Dave Partenheimer

Heather Fletcher is senior content editor with Target Marketing.

USPS “continues to twist in the wind” because Congress let the board of governors dwindle down to one appointed member without acting on any nominees, says Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) In the meantime, Carper’s introduced a bill to make a temporary 4.3 percent postal rate increase permanent.

Marketers who use Staples stores for their USPS needs may have to reroute to post offices after Aug. 17. That’s the day when the National Labor Relations Board will hear testimony from the USPS and one of its unions regarding the legality of the USPS outsourcing some mail processing to Staples — a practice the NLRB already says may be illegal.

E-commerce marketers and direct mailers won't be seeing price increases on April 26, the U.S. Postal Service announced on Friday. The organization says its board of governors decided to postpone the raises because implementing "piecemeal" rate changes would be unfair to customers, reads the statement requested by Target Marketing on Friday and emailed by Dave Partenheimer, USPS media relations manager.

Mail delivery slowed down yesterday and it's only expected to get worse. Starting now, the U.S. Postal Service is consolidating up to 82 of its mail processing facilities in an effort to save $2.1 billion this year. As a result, USPS expects a lot of First Class mail and periodicals not to be delivered overnight. Instead, they will arrive in two days, with pieces that normally arrive in two days now taking three. Standard Mail will continue to be delivered in three to 10 days within the contiguous United States and packages within two to eight, according to the Federal Register.

Three governors do not a U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors make, but it's good enough to keep the USPS running until there's a full board. That's the gist of comments from a USPS spokesman and the Federal Register, the federal government's daily newspaper. As of Dec. 8, the board lost its quorum because Congress failed to confirm board nominees. But ahead of time, the board ensured its remaining members would have the powers available to board members who need to keep the postal service running. Effective Nov. 14, the board created a "Temporary Emergency Committee" to "provide for continuity of operations," according to Tuesday's edition of the Federal Register. On Wednesday, Dead Tree Edition published a blog post titled "Legal Trick Means No Postage Increase—For Now."

Quite the quandary is shaping up for the U.S. Postal Service, which may affect direct (and all) mail service. Friday afternoon's 15-minute meeting may have been the last gathering of the USPS Board of Governors for the foreseeable future. The Senate needs to confirm nominees by today or board quorums will be impossible, USPS Media Relations Manager Dave Partenheimer tells Target Marketing.

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