National Postal Forum is Back
After a two-year COVID break and a smaller in-person iteration last year in Phoenix, the National Postal Forum (NPF) was back to its full size and energy level when we gathered in Charlotte, NC at the end of May. There were more than 4,300 attendees and nearly 900 companies exhibiting on the tradeshow floor. It was good to see the postal executive team engaged with their customers throughout the event. We especially appreciated the willingness of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy to participate in the first-ever PMG town hall, answering questions from the mailing industry and other postal stakeholders.
One of the most exciting topics of conversation at the NPF was the possibility of the Postal Service offering a volume incentive program in 2024. This program would be aimed at combating the precipitous drop in mail volumes experienced by the mailing industry and the Postal Service over the past six-months. There were many side conversations among industry members on how to structure such an incentive. One thing we all agreed on is that the first step for any incentive needs to be minimizing volume loss, and only when volume is stabilized can the USPS incent a new round of volume growth.
Congratulations to our client, Capital One, for receiving the Partnership for Growth Award, which the Postal Service presents annually at NPF to recognize companies that have made significant contributions to the mailing and shipping industry with forward-thinking and innovative practices. Shout out to our friends Tom Lloyd and Dave Stover for their leadership in this achievement.
July Rates Approved along with 2024 Promotions
The week after the NPF, the Postal Regulatory Commission approved the rate case scheduled to take effect on July 9. While the second rate increase of the year is anything but good news for users of postal services, one bright spot was that the approved rate case also included mailing promotions for 2024. We will see the same six promotions in 2024 as are running this year: Tactile/Sensory/Interactive, Personalized Color Transpromo, Emerging and Advanced Technology, IMbA Reply Mail, Informed Delivery, and Retargeting. The one change is that mailers will be able to select their own six-month time period for the Technology Promotion, rather than having a specific promotion window.
Promotions are a great way to minimize the impact of postage increases. Many of our clients are currently earning 5% postage discounts through the Tactile/Sensory/Interactive Promotion that runs through July 31, and many of those clients will finish the year earning 4% postage discounts through the Informed Delivery Promotion that runs from August 1 through the end of the year. If you’re not taking advantage of the opportunities offered by the promotions (both to up your marketing game and to achieve some significant postage savings), your IWCO account team is ready to help.
Another bright spot in the July rate case is that the USPS is adding a discount for Marketing Mail letters on a destination SCF pallet. This new discount encourages mailers to create cross-dockable SCF pallets that require no additional USPS sorting until they arrive at the facility that will perform the final delivery-point sortation. These discounts will be 0.3¢ per piece for automation letters and 0.2¢ per piece for saturation/high-density letters. Since more than 98% of the MM letters produced at IWCO are drop-shipped directly to the destination SCF, we will be taking full advantage of this new discount for our clients.
Have questions about what’s going on in the postal world? Be sure to reach out!