What Will She Do?

The historic appointment of the first female Postmaster General in U.S. history comes at a crucial time. She has said that “the Postal Service should continue to evolve and operate more like a private sector business.” What does that mean? We’ll find out as Meagan Brennan begins to take over leadership of the organization, but Read More

The Mailing and Shipping Industry, the Posts, and Global E-Commerce: Building a Better Business Case

The mailing and shipping industry in the U.S. still is operating in a kind of time-warp where little is really changing. Congress refuses to act to provide the Postal Service with a viable business model, and the legislative proposals on the table are nowhere near comprehensive enough. The Postal Service continues to focus on efficiency Read More

Is This Not News?

We know there is a lot going on in the world, but the announcement by the Postal Service that they would not be raising postage rates in January is news that has not been picked up by the media. Everybody knows the Postal Service is broke. Or is it, really? What is going on? It’s Read More

So How Are We Really Doing?

The Postal Service is a very large organization with a lot of moving parts, all subject to error. It is easy for critics to point to mistakes, and it is tempting to build policy recommendations based on anecdotes, personal opinion and even mistaken assumptions.  That may be where we have been for a while. We Read More

The USPS and Coca Cola

The recent announcement of postal finances brought the usual commentary. It might be refreshing to pause and think about the implications of a recent article in BusinessWeek (August 4-10, 2014) which described some of the challenges facing Coca-Cola, an American brand icon, with 2013 sales of over $79 billion. Some of these seem similar to Read More

A Little Context, Please

Some postal policy discussions often seem particularly narrow and divorced from a framework that might generate more imaginative solutions. Land Line Telephony and the Withdrawal of Universal Service Land land line service providers are in deep trouble.  Many people have become “untethered” and use mobile devices exclusively (about 4 in 10 of all households, according to Read More

The Heart, Soul and Guts of the Postal Business

Whatever else the Postal Service is, it is first and foremost a delivery channel. Its operations are built around materials handling, distribution and logistics. Within that framework, it has been very innovative and successful. With so much attention focused on governance – the business model, regulation and legislation – one of the operational wonders of Read More

The Other Half of the Story

Postal policy is, well, focused on the Postal Service. We talk endlessly about service performance quality and the prices of the mail channel. But this is only part of the story, perhaps not even the most important part. Improvements in the channel may not be as critical to the organization and its supporting industry as Read More

Nobody Likes Paying More for Less

The Postal Service is being forced to reduce the value of its prime asset, “last mile” delivery. Management has proposed to eliminate Saturday delivery and require businesses and households to accept delivery at curb or cluster boxes instead of at the door. At the same time, mailers are being charged more to cover the costs Read More

Fun with Postal Finances: False Flags and Red Herrings

The Postal Service recently announced its most recent quarterly results ($1.9 billion loss, operating “profit” of $261 million).  As usual, this was followed by a number of predictable articles where the “burning platform” story continues to dominate. Some responses (many from the postal unions and “public service” stakeholders) focus on the financial fire caused by Read More