Updated: Oct 17
Consistent postal hikes have persistently plagued the mailing industry, with the sixth increase in three years anticipated for January 2024. ACMA's Postal Committee Chair, Deborah Damore, highlighted how these biannual postal rate increases impact the industry during her HVDMA webinar on October 10th. If you missed it, you can view the replay to get caught up on all things postal.
The ACMA (American Catalog Mailers Association) has been pushing back hard on this with, among others, US Postal Service officials, Postal Regulatory Commission commissioners and Congress, but the costs to do this with maximum effect go way beyond the funding we get from member dues. So we’re seeking help among non-members with donations to our Postal Action Fund (click here for details). Please review this blog and consider lending your support.
The ACMA’s advocacy for e-commerce/direct/catalog merchants and their suppliers is almost always ongoing. We reach goals, but with them often come new challenges. We played a pivotal role in the enactment of the Postal Service Reform Act in 2022. But as with any such bills, it was full of compromises needed to get it passed into law. So, while the result was better than nothing, the law contained some compromises leading to new hurdles.
Much of our work unfolds behind the scenes. We often propel changes laying the groundwork for initiatives with indirect involvement. For instance, recent meetings between ACMA members and influential postal decision makers serve as a testament to our unpublicized involvement in shaping industry dynamics.
We have had unprecedented success in getting favorable outcomes to this industry; there’s no other entity out there doing this on your behalf.
On September 5th, ACMA members met with officials from the Postal Regulatory Commission to delineate the immense damages caused by the recent run of biannual rate hikes. Another meeting convened the following day with top-ranking US Postal Service officials, in which we advocated for stakeholder involvement in plan designs for the USPS’s forthcoming Marketing Mail and Carrier Route Flats promotion.
Unfortunately, current postal management has stopped consulting the mailing industry, a drawback compounded by unreasonable threshold requirements for the postal incentives, thereby inhibiting ACMA members from reaping benefits. That said, a top USPS official said the agency is open to potential proposals about a “catalog rate” in the future. ACMA is continuing this work with USPS.
On September 27th, ACMA filed a Motion with the Postal Regulatory Commission a waiver of the rule mandating a minimum 2-percentage-point increase for non-compensatory products in compensatory classes, namely, Marketing Mail Carrier Route, a significant portion of catalog mail. Then on October 6th, the USPS has since submitted comments in support of this request.
Postal Rate Increase Future Actions:
Given the detrimental consequences of incessant rate surges, the ACMA Board is debating various ways of challenging the current postal rate changing system. We also hope to mitigate the rapid regression of mail usage by following up the September meeting with postal officials so future promotional incentives can be more fully used by our membership. We also intend to enlighten the Postal Regulatory Commission about the present predicament through alliances with other mailing entities.
Exploring options that guide us towards a more sustainable policy direction concerning all traditional mail corresponds with these future pursuits as well. As our journey continues, we urge you to support these endeavors, helping us to pave the way for a smoother postal industry for all.
Talk to Us:
Most HVDMA members and companies have clients directly impacted by the current postal climate, be they users of catalogs, direct mail, postcards or other formats. As their circulation ebbs, so will your business from them. So please reach out to the ACMA (contact Paul Miller firstname.lastname@example.org and/or 800-509-9514) and pledge your support for our Postal Action Fund.
Equally important, please share your location with us to assist in connecting you with your Congressional representatives. The potential harm of job loss resulting from a decrease in business due to rising postage costs is a significant concern that often resonates on Capitol Hill.