Category Archives: USPS Compliance Reporting

USPS To Require its Mail Contractors to Adopt Just-in-Time Style Delivery Services

Observations from the National Star Route Meeting in Las Vegas, Jan 19-20

The USPS announced a new cost savings initiative for Surface Transportation operations at the recent National Star Route Mail Contractor’s Association meeting on January 19-20. The USPS is under competitive pressure from UPS and FedEx and others, and needs to reduce operations costs while improving service. It currently spends $5 Billion on Surface Transportation, and intends to cut this by $1 Billion.  It also has an average service level (successful on-time delivery) of 92.5% and needs to improve this to 95%+.

The USPS is exploring a new Dynamic Route Optimization system that will allow it to be more flexible and responsive to demand, giving it the ability to consolidate and expand Highway Contract Routes (HCRs) based on real-time and projected service demand/volume. USPS is experimenting with this approach now, which requires the use of a Transportation Management System (TMS) through which mail freight will be managed and tracked, combined with expanding GPS reporting to every 15min (for most, or perhaps all, USPS delivery vehicles and trailers regardless of size) and enhanced with real-time supply chain visibility based on optimized routing, ETAs with traffic conditions and load status at origin / destination.

The USPS TMS would also include analytics that track the volume of mail traffic, and as it decreases the system would eliminate or consolidate HCRs into fewer routes to reduce costs. As the volume of mail increases, it could also dynamically expand HCRs and create new HCRs to cover the demand.

Mail Contractors that hold routes being consolidated and expanded wouldn’t see their overall contract structure change, but new routes would be put out for rapid bid to certified mail freight carriers. Contracts in general will be shifted to 2-year duration, with two 1-year extensions before requiring a re-bid.

The analytics component of the USPS TMS would also include performance monitoring. All mail facilities and contracted mail freight stops would be geo-fenced, and combined with GPS tracking will allow the USPS to track on-time performance for deliveries and contract compliance.

The USPS is conducting a pilot right now on one route, and expects to expand that pilot to a total of x8 routes going forward which will help the understand what kind of TMS system and what “best practices” to adopt. Ultimately the USPS hopes to implement this type of logistics practice across all their routes within the next few years.

This is a major change in the way National Star Route Mail Contractors conduct business, shifting them sharply towards a more demanding supply chain operations model and will require them to understand the ins and outs of using TMS systems, equipping all of their drivers and vehicles with GPS tracking and accountability tools, and adjusting to dynamic HCR process.

myGeoTracking has experience in every aspect of  this new way of doing business by the USPS, and is already supporting transportation and logistics companies with highly complex tracking, just-in-time analytics and reporting needs.  We look forward to working with both the USPS and the National Star Route Mail Contractor’s Association Members to help make this new initiative a success.

2016 – A Year of Change and Opportunities for USPS Carriers

myGeoTracking had the opportunity to speak at the recent Star Route Association for over the road USPS freight contractors in Memphis, TN. It was a very valuable chance to hear directly from members about their fleet management and contract management concerns, as well as hear from other industry experts on a wide range of issues, from new regulations to how weather predictions and oil prices will affect the transportation industry.

Amazon and Location Compliance for USPS Contracts

Now that the USPS has agreed to carry Amazon.com parcels 7 days a week there has been a tremendous package volume growth, putting additional demands on shipping facilities and Carriers.  These demands haven’t necessarily been reflected (yet) into more location compliance reporting requirements (aka logistics condition reporting), but the USPS has expressed interest in doing so. And while the USPS doesn’t require all Contracts to provide GPS location information, there is a growing awareness that if your company is tapped for a USPS contract audit, having a GPS location history trail can help you during the audit process.

Winter is Coming – Snow, Rain and Slush ahead

During the industry panel on fuel consumption and costs (happily predicted to stay flat through much of 2016 due to OPEC continuing high production to try and harm US oil fracking producers), the coming winter weather was discussed. A strong El Nino year and slightly higher temperatures in parts of the US will likely result in wetter-than-average conditions in the Southern Tier of the United States, from central and southern California, across Texas, to Florida, and up the East Coast to southern New England. Above-average precipitation is also favored in southeastern Alaska.  Drier-than-average conditions most likely for Hawaii, central and western Alaska, parts of the Pacific Northwest and northern Rockies, and for areas near the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley.

The impact of  heavier than normal rain and snow in effected area in terms of on-time rates can be mitigated to some extent by timely location and ETA reporting which allows transportation firms to better manage their loads and inform their customers about load status and on-time delays.    Ask your LCRS vendor whether they support logistics event alerts such as Geofenced arrive / depart, ETA, and basic check-call location alerts.

2016 – the Year of the Electronic Logging Device?

Star Route Association members were interested in understanding the impact of the long-awaited electronic logging device (ELD) final rule from the FMCSA. The ELD final rule has been released by the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and OMB approval is the last step before the final rule is published in the Federal Register. Once that happens the ELD ruling will be in effect carriers and truck operators will have two years to migrate to electronic logging devices.

Even though there are exemptions for the ruling, most notably the “short-haul” radius exemption that allows the use of a time card instead of a log-book for drivers operating within a 100 mile radius of their “normal work reporting location” and not exceeding 12 hours on-duty, many Association members expressed the opinion that they expected this exemption to be eliminated in the future and felt they had to plan for implementing ELD across all their vehicles and drivers. myGeoTracking will be positioned to help the Members with the mandate, which also positions them for logistics condition reporting for compliance requirements as well.