Latest Headlines


———  POSTAL  ———

Breaking Gridlock:  The Postal Service Task Force

While some have summarily dismissed the President’s Executive Order regarding the Task Force on the Postal Service as an attempt by him to punish Amazon for its low shipping rates, the Task Force’s mission is comprehensive, and its work is long overdue.  Senator Bernie Sanders is among those who have expressed cautious optimism about it.  In a press release following the announcement he said, “President Trump is right that it would be useful to take a serious look at the United States Postal Service.”  Read more at Inside Sources

Postal Service Overhaul Gets Priority

Congress is speeding up its efforts to address the U.S. Postal Service’s financial problems, a push that comes as President Donald Trump has accused the online giant, Amazon.com Inc., of contributing to the post office’s woes.  House and Senate measures would reduce the Postal Service’s health benefits obligations, partly by shifting eligible employees and retirees to Medicare, in addition to allowing a 2.15 percent rate increase for some USPS services.  Lawmakers in both parties have said an overhaul is necessary for an agency that has reported losses for 11 consecutive years.  Read more at Bloomberg Government

Former USPS BOG Chairman Issues Statement

S. David Fineman, Former Chair of the United States Postal Board of Governors, has released a statement saying the Postal Service should not be a political football and we should move ahead with providing needed oversight of the system.  Mr. Fineman stated, it’s been eight years since the Senate approved a nominee to the Board of Governors of the United States Postal Service.  No one is overseeing the postal system.  It is a rudderless ship.  It was profitable and can still be profitable.  Read more at PR News Service


———  DISTRIBUTION  ———

 

Truck Driver Shortage is Raising Prices, Delaying Deliveries

If you see prices creeping higher for everything from cereal to socks in the next few months, you can probably blame this stark reality:  There aren’t enough truck drivers delivering the goods to stores.  A severe shortage of truckers is pushing up freight costs and, in turn, nudging up retail prices.  It occasionally has forced manufacturers to shut down production if they don’t receive raw materials in time.  And it’s occasionally leading to late deliveries that leave store shelves empty.  Read more at USA TODAY

Driver Recruiting, Retention Efforts Focus on Pay Packages

How much is enough to retain truck drivers and attract new drivers to the industry? According to the Driver iQ 1st Quarter Trends in Truckload Recruiting and Retention survey, $75,000 a year is the magic number.  The survey of recruiters who are Driver iQ clients or potential clients found that more than 90% of carriers making more than $30 million in revenue believe driver pay needs to be above $75,000 to attract the proper candidates.  According the American Trucking Associations, driver pay has increased 15% from $46,000 in 2013 to $53,000 in 2016 in the truckload sector. Private carriers raised pay from $73,000 to $86,000 during that time frame.  Read more at Freight Waves

Truck Driver Turnover & Shortage

Gather 10 truckers in one place and odds are that eight of them won’t be around a year later.  The annual turnover rate for drivers at large truckload fleets is currently 88 percent, according to the American Trucking Association (ATA).  “Despite this dip in turnover, the driver market remains tight and the driver shortage remains a real concern for fleets and the industry,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello.  “If the economic climate continues to improve, I expect both turnover and driver shortage concerns to rise in the near future.”  Read more at ATA


———  DIRECT MAIL  ———

Power Your Personalization

Some marketers view direct mail as an archaic advertising channel, but they shouldn’t.  Direct mail has an offline advantage that’s good for winback messaging.  Mailboxes have less clutter and distraction than their inboxes.  However, you have to do it right. Spray-and-pray ultimately just wastes a lot of paper and postage.  But if you use your digital data to inform your offline campaigns, you can deploy the same personalization people have come to expect online.  Read more at ClickZ

Acquire, Retain, and Re-engage with Direct Mail

In a highly competitive marketplace, many businesses agree that gaining new customers – and keeping them – can be a challenge. Integrating direct mail into a holistic, omni-channel marketing campaign not only serves as another visual way to get in front of consumers and tell your story, it can also give you the power to drive business and convert customers in different stages of the marketing life cycle.  Read more at DMN

Marketing Challenges and How to Solve Them

If you’re promoting your business through direct mail, events, trade shows, and other offline tactics, you may find it difficult to capture those leads and turn them into customers.  As the line between online and offline marketing is blurring, you need to make sure customers can interact with your brand seamlessly across all touch points.  After you have collected prospects’ information offline, make sure you have the ability to continue the conversation via digital channels.  The foundation of any successful omni-channel marketing strategy is the creation of a single customer view on a centralized database.  Read more at B2C


———  PRINTING & PAPER  ———

Print Vs Digital Media:  Print Is Not Going Anywhere

Although the numbers seem to point to a multitude of benefits when it comes to digital marketing, print media is still very ingrained in the consumers’ collective memory.  This means that people continue to be attracted to and willing to read print media, regardless if we’re talking about magazines and newspapers, flyers or catalogues.  Printed material is still very straightforward in terms of structure.  This basically means there are no distractions for a reader that’s committed to finishing an article.  Once they start reading an article or absorbing an ad, there are no other bits of news or pop-ups hovering over and taking the spotlight off of the article.  Read more at B2C

Has ‘Print’ Media’s Ad Spending Decline Bottomed Out?

A protracted erosion in “print” media ad spending may be bottoming out, thanks in large part to the growth of digital. According to a new forecast released by Jack Myers TomorrowToday, a surge in demand for digital “print-originated” advertising will offset declines in “legacy print” — the kind published in actual print — by 2021.  Read more at Media Post

Support to Fight for Paper-Based Resources

The Coalition for Paper Options (CPO) – the only stand-alone coalition devoted exclusively to protecting citizen access to paper-based information – proudly welcomes its newest members: the Association for Print Technologies (formerly NPES) and the Idealliance. These new members have joined with Printing Industries of America, the American Forest & Paper Association, the Envelope Manufacturers Association and a host of individual corporations in the paper manufacturing, printing and mailing industries as financial supporters of the Coalition for Paper Options’ efforts to protect access to paper-based resources and information.  Read more at American Printer

Researchers digitize writing with cheap, touch-sensitive paper

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have developed a paper that can track touch, which, among other applications, could lead to an inexpensive way to digitize writing.  They presented their work at the ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems.  The paper itself is your typical, run-of-the-mill paper, but conductive material is applied to the back.  While looking for the best conductive material to attach to the paper, the researchers wanted to make sure it was as inexpensive as possible and could be applied in a high-volume production scenario.  Read more at MSN