The fall mailing season is approaching and there is a bit of anxiety in the industry. Rates are going up – that’s not good, is it? And delivery performance was a touch…umm…subpar last year. Surely that’s getting better, right? Right?? We’ll see.
Last winter’s mailing meltdown was caused almost entirely by a flood of packages, and employee absences caused by COVID-19. In many facilities, mail was literally buried under mountains of packages that sometimes took months to dig out. There were too many packages, not enough room, and not enough people. The system simply fell apart. However…in Postal Quarter 1 (Oct – Dec) the Postal Service made money! They never do that! Just because they couldn’t deliver all those packages, doesn’t mean they can’t get paid for them.
So, the Postal Service has decided to realign its logistics networks to streamline handling and give packages their own separate path. Sort of. Gone are those pesky NDCs, replaced with STCs (Surface Transport Centers) for letters and flats, and RDCs (Regional Distribution Centers) for packages. And airplanes?! That is so 20th century. Virtually all letters and flats can travel by truck.
So how will all of this turn out? Our answer: Mail early and track your mail!
There are simply a lot of unknowns for this year’s mailing season. How will these new STCs work? They are new facilities, many of them operated by contractors. Packages, letters, and flats will still need to share space and resources at many local plants and delivery units. Attendance may still be affected by COVID-19 to some extent. It’s an unpredictable season.
In response to last winter’s postal performance, SnailWorks has added enhanced tray and container reporting so you can know where your mail is as it winds through the new postal landscape. This is the year you really need to know when your mail delivers and where it is in the postal system.