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Another Carrier Shot While Working After Dark

Another Carrier Shot While Working After Dark

Sadly another carrier has been shot – this one near Atlanta, Georgia: The U.S. Postal Inspection Service has offered a reward of up to $25,000 for information about the shooting…

Second suspect arrested in pre-Christmas attack on postal worker in Dorchester

 

 

Keyon Taylor, 21, of Boston was arrested at 1:18 a.m. on Blue Hill Avenue. He faces charges of kidnapping a federal employee, assault on a federal employee, and conspiracy, officials said.

Another suspect, Maurice Williams Miner-Gittens, 23, was arrested Wednesday and faces the same charges.

Both suspects are being detained, pending indictment by a grand jury in the next 30 days, according to the US attorney’s office.

Each faces up to life in prison on the kidnapping charge, up to 25 years on the assault charge, and five years on the conspiracy charge, said the US attorney’s office.

 

An Unlikely Star of the Holiday-Shipping Season: The U.S. Postal Service

Bloomberg BusinessWeek

December 30, 2013
Devin Leonard

There was a lot of post-Christmas discussion about how UPS (UPS) fumbled its last-minute holiday deliveries, and FedEx (FDX) apologized for some late-arriving packages, too. What went largely unmentioned, however, was that the stellar performance of the U.S. Postal Service.

The government-run competitor was swamped with parcels just like UPS and FedEx were, with holiday package volume 19 percent higher than the same period late year. But there were no widespread complaints about tardy deliveries by USPS.

The postal service attributes its success to meticulous planning. The agency says it noticed “higher than expected volume” in packages in early December and made adjustments to avoid delays, delivering packages on the three Sundays before Christmas in its busiest markets. Sue Brennan, a USPS spokeswoman, says this was in addition to regularly scheduled Sunday deliveries for Amazon (AMZN). The USPS also delivered 75,000 packages on Christmas Day.

Story: Why Did UPS Miss Christmas Deliveries?

The USPS and its private-sector rivals have different business models. Unlike the government-operated service, the two private companies have fleets of airplanes and are better known for urgent deliveries than the USPS is. That’s what apparently got them into trouble. According to CNN, UPS ended up needing to make more holiday season air shipments than it had anticipated. FedEx says 99 percent of its ground shipments arrived on schedule but hasn’t provided information about its airborne parcels, Bloomberg News reports.

Two things could happen as a result of UPS and FedEx’s difficulties: People might order  earlier next year so presents don’t have to be travel by plane, and big retailers such as  Amazon, a major UPS customer, might look for more ways to move packages on the ground. Either outcome will probably benefit USPS. The postal service may not be celebrated for speed, but when it comes to getting stuff to people on time in the holidays, the 238-year-old agency is tough to beat.

Video: USPS Clears Hike in Stamp Price

 

 

 

POSTAL FACTS: NALC President Fredric Rolando was quoted in a column on Friday in The Washington Post about our objections to Rep. Darrell Issa’s (R-CA) postal bill. Rolando was a guest on Thursday’s Ed Schultz radio show to talk about the latest developments following Wednesday’s mark-up of  Issa’s  bill. The mark-up sparked a flurry of news media interest in NALC’s take on it, and many NALC activists helped get the word out in key areas of the country. Also in POSTAL FACTS, NALC President Fredric Rolando’s op-ed in Investor’s Business Daily on July 23 informs both the public—it's read by lots of movers and shakers—and this influential media outlet itself. NALC Chief of Staff Jim Sauber’s comments close out this story for The Hill about  Issa’s  postal  bill and the Postal Service’s legislative situation. How letter carriers deal with this summer’s heat continues to draw the attention of the news media—for instance, in a story on Dayton, OH’s WDTN-TV. In POSTAL FACTS,    you can find many examples of how NALC leaders and activists are using the news media to spread the truth about the Postal Service’s financial situation. Click here to find out how the NALC Communications Department can help members keep both the public and our elected representatives informed.

 

 

Government Snooping Revelations Should Give The Postal Service

A Huge Opportunity

      

                         
Woman Mailing a Letter  

(Photo credit: SmithsonianInstitution)

For all the talk about the failures of the USPS, the latest revelations about government eavesdropping on our emails and telephone calls should be a big commercial for the benefits of physical mail and package delivery. The Post Office is uniquely positioned to exploit the opportunity.

Of course, it would help if Congress stopped trying to put it out of business. For years now, politicos of a certain ideological bent have been going after government services in general, and those with significant union populations in particular. They’ve legislated that the USPS must fully fund its entire retirement obligation, which is something it has obligated no other Federal agency to do (and few corporate retirement programs are similarly front-loaded).

                                      
                          

That fact aside, though, the USPS has been facing challenges from services that displace its business (email can effectively replace letters, magazine delivery, and junk mail) and competitors that often outdo it (FedEx FDX +1.07%, UPS). Many have suggested that its size and structure preclude it from operating fast enough, let alone innovating.

The surveillance issue is a gift from the Gods of Marketing, because it could allow the USPS to reposition its presumed weakeness as unique strengths and benefits. Here’s how:

Security. Short of being opened or read by some secret X-Ray machine, snailmail letters are far more secure than emails or phone calls. Correspondence can be certified as received and insured along the way, though regular mail is just as safe from prying eyes. I’d make a big deal out of this, even innovating a version of regular service — call it SecureMail, or something — that provides additional qualities that ensure confidentiality. Heck, why not start selling invisible ink or Enigma-like code machines?

Pricing. Having the choice of using a giant, lumbering public utility masquerading as a service provider means that the USPS helps keep market prices in check and, more so, can’t arbitrarily raise them. Just think about how ISPs have tinkering with different rates for different users. There’s a populism message here that’s very powerful and compelling; the USPS was invented early-on in our country’s history because our Founding Fathers saw the vital importance of a level playing-field on which commerce could be transacted. Where’s this heritage in today’s branding? Why isn’t every expenditure on sending a letter or package via the USPS understood as an investment in perpetuating this important infrastructure?

Reliability. I know, I know, you can’t depend on the Post Office like you can, say, FedEx. But that’s not really true, especially these days (and anecdotal stories aside), and it certainly isn’t the entire story. The USPS is required to deliver to any person in the U.S. regardless of location. Its competitors aren’t. So why not make this point boldly, almost as a dare to the industry to step up and service the greater good of the country? Oh yeah, its competitors only have to make money. Sounds like a competitive position that can’t be topped.

The privacy point is the most compelling positioning point, by far. The USPS should hit it bluntly and hard.

                 
 
 

 

 

 

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