A great deal has been going on in postal affairs this summer. Much of it impacts your business, so want to bring you up to date. ACMA continues its aggressive intervention in court, Congress and across the citizenry. Here are the highlights; more detail is contained in the links
- On July 19th, the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) approved the USPS rate request using virtually 100% of the new rate authority granted by the PRC.
- This after multiple assurances by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy to Congress and mailers that he would be “judicious” in the use of new rate authority. Apparently “judicious” means raise the rates as much as possible, because that’s what the USPS has done.
- ACMA and other litigants challenging the PRC decision in the US Court of Appeals continued on July 19th with the filing of our reply brief. Oral arguments are scheduled for September 13th and the Court is expected to render its decision by the end of 2021 or early 2022 unless we file for a stay of this PRC Order. A decision on this will be made shortly. Click here for a more detailed summary by ACMA’s co-litigant, the Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers. We’ve also culled from another Alliance report here.
- ACMA continues work with our mailing industry group, the Coalition for a 21st Century Postal Service (C21), the mailing industry organization of public and private companies, trade associations (including ACMA) and other industry groups which rely on the U.S. Postal Service to do business. Specifically, the group has done the following:
- conducted a survey (summary link) (full results link) of American consumers to identify hot button (postal-related) issues; the results indicate that the overwhelming majority of the American public would oppose USPS actions to deprioritize mail service, has little-to-no awareness of the postage increases due to take effect in late August, and that more service delays and postage increases would push most Americans to consider alternatives to using the mail;
- continuing our digital campaign to provide a simple way for industry employees and regular consumers to send messages to their senators and congressmen pushing postal reform;
- will be holding a Hill staffer briefing at the end of July to educate lawmakers prior to an anticipated vote by the House midyear and hopefully in the Senate later in 2021.
- Data from a new NDP Analytics released on July 12th (executive summary link) (full report link) (related infographic link) shows that the USPS is well ahead of its financial budget and has ample liquidity, making an unplanned, mid-year rate increase unnecessary. The report was cosponsored by fellow industry groups, EMA and GCA.
- The PRC also on July 20th finalized its Advisory Opinion on the change to First Class and Packages service standards, approving the slowdown of these mail products as part of the USPS’s Delivering For America Plan, effectively moving the goalposts on delivery to increase on-time performance. Ironically, this also enables consolidation of process flows allowing potential flat mail cost reductions as recently reported in a previous ACMA communiqué.