Last week we and others submitted our “reply comments” on the statements that had been filed previously on the Postal Regulatory Commission’s revised proposal to allow postage rate increases several times higher than general inflation as a near-term solution to try to save the United States Postal Service. You can read the 30 pages of Reply Comments of the Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers et al. by clicking here. More on our reply comments below.
Also last week, the two most prominent and influential leaders in the USPS ecosystem made speeches at two different conferences in Washington DC: the Quad Postal Conference and the Lexington Logistics Capitol Hill Conference on Postal Reform. These leaders are Postmaster General Megan Brennan and Postal Regulatory Commission Chairman Robert Taub.
In their speeches, Brennan and Taub were very much aligned about the need to clearly determine and define the mission of USPS and who should pay for it. In government-speak, the USPS mission is often referred to as its universal service obligation (USO). The USPS is unique among major postal systems throughout the world in that our USO is not clearly defined.
Examples of key USO postal elements are how many addresses to deliver to how frequently, and how many post offices to keep operating. In the US, there is no sign of these obligations moderating. In fact, addresses keep growing and it is very difficult to consolidate or close post offices. And six-day a week delivery to every address is sacrosanct politically, even though many are willing to reduce it.