As we mentioned earlier today, the Postmaster General (PMG) made a major announcement this morning. Beginning the week of August 5, the Postal Service plans to halt Saturday mail delivery (letters and flats of all classes). Post Offices will continue to be open on Saturdays (including delivery of mail to P.O. Boxes) and facilities in the postal processing network will continue to operate on their current weekend schedules. Packages will continue to be delivered on Saturdays as well.
While some are questioning whether the PMG has the authority to take such drastic measures, most signs point to this becoming a reality. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), chairman, House Government Reform Committee, and Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), ranking member, Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, called it a “common-sense reform.” Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE), chairman, Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, issued a statement saying he is “disappointed” by the announcement, but “despite my disappointment, it’s hard to condemn the Postmaster General for moving aggressively to do what he believes he can and must do to keep the lights on at the Postal Service.”
As expected, the initial reaction from postal unions was negative. Cliff Guffey, president of the APWU, “condemned” the decision in a statement saying, “USPS executives cannot save the Postal Service by tearing it apart.” NALC president Fredric Rolando called the plan a “disastrous idea” that “flouts the will of Congress.”
Impact on Direct Mail
The question now becomes: What does this mean for direct mail campaigns? While we may not know the exact effect this change will have on specific types of mail until after it is fully implemented, we anticipate, based on no change in mail drop behavior, some delay of Standard Mail® as the potential volume of mail available for Monday delivery increases. This situation could become more pronounced when a Monday holiday is involved in that scenario. For mailers who have traditionally focused only on a mail-date strategy, we expect to see their delivery curves push out up to one to three USPS business days from their current experience, depending on the day of the week mail is entered.
The way to mitigate the effects of this change is to adopt an in-home strategy that targets a delivery window when you want the mailpiece to be in the hands of the recipient. If you’re not already experienced with in-home drop strategy requirements this will require some transition planning. You will need to work closely with your mailing partners to develop a strategy that hits your in-home requirements. IWCO Direct’s delivery tracking and management tools can assist our customers to make needed changes to their mail drop and entry schedules to continue to achieve their targeted in-home dates. Be sure to reach out to your IWCO Direct account team to discuss how we can help you navigate this change. Or, if you’re not a current customer but are interested in learning more about how we can optimize your postal strategy, please feel free to contact us.
While a reduction in service is never pleasant, IWCO Direct understands the necessity of this change and applauds the Postmaster General’s willingness to take action to ensure a financially stronger Postal Service. We call on Sen. Carper and Rep. Issa to get the job done and pass comprehensive reform legislation this year. Such legislation is long overdue, and Congressional support for postal reform legislation will strengthen a mailing industry that provided 8.4 million jobs and $1.3 trillion in revenue in 2012.
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