Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said the U.S. Postal Service will be forced to initiate “uncomfortable” price increases for market dominant USPS products such as first-class mail, marketing mail and periodicals, while shippers using Parcel Select Ground can benefit from use of cubic pricing. The USPS’s new pricing schedule goes into effect July 10, with the agency warning that twice-yearly pricing adjustments will be the norm going forward, even as the delivery service standard has slowed. The USPS delayed implementation of the service slowdown until after the peak holiday season. The recent Postal Reform Act’s undoing of mandated prefunding of retiree healthcare benefits will save $50 billion over 10 years by switching pensioners to Medicare – which many argue causes other economic liability issues. But DeJoy said that still leaves a projected $110 billion dollar USPS loss over that period.
The United States Postal Service reported new service delivery performance metrics showing ongoing strong service for First-Class Mail and Marketing Mail, with a slight decline for Periodicals through the first 12 weeks of the fiscal first quarter. Since Thanksgiving, the Postal Service has accepted 11.1 billion pieces of mail and packages for delivery and anticipates it will deliver more than 12 billion pieces of mail and packages by New Year’s Day.
First quarter-to-date service performance scores covering the period Oct. 1 through Dec. 24 included:
*First-Class Mail: 89.8 percent of First-Class Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, an improvement of 1.24 percentage points from the fourth quarter.
*Marketing Mail: 91.7 percent of Marketing Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, a slight decrease of .73 percent from the fourth quarter.
*Periodicals: 81.2 percent of Periodicals delivered on time against the USPS service standard, a decrease of 1.57 percent from the fourth quarter.
*Overall, the average number of days to deliver a mailpiece across the network was 2.7 days.
One of the goals of Delivering for America, the Postal Service’s 10-year plan for achieving financial sustainability and service excellence, is to meet or exceed 95 percent on-time service performance for all mail and shipping products once all elements of the plan are implemented. Service performance is defined by the Postal Service as the time it takes to deliver a mailpiece or package from its acceptance into our system through its delivery, as measured against published service standards.
The Postal Service’s preparations for the 2021 holiday peak season included:
*The conversion of 63,000 pre-career employees into career positions and the onboarding of more than 185,000 employees since the beginning of last fiscal year, including the backfilling of the 63,000 pre-career employees and the national drive to add an additional 40,000 seasonal hires.
*The leasing of 13 million square feet of additional space across more than 100 locations, including over 50 annexes with multiyear leases to address year-round space constraints due to parcel growth; and the installation of new processing equipment to accommodate higher volumes reflecting customers’ delivery needs.
*The installation of 112 new package sorting machines, reflecting part of the $40 billion of planned investments under the 10-year Delivering for America plan. Additionally, more than 50 package systems capable of sorting large packages have been deployed. As a result of an organization-wide focus on improving operations and strategic investments, the Postal Service has boosted daily processing capacity by 13 million packages.