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Is USPS in trouble?

Here at SLB Printing we work closely with the United States Postal Service for our direct mailing services. The following article is being reposted from the Printing Industries Association of Southern California. It offers some insight and peace of mind as to the status of USPS:
(via piasc.org)

The United States Postal Service (USPS) has been in the news recently because of its financial woes and questions about its ongoing viability. Here are some facts and a few opinions to help you understand what is going on.

1. Forget what you hear about USPS going out of business. It will continue to exist for the foreseeable future and provide good, dependable service. It is too big and important to the economy for Congress to let it fail.

2. It is continuing to cut expenses in its processing network, delivery, and retail operations to bring capacity in line with diminished mail volume (led by the drop in single-piece First-Class Mail). Its goal is to have about 200 processing centers, down from almost 500, to close unprofitable post offices and to merge carrier groups for more efficient delivery.

3. The Postal Service’s primary challenge is due to the rapid decline in the use of First-Class Mail, not mismanagement. First-Class Mail is its largest and most profitable product, representing nearly half of USPS revenue. While FirstClass volume has been falling since 2001, its decline accelerated during the recent recession at a pace that was greater than expected.

4. Standard Mail grew in volume by 2.6% this year. Mail will continue to be an important channel to communicate with customers and prospects. Roughly half of all commercial printing jobs in this country are destined for the mail.

5. Service standards will be changing for First-Class Mail from 1-3 days to 2-3 days. The days of dropping a payment in the mail and expecting it be delivered the next day will soon be over. This change is necessitated by the consolidation of processing centers and should take place in 2012.

6. USPS is an independent agency of the executive branch that requires Congressional legislation to pursue some of the changes and flexibility it seeks, such as five-day delivery, reducing or eliminating the pre-funding of retiree health benefits, getting a refund of its overpayment to the employee pension fund, and sponsoring its own health care plan. Several bills have been introduced that address—more or less depending on the bill—these changes. When one of these bills will be signed into law is anyone’s guess. USPS executives are doing their best to remind Congress of the dire situation the Postal Service is in.

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