reading catalogs.  People don’t choose only one outlet in which to engage with your brand.  It’s not about getting clicks or generating massive visibility.  Instead, it’s about appearing as a unified front at every customer touchpoint.  Direct Mail can add the boost you need to your marketing mix and brand engagement.  Read more at Navistone

Ways to Increase Sales With Your Catalog

Despite the proliferation of digital channels available to modern marketers, catalogs remain a critical component of the marketing mix for many businesses and brands.  In fact, catalogs have experienced a resurgence of late, with several notable companies launching or relaunching catalog programs in recent years, and even primarily digital retailers are adding print catalogs to their mix.  According to the Data & Marketing Association and the Postal Service, 9.8 billion catalogs were mailed in 2017.  That’s impressive—but more impressive is the 23 percent increase in overall response rate, owing largely to better targeting and design.  Read more at Promo Marketing Magazine

———  Odds & Ends  ———

USPS Fun Facts

USPS wants you to check out Postal Facts, a newly updated site that showcases data about postal operations, innovations, sustainability, stamps and other topics.  Postal Facts tells the Postal Service story in an interesting and visually creative way.  Read and learn more at Postal Facts

Knock, Knock!  Robot Here! 

Though robotic technology has a number of limitations, pilot programs for autonomous delivery are still worth pursuing to promote efficiency and enable new business models for the Postal Service. Our latest “Pushing the Envelope” blog summarizes a recent white paper on autonomous mobile robots and their potential use by USPS. Can you imagine one coming to your door with your mail? Read the blog here:

McDonald’s Tests Paper Straws

In the United States alone, 500 million straws are thrown away every day.  That’s enough straws to wrap around the Earth 2.5 times each day, according to One Less Straw.  People are beginning to tell restaurant servers not to bring straws.  McDonald’s is opting for a paper alternative.  That’s not the only option, but it’s certainly a good solution in situations where straws will be tossed.  Read more at Two Sides