Tag Archives: USPS

USPS Driverless Test Rest Run

BEBDATA USPS DRIVERLESS TEST RUNLast year, the US Postal Service entered into a contract with self-driving truck startup TuSimple to haul mail between Dallas and Phoenix. Founder, Xiaodi Hou says that this USPS pilot gives them fuel to help validate their system and expedite the technological development and commercialization progress.

TuSimple completed five round trips between May 28 and June 10 of 2019 while a safety engineer and licensed driver ride along in the cab. Its Level 4 self-driving system (see below for self-driving categories defined), uses 8 cameras to detect cars, pedestrians, and other obstacles over one-half a mile away, even in inclement weather.

TuSimple’s camera-based system allows it to achieve three centimeter (1.18 inch) precision for truck positioning even in inclement weather and tunnels with real-time decision making. By keeping aware of traffic flow ahead, trucks are able to maintain a given speed more consistently than human drivers which can cut fuel consumption by as much as 15%.

The USPS has been interested in self-driving technology for a long time. In 2017, a report published by the Inspector General detailed plans to add semi-autonomous mail trucks to its fleet as early as 2025. Placed into service on 28,000 rural routes, they would free up about 310,000 postal workers to sort and deliver packages.

TuSimple has R&D labs in San Diego and test facilities in Tuscon. It expected to close out 2019 with a 200-truck fleet in the US and a 300-truck fleet in China, making it the largest self-driving truck solutions company in the world.

Later the same year, TuSimple operated several self-driving trucks for 22 hours each along the I-10, I-20, and I-30 corridors through Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. It says freight along the I-10 corridor accounts for 60% of the US’s total economic activity. It expects its semi-autonomous trucks to be a frequent sight along that route in the months ahead.

Self-Driving Systems are categorized by five-levels:

Level 1- Driver Assistance-Under specific conditions, the car controls either the steering or the vehicle speed, but not both simultaneously. The driver performs all other aspects of driving and has full responsibility for monitoring the road and taking over if the assistance system fails to act appropriately. Cruise control is Level 1

Level 2- Partial Automation- The car can steer, accelerate, and brake only in certain circumstances. Maneuvers such as responding to traffic signals or changing lanes largely fall to the driver, as well as scanning for hazards.

Level 3- Conditional Automation-The car is able to manage most aspects of driving, including monitoring the environment. The system prompts the driver to intervene when it encounters a scenario it can’t navigate. The driver must be available to take over at any time.

Level 4 -High Automation-The vehicle can operate without human input or oversight but only under select conditions defined by factors such as road type or geographic area. In a shared car restricted to a defined area, there may not be any. But in a privately owned Level 4 car, the driver might manage all driving duties on surface streets then become a passenger as the car enters a highway.

Level 5- Full Automation-The vehicle can operate on any road and in any conditions a human driver could negotiate.

2016 Postal Rate Cards Are Here

2016- BEB POSTAL GUIDE for linkedinBack in 2014, the USPS submitted an emergency rate increase (also known as an exigent rate case) to help raise $4.6 billion of lost revenue.  Congress approved it with the stipulation that once the lost revenue was recuperated, prices had to go back to the previously approved rates from May of 2015.   The money has been recaptured and postage rates will DECREASE effective April 10, 2016.  A first-class stamp will cost 47 cents, down from its current 49-cent price.

A digital version of our handy BEBdata Postal Guide with the new rates is attached below.

As our economy slows down and companies tighten their belts; the rate decrease offers (much needed) relief to marketing budgets.  Be sure to take advantage of the discounted rates while they last.  Step up your direct mail and be sure to mirror your direct marketing on your social sites for that extra boost.

Postal rate changes are based on the CPI (Consumer Price Index) which will most likely justify a rate increase in January of 2017.   Don’t let this unusual opportunity to mail for less pass you by.

2016-04 RATE DECREASE BEB POSTAL GUIDE

If you would like to receive a FREE printed copy of the 2016 BEB Postal Guide (printed on 8.5 X 11 Card Stock), click here.

USPS Rate Hike Approved

2015-05-31 RATE HIKE BABYAfter three tries, the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) finally approved the proposed prices and classifications for Standard Mail, Periodicals, and Package Services yesterday.

The new pricing and classification changes for all market-dominant mail classes and competitive products take effect on May 31, 2015.   Below are the new rates:

2015-05-31 POSTAL RATES Standard & First Class 2015-05-31 POSTAL RATES NON PROFITWould you like a 2015 BEB POSTAL RATE CARD?  These cards are double sided with nonprofit rates on one side, and for profit Standard & First-Class rates on the other.  They also include handy dimension minimums/maximums and other mailing requirements.  Printed on sturdy card stock and measuring at 9″ high X 8″ wide, these cards are excellent reference material and they are FREE!  If you would like one mailed to you, click here.

USPS RATE HIKE REMANDED AGAIN

POSTAL POOCH RATE HIKE REMANDED AGAIN 1Two weeks ago the Postal Regulatory Commission sent the Postal Service’s rate and classification proposals for Periodicals, Standard Mail, and Package Services back for corrections and amendment. Last week the revised proposed rates were resubmitted, and for a second time, the PRC remanded the rate case stating the Postal Service has not complied fully with applicable statutory and regulatory requirements. Once the rate proposal is updated, the PRC will allow 7-days for public comment. In a statement released last week, the PRC also noted; “The Postal Service states that the revised prices are scheduled to go into effect on April 26, 2015. … Pursuant to [statute], no rate shall take effect until 45 days after the Postal Service files a notice specifying that rate.”

Our good friend and postal expert, Leo Raymond of Epicomm wrote; “Though I’m not a lawyer, that last sentence seems to sink the Postal Service’s plans for an April 26 implementation date — at least for Periodicals, Standard Mail, and Package Services. (The proposed rates and classification changes for First-Class Mail, and competitive products were approved earlier, and there’s no legal reason why implementation of those rates would have to be delayed, though implementing them separately would be a major headache for mailing companies and their software providers.)”
If the USPS HQ can update and resubmit by Monday, and allowing for the seven days for comment, add another few days for the PRC to deliberate, and assuming it doesn’t remand the filing a third time, it’s reasonable to not expect an order on final rates in April. This means that it is possible that the 45-day clock won’t start until the date of the PRC order putting rate implementation (for the three classes involved at least) into mid-May.

We’ll keep you posted as things unfold.

PRC Approves Rate Hike effective Apr 26

2015 POSTAL RATE HIKE

The Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) has issued orders approving some of the price changes proposed earlier by the Postal Service. After its review of the USPS filing, discussion of the input from commenters, and its own analysis, the PRC found that “the planned” prices for First-Class Mail do not violate the price cap.

The PRC has also approved the price increase for competitive products (proposed on January 26), except for some rates associated with products whose transfer from “market dominant” to “competitive” remain under review.

Rate increases will take effect on April 26, 2015. You can view the new rates by clicking below:

STANDARD NONPROFIT LETTERS AND FLATS

STANDARD LETTERS AND FLAT | FIRST CLASS LETTERS & POSTCARDS

USPS Files Market Dominant Price Change

BLOG WITH BEB 2015-01-15 USPS Postal Rate Increase RequestToday the U.S. Postal Service filed a request with the PRC (Postal Regulatory Commission) for a rate adjustment (1.966%) based on the CPI (Consumer Price Index). The request for increase applies to only “market-dominant products”, which includes Standard Mail, the primary postage used for marketing through the USPS.
The USPS has requested that the increase take effect on April 26 and estimates that it will generate an additional $900 million on an annualized basis. The USPS estimates that an additional $400 million will be contributed to the fiscal year 2015, if the PRC agrees to meet the proposed implementation date.
The case also includes a separate pricing structure for Standard Mail run through the Flats Sequencing System. The request removes FSS pricing for carrier route, high density, or high density plus categories. Instead, a five-digit carrier route pallet rate will be created. An estimated 2.465% rate increase is predicted for Standard Flats.
Forever stamps will remain unchanged (49 cents), International letters will increase to $1.20 (a 5 cent increase), and postcard rates increase to 35 cents (a 1 cent rate hike).
We will keep you abreast of the outcome of this filing as it becomes available.

How much did my postage rates go up?!

HOW MUCH IS MY POSTAGE GOING UP 2Effective January 26, 2014; postage rates increased.  Check out he details of the rate hike by clicking onto a rate category below to see comparison charts.

Standard Letter Rates

Standard Flat Rates

First Class