Senator Carper and Representative Issa Issue Joint Statement Pledging The’ll Work Together on Postal Reform

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On the first day of the 113th Congress Senator Tom Carper and Representative Darrel Issa issed a joint statement indicating their willingness to work together on postal reform. “The Postal Service has a presence in every community in our nation.  Since its establishment, we’ve taken it for granted that our mail would arrive and that important business and personal correspondence would reach its destination. In addition, businesses large and small have come to rely on the mail to reach new customers and communicate effectively with existing customers. Although the 112th Congress did not come to a consensus around a package of reforms that can update the Postal Service’s network and [...] Read more »

Top 10 Transportation Stories of 2012 and How They Affect the Courier Express and Parcel Industry

Dan Goodwill

Dan Goodwill, the President of Dan Goodwill & Associates, a leading provider of freight management consulting services to shippers, carriers and 3PL’s throughout North America has just posted his list of the top 10 transportation stories of 2012.  While a nearly all of them affect the U.S. and Canadian competitors in the courier express and postal (CEP) industry, the following are likely to have the biggest impact on  impact on the industry in 2013 and beyond. Same Day Deliveries in the Retail Sector Mr. Goodwill notes that: The internet has transformed a number of industries such as books, electronics and music.  Each year, many consumers are increasing their online purchases of a [...] Read more »

Eight Legislative Days in September: Will the House Act on the USPS?

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The House of Representatives reconvenes on Monday.   This starts a period of eight days of legislative activity before the end of the fiscal year.    This week’s floor schedule suggests that the House is unlikely to tackle any significant legislation before the end of the fiscal year.    Most of the legislation under consideration on Monday and Friday are being considered under suspension of the rules which only occurs for non-controversial bills.  The exception are four bills that will be considered under a rule on Friday. Postal stakeholders should play close attention to an un-numbered bill entitled “Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2013.”  This is a must pass bill or the government will shut down [...] Read more »

Politics Trumps Policy : Surprised?

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The Hill  has reported that House Republican campaign strategy drove H.R. 2309, the Postal Reform Act, off the legislative track for action prior to the August recess. The delay would prioritize election-year messaging votes over actions to rescue the Postal Service, which is currently losing $25 million a day and is on track to bleed billions of dollars again this fiscal year. More recent reporting has indicated that political considerations may have possibly killed any chance that the House of Representatives will act on postal reform at all in this session of Congress. What will House Do Instead? Right now the House schedule appears to want to only deal with [...] Read more »

House Schedule This Week Includesd Three USPS Bills (To Name Post Offices)

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This week’s House of Representatives schedule included three bills that were considered on Tuesday that named Post Offices. As noted by others, naming Pot Offices is the most common legislative activity in the current Congress. The schedule did not have any specific items for consideration on Wednesday, June 27th or Thursday, June 28th which would indicates that there would have been floor time to debate USPS reform this week if the bill’s sponsors wanted to move the legislation forward this week. However, Chairman Darrell Issa, who is one of the two sponsors of H.R. 2309, appears to have bumped postal reform legislation down on his list of priorities as he continues [...] Read more »

Rural Post Office Plan Saves Money By Cutting Labor Hours and Compensation

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Today the Postal Service announced a major restructuring of how it provides retail services in rural communities.  The change will affect some 17,728 Post Offices.  While most news reports focused on the cuts in hours, the plan also makes major savings by replacing career Postmasters with lower paid part-time employees.  This plan is likely to remove rural Post Offices as a political roadblock to postal reform. The Postal Service’s plan, known as PostPlan, has four elements that dramatically restructure management of both rural and urban Post Offices.  However, the impact is likely greatest in rural post offices that only have one retail window.   There are three major types of changes [...] Read more »

Gene DelPolito on the Status of Postal Reform Bills

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One of the biggest concerns of readers of this blog is  the long term prospects for the Postal Service.    This and the next few Posts contain an interview with Gene Del Polito, the President of the Association for Postal Commerce and his opinions on: the current status of postal reform bill approved by the responsible committees in the House of Representatives and Senate; potential legislative options other than those currently introduced to date; impact of Congress not acting on decisions of mailers and parcel shippers to use the Postal Service; labor-management relations; problems facing flat-shaped mailers government provided postal services; mail box monopoly; a U.S. approach to privatization; and other topics. [...] Read more »

Relevance of PRC Decision In Network Optimization Review

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Right now the Postal Service has committed to Congress to hold off closing postal facilities and implementing Network Optimization Initiative (NOI) until mid-May. This date is two months before the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) will close the record on the Postal Service’s NOI proposal and between three to five months before the Commission publishes its opinion. The difference in time between when the Postal Service promised Congress that it would implement Network Optimization Imitative and when the Commission will issue raises an interesting question. Does the Postal Service have to wait for the Commission’s decision to act? Some believe that the Postal Service does not have the legal obligation to [...] Read more »

Legislative and Regulatory Delays Will Affect Introduction of Incentives for Early Retirement

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Early retirement incentives at the Postal Service requires both the funds to offer those incentives and an urgent need to reduce the workforce quickly.    In the past week, actions of two different government bodies had the effect of delaying any possible introduction of early retirement incentives. S. 1789, the 21st Century Act, had a provision that would provide the funds to allow the Postal Servcie to offer early retirement incentives.   However, after the publication of the Congressional Budget Office’s cost estimate on S. 1789, the 21st Century Act, appears likely to, at best, delay and, at worst, scuttle any chances for passing a postal reform bill in the Senate.   This [...] Read more »

Airline Deregulation, and Why Labor Suffers More under USPS Reform

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Last week, American Airlines filed for bankruptcy. In his post, Air Fail, Matthew Yglesias noted that American Airline’s bankruptcy filing was the 189th since 1990. These filings reflected the challenge that airlines faced dealing with increased competition and demand that was highly sensitive to the economic cycle when saddled with a financial structure and labor contracts that made sense only if competition was non-existent. His final two paragraphs illustrate the benefits and costs of restructuring a business going through a competitive transition. Looking back on the legacy of deregulation in January of this year, Supreme Court Justice Breyer, who worked as an advisor to Senator Ted Kennedy on Airline deregulation, [...] Read more »