It’s hard to know whether the U.S. Postal Service should have as its theme song “We’re in the Money” or “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?” Its just-released financial results for the first quarter of fiscal 2016 suggest both are accurate – depending on how you read the statements.
Your challenge, if you choose to accept it, is to reduce undeliverable as addressed (UAA) mail by 50 percent. Okay, those weren’t the exact words, but that was the challenge put forward 10 years ago by then-Postmaster General Jack Potter.
At that time UAA mail – undeliverable because of an incomplete, illegible, or incorrect address – totaled more than 10 billion pieces, costing the Postal Service $2 billion annually because it must be forwarded, returned, or treated as waste.
Would you pay more for a postage stamp if the extra money went to support a cause you consider important? Many people would, and do. It’s the idea behind semipostal stamps. You may be familiar with the Breast Cancer Research semipostal stamp, but might not know about its history or the semipostal stamp concept.
Worksharing – U.S. Postal Service program of reduced postage rates to mailers that take on mail preparation or distribution tasks it would otherwise have to do – was once an innovative idea; but it is now the norm in postal operations. Indeed, 85 percent of the market-dominant mail volume the Postal Service processes is workshared mail. Mailers perform everything from applying barcodes to entering mail closer to the destination in return for lower rates.