A Costly Constant: The Persistence of Postal Labor Costs

A report released early last month by the Postal Service’s Office of Inspector General (A Closer Look at Postal Labor Costs) illustrated the persistence of labor as representing the lion’s share of the agency’s total costs. In turn, it offered ratepayers a glimpse of both the magnitude of the expense and how the elements of the sum have changed over the previous decade.

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The Five-Year Strategic Plan

Despite telling Congress early last year that it was finalizing a ten-year plan, and later explaining the delay in its issuance by the need for its review by oncoming members of the Board of Governors, the document released last week by the USPS, Ready-Now ➔ Future-Ready, The US Postal Service Five-Year Strategic Plan 2020-2024, was somewhat less than what was anticipated.

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Translating Predictions of Postal Privatization - Part II

The following is the second in a two-part commentary, excerpted from the Jan. 6 edition of Mailers Hub News, in response to the Fortune Magazine article on Dec. 27, USPS Could Privatize As Early As Next Year

Any decision to sell-off or otherwise privatize the USPS would not be something arising from the Postmaster General, so campaigning that he or she should protect the ramparts of L’Enfant Plaza against the huns of privatization is somewhat misguided.

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Translating Predictions of Postal Privatization - Part I

The following is the first in a two-part commentary, excerpted from the Jan. 6 edition of Mailers Hub News

An article titled USPS Could Privatize As Early As Next Year, published in the December 27 issue of Fortune, resurrected the notion that steps to privatize the Postal Service are on the horizon, allegedly because of White House influence.

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The 2020 Economy: Slowing, but No Recession

Several economic indicators suggest that the US economy will slow in 2020 but that a recession is unlikely. That was the message delivered to attendees during a December 17 Mailers Hub webinar presented by Andrew Paparozzi, Chief Economist for the Specialty Graphic Imaging Association.

(Miss the webinar? Subscribers can view the recording here, in the Mailers Hub Archives.)

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Other Peoples' Money - Part II

The following is the second in a two-part commentary, excerpted from the Dec. 9 edition of Mailers Hub News

Changes step 3

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Other Peoples' Money - Part I

The following is the first in a two-part commentary, excerpted from the Dec. 9 edition of Mailers Hub News

The old joke is that a guy’s favorite beer is OP beer – other peoples’. A less funny corollary is that a politician’s favorite funding source is OP money. More correctly, in this case, the “other people” is not the general public (taxpayers) but a subset who, though still taxpayers, are also associated with a particular agency, purpose, or use.

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PRC Approves Proposed First-Class Rates – with Details to Follow

The following article is an excerpt from the Dec. 9 edition of Mailers Hub News

In an order issued on December 6, the Postal Regulatory Commission approved the First-Class Mail rates proposed on October 9 by the Postal Service, as those were later corrected on October 10 and amended on November 20.

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Below the Headlines: The 2020 Economy

Our guest blogger today, Andy Paparozzi, is Chief Economist for SGIA, and presenter for the December 17, 2019 Mailers Hub webinar, the 2020 Economic Outlook. 

The American economy has now grown 125 consecutive months, making the current upturn the longest on record. And headline numbers, such as 615,000 jobs added and retail sales up 4.0% over the last three months, suggest more growth is ahead.

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Clerks’ Union Preemptively Protests Next PMG

Privatization in any form is anathema to the American Postal Workers Union, representing clerks, maintenance employees, motor vehicle drivers, and others. After decades of successfully insulating its members from the economic realities impacting the Postal Service, the union is ever-watchful for any potential threat to their comfortable status quo.

Perceived danger

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One Company’s Story: A Case Study in a Business’ Evolution

This article first appeared in the November 11, 2019 edition of Mailers Hub News

In an industry where longevity is a rare quality, the life cycle and evolution of an enterprise in the commercial mailing business can be an interesting case study in adaptation and survival. An example is Whittier Mailing Service.

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Five Years at the Helm

That Megan Brennan has decided to retire from the Postal Service after five years as Postmaster General should not come as a surprise; to many observers, it was only a matter of time when she would make the announcement.

After a 33-year career, rising up through the ranks to the agency’s top position, after becoming its first female CEO, and after years of dealing with the political and media spotlight that comes with the job, Megan Brennan had nothing left to prove, and no higher rung on the ladder to reach.

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PMG Megan Brennan Announces Retirement

In a letter sent today to top Postal Service executives, Postmaster General Megan Brennan announced she will be retiring effective January 31, 2020. She's served as PMG since February 1, 2015, succeeding Pat Donahoe. In her announcement, Brennan stated that, when appointed, she committed to serving as PMG for five years, and she will have fulfilled her commitment. More details in the next issue of Mailers Hub News.

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Price Changes. It's Not That Simple

People often ask about price changes – why they’re when and what they are, and why the USPS can’t simply reduce its costs. It’s really not that simple.

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USPS Files Proposed 2020 Rates

The Postal Service has filed new prices for market-dominant mail that, if approved by the Postal Regulatory Commission, will take effect on January 26, 2020.  The average increase for the market-dominant classes of mail is 1.9%, in line with the CPI-based cap; First-Class Mail will increase, on average, by 1.919%, and Marketing Mail prices will rise by an average of 1.891%.  Barring problems during the PRC’s review of the filing, a decision should be expected by mid-November.

New prices for competitive products, set by the Governor of the Postal Service, also were announced.  They will be reviewed for statutory compliance by the PRC and, barring problems, also will be effective January 26.

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OIG Finds Network Changes Failed to Yield Planned Results

An audit report by the Postal Service’s Office of Inspector General revealed that changes the USPS has instituted in its processing operations have failed to produce savings at a pace commensurate with the overall decline in mail volume. Released September 9, the report (NO-AR-19-006, US Postal Service Processing Network Optimization) evaluated “trends and practices the U.S. Postal Service uses to optimize its processing network.”

Summary

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Upcoming Rate Changes - FREE WEBINAR October 22, 2019

Don't miss our upcoming FREE Webinar on October 20, 2019; Looking Over the Horizon – Possible Changes to Postal Prices and Discounts.  Yes, rates will change next year, but the question is by what degree, and will those be accompanied by changes to the rate structure, discounts, and fees?  Will there be classification changes, new products and services?  What’s the timeline?  Learn about what is likely to be happening so you can better inform your clients and build your company’s value.

Click Here to Register Now

Houston post-Imelda mail offload plan

The Postal Service has developed an offload plan for mail headed to Houston.

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Still Time to Make The Mailers Conference on September 20, 2019

There is still time to make the 2019 Mailers Conference.

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Why Personalization Matters in Direct Mail

Contributed by Summer GouldPresident, Eye/Com

Before we really get started let’s define what personalization in direct mail is. It is more than just putting the name and address on the piece. In 2019, even just adding dear name or just a name is no longer the best way to personalize your direct mail. Don’t get me wrong, you still need to have the name, but you can get so much more creative than that now. So don’t just stop there, get more personal with offers, images, landing pages and more.

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