With his wife Janet holding the Bible, Postmaster General and CEO Patrick Donahoe takes the oath of office from Chairman of the Postal Service Board of Governors Louis Giuliano.

During a packed ceremony at Postal Service headquarters today, Patrick Donahoe was sworn in as the 73rd Postmaster General of the United States.

Joined by his wife Janet, other family members and Postal Service officers and employees, Donahoe took the oath of office from Louis Giuliano, chairman of the Postal Service Board of Governors.

Pledging to return the Postal Service to profitability and continue to provide high levels of customer service, Donahoe announced a new partnership with eBay as part of a renewed push to generate much needed revenue. The five-year contract will provide online tools and marketing programs to help millions of small businesses grow through the use of direct mail, while providing some of the best shipping prices to fulfill new customer orders. Donahoe also announced the expansion of the Forever Stamp program for customer convenience.

“Our alliance with eBay continues to strengthen and grow,” said Donahoe. “This new contract builds on the trust the eBay community has invested in us as their leading shipper of choice. I am confident that we will emerge as a profitable, market-responsive organization that competes for customers and delivers even greater value to the American people.”



In a move that is expected to help businesses grow — especially small businesses who currently don’t use the mail — and garner millions of dollars in new revenue for the U.S. Postal Service, the agency recently eased the rules on simplified addressing to allow businesses to begin using the format on city delivery routes.

Simplified addressing enables business mailers to use mail delivery route information, instead of names and exact addresses, to reach target customer groups in specific areas. It has long been an accepted addressing option on rural routes and for government mailings.

Effective Jan. 2, 2011, simplified addressing was expanded for use on saturation flat-size mailpieces and irregular parcels — such as rolls and tubes that cannot be processed on automated equipment. Saturation mail is mail that is delivered to every address within a geographic area, often used for advertising.

While the expansion of simplified addressing does not change existing prices or classification standards for Standard Mail flats, it can lower costs by reducing mail preparation time and eliminating the need to purchase address lists and on-press printing.

“Simplified addressing will help local small and midsize businesses as well as large businesses drive more traffic and attract new customers,” said Paul Vogel, president and chief marketing/sales officer. “This can help strengthen the U.S. economy as well as our organization, the U.S. Postal Service, which is doing everything it can to drive revenue growth.”

The simplified addressing option enables business mailers, in most instances, to conveniently address mailpieces to “Postal Customer” when complete coverage on any designated delivery route is intended.

Following the procedures that are in place on rural routes, each consumer that requests non delivery of this mail must make the request through the mailer. The mailer will then notify the local delivery unit through the same processes established for rural routes. Market research indicates that requests for non delivery will be very minor.

“Simplified addressing will serve as the on-ramp for many small businesses trying to reach their audiences within a specific geographic range,” said Vogel. “It will allow them for the first time to take advantage of the most effective marketing channel there is — direct mail.”



The Postal Service wants business mailers to experience for themselves the marketing benefits of Business Reply Mail or Courtesy Reply Mail, so it’s letting mailers send up to 1.2 ounces in First-Class Mail pieces at the 1-ounce price — a savings of 12.5 cents per piece. That’s 20 percent more mail at zero percent more postage. The savings come in the form of a postage credit at the end of the program period, which runs Jan. 2, 2011, through Dec. 31, 2011.

The reply piece also may be a reusable envelope. Reusable envelopes are cost-effective since they double as both the outbound and return envelope, allowing marketers more weight for other purposes.

“Reply Rides Free is an excellent opportunity for companies who wish to take advantage of additional weight to cross-sell customers on their products or up-sell customers on more lucrative products and services,” said Paul Vogel, president and chief marketing/sales officer.

Reply cards or envelopes also can be used to ask customers questions about their preferences, interests and opinions, or the extra space can be sold to advertising partners for an additional revenue stream.

To be eligible, mailers must meet or exceed volume thresholds based on First-Class Mail presorted and automation letter mail volumes during the period Oct. 1, 2008, through Sept. 30, 2009, and Oct. 1, 2009, through Sept. 30, 2010, plus
2.5 percent.

For more information and to apply — by Jan. 31, 2011 — click here.



The Postal Service has always made shipping easier. Now it’s easier to receive, too.

“Hold For Pickup” service recently has been expanded to Priority Mail, First-Class Mail parcels and Parcel Select (bar-coded, non-presort only) for online customers who use Click-N-Ship, PC Postage vendors and commercial customers.

Previously available only with Express Mail, Hold For Pickup allows customers to have packages held at a Post Office until they’re able to pick them up, instead of having them delivered to their doors.

For retail customers, Express Mail is still the only service available with Hold For Pickup. Hold For Pickup is not available for international or APO/FPO/DPO destinations.

With the new Hold For Pickup options, customers can designate a Post Office where they would like their shipments held for up to 15 calendar days — shipments are held 5 calendar days for Express Mail. Customers receive text or e-mail notifications when their packages are ready for pickup and reminders when they haven't been picked up or if the hold period is set to expire.

USPS believes the Hold For Pickup service is a great option for customers who want sensitive items held at a local Post Office until they can pick them up or for vacationers to ship items to a Post Office near their destination. Hold For Pickup also is great for college students who wish to ship packages near their dorms.

“Hold For Pickup is a flexible way for customers to get their mail when — and where — they want it,” says Gary Reblin, vice president, Domestic Products. “It’s a simpler way to receive, at no additional cost to customers.”

Click here for more information about Hold For Pickup.



In an announcement yesterday, Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe signaled a new direction in continuing to improve customer relations within the mailing industry by consulting with industry representatives on the effective date for new prices and by relaxing some guidelines on implementing Intelligent Mail services.

“Working together as an industry we can address continuing economic challenges in a way that allows the Postal Service to generate much needed revenue while being more responsive to ongoing customer needs,” Donahoe said.

For more details, including information about the new prices, click here.


2011 National Postal Forum — Have You Registered?

On May 1-4 in San Diego, CA, the National Postal Forum will present the mailing industry’s premier trade show and event. The Forum will feature mailing industry experts and postal executives covering all key topics of interest for every area of the industry, from strategy to operations, and from marketing to technology.

Forum highlights will include a keynote address by new Postmaster General and CEO, Patrick Donahoe, as well as two special executive briefing sessions covering valuable information on how you can leverage USPS initiatives in 2011 and beyond. Ten specialty workshop tracks have been organized around more than 130 workshops on the hottest issues facing the mailing industry today. Topics range from Intelligent Mail, product visibility, quality addressing, and mailing and shipping services, to optimizing preparation and entry, and mail security. The certificate program has been revamped with 10 certificates being offered in 10 categories. The ever-popular Mail Center Management certificate is still available but has been combined with the Management Leadership Skills certificate.

Don’t miss out on the Postal Customer Council (PCC) Leadership track and the Peer-to-Peer Roundtables. The PCC Leadership track offers ideas to maximize your PCC performance, and the Peer-to-Peer Roundtables offer a networking event to exchange ideas on a range of topics. Also, for the first time ever, a plant tour is being offered on Wednesday afternoon at the 625,000-square foot, state-of-the-art Margaret L. Sellers Processing and Distribution Center in San Diego.

Promotional catalogs are in the mail to past Forum attendees and registration is now open on the National Postal Forum website. For more about the 2011 National Postal Forum and how to register, visit www.npf.org, or call the Forum at 703-218-5015.


Is your PCC planning to self-nominate for the 2011 PCC Day Awards? Do you have an exceptional leader who should be considered for PCC Industry Member of the Year? Check out the PCC Recognition website for qualification and nomination guidelines for all award categories. And remember, there are only six months left to meet the requirements for the Gold, Silver or Bronze Premier Awards!

Stamp Fulfillment Services filled 298,450 orders in December 2010.



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

  • National PCC Day, September 21, Tampa, FL



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National PCC Network: usps.com/pcc
RIBBS: ribbs.usps.gov
Questions? Comments? Send an e-mail to pccinsider@usps.gov
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Since the first Forever Stamp, featuring the Liberty Bell, was issued in April 2007, 28 billion Forever Stamps have been sold, resulting in $12.1 billion in total revenue. Since the Postal Service began offering coils, booklets and Holiday Forever Stamps, almost 85 percent of its stamp program is Forever.

The U.S. Postal Service on Jan. 22, 2011, will issue the first of its “all Forever” First-Class Mail commemorative stamps in recognition of the upcoming Lunar New Year celebration. And, as of that date, all First-Class Mail commemorative stamps will be Forever Stamps.

Regardless of when the stamps are purchased or used, no matter how prices may change in the future, these stamps will always be equal to the current First-Class Mail 1-ounce price.

The Lunar New Year stamp is the fourth of 12 in the Celebrating Lunar New Year series, which began in 2008 with the Year of the Rat. The Year of the Rabbit begins on Feb. 3, 2011, and ends on Jan. 22, 2012.

The Lunar New Year is celebrated primarily by people of Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Tibetan and Mongolian heritage in many parts of the world. Parades, parties and other special events are common.

To learn more about the Postal Service’s Stamp Program, please visit usps.com.
© 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®, Stamps Now®, PCC Insider® and The Postal Store®. This list is not a comprehensive list of all Postal Service marks. See our privacy policies at usps.com. 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