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Industry Losing Confidence In Postal Management … Quad CEO Says USPS Failed To Foresee Volume Spikes That Led To Crippling Delays … Industry Lost “Untold Amounts In Terms Of Sales And Credibility”

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WASHINGTON, DC — February 24, 2021 — Joel Quadracci, CEO of Quad, Inc., the nation’s largest printer, told the House Committee on Oversight and Reform the USPS failed to foresee the spike in volumes over the holiday that have crippled mail service to this day.

“The Postal Service is on the precipice of losing another substantial tranche of volume. Processing and delivery of mail and packages imploded during and after the holiday “peak” season and have yet to recover fully. Christmas cards and packages were delivered weeks late; invoice delays caused payments to be missed, and remittances to be late. Additionally, retailers lost sales when advertisements through direct mail and catalogs missed their “in-home,” or usability dates which dramatically impacted business, ” Quadracci said, speaking on behalf of the Coalition for a 21st Century Postal Service.

“At many postal plants, incoming trucks of mail were delayed many hours and sometimes for several days, to the point of some plants being “embargoed” or temporarily blocked from any more incoming mail or packages. Newspapers coming to many post offices for delivery were simply turned away. Important notifications, some required by law to be in the mail, from banks, insurance companies, retailers, telecommunications and utilities companies, and more, were missed,” he said.

Click to Read Full Transcript of Quadracci Testimony

“From the industry’s perspective, there was a lack of transparency as to where USPS was struggling with staffing and other shortages. Had there been better communication by USPS as to the extent and locations facing these challenges, industry partners very well may have been able to shift volume to other processing plants better able to handle it and keep valuable mailings and marketing efforts on time for our clients, as well as smoothing out to some degree the stress on the postal system.

“While hindsight is 20/20, USPS needed to take even more aggressive actions than it did to ensure that its network could handle the foreseeable huge increase in package deliveries. The result was tremendous clogging and disruption of the network, with eroding confidence from the mailing and packaging industry, as well as the public. Other private sector package delivery companies, facing their own COVID challenges, effectively left it to USPS to deliver their excess parcels when their systems filled up, further straining the USPS network at a critical time for our industry.

“This foreseeable circumstance in light of the impacts of COVID led to crippling delays in the mail costing the industry untold amounts in terms of sales and credibility. The industry’s faith and confidence in the USPS to perform is critical; without that confidence, alternatives for mailers throughout our coalition will become more attractive out of necessity. And, unfortunately, the industry’s confidence in USPS has been shaken.

“The Postal Service is at a tipping point: with the impacts of COVID exacerbating the financial situation that has challenged the USPS for the last decade, there is an urgent need to act now. If the USPS goes down the path of intolerable rate increases and disruptive service reductions, the USPS and its stakeholders will be at Congress’ doorstep again before long with the Service in even worse shape than it is now,” he said.

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