Compounding the Problem

Customized service. It’s the buzz in many industries, and considered absolutely necessary for success in the delivery industry. So it might seem strange to hear about one area where customized service is both expensive and, sometimes, dangerous: the compounding pharmacy business.

 

Boxes, Boxes Everywhere

The law of unintended consequences tells us that actions, especially on a large scale, may have surprisingly unexpected results. Take the eCommerce boom. The $350 billion eCommerce industry (in the United States) has transformed the retail and delivery business and given the customer greater control of the buying experience.

 

Finances Stabilize, or Maybe Not

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.

 

UAA Challenge a Decade Later

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.

 

eMIR, We Have a Problem

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.

 

Terminal Dues Review

When you mail a letter or small package (below 4.4 pounds) to another country, the U.S. Postal Service pays what is called terminal dues to the destination post for its share of processing and delivery of the item. It’s the same all over the world. Posts pay each other terminal dues to process and deliver cross-border mail.

 

Our Semiannual Report to Congress – and You

Two times a year, we publish a chronicle of our work and activities for a just-ended 6-month period. This Semiannual Report to Congress (SARC) is required by the IG Act, but it’s also a chance for us to share a summary of work with our many stakeholders, including the public. The work reflects our mission to help maintain confidence in the postal system and improve the U.S. Postal Service’s bottom line and overall efficiency through independent audits, investigations, and research.

 

Passport Revenue Opportunities

Seems Americans have caught the travel bug. Maybe it’s because there is more disposable income in a post-recession America, or a more global economy requires more international business travel. Whatever the reason, one result is that passports are a hot commodity these days. The U.S. Department of State says it issued well over a million more passports in fiscal year (FY) 2014 than in FY 2011.

 

Jenny Come Lately

Think stamps are only worth the paper they’re printed on? Philatelists will tell you to think again. The tiny One-Cent Magenta stamp, now on display at the National Postal Museum, recently sold for $9.5 million. 

Of course, that sole-surviving stamp of the British Guiana penny issues is the rarest stamp in the world. Other stamps deemed collectible by the philatelic community are also worth a pretty penny. 

 

Chart Toppers and Late Bloomers

Elvis is back in the building! Earlier this month, the U.S. Postal Service previewed the new Elvis Presley stamp that will be released in August as part of the popular music icons series of commemorative stamps that include the likes of Ray Charles, Janis Joplin, and Jimi Hendrix. 

 

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