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A senior logistics and software platform manager with 20 years of experience in supply chain management with a mail service provider is seeking an opportunity in logistics management and associated operations and/or transportation activities.

Interfacing with the United States Postal Service in mail acceptance, postage payment, and mail entry initiatives (eInduction, Seamless Acceptance, Full-Service, Business Customer Gateway, PostalOne!, Mailer Scorecards and IMb Tracing) is a primary skill-set. Please direct all inquiries to


October 5, 2015 


USPS Office of the Inspector General: Are Carriers Correctly Reporting Package Deliveries? Today the U.S. Postal Service uses several delivery status events to create a fully visible delivery system. It has increased its tracking from five to 13 possible scanning events, and uses both active and automated barcode scanning to track packages. Package tracking events can be viewed via the Postal Service’s Track and Confirm system. The Postal Service uses package scanning data to measure service performance so it is visible to customers. Performance is measured from when the Postal Service first accepts a package for delivery and scans it as received to the first stop-the-clock scan event. The postal carrier uses a handheld scanner to perform this stop-the-clock scan, which indicates the Postal Service's commitment to deliver the package is complete. The Postal Service’s goal is to provide world class visibility for its products and service. However, customers across the country are posting comments to social media sites about their experiences with Postal Service carriers. Many customers are commenting that carriers are not delivering or attempting to deliver their packages even though tracking indicates otherwise. Carriers are required to scan packages they deliver or attempt to deliver at the point of delivery. Have you received notification that your package was delivered, but not received your package? Have you received notification of an attempt to deliver your package, but no attempt was made by the carrier What improvements can be made so carriers can more accurately provide delivery scans for customers?

U.S. Government Accountability Office: GAO-15-756 U.S. Postal Service: Actions Needed to Make Delivery Performance Information More Complete Useful and Transparent 

What GAO Found.U.S. Postal Service (USPS) measurement of on-time delivery performance has expanded greatly over the past 9 years, but remains incomplete because only 55 percent of market-dominant mail (primarily First-Class Mail, Standard Mail, Periodicals, and Package Services) is included (see fig.). The remaining 45 percent is excluded due to various limitations, such as not having barcodes to enable tracking. Incomplete measurement poses the risk that measures of on-time performance are not representative, since performance may differ for mail included in the measurement, from mail that is not. Complete performance information enables effective management, oversight, and accountability. In addition, the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) has not fully assessed why USPS data are not complete and representative. While PRC's annual reports have provided data on the amount of mail included in measurement, they have not fully assessed why this measurement was incomplete or whether USPS actions will make it so. PRC may initiate a public inquiry docket (a type of proceeding) to improve data quality and completeness, but has not done so. Such a proceeding could facilitate evaluating data quality and identifying areas for improvement, as well as actions and time frames to complete improvements. USPS's and PRC's reports on delivery performance are not as useful as they could be for effective oversight because they do not include sufficient analysis to hold USPS accountable for meeting its statutory mission to provide service in all areas of the nation. USPS's and PRC's reports provide analysis, as legally required. However, this national-level analysis does not facilitate an understanding of results and trends below the national level, such as for USPS's 67 districts, to identify variations and areas where improvements are needed. Further, delivery performance information is not sufficiently transparent or readily available. USPS posts only the most recent quarterly report on its website making it difficult for stakeholders to access trend data. Also, USPS and PRC are not required to provide—and do not report—performance information for rural areas. While several Members of Congress have recently requested studies on rural delivery performance, USPS has stated that such analysis would be costly, even though it could not provide specific cost estimates. Such cost information would be useful for Congress to assess whether developing this information would be appropriate.

Why GAO Did This Study. USPS is in the difficult position of balancing cost-cutting actions to address its poor financial situation with efforts to provide prompt, affordable, and reliable mail service. GAO has previously reported that complete, useful, and transparent delivery performance information is essential for USPS and stakeholders to understand USPS's success in achieving this balance. GAO was asked to review how USPS measures delivery performance and how PRC assesses this information. GAO assessed (1) USPS's measurement of mail delivery performance and related oversight by PRC and (2) USPS's and PRC's reporting of this information. GAO reviewed USPS and PRC delivery performance data for fiscal years 2010-2015, delivery service standards, and measurement system documents, as well as applicable laws and leading practices identified in GAO's prior work.

What GAO Recommends. To assist in determining whether to require USPS and PRC to report on delivery performance for rural areas, Congress should direct USPS to provide cost estimates related to providing this information. Further, GAO recommends that USPS and PRC take steps to improve the completeness, analysis, and transparency of delivery performance information. USPS and PRC agreed with the recommendations addressed to them, but disagreed with certain findings on which they are based. GAO believes these findings are valid, as discussed in this report.

U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia: The United States Postal Service has established discounted rates for bulk mailers who take steps to ensure their address lists are accurate. USPS here claims that one of its customers, Plaintiff Southern California Edison, wrongfully availed itself of these rates while sending millions of mailpieces to customers at incorrect addresses. As a consequence, USPS slapped Plaintiff with a $7 million revenue-deficiency assessment, which precipitated this suit. At the core of the dispute is the question of what penalty should come from the fact that Plaintiff’s procedures for verifying customer addresses — a requirement for discounted postal rates — fell short of USPS’s standards . . . . In now considering the parties’ Cross-Motions for Summary Judgment, the Court finds that jurisdiction is proper, and that, even under the deferential “reasoned decisionmaking” standard of judicial review, USPS cannot support a revenue-deficiency assessment of the size entered here. Yet because Plaintiff acknowledges its noncompliance — and the costs that has imposed on Defendant — the Court believes some reduced assessment is appropriate. It accordingly remands to the Postal Service’s appeals body to determine a more reasonable sum

Postal Regulatory Commission:

  • PRC Appoints New Commission Secretary. The Postal Regulatory Commission today announces the appointment of Stacy L. Ruble as Secretary and Chief Administrative Officer. In his new role, Mr. Ruble will oversee the day-to-day operations of the Commission’s Office of Secretary and Administration which provides management and staff support to the Commission’s operational offices. Mr. Ruble succeeds Shoshana Grove who is retiring from the position after more than 40 years of service in the postal industry. The Office of Secretary and Administration develops, implements, and administers the Commission's financial management system and accounting activities including those relating to the budget; is responsible for human resources and personnel, management of the Commission’s official records, facilities and infrastructure, continuity of operations planning, strategic planning; and serves as the point of contact for all Commission contracts and audits. Mr. Ruble joins the Commission after an extensive career in the Armed Forces. Most recently, he served as the Director of Field Support Activity for the U.S. Navy where he managed the Chief of Naval Operations’ $1.4 billion budget. In 2007, he retired from the United States Army as a Lieutenant Colonel after a 25-year career, specializing in transportation, finance, and logistics during which he received numerous commendations.
  • Mail Classification Schedule. The Mail Classification Schedule describes every product offered to the public by the US Postal Service and serves as a standard reference work when reviewing ongoing postal products. A draft working copy of the Mail Classification Schedule is available here. It is typically updated on a weekly basis in redline legislative format to represent the most current US Postal Service product offerings.


Huffington Post: With corporate-conservative calls for full or partial privatization of the United States Postal Service (USPS) escalating, groups are sounding the alarm about new nominees to the USPS Board of Governors. The Senate is scheduled soon to consider the nominations of Mickey D. Barnett, James C. Miller III and two other nominees. Miller is a notorious privatization advocate and Barnett is a payday lender lobbyist. The Leadership Conference, a civil & human rights coalition, has sent a public letter to Senate Majority Leader McConnell and Minority Leader Reid asking them to oppose the nominees. (Since all four nominees are to be voted on as a package, the Leadership Conference is asking that the entire slate be voted down. At Naked Capitalism, in Epic Fail for the Postal Service: The Wrong Model and the Wrong Board, the other two nominees are described as not particularly bad for the USPS, but are "... a reflection of a system that treats public service as a revolving door for political and economic elites. This leaves a permanent imprint of the one percent on government and may be one of the primary reasons for cynicism in the electorate.")

The Washington Post: After years of cost-cutting to adjust to steep financial losses, the U.S. Postal Service is contending with angry customers whose mail is taking longer — sometimes much longer — to arrive. New research by Congress’ watchdog now says that the post office’s tracking system for measuring on-time delivery is so unreliable that there’s no way to know how late the mail really is. In an unusually stern report, the Government Accountability Office found the Postal Service’s tracking of delivery times “far from complete” and called on the agency to provide “quality delivery performance information.” Just 55 percent of the mail is even measured by postal officials, auditors found, making it unlikely that the agency is meeting its legal obligation to provide quality service to every corner of the United States. Current information on performance “is not sufficiently transparent or readily available,” GAO found. “Quality delivery performance information is needed … for postal stakeholders and the general public … to assess the balance between USPS cost-cutting to address its poor financial situation while maintaining affordable postal rates and providing timely, universal delivery service,” said the report, which has not been made public and was obtained by The Washington Post. Auditors also took regulators to task for their passive approach to the problem. And GAO criticized postal officials for failing to provide the public with data on whether they are meeting delivery standards for rural addresses compared to urban or suburban ones. Lawmakers representing rural states, who requested the GAO study, say spotty mail service is now the new normal across their districts, with cross-country and local delivery delayed by several days.

Commercial Carriers Journal: The American Postal Workers Union, which represents U.S. Postal Service employees, said Thursday it’s opposed to an exemption request submitted recently by private, contracted mail carriers seeking an exemption from the federal 14-hour on-duty limit. Drivers of those for-hire carriers contracted by the USPS are “already overworked,” the union says. The exemption request, says the union, is a means for the carriers to “squeeze a few extra hours of labor” out of their drivers. Related Mail carriers request exemption of 14-hour rule compliance NSRMCA requests that mail-carrying drivers have the ability to — after being off duty for eight consecutive hours — choose to be on-duty up to ... The National Star Route Mail Contractors Association, which represents for-hire trucking companies that carry U.S. mail, requested in August that drivers working for contracted mail carriers have the ability to — after being off duty for eight consecutive hours — choose to be on-duty up to 15 hours in a 24-hour period and drive up to 10 hours. NSRMCA says its drivers typically work in “split-shifts,” breaking their on-duty time up with a nine-hour break between on-duty shifts. The postal workers union, however, disagrees with NSRMCA’s assertions that the change won’t impact driver fatigue or highway safety.

Fox6Now: You might think the checks you put in a mailbox are secure -- but U.S. postal inspectors say think again! They say outgoing mail in an unlocked box is an open invitation for thieves. The suspects were stealing the checks, and then using an elaborate process for duplication. "Using fairly sophisticated software computer equipment, they would scan these checks and print out all brand new counterfeit versions of these checks on blank check stock," Cunningham said. The suspects were essentially gathering all of the vital information on a check. "They would scan all the information on that check to include the company logo, the account number and then the routing number of that check," Cunningham said. Small business checks Small business checks They would then recruit individuals with an ID to cash the new check.


IRELAND: eCommerce News: An Post, the state-owned postal services provider of Ireland, is joining the world of delivery boxes. Last month, An Post announced it has started its Delivery Box service. “No more missed deliveries, stress-free online shopping and your parcels delivered safely even when you are out”, the company promises. The service, called very originally ‘Delivery Box’, offers a wall-mounted box which holds letters and parcels in a locked and weather-resistant box, as Post & Parcel writes. Customers will also be able to leave their stamped mail or online shopping returns in the box for collection by the courier. The box is allied to the nationwide delivery network of An Post and will cost 69.99 euros. Customers will get the box, access keys, installation template and activation card within five working days of ordering. As proof of delivery, An Post will use a scanning system so there’s no need for a signature. And when a delivery has been made, the customer will get a notification.

IRELAND: Irish Times: The strike that has led to postal services around the country grinding to a halt over recent days has been suspended. The Communications Workers Union, which represents staff at IO Systems, a contractor which maintains automated sorting equipment for An Post, said the industrial action had been called off after the company agreed to re-instate workers on their original rosters and pay levels. New talks between IO Systems and the Communications Workers Union are to take place to try to address the issues over revised rosters and consequent cuts to earnings which were at the heart of the dispute.

ITALY: Journal of Commerce: Poste Italiane, Italy’s state-owned postal company is expected to start selling shares in its initial public offering next week and make its debut on the Milan stock exchange at the end of October or early November. The Italian government is aiming to raise around 4 billion euros ($4.5 billion) from the sale of 40-percent of the 153-year old company in the country’s largest privatization in a decade. A successful listing of Poste Italiane, whose businesses also include logistics, finance and insurance, would pave the way for further sales of state companies, including air traffic control operator Enav, and Ferrovie dello Stato, the national rail company, in 2016. Poste Italiane, Italy’s biggest employer with a 143,000-strong workforce, almost doubled its first-half net profit to 435 million euros from 222 million euros in the first six months of 2014, on revenue up 7 percent at 16 billion euros. The company, along with France’s La Poste, is one of the few major fully state-owned European postal services following the partial privatization of the U.K.’s Royal Mail in late 2013.

IRELAND: UTV: The state body is unable to process mail for delivery because of industrial action taken by staff belonging to a business which maintains automated sorting equipment. Post offices will open on Monday and post that is in the system will be delivered. Meanwhile, the union representing workers who are on strike has urged there is no need for An Post to suspend services. Some 36 workers who maintain the automated mail sorting systems at four An Post mail centres are in dispute with IO Systems in response to the unilateral imposition of rostering arrangements that cut their wages by 22%.

BARBADOS: Nation News: Can the postal service in Barbados survive the next decade as it is today? The Postal Service has been much more than a provider of economic services and has served the common good of most Barbadians. It has been a vital link between people, whether intra-island, or internationally with relatives and friends overseas. It has also provided a key service for both Government and commerce. Over time there has been a sentimental link as much as a social and economic connection. But the advent of the Internet, the use of electronic transfers and rising competition from private courier providers have all inflicted serious blows to the post office network. As Barbadians – businesses and individuals – become even savvier with the technology, there will be even greater migration from what the post office now offers. It cannot continue in its current format.

PAKISTAN: The Nation: Pakistan Postal Services Director General Fakir Syed Shaharyuddin said on Sunday that entire network of Pakistan Postal Services was being computerized to achieve world standard. Delivery of the service at door-steps of people with speed and accuracy would be ensured, he said in an exclusive interview with APP here. He said, the department of Pakistan Post Office (PPO) is a public utility organisation and not merely profit earning entity.

October 4, 2015 


EUROPE: Morningstar: FedEx Corp. has run into unexpected hurdles in its planned takeover of Dutch rival TNT Express NV, as European regulators consider demanding concessions, such as asset sales, which could throw the deal off course. FedEx (FDX) executives have portrayed the proposed EUR4.4 billion ($4.9 billion) merger as a sure thing, arguing it bears little resemblance to an earlier bid for TNT by rival United Parcel Service Inc. That deal failed in early 2013 after resistance from Europe's antitrust cops. Then as now, executives of both companies were sure the deal would get a green light. European Union regulators could serve FedEx with a formal complaint listing their concerns in about two weeks, said people close to the deal, a step typically followed by negotiations over potential concessions.

October 3, 2015 


USPS Office of the Inspector General: Management Alert – U.S. Postal Service Handling of Inbound International Mail at the [redacted] International Service Center in (Report Number NO-MA-15-006 -- This draft management alert presents the results of our self-initiated review of the U.S. Postal Service Handling of Inbound International Mail. This alert addresses non-compliance with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) inspection requirements for inbound international mail at the ISC and lack of accurate data for inbound mail presented for inspection. We are issuing this alert to facilitate immediate corrective actions due to safety and security concerns. 


IRELAND: RTE: The Irish Postmasters Union has said industrial action affecting postal services has put its members livelihoods at risk, as well as seriously affecting the people they serve. Staff who maintain key equipment in the four An Post mail centres are taking strike action over cuts in pay. The 36 staff in question are employed by contractor IO Systems, but are retained by An Post to maintain the automated postal processing machinery at the centres in Dublin, Cork, Portlaoise and Athlone.

CHINA: The Washington Post: China's postal service is ordering tighter checks on packages following a series of mail bombings that killed 10 people and injured 51. Mail carriers and overnight delivery services must conduct additional checks for explosives, dangerous chemicals, weapons, gunpowder and poisons, the State Post Bureau said on its website Saturday. Closer cooperation with police will also be required.

October 2, 2015

PostCom Members !! The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin is now available online. Hey! You've not been getting the weekly PostCom Bulletin--the best postal newsletter none?  Send us by email your name, company, company title, postal and email address. See what you've been missing.


Courthouse News Service: Missing glue on a bulk mailing will cost Sears, Roebuck and Co., and two other companies more than $1 million, a federal judge ruled Wednesday. In 2014, Sears, along with Segerdahl Graphics and Aspen Marketing Services, sued the United States Postal Service after it disqualified the companies from lower shipping rates on mailers because the mailers were not sealed properly. "This is case about an extra dab of glue - just an extra bit of stickum worth $1.25 million," U.S. District Judge Rosemary Collyer wrote in her opinion. Sears, Segerdahl and Aspen mailed non-compliant fliers advertising three events in 2009. In 2012 the Postal Service certified debts against the companies that totaled $1.25 million. The Postal Service's rule requires companies to seal rectangular self-mailers on both the top and the bottom as well on the open edge created when the mailer is folded in half. This prevents the Postal Service's processing machines from jamming on the open ends, according to the opinion. The companies said their mailers were sealed on the corners, and that the Postal Service's rule is not clear about where on each edge companies must seal their mailers. The companies claimed the Postal Service's decision was inconsistent with regulations and violated the Fifth Amendment because it was "retroactively reinterpreted." They also claimed the Postal Service charged them more than the costs the service actually incurred, the ruling says. The Postal Service's decisions are not subject to judgment under the Administrative Procedures Act, Collyer said, and therefore the agency can be said to have engaged in reasonable decision-making if it gave "reasoned consideration" to the case. Because of this, Collyer said, she had to begin from a place of "strong presumption" in the Postal Service's favor. "The Postal Service's decision on a mailing rate classification should be overturned only when 'clearly wrong,'" Collyer wrote.


The Hill: A war over mail delivery is breaking out at the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), where public and private sector postal workers are fighting with each other over more driving hours. The American Postal Workers Union (APWU), the union that represents hundreds of thousands of U.S. Postal Service employees, is challenging a request for more driving hours by private trucking companies that also carry mail. The National Star Route Mail Contractors Association requested an exemption from driving safety rules for the private trucking companies that contract with USPS to deliver mail. At issue is a regulation from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) that prohibits truck drivers from operating commercial motor vehicles for more than 14 hours without adequate rest. The safety regulation is intended to prevent fatigued truck drivers from falling asleep at the wheel and causing accidents. The exemption would allow these private mail carriers to get around the rule — something that has the public sector mail carriers who are employed directly by USPS up in arms. The U.S. Postal workers, which compete with the private trucking companies to carry mail across the country, are challenging the exemption because they say it would jeopardize road safety.

NakedCapitalism: The US Postal Service's Board of Governors which has had a strong tendency to rubber-stamp management's plans, has been operating without a quorum. Board member terms are staggered and Obama served up a slate of nominees in March. I've attached a letter at the end of this post from The Leadership Conference to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid urging them to reject Obama's set of five nominees in their entirety. In other words, they are telling Obama to start from scratch. The letter singles out two particularly troubling candidates. One is Mickey Bennett, who has been a lobbyist for the payday lending industry. One proposal to fix the Postal Sevice's trumped-up budget problems would be to offer low-cost financial services at bank branches. Needless to say, that's the last thing the predatory payday lending industry would like to see. Separately, anyone who has worked in or served as a lobbyist for industries know to engage in widespread abuses, like payday lending and debt collection, should be deemed to be unfit for government service of any sort unless they've become whistleblowers. Another nominee, James Miller, has advocated privatizing the Postal Service since his time at the Office of Management and Budget, back in the 1980s. He remains fixated on this idea, despite ample evidence that privatization leads to higher costs and worse service. Of course, I'm charitably assuming that Miller is actually interested in producing better results for the public, as opposed to a big looting opportunity for corporate interests. See also the Washington Examiner.

Roll Call: The Treasury Department said Thursday it would reach the debt limit a bit earlier than was expected by many on Capitol Hill. Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew told Congress in a new letter that thanks in part to lower-than-expected quarterly tax receipts, the extraordinary measures to forestall breaching the debt limit, combined with the new revenues, will run their course just a week after the resignation of Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, takes effect. That makes it all the more likely the debt limit will need to be addressed before his departure. "Based on this new information, we now estimate that Treasury is likely to exhaust its extraordinary measures on or about Thursday, November 5," Lew wrote in a letter to Boehner. "At that point, we could be left to fund the government with only the cash we have on hand, which we currently forecast to be below $30 billion. This amount would be far short of net expenditures on certain days, which can be as high as $60 billion."

The Wall Street Journal: The most unlikely beneficiary of the online-lending boom may be the U.S. Postal Service. Thanks in large part to online lenders, the average monthly volume of personal-loan offers sent through the mail has more than doubled in two years to 156 million in the year through July from 73 million in the same period in 2013. In July alone, LendingClub mailed 33.9 million personal-loan offers, more than double the amount during the same month in 2014, according to Mintel Comperemedia, a database that tracks advertisements.


IRELAND: Independent: Union chiefs have blasted as "bizarre and reckless" a country-wide shut down of postal services over a row involving 33 outsourced workers. An Post claims it has no option but to urge people not to mail any letters or parcels across Ireland until further notice. It says strike action by one of their suppliers - IO Systems - has crippled its nationwide delivery services. "Due to the withdrawal of labour by staff of IO Systems, we are unable to process mail for delivery to customers," a spokeswoman said.

IRELAND: RTE: An Post has advised customers not to mail any items with immediate effect due to industrial action. Staff who maintain key equipment in the four An Post mail centres are taking strike action over cuts in pay.

October 1, 2015 

  PostCom Members !! The latest issue of the PostCom Postal Executive Update  is now available online.


USPS Office of the Inspector General:

Background. The U.S. Postal Service implemented its Promotions Program in 2011 to encourage mailers to integrate technology with the mail and build customer awareness of mail use beyond standard letter and package delivery. As a result, it promotes the value of mail and provides an opportunity for mail to remain competitive in an increasingly digital society. For example, one promotion used color messaging to create greater connection with and response from consumers and another used mobile barcodes on mailpieces that a mobile device can read. In calendar years 2013 and 2014, the Postal Service offered 13 promotions involving about 2,600 mailers and provided over $87 million in postage discounts. Eight of these promotions and almost $5 million in postage discounts were for promotions that included some products which did not cover their direct costs. The Postal Service acknowledges that these discounts will not lead to cost coverage in the short term, but believes it can increase revenue in the long term by increasing the value of mail. Our objective was to determine whether the Promotions Program is effectively managed. We also identified other potential promotion opportunities.

What The OIG Found. Opportunities exist to further strengthen the management of the Promotions Program. The Postal Service has made progress developing and implementing individual promotions, however, it has not developed a comprehensive strategic promotions plan. Since the program's inception, more promotions have been introduced building customer awareness by integrating technology into the mail. The Postal Service has focused its efforts on individual promotions to retain and grow mail volume, integrate the use of new technology, and promote the value of mail to the digital community while building new uses for mail. Further, the Postal Service conducts analysis to determine individual promotion performance. However, there are no measureable targets for the program goals, so it is unknown how individual promotions contribute to the goals. The Postal Service does not have a comprehensive strategic plan for the Promotions Program because each individual promotion focuses on different content and outcomes. For example, some promotions focus on mail retention. By contrast, other promotions focus on integrating digital technology with physical mailpieces. However, without a comprehensive strategic plan that addresses such areas as measurable targets, promotion period, technology used, and postage discount rates, it is not possible to determine whether the results of individual promotions will accomplish the Postal Service's Promotions Program goals. We also found there may be opportunities to implement new promotions that add value and relevancy to mail.

What The OIG Recommended. We recommended management develop and implement reportable performance metrics to track program progress and measure the long-term value of promotional mail. We also recommended management develop and implement a strategy with well-defined documented processes to ensure major promotion program components are meeting the overall program goals by September 30, 2016.

  • Management Advisory Report - Solution for Enterprise Asset Management System – Vehicle Maintenance Facility Data

    Background. The U.S. Postal Service operates one of the world's largest transport and delivery fleets, which includes over 211,000 delivery, transport, and administrative vehicles. The Postal Service maintains the fleet using the Vehicle Maintenance Program at 316 Postal Service vehicle maintenance facilities and commercial garages throughout the country. Its Solution for Enterprise Asset Management (SEAM) system is a web-based application designed to improve fleet inventory tracking and visibility and standardize asset tracking and maintenance repair functions. This management advisory discusses errors noted in vehicle maintenance data during an earlier audit of vehicle maintenance facility efficiency nationwide. Our objective was to assess the accuracy and timeliness of selected vehicle maintenance facility operational data in SEAM.

    What the OIG Found. We found inaccurate and untimely vehicle maintenance data in SEAM from fiscal year (FY) 2012 through Quarter I, FY 2015. Specifically, our analysis showed work orders had inaccurate repair times and costs and incorrectly remained open in a "complete status" in SEAM. Work orders are changed to a "complete status" when all parts and labor have been entered into the database and the work order is ready for management's review. Our analysis also showed that 325,520 work orders had been completed and were awaiting review, indicating that management did not perform a timely review of the work orders. Our analysis also showed that work orders were awaiting review for an average of 145 days. There is no established time for management to perform their review. These conditions occurred because staff and management were unable to correct errors in the system on commercial work orders, there was inadequate management oversight and training for staff, and there were limited edit checks and exception reports for "complete status" work orders in the system. VMF personnel are now able to correct commercial work orders as necessary; therefore, we are not making recommendations on this issue. Maintenance records and Business Intelligence reports showing maintenance costs and delinquent scheduled maintenance were not always accurate, resulting in data reliability errors totaling over $292 million. We also verified that incorrect dollar amounts were not paid in SEAM; however, the incorrect data remained in the Business Intelligence reports. Without accurate and timely data, management has limited assurance that maintenance and cost data is sufficient and reliable for making operational decisions.

    What the OIG Recommended. We recommended management update SEAM to generate exception reports to help monitor the accuracy and timely closure of work orders in "complete status." We also recommended management provide SEAM training for vehicle maintenance staff and improve vehicle maintenance facility repair operations and policies to ensure work orders are reviewed and closed timely.

Federal Register: Postal Regulatory Commission NOTICES New Postal Products , 59202–59203 [2015–24819] [TEXT]


Daily Kos: On Monday, the Washington Post ran an article whose title posed a question: Should the Postal Service be Sold to Save it? In a word: No. The piece identified symptoms of the Postal Service's decline, but failed to correctly diagnose the underlying cause: The Postal Service Reform Act, a bill requiring the Postal Service to set aside all of the money it will spend on retirement for employees retiring in the next 75 years—most of whom haven't been hired and some haven't been born. Most importantly, the article's focus on a prescription for privatization is wrong and ignores research challenging the notion that privatization is a more efficient, cheaper cure-all. Privatization will kill the Post Office, not save it. Privatization will also ensure corporate interests swoop in to profit from the 231 years USPS has spent serving Americans.

Los Angeles Times: Brookings Institution scholar Elaine C. Kamarck has just issued a paper aimed at solving what she calls the "political stalemate" over the postal service. "The USPS exists right now in never-never land," she says in an accurate diagnosis. "It is not fully public and it is not fully private." Her historical analysis of what brought the service to its current dismal pass is compelling, and her solution combines conservative and liberal approaches: split the agency in two, bringing its responsibility for universal mail delivery entirely back to the public sector, and sending the rest of it out into world via total privatization. She's half right. The mandate for universal mail service should be chiefly a taxpayer responsibility. As for the rest, who needs it?

Direct Marketing News: I write a lot of stories about rising postal rates, and a lot of people who depend on the mail to conduct their businesses read them. They're interested in postal rates because their businesses are in danger of going away if those rates get too high. At the outset of 2007, the year the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA) took effect, Standard Flats and Carrier Route volume was in excess of 23 billion pieces and some 16,000 catalog titles mailed in the United States. By 2013 flats volume had plummeted to about 3 billion pieces and about 6,000 of those catalogs ceased to exist. There are three key stakeholders in postal operations: big mailers, postal worker unions, and the Postal Service itself. The four major postal unions have voluminous membership rolls and full-time staffs. They are all planted in D.C., know all the players on Capitol Hill, and can muster tens of thousands of workers to demonstrate on a day's notice. The Postal Service is a government institution with annual revenues of $67 billion. It fields an army of lawyers and has a chief lobbyist known as the Postmaster General, an office once held by Benjamin Franklin. The mailers have the Direct Marketing Association, The Association for Postal Commerce, and the ACMA, but they lag the other players in both gravitas and sheer numbers when it comes to playing legislative tag at the Rayburn Office Building.

Franchising: PostNet is arming entrepreneurs across the country with business survival tips to weather apocalyptic conditions and ensure local businesses remain strong – even during a zombie plague. PostNet is the chain of Neighborhood Business Centers that provide printing, shipping, graphic design and marketing solutions for today's time-strapped small businesses and consumers. The global franchise has launched a marketing campaign equipped with multi-channel elements, including a zombie classification guide, small business survival tips, humorous videos, and a sweepstakes to win an all-expenses paid trip to London and participate in a "Zombie Infection Experience." Participating locations across the U.S. and Canada are also offering a limited time offer of 20 percent off your first purchase via their new Online Print Center through the end of October. Small business owners can find all of these elements at

Atlanta Busines Chronicle: United Parcel Service Inc. on Wednesday opened a 208,000-square-foot, healthcare-compliant distribution and warehousing facility in New Jersey. The Atlanta-based package shipper and logistics company said the facility near Philadelphia International Airport is the first in its network to offer medical device companies autoclave capabilities, instrument inspection and surgical set replenishment, and more.

The Wall Street Journal: United Parcel Service Inc. is investing in a tech startup that allows brand manufacturers to set up websites and sell directly to consumers, bypassing the middlemen. Two-year-old Ally Commerce Inc., headed up by a former eBay Inc. executive, has launched websites and other e-commerce services for brands including D-Link, Bosch and Electrolux. The startup has raised a total of $8.4 million in two rounds of funding, and UPS declined to disclose the amount of its minority-stake investment. Direct-to-consumer online sales by manufacturers have become e-commerce's final frontier, and it is fast-growing. By next year, direct-to-consumer online sales are expected to become the largest source of sales for brand manufacturers at 34% of the total, according to a survey by Forrester. Brand manufacturers reported in the survey that their online sales grew nearly 30% in 2013, compared with about 14% growth for all e-commerce, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

The Berkshire Company: Last year, I wrote a letter to my United States Senators (Elizabeth Warren and Edward Markey) about the need for the Senate to confirm President Obama's nominees to the U.S. Postal Service ("USPS") Board of Governors. Senator Warren's staff didn't think that my letter warranted a response. One of Senator Markey's aides called my office to share the senator's support for this issue. He believed that some of the nominees would be confirmed during the "lame duck" session after the elections. None of the nominees were confirmed. In fact, no votes were taken on the Senate floor. The situation has only gotten worse. Due to term expirations, the Board of Governors was no longer going to have enough members to constitute a quorum for votes. Last December, using an astute parliamentary procedure, the Board of Governors created a "Temporary Emergency Committee" of the remaining governors. The committee would have all the powers of the entire Board until enough members were confirmed to reconstitute a regular quorum. And the Senate continues not to act. The Committee on Homeland Security held hearings and confirmed the nominees in July. But there have been no votes on the Senate floor. This December, two more governors – Ellen Williams and Louis J. Giuliano – will have to leave the Board. Their terms actually ended last year, and they're currently in the "holdover year". That will leave only one appointed governor on the Board. One.


IRELAND: RTE News: Postal deliveries face possible disruption from midnight as staff who maintain key equipment in the four An Post mail centres commence strike action over cuts in pay. The 36 staff in question are employed by contractor IO Systems, but are retained by An Post to maintain the automated postal processing machinery in the centres in Dublin, Cork, Portlaoise and Athlone. The Communication Workers Union said the dispute arose on 31 August when IO Systems introduced shift and roster changes resulting in income reductions from significant overtime and premium payments. The union instructed members not to cooperate with the changes and to stick to their existing work practices.

JAMAICA: The Wall Street Journal: Who needs an ad-blocking app when your telecom operator will prevent ads from reaching your mobile device? Wireless operator Digicel will soon begin blocking online advertising from traveling across its networks in the Caribbean and South Pacific, the company announced Wednesday. German telecommunications group Deutsche Telekom is also considering blocking advertising on its networks, a person familiar with the matter said. Jamaica-based Digicel said online advertising companies such as Google, Facebook and Yahoo will now be required to pay to deliver ads to its subscribers, or can expect to have them blocked. "Companies like Google, Yahoo and Facebook talk a great game and take a lot of credit when it comes to pushing the idea of broadband for all – but they put no money in. Instead they unashamedly trade off the efforts and investments of network operators like Digicel to make money for themselves," said Denis O'Brien, chairman of Digicel Group, in a statement.

WORLD MARKETS: The Wall Street Journal: Logistics in emerging markets have long centered around the movement of large quantities of manufactured goods or commodities between businesses. But rising consumption driven by a growing middle class is set to change that, according to new research reports. The development of consumer markets in Asia, Africa and Latin America are changing distribution channels, Transport Intelligence Ltd. and Kewill, a logistics management software provider, said in a report Wednesday. They predicted that by 2020, 1.8 billion people will be in a "consuming class," spending $30 trillion, up from $12 trillion today. The shift will require logistics firms to focus on parcel delivery to consumers in developing countries, which has traditionally taken a backseat to exports or the movement of raw materials and parts through global supply chains. Parcel shipments from businesses to consumers will grow nearly 14% a year in the next five years in the Asia-Pacific region, outstripping growth in North America and Western Europe, consulting firm Accenture said in a report presented at the Post-Expo conference for postal, courier and express industries in Paris this week. By 2020, business-to-consumer parcel shipment volume will surpass business-to-business volume in terms of parcel volume in the region, the consultants said. Logistics firms around the world are already scaling up capacity and infrastructure to meet this growing consumer demand.

GERMANY: Post & Parcel: UPS has doubled its throughput at its Nuremberg hub to 30,000 parcels an hour, using technology from Siemens Postal, Parcel & Airport Logistics (SPPAL). The sorting process, which was previously done using a conventional conveying system, is now achieved with an automatic system with five Visicon singulators, eight sorters and a total of 87 terminal stations.

SLOVENIA: Balkan Business News: Pošta Slovenije, the national postal company, has acquired the logistics business of Mladinska knjiga, the country's no. 1 publisher, in a deal worth just shy of EUR 13m, the companies revealed on Wednesday. The company plans to leverage the new capabilities to expand its parcel delivery and supply chain business, which has so far been constrained by lack of warehousing space. The Mladinska knjiga logistics division performs logistics services for the publisher as well as third parties and has been profit-making.

NETHERLANDS: Marketwatch: Dutch postal firm PostNL N.V. PNL said Thursday measures announced by the Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets, which regulate access of other postal operators to PostNL's network, could limit its competitive position and impact it by up to 30 million Euros ($33.96 million) to EUR50 million over the next three to four years. The decision by the Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets concern a tender of the Municipality of Rotterdam and the 2015 Tariffs. PostNL said it believes these decisions and possible measures could hamper the reliability and accessibility of postal delivery in the Netherlands.

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