Author: Brandon Jacklin, Manager of Logistics and Postal Affairs
Two weeks ago, I had the privilege of attending the 2022 National Postal Forum in Phoenix, Arizona. This annual conference always serves as a great opportunity to learn about the new happenings in the print and mailing industry, as well as connect with others in the field. This year’s theme was Facing the Future Together – a homage to overcoming the challenges remaining after the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as to the transformation taking place with the USPS’s Delivering for America initiative. Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy, outlined several key initiatives the USPS is implementing, all of which are of interest for those in the print and mailing industry, as they will affect postal rates, delivery, and efficiency.
Increasing Service Standard Times
The USPS is implementing several improvements behind the scenes to drive better delivery performance while reducing costs. They are planning major capital investments into its processing network, facilities, retail locations and fleet. This includes maximizing existing routes to ensure that trucks and planes are being sent at full capacity, and consolidating facility operations from multiple locations into one larger one, where possible, to increase efficiency.
Improving Employee Retention
Another focus of the USPS is improving employee amenities to help with workforce retention and morale. With employee shortages nation-wide, the USPS realizes it needs to increase the desire to stay for current employees who in many cases are facing higher demands. Some of these changes include improving the onboarding and training process, workplace safety, and updating equipment and vehicles. The USPS is seeking to electrify it’s entire fleet by no later than 2035.
Looking Towards the Future
Postmaster General, Louis Dejoy, acknowledged that the USPS has faced several industry headwinds in recent decades (not the least of which being the Covid-19 pandemic). However, he stressed that it is the postal service’s responsibility to rise up, remain competitive, and achieve its mandate of being a self-sustaining enterprise regardless of whatever challenges may exist. Under the Delivering for America plan, the post office anticipates operating with a positive net income beginning in fiscal year 2023 or 2024 and predicts reversing a projected $160 billion in losses over the next ten years.
Author: Brandon Jacklin, Logistics Specialist
As of August 29, 2021, the USPS has released updated postage rates (printable chart can be downloaded here). These postal rate increases will enable the USPS to provide reliable and predictable service while ensuring its financial sustainability. The plan will support a precise and efficient processing and transportation network, positioning the USPS to deliver 95 percent of all mail and packages on-time. More information about FAQ’s about USPS rate changes can be found here.
Larger Maximum Allowable Size for First-Class Postcards
A positive development for marketers, is that the new plan includes an increase in the first-class postcard maximum dimensions from 4.25 x 6” to 6 x 9”, providing additional space for information and branding.
Compared to 6″x9” marketing mail, a 6″x9” First-Class postcard offers many additional benefits including 1-5 business day delivery, return to sender, address correction, and forwarding services. Under the new plan, it also comes with a much smaller upcharge than in the past when jumping from Standard to First-Class. Postcards provide an affordable and effective way to drive business. With the ability to be highly personalized and in-home quickly at a great price, this is a wonderful opportunity for marketers.
Co-Mail, Commingle, and Drop-Shipping Options Help Keep Postage Rates Low
There are a variety of ways that a finished mail piece can be shipped to a customer. Three of the most common methods include co-mail, commingle, and drop ship. Co-mail is used for catalogs and flat-sized pieces. In this type of shipment, multiple jobs are combined, enhancing the pre-sort, which gives the customer the lowest postage price. Commingling is used for letter-sized pieces and helps to save postage while combining mailings similarly co-mail. These two methods are most cost-effective for those mailing smaller quantities. Lastly, drop shipping consolidates pallets with other pallet jobs and then delivers them to postal facilities around the country. This method is beneficial for geographically concentrated quantities as well as the ability to hit a tight in-home window. Our postal and logistics experts at Nahan are here to help you navigate which shipping option is the best for your needs.
How Nahan Provides Cost-Effective Mailing Solutions
- Logistics expertise – We have a team of logistics experts to help our customers determine the best mailing and transportation method for their needs. The team is always on top of what’s going on with industry changes and is quick to respond.
- Multiple shipping methods – As explained above, we have three primary shipping options: co-mail, commingle, and drop-ship, all of which our team of experts can help you choose from to best support your needs.
- Advocating for our customers – Throughout industry changes, we remain committed to finding the best postage rates for our customers and by the best means possible relative to desired transit times and in-home dates.
The printing and direct marketing industry could not exist without the partnership of the USPS to deliver your eye-catching and action-driving piece to your consumer. The team at Nahan is here to help you find solutions to minimize postage and transportation costs and drive improved marketing return on investment (ROI).