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.