5/31/01 - On Wednesday, May 23, members of ABM's Circulation, Production and Postal Committees were given a glimpse into the future of postal processing and rates by Anita Bizzotto, USPS Vice President for Pricing and Product Services, and Ralph Moden, Manager of Operations Planning.
At the lunch meeting held at the Union League Club in New York, Moden explained the changes to the processing of flat-shaped mail that have already been implemented and that led to the reduction from the 15 percent increase filed by the Postal Service in last year's rate case. He then outlined the Postal Service's evolving plans for bringing to flats the same type of "delivery point sequencing" that has greatly enhanced the efficiency with which the Postal Service processes letter mail. Unfortunately, he said, these advancements will not take place before 2004. Until then, both the Postal Service and mailers must continue to focus on such matters as reducing bundle breakage and maximizing full use of the Postal Service's automation capability.
Bizzotto, whose responsibility covers all rates as well as acceptance and qualification issues, previewed some of the changes to Periodicals rates that are likely to be part of the next rate case (although she would not say when that will be). As the first of what could well be a series of steps to encourage "worksharing" and palletization in place of sacks, the Postal Service will increase the incentives for drop shipping Periodicals to a Destination Delivery Unit or a Destination Sectional Center Facility. It will also introduce a new discount for entry at a Destination ADC. She encouraged ABM to re-think the merits of a fully zoned editorial pound rate, but suggested that without full industry concurrence, the next filing will retain the current flat rate.
The meeting included question and answer sessions with the speakers and remarks from ABM?s Postal Counsel, David Straus, who warned of the hazards we may face in the next postal rate case. He also described the results of the mailing data collection and analysis that we have just received from our consultants. All ABM members will receive a report on those results.
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