The Inspector General’s Top 10 Postal Stories of 2013

The office of the Postal Inspector General, a combination police agency/management consultancy for the Postal Service, today released its list of Top 10 Postal Stories of 2013. We present them in the same reverse-order, David Letterman manner as they appear on the agency’s blog. It’s a nod to the wry humor of Inspector General David Williams, but also a good way to put exigency at the bottom of a postal story for a change. (Click the links in parentheses to see Direct Marketing News coverage of these events.)

10. Clouds in the forecast. USPS is tapped to work the technology behind the Federal Cloud Credential Exchange (FCCX), which will allow citizens to use online passwords and credentials to gain access to government services. (“The Postal Service Hires a Cop to Bust Down the Digital Door”)

9. Droning it in. Amazon suggests it will use drones to deliver small packages. DHL says likewise. (“Bezos: Mad Genius or Budding Bond Villain?”)

8. Patent trolls. Litigation by non-practicing entities, if unchecked, could threaten to stymie wider adoption of the Intelligent Mail barcode (IMb). The approach could work to sidetrack augmented reality and near-field communications, as well. ( “Direct Marketers Look for Quick Passage of a Law to Curb Patent Trolls”)

7. Reality bites. Britain’s Royal Mail goes public, New Zealand Post moves to 3-day delivery, and Canada Post announces the end of to-the-door delivery by 2016. (“New Zealand Post to Move to 3-Day Delivery”)

6. Nay to 5-day. Meanwhile in the U.S., the Postal Board of Governors ices a plan to move to 5-day delivery in the summer of 2013. (“Postal Board Shelves 5-Day Delivery”)

5. Intelligence delayed. USPS’s requirement to implement full-service IMb is nixed by the Postal Regulatory Commission, which says the associated costs for mailers would violate the price cap. (“Mailers Applaud PRC’s Decision on Intelligent Mail Barcode”)

4. Growth spurt? Postal Service revenues increase by $800 million, its first bump in five years. Standard mail, packages, and international mail all rise with the tide. (“Postal Board Asks for Reform for Christmas”)

3. You say potato. USPS first changes the name of Parcel Post to Standard Post and then changes Express Mail to Priority Mail Express.  (“USPS Bolsters Priority Mail”)

2. Sunday drivers. The Postal Service inks an historic deal with Amazon to deliver packages on Sundays in some markets. (“USPS, Amazon Partner on Sunday Delivery”)

1. It’s the recession, stupid! The PRC awards USPS an exigency rate increase of 4.3%, but only until it recoups losses due to the Great Recession. (“The Demise of Direct Mail? PRC Approves 4.3% Exigent Increase”)

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