Is Saturday Delivery Making a Comeback?

Australia Post Logo

Australia Post just announced that it will expand to 6 day delivery starting in the 4th quarter of this year.  However, Australia Post’s actions should not provide any hope for those in the United States trying to save Saturday delivery as Australia Post’s actions are limited to parcel delivery. (See Australia Post to deliver parcels on weekends as trading hours extended) The move to expand parcel delivery to Saturday was announced at the same time Australia Post announced that it would expand retail hours at its corporate offices to Saturdays as well.   These actions both provide Australia Post with the ability to handle its growing parcel business with a minimal [...] Read more »

Fastenal Corporation Suspects that USPS Operating Changes Hurt Its Finances

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Last week, Fastenal became the first public corporation to report that changes in service standards for single-piece First Class mail have had a negative impact on its finances.   In reviewing the 2nd quarter’s results, Fastenal’s CFO Daniel Florness explained that the most significant reason for the increase in the corporation’s accounts receivable was changes in how Fastenal receives payment from its mostly small business customers. Now both June of 2012 and June of 2013 ended on a weekend. So the calendar is similar, so my comment about the calendar might sound a little odd. But what we’re — and I don’t know if this is a post office, logistics thing or [...] Read more »

Valassis indicates that Going to 5-day Delivery Will Have Little Impact for Them

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When asked about the impact of Postal Service restructuring including the elimination of Saturday delivery,  Valassis CEO Robert A. Mason clearly indicated that these change would have minimal impact on Valassis’s mail delivered advertising. Bethany Caster, Stock Analyst, Raymond James Can you talk about how the USPS’ decision to stop Saturday delivery impact you, if at all? Robert A. Mason - Chief Executive Officer, President and Director, Valassis Very little. Today, we distribute less than 0.30% of a percent of our total weekly Shared Mail volume on Saturday. I would tell you, we actually applaud Postmaster Donahoe’s effort to try and streamline the USPS and their operations. We have been in very [...] Read more »

Republican Supporter of 6-day Delivery, Jo Ann Emerson Will Resign from the House

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Southeast Missourian has reported that Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson announced that she will resign from the House of Representatives at the end of February.    Congresswoman Emerson has been an outspoken proponent of 6-day delivery and keeping rural post offices open. She served as Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government in the 212th Congress. In that position she was responsible for keeping the language that requires the Postal Service to provide 6-days of delivery in the Appropriations bill for Financial Services and General Government that passed the full Appropriations Committee. Besides her influence on postal issues in the Appropriations Committee, Congresswoman Emerson was a member of the Congressional Rural Caucus which has focused on limiting the [...] Read more »

Senate Appropriations Committee Actions Could Slow USPS Actions

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The Washington Post has reported that the Senate Appropriations Committee passed the finance and general government appropriations bill that 1) retained maintained the requirement that the Postal Service provide 6-day delivery and 2) prohibited the Postal Service from close small post offices in FY 2013 and prohibited closure of mail processing facilities before 2014 and not until a study by the USPS Inspector General. The appropriations bill sponsored by Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-IL) and raised objections from Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) who argued that the Appropriations Committee action effectively picked apart S.1789, a bill that she cosponsored, which the Senate had recently passed. The Associated Press reports the Senate [...] Read more »

Overestimating USPS Savings From Going To 5-Day Delivery

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The New York Times editorial on postal reform uses the $3 billion a year savings figure for eliminating Saturday delivery.  Neither the Government Accountability Office or the Postal Regulatory Commission believe that savings are likely to be that high. Both are also concerned that the Postal Services’s estimates of cost reductions are too high and lost revenues are too low. The Postal Service’s savings estimate, as well as lower estimates from the GAO and PRC, also assumes that the Postal Service does not make other changes reducing hourly labor costs relating to health and retiree benefits, does not offer retiree incentives to lower the average age and years of service [...] Read more »

Senders Must Drive USPS Service Decisions and Policy Discussions that Affect Service

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For almost a decade now, I have been writing that a customer focused Postal Service has to focus on the needs of those that pay the bills, the individuals, corporations, non-profits and governments that send mail. Policy has to be focused on ensuring that senders of mail can get the service they want at a price that makes economic sense for them to use the Postal Service while still ensuring that that the Postal Service has a competitive compensation structure and earns sufficient revenue to be self-sufficient. Focusing on senders of mail would seem obvious but with few exceptions pollsters, editorial writers, and policy makers never seem to comprehend this. [...] Read more »

Chairman Darell Issa Says USPS is Committee’s Priority; USPS Should Cut 260,000 Employees

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In a broadcast interview on CNBC’s Squawkbox, Chairman Darell Issa, Ranking Majority Member Elijah Cummings and Representative John Tierney discussed the need for reform legislation in the second session of the 112th Congress.   The headline that CNBC reported is Chairman Issa’s claim that the Postal Service has 260,000 too many employees, a claim that I am sure Chairman Issa would have to admit is based on an overstatement of the Postal Service’s current head count.  Even if you adjust the employee count reduction to reflect current head counts, Chairman Issa still suggests that the Postal Service needs to cut 174,000 employees. [A conversation with a member of the House Oversight and [...] Read more »

Six Day Delivery and H.R. 2309

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On Friday, the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) announced that a majority of the House of Representatives signed on as sponsors of House Resolution 137 (H.R. 137) which expresses the House’s support for 6-day delivery.   The resolution states that the sense of the House of Representatives is that the United States Postal Service should take all appropriate measures to ensure the continuation of its 6-day mail delivery service. As such, the resolution only expresses the sense of the House.  It does not have the power of law to prevent the Postal Service from implementing 5-day delivery.   Ensuring 6-day delivery will require that the House of Representatives approve an amendment to  H.R. 2309 that [...] Read more »

Optimizing the Postal Service Network and 6-day Delivery

One of the benefits of the 6-day to 5-day proceeding is that it provides an enormous amount of data relevant for trying to understand the Postal Service’s strategy to control costs.  A recent response by the Postal Service to an interrogatory by Douglas Carlson provides the first nationwide picture of the Postal Service’s effort to consolidate sortation on Saturday among fewer facilities. The Postal Service can consolidate sortation of collection mail that is collected on Saturday because it has at least 12 hours of time to transport the mail for sortation at a distant facility and get that mail back for final sortation at the destination facility.  The list of [...] Read more »