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Author's profile photo Braden McCollum

You have a voice and they want to hear it!

The USPS® and the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) are looking for your comments and suggestions on anything and everything postal related.

This is a very tumultuous time for the mailing industry and there are a lot of hot topics floating around in Washington, DC these days. Some of the key items include:

  • The USPS lost $8.5 billion for fiscal year 2010 despite having expenses exceed revenue by only $500 million. The majority of this loss was due to the $5.5 billion retiree health benefit pre-payment and $2.5 for workman’s compensation adjustment.
  • Unless something changes, the USPS will be broke next year- The Postal Service projects that it will have a $2.7 billion cash shortfall as of September 2011.
  • Mail volumes continue to decline. Total mail volume declined by 3.5% in 2010 to 171 billion pieces over 177 billion pieces in 2009. Down from over 210 billion in 2006.
  • USPS is seeking permission to go to 5-day delivery, dropping Saturday. According to Sam Pulcrano, VP of Sustainability, the USPS expects to save $3.1 billion annually from eliminating the sixth day of delivery.
  • The USPS is in the throws of negotiations with 2 of their 4 major Unions: the American Postal Workers Union, AFL-CIO (APWU) and the National Rural Letter Carriers Association (NRLCA), both of their contracts expired at midnight November 20th.  Contracts with the other two labor organizations, the National Association of Letter Carriers, AFL-CIO (NALC) and the National Postal Mail Handlers Union, AFL-CIO (NPMHU), expire next year as well.
  • The USPS is seeking greater flexibility in: the services and products it provides, pricing changes, closing facilities, etc.
  • Congress is introducing new bills to try and help address many of these concerns. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.) introduced the Postal Operations Sustainment and Transformation (POST) Act of 2010. Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) introduced the Postal Service Improvement Act of 2010. Summary of the Carper Bill can be found at: Summary of Senator Collin’s can be found at: .

Now both the USPS and the PRC are seeking input from as many people and groups as they can get in order to help determine the best path forward for our industry. The Postal Service is seeking your opinion anything that could help improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the mailing industry. Your comments can be made on service standards, 5-day delivery, incentive programs, products, pricing, contracts, network flexibility, aspects of the Universal Service Obligation, transparency and SOX compliance, or any other topic you feel appropriate. Please send your comments to no later than January 15, 2011. For more details on the PAEA report, including a description of the report requirements and guiding principles, go to

Chairman Ruth Goldway of the PRC said, “The American public has a vital interest in the future of the U.S. Postal Service and the continuation of universal mail service. The Commission welcomes public input on these important matters and the exchange of ideas for legislative reform and other changes that promote an affordable and effective Postal Service.”

The Commission has begun work on Section 701 of the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA) of 2006 and is required to issue a report concerning the operation of amendments made by the PAEA and other recommendations for any legislation or other measures that could improve the effectiveness or efficiency of the postal laws of the United States. Once this report is completed, the PRC will forward it for a comment period to the USPS. Both the report and the USPS comments will then be submitted by the PRC to the President and Congress.

The PRC will hold a public forum on Tuesday, January 11, 2011, at 2:00 p.m., at the PRC offices. You can attend in person or send your comments in ahead of time. All members of the postal community and interested persons are also invited to send their comments by e-mail to, or by mail to the following address:

   Postal Regulatory Commission

   Office of Public Affairs & Government Relations 901 New York Avenue NW, Suite 200

   Washington, DC 20268-0001

The SAP BusinessObjects Postalsoft team actively participates in numerous industry organizations, including MTAC, PostCom, AMEE, Alliance for Affordable Mail, and IDEAlliance, and we are sharing our ideas and concerns with the USPS, the PRC, and others in Washington. Make sure your voice is heard too.

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