Trends in Print and Mail

The Berkshire Company Blog

Prevention Not Panic

Posted by Mark Fallon on Oct 25, 2018 8:55:50 AM



In October 2001, an unknown terrorist sent envelopes containing anthrax through the US Postal Service (USPS). The intended targets were news broadcasters and elected officials. One envelope was misdirected, and ended up at the State Department, where several employees were seriously injured.

17 years later, another terrorist is using the mail to attack people. Instead of anthrax, pipe bombs were sent to a cable news company, past presidents and elected officials. One package was misdelivered to the return address on the envelope – the local office of a congresswoman.

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Mail Security / U.S. Postal Service / USPS / Postal Customer Council

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

Ready, Fire, Aim! – A Misstep by the US Postal Service

Posted by Mark Fallon on Sep 12, 2018 5:01:00 AM


At a time when the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is struggling with declining volumes, someone at that organization has decided that one answer is to create additional restrictions on what could be mailed at Marketing Mail rates.

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U.S. Postal Service / USPS / Technology

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

CAPS is Dead, Long Live EPS

Posted by Mark Fallon on Jul 24, 2018 7:33:49 AM

In February 2018, the United States Postal Service (USPS) announced the launch of their new Enterprise Payment System (EPS). As the USPS demonstrates in the below chart, EPS will bring together payments for all types of postal expenses.

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U.S. Postal Service / USPS / Strategy

National Postal Forum 2018 Recap: The Intersection of Physical and Digital

Posted by Mark Fallon on May 14, 2018 1:00:00 PM


For the second year in a row, over 4,000 people came together at the National Postal Forum (NPF). This year’s conference in San Antonio marked the 50th anniversary of the NPF. Things have changed a lot since 1968, and the 3 words that sum up the US Postal Service’s (USPS) message throughout the show were: informed, integrated and disruptive.

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USPS / National Postal Forum

NPF 2018: See You in San Antonio!

Posted by Mark Fallon on Apr 30, 2018 2:30:00 PM



What are your plans for the upcoming National Postal Forum (NPF), May 6 – 10, 2018 in San Antonio, TX?

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National Postal Forum / USPS

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

Tough First Quarter for the US Postal Service: A Closer Look

Posted by Mark Fallon on Feb 12, 2018 9:00:00 PM



On February 9, 2018, The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) released the financial results for the first quarter of their fiscal year (October 1, 2017 to December 31, 2017). No one anticipated good news, but the numbers were worse than expected. The USPS posted a net loss for the first quarter of $540 million, compared to net income of $1.4 billion, for the same period last year. The first quarter is usually the strongest quarter with the added volumes of shipping and mailing for the holidays.

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USPS / U.S. Postal Service

Postal Regulatory Commission Issues Findings and Proposed Rulemaking – What it Means for Mailers

Posted by Mark Fallon on Dec 4, 2017 12:25:51 PM



On Friday, December 1, 2017, 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. The review and the proposed rulemaking documents can be downloaded on the PRC’s website.

Background

When Congress passed the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA) in 2006, the annual increase in postage rates for market dominant prices was tied to the Consumer Price Index for Urban Customers (CPI-U). The CPI-U excludes rural populations and represents approximately 80% of the population.

There were 9 stated objectives of the new system:

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USPS / U.S. Postal Service

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