Capitol Presort Celebrates 10 Year Anniversary

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013 | Capitol Presort in the News, News | Comments Off on Capitol Presort Celebrates 10 Year Anniversary

To our Customers:

On September 8, 2003, Capitol Presort first began it’s operations. In forming this company, our goal was to provide the best possible service at a reasonable price.  As many of you know, we opened our doors with no clients and not a single piece of mail in the facility. Today, we have grown to be one of the largest presort companies within Pennsylvania and the Mid Atlantic Region.  As we celebrate our 10 year anniversary, we would like to thank our customers and employees for helping us reach this milestone.  We have been extremely fortunate to build so many great relationships and have countless memorable experiences over these 10 years.

We also want to thank the United States Postal Service for the wonderful business relationship we have developed with them over these 10 years. They have worked with us from the start and have contributed to the success of our company.

We are looking forward to the next 10 years and will continue to provide outstanding presort services for current and future customers.

Thank you for your business!
The Management Team at Capitol Presort Services LLC

Capitol Presort President discusses move to a new facility

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012 | Capitol Presort in the News, News | Comments Off on Capitol Presort President discusses move to a new facility

Dear Customers,

I wanted to inform you that Capitol Presort has moved its operations to a new location in Harrisburg. We are now operating in a 50,000 square foot, air conditioned facility which is just a few blocks from our old building and the USPS facility in Harrisburg. This new location allows us to have both our letter and flat sorting operations under one roof. We believe this will provide efficiencies which will allow us to provide even greater service to our customers.  Our new facility will also provide the space which will permit Capitol Presort to add new machines to accommodate future growth in our business which we expect in the near future. For your information, the new address is: 1400 Hagy Way, Harrisburg, PA 17110.  The telephone and fax numbers remain the same.

We are pleased with this change and we look forward to continuing to provide our customers with best service in the industry.

 

Sincerely,

James Lauer, President
Capitol Presort Services LLC

List of Winter 2013 Network Rationalization Consolidations Available Online

Monday, November 19th, 2012 | News, United States Post Office | Comments Off on List of Winter 2013 Network Rationalization Consolidations Available Online

The Postal Service is proceeding with its two-phased plan to consolidate its network of mail processing locations.  Some phase one consolidation activities were completed in July and August 2012.  Additional phase one consolidations will begin in January 2013. The second phase of these consolidation efforts is planned for 2014.

A list of the postal facilities currently scheduled for consolidation in Winter 2013 has been posted on the Information for Mailers web page athttp://about.usps.com/news/facility-studies/welcome.htm.  It is also available at https://ribbs.usps.gov/importantupdates/NRWinter2013.xls.

The Winter 2013 Network Rationalization Consolidations list will be updated every Friday to reflect changes in operational planning, and make sure you are kept informed as they occur.  The list may be modified if warranted by operational feasibility considerations.

The Winter 2013 list includes 10 facility consolidations continued from Summer 2012, along with 71 other facility consolidations.  Fifteen (15) of the facility consolidations originally planned for Winter 2013 will be postponed until 2014, as will 11 facility consolidations that would otherwise have been continuations from Summer 2012.  Nine (9) consolidations had previously been advanced to 2012 from the original 2013 list.

Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe delivers the 2012 National Postal Forum keynote address.

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012 | United States Post Office | Comments Off on Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe delivers the 2012 National Postal Forum keynote address.

SPECIAL EDITION

‘TRANSFORMATIVE POWER’

PMG TOUTS IMPORTANCE OF INNOVATION AND TECHNOLOGY

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Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe delivers the 2012 National Postal Forum keynote address.

In a keynote address to open the National Postal Forum today, PMG Pat Donahoe discussed the transformative power of technology and innovation in the mailing industry.

Speaking at the nation’s largest annual gathering for the mailing industry, Donahoe described a technology and data-centric mailing industry poised to benefit from innovations to increase the value of mail for both senders and receivers.

“As an industry, we have to retain what differentiates mail and physical delivery, and bring it into the future,” said the PMG. “It’s astonishing how much is changing in the ways people communicate. Mail has to be a part of these changes.”

Donahoe described a rapidly evolving technology landscape that is changing the ways businesses and people are communicating. “We have to look at potential changes in technology and think about how to use those technologies to enhance the positive characteristics of mail,” he said. “The same goes for the Postal Service. We have to take the best attributes of the Postal Service and bring it into the future.”

The PMG also advanced themes relating to the Postal Service as a national delivery platform, and of using technology and innovation to help extend the platform and provide growth opportunities for the mailing industry and America’s businesses.

“Where we start is with the idea of delivery. That’s the core function of the Postal Service. We deliver what you create. And if we can expand our delivery platform beyond what it is today, we can provide you with even greater opportunities,” said Donahoe.

The PMG discussed the four core business strategies of the Postal Service: strengthening the business to consumer channel; improving the customer experience; growing the package business; and continuing to become leaner, faster and smarter as an organization.

“We have left nothing off of the table in terms of rethinking how we perform our core function of delivering,” said Donahoe. “The best way forward is to embrace the potential of change. As an industry, and as individual businesses, we need to think about the rewards of a more dynamic future.”

The National Postal Forum continues through Wednesday in Orlando, FL.

 

New Postal Service Pricing Announced

Friday, January 14th, 2011 | Postage Regulations | Comments Off on New Postal Service Pricing Announced

Postmaster General Reaches Out to Business Mailers

WASHINGTON — Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe today signaled a new direction in continuing to improve customer relations within the mailing industry by consulting with industry representatives on the effective date for new prices and by relaxing some guidelines on implementing Intelligent Mail services.

“Working together as an industry we can address continuing economic challenges in a way that allows the Postal Service to generate much needed revenue while being more responsive to ongoing customer needs,” Donahoe said.

The Postal Service filed new mailing service prices with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC). Price increases are limited to the Consumer price Index (CPI) cap of 1.7 percent, consistent with the Postal Law of 2006. Actual percentage price increases for various products and services will vary. It has been nearly two years since the last increase.

After consulting with key industry association representatives, the new prices would become effective on April 17, giving the mailing community more than 90 days to make the necessary technology and system changes to accurately handle the new prices.

“We heard concerns that we were moving too fast on discontinuing POSTNET coding, and we will continue to offer the automation prices for mail with POSTNET barcodes beyond May 2011,” Donahoe said.

Donahoe emphasized the value of the Intelligent Mail barcode (IMb) to Mailers and reiterating the Postal Service commitment to implementing the IMb. To date, more than 41 billion pieces of mail have been processed using the IMb.

Recognizing ongoing industry concerns with challenges associated with implementing the IMb, Donahoe announced that mailers can continue to use POSTNET barcodes to qualify for automation discounts. The POSTNET code was to sunset this May to enable broad adoption and use of the IMb. There will be no Full Service Address Change Service (ACS) charges.

Single-piece, 1-ounce First-Class letters will remain 44 cents with additional ounces increased to 20 cents. The price for mailing a postcard will increase one cent. The overall increase is capped at 1.741 percent — at or below the rate of inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index. More detailed pricing information will be available later today online at www.usps.com/prices. Today’s announcement does not affect Express Mail and Priority Mail prices.

Prices for other mailing services, including Standard Mail, Periodicals, Package Services, and Extra Services, also will change. Business mailers will see price increases in a variety of categories.

Summary of Percentage Changes by Product Category
Product % Change
First-Class Mail
Single-piece Letters & Cards 0.5
Flats 5.3
Parcels 3.8
Presort Letters & Cards 1.8
International (Outbound and Inbound) 4.0
Standard Mail
Letters 1.8
Flats 0.8
Carrier Route Letters, Flats, and Parcels 1.4
High Density / Saturation Letters 0.6
High Density / Saturation Flats and Parcels 0.4
Parcels (NFM’s / Parcels) 11.3
Periodicals
Outside County 1.8
Inside County 1.1

The proposed price changes are expected to generate $340 million for the balance of the fiscal year and $720 million if implemented for a 12-month period.

In July 2010, the Postal Service filed an exigent price proposal that was rejected by the Postal Regulatory Commission in September. The Postal Service filed an appeal of that decision with the United States Court of appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in November and awaits a decision.

The urgency of the Postal Service’s current financial challenges requires this price change even as it waits for a decision from the federal courts on the exigent case.

The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses, and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

The Big Postal Hike is Dead, But Rates Could Jump Up to 2 Percent Next Year

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010 | Postage Regulations | Comments Off on The Big Postal Hike is Dead, But Rates Could Jump Up to 2 Percent Next Year

Question is not if, but when.

by MATT KINSMAN at FolioMag.com

Last week the magazine industry celebrated the Postal Regulatory Commission’s unanimous decision to deny the United States Postal Service’s attempt to break its existing CPI cap and raise rates for periodical mailers by 8 percent and First-Class mail stamps to 46 cents.

It was a huge win for periodicals mailers-many of whom would have been drive out of business by such a hike. But the fact remains that the industry is still likely to see a postal rate increase within the cap, and possibly (although unlikely) renewed efforts by the USPS to float the 8 percent rate hike again. The question is whether the increase comes earlier in the year-in which case the jump will be relatively small-or later in the year, in which case the rate hike could be larger.

“The USPS is still allowed to raise rates up to the CPI cap without approval from the PRC,” wrote Making Magazines president Terry Coate Jr. in a blog. “The CPI is expected to be in the area of 2.5 percent. . .Expect a rate increase of 2.5 percent and be pleasantly surprised if it doesn’t happen.”

Not so fast, says Jim Cregan, executive vice president for government affairs at MPA. “Our economists tell us it could be in the neighborhood of 1.5 percent if the postal service were to move quickly and do it in first few calendar months of 2011. If they decide to wait until May, the increase could be a little higher. The economists seem to agree that range would be 1.5 percent to 1.8 percent with a maximum increase of 2 percent, with the way inflation is running.”

“Keep in mind that USPS did not implement a CPI-based increase this year, so it has more than a year’s worth of admittedly modest CPI increase in the bank,” adds David Straus, American Business Media’s Washington counsel and postal expert.

There is a slight chance the USPS could even refile the case. “They could try presenting the case in a different way to convince the commission to bust the cap,” says Cregan. “However, the consensus of opinion that is they will exercise their authority under the cap sometime in early 2011.”

PRC RULING ON PRICE FILING

Thursday, October 7th, 2010 | News, Postage Regulations | Comments Off on PRC RULING ON PRICE FILING

POSTMASTER GENERAL ISSUES STATEMENT

Here is the statement of Postmaster General John Potter on today’s Postal Regulatory Commission ruling:

We are disappointed to learn that the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) has denied our price filing. But we are encouraged by their acknowledgment and understanding of the larger financial risk we face through the mandated prefunding of Retiree Health Benefits.

Clearly, the Postal Service is a viable business. Maintaining that status requires elimination of several legislatively-imposed constraints that hamper our ability to operate efficiently and profitably.

Specifically: 1) enable us to alter frequency of delivery consistent with use of the mail; 2) allow us to close unprofitable post offices; 3) restructure our obligation under a 2006 law to prefund retiree health benefits, an obligation not applicable to any other private or government entity; 4) permit us to create and offer products and services beyond mail; 5) assure that arbitrators consider the financial health of the Postal Service when agreement cannot be reached with our labor unions; and 6) resolve overfunding of our pension systems. Legislation has been introduced in Congress to address these issues.

We will need to take a much closer look at the ruling from the PRC in order to make an informed decision about what options we have and what may be the best course of action for our customers, our employees, our stakeholders and the American public.

The Postal Service ends the current fiscal year with approximately $2 billion cash and available credit, meeting all our end-of-year financial obligations, including a $5.5 billion payment to the Retiree Health Benefit Fund as required by law.

As we have stated repeatedly throughout the year, the Postal Service sought a deferral of this $5.5 billion payment to minimize the risk of defaulting on our financial obligations in Fiscal Year 2011. Unfortunately, no legislative action has been taken at this time.

The financial risk remains. We will carefully manage every dollar we spend in the upcoming fiscal year. Our current forecast shows that we will not have sufficient cash to make the $5.5 billion payment due on Sept. 30, 2011, and any major disruption, whether in volume loss or unforeseen circumstances, could cause us to default on financial obligations earlier in FY11.

In the midst of financial and regulatory challenges, the Postal Service achieved record productivity gains in 2010 and a reduction of over 100,000 career employees and cost savings of over $10 billion during the last three years.

As always, service to our customers remains our number one priority. No financial challenge or uncertainty will change that. We will continue to work with Congress and our stakeholders to implement necessary changes to ensure a viable Postal Service for decades to come.

John E. Potter
Postmaster General of the United States
CEO of the U.S. Postal Service

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Business Journal Features Capitol Presort

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009 | Capitol Presort in the News | Comments Off on Business Journal Features Capitol Presort

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Engaging ways: Collaborative approach was exactly the sort of thing the U.S. post office needed

The mail goes through these days partly because the U.S. Postal Service has teamed up with people like Philip Gray and Mark Dennin.

Gray, vice president and general manager, and Dennin, vice president of sales, are two-thirds of the founding management of Capitol Presort, a bulk-mail-sorting company across from the Harrisburg Post Office on Crooked Hill Road. James Lauer, the firm’s chief executive officer, lives in California but spends a week a month at the business

Capitol Presort is a great example of a collaborative approach to business problem-solving and customer service. It shows what can be gained when a government agency like the U.S. Postal Service takes an overall (systems) view of its needs that includes outside partners.

There were “presort mailing” companies before 1990 that sorted bulk mail manually for customers and delivered it to post offices. The National Association of Presort Mailers was incorporated in 1985. But in 1990, as mail volumes kept growing, the Postal Service launched a “worksharing” program with automation discounts for mailers who could assemble and sort big mailings, barcode them and deliver them to post offices ready-to-go. The alternative was to seek massive funding for new facilities and personnel and drive up postal rates.

Worksharing gave rise to a host of regional presorting companies. Gray once worked for the Harrisburg Post Office. He and Dennin were employees of Jetsort in Baltimore when they decided that Harrisburg and Central Pennsylvania presented an opportunity for a new presort company. Today, Gray and Dennin estimate that presort mailers handle 60 percent of the nation’s mail.

Capitol Presort was launched in 2003 with five employees (including the three founders). Sixteen thousand square feet of space was fortuitously available in a block-long warehouse building owned by Unique Limousine at 1900 Crooked Hill Road. Loaded mail carts could practically be rolled across the street to the post office.

Capitol Presort now has 35 employees, three shifts, six leased trucks and vans, a training supervisor, salaries ranging from $9 to $15 an hour, shift differentials and partially paid health benefits.

“Giving back to employees means a lot to me,” Gray says. “As sophisticated as our equipment is, if we don’t have good employees, it doesn’t work.”

Gray, a former Postal Service supervisor, is a bulk-mail impresario. As pre-stamped mail from customers is combined for processing, he sets up runs past Capitol Presort’s three Bell & Howell optical character readers. Those amazing machines verify the addresses from a USPS database of every mailing address in the country and spray bar codes on the envelopes at a rate of 36,000 pieces per hour. The mail whizzes by the readers into 128 ZIP code sorting bins. Second or third passes are necessary for finer sorting.

Packed in trays, the sorted mail is delivered across the street deep into the post office’s incoming mail stream, where little additional handling is required. Gray and Dennin envision processing 160 million to 175 million pieces of mail this year.

Just as Capitol Presort partners with the post office, it works in close association with its customers. The aim is to aggregate as much pre-stamped and addressed mail as possible in the sizes currently eligible for automation discounts – envelopes no larger than six and one-eighth by eleven and a half inches, and up to a quarter-inch thick and three ounces in weight.

Capitol Presort offers three levels of discounts and can reduce a customer’s first-class postage to 29.3 cents, a savings of $97 per 1,000 pieces of mail before a processing fee. Dennin hunts up bulk-mail in a sector from the Philadelphia suburbs to Baltimore. The firm’s customers include banking and financial firms, hospitals and health insurers, colleges, printers and direct-mail companies.

Robert L. Dawson, president and CEO of HealthAmerica and Health Assurance, says Capital Presort’s help in lowering the company’s postal costs resulted in almost $60,000 in savings last year.

Doug Bedell and Phil Landesberg are Central Pennsylvania-based communication and business consultants. Contact them at dougb@paonline.com or phil_landesberg@comcast.net.

Capitol Presort will pick up mail from anyone who averages 1,500 pieces of mail or more a day, as well as from smaller customers. It advises customers on complying with USPS’ voluminous mailing regulations and encourages them to attend meetings of the postal service’s Postal Customer Councils and the National Postal Forum in Arlington, Va.

The USPS worksharing program is an example of how a large government agency can partner with small businesses to accomplish mutual aims. Companies such as Capitol Presort gain an edge by working closely with customers to better meet their needs.

Using a presort company can save businesses money on their mailing costs though, in general, businesses should be careful before outsourcing business services based on cost considerations alone. There may be “hidden costs” and other factors to consider.

With worksharing and automation discounts, however, USPS has developed a system that eases pressure on postal rates, lowers costs for big mailers and provides opportunities for companies like Capitol Presort that excel in assembling big batches of mail, spraying them with bar codes and trundling them over to the post office.

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