The USPS held its annual National Postal Forum in Charlotte, NC this May. Here are the Hot Topics of the conference.
The Postmaster General made no apologies about raising rates and indicated rates would continue to rise through 2024. His justification – the USPS still needs to cover its costs, and have funds available to modernize to meet the goals of the Delivering for America plan.
The USPS is developing a new Hub-and-Spoke Network, replacing the network of NDCs and SCFs with Regional Processing Distribution Centers (RPDC), Local Processing Centers (LPC) and Sorting and Delivery Centers (S&DC). Some of these facilities will be brand new, others will be refurbished facilities and others co-located in current facilities. The goal is a logistics-friendly network that will reduce costs by optimizing freight.
The USPS has already changed service standards for mail and is aggressively moving First Class mail off of air transportation to ground transportation. As the USPS onboards new facilities, truck trips will be reduced, and the trucks that do go will be fuller. They are especially bullish about pulling sorting out of the small post offices into the new S&DC facilities. Each S&DC will aggregate up to 50 delivery units, and service up to 200K addresses. USPS mail carriers will be dispatched from the S&DC instead of the local retail unit.
The USPS is combining Retail Ground Packages, First Class Packages and Parcel Select Ground into a new product called Ground Advantage. The delivery time will be standardized to 2-5 days, insurance increased to $100 per package and tracking will be included. The introductory rates starting July 9th will be slightly lower than they are now.
The USPS is hard at work testing new products, improving their technology and integrating more with customers, service providers and vendors. New products like Informed Address, Informed Greetings and improvements to Informed Delivery all show the USPS’s commitment to innovate.
Focus – geese vs bats
The Postmaster General gave an illustration that when he joined the USPS, leadership was behaving like bats, each working alone to address the issues in a reactive way. Now two years into his tenure, he believes his team is behaving more like geese in formation, with a common goal, direction and most importantly focus to get the job done and fulfill the vision in the Deliver for America plan.