Postal/Industry News   

August 23

Industry Alert: Product Management Executive Appointments The following key USPS Product Management Executive appointments were announced at the August Mailers Technical Advisory Committee (MTAC) meeting.  Elke Reuning-Elliott – Director, Product Management Mailing; Jay L. Smith – Director, Product Management Shipping; Dale Kennedy – Manager, Product Management Special Services

The USPS has been discussing the need for product management leadership with the industry for some time. The purpose of this Product Management Team will be to ensure USPS mailing and shipping products and services continue to add value and meet customer needs.  Most importantly, these individuals will serve as advocates of their respective areas to work with key internal stakeholders and industry and business partners to grow the mailing industry. 

All three of these executives will report to Thomas (Tom) J. Foti, previously announced in July as the new Executive Director, Product Management, in the Marketing Group. 

 

Industry Alert: Reminder: First-Class Mail Parcels transfer to the Competitive Price Listing On August 9, 2017, the Postal Regulatory Commission (“PRC”) approved the transfer of the First-Class Mail Parcels (“FCMP”) product from the market-dominant product list to the competitive product list.  The approved new rates (13 rate cells in total) can be viewed on the Postal Explorer website at pe.usps.com and will go into effect on September 3, 2017. 

Office of the Inspector General: Postal Service Employee Sentenced for Lying About Cancer to Take Sick Leave Read the full news release here.

Federal Register: 

  • Postal Regulatory Commission - Postal Rate Change, 40024–40025 [2017–17795],  [PDF]
  • Postal Service 
    • Rules - First-Class Package Service—Retail, 39957–39966 [2017–17799], [PDF]
    • Notices - International Product Changes:ADPR 1 Contracts, 40025–40026 [2017–17826] [PDF]; Product Changes: Priority Mail Negotiated Service Agreement, 40025 [2017–17870] [PDF]40026 [2017–17874], [PDF]

August 22

Industry Alert: Navigating the Postal Explorer® Website Webinar. On Monday, August 28, 2017 at 1:00pm (EDT), please plan to join Product Classification for a Postal Explorer Website demonstration webinar. The webinar will highlight tips to navigate Postal Explorer publications, rate calculators, service guides, and more–-to better help you and your customers. The website has been enhanced to improve engagement with today’s media tools.

What is Postal Explorer? Postal Explorer is a virtual library of postal information and tools designed for Postal Service customers, business mailers, and employees. It puts a wealth of postal requirements for mailing and shipping domestically, internationally, and to APO/FPO/DPO destinations, at your fingertips in an easy-to-use format. Postal Explorer is more than a reference website; it is part of the Postal Service's continuing effort to make using the mail system easier and simpler for all customers. It was developed in direct response to what you have told us, both informally and through customer surveys, about your postal information needs. It affords an unprecedented opportunity for mailers to draw on the same information used by postal employees - - with ease, speed, and convenience. With a powerful search feature, you can enter a word or phrase which lets you quickly find information in a single publication or across a range of publications. You can also view an individual publication by clicking on the publication title. 

 The webinar agenda will cover the following:

  • Navigating the Postal Explorer Website
  • Domestic Mail Manual (DMM)
  • International Mail Manual (DMM)
  • Calculators
  • Quick Service Guides
  • Publications
  • Q&A Session

Instructions for participating in the webinars are below. Attendee Information: Monday, August 28, 2017 at 1:00pm (EDT) US/Canada Attendee Dial-in: (855) 860-7461 Meeting Number: 748 101 564 To register and add webinar to your calendar click here: Attendee Direct URL: https://uspsmeetings.webex.com/uspsmeetings/j.php?MTID=mfdbd60e77b3c02ac937e7b188ce27e5a

  If you cannot join using the direct link above, please use the alternate logins below:

Alternate URL: 

https://usps.webex.com

Conference Code:

865 202 1218

 

Industry Alert: Attention Business Customer Gateway, FAST, and PostalOne!® Users: The issue impacting access to the Business Customer Gateway, PostalOne! , FAST, eInduction, Electronic Verification System (eVS), Product Tracking and Reporting (PTR), Seamless Acceptance and Service Performance (SASP), Centralized Account Processing System (CAPS), Intelligent Mail Business Accounting (IMba), and other applications is resolved.  If mailers and acceptance units still experience a delay in jobs appearing on the PostalOne! dashboard, we will continue to accept the mailings under the PostalOne! and eInduction contingency plan as described below, for the next 48 hours.

Federal Register: Postal Regulatory Commission - New Postal Products, 39919 [2017–17729][PDF]


August 21

Industry Alert: Attention Business Customer Gateway, FAST, and PostalOne!® Users: We are continuing to work to resolve the issue impacting access to the Business Customer Gateway, PostalOne! , FAST and other applications. In the interim, mailings will continue to be accepted under the PostalOne! Contingency Plan posted on PostalPro at: https://postalpro.usps.com/node/852. eInduction mailers should follow the eInduction contingency plan.

Office of the Inspector General: Sustainability and the Triple Bottom Line The Postal Service has released a Sustainability Report outlining its goals to improve economic, environmental, and social practices. This year’s report included a stakeholder survey that revealed several critical issues for success. Our latest OIG Blog examines the report and the goals outlined by USPS. Read the blog post here: https://go.usa.gov/xRwCx

Industry Alert: Attention PostalOne!® and Program Registration Users: PostalOne!/BIDS Release 45.3.1.0 is complete and the PostalOne! system is available.  Release notes are posted on PostalPro at: https://postalpro.usps.com/mailing#cat-subsection-3. As a reminder:

· Mail.dat Client 45.3.1.0_PROD is available with this release.  The new Mail.dat client accommodates a security update and is required. Users can download Mail.dat client version 45.3.1.0_PROD from the Business Customer Gateway (BCG) using the following path:  Mailing Services/Electronic Data Exchange{Go to Service}/Mail.dat Download(Windows 32-bit, Windows 64-bit or Solaris).

·  Mail.dat Client 45.3.0.0_PROD is being retired. Program Registration Release 18.3.0.0 is complete and the Program Registration application is available. PostalOne! TEM Release 45.3.1.0 is complete and the TEM environment is available.


August 19

Federal Register: Postal Regulatory Commission - New Postal Products, 39620–39621 [2017–17592] [PDF], 39620 [2017–17608]  [PDF]

Office of the Inspector General: Unscheduled Leave in the Los Angeles District Unscheduled leave – employees absent without giving prior notice or receiving authorization – drives up the U.S. Postal Service’s cost of overtime and related expenses. It can also negatively affect productivity, efficiency, and employee morale. Using its Human Resource Risk model, the OIG identified the USPS’s Los Angeles District with one of the highest percentages of unscheduled leave in the country. Our latest audit report examines the unscheduled leave practices and resulting costs in the Los Angeles district. Read our findings and recommendations in the full audit report: https://go.usa.gov/xRwYh


August 18

Office of the Inspector General: Unscheduled Leave in the Triboro District Unscheduled leave – employees absent without giving prior notice or receiving authorization – drives up the U.S. Postal Service’s cost of overtime and related expenses. It can also negatively affect productivity, efficiency, and employee morale. Using its Human Resource Risk model, the OIG determined that USPS’s Triboro District had reported one of the highest levels of unscheduled leave in its area in fiscal year 2016. Our latest audit report examines the unscheduled leave practices in the district and opportunities to reduce leave and its costs. Read our findings and recommendations in the full audit report: https://go.usa.gov/xRvzb

 

Federal Register: Postal Regulatory Commission - NOTICES New Postal Products, 39465–39466 [2017–17492] [PDF]


August 17

Industry Alert: Attention PostalOne!® and Program Registration Users: PostalOne!/BIDS Release 45.3.1.0 will deploy on Sunday, August 20, 2017 from 4:00 AM to 10:00 AM CT.  Access to the  PostalOne! system may be intermittently impacted during this window.

  • Mail.dat Client 45.3.1.0_PROD is available with this release.  The new Mail.dat client accommodates a security update and is required.

Users should download Mail.dat client version 45.3.1.0_PROD from the Business Customer Gateway (BCG) using the following path:  Mailing Services/Electronic Data Exchange{Go to Service}/Mail.dat Download(Windows 32-bit, Windows 64-bit or Solaris).

Program Registration Release 18.3.0.0 will deploy on Sunday, August 20, 2017 from 4:00 AM to 8:00 AM CT.  The Program Registration application will not be available during this time.

Industry Alert: IMb Tracing Support for File Transfer Protocol (FTP) Extended. The Postal Service has extended the date for IMb Tracing and Informed Visibility (IV) for customers who utilize non-secure FTP from September 30, 2017 to November 30, 2017 to allow them more time to transition to secure options within Informed Visibility (IV).  On December 1, 2017 the Postal Service will no longer support FTP for mailers enrolled in IMb Tracing or Informed Visibility (IV) and all users must have converted to a secure option within IV. The IV application has functionality to assist the mailing industry to transition to SFTP. Migration documentation for IV is available on both PostalPro under Informed Visibility (https://postalpro.usps.com/visibility-and-tracking/informed-visibility-iv) or RIBBs at https://ribbs.usps.gov/index.cfm?page=informed_visibility The Informed Visibility Help Desk can be contacted at InformedVisibility@usps.gov  for additional information.

 

Federal Register: Postal Service - Product Changes: Priority Mail Negotiated Service Agreement, 39142 [2017–17350] [PDF]


August 16

Industry Alert: Discontinued Support for File Transfer Protocol (FTP) REMINDER: Only 2 weeks left to convert to a Secure Transmission Method. Effective August 31, 2017, the United States Postal Service (USPS) will discontinue support for File Transfer Protocol (FTP) for mailers to send and/or receive shipping files and data through the Product Tracking & Reporting (PTR) system.

Industry Alert: Laredo Veterans Post Office/El Centro Station to Undergo Repairs. According to postal officials, work will begin this week at the Laredo Veterans Post Office Building/El Centro Station, located at 1300 Matamoros St., Laredo, TX 78040. The office will be receiving a facelift that includes remodeling work to the interior and exterior of the facility.  To minimize inconvenience to its customers, the Postal Service has installed a temporary facility in front of the post office to house the P.O. Boxes. Retail services will continue to be offered from an alternate location inside the building. This week letters were sent to all the post office’s P.O, box holders detailing the temporary operations until work has been completed and operations are returned to normal. The customer letters included keys for their temporary P.O. boxes which will be activated on Thursday, Aug. 17. The last day for P.O. box customers to retrieve mail from their current P.O. Box will be Wednesday, August 16, until 5:00 p.m. Any mail left inside P.O. boxes will be moved to the temporary P.O. box unit and secured. P.O. Boxes will continue to be accessible seven days a week at the temporary location during these hours: Monday – Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Saturday/Sunday from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. This modular unit will be locked and secured after the posted hours of operation. As the project moves forward, retail services such as buying stamps, sending mail and packages, obtaining shipping supplies, and performing other transactions, including retrieval of items for which you receive a “Left Notice” slip in your P.O. Box, will continue to be available from the temporary retail counter at the Laredo Veterans Post Office Building/El Centro Station. Customers should be assured that throughout the remodeling it will be safe to continue doing business at the Laredo Veterans Post Office/El Centro Station.  Our customers’ and employees’ safety and well-being is of paramount importance to the Postal Service.  The Postal Service will work hard to minimize any inconvenience to customers.  At this time, no firm timeline has been set for completion. The Postal Service will continue to provide updates to customers and notify them of any further changes as needed throughout the process.


August 15

Office of the Inspector General: U.S. Postal Worker Sentenced in case of Accepting Bribe to Deliver Marijuana Read the full news release here.

Industry Alert: The Postal Service will shut down remote.usps.gov access to USPS online applications Monday, Aug. 28.The shutdown is part of the Postal Service’s ongoing effort to protect its networks. Employees who use remote.usps.gov will need to request Virtual Private Network (VPN) access to connect remotely. Similarly, USPS suppliers or contractors will need to request Business Partner Virtual Private (BP VPN) access.The Chief Information Security Office’s Blue page has more information. Employees who have further questions should call the Information Technology help desk at 800-877-7435.

Federal Register: Postal Regulatory Commission - New Postal Products, 38723 [2017–17217] [PDF]

Industry Alert: Hawkinsville, GA, Post Office - Services Temporarily Relocated. Effective Monday, August, 14, both delivery and retail operations at the Hawkinsville Post Office, located at 148 Commerce St, Hawkinsville, GA 31036, will be temporarily moved to the Eastman Post Office, located at 400 2nd Ave Eastman, GA 31023.  This temporary relocation is being implemented to allow for needed repairs to the facility in Hawkinsville. In an effort to minimize inconvenience to our customers during this time, the Postal Service is providing services as indicated here. For Hawkinsville P.O. Box holders, all Post Office Box mail will be sorted and available for pickup at the Eastman P.O. retail counter during regular business hours – Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and on Wednesday and Saturday, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Mail pickup will not be available on Sunday. Retail and P.O. Box services are expected to return to the Hawkinsville P.O. within 7-10 business days. Retail and P.O. Box services will be provided by a mobile unit, located on the premises in the parking lot.  Delivery operations will continue at the Eastman Post Office until repairs are completed. The blue collection box located outside the Hawkinsville P.O. will remain in service and on the posted collection schedule. All Destination Delivery Unit (DDU) package drops will be redirected to the Eastman P.O., effective August 12. Customers can call 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777) to obtain information, including available, alternate Post Office retail locations, or check the Postal Service website, www.usps.com, the Post Office that’s always open. 


August 14

Office of the Inspector General: Delayed Mail Validation The U.S. Postal Service considers mail to be delayed when it is not processed in time to be delivered on the expected day. Postal facilities are required to report the volume of delayed mail on a daily basis. This information is stored in the Mail Condition Reporting System (MCRS) and is used for analysis, forecasting, and planning. A new OIG audit examines the process for reporting delayed mail in eight Processing and Distribution Centers across the country. Read our findings and recommendations in the full audit report: https://go.usa.gov/xRp7Z

Industry Alert: Attention PostalOne Users: A system issue impacted the complete generation of the automated email notifications associated to the Streamlined Mail Entry Assessment process.  Email notifications indicating that a postage assessment is or is not due are scheduled to be sent no later than the 12th of the month to any mailer enrolled in Full-Service, eInduction or Seamless Acceptance. Some email notifications were sent and we are currently working to generate the remaining notices and expect them to be completed today. We apologize for the inconvenience. To view the detailed mail quality metrics please click here and go to Mailing Reports > Mailer Scorecard. More information about the Streamlined Mail Entry programs and the notification process can be found in the Publication for Streamlined Mail Acceptance for Letters and Flats located on the PostalPro website: https://postalpro.usps.com/streamlinedpub

Office of the Inspector General: Goin’ Mobile The U.S. Postal Service is striving to become the “shipper of choice” and has invested in Mobile Delivery Devices (MDDs) to all carriers to track package delivery. Our latest blog examines the findings of a recent audit report on the Postal Service’s MDD program. Read the blog here: https://go.usa.gov/xRp2W

Industry Alert: In the interest of safety and security, postal officials will seal the Postal Service’s collection boxes in relation to the presidential visit, to remain closed until Wednesday, Aug. 16, in New York City.  Route Impacting Collection Boxes for U.S. Mail in these areas:

  1. Both sides of 56th Street – between 6th Avenue and Park Avenue
  2. Both sides of 57th Street – between 6th Avenue and Park Avenue
  3. Both sides of 5th Avenue – between 51st Street and 60th Street
  4. Both sides of Madison Avenue – between 51st Street and 60th Street
  5. Both sides of FDR service road – between Broad Street and Old Slip

August 11

Office of the Inspector General: USPS OIG Investigations Lead to ConvictionsRead the full news release of the conviction of a former carrier hereRead the full news release of the conviction of a drug dealer here.

Industry Alert: DMM Advisory - First-Class Mail Parcels transfer to the Competitive Price Listing. On July 20, 2017, the Postal Regulatory Commission (“PRC”) conditionally approved the transfer of the First-Class Mail Parcels (“FCMP”) product from the market-dominant product list to the competitive product list.  The transfer was conditioned on the subsequent proposal, review, and approval of prices for the transferred product.  On July 28, 2017, pursuant to Governors’ Decision 16-9, the Postal Service filed a notice of price change seeking to implement new prices for the transferred product. The Commission approved the new rates (13 rate cells in total) on August 9, 2017, See Order No. 4032 in Docket No. CP2017-230, and they will go into effect on September 3, 2017.  After implementation, the FCMP product will become a new “Retail” rate category within the existing First-Class Package Service (“FCPS”) product.  The new “Retail” price category will be called “First-Class Package Service – Retail” while the existing FCPS price category will be renamed “First-Class Package Service – Commercial.”  The new FCPS-Retail product has the same characteristics as the former First-Class Mail Parcels product.

 


August 10

Office of the Inspector General: Compensation, Benefit, and Bonus Authority in Calendar Year 2016. Salary and other compensation for senior U.S. Postal Service employees is set by the Board of Governors. The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 sets limits for the total compensation of senior Postal Service executives, including salary, federal annuity, merit lump sum, incentive, and other bonuses. OIG auditors recently issued a report examining whether the Postal Service complied with the applicable maximum total compensation provisions set out in the Act. Read our findings and recommendations in the audit report: https://go.usa.gov/xRV4J

Federal Register: Postal Service - Product Changes: Priority Mail Express, Priority Mail, and First-Class Package Service Negotiated Service Agreement, 37472 [2017–16833] [PDF] Priority Mail Negotiated Service Agreement, 37472 [2017–16834] [PDF]


August 9

Federal Register: Postal Regulatory Commission - New Postal Products, 37242–37243 [2017–16729] [PDF]; 37243–37244 [2017–16800] [PDF]


August 8

Industry Alert: New Informed Delivery® Advanced Webinar Series Coming August 15 and August 29, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. (EDT) On August 15 and August 29 a new advanced Informed Delivery webinar series will be provided for mail owners and mail service providers on Informed Delivery.  This series will cover the intricacies of planning and implementing interactive mailer campaigns. In July, introductory webinars on Informed Delivery were conducted.  They provided the basics of how this innovation works and how it enhances the value of hardcopy mail in a digital age by creating new opportunities to engage with potential customers across all industries. With the August 15 and August 29 webinars, we will discuss the specific campaign elements required, including image specifications, MID and IMb Serial Number ranges, and submission methods.  This series will include a glimpse into the Mailer Campaign Portal which, when launched, will provide businesses and other organizations a convenient, self-serve option to initiate interactive campaigns and obtain reports.Going forward, additional webinars will be provided as industry educational needs dictate – examples include a more detailed look at the Mailer Campaign Portal and topics initially introduced at the 2017 National Postal Forum such as Informed Delivery Campaigns Using Mail.dat® and Using and Understanding Informed Delivery Data. Registration is required and spaces are limited.  Please register as early as possible to get the date most convenient for you.  The two advanced webinars will be offered as follows:

Tuesday, August 15, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. (EDT)  ATTENDEE INFORMATION Toll-Free Attendee Dial In: 866-381-9870 Conference ID: 68028455. Click the link below to register and add to your Outlook calendar: https://usps.webex.com/usps/onstage/g.php?MTID=e2ece4f9bbb6596a13188f03b2be74360

Tuesday, August 29, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. (EDT)  ATTENDEE INFORMATION Toll-Free Attendee Dial In: 866-381-9870 Conference ID: 68070809. Click the link below to register and add to your Outlook calendar: Attendee Direct URL:  https://usps.webex.com/usps/onstage/g.php?MTID=e3752838e8a0505731cd7e8f97f3f1c62 

Visit the Informed Delivery for Business Mailer website for information about Informed Delivery by clicking here . 

Office of the Inspector General: Appointment of Contracting Officers’ Representatives Contracting officers (COs) manage and oversee contract administration for the U.S. Postal Service. COs may appoint contract officer representatives (CORs) to support their work. A recent OIG Audit examines whether CORs were correctly appointed in the Tech Infrastructure portfolio using a statistical sample of 109 contracts valued at $1.4 billion and managed by 51 CORs. Read the full report to see what our auditors found: https://go.usa.gov/xRy9D

Industry Alert: National Association of Letter Carriers ratifies 40-month deal - The National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) membership has ratified a new 40-month labor contract with the Postal Service.The contract covers approximately 211,000 USPS employees represented by the union. “This is a fair, responsible agreement that serves the best interests of our employees, customers and other stakeholders,” said Labor Relations VP Doug Tulino. The new agreement, which was announced in May, runs through Sept. 20, 2019.

Federal Register: 

Postal Regulatory Commission - Periodic Reporting, 37036–37037 [2017–16611]  [PDF]

Postal Service - Priority Mail and First-Class Package Service Negotiated Service Agreement, 37133 [2017–16660][PDF]; Priority Mail Negotiated Service Agreement, 37133 [2017–16661] [PDF] 


August 7

Office of the Inspector General: Proof of Delivery. Registered Mail is a premium service that provides tracking as soon as the sender presents the mail to the U.S. Postal Service and ends at delivery. When not in transit, Registered Mail pieces must be stored in a locked safe, room, or cage separated from other mail. The latest blog from the OIG examines the results of a recent audit report evaluating USPS’s internal controls over Registered Mail. How has your experience been with Registered Mail? Read the blog and give us your thoughts at https://go.usa.gov/xRmcj

Industry Alert: Attention PostalOne!® and Program Registration Users: PostalOne!/BIDS Release 45.3.1.0 will deploy on Sunday, August 20, 2017 from 4:00 AM to 10:00 AM CT.  Access to the  PostalOne! system may be intermittently impacted during this window. Mail.dat Client 45.3.1.0_PROD is available with this release.  The new Mail.dat client accommodates a security update and is required. Users should download Mail.dat client version 45.3.1.0_PROD from the Business Customer Gateway (BCG) using the following path:  Mailing Services/Electronic Data Exchange{Go to Service}/Mail.dat Download(Windows 32-bit, Windows 64-bit or Solaris). Program Registration Release 18.3.0.0 will deploy on Sunday, August 20, 2017 from 4:00 AM to 10:00 AM CT. 

Industry Alert: Discontinued Support for File Transfer Protocol (FTP). REMINDER: Only 3 weeks left to convert to a Secure Transmission Method. Effective August 31, 2017, the United States Postal Service (USPS) will discontinue support for File Transfer Protocol (FTP) for mailers to send and/or receive shipping files and data through the Product Tracking & Reporting (PTR) system. For additional information, reference the FTP Fact Sheet posted on PostalPro athttps://postalpro.usps.com/node/3636.


August 5

Federal Register: Postal Regulatory Commission Periodic Reporting,36706–36707 [2017–16517] [PDF]36705–36706 [2017–16543] [PDF]New Postal Products, 36835–36836 [2017–16596] [PDF]


August 4

Federal Register: 

Postal Regulatory Commission - New Postal Products, 36459 [2017–16467] [PDF] 
Postal Service - Meetings; Sunshine Act, 36459–36460 [2017–16622] [PDF]


August 3

Industry Alert: Media Call on U.S. Postal Service FY 2017 Quarter 3 Financial Results. Thursday, August 10, 2017 9:00 a.m. ET. Postmaster General & CEO Megan Brennan and Chief Financial Officer Joseph Corbett will host a media conference call to discuss the FY17 Quarter 3 financial results in more detail. The call is open to the news media and all other interested parties. How to Participate: To ensure your computer is set up to join the event, click on the link:https://www.webex.com/ip/jointest/ US/Canada Attendee Dial In: 855-293-5496 Conference ID: 53431188 Attendee Direct URL: https://usps.webex.com/usps/onstage/g.php?MTID=ebec30eb81d8866f844cbd8d2b4d0ef85

Office of the Inspector General:  Fiscal Year 2015 Pay for Performance Program The United States Postal Service uses the pay-for-performance (PFP) program to pay Executive and Administrative Schedule employees who work both in the field and at Postal Headquarters. PFP uses a set of criteria, which can vary based on location, to evaluate employee performance. OIG auditors recently assessed the PFP program, determining whether the Postal Service’s FY 2015 PFP program was sufficiently consistent and transparent to allow management to recognize employee performance. Read our findings here:  https://go.usa.gov/xREKG


August 1, 2017

Federal Register: 

Postal Regulatory Commission - Postal Rate and Classification Changes, 36007 [2017–16199]  [PDF]

Postal Service - Meetings; Sunshine Act, 36007–36008 [2017–16301] [PDF]


 

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