Postal Updates

Recent UPU congress provides ‘reasonable compromise’ for USPS parcel costs

Oct 24, 2016, 11 AM
The United States Postal Service has described recent actions during the Sept. 20 Universal Postal Union congress in Instanbul as providing a ‘reasonable compromise’ regarding the Postal Service's costs for inbound international parcels.

By Bill McAllister, Washington Correspondent

The United States Postal Service has described what the Universal Postal Union did at its Sept. 20 congress in Istanbul as “a reasonable compromise of the issues that will significantly improve costs coverage for inbound letter post products, particularly small packets.”

Post & Parcel, a website that covers postal issues, noted that Siva Somasundram, general manager of international regulatory affairs for Australia Post, also described the UPU action as a compromise.

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That “inevitably means that no one is completely satisfied,” the website said.

It said that the UPU agreement means that the posts in industrialized countries “will continue to charge less for the delivery of inbound international mail than for the delivery of domestic mail.”

The postage rates for some countries, such as China, are a bargain compared to domestic prices in the United States, and that has upset U.S. mailers who complain that overseas shippers are getting too much of a price break.

Sen. Tom Carper receives award from APC

Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., an indefatigable advocate for postal legislation, was lauded by the Association of Postal Commerce at an Oct. 18 reception.

The organization, composed of some of the nation’s largest mailers, presented the lawmaker with its highest honor, the J. Edward Day Award, named for a former postmaster general.

Carper recounted his efforts to help the financially troubled U.S. Postal Service with legislation that would aid its depleted treasury and to get some governors for its supposed nine-member board that has shrunk to a lone congressionally approved member.

The senator gave no hint as to whether lawmakers are likely to move on postal legislation in a lame duck session that is likely to follow the Nov. 8 elections. That’s what happened in 2008 when a lame duck session approved a postal law that is widely blamed for the USPS’s current financial woes.

The award for Carper was presented at a Washington reception that also honored the association’s longtime president, Gene Del Polito.

The often-quoted del Polito has been head of the mailing group for almost 30 years, and has emerged as a leading spokesman for the mailing industry.

Del Polito, who holds a Ph.D. in audiology and speech science from Purdue University, has an uncanny ability to say what’s ailing the postal system in a few crisp words.

His tongue could cut through the postal lingo and bureaucratic jargon as few others in the industry could. His retirement undoubtedly will lead to less colorful stories about the USPS.

Marketing shakeup for USPS stamp program

A shakeup in the marketing department at USPS headquarters in Washington has placed the stamp program under Steve Monteith, the marketing vice president.

Monteith previously was executive director of product management for mailing products and services. He will now report to Jim Cochrane, the chief marketing officer for the USPS.

The new vice president will also oversee brand marketing, customer engagement and strategic alignment, customer and marketing insights, industry engagement, and product management, as well as stamp services.

Stamp services, which handles the stamp program, previously reported directly to the chief marketing officer, a change ordered by Patrick Donahoe when he was postmaster general.