Postal Tips

Previews of new USPS programs, procedures

A big part of NNA’s participation in the Mailers Technical Advisory Committee (MTAC) is getting a preview of new programs and procedures proposed by the Postal Service. The theory is that the representatives from the mailing industry will provide feedback to the Postal Service on the workability of these changes, and we do see where sometimes USPS modifies a proposal based on comments.
Some of the items of interest to NNA members from the most recent MTAC meeting in late January follow.

By MATT PAXTON,
National Newspaper Association

Mail volume to fall 18%, deliveries up 5%

The Postal Service’s updated five-year plan predicts mail volume will fall 18% during that period, while delivery points will grow by 5%, or 6.9 million. That, in turn, means revenue per delivery point (household or business) will decline 4%.
Those two projections, combined with ad dollars shifting to electronic channels, means trouble ahead for the Postal Service and its customers, including community newspapers. While privatization is not mentioned, that doesn’t mean forces in other parts of the government won’t be pushing in that direction.

Postal Q & A: ID statement location, content required

Q: Have a post office that is refusing to deliver newspapers without the tags on the tubs that are delivered at the DDU drops for same day delivery. Where can I find the ruling that says they have to deliver these local newspapers without the tags? 
A: Send the Domestic Mail Manual citation to quit using tubs. Tub use for bundles at DDU drops is a waste of time and energy and is not a good use of “mail transport equipment,” which should be reserved for mail going through the postal distribution network from post office to plant and beyond. See below. 

Postal task force releases recommendations

The Task Force on the United States Postal System has issued its recommendations for reforming the nation’s mail service.
The task force, established in 2018, was charged with recommending administrative and legislative reforms to create a sustainable business model to continue to provide mail services for all Americans. The resulting 74-page report concluded the USPS has an outdated business model and is on an unsustainable financial path. Additional findings include:

Curbside postal delivery ending for new homes

The U.S. Postal Service is ending curbside delivery for new home construction in favor of cluster boxes, which would require residents to go to a central location in the neighborhood, much like what is done at apartment complexes.
The change was announced in an April 26, 2018, revision to Part 631 of the Postal Operations Manual, an internal document for postmasters and employees to follow. As the Postal Service continues to lose money, it is looking for opportunities, and this has been discussed over the years. 

By MAX HEATH, NNA Postal Consultant

Physical standards for proper preparation of ‘flat’ mail like newspapers and magazines

I am sharing relevant content from a recent seminar I attended at the Kentuckiana District Postal Customer Council in Louisville by mailing specialist Ron Burch. I have found him to be a smart guy with in-depth knowledge of the rules in my dealing with that district office. He presented the rules on flat mail design elements, etc.
Although National Newspaper Association members increasingly publish bound magazines as well as newspapers, I thought this review might be helpful to clip and save.

Centralized account processing system migrating

The U.S. Postal Service has been unveiling for some months now the transition to a new, more secure business mail account payment system to migrate current users of the Centralized Account Processing System. It would also consolidate many different payment locations to run through one central account, now called Enterprise Payment System. It is not mandatory.