Postal Updates

PRC questions DeJoy’s plan for air transportation

Jun 13, 2022, 3 PM

By Bill McAllister, Washington Correspondent

The Postal Regulatory Commission has raised questions about Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s plan to reduce the United States Postal Service’s dependence on air transportation, saying the expected savings “were not evident in the near term.”

The commission’s concerns were raised in an advisory opinion published in a June 9 press release.

The opinion noted that the Postal Service expects savings to “materialize over time.”

“However, the Postal Service is unable to predict when these efficiencies might materialize,” the Postal Regulatory Commission said in the news release.

It also said that the Postal Service’s projected savings by moving more mail from air to surface transportation “are based on numerous assumptions, several of which might be unrealistic.”

The commission’s caution came in response to a proposed change in delivery standards for retail ground and parcel select ground shipments.

The USPS said it is changing the current two-day to eight-day delivery standard to a two-day to five-day standard.

Because this change is likely to impact mail flows nationally, the USPS must secure an advisory opinion from the commission before it can implement the change.

The Postal Regulatory Commission’s press release pointed out that its advisory opinion is “non-binding and advisory in nature” and that the Postal Service “is not required to implement or take any further action” in response to the commission’s opinion.

“The Commission, however, encourages the Postal Service to review these recommendations with serious consideration,” it said.

The commission urged the Postal Service to create a timeline for changes in its mail-processing network under DeJoy’s 10-year Delivering for America plan.

It also asked the USPS to “design a plan to monitor all implications” of any network changes to help “fine tune subsequent changes.”

The Postal Regulatory Commission said the USPS needs “more robust research” into its planned changes and suggested it should “monitor any volume diversion from Priority Mail and the impact on other Postal Service products.”

“We are reviewing the recommendations of the Postal Regulatory Commission, and will consider them as we move forward with our plan,” said Kimberly Frum, a Postal Service spokeswoman.

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