The USPS needs to realize additional profits, but under the current Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 (PAEA) – H.R. 6407 (see Section 102 Postal Services) the USPS cannot perform nonpostal services. However, because of the current use of a barcode tracking system that includes a notification system, there is still a way to create an additional profit source that will also provide a much needed service to many residents of the United States
In the 1990s there was an unsolicited proposal for USPS to sell information about individuals who were changing from an old address to a new address by filing a change of address form. In 2011, Imagitas, Inc. renewed a 10-year contract to collect one dollar for processing and mailing an official-looking USPS envelope labeled MoverSource. This envelope includes a change of address verification form and an assortment of coupons from various paid advertisers.
USPS and Imagitas share revenue from the advertisers. To date, the USPS has received more than $300 million in revenue. “The recently signed MoverSource contract between USPS and Imagitas is a perfect example of the type of public-private partnership that creates jobs and raises revenue while requiring little, if any, government investment,” said Congressman Stephen Lynch, former Chairman of Congressional Subcommittee on Federal Workforce, Postal Service, and the District of Columbia during the 111th Congress. “I commend both parties on their commitment to saving costs and providing superior customer service by maintaining the MoverSource program.”
The United States Postal Service has 155 million total delivery points nationwide and the number of points will continue to increase under the Universal Service Obligation. To facilitate delivering mail to so many delivery points, new mobile delivery devices (MDDs) are providing real-time scanning for daily delivery operations. These MDDs are ruggedized GPS cell phones with text touch screens to receive specialized live instructions. This system also includes geo-fence technology to assist supervisors in monitoring delivery operations. Should a carrier deviate from his or her designated geographic zone during street delivery, an alert is sent to the supervisor in an email or text message.
Implementation was completed in 2015 and there are more than 263,000 MDDs in use nationwide. The contract with Honeywell to manufacture the MDD was for $500 million.
National deployment of Informed Visibility is scheduled for November 7th, 2016. This enterprise system will be a real-time, single source for all mail and mail aggregate information, leveraging data to provide business intelligence for USPS functional groups and the mailing industry, including end-to-end tracking of mail. In its descriptive material and literature, Informed Visibility utilizes terms such as “logical delivery events (LDE)”, “barcode scans”, and “predictive” when describing last mile delivery, the actual time of the delivery of mail from personal carriers placed inside a mailbox receptacle.
On March 21, 2016 Postmaster General and Chief Executive Officer of the Postal Service Megan J. Brennan described a postal digital strategy at the National Postal Forum in Nashville, TN. The strategy included a mail preview app called Informed Delivery. Every morning the service will email a mail recipient images of the daily last mile mail pieces. It has not been fully detailed how the USPS will generate revenue from Informed Delivery. Regardless, after a successful pilot test in the Northeastern United States the service is projected to roll nationwide in 2017.
Our Proposed Solution
Postal Notice desires to replicate the unsolicited proposal to the USPS and offer a patent-pending method requiring no additional equipment cost to notify recipients of regular mail delivered by the United States Postal Service that a delivery has been made to their mailboxes. The method involves auto-generated notifications triggered by the delivery of mail by a carrier already carrying a handheld device (MDD) which utilizes the U.S. Global Positioning System (GPS). Because the trigger is initiated from the automated geo-fence system, the method will not require additional mail carrier labor or labor hours.
In Canada (March 2015) a survey of 400 potential customers found that 42 percent of those questioned said ‘yes’ they wanted a notification device while 10 percent said they may be interested. In the United States (August 2016) a survey of 400 potential customers found that 24 percent of those polled said ‘Maybe – depending on cost’ while 28 percent said ‘yes.’
The United States would profit from a much smaller percentage of users. With only 10 percent of the US individual population each paying a monthly fee of three dollars for individuals and seven dollars for business customers, an approximate annual revenue well in excess of $500 million could be realized.
Postal Notice would operate as a public/private partnership. The benefit of the partnership would be consistent revenue for the USPS that is still allowable under Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 (PAEA) – H.R. 6407. The Postal Notice notification method is a considered a postal service not non-postal service because the USPS already receives partial revenue funds from the Tracking Number notification method on package deliveries..
In 1997 under President Clinton and Vice President Al Gore, the MoverSource Program was recognized and celebrated with a Hammer award by the National Partnership for Reinventing Government as an example of an innovative and unique public/private arrangement to improve upon an inherently governmental function. MoverSource continues to provide consistent revenue today with very little USPS participation.