USPS Updates from the National Postal Forum
This week we spent a few days at the National Postal Forum in Phoenix, Arizona. This is the premier conference that works directly with the Unties States Postal Service. In addition to meeting up with our primary carrier, OSM, we attended several events, including a meeting with the USPS and Package Shippers Association. Here are a few updates from the meeting.
USPS First-Class Package Service
The recent changes to the service standard for this service were discussed. As you may recall from a previous newsletter, changes went into effect this month to push this volume out of the air network, and into the ground network. The USPS reiterated, however, that First Class parcels to AK, HI, etc. would still travel via air, so hazardous goods to those destinations must go Parcel Ground, as we also noted in a previous issue. What was news, however, was a casual mention by the USPS that service standards and pricing for the Parcel Ground were or will be under review by the Board of Governors, as the obvious implication now is that, aside from the hazardous goods to specific destinations that require parcel ground service, it appears to be evolving that there is no distinction between the two services. The crux of the issue will be in the destination entry details, so we will keep an eye on this.
This is the USPS portal that everyone can sign up to receive a daily digest of mail for your residence. The USPS captures images of most letter mail coming to your home and sends that to you on a daily basis. They also provide tracking visibility of parcels coming to your home. The news here is that the USPS is close to releasing a program that will allow retailer-created digital marketing assets to be selectively applied at the tracking number level and pass that through in the digest. These messages can be updated during the “pre-parcel anxiety period”, until 14 days after delivery. Informed Delivery has 47 million current subscribers, growing by 245K per week, and the emails have a 72% open rate, so the marketing opportunity for this FREE service will be impactful. For those of you wondering, pre-parcel anxiety is that feeling of someone withholding your property from you, as you ponder the timeliness and quality of the item, from when you become aware that it is on the way until you receive it.