Postal Service Ends 2010 with $8.5 Billion Loss


On Friday the U.S. Postal Service reported its 2010 financial results, showing a net loss of $8.5 billion for the fiscal year ended Sept. 30.

Excluding charges to income primarily resulting from changes to interest rates that affect the organization’s workers’ compensation liability, the net loss was $6 billion.

The recent recession, continuing economic pressures and migration of mail to electronic media had a significant adverse impact on mail volumes and operating revenues. Despite rigorous initiatives that eliminated 75 million work hours and drove productivity to record highs in 2010, the losses mounted.

The Postal Service realized more than $9 billion in cost savings, primarily by eliminating about 105,000 full-time equivalent positions, but the need for changes to legislation, regulations and labor contracts has never been more obvious, says Chief Financial Officer Joe Corbett.

While total mail volume declined at 3.5 percent in fiscal 2010, First-Class Mail volume, the highest revenue-generating mail classification, declined nearly 6.6 percent. First-Class Mail volume has declined 20 percent in the last three fiscal years.

Mail volume is projected to increase by about 2 billion pieces in fiscal year 2011, but financial concerns will remain. Standard Mail is expected to grow by 5 billion pieces, but First-Class Mail is expected to lose an additional 2 billion pieces.

USPS Revamps ‘How-To’ Direct Mail Website Now Includes More Content and Smart Phone Interface

The new "how to" website,

Embracing electronic technology to promote the use of direct mail, the U.S. Postal Service recently revamped the companion website to Deliver, its magazine for marketers. The new “how-to” website,, offers all the direct mail and multichannel marketing strategy of Deliver — and much more — including for the first time, a smart phone interface. provides direct marketers and agency professionals from businesses of all sizes with scores of articles, case studies, white papers and online marketing tools to help them grow their businesses through acquisition, retention and brand-building.

“We redesigned the website with more content and a new look, and made it easier for direct marketers to find just what they need,” said Paul Vogel, president, Mailing and Shipping Services. “ is a great place for direct marketers to gather and share success stories, and with the smart phone option, these busy professionals can keep tabs on the hottest direct mail and multichannel news.”

With approximately 7,000 visitors a month, features the latest research, news and commentary for the direct marketing industry. Article topics include brand marketing, prospecting and green marketing, among other direct marketing strategies.

The site also includes an array of online marketing tools, including a “Direct Marketing 101” series that teaches the basics of an effective marketing strategy, helping marketers make smart use of their resources, according to Vogel. A “Resource Wizard” helps users search for articles based on business size and marketing needs and includes information on “Using the Intelligent Mail Barcode.”

To learn more about mail marketing strategies from the Postal Service, visit



Shipping packages around the world in time for the holidays is as simple as sitting down at your computer. Whether ordering shipping supplies, printing postage, getting information about mailing guidelines, filling out required customs forms or requesting free Package Pickup, the Postal Service is ready to help international shippers get a holiday head start with tools, tips and transactions available at

Customers going online can save on postage and order free Priority Mail Flat Rate boxes. Priority Mail Flat Rate boxes are available in four sizes, with shipping prices starting as low as $11.45 to Mexico and Canada, or $13.45 to most other countries. Priority Mail Flat Rate boxes also are available free at local Post Offices. Postage, labels and customs forms can be printed online anytime using Click-N-Ship. Information on free Package Pickup is available at


Domestic and International

The holidays are fast approaching. To ensure delivery of holiday cards and packages by
Dec. 25, the Postal Service has released recommended mailing dates for domestic and international destinations. For a chart listing this year’s holiday deadlines click here.

Remember, all mail addressed to military Post Offices overseas is subject to certain conditions or restrictions regarding content, preparation and handling. For additional information on mail for Military Post offices, please refer to the October PCC Insider.



FSS processing in action.
FSS processing in action.

Remember the Delivery Point Sequencing (DPS) system implemented in the 1990s? This technology reduced the time letter carriers spent in the office preparing letter-size mail for delivery. Today, USPS is sorting nearly 92 percent of all letter-size mailpieces into delivery point sequence.

Enter the Flats Sequencing System (FSS). Similar to DPS processing for letters, FSS processing equipment automates the sequencing of flat-size mailpieces into delivery order — eliminating labor-intensive manual sortation by carriers.

Beginning January 2011, USPS will provide optional standards for bundle preparation of flat-size Standard Mail prepared for delivery within the ZIP codes served by FSS processing. Developed by USPS and mailing industry members, these standards are expected to lead to greater efficiencies and cost savings for both USPS and the mailing industry.

The Federal Register final rule on the optional FSS preparation standards can be found under Federal Register Notices on the Postal Explorer website.



Steven Hernandez.

Ending a four-year term on the Postal Customer Council Advisory Committee, Postmaster Steven Hernandez of San Antonio, TX, was recently recognized by Postmaster General and CEO John E. Potter for his service and dedication.

As co-chair of the Communication and Networking Subcommittee, Hernandez participated in the annual PCC Leadership Conferences at the National Postal Forum and in the evaluation and selection of PCC leadership award winners. As a result of his efforts, the PCC Network has expanded its membership, and more small- and medium-size companies are now participating throughout the country.

Hernandez also has served as the PCC postal co-chair for the Austin PCC and is currently the PCC postal co-chair for the San Antonio PCC.


With the fall and holiday mailing seasons getting into full swing, USPS is facing a potential shortage of managed mail (MM) letter trays. These trays allow us to handle your mail efficiently in our processing facilities.

Please help the Postal Service provide you with the best possible service by conducting ongoing mail transport equipment (MTE) audits to locate forgotten, misused or excessive MTE. As a rule of thumb, please maintain no more than a 7-day supply of MTE.

When MTE overstocking occurs, other customers are prevented from completing their mailings. So please be sure to return idle MTE to your Post Office, processing facility or business mail entry unit.

Until we have recovered excess MTE, you may use extended managed mail (EMM) trays as an authorized substitute when MM letter trays are unavailable.


Five webinars, “Exploring Marketplace Needs Through PCC Feedback,” were held the week of Oct. 25 to obtain direct feedback from PCC industry members.

Attendees were asked to answer questions individually on three USPS service lines: Marketing Mail, Correspondence and Transactions and Package Services. Theresa Peterlien, director of marketing, Communications and Postal Affairs for Presort Services in Grand Rapids and Lansing, MI, and industry co-chair for the Mid-Michigan PCC, facilitated the sessions. The Q&As will be given to USPS product managers for review.

Since March, postal officials have been meeting regularly with customers and other stakeholders to gather ideas to help the Postal Service move forward. The webinars gave individual industry PCC members a chance to share their ideas and concerns. If you missed the webinars, the presentation and questions will be available through your PCC Industry co-chair later this month.


A new National Postal Forum (NPF) website is being built with you, the mailing professional, in mind. The website is interactive, easy to use and full of information.

The NPF community is being developed from the ground up using the new NPF website, as well as existing, well-established WEB 2.0 tools. Be sure to join the NPF community to find the latest information about the Forum, which is being held in San Diego May 1-4, 2011. Stay updated with the weekly Mailing Industry Newsletter on all the latest changes in your industry. Visit the new website at


With the holiday season approaching, it’s a good time to review PCC guidelines for charitable endeavors. All PCCs should refer to the September/ October 2009 PCC Management Insights article posted on the PCC Operations page. Revisiting this information should provide your PCC with the assurance that your holiday season activities follow the guidelines.

47 million customers will visit this holiday season.



  • National Postal Forum, May 1-4, San Diego, CA

  • National PCC Day, September 21, Tampa, FL



U.S. Postal Service:
National PCC Network:
Questions? Comments? Send an e-mail to
Sign up for PCC Insider at, select “PCC Insider Registration”
PCC Insider online archives
PCC Management Insights online archives




Like other industry organizations in these tough times, many PCCs are finding it harder and harder to attract members to their events.

“Many of our local mailers are feeling the negative effects of the economy, and typically, PCC activities are the first budget item to be cut,” says Sheri Spriggs, mailing services supervisor, Grange Insurance Companies, and industry co-chair, Central Ohio PCC. “But by maximizing every opportunity to build membership and promote our events, we have actually increased attendance at general membership meetings this past year by 11.5 percent.”

Key to this increase is an enhanced website that features a “promo” code, affording sponsors a discount when they register for an event online. “This incentive is not only easy and convenient, but also — more importantly — it’s cost-effective,” says Spriggs. “And it’s our way of showing our appreciation to those companies who continue to support our PCC during these tough times.”

The Baltimore PCC, which recently added the ability to register for events online, is showing similar results, with an increase in event attendance of 15 percent. “We received a great deal of positive feedback on how convenient this feature is,” says Lisa Kline, regional manager, Double Envelope, and industry co-chair.

Both Spriggs and Kline agree that their revamped websites have had an impact on membership numbers. Baltimore’s membership has grown 10 percent. While Central Ohio’s has remained largely unchanged over the last few years, Spriggs feels that the new site has brought in as many new members as were lost to the down economy. “Though some of our prior customers could not renew, we had just as many sign on via the website as paid sponsors,” she says. “We’re pretty proud of that.”

Online event registration also is driving more members to these websites, increasing communication and member satisfaction. For example, the Baltimore PCC website includes board contact information as well as links to helpful industry sites, and members can read newsletters and view information on upcoming events.

“The contact information for Baltimore USPS personnel makes it easy for our members to determine who to call for questions or guidance,” says Kline. “And last month, at the request of some of our members, we made it possible for vendors to reserve booth space for events.”

To view these successful PCC websites, click here for Baltimore and here for Central Ohio PCC.

© 2010 United States Postal Service. The following are among the many trademarks owned by the United States Postal Service: USPS®, U.S. Postal Service®, United States Postal Service®, Postal Service™, Post Office™, Priority Mail®, Express Mail®, Standard Mail™, First-Class Mail®, Registered Mail™, Certified Mail™, RIBBS™, Delivery Confirmation™, Signature Confirmation™, ZIP Code™, Click-N-Ship®, FOREVER®, NetPost®, Intelligent Mail®, PCC Insider® and The Postal Store®. This list is not a comprehensive list of all Postal Service marks. See our privacy policies at If you prefer not to receive future e-mail communications from the Postal Service, contact PCC Insider to stop future e-mails. Write us at: PCC Insider, U.S. Postal Service, 475 L’Enfant Plaza Rm 4541, Washington DC 20260-4541