Trends in Print and Mail

The Berkshire Company Blog

2019 Postage Rate Increase: Spenders and Savers

Posted by Mark Fallon on Oct 16, 2018 5:01:00 AM

On Thursday, October 11, 2018, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) filed the rate case for Market Dominant products with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC). Set to go into effect on January 27, 2019, the new rates represent about a 2.5% overall increase over the current prices for mailing, or “Market Dominant” products.

Despite the headlines appearing on news websites, this isn’t “the biggest rate increase”. For many mailers the increase is lower than expected. While retail customers may have “sticker shock” on the 10% increase on stamps, the nickel increase allows the USPS to achieve the “simplicity of structure” of pricing. Plus, second ounce rates go down, flats pricing stays flat, as do postcards.

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U.S. Postal Service / USPS / United States Postal Service

Fall Postal Customer Council Events – Education, Networking and More

Posted by Mark Fallon on Aug 27, 2018 5:01:00 AM

 

Each spring, mailers gather at the National Postal Forum, and every fall brings the spotlight to Postal Customer Councils (“PCCs”), culminating in National PCC week, which takes place September 24 – 28, 2018.

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Postal Customer Council / U.S. Postal Service / USPS / United States Postal Service

Contingency Plans Required

Posted by Mark Fallon on Jun 18, 2018 7:30:00 PM



“First ask yourself: What is the worst that can happen? Then prepare to accept it. Then proceed to improve on the worst.” – Dale Carnegie

In the Summer of 1997, I was the Assistant Vice President of Mail Services at State Street Corporation in Boston. My team was responsible for inbound and outbound mail for the Greater Boston area. That included shipping out hundreds of overnight packages each day – the bulk of those were handed off to United Parcel Service (UPS).

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Operations Management / United States Postal Service

Updated eBook for 2018 - 110 Tips to Improve Your Mail Center

Posted by Mark Fallon on Apr 17, 2018 5:01:00 AM

The Berkshire Company is excited to announce the publication of the 2018 edition of our popular eBook - 110 Tips to Improve Your Mail Center.

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U.S. Postal Service / National Postal Forum / Operations Management / United States Postal Service

The Postal Reform Act of 2018 – Is “Hope” a 4-Letter Word?

Posted by Mark Fallon on Mar 26, 2018 11:39:27 AM



On Thursday, March 22, 2018, a bi-partisan group of Senators filed S. 2629, “The Postal Reform Act of 2018: Improving Postal Operations, Service, and Transparency”. The bill’s co-sponsors will be familiar to mailing industry veterans – Tom Carper (D-DE), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), and Claire McCaskill (D-MO).

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U.S. Postal Service / United States Postal Service

Retail Counters at the U.S. Postal Service – A Modest Proposal

Posted by Mark Fallon on Mar 13, 2018 2:10:00 PM


I often visit my local post office on Saturdays. There are several reasons for this habit. First, I travel during the workweek, so it’s convenient to pick up my packages, drop off mail, and sign for any Certified Mail letters. Next, it reminds me of being a kid and stopping by the Woburn Post Office to say “Hi” to my father, who was usually working the window on Saturday mornings. And lastly, I enjoy watching my fellow postal patrons interact with the clerks.

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U.S. Postal Service / USPS / United States Postal Service

Looking Ahead – 2018 National Postal Forum

Posted by Mark Fallon on Feb 20, 2018 2:00:00 PM


There’s still snow on the ground in my backyard, but I’m thinking about the warm weather down in Texas. That’s because I just received my catalog for the 2018 National Postal Forum (NPF) – May 6 – 9, 2018 in beautiful San Antonio.

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National Postal Forum / United States Postal Service

Implementing the US Postal Service 2018 Rate Changes

Posted by Mark Fallon on Jan 8, 2018 2:05:00 PM



On Sunday, January 21, 2018, the new US Postal Service (USPS) postage rates and rules go into effect, so mailers need to take action to be properly prepared. For most mailers, the first day of mailing under the new rates will be Monday, January 22, 2018. The new rates represent about a 1.9% increase over the current prices for mailing, or “Market Dominant” products and 3.9% increases for shipping, or “competitive” products.

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United States Postal Service

Trends in Print and Mail - The Top 10 Posts from 2017

Posted by Mark Fallon on Jan 3, 2018 5:20:00 AM


A new administration and a new congress took office in 2017. Along with those changes, there was a brief hope for legislative reform when a joint bill was passed by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. As the President and the Senate majority are from the same party, perhaps nominees to the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) Board of Governors would be approved.

However, the legislation has since stalled and the Senate hasn’t scheduled any hearings on the nominees. Letter mail volumes – for both First Class Mail and USPS Marketing Mail – have declined. The Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) announced their findings and proposed rulemaking after completing the mandatory 10-year review of the system for regulating postage rates for Market Dominant products – and the responses from industry and USPS leadership have been negative. Mergers and acquisitions of service providers continue at a brisk pace.

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United States Postal Service / National Postal Forum / Industry Vendors / Operations Management / Outsourcing

7 Simple Truths About the U.S. Postal Service Finances

Posted by Mark Fallon on Nov 19, 2017 3:26:09 PM


Last week, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) released their financial results for FY2017. Revenues and expenses both declined, and their reported losses were $2.7 billion. On cue – critics of the USPS, along with reporters who didn’t read beyond the first paragraph of the financial report, declared that the USPS is on an inevitable path to bankruptcy and irrelevance.

Here’s what they missed: + Read More

United States Postal Service

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