Insights from the National Postal Forum

The National Postal Forum was held in San Diego early last month. This is one of our biggest shows of the year. I think the crowds by our booth were ample evidence of the shift we’ve seen in the focus of the show over the past few years. When we started attending, the show was definitely about direct mail, now people are interested in the shipping sector, one of the real growth areas for the Postal Service.

That shift was echoed in Postmaster General and CEO, Patrick Donahoe’s keynote address where competing for package business was one of the four strategies that the USPS will be using to shape their actions for the coming year. In the section of the address outlining upcoming improvements to the package business, Donahoe mentioned a focus on simplifying returns and a new Forever Flat Rate product.

He addressed initiatives to perfect delivery, create simpler tools and products, and to improve tracking and visibility. Parcel mailers are beginning to reap the harvest of these technologies in both tracking and assurance of delivery that competes effectively with their competition and we expect to see those benefits grow.

At the Association of Priority Mail Users (APMU) annual luncheon this year, USPS Vice President of Product Information, Jim Cochrane gave the keynote address, proclaiming that internally, they no longer use the term “confirmation”, but now speak of “tracking”. You’ve probably noticed this change in the text on shipping labels. This represents a major shift from less than a decade ago before the USPS had equipped carriers with scanners and outfitted processing equipment with scanning equipment.

For us, the biggest buzz around the booth was around the new iABOL Amazon label printing application we created with our partners at ABOL and a new printing app that enabled us to print shipping labels from iPads right in the booth. Beyond the booth, we were excited to be involved in several panels and presentations on the new Intelligent Mail Barcode, changing trends in international shipping and multi-location shipping among others. It was great to have a chance to meet so many current and potential partners and customers. Thanks to all who stopped by our booth and attended our presentations. We can’t wait for next year.

For more news and tips, check out our FedEx vs. UPS vs. USPS shipping rates comparison page.

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