USPS Q&A: What Does the Future Hold?
Direct marketers want to know what the U.S. Postal Service plans to do to survive and, hopefully, to thrive in an environment that's increasingly more supportive of its package delivery services than its traditional workhorse, First Class mail.
So Target Marketing interviewed USPS Sales VP Cliff Rucker. He answered all but one question on Tuesday, and delayed answering "Will you raise rates on last-mile services for FedEx and UPS?" until an undisclosed later date.
Delaying the answer to that question falls in line with a Sept. 23 tweet from @DeadTreeEdition, "If you're budgeting postal rates for 2015, get out the Ouija board." The tweet leads readers to a Sept. 22 Dead Tree Edition blog post titled "Postal Rates in 2015 Could Rise or Fall—or Do Both."
So far, FedEx appears to be the only major player in the package delivery space to announce a rate change for 2015. FedEx will increase rates by 4.9 percent on Jan. 5. UPS, which may also raise its rates at the beginning of the year, had no announcements listed on its site. Earlier this year, however, UPS did say new dimensional charges will hit on New Year's Day.
Links are included in the article below, where applicable, to address Rucker's comments about, for instance, Sunday delivery. USPS is partnering with Amazon for many of its new initiatives, including Sunday and daily grocery deliveries. His comment about mobile delivery devices meshes with how USPS carriers are using a postal service iPhone app to track AmazonFresh deliveries in the test city, San Francisco.
Target Marketing: What are your plans, going forward, to preserve USPS competitiveness?
Cliff Rucker: The Postal Service is currently enabling a smarter delivery system through technology investments that include geo-fencing—creating a digital address—for every delivery location in America, and providing letter carriers with greatly enhanced mobile delivery devices. These investments provide better delivery accuracy and visibility, and enable enhanced product and delivery offerings—such as package redirect, improved tracking and text alerts.