Randy Weiler, SPC’s Director of Postal Affairs and Logistics, is here to help you navigate the labyrinth of the USPS. What does it take to efficiently move your projects through the USPS system? What efficiencies can you gain from SPC’s lettershop expertise? Who determines postal increases?

Every month, Randy fields your burning questions about mail and postal affairs in a Q&A format. You can email him at askrandy@specialtyprintcomm.com or post a question via Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #AskRandyUSPS. We post the questions and his answers each month both here on the SPC blog and on social media.

1. Are there any USPS rate hikes being predicted for 2018 and/or any speculation on percentages?
Answer: I don’t foresee any additional USPS rate hikes for 2018. 

The Postal Regulatory Rate Commission (PRC) recently completed the decade of its existing ratemaking system—which may result in considerable changes moving forward—but I doubt it will impact 2018. This review, mandated by the Postal Accountability and Enhancement ACT (PAEA) of 2006, required the PRC to look back and determine if the PAEA achieved the goal of creating an adaptable, reliable, predictable and streamlined system of USPS rate setting that maintained the Postal Service’s financial well-being while meeting performance standards.

While the PRC’s review reported that some of the above objectives were met, it did list some that were not.

The mailing industry’s biggest concern has to be the PRC findings that relate to sufficient USPS revenues. The PRC reviewed each market dominant segment separately and proposed varying rate hike allowances by segment.

These proposed allowances would result in the current rate hike percentage based on CPI plus an allowance percentage for a 5 year period of time. This would vary by market dominant segment, and in some cases would result in significant rate increases.

It is important to note that this is still just a proposal. Mailing industry leaders are mounting a pushback campaign noting the potential fallout of significant rate increases. Considering all of this, it is doubtful that anything will happen in 2018.

2. What type of scan rate success can I expect when tracking mail?
Answer: 93-95%

Typically, letter mail will have in-home scan rates of 93-95%. Flat sized mailpieces generally scan in the 85-90% range. Both of the above listed rates would be lower for mailings with a high percentage of carrier route pieces.

3. What does “Mail Anywhere” mean and why is that important to SPC and our customers?
Answer: Mail Anywhere is a USPS authorization that gives approved mailers the ability to pay for customer’s postage using mail permits held at any USPS Business Mail Entry Unit (BMEU) office.

This is important for multiple reasons:

  • There is no need to open a permit at the BMEU of the mailer.
  • Common indicia artwork referencing one permit can be used for all jobs.
  • The use of one permit grants a central account for auditing all mailing activity.
  • One permit allows for a single location to deposit postage.

It is important to note that the USPS is in the beginning phase of rolling out their Enterprise Payment System (EPS) which will allow permits to be funded at any USPS retail office. EPS will eventually replace the USPS CAPS system, letting mail owners link a permit to trust or debit accounts via the USPS Business Customer Gateway.

4. What song would you pay money to never hear again?
Answer: Mambo No. 5

 

Randy Weiler
Director Postal Affairs and Logistics

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