Latest News and Highlights

An Alternative Approach to Ratemaking for USPS Market Dominant Mail

The Association for Postal Commerce and the Greeting Card Association worked with NDP Analytics to commission the "Critique of USPS Elasticities" report conducted on USPS Price Elasticities.  

NDP just released a new report that expands upon the data and presents alternative approaches to ratemaking for market dominant mail.  The report was published this week here.

PostCom News 

Effective January 1, PostCom President and CEO Michael Plunkett has been named President and Executive Director of the American Catalog Mailers Association (ACMA). With the full support of the PostCom Board of Directors, Mike has taken on the dual role of running both organizations. 

PostCom and ACMA have a track record of collaborating on important postal and policy issues and our Board is convinced that this move will strengthen both organizations and provide opportunities for more effective and efficient advocacy on behalf of all our members.

PRC Releases Report Analyzing Postal Service’s FY 2023 Finances On June 17, the Postal Regulatory Commission released its Financial Analysis report for Fiscal Year (FY) 2023. The in-depth analysis of the Postal Service’s financial performance concluded that the organization’s overall financial condition continues to worsen. In FY 2023, the Postal Service recorded a net operating loss of $2.3 billion — an increase of $1.8 billion over the previous year. When non-operating expenses are included, the overall net loss increases to $6.5 billion. The primary highlights from the report were:

  • The Postal Service had a net loss of $6.5 billion.
  • Total Factor Productivity, a measure of Postal Service efficiency, saw the largest decrease (4 percent) since it was first calculated in 1965.
  • Total mail volume decreased by 8.7 percent, including a 2.0 percent decrease in the volume of Competitive products.
  • Revenue from Competitive products increased by $0.2 billion.
  • Despite rate increases, Market Dominant revenue decreased by $0.4 billion.
  • Total operating expenses were $2.1 billion higher than the previous year.
  • The Postal Service recorded total assets of $45.3 billion and total liabilities of $68.4 billion at the end of FY 2023. 

Postal Regulatory Commission Continues to Probe DFA- On June 17, the Postal Regulatory Commission requested information about continued large-scale network changes by the Postal Service despite its announced “pause” in implementing parts of the Delivering for America (DFA) plan. In addition, the Commission asked the Postal Service about the scope and nature of the pilot test described by the Postal Service regarding early DFA efforts in its May 16th response to the Commission’s Show Cause order. The Commission also requested information about the ’recently announced projection of $65 billion in ten-year losses under DFA. The questions are part of the Commission’s public inquiry into the DFA. 

USPS Recommends New Prices for Parcel Select On May 10, the U.S, Postal Service filed notice with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) for Parcel Select price changes to take effect July 14, 2024. The proposed adjustments were approved by the Postal Service Governors this week.  If favorably reviewed by the Commission, the new rates include an average 25-percent increase for Parcel Select service. Parcel Select is a shipping solution for high volume shippers to enter packages for regional delivery through the U.S. Postal Service’s network. No price increases are being proposed for USPS Ground Advantage.

US Postal Service Will Delay Processing Network Consolidation Plans Reuters U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has agreed to pause planned further consolidation of the postal service's processing network after a bipartisan group of senators raised concerns about the impact on mail deliveries.In a letter to Senator Gary Peters made public on Monday, DeJoy said he would pause the consolidation of processing facility operations until at least January 2025. DeJoy said the change would delay USPS cost savings of $133 million to $177 million. Peters said he would keep pushing DeJoy and the USPS board of governors "for a plan that won't interfere with critical mail service." DeJoy said there were ongoing reviews of operations at about 60 of 427 processing plants nationwide. DeJoy in his letter promised not to move forward with further consolidation without advising Congress "and then only at a moderated pace of implementation.”

U.S. Postal Service Reports Second Quarter Fiscal Year 2024 Results  On May 9th, the U.S. Postal Service today announced its financial results for the second quarter of fiscal year 2024 (Jan. 1, 2024 - Mar. 31, 2024). The net loss for the quarter totaled $1.5 billion, compared to a net loss of $2.5 billion for the same quarter last year. Controllable loss for the quarter was $317 million, compared to a controllable loss of $498 million for the same quarter last year. These results were favorably impacted by increased revenue and lower transportation costs, partially offset by the continued effect of inflation on operating expenses. Total operating revenue was $19.7 billion for the quarter, an increase of $410 million, or 2.1 percent, compared to the same quarter last year.

PRC Directs USPS to Provide its Justification for Not Requesting an Advisory Opinion on Certain Initiatives Associated with its DFA Plan On Friday, April 27, the Postal Regulatory Commission issued Order No. 7061 directing the Postal Service to either show cause within 20 days of the Commission’s order as to why an advisory opinion is not warranted for the recent initiatives being implemented under its Delivering for America Plan (DFA), or else file a request for an advisory opinion within 40 days of the order. Since the Commission’s last advisory opinion in 2022, the Postal Service has introduced and begun implementing new DFA initiatives, including an overhaul of its processing and delivery network, local transportation optimization, and logistics career insourcing.  The show cause order noted a correlation between the DFA network changes and service problems in areas implementing the changes, such as Atlanta, GA, Houston, TX, and Richmond, VA. The Commission also noted that nationwide service performance has been declining.

U.S. Postal Service Recommends New Prices for July 2024 On April 9, the U. S. Postal Service filed notice with the Postal Regulatory Commission of mailing services price changes to take effect July 14, 2024. The new rates include a 5-cent increase in the price of a First-Class Mail Forever stamp from 68 cents to 73 cents. The additional-ounce price for single-piece letters increases from 24 cents to 28 cents. The Postal Service is also seeking price adjustments for Special Services products, including Certified Mail and money order fees. Notably, there will be no price increase for Post Office Box rental fees, and the Postal Service will apply a pricereduction of 10 percent for postal insurance when mailing an item.

PRC Issues Report Evaluating USPS Service Levels and Rates On March 28, the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) issued its FY 2023 Annual Compliance Determination (ACD) assessing the Postal Service’s compliance with regulations regarding rates and service performance.  Accompanying this year’s ACD are two dashboards related to rate authority and Negotiated Service Agreements (NSA).

USPS and USPIS Continue Nationwide Campaign to Combat Postal Crime and Protect Postal Employees On March 12, the U.S Postal Service (USPS) and U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) announced an update on Project Safe Delivery, a joint initiative to protect postal employees and secure the nation’s mail and packages. Since the launch of Project Safe Delivery, Inspection Service personnel have conducted more than 5,500 mail theft, and violent crime prevention activities nationwide. For the 2024 Fiscal Year so far, the Postal Inspection Service has made 73% more arrests for letter carrier robberies over the same time period in the prior fiscal year. This increase is the direct result of the efforts made by the Postal Inspection Service and federal and local law enforcement partners to aggressively pursue those who rob our letter carriers and steal mail. The Inspection Service is conducting targeted law enforcement surges across the country including in Chicago, San Francisco, and cities across Ohio. Additional surges are planned for 2024 in other cities across the United States. Since May 2023, tens of thousands of hardened blue boxes and electronic locking mechanisms have been and will be strategically deployed in high postal crime areas. This includes 15,000 hardened blue boxes, with another 8,500 ordered to be installed, and 28,000 electronic locking mechanisms installed in mail receptacles.

White House Announces Postal Board of Governor Nominee On February 29, President Biden nominated Marty Walsh, former labor secretary and Mayor of Boston and current Executive Director of the National Hockey League Players’ Association to be a Governor of the U.S. Postal Service.  He will join the seven current Governors, leaving one remaining vacancy.

PRC Outlines Activities in FY 2023 Annual Report to the President and Congress On February 21, Postal Regulatory Commission released its Fiscal Year 2023 Annual Report to the President and CongressThroughout the year, the Commission had several significant accomplishments that reflect its mission to provide transparency and accountability of Postal Service activities. In addition to reviewing and approving proposed rate changes for Market Dominant and Competitive products, new product proposals, and formal complaint adjudication, the Commission performed new activities as dictated by the Postal Service Reform Act (PSRA) and beyond.

U.S. Postal Service Reports First Quarter Fiscal Year 2024 Results On February 8, 2024, the USPS reported its financial results for the first quarter of fiscal year 2024 (Oct. 1, 2023 - Dec. 31, 2023). The net loss for the quarter totaled $2.1 billion, compared to a net loss of $1.0 billion for the same quarter last year. Results for the quarter were negatively impacted primarily by non-cash workers’ compensation expenses due to actuarial revaluation and discount rate changes, the amortization of unfunded retiree pension liabilities, and the continued effect of inflation on operating expenses. Total operating revenue was $21.6 billion for the quarter, an increase of $115 million, or 0.5 percent, compared to the same quarter last year. First-Class Mail revenue increased $171 million, or 2.6 percent, on a volume decline of 704 million pieces, or 5.6 percent, compared to the same quarter last year. Marketing Mail revenue decreased $235 million, or 5.4 percent, on a volume decline of 2.4 billion pieces, or 13.5 percent, compared to the same quarter last year.

U.S. Postal Service Sets Broad Goals to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 2030 On February 6, 2024 the USPS announcedset of new, ambitious sustainability targets for fiscal year 2030 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and waste at every level of the organization’s operations. The Postal Service’s new sustainability targets are centered around three core areas: climate action, the circular economy and environmental awareness. The Postal Service is reducing greenhouse gas emissions across the organization by moving freight from air to ground transportation, optimizing delivery routes for trucks and carriers, and procuring reduced-emission and zero-emission vehicles. The Postal Service is focused on strengthening the circular economy by diverting waste from landfills and through the sustainable acquisition of materials. Throughout its work to create a greener Postal Service, the organization will continue to educate its 640,000 employees, local communities and federal, state and local partners on its progress.