July 6, 2010 — The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) strongly opposes the US Postal Service’s request for a rate increase. In its presentation today to business mail customers, the USPS said that mail volume declined by 36 billion pieces (or 17 percent) between 2007 and 2009. DMA strongly believes that a postal rate increase at this time will cause mail volumes to decrease even further, and irreparably harm the financial viability of the Postal Service going forward.
The Postal Service’s rate increase request proposes to raise rates an average of 5.6 percent, but in order to reach that average, the increase on some mailers will be dramatically higher. The proposed increase for small parcels, for example, is 23.3 percent, something that would devastating to many companies. A rate increase would force business mailers to look for alternative methods of communications.
These increases will hasten efforts by mailers to shift to other channels of communications.
DMA strongly questions the assumptions underlying the Postal Service’s request for a rate increase, namely that it will generate some $2.3 billion in new revenue over a 9 month period. In the period following the last rate increase in May 11, 2009, in the next year, mail volume decreased by an additional 5 percent (above the previous 13 percent) and DMA strongly believes that this new increase would have the same, if not more dramatic, effect, and drive away even more business mail, which accounts for some 85 percent of the Postal Service’s revenue.
DMA strongly supports a vibrant and fiscally sound Postal Service, and believes that there are many ways for the Postal Service to get its financial-house in order without an increase in postal rates. On many occasions, the Postmaster General has said that there is excess capacity in the system, and that there may be opportunities to downsize the system and the labor force. In addition, there are new product lines and business opportunities that the Postal Service can and should pursue, most of which were outlined in the Postal Service’s 21st Century presentation on March 2, 2010.
“We question the need for a rate increase at this time, and strongly believe that it will further damage the economic viability of the Postal Service,” said Linda Woolley, DMA’s executive vice president for government affairs. Woolley went on to say that, “the increase is not in the public interest, and ultimately, would have a devastating effect on any economic recovery since marketers rely heavily on mail to deliver offers, as well as products, to customers.”
The Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) has 90 days to review the USPS rate increase request. DMA will strongly oppose the request at the PRC, and make its views known before Congress.
To learn more about this important issue, please click here.
About Direct Marketing Association (DMA)
The Direct Marketing Association (www.the-dma.org) is the leading global trade association of businesses and nonprofit organizations using and supporting multichannel direct marketing tools and techniques. DMA advocates standards for responsible marketing, promotes relevance as the key to reaching consumers with desirable offers, and provides cutting-edge research, education, and networking opportunities to improve results throughout the end-to-end direct marketing process. Founded in 1917, DMA today represents companies from dozens of vertical industries in the US and 48 other nations, including nearly half of the Fortune 100 companies, as well as nonprofit organizations.
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