Recent Posts


February 8, 2016

How the Postal Service sold Richmond's Saunders Station PO for a song
Back in October 2015, the Postal Service sold the historic 1937 Saunders Station post office in Richmond, Virginia.  At the time, the sale price was not made public, but as discussed in this previous post, there was reason to wonder if the sale made sense financially...

January 17, 2017

District Court refuses to reconsider opinion in USPS v. SCE
Today is the birthday of Benjamin Franklin, the Nation's first Postmaster General, but U.S. District Judge James E. Boasberg has given the Postal Service little reason to celebrate. On Thursday, Judge Boasberg denied the Postal Service's Motion for...

January 16, 2016

Your Walmart closing? There's always your local post office
Whenever the Postal Service wants to close a post office, it tells affected customers about all the “alternative access” points in the area where they will continue to be able to do some postal business — like buying stamp booklets at Walmart.  The...

January 11, 2016

Trucks on fire: USPS Long Life Vehicles outlive their lifespan
With over 211,000 vehicles, the Postal Service operates the largest civilian fleet in the world.  About 190,000 vehicles are used to collect and deliver the mail, and about 140,000 of them are Grumman-built Long Life Vehicles (LLVs), the iconic postal trucks that...

January 5, 2016

The Postal Service opens Round 3 in the fight over the exigent rate increase
Yesterday the Postal Service filed a brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia, arguing that the Postal Regulatory Commission was wrong in its most recent ruling on the exigent rate increase.  The Postal Service wants the case remanded to the...

December 31, 2015

The Year in Review: The Postal Service submits its Annual Compliance Report for FY 2015
Earlier this week the Postal Service submitted its FY 2015 Annual Compliance Report (ACR) to the Postal Regulatory Commission.  Over the next few weeks, the Commission will review the report, request more information, give stakeholders an opportunity to comment,...

December 16, 2015

South Florida P&DC goes for $5.8 million more than the USPS sold it for, just two months ago
The City of Pembroke Pines, Florida, just got a nice Christmas present, courtesy of the U.S. Postal Service. On October 23, 2015, the Postal Service closed on a deal to sell the South Florida P & DC to the City of Pembroke Pines for $17.88 million.  Today, less...

December 7, 2015

A Bill of Rights for the Post Office
Some people just love to complain about the Postal Service, but the vast majority of Americans are pretty happy with the service they receive at their post office.  In fact, several new surveys show once again that people think the post office is just fine. According...

November 27, 2015

Photographing the post offices of Michigan's Upper Peninsula
For over four years, from 2011 to 2015, Lucy and Lina Blair traveled through Michigan’s Upper Peninsula photographing each and every one of its 134 post offices.  It was a way to bring them to each town in the U.P. so they could get to know their region...

November 16, 2015

Measure to Measure: Data, management, and the reliability of the mail
MARK JAMISON Reliable.  It seems like a simple and straightforward word.  It conveys, if not a very specific meaning, at least a pretty concrete sense of satisfying expectations.  In some contexts, like certain forms of statistics and technical applications...

November 12, 2015

The Postal Service's "Retail Channel Strategy": A blueprint for privatizing the post office
It’s been clear for a long time that the Postal Service is in the process of privatizing itself by shifting processing operations to companies like Pitney Bowes through the workshare system and contracting out billions of dollars of work to private corporations (over...

November 10, 2015

Postal Service releases on-time performance reports for Q4 2015
The Postal Service has released its on-time performance reports for the fourth quarter of the fiscal year (July 1 – Sept. 30, 2015).   Compared to the third quarter, on-time performance for most types of mail has improved, but performance remains significantly...

October 30, 2015

Richmond's historic Saunders Station post office sold, finally
After trying to dispose of it for over four years, the Postal Service has finally sold the historic 1937 Saunders Station post office at 1625 Broad Street in Richmond, Virginia.  The Postal Service apparently got ahead of itself and began renting space for the new...

October 26, 2015

When Titans collide: UPS petitions the PRC to change USPS costing methodologies
BY MARK JAMISON The United Parcel Service is very concerned that you might be paying too much for a postage stamp.   If you’re wondering why UPS would be worried about something like that, it has to do with the way postal rates are set.  According to the...

October 20, 2015

Did yesterday’s election just kill mass conversion to cluster boxes in Canada?
Yesterday’s election in Canada may mean the end for Canada Post’s plans to convert five million addresses from door-to-door delivery to cluster boxes. After a decade in power, the Conservatives were routed in a landslide by Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party...

October 14, 2015

Using the Census to analyze USPS on-time performance
The mail has been slowing down all across the country, but are rural areas suffering worse on-time delivery than urban areas?  That’s the question behind a recent GAO report about the Postal Service entitled “Actions Needed to Make Delivery...

October 11, 2015

Return to sender, address unknown: USPS v. SCE and the high cost of undeliverable mail
  I gave a letter to the postman, He put it his sack. Bright and early next morning, He brought my letter back. She wrote upon it: Return to sender, address unknown. No such number, no such zone.   “Return to Sender” Lyrics by...

October 8, 2015

How prefunding retiree health benefits impacts the Postal Service's bottom line — and how Brookings got it wrong
A couple of weeks ago, the Washington Post ran a column by Lisa Rein entitled “Should the Postal Service be sold to save it?” The article was about a recent paper by Elaine Kamarck published on the Brookings Institute’s website.  Kamarck is the...

October 7, 2015

The Postal Pulse results are out (sort of)
The results of the Postal Pulse survey are out, but only USPS employees can see them.  The Postal Service has produced a new video about the survey results as well, but only postal employees can view it.  For the rest of us, here’s a little background....

October 4, 2015

What happened in Petworth? A DC Suspension Story
[Note: Please see the correction/update at the end of this story.] The post office in Petworth, a community in Washington, DC, closed at the end of July.  The closing didn’t get much attention, but the story of what happened in Petworth is a useful case study of...

October 2, 2015

No discontinuances, but more post office suspensions and relocations
As a result of all the public protest, the Postal Service has stayed away from post office closings over the past two years, and if legislation recently proposed by Senator Tom Carper were to be approved as is, there would be a moratorium on all post office closings for...

September 27,2015

Another post office in Houston earmarked for relocation and disposal
The Postal Service hasn’t discontinued many post offices over the past couple of years, but it has closed some for emergency suspensions, and it has also relocated several others.  In some cases, the Postal Service relocated from one leased property to another,...

September 25, 2015

Decision to relocate and sell downtown post office in Provo already a done deal?
The Postal Service is working behind the scenes on a deal to relocate the post office on 100 South in downtown Provo, Utah, and to sell the building to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. According to a news report in the Daily Herald, on Thursday of this...

September 24, 2015

Postal Service releases August 2015 financial statement
The Postal Service has released its financial statement for August 2015.  As usual, there’s some good news, and some not so good. Compared to August 2014, volumes and revenues for First Class, Standard, and Periodicals are all down a few percent, and total...

September 15, 2015

On the border of the boundary wars: The PRC's order on First Class Mail Parcels
Last month the Postal Regulatory Commission denied the Postal Service’s request to transfer retail, single-piece First-Class Mail Parcels from the market-dominant list to the competitive list, where it would have become a category of First-Class Package Services. FCM...

September 10, 2015

Using the U.S. Census to prevent post office closings
Last week Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) announced that he would re-introduce legislation that would prohibit the Postal Service “from closing or consolidating any post office or other postal facility that is located in a ZIP code that has a...

September 4, 2015

New book explains why we need a postal bank
A new book entitled How the Other Half Banks by Mehrsa Baradaran makes a great argument for why we need a postal banking system.  The book explains how economic inequality in this country is caused largely by unequal credit.  A significant portion of...

September 2, 2015

USPS announces plan to dispose of historic post office in Clarksburg, WV
Despite the efforts of several elected officials in Congress and the recommendations of both the USPS Office of Inspector General and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation,  the Postal Service continues to sell off its legacy of historic post offices.  ...

September 1, 2015

The third time a charmer? USPS takes PRC to court over the exigent rate increase, again
The Postal Service is taking the Postal Regulatory Commission to court over the exigent rate increase.  On August 28th, the Postal Service filed a Petition for Review of PRC Order No. 2623, Resolving Issues On Remand, in Docket R2013-11R. This will mark...

August 31, 2015

OIG finds room for improvement at Premier Post Offices
The USPS Office of Inspector General has just released a report about the Premier Post Office program.  According to the OIG, the Postal Service could be doing a better job measuring and evaluating the success of the program.  A lot of the Premier post offices...

August 20, 2015

USPS reviews 5,000 more post offices for reduced hours
The Postal Service is working on phase two of POStPlan, its initiative to reduce hours and staffing at half the country's post offices.  From September 2012 through February 2015, the Postal Service implemented phase one — 13,000 small post offices had their...

August 17, 2015

The relationship of USPS lease costs and lessor location
Earlier this month Dakotafire Media published a couple of very good articles about the ownership arrangements for post offices.  It’s an important issue, since about three-fourths of the country’s post offices operate in spaces leased by the Postal Service...

August 14, 2015

OIG recommends halt to Phase II Network Rationalization until USPS service performance improves
The USPS Office of Inspector General has just issued a management alert about the timeliness of mail processing after the changes in service standards went into effect on January 5, 2015.  The OIG says that the changes were expected to affect about 14 billion pieces...

July 29, 2015

Get it while you can: The PRC to rule on exigent rate case - How long will the surcharge go on?
UPDATE: A few hours after this post was published, the Postal Regulatory Commission released its order on the exigent increase.   As predicted in the post, the Commission determined that the Postal Service was entitled to another $1.191 billion in additional...

July 26, 2015

The true cost for restoring service standards and why the Postal Service can afford it
A couple of weeks ago, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) announced that it would cost the Postal Service $1 billion to comply with an amendment requiring the Postal Service to revert to the service standards for First Class mail and periodicals that were in effect on...

July 20, 2015

$1 billion to restore USPS service standards? Did the CBO get it wrong?
Last week the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) provided an estimate for how much it would cost the Postal Service to return to the service standards that were in effect on July 1, 2012.  Going back to these standards for delivery times is one of the provisions in an...

June 26, 2015

Next round in the exigent case: USPS seeks five-year extension of surcharge; the mailers say enough is enough
Today was the deadline for submitting initial comments to the Postal Regulatory Commission concerning the exigent rate increase after the case was remanded by the US Court of Appeals in its June 5th ruling.  Judging by the comments, this case is far from...

June 24, 2015

USPS releases May 2015 financial statement
The Postal Service has released its financial statement for May 2015.   There’s some good news and some not so good. Compared to May 2014, volumes and revenues for First Class, Standard, and Periodicals are all down, generally about 5 percent.  For...

June 23, 2015

APWU takes PRC to court over service standards
The American Postal Workers Union has taken the Postal Regulatory Commission to court over its decision to dismiss the union’s complaint that the Postal Service is failing to meet its service standards. As explained on the USPS website, these service standards, as...

June 12, 2015

USPS, APWU, and mailers respond to the court's ruling on the exigent case
This week the Postal Service, APWU, and several associations of mailers filed briefs with the Postal Regulatory Commission responding to the DC Court of Appeals’ June 5th ruling on the case of the exigent rate increase. On Monday the Postal Service filed a...

June 7, 2015

Court rules on exigent rate increase: Not forever, but for how long?
This week the DC Court of Appeals issued its decision on the exigent rate case.  The court affirmed the most significant element of the ruling by the Postal Regulatory Commission back in late 2013, namely, that the increase could not go on forever.   But the...

May 28, 2015

Commissioner Goldway issues scathing dissent on PRC's decision to dismiss Careywood appeal
The Postal Regulatory Commission has dismissed the appeal on the closing of the contract postal unit in Careywood, Idaho.  It was a terrible decision.  It is illogical and inconsistent with the Commission’s own precedents, and it creates a new precedent...

May 13, 2015

New USPS service performance reports show significant delays in delivering the mail
The Postal Service has released its service performance reports for the second quarter of the fiscal year, January 1 to March 31, 2015.  They show that it's not just your imagination — the mail has been slowing down, and in some cases, by a lot.  The...

May 12, 2015

DC Court remands barcode case back to PRC
Today the U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia, issued a decision on the Postal Service’s challenge to a ruling by the Postal Regulatory Commission involving barcoding and a rate increase.  The ruling is here. The decision was a mixed bag.  The Court...

May 8, 2015

Historic Houston post office headed for demolition
Next week the Postal Service will close the post office and processing center on Franklin Street in downtown Houston.  It’s a historic building, eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, but it looks as though it is headed for demolition.   In...

April 30, 2105

OIG recommends terminating the USPS-CBRE contract and refers cases for criminal investigation
The Postal Service’s Office of Inspector General has issued its fourth report criticizing the Postal Service’s oversight of the contract with its real estate broker, CBRE.  It’s entitled “Postal Service Management of CBRE Real Estate...

April 28, 2015

Oregon's Congressional delegation asks to meet with PMG on plant consolidations
The members of Oregon’s Congressional delegation have written to Postmaster General Megan Brennan requesting a meeting to discuss the Postal Service’s plan to consolidate mail processing facilities and the future of delivery standards. The letter is signed by...

April 27, 2015

USPS suspends delivery due to dog, judge files complaint with PRC
It’s not uncommon for the Postal Service to suspend delivery to a residence or even a whole block as a result of a dog problem.  The issue usually gets resolved after the customer takes steps to restrain the dog.  It’s not the kind of thing that...

April 21, 2015

Civil Disobedience and the Mailman
From the Tampa Bay News, "Ruskin gyrocopter pilot says postal officials are telling him not to talk to media," April 20, 2015 The Ruskin mail carrier who last week flew a gyrocopter into restricted airspace over Washington D.C., to make a political statement says...

April 15, 2015

Court dismisses lawsuit over Berkeley post office after USPS rescinds decision to sell the historic building
The Postal Service has rescinded its decision to relocate and sell the historic post office on Allston Way in Berkeley, California.  As a result, the legal case challenging the sale has been declared moot by the court, and the case has been dismissed. The lawsuit was...

April 10, 2015

Another kind of tax: The Postal Service cuts back at a post office deep in the hood
The Postal Service is extending collection hours at many post offices on April 15th for Tax Day, but there's at least one post office in California that's getting a lot less than extended hours.  Customers of the Marcus Foster post office, located on...

April 9, 2015

How long does the mail take? Let the Postal Service count the days
The Postal Service is proposing to change the way it measures the on-time service performance of First Class Mail.  Instead of contracting a third-party to evaluate how long it takes for the mail to be delivered, the Postal Service wants to count the days itself...

April 6, 2015

Alas, poor post office: Newsweek broods on the demise of the Postal Service
Last week Newsweek ran an opinion piece entitled “Do We Need a Postal Service?”  It originally appeared on the website of the Brookings Institute with the title, “The U.S. Postal Service’s existential problem.”  “The U.S....

April 1, 2015

A happy worker is a productive worker: Postal Pulse surveys employee engagement
Last week I wrote a post about the Postal Service’s new employee survey, Postal Pulse.  The Pulse replaces the Voice of the Employee (VOE), which the Postal Service has been using for the past 17 years.  The Pulse is now being administered to over 600,000...

March 29, 2015

The USPS and PRC ponder the meaning of "post office": The appeal on the Careywood Idaho CPO
In December 2011, the Postal Service declared a five-month moratorium on post office closings, and by the time it was over, the plans to close thousands of post offices had been abandoned.  The Postal Regulatory Commission had already dealt with over 200 appeals...

March 27, 2015

The doctor will see you now: The Postal Service takes the pulse of employees
The Postal Service has replaced the Voice of the Employee (VOE) survey with a new one called Postal Pulse.  The survey is being administered by Gallup from March 16 to April 3. You can see the old VOE survey here, and the new Postal Pulse here.   The...

March 26, 2015

"We're all in trouble": The Yantic CT post office, from suspension to appeal
The Postal Service has made a final determination to close the post office in Yantic, Connecticut, a village in Norwich.  Deberey Hinchey, the mayor of Norwich, and Kevin Ryan, a state representative, have filed an appeal on the closing to the Postal Regulatory...

March 25, 2015

PRC rejects Discover NSA and the Postal Service's "subjective intuition"
For the first time since they were created in 2002, a Negotiated Service Agreement (NSA) has been rejected by the Postal Regulatory Commission.  Yesterday the PRC turned down the Postal Service’s request to add a NSA with Discover Financial Services to its...

March 23, 2015

Epic Fail for the Postal Service: The wrong model and the wrong BOG
BY MARK JAMISON In 2001 Postmaster General Bill Henderson submitted the first blueprints for a transformation of the Postal Service into a sleeker, more efficient business entity.  To justify the transformation, the rhetoric has repeated one mantra: the problem with...

March 20, 2015

Congresswoman Barbara Lee proposes moratorium on sale of historic post offices
Congresswoman Barbara Lee 
of California (13th District) has introduced legislation to halt the sale and consolidation of historic Postal Service facilities. The Moratorium on US Historic Postal Buildings Act would prevent the Postal Service from selling any...

March 20, 2015

Who Remembers the Nationwide Postal Wildcat Strike of 1970 (and Why Does That Matter)?
BY PHILIP F. RUBIO Philip F. Rubio is author of There’s Always Work at the Post Office: African American Postal Workers and the Fight for Jobs, Justice, and Equality.  Rubio, a historian and former postal worker, brings to life the important but neglected...

March 18, 2015

Who owns the Postal Service?
BY MARK JAMISON Who owns the post office?  Who is the post office designed to serve?  What is the system’s ultimate function? These questions are fundamental to the future and the fate of the post office, the postal network, and postal services in this...

March 15, 2015

"We Deliver for Amazon": The Postal Service's New Priority
A former postal worker in Greensboro, North Carolina, named Paul Barbot has written two excellent articles for Alternet about his experiences dealing with Amazon deliveries as a City Carrier Assistant (CCA).  The first of them — “The Horrific New Marriage...

March 14, 2015

Post office in Hinkley, CA to close: What would Erin say?
The Postal Service is closing the post office in Hinkley, California, on March 20 for an emergency suspension.  According to the local news report, the building housing the post office is being sold to Pacific Gas & Electric.  Hinkley's only gas...

February 26, 2015

Things are looking up: The Postal Service's financial report for January 2015
The Postal Service released its financial statement for January 2015 yesterday.  It shows that for the first four months of Fiscal Year 2015 (Oct. – Jan.), the Postal Service posted a $1.325 billion profit in Controllable Operating Income.  That’s...

February 17, 2015

Beware of false assumptions: The OIG looks at the Postal Service's "unfunded liabilities"
The USPS Office of Inspector General has just released a new report about the Postal Service’s unfunded liabilities for its pension and retiree health benefit funds.  It's entitled "Considerations in Structuring Estimated Liabilities."  As with...

February 14, 2015

Sale of historic Princeton post office moves forward
The sale of the historic Palmer Square post office in Princeton, New Jersey, is moving forward.  Earlier this week the Princeton Packet revealed that the post office would be relocating a few blocks away to a former West Coast Video building on Nassau Street.  ...

February 8, 2015

Historic Plant City post office discontinued, headed for sale
Earlier this week, the Postal Service announced that the historic post office on Reynolds Street In downtown Plant City, Florida, is being discontinued.  It's the first such discontinuance in over 16 months. The Plant City post office has been closed since June...

February 3, 2015

A postmaster has the last word on POStPlan
This is the final week of POStPlan implementation.  On February 7, the last of the remaining 13,000 post offices will have their hours reduced, and the last of the remaining postmasters will leave their jobs.   The Postal Service postponed the Reduction in Force (...

February 2, 2015

Bad weather closes three NYC post offices
According to the Postal Service website, three New York City post offices are closed today as a result of the “heavy snowfall in the region.”  Service has been temporarily suspended for the Bronx Stadium Station (10452); the Esplanade Station (10469); and...

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