Latest News and Highlights

Ruling in Carlson v. PRC.  On September 13, the United States Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit issued a ruling in the case of Douglas Carlson vs the Postal Regulatory Commission. Mr. Carlson challenged the Commission's ruling that the five cent increase in the First-Class Single Piece postage rate was lawful. Finding in favor of Mr. Carlson, the Court stated, "We conclude that this stamp price hike violated the APA because the Commission failed to consider the relevant policies of the PAEA, particularly those raised in the public comments. We therefore grant Carlson’s petition for review, vacating the part of Order 4875 that includes the stamp price hike and the rate adjustments to the category of first-class mail." This decision will have no immediate impact. The Department of Justice has 45 days to request reconsideration and we fully expect them to do so. 

Postal Governors Sworn In.  On Monday, August 26 all the three confirmed Postal Governors: Ron Bloom, Roman Martinez IV, and John M Barger, were sworn in and have officially joined the Postal Service's Board of Governors.

USPS Officer Announcements Postmaster General Megan Brennan has announced the following new officer roles, effective August 23, 2019: Joshua D. Colin has been detailed to the position of Vice President, Processing and Maintenance, reporting directly to the Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President. Responsibilities of this position cover functions formerly under the Vice President, Network Operations, including Processing Operations, Maintenance Operations, Operations Integration and Support, and International Processing Operations. Angela Curtis will serve as the Acting Vice President, Area Operations, Eastern Area.  Angela will have responsibility for postal operations including mail processing and distribution, customer service and administrative operations.  Robert Cintron has been appointed Vice President, Logistics.  This functional group combines Surface Logistics, Air Logistics, International Logistics, Systems Integration Support, Logistics Modeling and Analytics, and the Headquarters National Operations Control Center. Luke T. Grossmann has been named Senior Vice President, Finance and Strategy. In his new role, Luke will be responsible for leading research, development, and implementation of strategy, financial planning, demand-forecasting, and economic analysis for the Postal Service. 

U.S. Postal Service Requests Market Test of Experimental Product – Plus One On Tuesday August 13, the U.S. Postal Service filed a request with the Postal Regulatory Commission to conduct a Market Test of a product called "Plus One". According to the USPS filing Plus One is "is an addressed advertising card that may be mailed as an add-on piece with a USPS Marketing Mail Letters “marriage mail” envelope containing multiple advertising pieces. Marriage mail is a service provided by third-party mail service providers who combine advertisements from multiple businesses into a single mailpiece, thereby significantly reducing each business’s per-address mailing expense." 

Commissioner Michael M. Kubayanda Named PRC Vice Chairman On Friday August 9, the Postal Regulatory Commission (Commission) voted to designate Commissioner Michael M. Kubayanda Vice Chairman of the Commission for the remainder of the 2019 calendar year and the full 2020 calendar year. 

U.S. Postal Service Reports Third Quarter 2019 Fiscal Results The U.S. Postal Service reported total revenue of $17.1 billion for the third quarter of fiscal 2019 (April 1, 2019 - June 30, 2019), a decrease of $16 million, which is essentially flat compared to the same quarter last year. Total operating expenses were $19.3 billion for the quarter, an increase of $797 million, or 4.3 percent, compared to the same quarter last year. Excluding costs resulting from actuarial revaluation, discount rate changes, and amortization of unfunded liabilities, which are outside of management's control, expenses increased by $218 million, or 1.2 percent, compared to the same quarter last year.

Ann Fisher and Ashley Poling Sworn in as Commissioners Ann C. Fisher (R) and Ashley E. Poling (D) were confirmed by the Senate and begin their first term as commissioners of the Postal Regulatory Commission (Commission). President Donald J. Trump nominated Fisher and Poling for terms that extend through 2024. Ms. Fisher and Ms. Poling assume their roles at a critical time, as the Commission is currently involved in a major review of the system for setting Market Dominant rates.

Senate Confirms Postal Nominees The Senate has confirmed the nominations of three additional Postal Governors: Ron A. Bloom, term expiring Dec 8, 2020, Roman Martinez IV, exp Dec 8, 2024 and John McLeod Barger, of California, exp Dec 8, 2021. Upon their being sworn in, which could happen in time for the August 9th Board of Governors meeting, the Postal Service's Board will have sufficient Governors to maintain a quorum. The Senate also confirmed two nominees to be Postal Regulatory Commissioners, Ann C. Fisher, for a term expiring on Oct 14, 2024, and Ashley Jay Elizabeth Poling, term expiring Nov 22, 2024. The two new Commissioners will take the places of outgoing Commissioners Langley and Hammond. 

USPS Initiates Process of Self-Declaring Inbound International Rates. On May 21, the Postal Service filed documents with the Postal Regulatory Commission initiating the process of self-declaring inbound international rates; a necessary precursor to eventual withdrawal of the US from the Universal Postal Union.  The Postal Service's filings do not contain actual prices, but do present domestic rate benchmarks that will be used to determine the inbound rates and the rate ranges that result therefrom. The Postal Service will be presenting actual rates in a subsequent filing.

UPU to hold 3rExtraordinary Congress The Universal Postal Union (UPU) has received enough "yes" votes from member countries that it will now hold it's third extraordinary congress to review the current terminal dues system. The congress, which will take place September 24-25 in Berne Switzerland, arguably increases the likelihood that the US will remain a member country of the UPU. The vote has no immediate effect on the self-declared inbound rates that are pending at the Postal Regulatory Commission.