2012's Top Mail Related Stories
Here are the Inspector General’s top 10 stories of 2012, or top 9 since number 10 is barely mail related:
10. Pitfalls of Sponsorship – The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency strips cycling legend Lance Armstrong of his seven Tour de France titles after accusing him of illegal doping while on the U.S. Postal Service team.
9. Sound as a Pound – Royal Mail positions itself for privatization after ending price controls, shifting its pension liability to the government, and earning a profit.
8. Regulatory Fireworks – The Postal Regulatory Commission approves a controversial and newspaper industry-opposed negotiated service agreement with Valassis and remands a portion of the Postal Service’s annual price increase, saying it ignored previous Commission orders.
7. A Vote for Election Mail – Direct mail still matters in politics. Election mail postage surged over $400 million as parties and politicians used mail to target their messages in contentious national and local elections.
6. Default This Year; Reform Next Year – The Postal Service defaults on two prefunding payments totaling $11.1 billion to the Retiree Health Benefits Fund. Lawmakers ready for a postal reform bill in the new Congress.
5. Terminator 2012: Rise of the Tablets, (Further) Decline of Print – Coincidence or not? Venerable publications, such as Newsweek and the Times Picayune newspaper, abandon or reduce their print editions, while the number of tablet owners doubled in the past year and reached 19 percent of adults.
4. Shrink to Fit – The Postal Service’s 5-year business plan calls for cutting costs by $20 billion through workforce reduction, consolidation of facilities, and elimination of Saturday delivery. In initial action, the Postal Service compromised and reduced hours at rural post offices rather than closing them and pushed back its plan to eliminate overnight delivery of First-Class Mail.
3. Postcards from the Edge – The Postal Service reaches its statutory borrowing limit of $15 billion for the first time ever and warned that it could run out of cash by October 2013, barring any significant action.
2. Brand Damage – Steady stream of bad news keeps the Postal Service in the news and threatens to hurt its brand, which could prove especially harmful as it reinvents its business model for the digital age.
1. Parcels are the New Letters – Same-day delivery trials by eBay and the Postal Service, the growth in parcel lockers, and the efforts of traditional brick-and-mortar powerhouse Wal-Mart to increase its online presence indicate a very bright future for packages.
(via Pushing the Envelope)