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Mail Matters: Priority Mail

March 29, 2013

By Kurt Ruppel

Priority Mail: Now is the time for Congress to pput the Postal Service on the road to financial stability

The Postal Service is currently losing $25 million per day, has defaulted on $11.1 billion in Treasury payments and exhausted its borrowing authority The focus is now on cash flow and earning sufficient income to meet ongoing expenses.


Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), chairmen of the Senate and House committees charged with postal oversight, seem to be willing to work together to achieve reform. Congressional support for postal reform legislation will strengthen a mailing industry that provided 8.4 million jobs and $1.3 trillion in revenue in 2012.


The Postal Service hasn’t been sitting still. It would like to eliminate Saturday delivery as of August 5, 2013. Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said on February 6, 2013, the move would save the Postal Service $2 billion annually. (Its total deficit is currently $20 billion.)

Also, after consolidating more than 45 facilities last summer, the Postal Service will consolidate another 100 facilities this year. In addition, the Postal Service has offered a number of early retirement incentives to reduce their workforce and align with current volume trends.


Many of the promotions and incentives that the Postal Service will be offering over the course of this year are designed to highlight the connection between physical correspondence and electronic communications. The first promotion, called Mobile Coupon and Click-to-Call, offers postage discounts to mailers who include a coupon in their mailpieces that can be scanned by a mobile device and redeemed either physically or through that device. This promotion also offers discounts for mailers who include a QR code (or other symbology) that allows the recipient to respond to the offer in the mailpiece by scanning the code to initiate a call.


Despite its financial challenges, the Postal Service is too important to American commerce not to survive. Postal management has repeatedly said mail delivery and service are job one, no matter what pressures they are under. We need postal reform legislation now—American commerce and 8.4 million jobs depend on it.

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