As you know, the US Postal Service has taken some hard licks over the last several years; some earned, some not.
Any organization that is governed by Congress has a tough road to hoe.
The USPS is a key part of our business and it’s currently in transition. It’s not what it used to be.
I hope my opinion piece sheds new light on the changes they’re making.
Thanks in advance for your interest.
Author: Harry Herget, firstname.lastname@example.org, 3401 One Place, Jonesboro, AR, 72404, 870-243-5599.
Harry Herget is a co-founder of Syntel, LLC, the creator of The Inevitable Mailroom and developer of AUTODOCS™, MAILSTREAM MANAGER® and its flagship product, AUTOMAIL®, the leading mail automation and mixed-weight manifest solution for transaction businesses. Mr. Herget is a Business Partner with the USPS and his company’s flagship product, AUTOMAIL®, is Certified by the USPS. Tolearn more about Syntel, LLC, call 800-898-2540, or visit the company on-line at www.syntelllc.com.
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Out: The US Postal Service. In: The US Package Service
Welcome TheNew USPS
Say goodbye to the declining and debt ridden US Postal Service and welcome The New USPS, the growing and vibrant US Package Service.
Though the acronym USPS remains unchanged, the “P” switch from “Postal” to “Package” is truly transformative.
The old USPS acknowledges that first class and standard mail will continue to surrender to the insuperable power of digital competition; conversely, the New USPS accepts, with equal resolve, the growing demand to process and deliver packaged items, commonly referred to as parcels, which are immune to the threat of digital replacement.
Since 2008, annual volume of First-Class mail has dropped a staggering 27.5%, from 90.7B to 65.8B pieces. To date, first-class mail has recorded 32 consecutive quarters of declining volume. Advertising, or standard, mail volume has also dropped since 2008 from 98.4B to 80.9B, or about 18%.
Eight years ago, we introduced The Inevitable Mailroom which married the best of workflow technologies. At the time, it included the mixed weight manifesting of traditional mail and the eDelivery of digitized documents. The Inevitable Mailroom offers its users optimal savings in labor, equipment, consumables and postage. This value proposition lives on today for processors of transaction mail.
With the advent of The New USPS, the definition of The InevitableMailroom has been expanded to include parcels. While traditional mail items feature the IM®b — Intelligent Mail Barcode – The InevitableMailroom nowincludes software that keys off of theIM®pb – Intelligent Mail Package Barcode – which is the heart of The New USPS.
New software deliverables include automatically generating package labels that comply with strict manifesting and, in some cases, presorting schemes and protocols.
With respect to items requiring the IM®pb, the vast majority flowing through the USPS mailstream today are represented by five different types:
- Certified MFir
- Certified Mail.
- First-Class Package Services – for lightweight items up to 13 oz.; sometimes up to 16 oz.
- Parcel Select – both pre-sorted and non-presorted versions which are ground products for items exceeding 13 oz.
- Priority Mail – expedited services for items exceeding 13 oz.
- Priority Mail Express – promises even faster delivery, in many cases overnight.
All IM®pbcategories listed above allow for manifesting which, in effect, audits each mail run electronically. The Manifest Report shows the exact number of items in the run, postage due on each and the total postage owed for the entire mailing. The mailer uses a prepaid postage account to pay the USPS; in addition, a pre-printed permit on each item eliminates the need to affix postage stamps or use postage meters.
Package volumes have been increasing steadily over the past several years. Third quarter results for 2014, when compared to the same period last year, showed a 7.7% increase. eCommerce is one reason for the increase in shipping and package volumes. Internet shopping has grown steadily by 15 percent a year and The New USPS benefits since it’s the only service capable of delivering to every address in the country. On-line retailers predict that half of all Christmas gifts in 2014 will be bought over the Internet.
If you need a signature to confirm delivery of an item, there is no option that costs less than Certified Mail which has a base cost of $3.79. Restricted Delivery, which requires the person named on the address label, Form 3800, to be the person who signs and confirms delivery, carries a minimum cost of $8.84. Certified Mail is an important category in The New USPS and stands alone as the best value in this category.
Evenas Congress keeps its strangle-hold on the USPS and fails to repeal its healthcare pre-funding mandate for employees established in the 2006 Postal Modernization Act, the rise in packaged mail will continue.
Even as consumer demand for same-day delivery is met by squadrons of carrier drones in the sky and fleets of courier vehicles on the streets, the rise in package mail will continue.
Even as electronic messaging technologies become more advanced and virtually blanket the globe, the rise in packaged mail will continue.
Even as traditional retail stores and malls suffer, even collapse, under the ominous threats of eCommerce and wanton crime, the rise in packaged mail will eventually prevail as the most convenient and safest way for consumers to purchase needed goods.
The day you can digitize a shipping carton is the day the USPS will take its last breath.