Latest Headlines


———  POSTAL  ———

President Orders Review of U.S. Postal Service

U.S. President Donald Trump ordered the creation of a task force (Executive Order) to study the Postal Service and its financial difficulties, after recently claiming without evidence that deliveries for Amazon were costing the service money.  The task force will look into the post office’s business model, similar to a commission set up by U.S. President George Bush in 2002.  In response, the USPS statement urged Congress to enact the pending postal reform legislation and the Postal Regulatory Commission to replace the current price cap on our mailing products.  Read more at Reuters

USPS Informed Delivery Growing Every Day

The Sprint to 10 Million Challenge, an initiative to sign up new users for Informed Delivery, is underway.  The goal is to have 10 million Informed Delivery users by Sunday, May 6, when this year’s National Postal Forum begins. Informed Delivery currently has about 9 million users.  Informed Delivery is a free feature that allows consumers to digitally preview their incoming mail and manage their packages from computers, tablets and mobile devices.  Read more at LINK

Presidential Task Force Brings Needed Momentum to Postal Reform

According to The Association for Print Technologies Vice President, Government Affairs, Mark J. Nuzzaco, the challenges faced by the Postal Service, which have been well studied by Congress, are in many respects addressed in pending legislation.  These measures have earned support from a broad spectrum of mailing industry stakeholders, so we would hope that the Task Force will draw heavily on that knowledge base and consensus in formulating its recommendations.  Read more at The Association for Print Technologies

Implications for the Postal Service

While it may be impossible for the Postal Service to stop the decline of transactional mail volume, the Postal Service should continue to take efforts to mitigate it.  This is essential because even if advertising and parcels grow, First-Class Mail remains vital to the Postal Service’s survival.  With transactional mail being the largest component of First-Class Mail, its decline has serious implications for the Postal Service.  Read more at USPS OIG

Postal Board Nominees Willing to Challenge Trump in Amazon Feud

Three of President Donald Trump’s nominees to the U.S. Postal Service’s board of governors say they’re willing to challenge the president in his feud with Amazon.com Inc. over how much it pays to mail packages.  The proposed board members staked out their independence in response to questions from Senator Claire McCaskill, the top Democrat on a Senate panel that held a hearing Wednesday on their nomination to the board that oversees the USPS.  Read more at Bloomberg


———  PAPER  ———

US Publishers Worry About Pricier Newsprint with New Tariffs

Newspaper publishers across the U.S. already strapped by years of declining revenue say they’re dealing with an existential threat:  Recently imposed tariffs on Canadian newsprint driving up their business costs.  The tariffs, imposed in January and increased in March, are not permanent yet. Critics of the paper tariffs say the businesses that will ultimately be harmed are not Canadian paper producers, but U.S. newspapers that will have to cut staff and reduce publication days to afford higher prices of newsprint — the sheets newspapers are printed on.   Read more at Citizen Tribune

Say a Lot About Your Brand Without Saying Anything

Art effects and specialty print techniques (which perform better on coated paper) are sensational avenues to reach that coveted status as an instantly recognized and exciting brand.  Various finishes and special effects create unique tactile experiences and can engage your audience with your brand in a way they won’t soon forget.  Read more at Sappi

Why do so Many People Love Print on Paper?

Two Sides North America has released the first of three engaging new infographics on Why do so many people love print on paper?  The new series of infographics highlights the most impactful results from U.S. consumer surveys conducted between 2015 and 2018 by Toluna, a global polling firm, and Two Sides North America.  Two Sides’ new infographic can be downloaded here.  The infographic is also available for co-branding by Two Sides Members, who may contact them for details.  The second and third infographics in the series will be available in May and June 2018.  Read more at Two Sides


———  DIRECT MAIL  ———

High-Speed Inkjet Is Enhancing the Role of Transactional Documents

The commercialization and implementation of inkjet printing is enabling the production of affordable full-color work and personalization with faster turnaround times. Moving forward, ongoing innovations in inkjet will drive substantial growth in digital page volumes. InfoTrends estimates that inkjet devices produced more than 122 billion impressions in the United States in 2016, and that number is predicted to reach 246 billion impressions by 2021 — a 14.9% compound annual growth rate (CAGR).  Read more at Mailing Systems Technology

Changing the Direct Mail Testing Game

Most marketers struggle with understanding their consumers at that level of detail. They lack the resources to know how to speak to the different segments differently, in a way that resonates and “moves the needle” with each target audience. As a result, when designing direct mail packages, they include something for all segments. In other words, they optimize to neutrality.  The key to creating winning direct mail packages is to use segmentation that taps into emotional insights.  Therefore to create truly effective direct mail, adding social and emotional characteristics to the demographic and psychographic descriptors of typical market segmentation is essential.  Read more at Accelerated Insights

Tips for Better Direct Mail

If you’re looking for a multichannel lift, consider adding direct mail to your marketing mix.  “People don’t throw out the mail—everyone is trying to find a way to use it as part of a multichannel campaign,” says John Sisson, president, HBT Inc.  Direct mail works well when it tied to other triggers, such as an email alerting recipients to watch their physical mailbox, and then another email after the direct mail piece drops, all with alignment in the call to action to drive people to the same place.  Read more at Chief Marketer


———  DISTRIBUTION  ———

Is Logistics Ready to Go All-Electric?

According to “Updated energy and emissions projections: 2017”, total final electricity consumption is expected to increase to 31,539 ktoe (thousand tonnes of oil equivalent) by 2035 – that is 20 per cent more than in 2017.  The use of electricity in transport is projected to increase from 424 ktoe last year to 1,768 ktoe by 2035.  A four-fold increase is not to be sneezed at, but electricity use is still small compared to the use of petroleum products in road transport.  And that means more generating capacity along with extra distribution infrastructure will be required to handle this increase.  Read more at Logistics Manager

Trucking Market Conditions Are As Good As It Gets

A few key monthly reports issued this week-FTR’s Trucking Conditions Index (TCI), and the Cass Freight Index-indicate that, at the moment, it’s a good time to be in the trucking industry.  And that comes with good reason, too, especially when considering some of the key ongoing themes in the sector, including:  tight capacity, pricing power, and stable (if not growing) demand, among others.  Read more at Logistics Management


———  ODDS & ENDS  ———

National Geographic Unveils Redesigned Print Edition

National Geographic’s May issue (on newsstands April 24) will mark the unveiling of its most significant redesign in nearly two decades, increasing the quality of its paper stock, introducing a brand new front-of-book section, and creating even more room for the photography and visual storytelling that have long made up the brand’s DNA.  Read more at FOLIO

Earth Day – April 22, 2018

From poisoning and injuring marine life to disrupting human hormones, from littering our beaches and landscapes to clogging our waste streams and landfills, the exponential growth of plastics is now threatening the survival of our planet.  In response, Earth Day 2018 is dedicated to providing the information and inspiration needed to fundamentally change human attitude and behavior about plastics.  Read more at Earth Day

Supreme Court Case Could Change Sales Tax Rules For Online Retailers

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments today in South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc.  If the Court finds for South Dakota, it would overturn Quill Corp. v. North Dakota, the 1992 decision which established the rule that requires online retailers to collect sales tax only if it has a physical presence in the state.  Listen to an interview on WBUR