Canada Post Service Standards

Canada Post switched to 2-day local delivery over 25 years ago.  That change was made as part of a massive restructuring of Canada Post’s operations to deal with losses that equaled nearly 1/3 of revenue. The Canada Post’s service standards for lettermail,  the equivalent of First Class Mail in the United States, are relatively simple and are explicitly included in Canada Post Corporation’s charter.  They are: Within a community within two business days; Within a province within three business days; and Between provinces within four business days. These service standards are a day longer than what the United States Postal Service provides now for First Class Mail and probably close [...] Read more »

Network Restructuring and First Class Presort Mail

The Postal Service’s network restructuring will add an extra day to most First Class Mail delivery standards.   While it is theoretically possible for bulk First Class mailers to avoid that delay by drop shipping, the viability of drop shipping depends on the Postal Service having clerks and mail handlers working in the evening to accept the mail and route the mail to the appropriate machine for the correct destination sort. Early discussions with the Postal Service suggests that they want bulk First Class mailers to tender their mail before noon.  This would allow bulk mail to be sorted or dispatched to the facility doing destination sortation during the daytime shift.  This would suggest that the Postal Service [...] Read more »

India Introduces Urban Franchises

The India Post Office has introduced franchised urban post offices in fast growing areas  The details of the franchise agreement provide a lot more details to franchisees than public information on Village Post Offices due.  The details illustrate that franchisees will have a broader range of Products than what a Village Post Office can sell.  Here are some details: Only counter services are to be franchised, while delivery and transmission will be continued through the Department. Linking arrangements for the franchised outlets will be provided by the franchisee. The franchisee will provide service across the counter for a minimum defined time schedule with flexibility to work round the clock. Products [...] Read more »

The Idle Postal Worker Myth

Stand-by time is a measure of the effectiveness of the Postal Service’s workforce scheduling systems as well as its ability to adjust the total size of its workforce as volumes change and networks are modified.   Stand-by time has often been used to either bash management or union contracts.  The newest numbers suggests that while any stand-by time is not desirable,  standby time is only 23 minutes per postal employee per year. The decline in stand-by hours over the past few years can be seen in this chart from the USPS-OIG report, Stand-by Time Management Advisory.  the chart showed that institutional stand-by time peaked between April and December 2009, a period that fell between [...] Read more »

Every Door Direct Mail – How it is Being Used

The Postal Service has published its first quarterly report on the use of its newest product, Every Door Direct Mail .  Every Door Direct Mail creates a simplified process for small saturation mailings for local advertisers.  The early data suggests that Every Day Direct Mail is serving the types of customers that it was designed to serve.  A quick search of the web also indicates the product has created opportunities for small printers and mailing houses. With an average mailing size under 2,000 pieces, Every Day Direct Mail clearly is being used by advertisers that mail to a rather limited geographic area.   Most customers are new to the Postal Service with only 8.6% [...] Read more »

Politics of Rural Post Offices and Smaller Processing Plants

Rural postal services is likely to be the primary stumbling block to getting Postal Service reform legislation through the House of Representatives.  Some of the most active opponents of changes that the Postal Service want to make are influential members of the House Republican caucus and many have been outspoken critics of federal spending.   What these Republicans have in common is that they represent some of the most rural areas in the United States.  Here is some background on two of the harshest Republican critics of the changes that the Postal Service wants to make.  These two members of the Republican caucus that come from opposite wings of the caucus and [...] Read more »

Putting the Postal Service in Receivership

The Postal Service is broke.  It cannot pay its bills, even ones that no one disputes that it owes.  In the private sector, a firm in this position would shut down unless creditors believed that putting it in receivership gave them a better prospect of repayment then liquidation.   The Postal Service’s insolvency will have real consequence for its federal government creditors that it plans not to pay this fall. Reuters reported that the Department of Labor stated in a letter to Representative Darrell Issa, that it will not be able to make worker compensation benefit payments to more than 2 million non-postal Federal employees if the Postal Service does not pay its $1.2 [...] Read more »

Why Mail Matters: Express

In the man bites dog tradition, Express announced this week that it will mail its first catalog.  That’s right, its first catalog.  The print catalog will have a digital counterpart, but Express’s decision to use a print catalog illustrates that brick and mortar retailers realize to get their web sales juiced they have to use mail as web based advertising is not enough to get web-based sales. Express is a specialty apparel and accessories retailer of women’s and men’s merchandise, targeting the 20 to 30 year old customer. The Company has over 30 years of experience offering a distinct combination of fashion and quality for multiple lifestyle occasions at an attractive [...] Read more »

Why the Postal Service Should Not Reduce Priority Mail Service Standards

All the details are not known about what the Postal Service will propose when it makes its presentation to the Postal Regulatory Commission about changing First Class service standards.  Given that Priority Mail has nearly the same service standard as First Class mail, it is possible that Priority Mail service standards could be affected.  The following maps from United Parcel Service show why the Postal Service cannot afford to reduce Priority Mail service standards if it wants Priority Mail to remain service competitive for zone 2, 3 and a significant portion of zone 4 parcels.  Silver Spring MD Saint Paul MN? Los Angeles, California Bluefield, WV  Sioux City, IA Temple TX Philadelphia, [...] Read more »

Could First Class Mail Service Standard Be Maintained?

In a major effort to reduce costs to match projected revenue, the Postal Service has proposed eliminating overnight delivery of single-piece mail.   The Postal Service projects substantial cost savings that would come from eliminating full time positions and reducing its use of clerks and mailhandlers during periods when they would be paid a premium for nighttime work.  Support for the Postal Service’s cost savings assertion comes from “Cost of Service Standards,” a recent report of the Office of Inspector General – United States Postal Service (USPS-OIG). While the “Cost of Service Standards,” report illustrates that cutting service standards could save money, it also illustrates that current service standards could be [...] Read more »