Latest News and Highlights  

Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) issues ruling in Ten-Year Regulatory Review On December 1, 2017, the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) issued the long awaited ruling in R2017-3: Statutory Review of the System for Regulating Rates and Classes for Market Dominant Products. The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA) stipulated that after ten years, the PRC was required to conduct a review of the ratemaking system established under PAEA to determine if the goals of the legislation were being met. According to the PRC the current system is not meeting the objectives of PAEA. As a result, the PRC is initiating a notice of proposed rulemaking (NOPR) that includes the following: Retention of a price cap based system;  USPS gains additional 2% pricing authority above CPI for next 5 years after which the PRC will evaluate the financial health of USPS; USPS may gain additional 1% pricing authority if service and operational targets are met; Products that are not covering attributable costs must have price increases at least 2% more than the average for their class; For periodicals all workshare passthroughs must be between 75% and 125%; For all other products passthroughs must be between 85% and 115% and Non-compliant workshare discounts will be subject to a three year grace period.

USPS Issues 2018 Financial Plan The Postal Service has released its 2018 Integrated Financial Plan. For Fiscal Year 2018 – which began on October 1, 2017, USPS is projecting an operating loss of $1.4 billion and a net loss – after accounting for USPS funding of retiree obligations - of $5.2 billion. FY 2017 ended with an operating loss of $800 million and a net loss of $2.7 billion. For 2018, USPS is predicting that volume will decline from 149.5 billion pieces to 144.9 billion. While package volumes are expected to increase by 400 million pieces, USPS is projecting that First-Class Mail will decline by 2.5 billion pieces and that marketing mail will fall from 78.3 billion pieces to 76.1 billion. Despite the 4.6 billion piece decline in volume, USPS is projecting that compensation and benefits expenses will increase from $50.5 billion to $50.7 billion. 

U.S. Postal Service Reports Fiscal Year 2017 Results. On November 14, the USPS reported revenues of $69.6 billion for fiscal year 2017, a decrease of $1.8 billion compared to the prior year.  The USPS attributes the lower revenues to a decline in mail volume of 5.0 billion pieces (3.6%) as well as the $1.1 billion 2016 non cash change in accounting estimate and 2016 roll-back of the exigent surcharge.   USPS also reported a package volume increase by 589 million pieces or 11.4 percent.  

PRC approves USPS Proposed Price ChangeOn November 7, the Postal Regulatory Commission approved the Postal Service's proposed price changes for its competitive products. The new prices will go into effect on January 21, 2018. 

White House Announce Board of Governor NomineesOn October 26, 2017, the White House announced nominations for three individuals to be postal governors. They are Calvin Tucker of Pennsylvania, Mike Duncan of Kentucky and David Williams of Illinois. These nominees are: Calvin R. Tucker of Pennsylvania, for the remainder of a term expiring December 8, 2023;  Robert M. Duncan of Kentucky, for the remainder of a seven-year term expiring December 8, 2018, and an additional term expiring December 8, 2025 and David Williams of Illinois, for the remainder of a seven-year term expiring December 8, 2019.

PostCom Celebrates 70 Years! This week the Association for Postal Commerce celebrated its 70th Anniversary at a Reception with Board of Directors and leaders of the U.S. Postal Service and Postal Regulatory Commission.  In celebrating PostCom's history, President & CEO, Mike Plunkett, and Chairman of the Board, Bob Schimek, recognized two outstanding individuals for their long-standing contributions towards the association as well as the industry.  The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to James (Jim) Cochrane of the U.S. Postal Service for his long and extraordinary service to the mail industry.  The Stan Woodruff Award was given to Donna Hanbery of the Saturation Mailers Coalition (SMC) and a long-time Board of Directors Member for her leadership and guidance to the association and its work on behalf of the postal commerce industry.  Congratulations!