Going Postal?

Chief Executive (U.S.), April 2005 | Go to article overview

Going Postal?


"We need a healthy USPS . . . for the future."

Cathleen Black, president of Hearst Magazines and a member of the Mailing Industry CEO Council, discusses the private sector's role in keeping mail costs down.

How real is the danger of a significant postal rate increase?

The danger is verr real. A rate hike will impact a huge number of people. The $900 billion mailing industry encompasses 9 million jobs. About 85 percent of magazine circulation is via mail, so increases have an acute impact on my company's bottom line. A double-digit increase would be especially hard on any kind of struggling company or startup. A big increase also has a downward impact on volume, which will hurt the overall stability of the postal system.

[A rate increase] is a tax on every single American. Every American business relies on the postal system. We need a healthy USPS, not just for the next few years but for the future.

How do private sector partnerships benefit the Postal Service and its business partners?

Private sector partnerships let businesses do the parts of postal distribution that they can do more efficiently than USPS. The USPS will continue to do what they do best, which is deliver to every home in America. No one is talking about changing that. But as you go upstream in operations, private sector entities consolidate magazines at printers or at centralized consolidation centers and then drop-ship full truckloads close to the final destination for final processing by the USPS.

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