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The Berkshire Company Blog

Comprehensive Postal Reform – Part Two

Posted by Mark Fallon on May 1, 2022 5:09:39 AM



The last blog post proposed a new reporting structure of the US Postal Service (USPS) and the Postmaster General (PMG). This post will review the Universal Service Obligation (USO) and provide a draft USO for your consideration.

The USO is the vaguely defined responsibility of the USPS to provide consistent service at affordable rates to all citizens irrespective of geography. The Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) calculates the costs of the USO and publishes a report on those costs.

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United States Postal Service / USPS / Postal Reform / Postal Regulatory Commission / Vote by mail / Postmaster General / Universal Service Obligation / The Berkshire Company

Comprehensive Postal Reform – Part One

Posted by Mark Fallon on Apr 3, 2022 10:42:39 AM


In last month’s post, we reviewed the lack of real reform in the “Postal Service Reform Act of 2022”. While the bill does address some financial issues, it falls short of introducing meaningful change to the US Postal Service (USPS).

A common reply to the post has been, “What would you consider ‘real’ reform?”

That’s a good question, and one that will be answered in two parts. Part One will cover governance and accountability, and Part Two will address services provided.

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United States Postal Service / USPS / U.S. Postal Service / Postal Reform / Postal Regulatory Commission / Postmaster General / Universal Service Obligation

The Underwhelming Postal Reform Act of 2022

Posted by Mark Fallon on Mar 8, 2022 6:28:37 PM


On March 8, 2022, the Senate Passed HR 3076 – “The Postal Reform Act of 2022”. This is an important law that will address several issues affecting the US Postal Service (USPS). However, no matter how this law is promoted, it isn’t comprehensive reform, and it doesn’t overhaul the USPS.

What’s included? In summary:

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United States Postal Service / USPS / Postal Reform / Postmaster General / Universal Service Obligation

A Ship Adrift – The US Postal Service

Posted by Mark Fallon on Feb 1, 2021 4:00:00 AM



The last year has brought one challenge after another. The pandemic. Civil rights protests. A divisive election. Violent rioters in our nation’s capital.

The impact to the US Postal Service (USPS) was augmented by additional factors.

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United States Postal Service / USPS / U.S. Postal Service / Postal Reform / Postage Rates / Postal Regulatory Commission / Postmaster General

The Postal Service Isn't Broke; They Need a Bailout Anyway

Posted by Mark Fallon on Sep 7, 2020 4:00:48 PM


In my decades of working in the mailing industry, there’s never been as much public interest in the US Postal Service (USPS) as there is right now. I remember the headlines of 1970, but that’s because my father was a postal worker. I was just a kid and didn’t appreciate the situation.

50 years later, the situation is different. My business – and the businesses of my customers – are tied to the fate of the USPS. The pandemic has hit the mailing industry hard, with massive declines in volumes. News websites and social media are awash with stories about mounting losses and substantial delivery delays. The importance of vote-by-mail in the upcoming election has further politicized the situation.

The financial situation of the USPS is bad.

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United States Postal Service / USPS / U.S. Postal Service / Postal Reform / Vote by mail / Postmaster General

BREAKING: Congress and the Press Discover that the Postal Service is in Trouble!

Posted by Mark Fallon on Apr 20, 2020 5:00:00 AM


“All legislation, all government, all society is founded upon the principle of mutual concession, politeness, comity, courtesy; upon these everything is based...” – Henry Clay, American Statesman (1777-1852)

In late March, two members of Congress released a statement that unless immediate actions were taken, the US Postal Service (USPS) would run out of cash in June 2020. Their goal was to garner support for adding $25 billion in funding for the USPS as part of the CARES act.

When the stimulus bill was passed, it included provision to allow the USPS to borrow an additional $10 billion due to the COVID-19 crisis. Interestingly, the additional debt can only be used for operating expenses and not capital investments - like new delivery vehicles.

Since that vote, there’s been an explosion of articles and television interviews about the financial struggles of the USPS. It seems that every politician has suddenly developed a sincere concern for the future of the USPS and its ability to serve our country. Similarly, reporters, columnists and pundits are writing articles and delivering commentaries about the financial insolvency of the USPS.

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

What’s a Letter?

Posted by Mark Fallon on Apr 6, 2020 9:00:00 PM


On February 7, 2020, the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) issued Order Number 5422 – “Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to Consider Regulations to Carry Out the Statutory Requirements of 39 U.S.C. 601”. It’s a brief document – only 10 pages – that opens up significant issues around the definition of “a letter”, the U.S. Postal Service’s (USPS) monopoly to deliver letters, and the universal service obligation (USO).

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United States Postal Service / USPS / Postal Reform / Postal Regulatory Commission

Our Unique American Institution

Posted by Mark Fallon on Mar 9, 2020 5:00:00 AM

The Lexington Institute hosted a Capitol Hill Conference on Postal Reform. 
On Friday, March 6, 2020, The Lexington Institute hosted a Capitol Hill Conference on Postal Reform. With a packed room of legislative aides, mailing industry professionals and interested individuals, 12 speakers shared ideas on what has worked, what has failed, and what should be considered to reform the United States Postal Service (USPS).

The roster included:

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United States Postal Service / USPS / Postal Reform / Postal Regulatory Commission

The US Postal Service 5-Year Strategic Plan – Still No Plan

Posted by Mark Fallon on Jan 20, 2020 3:25:05 PM



Last April, during a House Oversight Committee hearing, Representative Mark Meadows (R-North Carolina) took Postmaster General (PMG) Brennan to task for not delivering a 10-year strategic plan to Congress that was promised to be handed over in January. A second delivery date was also missed. The congressman was not happy.

Representative Meadows had worked with his Democrat colleagues to draft bi-partisan postal reform bills. As he said, the PMG’s actions were turning an advocate into an adversary. At the end of the discussion, the Committee Chair, the late Representative Elijah Cummings, directed that the plan be delivered to the committee no later than July.

At that summer’s Mailers' Technical Advisory Committee (MTAC) meeting, PMG Brennan was asked when the strategic plan would be published. The PMG said that the Oversight Committee had the plan, and that it would be released to the industry “in due time”.

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United States Postal Service / USPS / U.S. Postal Service / Postal Reform / Postage Rates / mail / Postal Regulatory Commission

Implementing the US Postal Service 2020 Rate Changes

Posted by Mark Fallon on Jan 13, 2020 5:00:00 AM

On Sunday, January 26, 2020, the new US Postal Service (USPS) postage rates and rules go into effect, so mailers need to act now to be properly prepared. For most mailers, the first day of mailing under the new rates will be Monday, January 27, 2020.

This rate case was announced on October 9, 2019. Set to go into effect on January 26, 2020, the new rates represent about a 1.9% increase over the current prices for mailing, or “Market Dominant” products and about a 4% increases for shipping, or “competitive” products.

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United States Postal Service / U.S. Postal Service / Postal Reform / Postage Rates / mail / Postal Regulatory Commission