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Latest News and Highlights

U.S. Postal Service Announces Proposed Temporary Rate Adjustments for 2022 Peak Holiday Season The United States Postal Service filed notice on August 10th with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) regarding a temporary price adjustment for key package products for the 2022 peak holiday season. This temporary rate adjustment is similar to ones in past years that help cover extra handling costs to ensure a successful peak season.  The planned peak-season pricing, which was approved by the Governors of the Postal Service on Aug. 9, would affect prices on the following commercial and retail domestic competitive parcels: Priority Mail Express (PME), Priority Mail (PM), First-Class Package Service (FCPS), Parcel Select and USPS Retail Ground. International products would be unaffected. Pending favorable review by the PRC, the temporary rates would go into effect at 12 a.m. Central on Oct. 2, and remain in place until 12 a.m. Central Jan. 22, 2023.

U.S. Postal Service Reports Third Quarter Fiscal Year 2022 Results The U.S. Postal Service announced its financial results for the third quarter of its fiscal year 2022 (April 1, 2022 - June 30, 2022). The enactment of the Postal Service Reform Act (PSRA) on April 6, 2022 repealed the requirement that the Postal Service annually prepay future retiree health benefits and canceled all past due prefunding obligations - this is reflected as a one-time, non-cash benefit of $59.6 billion to net income for the quarter. The Postal Service had adjusted loss of $459 million for the quarter, compared to an adjusted loss of $41 million for the same quarter last year.  The Postal Service's operating revenue was $18.7 billion for the quarter, an increase of $257 million, or 1.4 percent, despite a volume decline of 201 million pieces, or 0.7 percent, compared to the same quarter last year. It took on average 2.5 days to deliver a mailpiece or package during the third quarter, which is a 7 percent improvement, compared to the average of 2.7 days the same quarter last year. From an on-time delivery perspective, 93.3 percent of First-Class Mail pieces were delivered on time during the quarter, an increase of 5.4 percentage points from the fiscal second quarter.

PRC Releases Report Evaluating USPS FY 2021 Performance Report and FY 2022 Performance Plan On June 30, the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) issued its analysis of the United States Postal Service (Postal Service) Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 Annual Performance Report (FY 2021 Report) and FY 2022 Performance Plan (FY 2022 Plan). The Commission found that the Postal Service’s FY 2022 Plan complies with all provisions of the law.  The PRC determined that the Postal Service partially met the High-Quality Service performance goal;  partially met the Excellent Customer Experience performance goal;  partially met the Safe Workplace and Engaged Workforce goal and met the Financial Health performance goal. 

OIG Issues Semiannual Report The U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General, which celebrated its 25thanniversary at the end of fiscal year 2021, has issued its semi-annual report to Congress for the six-month period ending March 31, 2022.  During this period, the OIG issued 51 audit reports, management advisories, and white papers, and the U.S. Postal Service accepted 88 percent of the recommendations contained in those documents.  Inspector General Tammy Whitcomb highlighted a number of these reports, including audits of several Baltimore delivery units that were prompted by congressional concerns about mail delivery delays; and two reports regarding the USPS’s use of electric vehicles. 

Postal Regulatory Commission Completes FY 2021 Financial Analysis - On May 18, the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) released its analysis of the Postal Service’s FY2021 financial performance and condition.  In FY 2021, the Postal Service had a net loss from operations of $2.7 billion, a $0.9 billion improvement from FY 2020. The decrease in net operating losses for FY 2021 was primarily due to $4.0 billion more revenue than in FY 2020. When non-operating expenses are included, the Postal Service had a total net loss of $4.9 billion in FY 2021—an improvement of $4.2 billion compared to the prior year.  Market Dominant and Competitive products volume fluctuated throughout the year, largely the result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Market Dominant revenue decreased in FY 2021 by $97 million or 0.2 percent from FY 2020. Increases in revenue per piece for overall Market Dominant products were not enough to offset declines in volume and fluctuation in mail mix and signal the severity of the effects of the pandemic during that time.

Senate Confirms Postal Governors - On May 12, the Senate confirmed Daniel Mark Tangherlini, the former head of the General Services Administration, and Derek Kan, the former Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget to be Governors of the United States Postal Service.  Their terms expire December 8, 2027 and December 8, 2028 respectively.

U.S. Postal Service Files Price and Classification Changes for Competitive Products and International Special Services - On May 6th, the U.S. Postal Service filed notice with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) of price and classification changes for Competitive Products, including new prices for certain International Special Services and product enhancements for Priority Mail and Parcel Select. The proposed price and classification changes, approved by the Postal Service Governors, would take effect July 10, 2022.  Additional changes extend cubic rates to Priority Commercial Base and introduce cubic rates for Parcel Select Ground packages up to 1 cubic foot. The filing also requested product enhancements for Priority Mail Outbound and Priority Mail Returns.  

U.S. Postal Service Reports Second Quarter Fiscal Year 2022 Results On May 5, the U.S. Postal Service announced its financial results for the second quarter of its fiscal year 2022 (Jan. 1, 2022 - March 31, 2022), reporting an adjusted loss of approximately $1.7 billion for the quarter, essentially flat compared to the same quarter last year. Adjusted loss excludes non-cash workers' compensation adjustments for the impacts of actuarial revaluation and discount rate changes, which are outside of management's control. Service performance continued to improve during the second quarter. The Postal Service's operating revenue was approximately $19.8 billion for the quarter, an increase of $896 million, or 4.7 percent, on volume growth of 886 million pieces, or 2.9 percent, compared to the same quarter last year.

USPS Implements New First-Class Package Service Standards and Updates Priority Mail Service Standards On May 1, the Postal Service is taking additional actions to improve service reliability by announcing the implementation of changes to the First-Class Package Service (FCPS) service standards. Modifying these service standards will allow for additional transport time for long-distance package deliveries and increased network efficiencies. The new FCPS service standards will also enable additional package volume to be transported by surface transportation, which is more reliable and affordable compared to air transportation. Sixty-four percent of First-Class Package Service volume will be unaffected by the proposed standard changes. Four percent will be upgraded from a 3-day to 2-day service standard. For the remainder of the volume (32 percent), the service standard will increase by one or two days.

Postal Reform Act Signed Into Law.  On April 6,  President Biden signed the Postal Reform Act of 2022, which enacts the most significant postal legislation since the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA) in 2006. The law change will eliminate the requirement that the Postal Service prefund retiree health benefits, and require USPS annuitants to enroll in Medicare when eligible. The law also allows USPS to offer a limited set of non-postal services and requires an integrated network with delivery to all addresses six days per week. 

USPS Announces New Prices for 2022 On April 6, the United States Postal Service filed notice with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) of price changes to take effect July 10, 2022. The new prices, if favorably reviewed, include a two-cent increase in the price of a First-Class Mail Forever stamp from 58 cents to 60 cents and would raise First-Class Mail prices approximately 6.5 percent. The single-piece letter additional ounce price would increase to 24 cents, the metered mail 1-ounce price would increase to 57 cents and the price of a postcard stamp would increase to 44 cents. A one-ounce letter mailed to other countries would increase to $1.40 cents. The Postal Service is also seeking price adjustments for Special Services products including Certified Mail, Post Office Box rental fees, Money Order fees and the cost to purchase insurance when mailing an item.

PRC Issues FY 2021 Annual Compliance Determination.  On March 29, the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) issued its FY 2021 Annual Compliance Determination (ACD).  As part of its report, the PRC has formally determined the available rate authority available to the Postal Service in addition to the CPI based authority. As determined by the PRC, the density based authority available is 0.583% and the retirement based authority available is 0.785%.