the daily news digest of the postal world since 1998


Neither snow nor rain … well, sometimes snow

The Bloomington Indiana Herald Times reports that letter carriers in that city were called in to deliver their routes on Sunday after a winter storm cancelled most deliveries on Saturday.

Letter carrier Josh Peterson climbed snow-covered steps up and down East Second Street on his way to stuffing mailbox after mailbox.

“I’ve never delivered mail on a Sunday,” said Peterson, a 6 1/2-year Postal Service veteran. “I enjoy having a day off, but I definitely want to make sure we’re getting everything out.”

Peterson was one of about 16 carriers delivering mail within Bloomington’s city limits. Some carriers were also out delivering mail to Monroe County’s rural communities.

The newspaper notes that while the USPS does deliver some packages on Sunday, especially during the holiday season, this was the first time in recent memory that carriers had delivered regular mail on a Sunday.

Read more: Neither snow nor rain … well, sometimes snow – HeraldTimesOnline: Local News.


In Alabama town, snail mail comes by boat

MAGNOLIA SPRINGS, Ala. – Neither rain, nor snow, nor the occasional alligator keeps Mark Lipscomb from completing his U.S. Postal Service rounds.

Read More


Video: Houston homeowner says postal worker threw Christmas package over fence

HOUSTON (KTRK) — A north Houston man is upset after his security camera captured a post office worker literally throwing his package into his yard.

Josh Smith came home from work Friday afternoon and the Dwight Howard shoes he’d ordered for a relative for Christmas were front and center on the sidewalk.

"Basically, I saw pieces of paper all across the yard," he said.

They looked almost ready to put on, except they were damaged.

Read more: Houston homeowner says postal worker threw Christmas package over fence |


Politicians somehow think ending Saturday mail delivery will help the federal budget

In a bizarre twist to the ongoing budget fiasco in Congress, several news outlets report that negotiators are seriously touting an end to Saturday mail delivery as part of a deal. None of the reports we’ve seen actually explain what the connection might be- since the USPS isn’t “on budget”, and doesn’t use tax dollars, savings due to service cuts wouldn’t have any impact on the federal budget. As usual, of course, Republican plans would target middle class workers for pay and benefit cuts. Here’s the uncritical, unquestioning report published by Bloomberg:

[Congressman Paul] Ryan has previously shared with Republican lawmakers ideas including increased premiums for pension plans backed by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. and a cut in Medicaid payments to hospitals. Lawmakers including Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, the top Republican on the Budget Committee, have floated a proposal to push some spending cuts into future years.

Another option being discussed is giving the U.S. Postal Service flexibility to reduce costs, according to an aide close to the talks, most notably by ending Saturday mail delivery.

It might have been nice if a reporter had pointed out the fact that reducing mail service doesn’t save the taxpayers anything- and that “reducing costs” means cutting salaries, thereby reducing the amount of money workers have available to spend (and pay taxes on).

Read more: Budget Talks Target One Year Deal as Lawmakers Protest – Bloomberg.


Video: Postal workers in Texas stick to routine amid wintry mix

The bone-chilling weather may be disrupting many people’s activities, but postal workers are still running their routes.

John McKay, who has worked for the post office for 36 years, is no stranger to extreme weather. He said letter carriers always focus on efficiency, and that is especially helpful in reducing the amount of time they are actually exposed to the cold.

McKay stressed clothing makes a big difference in helping to cope with dangerously low wind chill factors.

Read more: Postal workers stick to routine amid wintry mix | | FOX 34 News Lubbock, Texas.


FedEx Ground to Increase Rates by 4.9%

Fedex logoMEMPHIS, Tenn.–FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) will increase shipping rates for FedEx Ground and FedEx Home Delivery by an average of 4.9% effective January 6, 2014. FedEx SmartPost rates also will change.

Details of surcharge changes and new rates for FedEx Ground will be available at on December 6, 2013.

FedEx previously announced on Sept. 18, 2013 that it will increase shipping rates for FedEx Express by an average of 3.9% for U.S. domestic, U.S. export and U.S. import services also effective January 6, 2014.


Video: USPS Locates, Delivers Man's Remains To Brother

NEW YORK CBSNewYork — A Brooklyn man whose brother’s remains were lost by the U.S. Postal Service received some good news Thursday.

As CBS 2′s John Slattery reported, the cremated remains of Michael Schecter were located and finally delivered to his brother, Ken.

“Amazing,” Ken Schecter said. “A huge relief. I haven’t slept in days.”

Slattery was at Ken Schecter’s Coney Island home when a postal supervisor arrived with the package from Kennedy Airport.

Read more: U.S. Postal Service Locates, Delivers Man’s Remains To Brother « CBS New York.


NALC and USPS agree new MOU on CCA temporary assignments to other post offices

NALC-LOGONALC and the Postal Service have agreed on a new memorandum of understanding, Re: City Carrier Assistants – Temporary Assignments to Other Post Offices (M-01827), that defines the process for temporarily assigning city carrier assistants (CCAs) to other post offices.

The parties agree to the following regarding the temporary assignment of city carrier assistants (CCAs) outside their employing post office (installation) to another post office (installation):

1. CCAs will normally work in their employing post office but may be assigned to work in another post office in the local travel area (Handbook F-15, Section 7- within the same district on an occasional basis (the assignment may be for a partial day or several consecutive days, depending on local circumstances). Sunday CCA work assignments are not subject to the occasional basis limitation.

2. Temporary assignments must otherwise be consistent with the National Agreement (e.g. assigning CCAs to work outside their employing office may not violate Article 7.1.C.4 in the temporary office or the letter carrier paragraph in the employing office).

3. Management will schedule CCAs to work in other post offices in advance of the reporting date whenever practicable.

4. When the need arises to temporarily assign CCAs outside their employing post office, management will, to the extent practicable, use volunteer CCAs from the delivery unit providing assistance as long as the volunteers will be in a similar pay status (e.g. straight-time rate, regular overtime rate, penalty overtime rate). If sufficient volunteers are not found, CCAs from the delivery unit providing assistance will be temporarily assigned to the other installation in reverse relative standing order whenever practicable as long as the junior CCAs are in a similar pay status.

5. CCAs who are required or volunteer to work outside their employing office may receive payment for mileage for the difference between their residence and employing office provided the difference is greater (Handbook F-15, Section 7-

The procedures outlined above are effective on December 7, 2013; however, either party may terminate this agreement by providing 30 days written notice to the other party. This agreement is reached without prejudice to the position of either party in this or any other matter and may only be cited to enforce its terms.


Nickelodeon And USPS Team Up For SpongeBob Mailpants


NEW YORK, Dec. 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Today Nickelodeon and the United States Postal Service are launching “SpongeBob MailPants,” an educational letter-writing program that uses SpongeBob SquarePants to show kids the fun of writing, sending and receiving mail this holiday season. Now through Jan. 4, 2014, kids can get special postage-paid, customized SpongeBob postcards at more than 25,000 Post Office locations nationwide to connect with their loved ones using the U.S. Postal Service.

In addition to the postcards, 30 mailboxes are being wrapped in a custom SpongeBob design in cities, including Atlanta, GA; Boston, MA; Charlotte, NC; Chicago, IL; Dallas, TX; Hollywood, FL; Kirkwood, MO; Los Angeles, CA; Miami, FL; New York, NY; Orlando, FL; Philadelphia, PA; and Washington, DC, adding a blast of color and comedy to sidewalks this winter.

“This program is a great way to inspire kids to write and send cards and letters because it’s done with the fun, positivity and humor of the one and only SpongeBob SquarePants,” said Pam Kaufman, Chief Marketing Officer and President of Consumer Products for Nickelodeon. “SpongeBob MailPants is a terrific partnership between Nickelodeon and the Postal Service, and we’re thrilled that kids and families across the country can go to their local Post Office for some SpongeBob-inspired holiday cheer.”

“We’re excited to partner with Nickelodeon. This is a great, fun way to teach kids to write postcards. What better way to encourage kids to experience the excitement of sending personal correspondence than teaming up with SpongeBob, who is adored by children of all ages,” said Nagisa Manabe, Chief Marketing and Sales Officer at the United States Postal Service. “And the timing is perfect. A postcard is a terrific way to send a holiday thank you.”

Kids, parents, and teachers who want to learn more about letter writing and the “SpongeBob MailPants” program can visit to find the following:

  • A step-by-step, interactive video tutorial that guides kids through the process of writing a letter and provides printable practice sheets.
  • Customizable and printable SpongeBob stationery that will be updated with new imagery throughout the program.
  • Writing-themed SpongeBob video clips.

Since its launch in July 1999, SpongeBob SquarePants has emerged as a pop culture phenomenon.  The series has been the most-watched animated program with kids 2-11 for more than 12 consecutive years, and over the past several years, it has averaged more than 100 million total viewers every quarter across all Nickelodeon networks. As the most widely distributed property in Viacom history, SpongeBob is seen in more than 170 countries and translated into more than 35 languages. The character-driven cartoon chronicles the nautical and sometimes nonsensical adventures of SpongeBob, an incurable optimist and earnest sea sponge, and his undersea friends.

This partnership with the United States Postal Service was created by Nickelodeon’s New Business Development team, which brings family-influenced insights to the marketing community and delivers new, robust partnership solutions to clients.



Video: Sen. Tammy Baldwin talks postal reform at Quad/Graphics

MILWAUKEE (WITI) — Stamp prices are about to spike again, and while it’s a pain for the average person — it could be an even bigger problem for Wisconsin employers.

That’s why Sen. Tammy Baldwin is trying to rally support for a big change to the postal reform bill.

On Wednesday, December 4th, she met with leaders at Quad/Graphics — one of the biggest printers in the state.

They say if postage prices continue to climb, it’ll be the start of a chain reaction.

Read more: Sen. Tammy Baldwin talks postal reform at Quad/Graphics |