Postal Tips

Delivering for America: An analysis of the U.S. Postal Service’s 10-year plan to achieve financial sustainability and service excellence

The following is a brief summary, with comments, of a 55-page document. The U.S. Postal Service understands it is not financially sustainable in its current form. It admits to being unable to provide dependable service, and is in need of major capital investment. Their network is described as broken. 
The USPS document provides, with numerous charts and exhibits, a 10-year plan to financial sustainability and reliable service. The plan depends on a series of changes and improvements to be successful. 

Electronic paid/requester subscriptions can count as valuable add-ons in certain circumstances

The ability to count electronic subscriptions on the annual postal Statement of Ownership, Management and Circulation, PS Form 3526, has been established since 2012. I have not revisited the subject since then, when a third page was added to the form to make counting possible.
Newspapers selling e-subs, as commonly abbreviated, wanted to be able to count them on their sworn statement as legitimate proof to advertisers of the additional circulation. NNA worked for three years through various channels to make it happen.

BMEU full-service mailers have transitioned to participate in Seamless Parallel

On May 8, the U.S. Postal Service published a final notice in the Federal Register notifying the mailing community that required mailers that enter full-service mailings at a Business Mail Entry Unit (BMEU) to participate in Seamless Parallel by June 1. In addition, the Postal Service provides advance notice of its intent: To require all mailers with an authorized Detached Mail Unit to enroll in the Seamless Acceptance Program by May 1, 2021; and to verify all BMEU-entered full-service mailings using only automated sampling and verification processes beginning July 1, 2021.

Coronavirus issues affecting publications

Recap: I'm summarizing questions to the NNA Postal Hotline of interest to members.
The identity of the questioner and location is withheld.

Q:  I have a question about our periodical permit. All of our advertisers have pulled their ads until at least the first of May. We cannot make it as a small newspaper without these major advertisers. If we take a short recess from publishing for about 3-4 weeks, will we lose our permit? What do we need to do in order to do this? This is crucial for us to stay in business.

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.

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.