Change begets change, said Charles Dickens amid the upheavals of the Industrial Revolution. The same could be said of the Logistics Revolution, which is still roiling the landscape with no signs of slowing down.
Meeting in Philadelphia in May of 1775 – more than a year before we declared our independence from Great Britain – the Second Continental Congress created the position of Postmaster General and conferred the title on Ben Franklin – and effectively established the U.S. Postal Service. The rest, as they say, is history.
It’s easy to understand the underlying motivation behind the U.S. Postal Service’s digital strategy: use data to make mail a much more powerful marketing and communications tool. Hard copy and digital working together to make each other better. So what if the Postal Service is a little late to the party. At least it has showed up, which, as Woody Allen reminded us, is 80 percent of life.
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.
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.
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.
The U.S. Postal Service is best known for delivering the mail. But did you know it’s also the number one seller of the most widely used type of alternative financial service in the United States? We’re talking about money orders, which function like prepaid checks. The Postal Service sold a whopping 97 million of them with a face value of $21 billion in fiscal year 2014.
Here’s the good news: Mailers accept and support the U.S. Postal Service’s Seamless Acceptance (SA) program. And here’s the bad news: Implementing the program hasn’t been very seamless.
Ongoing data integrity problems, among other concerns, have delayed full implementation of the program. We found evidence of inaccuracy in the data and mailers raised similar concerns, prompting them to ignore the data, according to our recent audit report.
The Midwest is the nation’s “breadbasket.” New England has its Patriots. Appalachia loves its bluegrass music. And it never rains in Southern California. We all associate certain things with different regions of the country. Now, it seems, one of those things is mail volume.