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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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. To see a full list of questions that Randy has answered, check the Ask Randy Index.
1. How do you feel about the recently submitted USPS Rate Increase request for 2019?
I have many reactions to the USPS rate case submittal for 2019. First off, I am pleased to see that for the most part, the USPS held course with submittals of recent years and stuck with the CPI inflationary guidelines as opposed to presenting higher pricing that would align with the Postal Regulatory Council’s 10 year review. SPC’s customers predominantly mail First Class and Marketing Mail letter sized pieces. I consider a rate increase of around 2.5% for letters to be generally tolerable.
The USPS’ larger rate increase on parcels (approximately 10%) appears to address the President’s concern with the USPS subsidizing Amazon as well as correcting pricing to better support USPS costs. Could this be an attempt to appease President Trump and silence the suggestions of USPS privatization?
One area of the rate filing that interests me is raising single piece First Class letter prices from $.50 to $.55. Is this because the USPS is adverse to pennies? I’ve heard that the $.05 increase is a step increase that would hold steady for a couple of years before the next increase of $.05. Hmm….
2. I just saw where the post office is going to start regulating Marketing Mail to paper based products only. How does this affect items such as scratch off stickers and post-it notes? (Submitted by Rick DeCollo, Monster Mailers)
The proposal by the USPS is just that right now. The PRC is taking comments on this proposal.
Once that is all fleshed out, the entire scope and meaning of “Paper Products” will be more clearly defined. I personally feel that scratch off stickers and post-it notes are ”Paper Products“ and will be allowable.
3. What resources are available for customers to become educated on postal standards?
There are many resources available for individuals looking to learn more about the USPS, mail piece design, mail pricing and processing. Below are some of my favorites:
- Postalpro.usps.com: Postal Pro is a great website with a powerful search engine to look up USPS topics.
- Pe.usps.com: Postal Explore is my go-to USPS website. Postal pricing tools, access to the Domestic Mail Manual, Quick Service Guides and many other tools are available on this site.
- PCC: Your local Postal Customer Council is a wonderful way to interact with other mailing professionals. In the Chicago area, it’s worth checking out both the Northern Illinois and Chicago
4. What is the last concert you went to?
Answer: The Breeders at the Eagle’s Ballroom in Milwaukee, WI.Kim and Kelley Deal are very talented.
Director Postal Affairs and Logistics