Monday, June 27, 2011

Special Mail Processing of 'Hot' Publications To End Friday

The U.S. Postal Service announced today that it will end preferential treatment for time-sensitive Periodicals mail this Friday, a move that could delay delivery of some daily and weekly publications by a day.

"All Periodicals will be processed efficiently on automated or mechanized equipment where postal facilities have this type of equipment," says a letter USPS officials sent today to "Periodicals mailers" and members of the Mailers Technical Advisory Committee. "Since all Periodicals (daily, weekly, quarterly, and monthly) have the same processing expectations and service standards, they will be processed based upon arrival times and service standards, not publication titles."

The new procedures are supposed to create a set of national deadlines that dropshipped Periodicals must meet to receive next-day delivery. They are also supposed to put an end to "Hot 2C" processing, as discussed in An End to the Postal Service's Wall Street Journal Subsidy?, and the practice of "squeaky wheel" mail handling that provides the best service to the most frequent complainers.

It's not clear, however, to what extent the Postal Service has prepared mail-handling operations for the new rules and whether it is adjusting reward systems to encourage efficiency rather than the avoidance of complaints.

The standardized deadlines (called Critical Entry Times) will "ensure Periodicals are processed on automated equipment to the maximum extent possible. Maximizing the automation of Periodicals will increase efficiency and reduce the cost to process this mail," says the letter from USPS vice presidents David E. Williams and Susan M. LaChance.

The new CETs will seemingly make on-time delivery of daily newspapers nearly impossible. Even the latest CET -- for carrier-route and 5-digit bundles going to processing centers that don't have Flats Sequencing System (FSS) machines -- will be 5 p.m. I have never heard of a morning newspaper starting up its presses that early for the next day's paper.

The CETs will be six to eight hours earlier for copies going to FSS facilities, which "have a longer processing window" and start sorting as early as noon. As FSS continues to ramp up, a significant number of ZIP codes will be shifted to FSS, and the earlier CETs, in the coming months, the letter said.


Anonymous said...

The PO forgot to mention that the FSS machines are unreliable, break down frequently, and routinely missort periodicals to the wrong address.

Anonymous said...

Finally a PMG with balls! After the Wall Street Journal lied about the postal service.... the USPS got some balls to stop giving them extra service.... that they weren't paying for.... IF they want overnight service try USPS Express Mail!

Anonymous said...

Good riddance. Dead tree dailies should be delivered by email. If you love to sniff soy-based glue, take a walk to your local 7-11. Or if you're my late great uncle, drive there blind in your SUV. (The SUV dealers of America thank you.)

I am a USPS customer and they provide great service. NO SYMPATHY FOR LEECHES RUNNING USPS INTO THE GROUND.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone notice that the FSS machines "have a longer processing window" than even MANUALLY sorted pieces??? I still maintain that these machines are one of--if not -- THE WORST abomination the USPS ever came up with! I"m not even mentioning what it does to the carrier who ends up with a fourth bundle on the street.

Anonymous said...

I run a FSS machine and when we tell management what mail is being shredded, they say if some of it goes, then run all of it. There is no customer service in the USPS anymore. It's still just a numbers game for management & there hasn't been a legitimate report in the 25 years I've been here. Why do we run 40 -50000 piece schemes on Sunday and run 3000 piece schemes the rest of the week?