USPS Getting “Competitive” With Lightweight Parcels

Announced a few days ago through the Federal Register, the USPS has asked the Postal Regulatory Commission to transfer single-piece first class mail (lightweight parcels under one pound) from the Mail Classification Schedule’s Market-Dominant Product List to its Competitive Product List.

It’s a multi-part plan for the USPS to become more competitive in the lightweight parcel space.  Unlike Market-Dominant Products, the distinction of Competitive allows the USPS to fast-track rate changes and new product launches.  Rate changes of Market-Dominant products are subject to monopoly regulations and require extensive oversight and approval by the Postal Regulatory Commission.  The Competitive distinction gives the USPS more authority to set prices and establish service standards with less oversight of the PRC.

So what does this mean for USPS customers?  With less PRC oversight the USPS can respond to customer needs and market demands faster.  Specifically, the USPS can respond to growth segments lead by e-Commerce while utilizing existing USPS capacity.  In recent months, the USPS has moved surprisingly quickly launching several new products including Package Return Service, Cube Rate Parcels, and a handful of new Priority Mail packages, all aimed at capturing greater market share of small, lightweight parcels.  I will be writing more about these new products in the coming days and weeks.  Check back for more.

-Bob Makofsky at bmakofsky@conformer.com