Megan Brennan, the 74th US Postmaster General announced her retirement effective in 2020, after serving in the position for five years. The task of appointing the next Postmaster General now falls to the Postal Service’s Board of Governors. With the increase of financial and political pressure on the USPS, the selection of her replacement will be essential to the future of the postal service as a public institution.
Before the postal reorganization in 1971, the Postmaster General was appointed directly by the President of the United States. Since then, members of the Postal Board of Governors are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate, and the Board in turn selects the Postmaster General.
The Postal Board of Governors was unable to reach a quorum for just short of 5-years until (finally) in August of this year, the Senate confirmed three nominees appointed by President Trump. Now the Board is in a position to hire the next PMG which will set the course for the Postal Service’s future. With the retirement prefunding issue still unresolved, there is a lot of concern that the Trump Administration will pressure the Postal Board of Governors to appoint a Postmaster General who shares the White House’s views on issues of privatization.
We will keep you abreast of the search of for the 75th US Postmaster General as it unfolds.
The PRC (Postal Regulatory Commission) has rejected the first-class rate increases that are scheduled to become effective Jan. 26, 2020.
In the Nov. 13 order, the commission stated that the proposed increases are in excess of what a price cap allows and directed the USPS to rework rates that apply to letters, postcards, printed papers and small packets weighing up to 2 kilograms coming into the United States from other countries.
The commission seems confident that the rates can be revamped in time for the planned rate change.
The commission calculated the planned first-class increases at 2.109 percent. This exceeds the 1.933 percent increase that is allowed.
The Postal Service’s board of governors is expected to revisit First-Class Mail prices, and any subsequent filing of revisions with the PRC will occur no later than Dec. 12.
If you aren’t using geo targeting with your social media delivery, you’re missing out. In a recent study by Neilsen, a global measurement and data analytics company, showed that buying local had the highest awareness among US consumers. BIA Advisory Services reported that geo-targeted ad sales are expected to reach $32.4 billion in 2021, up from $12.4 billion in 2016.
The 5-Day Weekend – Be Ready For it.
Timing is everything when trying to capture holiday shoppers. The 5-Day weekend is Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday and it accounted for 19.2% of total online retail revenue during last year’s holiday season. Make sure to budget marketing dollars for paid ads during this time period.
Make the Customer Experience Easy & Pleasant
Be sure to test your online purchasing experience. If its not fast and simple and mobile friendly, you’re going to lose sales. Its as simple as that.
Make the Experience Personal
A focus on personalization, both in print and online is more important than ever. According to a report from the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) it found that 63% of surveyed consumers were interested in more personalized recommendations.
Another 64% of respondents were open to sharing personal data in exchange for retail benefits like loyalty points and coupons.
Your clients look to brand as a trusted advisor and are interested in brand-provided tips and suggestions.
In August, the USPS was granted a patent for a sorting robot intended to work inside a delivery truck’s freight bay while making deliveries.
The robot will grasp items and move them between storage bins, grouping mail and packages together to be delivered to the same address and shrink wrapping them.
It is suggested that the robotic arm would be able to pass items through a window from the freight bay into the cab of a delivery vehicle to the driver for delivery, and one or more robotic arms could be used in a single vehicle.
The robot outlined in the patent is not complicated. The arm would have some dexterity, commonly seen in today’s manufacturing environment already, but it could replace some of the work generally performed by humans. Most mail and parcels come to a local post office presorted by zip code but must be further grouped by route and address from there. Performing the final phase of this sorting while driving to the delivery point, could cut down on delivery time and labor.
Just because a patent is granted does not mean a technology will ever see the light of day. However, labor has been a source of financial strain for the USPS, so technological solutions are being considered with more weight than in previous times.
The patent states that current methods of delivery are expensive, at least in part due to labor costs. Methods and systems to reduce the human workload along a delivery route are needed to reduce the cost.