Last week, members from throughout the mailing industry came together in Phoenix for the National Postal Forum (NPF). This was the first in-person conference since 2019. Tension was happy to be, once again, face to face with our customers and fellow industry members, as well as to hear from Postmaster General Louis DeJoy.
NPF typically kicks off with a bang, in which the PMG and other USPS executives deliver an inspiring opening keynote, recounting the previous year’s successes and outlining plans for the coming year. Additionally, local talent typically entertains the crowd with a meaningful performance.
This year was no exception. Before speakers from the USPS took the stage, attendees were treated to a special hoop-dancing performance from world-renowned Native American artist Tony Duncan. This was an amazing cultural representation of the beautiful Southwest region and entertained the full house in attendance at the opening address.
Next, Judy de Torok, Vice President of Corporate Affairs, introduced Postmaster General Louis DeJoy. The Postmaster spoke to the long-term goals set in place for the Postal Service, including the ten-year plan introduced in spring of 2021, Delivering for America.
Delivering for America
DeJoy spoke of the changes that the leadership team are implementing at the USPS – big changes that affect the entire operation. “New organizational strategy and new operational strategy. New demands of the whole organization,” he said. “The dramatic changes we are making to position the Postal Service for the future.” Other, subsequent executive sessions dived deeper into many of the organizational and operational changes.
Elements of the Postal Service’s major transformation, supported by the recently passed Postal Reform Act of 2022, can be found in the Delivering for America plan. With the USPS management team, and in consultation with the Board of Governors, the USPS developed the plan to improve the future of the Postal Service.
DeJoy spoke to the key elements of the Delivering for America plan, including:
- Delivering mail and packages to each American household and business six and seven days a week in a reliable and affordable manner
- Establishing easily accessible USPS retail centers in every community
- Building a modern processing and transportation network with technology-enabled carriers and new vehicles
- Having postmasters serve as leaders of commerce in their local communities
- Being a preferred employer with a stable and vibrant workforce with established career paths
- Operating with precision and covering the organization’s costs
DeJoy acknowledged these changes are big. He expressed little doubt, however, about his ability to lead the Postal Service into a bright future, saying, “None of it is going to be easy – for any of us, especially in the short term. The lift is big, and its success will take some time to manifest.” DeJoy went on to say that “we are engaging the situation with greater enthusiasm and growing confidence. We have, and will continue to, overcome the challenges we face.”
Driving the Future of the USPS
Promising to get “further, faster,” DeJoy touted the Postal Reform bill’s inclusion of a six-day delivery week as a primary foundation for future success. Furthermore, he said that the USPS’s new fleet of vehicles would be designed with packages in mind, and they would be deployed fully loaded and with efficient routes. The USPS has an initial $2.98 billion order for Next Generation Delivery Vehicles (NGDV) with Oshkosh Defense. The first order is for 50,000 vehicles, 10,019 of which will be battery electric vehicles (BEVs). The USPS displayed one of the new NGDV prototypes on the floor of its booth.
Internal Improvements to Support the 10-Year Plan
DeJoy boasted that the Delivering for America plan will ensure that Postal Service evolves but without becoming a burden to the American taxpayer. By executing on this plan, DeJoy estimates that it will reverse $160 billion in projected losses over the next 10 years.
The internal improvements detailed in the 10-year plan are already in motion and were further highlighted in other executive sessions. The goals included several high-level financial objectives and improvements to the USPS’ service reliability. Postal facilities, technology and other infrastructure will see an improvement as the USPS plans to invest $40 billion dollars in these areas of concern.
These adjustments have already made an impact on performance. DeJoy said the USPS had an excellent peak season and has improved market-dominant service scores to 94%. Another key figure shared by DeJoy shows that mail is delivered on average in 2.4 days.
DeJoy rounded out his first NPF keynote address by pledging that the USPS is working hard to be the high-performing organization that the industry needs and expects. He went on to encourage everyone to read the 10-year plan.
At Tension, we found NPF once again set the stage for the USPS to share its plans and enthusiasm with industry cohorts.
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