USPS 2015 Promotion Schedule

i May 26th No Comments by


Emerging and Advanced Technology Promotion Dates Revised


On May 7, 2015, the Postal Regulatory Commission approved the proposed prices and classifications for Standard Mail, Periodicals, and Package Services which include the full 2015 Promotion Calendar.  


While none of the promotion requirements have changed, the dates for the Emerging and Advanced Technology Promotion have been revised.  All 2015 Promotions will be implemented as follows:







Earned Value

Emerging and Advanced  Technology



Color Transpromo

Mail Drives Mobile Engagement

Registration Period



March 15 – November 30, 2015

April 15 – November 30, 2015

May 15 – December 31, 2015

Promotion Period

May 1 – July 31, 2015

June 1 – November 30, 2015

June 1 – November 30, 2015

July 1 – December 31, 2015




First-Class Mail

First-Class Mail and Standard Mail


First Class Mail


Standard Mail


For additional information on the 2015 Promotions, or the program requirements, please visit the RIBBS website or

Shelter Insurance – USPS Award Winner

i May 4th No Comments by

Shelter Insurance of Columbia, MO has been selected to receive the prestigious 2015 Mail Technology Award.

The Postmaster General and Executive Leadership team will be recognizing significant industry achievements at a special awards ceremony being held at the Nation Postal Forum in Anaheim, CA on Monday 18th, at 4:30 pm; where this award will be presented.

The letter announcing the selection was received by Lisa Brock at Shelter Insurance and can be viewed here.

Congratulations to Shelter Insurance!  

Postal Service Files Market Dominant Price Change

i Jan 20th No Comments by

Proposes an Additional $0.9 Billion in Annualized Contributions 

WASHINGTON  ̶  On January 15, the Postal Service filed with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) a Market Dominant price change based on a Consumer Price Index (CPI) cap authority of  1.966%. 

The Postal Service believes strongly in the value of mail and maintaining relevance for today’s customers, offering reasonable pricing, workshare incentives, and meeting its obligation to the American public to strengthen its financial condition. 

All of the proposed price changes are based on CPI prices plus the Exigent Surcharge approved by the PRC in Docket Nos. R2013-10 and R2013-11. 

Using the CPI, we estimate that this price change will generate an additional $0.9 billion in contribution on an annualized basis.  If the PRC approves the filing, the proposed April 26 implementation of the prices will improve the FY 2015 financial outlook by $0.4 billion in contribution.  

The key elements of the CPI case include the following:

  • Above average price increases to address PRC concerns about underwater products
  • Special Services simplification to reduce redundancy and improve customer ease of use
  • Introduction of a separate Flats Sequencing System (FSS) pricing structure for Standard Mail and Periodicals
  • Introduction of Carrier Route bundle and container pricing for non-FSS flats for Standard Mail and Periodicals
  • Include four promotions (Earned Value Reply Mail, Color Transpromo, Emerging Technologies, Mail Drives Mobile) 

Various industry webinars will be scheduled to offer depth and insight into the proposed changes. 

In November, the Postal Service filed for the transfer of First-Class Mail Parcels to a competitive product and the elimination of Return Receipt for Merchandise as a special service.  These matters are still pending with the PRC.  For the purpose of this filing we are assuming that these products will remain in the Market Dominant category.


USPS Reports 2.0% Revenue Increase, $2 Billion Loss in Quarter 3

i Aug 12th No Comments by

Shipping and Package Services Revenue Up 6.6 Percent

January Price Increase Offsets Continued Volume Loss in First-Class Mail, Driving All Mail Revenue up $424 Million

Need for Comprehensive Legislation Remains Urgent 

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Postal Service ended the June 30, 2014, quarter with a net loss of

$2.0 billion, compared to a net loss of $740 million for the same period last year. The Postal Service

has recorded a loss in 21 of the last 23 quarters, the excepted quarters being the two in which

Congress rescheduled the Retiree Health Benefits prefunding payments.


Is the Internet the death knell for direct mail?

i Feb 10th No Comments by

The following article is written by Jeff Brooks, the author of The Fundraiser’s Guide to Irresistible Communications: Real-World, Field-Tested Strategies for Raising More Money and creative director at TrueSense Marketing.

Questions I’m Most Often Asked about Direct Mail Fundraising:

Is the Internet the death knell for direct mail?

Not even close. Direct mail is a long way from death. It’s still the most effective fundraising medium (after the church offering basket) and it’s many times more effective than email.But the way it works is changing. One important change is the way direct mail and the Web are becoming intertwined. Donors are moved by the warmth and personal touch of direct mail, then going online to give. It’s the best of both worlds when they do that: The higher average gifts we get from online donors, combined with the higher frequency and retention we see with direct-mail donors. This is on its way to becoming the typical way giving happens. To be effective in that world, we need to make sure our direct mail and online communications are tightly integrated: Same look and feel, same language, same offers.

LINK: Download the complete article


New Postal Rates Approved – How will it impact budgets?

i Jan 9th No Comments by

It has just been announced that the Postal Regulatory Commission has approved an exigent increase in pricing that will impact most mail by 6%.  Back in the November I had written about this as a potential, but thought now would be a good time to go over what we believe to be the specifics of the increase.

For the past 16 years, I have been creating comparison charts for my clients that go over the changes in rates to show how it will affect budgets.  The reason that I do this is that when the USPS talks about a 4.3% increase, this is overall.  Based on the type of mail you do, the increase could be higher or lower.  You need to look at the class, weight, zone, density and special services required to see the true impact.  Also, when you look at the new rate charts provided by the USPS, they typically will not show the level of detail needed (Previous and new rates, side by side) to see these differences.

The remainder of this article will look at the main classes of mail and will break down the specific increases.  Hopefully this will help you budget for the increase by seeing how it will impact your mail.



USPS Defers Implementation of Full-Service Intelligent Mail Requirement for Automation Prices

i Dec 9th No Comments by

The U.S. Postal Service is disappointed with the portion of last week’s ruling from the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) which held that the implementation of Full-Service Intelligent Mail barcode (IMb) constitutes a rate increase. This ill-conceived decision will impair complete adoption of Full-Service IMb and hinder the Postal Service’s ability to promote a technology that enhances the value of mail, which is critical to the development of next-generation digital products and services. The PRC’s overly expansive view of the price cap demonstrates why comprehensive postal reform legislation should include additional pricing authority for the Postal Service Board of Governors. 

Due to the PRC ruling, the Postal Service is delaying the January 26, 2014 implementation of the Full-Service Intelligent Mail requirement for automation price discounts. Mailers who are not currently enrolled in full-service effective January 26, 2014 will still be able to claim automation prices. To achieve the best pricing, however, mailers must continue meeting full-service requirements. 


PRC Approves USPS Rate Increase; Implementation of Full Service IMb Remanded

i Dec 9th No Comments by

Washington, DC -Today, the Postal Regulatory Commission issued its decision in Order 1890 on the Postal Service’s request to increase prices January 26, 2014. The Commission determined that the rates proposed by the Postal Service are consistent with the law, provided that the Postal Service does not implement Full Service IMb requirements concurrently with the proposed increased rates.

Full Service IMb requires each piece of mail, each bundle, and each pallet to have a unique identity barcode. The Commission determined that Full Service IMb mail preparation requirements are a classification change and that its effects must be included in its calculation of the percentage change in rates.

Concurrent implementation of the proposed rate adjustments and the Full Service IMb requirements would result in increases in First-Class Mail, Standard Mail, and Periodicals that exceed the statutory Consumer Price Index price cap, currently at 1.696 percent.

“The Commission’s primary responsibility is to assure predictable and stable rates for mailers bound by the statutory price cap. While we encourage the Postal Service to expand its capacity to track and measure the performance of mail services, this cannot be accomplished in a manner that effectively raises rates by 4.1% and 4.9% for First Class and Standard Mail.” said Chairman Ruth Y. Goldway.

Additionally, the Commission found that the Postal Service must resolve unequal commercial and nonprofit discounts for Standard Mail 5-digit automation flats. The proposed rates violate the requirement that disparities between commercial and nonprofit discounts must be justified by a statutory exception.

The Postal Service may implement the proposed rate adjustments, minus the Full Service IMb requirements, effective January 26, 2014. Alternatively, the Postal Service may adjust its proposed rates for First-Class Mail, Standard Mail, and Periodicals rates in a manner comparable to the implementation of Full Service IMb requirements in Package Services and file amended rates. The Postal Service shall notify the Commission of its intentions and provide necessary supporting documents by November 27, 2013.

The Postal Service proposed that the price of Single-Piece First-Class Mail letters increase from 46 cents to 47 cents. The price of a postcard will remain at 33 cents.

Despite Revenue Growth and Record Productivity, Postal Service Loses $5 Billion in 2013 Fiscal Year

i Nov 21st No Comments by

Despite Revenue Growth and Record Productivity, Postal Service Loses

$5 Billion in 2013 Fiscal Year


·Revenue Increase Driven by 8 Percent Growth in Shipping and Packages, 3 Percent Growth in 
Standard Mail; First-Class Mail Continues to Decline

·     Nearly $1 Billion in Savings Driven by Work Hours Reduction of 12 Million Hours and Optimizing Workforce Flexibility

·Substantial Deficit Liabilities of $61 Billion Exceed Assets by Approximately $40 Billion 



WASHINGTON — The U.S. Postal Service ended the 2013 fiscal year (Oct. 1, 2012 – Sept. 30, 2013) with a net loss of $5 billion. This marks the 7th consecutive year in which the Postal Service incurred a net loss, highlighting the need to continue to capitalize on growth opportunities, reduce costs, and enact comprehensive legislation to provide a long-term solution to the agency’s financial challenges.

Even though the Postal Service has implemented a number of strategies that resulted in $15 billion in annual expense reductions since the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act was passed in 2006, the combination of onerous mandates in existing law and continued First-Class Mail volume declines threatens the Postal Service’s financial viability. 

“We’ve achieved some excellent results for the year in terms of innovations, revenue gains and cost reductions, but without major legislative changes we cannot overcome the limitations of our inflexible business model,” said Patrick Donahoe, Postmaster General and Chief Executive Officer. “Congress is moving forward with legislation that has the potential to give us greater flexibility and put us back on a firm financial footing, and we strongly encourage that they continue moving forward.” 

The legislative requirements put forward by the Postal Service, as outlined in the Five-Year Business Planinclude :

·        Restructure the Postal Service health care plan.

·        Refund Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) overpayment and lower future FERS payment amounts to those required.

·        Adjust delivery frequency to six-day packages/five-day mail.

·        Streamline the governance model (eliminate duplicative oversight).

·        Provide authority to expand products and services.

·        Require defined contribution retirement system for future Postal Service employees.

·        Require arbitrators to consider the financial condition of the Postal Service.

·        Reform Workers’ Compensation. 

Results of Operations

Highlights of yearly results compared to the same period last year include :

·        Total mail volume was 158.4 billion pieces compared to 159.8 billion pieces a year ago. Package and Standard Mail volumes grew by 210 million pieces and 1.4 billion pieces, respectively, while the most profitable product, First-Class Mail, fell by 2.8 billion pieces, led by single-piece volume decline. 

·        Operating revenue, excluding a $1.3 billion non-cash change in an accounting estimate, was $66 billion compared to $65.2 billion in 2012. While this is the first growth in revenue since 2008, declining First-Class Mail revenue continues to negatively impact financial results. 

·        Operating expenses were $72.1 billion in 2013 compared to $81 billion in 2012. Approximately $8.2 billion of this decrease resulted from higher, legally mandated retiree health care benefit expenses and higher non-cash Workers’ Compensation expense in 2012.  Expenses in 2013 include a required $5.6 billion contribution to retiree health care benefits that the Postal Service was unable to make. Continued lack of legislation will likely force the Postal Service to continue to default on these payments. Savings from plant consolidations, restructuring hours at Post Offices, reductions in delivery units, and workforce optimization resulted in approximately $1 billion of savings in 2013. 

·        The net loss for the year, which was decreased by a $1.3 billion non-cash change in estimate, was $5 billion. However, this change in accounting estimate has no impact on the Postal Service’s receipt of cash, or cash on hand, nor does it lessen the severity of its current liquidity situation. For more information regarding the non-cash adjustment, refer to the Form 10-K, available online. 

The Postal Service continues to grow its Package Services business. From fiscal year 2012 to fiscal year 2013, revenue from Package Services increased by $923 million, or 8 percent, on a volume increase of 210 million pieces (6 percent). By developing innovative services to appeal to the growing parcel delivery market, Shipping and Package Services grew to $12.5 billion, representing approximately 19 percent of revenues. Standard Mail revenue grew by $487 million, or 3 percent, on a volume increase of 1.8 percent.

The growth in revenue from these products is not enough to offset the long-term loss in revenue and volume of our most profitable service, First-Class Mail. First-Class Mail revenue, which peaked in 2007, dropped $704 million or 2.4 percent in 2013. First-Class Mail volume declined 2.8 billion pieces or 4.1 percent.

“Our productivity reached an all-time high in 2013, increasing 1.9 percent, compared to 2012,” said Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President Joseph Corbett. “This marks our fourth consecutive year of positive total factor productivity growth since the depths of the recession in 2009.” 

Work hours in 2013 decreased by 12 million or 1.1 percent, despite an increase of approximately 774,000 delivery points during 2013. 

“The reduction in work hours and the optimization of work force flexibility that we have available to us contributed to a savings of nearly $1 billion in compensation and benefits costs,” said Corbett, “a reflection of our efforts to improve productivity and to respond to the decline in mail volume.” Since 2000, the Postal Service has reduced work hours by a cumulative total of 516 million work hours, equivalent to 293,000 employees, or $22 billion in annual expense savings.” 

At the end of the 2012 fiscal year, the Postal Service reached its statutory debt ceiling of $15 billion for the first time, and it remains at the limit at the end of the 2013 fiscal year. “Our liquidity continues to be dangerously low and our liabilities exceed our assets by approximately $40 billion,” said Corbett. “This underscores the need for Congress to pass legislation that improves our financial position and that gives the Postal Service a more flexible business model to improve its cash flow. Despite reaching the debt limit, Postal Service mail operations and delivery continue as usual and employees and suppliers continue to be paid on time.” 

Complete financial results are available in the Form 10-K, available after 11 a.m. ET today at

Postal Facts 2013

i Nov 21st No Comments by

Facts and figures about your Postal Service 

Both literally and figuratively, the U.S. Postal Service delivers for America.  Even in an increasingly digital world, the Postal Service remains part of the bedrock infrastructure of this nation’s economy, serving its people and businesses and binding the nation together.  Below and attached you will find interesting information about your Postal Service. 

Size and Scope

The Postal Service delivers more mail to more addresses in a larger geographical area than any other post in the world.  The Postal Service also delivers to more than152 million homes, businesses and Post Office boxes in every state, city, town and borough in this country.  Everyone living in the United States and its territories has access to postal products and services and pays the same postage regardless of their location. 

By the Numbers *

65 billion — 2012 revenue, in dollars 
160 billion — number of mailpieces processed 
40 — percent of the world’s mail volume handled by the Postal Service 
1.8 billion — dollar amount paid every two weeks in salaries and benefits 
522,144** — number of career employees 
108,000** — number of military veteran career employees 
31,272 — number of Postal Service-managed retail offices 
212,530 — number of vehicles — one of the largest civilian fleets in the world 
1.3 billion — number of miles driven each year by letter carriers and truck drivers 
39.7 million — number of address changes processed 
39 — percent of retail revenue from alternative access channels 
423 million — total number of visits to
67.5 million — number of inquiries handled by the Postal Service Contact Center 
246 million — dollar amount of online stamp and retail sales at
44.1 million — number of Click-N-Ship labels printed 
483 million — total revenue, in dollars, from Click-N-Ship label purchases 
83.8 million — number of packages picked up using Free Package Pickup 
5.7 million — number of passport applications accepted 
109 million — number of money orders issued 
497 million — amount in revenue from 2,500 Self-Service Kiosks 
70,000 — number of stores, banks and Self-Service Kiosks that sell stamps 
654,560 — number of new delivery points added to the network 
0 — tax dollars received for operating the Postal Service

* all information based on 2012 data, unless otherwise noted 
** as of January 16, 2013