Congratulations to Louis DeJoy– The New Postmaster General
Today marks the beginning of a new phase of leadership at the post office. USPS has been more essential than ever through the last few weeks, and we as direct mail marketers appreciate them every day.
Louis DeJoy has been an industry leader in public and private companies providing supply chain logistics, program management and transportation support. His acceptance of this position is timely as many different stressors are affecting the United States Postal Service. From the economic concerns stemming from Covid-19 to the rise of parcel fulfillment in an age of e-commerce, there are a number of challenges ahead. We at Milestone wish you the best of luck to you and your team.
From USPS' news release, we've learned the The Postal Service Board of Governors considered over 200 candidates before deciding on Mr. DeJoy. “Louis DeJoy understands the critical public service role of the United States Postal Service, and the urgent need to strengthen it for future generations,” said Robert M. “Mike” Duncan, chair of the Board of Governors. “The board appreciated Louis’ depth of knowledge on the important issues facing the Postal Service and his desire to work with all of our stakeholders on preserving and protecting this essential institution.”
Mr. DeJoy will be facing some daunting tasks including a major debt problem. By 2009, the Government Accountability Office, Congress’s nonpartisan watchdog agency, determined that the Postal Service’s business model was not sustainable. The debt it carried jumped from $7 billion in 2008 to $10 billion in 2009. Now, the situation is much more dire as obligations to pre-pay retirement benefits have accumulated. At the end of 2019, the GAO calculated that the Postal Service had $160.9 billion in debt, $119.3 billion of which came from retiree benefits.
It used to be a 'Fun Fact' that the post office was self sustaining, but that has not been true since the 2008 recession. The profits and losses hit the worst moment in 2012, and the situation became concerning. The post office is a part of the executive branch while still technically being independent, yet it's saddled with obligations like the retirement pre-payments that other agencies do not have to deal with. Balancing the budget might just be one step though, as the bigger issues are related to the technology and societal changes.
As direct mail marketers, we know we're doing our part to keep their business flowing. Milestone Marketing sends out over one million pieces of mail a week. But receiving offers and notifications isn't going to keep the whole machine afloat though. So once again, we wish Louis DeJoy the best of luck, and from what I can tell he's got a good head on his shoulders and the experience to get the job down. We'll be tracking USPS updates as they pertain to Direct Marketing, so keep following for more important information.