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Call for Postal Reform

July 2001
CHICAGO—John Campanelli, president of R.R. Donnelley Logistics, testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Government Reform recently that the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) must leverage its core competency in "last-mile" delivery and focus on becoming the gateway into the home and office.

R.R. Donnelley & Sons is among the commercial printers that is pushing for legislative reforms, which would "define a more tightly focused mission" for the USPS that sustains affordable, universal delivery by cutting costs and providing businesses better incentives for more efficient use of the system.

Campanelli testified that further rate increases—on top of the two implemented in less than a year—would undermine the long-term success of the USPS through a short-term attempt to boost revenues.

"The imposition of a sequence of serial rate increases that are several times the rate of inflation, at a time when every business in the country is going through a severe belt-tightening exercise, has the potential to do far more harm than good to the USPS' bottom line," he argues.

Among some of the changes Campanelli suggested:

* Offering discounts for worksharing, such as when mailers use more efficient containers or insert mail deeper into the system, that better reflect the cost savings generated.

* Re-examining rules governing sortation, containerization and acceptance scheduling to allow multiple classes of mail to be combined to achieve densities that are a precondition to drop-ship and presort discounts.

He noted that one measure proposed by the USPS—eliminating Saturday service—would work against its strength as the only delivery entity to provide regular Saturday delivery.
 

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