Downloadable Updates

Quad’s Postal Affairs team is committed to providing you with accurate and timely updates on USPS operations and postal related issues during the COVID-19 pandemic. Below are downloadable versions of the updates.

May 15, 2020

As the Covid-19 Pandemic continues, our Postal Affairs team remains committed to keeping you informed with up to date developments related to USPS operations during this time of uncertainty.  As a significant mailing industry partner, we are in a unique position to provide clear and accurate information, dispel rumors and suggest best practices during the pandemic.  Please notify the Quad Postal Affairs team when you become aware of any changes, questions or something new related to how the USPS is reacting.  We will investigate and update all.  Please send inquiries to the Quad Postal Affairs Distribution list (Postal Affairs – Team) or ask your Quad representative.

There were several updates in the last week:

POSTAL IN THE PRESS

Deputy Postmaster Resigns

The staffing changes at the USPS continue, in addition to Louis DeJoy’s appointment to be the new Postmaster General, and David Williams stepping down from the board of governors, Deputy Postmaster Ronald Stroman has announced his resignation from the agency, effective June 1.  Stroman served 9 years as the Postal Service and more than 40 years in public service.

During his tenure, Stroman led government affairs and international mail issues for USPS, and worked with state and local officials to oversee the expansion of vote by mail.

With Stroman’s departure, the Postal Service is left with a board that consists of four members who have been on the job less than two years. Meanwhile, DeJoy will be the first postmaster general in more than 20 years to lead the agency without prior experience working there.

USPS MARKETING SUPPORT

Pandemic related marketing and training material from USPS

As we look beyond this pandemic, the USPS has created some materials to help better understand and reposition the value of direct mail and overcome negative perception with marketers.  It provides a variety of up to date statistics to help develop robust direct mail strategies.  View the new brochure Mail Repositioned.

Additionally, the USPS has developed a free 45 minute course, entitled “Mails New Dynamic Journey”.  This course aligns mail with the “Customer Journey” and will provide the tools necessary to develop strong direct mail marketing campaigns.

UPDATE ON THE OVERALL STATE OF AFFAIRS FOR THE USPS

The long term financial state of the USPS remains an issue.  However, The Alliance of Non-profit Mailing Association is reporting that the situation may not be as grim as some media are reporting.  According to this organization, the Postal Service has stated they have enough cash and liquidity to continue operations at least until May 2021.  They argue that the USPS is making very conservative assumptions that the surge in package deliveries will subside and reverse as the economy opens up more.  They argue that this is an overly pessimistic outlook.

As for cash, on April 30, 2020, the Postal Service Fund had $14,181,000,000 cash versus $9,852,000,000 the prior month. This is according to page 12 of the U.S. Treasury Monthly Statement of the Public Debt.  On top of the $14.2 billion in cash, USPS also has another $11 billion in borrowing capacity.  This provides liquidity of $25 billion. 

DELIVERY PERFORMANCE

The USPS continues to make it clear that despite significant volume reductions, they are operating normally with delivery 6 days a week.  If there are any places where that USO is not occurring, it is due to isolated contingency plans being put into effect and 6-day delivery will resume as soon as it is feasibly possible. 

There have been some instances of service delays, particularly in NY and MI where the Covid-19 virus is most prevalent and affecting staffing.  As previously stated, we have also heard of isolated instances where local retail services may be suspended temporarily for health reasons, but we have no reports of this impacting business mailing operations.

Postal Solutions, and in particular Postal Affairs, are working daily with the USPS to ensure our clients mail is delivered and monitoring any issues that may arise.  We’ll be updating this information as often as is necessary to be sure everyone has the correct information.

The USPS has provided volume statistics compared to the same period last year:

Total Down 32.6%

Flats Down 23%

Single Piece Down 9%

First Presort Down 4.4%

Marketing Mail Down 40%

Periodicals Up 2.6%

Packages Up 64%

LEGISLATIVE UPDATES

Last Friday, three postal Industry associations including MPA. ACMA and the Alliance of Non-Profit Mailers jointly sent a letter to the chairs of the Congressional committees responsible for postal issues.  In light of the debate about Postal Service losses resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and what to do in response, the letter urges Congress to provide funding to cover the Postal Service’s financial losses due to COVID-19, to enact reforms that put the Postal Service on firm footing for the future, and to sustain postal volumes and revenues for decades to come by including in relief legislation reaffirmation of the current CPI.

CALL TO ACTION:

In past weekly updates, we have been asking for businesses to reach out to their representatives and ask for congressional action on the USPS.   We still encourage that activity as well as use of the previously provided sample letter. 

We still feel that sending a personalized or business letter is the best path to action, but we would also like to highlight a new text option for people to contact their legislators on USPS issues – you can now text “MAIL” to 52886 and it will take the user to a site to generate an automated email to their Senators. This new option will  significantly increase the volume of contacts as it could be done by a number of individuals  within the same business.

In this incredible period of disruption, misinformation and rumors are likely to surface.   Please notify the Quad Postal Affairs team when you become aware of any changes, questions or something new related to how the USPS is reacting.  We will investigate and update all.  Please send inquiries to the Postal Affairs Distribution list (Postal Affairs – Team) or contact your representative.


May 6, 2020

As the Covid-19 Pandemic continues, our Postal Affairs team remains committed to keeping you informed with up to date developments related to USPS operations during this time of uncertainty. As a significant mailing industry partner, we are in a unique position to provide clear and accurate information, dispel rumors and suggest best practices during the pandemic. Please notify the Quad Postal Affairs team when you become aware of any changes, questions or something new related to how the USPS is reacting. We will investigate and update all. Please send inquiries to the Quad Postal Affairs Distribution list (Postal Affairs – Team) or ask your Quad representative.

There were several updates in the last week:

POSTAL IN THE PRESS

Changes at Board of Governors.

Last week, David Williams announced his resignation from the Board of Governors effective April 30, 2020. Governor Williams term had expired on December 8, 2019, and he had continued to serve as a Governor in a holdover year. Williams previously had been the Inspector General of the USPS for several years and advocated innovation, efficiency, and entry into new revenue sources. He was the Governor most experienced with USPS issues.

New Postmaster General announced.

On Wednesday, the Board of Governors announced that Louis DeJoy has been selected to serve at the nation’s 75th Postmaster General. DeJoy is an accomplished business executive with more than 35 years of experience. As Chairman and CEO of New Breed Logistics, DeJoy spent decades in collaboration with the U.S. Postal Service, Boeing, Verizon, Disney, United Technologies and other public and private companies to provide supply chain logistics, program management and transportation support. He is expected to begin serving in his new role effective June 15th. DeJoy’s appointment comes upon the retirement of Megan Brennan, the nation’s 74th Postmaster General, who announced her intent to step down in October 2019.

DeJoy becomes the fifth Postmaster General to join the institution from the private sector since the Postal Service became an independent establishment within the Executive Branch in 1971.

POLICY UPDATES

Hold Policy Update:

The USPS has announced an update to the hold policy. All mailings that have been placed on hold due to COVID-19 should be mailed no later than June 30, 2020. Any mailings entered after this date will be verified under the established assessment process for each metric with the expectation they are compliant with all mailer quality metrics. Quad postal solutions can help customers determine the impact on their mailings as a result of this policy update.

UPDATE ON THE OVERALL STATE OF AFFAIRS FOR THE USPS

Since our update last week there have been a variety of USPS announcements, but overall the postal service is fully functional, with some isolated hot spots experiencing service delays due to COVID related staffing shortages.

The USPS has provided volume statistics compared to the same period last year:

Total Down 27%

Flats Down 30.1%

Single Piece Down 21.7%

First Presort Down 3.3%

Marketing Mail Down 45.3%

Periodicals Up 10.2%

Packages Up 59.4%

DELIVERY PERFORMANCE

The USPS continues to make it clear that despite significant volume reductions, they are operating normally with delivery 6 days a week. If there are any places where that USO is not occurring, it is due to isolated contingency plans being put into effect and 6-day delivery will resume as soon as it is feasibly possible.

There have been some instances of service delays, particularly in NY and MI where the Covid-19 virus is most prevalent and affecting staffing. As previously stated, we have also heard of isolated instances where local retail services may be suspended temporarily for health reasons, but we have no reports of this impacting business mailing operations.

Postal Solutions, and in particular Postal Affairs, are working daily with the USPS to ensure our clients mail is delivered and monitoring any issues that may arise. We’ll be updating this information as often as is necessary to be sure everyone has the correct information.

The positive impact of mail during the pandemic.

The USPS recently fielded a survey measuring customer sentiment during the pandemic. The survey highlighted the important role that mail plays in helping Americans stay connected during a time of social distancing and stay-at-home mandates. More than ever, consumers rely on cards and mail to keep in touch with family and friends and to overcome feelings of isolation.

The majority, or 65% of respondents, said that receiving “cards and letters from family and friends lifts my spirits during this time” while 62% said that “receiving a card or letter in the mail makes me feel more connected during social distancing.” Another 60% said it means more to me to receive a card/letter in the mail than an email, while 55% said they feel less isolated when receiving a card or letter in the mail.

Other Survey highlights include:

  • Approximately 67% of consumers are feeling increasingly isolated and distant from people, and have acknowledged the effect of the pandemic on their mental well-being.
  • When asked how the pandemic has changed their activities over the past few weeks, approximately 1-in-6 consumers said they have sent more mail to family and friends over the past few weeks.
  • During the corona virus pandemic, two-thirds of those surveyed indicated that they would be likely to send mail. Family members and friends would be the most common recipients. Those who are younger, have higher income and those with children in the home are more likely to want to send cards and letters.
  • 42% said they were more reliant on mail as a result of social distancing and 38% indicated the importance of being able to shop for mail products such as cards and stationery in retail locations permitted to be open during the pandemic.

LEGISLATIVE UPDATES

Last Friday, the Postal Industry sent a letter to Congressional Leadership signed by more than 1,000 associations and businesses calling on Congressional leadership to provide the financial support needed to ensure that the Postal Service is able to continue its vital mission in the face of the unprecedented pandemic. It is anticipated that this letter will make a positive impact on future stimulus packages.

CALL TO ACTION:

The COVID-19 pandemic is having a substantial impact on the nation’s economy, and affects every industry. Congress has shown a willingness to ensure the viability of the USPS during this emergency and by extension the viability of mailers across the country. Unfortunately, the White House does not share that same willingness.

Congress is considering another COVID related stimulus bill. Please contact your U.S. Representatives and U.S. Senators and urge their continued support for the USPS through a direct appropriation. As in past weekly updates, we have provided a sample letter that can be personalized with company information and sent to congressional representatives.

In this incredible period of disruption, misinformation and rumors are likely to surface. Please notify the Quad Postal Affairs team when you become aware of any changes, questions or something new related to how the USPS is reacting. We will investigate and update all. Please send inquiries to the Postal Affairs Distribution list (Postal Affairs – Team) or contact your representative.


April 29, 2020

As the Covid-19 Pandemic continues, our Postal Affairs team remains committed to keeping you informed with up to date developments related to USPS operations during this time of uncertainty. As a significant mailing industry partner, we are in a unique position to provide clear and accurate information, dispel rumors and suggest best practices during the pandemic. Please notify the Quad Postal Affairs team when you become aware of any changes, questions or something new related to how the USPS is reacting. We will investigate and update all. Please send inquiries to the Quad Postal Affairs Distribution list (Postal Affairs – Team) or ask your Quad representative.

There were several areas of significant development in the last week:

Update on the overall state of affairs for the USPS

Since our update last week there have been a variety of developments, legislative actions and USPS announcements, but overall the postal service is fully functional, with some isolated hot spots experiencing service delays due to staffing shortages.

The USPS has provided volume statistics compared to the same period last year:

  • Total: Down 28.4%
  • Flats: Down 37.4%
  • Single Piece: Down 16.6%
  • First Presort: Down 2%
  • Marketing Mail: Down 43.7%
  • Periodicals: Down 38.7%
  • Packages: Up 50%

Delivery Performance

The USPS continues to make it clear that despite significant volume reductions, they are operating normally with delivery 6 days a week. If there are any places where that USO is not occurring, it is due to isolated contingency plans being put into effect and 6-day delivery will resume as soon as it is feasibly possible.

There have been some instances of service delays, particularly in NY and MI where the Covid-19 virus is most prevalent and affecting staffing. As previously stated, we have also heard of isolated instances where local retail services may be suspended temporarily for health reasons, but we have no reports of this impacting business mailing operations.

Postal Solutions, and in particular Postal Affairs, are working daily with the USPS to ensure our clients mail is delivered and monitoring any issues that may arise. We’ll be updating this information as often as is necessary to be sure everyone has the correct information.

Postal in the Press

In the midst of this pandemic, the postal service, and it’s long term health have been a topic of discussion in the press. But there are also a variety of positive stories of front line postal workers, going above and beyond in there communities. Here are a few stories:

USPS National Map

The USPS has updated its national map that provides a graphic presentation of operations. The USPS National Map is an external facing GIS map showing the location and status of postal facilities alongside hazards and other authoritative layers from entities like NOAA, NWS (weather-related) and GeoMAC (for fires). This map is dynamic and other layers may be added or removed as appropriate. The map has many levels of data that can be displayed visually and is updated every 5 min. The map can be found at the link below. At the top there is an excellent user guide.

https://uspstools.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=1fc1c26bb31246b39087606c65b83020

Policy Updates

Hold Policy Update:

The USPS has announced that the hold mail date is being extended from April 30th to May 30th. As states and business start to reopen in stages, the Postal Service will be providing localized messaging for business to remember to come and pickup their held mail. In cases where mail is not picked up and is returned, the Postal Service is working on a solution to prevent them from being undocumented because the 45-day uniqueness has expiredc.

We expect the USPS to announce how they plan to address this later this week.

The USPS is also looking to set a timeframe for mailing that were produced but held before mailing. The Postal Service is looking at the June 30 timeframe where Covid-19 related holds need to be released as mail without penalty. Mailings released after June 30 will be allowed but will incur additional costs associated with the age of the data used to prepare the mailing.

The Postal Service is currently working on the policy document related to areas of scorecard concern:

  • Barcode Uniqueness
  • Move Update
  • Mis-shaped
  • Undocumented
  • DPV

Legislative Updates

Last Friday, the USPS was at the center of the national news media when President Trump criticized the operations of the Postal Service and alluded that unless they significantly raised package pricing, he would block the $10 billion treasury loan granted in the last version of the CARES act. The mailing industry continues to lobby for a solution to the long term issue.

Call to Action:

The COVID-19 pandemic is having a substantial impact on the nation’s economy, and affects every industry. Congress has shown a willingness to ensure the viability of the USPS during this emergency and by extension the viability of mailers across the country. Unfortunately, the White House does not share that same willingness.

Congress is considering another COVID related stimulus bill. Please contact your U.S. Representatives and U.S. Senators and urge their continued support for the USPS through a direct appropriation. As in past weekly updates, we have provided a sample letter that can be personalized with company information and sent to congressional representatives.

In this incredible period of disruption, misinformation and rumors are likely to surface. Please notify the Quad Postal Affairs team when you become aware of any changes, questions or something new related to how the USPS is reacting. We will investigate and update all. Please send inquiries to the Postal Affairs Distribution list (Postal Affairs – Team) or contact your representative.


April 24, 2020

As the Covid-19 Pandemic continues, our Postal Affairs team remains committed to keeping you informed with up to date developments related to USPS operations during this time of uncertainty. As a significant mailing industry partner, we a re in a unique position to provide clear and accurate information, dispel rumors and suggest best practices during the pandemic. Please notify the Quad Postal Affairs team when you become aware of any changes, questions or something new related to how the USPS is reacting. We will investigate and update all. Please send inquiries to the Quad Postal Affairs Distribution list (Postal Affairs – Team) or ask your Quad representative.

There were several areas of significant development in the last week:

Update on the overall state of affairs for the USPS

Since our update last week there have been a variety of developments, legislative actions and USPS announcements, but overall the postal service is fully functional, and in some cases, service is actually providing faster than normal service due to reduced mail volume. The USPS has provided volume statistics compared to the same period last year:

  • Total: Down 29.7%
  • Flats: Down 36.6%
  • Single Piece: Down 25%
  • First Presort: Down 8%
  • Marketing Mail: Down 50%
  • Periodicals: Down 7.4%
  • Packages: Up 29%

Delivery Performance

The USPS continues to make it clear that despite significant volume reductions, they are operating normally with delivery 6 days a week. If there are a ny places where that USO is not occurring, it is due to isolated contingency plans being put into effect and 6-day delivery will resume as soon as it is feasibly possible. We have also heard of isolated instances where local retail services may be suspended temporarily for health reasons, but we have no reports of this impacting business mailing operations.

Postal Solutions, and in particular Postal Affairs, are working daily with the USPS to ensure our clients mail is delivered and monitoring any issues that ma y arise. We’ll be updating this information as often as is necessary to be sure everyone has the correct information.

USPS Marketing

The USPS has produced a new TV commercial focusing on commitment that began airing April 20. It features Postmaster General Megan Brennan as the voiceover. The spot has the theme, “We have always been there and always will” Here is a link to the commercial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uuNLLZcSTKE

Policy Updates

CAPS to EPS Migration update:

The USPS Announced some important dates associated with migration from CAPS to EPS:

  • Cancellation of Permits linked to a CAPS account with no activity. On April 19, permits without any activity in the previous 12 months were cancelled and the CAPS account closed. Any remaining balances can be refunded by contacting the CAPS service center.
  • Active CAPS Trust Permits with a Business Customer Gateway (BCG ) account. Active trust account customers can migrate to EPS until May 1, 2020. After May 1, the Postal service will close the CAPS account and EPS account will be created. Any remaining CAPS funds will transfer to the new EPS account.
  • Active CAPS Trust Permits without a BCG account. Active trust customers who do NOT have a BCG account have until August 1, 2020 to migrate to EPS. After August 1st the CAPS account will be closed. Not creating an EPS account and linking their permits could impact mail acceptance.
  • Permits linked to a CAPS debit account. Effective August 1, 2020, CAPS debit permits will no longer be funded as the CAPS account will be closed.

If you are still using a CAPS account and have questions about the migration to EPS, please contact your CE Mail Specialist to start the planning process to complete your migration by August 1.

COVID-19 related delays to Priority Mail and First-Class Package Services:

The USPS has announced that Priority Mail and First-Class Packages may require more delivery time due to limited transportation availability. Here are the details of their announcement:

  • Priority Mail Express and local 1-day Priority will not change.
  • Priority Mail two and three day are now extended to three and four day respectively. Customers will continue to receive end-to-end visibility, improved product tracking as well as up to $50 in free insurance. With the extra day extension, customers should expect delivery using Priority Mail Open and Distribute (PMOD) to range from two to four days nationwide.
  • First Class Package Service (FCPS) two and three day service is also being extended to three and four days.
  • Global Express Guaranteed Services has also been altered. For details refer to usps.com

Legislative Updates

Certain members of the House and Senate pushed for a $25 billion cash infusion for the Postal Service as part of the last stimulus package, but unfortunately the Administration opposed a direct appropriation for the USPS. Negotiators ultimately opted to include only a $10 billion line of credit. Postal management has said that amount would be insufficient for preventing fiscal calamity this year.

Call to Action:

The COVID-19 pandemic is having a substantial impact on the nation’s economy, and affects every industry. Congress has shown a willingness to ensure the viability of the USPS during this emergency and by extension the viability of mailers across the country. Unfortunately, the White House does not share that same willingness.

Congress is considering another COVID related stimulus bill. Please contact your U.S. Representatives and U.S. Senators and urge their continued support for the USPS through a direct appropriation. But it cannot stop there — Congress must impress upon the White House the critical role the USPS plays in the lives of their constituents as the only universal communication format that delivers medications, health related information, stimulus checks and so much more to the American public on a daily basis. The mailing industry and the 7.3 million people it employs are counting on Congress and the President to ensure that the USPS remains viable. The American people cannot wait any longer for our leaders in Washington to step up and support them — the time to act is now.

In this incredible period of disruption, misinformation and rumors are likely to surface. Please notify the Quad Postal Affairs team when you become aware of any changes, questions or something new related to how the USPS is reacting. We will investigate and update all. Please send inquiries to the Postal Affairs Distribution list (Postal Affairs – Team) or contact your representative.


April 14, 2020

As the Covid-19 Pandemic continues, our Postal Affairs team remains committed to keeping you and your clients up to date with developments related to USPS operations during this time of uncertainty. As a significant mailing industry partner, we are in a unique position to provide clear and accurate information, dispel rumors and suggest best practices during the pandemic. Please notify the Quad Postal Affairs team when you become aware of any changes, questions or something new related to how the USPS is reacting. We will investigate and update all. Please send inquiries to the Quad Postal Affairs Distribution list (Postal Affairs – Team) or ask your Quad representative.

There were several areas of significant development in the last week:

Update on the overall state of affairs for the USPS

Since our update last week there have been a variety of developments, legislative actions and USPS announcements, but overall the postal service is fully functional, and in some cases, service is actually providing faster than normal service due to reduced mail volume.

Monday April 13th the USPS shared volumes for the previous week compared to SPLY (Same Period Last Year):

  • Total: Down 32.2%
  • Letter: Down 25.2%
  • Flats: Down 36.5%
  • Packages: Up 20.7%

Delivery Performance

The USPS continues to make it clear that despite significant volume reductions, they are operating normally with delivery six days each week. If there are any places where that USO does not occur, it is due to isolated contingency plans put into effect. The six-day delivery will resume as soon as it is feasibly possible. We have also heard of isolated instances where local retail services may be suspended temporarily for health reasons, but we have no reports of this impacting business mailing operations.

Quad Postal Solutions team, particularly Postal Affairs, is working daily with the USPS to ensure our clients’ mail is delivered, and monitoring any issues that may arise. We’ll be updating this communication as often as is necessary to be sure everyone has the correct information.

Policy Updates

The USPS acknowledged that the date of mandated seamless acceptance needs to be evaluated due to the available bandwidth to implement on both the industry and the USPS side. A final rule will be out later this month, but at this point there are no plans to delay turning on all Full Service mailers onto Seamless Parallel. Seamless Parallel activates a new portion of the mailer scorecard, but does not activate the penalties associated with going live with Seamless Acceptance.

The USPS is discussing a possible update to how outbound international mail is being handled, and if necessary, how refunds will be handled for international non-shipment.

The Postal Service has implemented two new processes to allow businesses to submit Hold Mail requests in bulk (10 or more), as well as requests to forward mail from many locations (10 or more) to one. The new process will require businesses with 10 or more requests to submit specific data on an Excel spreadsheet. There are currently no changes to the maximum timeframe for holding mail (which was recently extended from 10 days to 30 days).

The Postal Service also announced that five of their help desks are currently operating under a contingency. Voice service may be impacted, and they are encouraging mailers to get in contact via email.

  • PostalOne!: PostalOne@usps.gov
  • FAST: FAST@usps.gov
  • eVS: Evs@usps.gov
  • Delivery Confirmation: Delivery.Confirmation@usps.gov
  • Informed Visibility: InformedVisibility@usps.gov

Legislative Updates

The most significant and heavily reported postal news event since our last update occurred last Thursday when the USPS requested $75 billion through a combination of cash, grants and loans to avoid a liquidity crisis this Fall.

Postmaster General Megan Brennan told the House Oversight and Reform Committee that USPS would lose $13 billion in fiscal 2020 due to the economic downturn resulting from the coronavirus pandemic, and the agency would “run out of cash” before Sept. 30. The board of governors is asking Congress for a $25 billion cash injection to offset expected losses, a $25 billion grant to fund “shovel ready” projects to modernize USPS and $25 billion in unrestricted borrowing authority.

Certain members of the House and Senate pushed for a $25 billion cash infusion for the Postal Service as part of the last stimulus package, but unfortunately the Administration opposed a direct appropriation for the USPS. Negotiators ultimately opted to include only a $10 billion line of credit. Postal management has said that amount would be insufficient for preventing fiscal calamity this year.

Below are several articles on the topic:

https://www.npr.org/2020/04/08/828949609/youve-got-less-mail-the-postal-service-is-suffering-amid-the-coronavirus

https://news.yahoo.com/trump-coronavirus-privatize-us-portal-service-173250637.html

https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/postal-service-broke-due-pandemic-trump-flatly-opposes/story?id=70119153

https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/492377-trump-threatened-to-veto-stimulus-package-if-it-contained-bailout

CALL TO ACTION:

The COVID-19 pandemic is having a substantial impact on the nation’s economy, and affects every industry. Congress has shown a willingness to ensure the viability of the USPS during this emergency and by extension the viability of mailers across the country. Unfortunately, the White House does not share that same willingness.

Congress is considering another COVID related stimulus bill. Please contact your U.S. Representatives and U.S. Senators and urge their continued support for the USPS through a direct appropriation. But it cannot stop there — Congress must impress upon the White House the critical role the USPS plays in the lives of their constituents as the only universal communication format that delivers medications, health related information, stimulus checks and so much more to the American public on a daily basis. The mailing industry and the 7.3 million people it employs are counting on Congress and the President to ensure that the USPS remains viable. The American people cannot wait any longer for our leaders in Washington to step up and support them — the time to act is now.

Pricing Updates

Last Wednesday, various industry leaders met with postal authorities on the state of pricing. Sharon Owens VP of USPS pricing and costing stated that a task team is working on some form of a product and or pricing relief with a focus on what can feasibly be done quickly. She noted that any changes would require BOG and PRC approval and that management has decided not to allow pricing changes or payment terms based on the current pandemic.

In this incredible period of disruption, misinformation and rumors are likely to surface. Please notify the Postal Affairs team when you become aware of any changes, questions or something new related to how the USPS is reacting. We will investigate and update all. Please send inquiries to the Postal Affairs Distribution list (Postal Affairs – Team).


April 9, 2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, our Postal Affairs team is committed to keeping you and your clients up to date with developments related to USPS operations during this time of uncertainty. As a significant mailing industry partner, we are in a unique position to provide clear and accurate information, dispel rumors and suggest best practices during the health emergency. We will update you on a regular basis as the situation evolves.

Since last week’s update, there have been a variety of developments and USPS announcements. But overall, the postal service is fully functional, and in some cases is actually providing services faster than normal due to reduced mail volume.

Here are the areas of significant development in the last week:

Update on the financial situation for the USPS

While there continue to be reports of a possible June shutdown, we see nothing that would indicate this is likely. Financially, things are basically the same as last week. The Board of Governors (BOG) did pass a resolution regarding the USPS borrowing authority. This ruling gives the Postal Service access to $3 billion in FY2020 and an additional $1 billion in FY2021. This only uses the existing borrowing authority that was previously available to them. Overall, the USPS has roughly $10 billion cash on hand, $4 billion of previous borrowing authority, and now an additional $10 billion with the COVID-19 stimulus package. So the USPS does have access to roughly $24 billion to remain operational. This does not solve its long-term financial crisis. But it does ensure they will be operational for the foreseeable future. Quad is continuing to work closely with Congress and the Administration to impress upon them the importance of the USPS to every household in the country and critical partnership the Postal service has with the business community throughout the country. It is important that Congress and the Administration help the Postal Service react appropriately to the COVID pandemic and continue to provide their essential services.

New Hold Mail Policy

The USPS previously announced that they will be extending their traditional 10 day hold policy to 30 days. It has now further extended this hold policy until April 30th. This is a significant update for many of our customers with time-sensitive mail. Additionally, the USPS announced that it continues to evaluate this policy and could extend it beyond April 30th, depending on when affected businesses can start to reopen.

Requalification Update

The postal service did relax the requirements for renewing requester and subscriber/paid publications with a temporary allowance during this COVID-19 outbreak. They are extending expirations of all legitimate requests and legitimate subscribers for six (6) months, effective from January 15, 2020.

This will allow publishers whose requests or subscriptions that have or would have expired in this timeframe (expirations until July 15, 2020), to continue to count those requesters/subscribers as eligible or qualified requesters or subscribers. This includes renewals related to membership renewals.

This does not exempt publishers from submitting and publishing (if required) their PS Form 3526, Statement of Ownership, Management, and Circulation, in October 2020.

Retail Operations

A large portion of postal news right now relates to its retail operations. While these events could have isolated impact for our clients, commercial operations remain intact. For the most part, these news stories are often temporary local shutdowns due to employees that have tested positive for COVID-19, or where retail services have been suspended in an individual location. In almost all cases the delivery itself is not impacted and the USPS has contingency plans in place to monitor and adjust for these situations.

Postal Solutions, and in particular Postal Affairs, are working daily with the USPS to ensure our clients mail is delivered. And we’re proactively monitoring any issues that might arise. We’ll update this information as often as is necessary to be sure everyone has the correct facts.

In this period of incredible disruption, mis-information and rumors are likely to surface. Please notify the Postal Affairs team when you become aware of any changes, questions or something new related to how the USPS is reacting. We will investigate and update all. Send inquiries to the Postal Affairs Distribution list (Postal Affairs – Team)

Thank you,

Quad Postal Affairs Team


March 30, 2020

CLIENTS:
During the Covid-19 Pandemic, our Postal Affairs team has fielded a variety of questions related to the USPS operations. We realize you and your clients may have questions about the state of affairs during this period of uncertainty. As a significant mailing industry partner, we are in a unique position to provide clear and accurate information, dispel rumors and suggest best practices during the pandemic. We will continue to update you on a regular basis as the situation evolves.

Overall, the current Covid-19 situation has created some challenges within the supply chain, but overall, from a delivery standpoint the USPS is fully operational, in fact where appropriate, there could be significant short term opportunities for promotional mailers and catalogers to have greater impact in home during quarantine periods.


As for longer term USPS challenges, they have remained the same and only emphasized with the lower mail volumes right now. Legislatively, many had hoped the recent stimulus package might have helped the USPS solve some of its financial challenges. Unfortunately that did not happen. This does not mean the end of the postal service, it means more pressure on their financials and rates as we come out of the Covid-19 situation. The USPS won’t be going away as some keep predicting, but it’s in the same poor financial position it has been in and lower volumes exasperate the problem.

Below are some Frequently asked questions our team is fielding, we will continually update you on this dynamic situation. If you have or hear a question, please forward to the Postal Affairs team and we’ll get you an answer:

  1. Is the USPS considered an Essential Service during the Pandemic?
    • Yes, as a constitutionally mandated service, and considered part of the critical infrastructure of the United States as defined by the Department of Homeland Security, the USPS will play a critical role in communicating with all US addresses and Businesses. Especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.
    • The USPS, provided us with a signed letter that extends the Essential Service designation to include Quad.
  2. Is the service standard of USPS Mail delivery impacted during the pandemic?
    • While there is a significant amount of flux in the transportation network, the USPS is reporting minimal impact on the movement of mail. In many cases, due to reduced volumes and traffic, mail delivery is faster than normal.
  3. Are the stories about USPS going out of business in June true?
    • No, as noted above the USPS is a constitutionally mandated service and considered part of the critical infrastructure of the United States by the department of Homeland Security, and has been deemed an essential service, Congress will not allow a shutdown of the USPS to occur.
    • Organizations are using the financial pressures that face the USPS to generate awareness of the need for larger level postal reform and/or relief.
    • The message that needs to be communicated is that the USPS is not going anywhere and mail will continue to be an effective communication and marketing tool for business moving forward, especially in times of crisis.
  4. What USPS contingency plans are being put into place?
    • For the moment it is service as usual for the USPS. They have put in place an executive team that is monitoring all aspects of the USPS operations during this emergency. They are issuing regular communications about impacts.
  5. I have printed mail pieces being held at Quad – can I delay mailing of the pieces?
    • Our Postal Affairs team is working with USPS to define the impact of resubmitting mail. The USPS is attempting to waive time sensitive mailing requirements. The current concern is how long that period of delayed mailing will be, it cannot be indefinite.
  6. Is there a change in policy regarding holding and returning mail?
    • Yes. The USPS has announced that in order to accommodate businesses during this challenging time, they will now extend the hold period from 10 to 30 days before returning the items to the sender.
  7. How is Canada Post affected?
    • Canada Post is fully operational at this time. They are evaluating mailings and letting clients know if there have concerns with delivery. Business mail, due to shutdowns in Canada, seem to be the most significant issue.
  8. What is the status of USPS promotions?
    • The promotional schedule from the USPS is unchanged. Requests are being made to have the USPS adjust the schedule of these promotions taking into account the reduction in mail volume expected for the next 90-120 days.
  9. Has the USPS considered any pricing adjustments as a result of Covid-19?
    • The USPS has been asked to consider either a temporary price reduction or a promotion to encourage mail during this period. At this time this is just a concept.

Postal Solutions, and in particular Postal Affairs, are working daily with the USPS to ensure our clients mail is delivered and monitoring any issues that may arise. We’ll be updating this information as often as is necessary to be sure everyone has the correct information.

In this incredible period of disruption, mis-information and rumors are likely to surface. Please notify the Postal Affairs team when you become aware of any changes, questions or something new related to how the USPS is reacting. We will investigate and update all. Please send inquiries to the Postal Affairs Distribution list (Postal Affairs – Team).

Thank you,

Quad Postal Affairs Team