The Headache Of Lost Mail

How much mail do you think is lost by the USPS every year?

It’s a tough statistic to nail down, and nearly impossible if you’re looking for a reliable number. Most lost mail that can’t be delivered or returned to the original sender ends up at the Mail Recovery Center in Atlanta, essential a “lost and found” headquarters for mail and parcels.

The employees at the Mail Recovery Center certainly have their work cut out for them. They’re in charge of doing anything they can to determine where each individual piece of mail is supposed to be. Mail and packages are scanned and sometimes opened in the hope of finding address information so the item can make its way where it belongs. Anything that doesn’t have an owner, in the end, is recycled, donated, or auctioned off.

With millions of pieces of mail being handled daily, it isn’t surprising that the occasional piece of mail is going to be lost. Overall though, there a few key reasons why mail ends up getting lost.

~ Incorrect Address

~ Shipping Label is Damaged

~ Shipping Label Falls off

~ Recipient Didn’t Update Their Address

~ Address Can’t Be Read

For the most part, these issues are something the sender of the mail or parcel can control. For USPS employees working in retail operations, you can reduce the amount of lost mail by reminding customers of these potential issues. We understand that you’re busy, but taking the time to do this can cut down on a lot of headaches for both you and the customers.

But if you do find yourself in a situation where a customer’s mail has gone missing, it is important to provide that customer with excellent customer service. Explain in detail how a customer can find their missing mail without laying the blame on them. This is even more important with parcels, as customers have a variety of courier options and could stop utilizing the USPS if they find the services to not work for them.

Take the time to listen to customer concerns and assure them that their concerns are being taken seriously. Don’t make customers jump through hoops to get answers. If you’ve been to the official USPS Facebook account lately, you’ll see there are a lot of angry complaints in the comments. Do what you can to reduce those complaints by offering excellent customer service to every single person.

Do your part to cut down on lost mail with excellent customer service, attention to detail, and the right pre-inked Postal stamps!

Comments Off on The Headache Of Lost Mail

The Postal Service – Amazon – Trump Events, Explained

There has been a lot of news regarding the U.S. Postal Service, Amazon, and Trump in the past couple of weeks. Today we’re breaking down exactly what is going on.

Amazon

The Postal Service has more than one company that it gives deep discounts to when it comes to shipping prices, but it is true that Amazon has an agreement with the Postal Service. Under this agreement Amazon delivers many packages to the USPS, and the USPS delivers the packages on the last leg of their journey.

These contracts must cover all of the costs of the Postal Service. Regulators have approved the contract with Amazon, which means the Postal Service is not losing money by working with Amazon in this way.

Amazon handles a large portion of the delivery of its packages itself. Packages are sorted by zip code and carrier route before being dropped off, so the USPS is only handling a small portion of the work when it comes to these deliveries, making it more cost efficient than it may at first appear.

The Postal Service

Trump’s claims that the Postal Service is losing a lot of money are not incorrect. They reported a loss of 1.8 billion in 2017 compared to 2016. This is due to a number of factors, including the decline in First-Class and Marketing mail volumes. The obligation to pre-fund retirement benefits has also had a huge impact in the USPS’ revenue.

The Postal Service was losing money before Amazon became such a big contender in the packaging business. While there certainly has to be an overhaul in postal reform, Amazon is far from the only contributing factor in the loss of USPS profits.

Trump

Trump claims that the USPS should be making more money off Amazon, and they certainly could. USPS is charging below market rate for parcel delivery, not even accounting for whatever discounts they give to Amazon. With how much business the USPS garners from Amazon, surely they could be making more money with a shallower discount.

But Trump is incorrect in saying that the Postal Service is losing money because of this deal with Amazon, simply because the law states that any contracts with the USPS must at least break even. Beyond that, Amazon brings in a lot of consistent business for the USPS.

Trump’s Task Force

Trump has issued an order demanding that the Postal Service’s finances be evaluated, following his many tweets regarding the USPS and Amazon. This task force will be used to examine the USPS’ finances, including the Postal Service’s operations.

Investigations by this task force will include many parts of the USPS business model, including parts of their business plans that involve companies such as Amazon.

Trump insists that there needs to be action to make the USPS profitable again. There have been no details about when this task force will be created or when changes may be implemented.

So What Does It All Mean?

While all this finger pointing may seem childish, this task force could actually be great for the Post Office. Studying the USPS financial situation can bring about great solutions that can help the USPS.

Technology simply means there is less first-class mail, and with the requirement to pre-fund benefits the USPS is going to struggle to operate in the black. The rise in e-commerce has helped some, but not fully. Hopefully this task force can find problems that can be solved down the line.

In the short term, however, very little, if anything, is likely to change when it comes to day-to-day operations.

Comments Off on The Postal Service – Amazon – Trump Events, Explained

Everything You Need to Know About Dog Bites

You’ve of course been warned about the danger of dog bites while on the job, but since National Dog Bite Awareness Week has just passed, we thought we’d give you some facts and tips about dealing with dogs.

The first thing to remember while you’re out working is that any dog is capable of biting. Maybe it’s a tiny, furry puppy, a large, angry dog, or a dog that has been friendly with you before. Never forget that any dog can bite, and so be wary whenever you see dogs on your route.

The next thing to keep in mind is that no matter the injury, it needs to be reported and you need to be checked out. Maybe the dog barely nicked your skin, and maybe it actually attacked you. No matter the case, you have to be safe and get the bite looked at. Thousands of people are bitten by dogs each year, though luckily only a small amount of those people die because of it. Be safe, and get the bite checked if you get one.

Of course the goal is to not get any dog bites, so how do you do this? Well you’ll want to stay away from any dogs you see. Be aware. Listen for any unusual growling. Keep an eye on fences in yards. Even dogs on leashes can be dangerous so be sure to be cautious.

If a dog does start to approach, stay still and quiet. Running away or yelling is only going to rile the dog up. Back away slowly and keep an eye on the dog to see if it follows. If it attacks, your best defense is to fend it off with your mail satchel. Keep it between you and the dog as much as you can. You can of course use dog repellant, but try to get the bag in front of you first. It gives more protection in case you miss the dog.

And if the dog does get you on the ground, protect your head and neck. Curling into a ball gives the dog less places to bite.

Don’t forget that if you feel threatened by a dog on a property, you do not have to deliver the mail to said property. The owner of the dog can pick up mail at the post office until it is guaranteed the dog is kept somewhere where it cannot attack. If the dog is regularly unleashed, you can even stop delivering to the area altogether. Your safety is your top priority.

6,755 postal employees were attacked by dogs this year. That number has continued to rise throughout the years, making it even more important now to stay vigilant.  If you’re still worried about dog bites, check to see if there’s any training in your area, or ask your supervisor and other letter carriers for additional tips.

If you want something with you in case of an attack, check out our letter carrier safety products on our website!

Comments Off on Everything You Need to Know About Dog Bites

Ice Safety

Winter isn’t quite over yet, and as temperatures start to warm up you may actually start to see more ice while on your route due to freezing rain. Slipping and falling can cause serious injury, especially if you fall on stairs or while on the road. We have some tips that will help you stay safe while trekking across ice.

Wear the appropriate footwear for ice. This may mean investing in the right shoes, or paying for ice cleats for extra safety while walking. If the soles or heels of your shoes are smooth, you need new ones for icy conditions.

Stick to sidewalks. It’s not uncommon to take shortcuts across lawns, but doing so when there’s snow and ice can lead to injury. You have no way of knowing what obstacles, including ice, are hidden under the snow.

Watch where you are stepping, not the mail. Being distracted for a few seconds can result in a painful fall.

If you are walking on ice, take short, small steps and move slowly, almost like you are shuffling. If you’re moving too fast it’s easy to lose your balance and have your foot slip out from under you.

Walk so you’re slightly bent forward, and try to keep your center of gravity as fully on your feet as possible.

Always hold on to a railing if one is available when climbing stairs. It will keep you steady on your way up.

Be careful when exiting or entering your vehicle. Use the car as support when you step either in or out.

Watch out for black ice. Any surface that appears wet can be black ice during the winter months, so approach with caution.

Follow these tips to stay as safe as possible during winter!

Comments Off on Ice Safety

Stay Visible, Stay Safe

Fall is here, which means the sun is rising later and setting sooner. Many of you may be done with your routes and other work by the time that happens, but not all of you. When you factor in weather conditions such as fog and rain, particularly combined with these sunrise and sunset times, you may realize that at times you will be difficult to see.

Whether you’re in a parking lot or on a route, it is important that you are seen at all times. A lack of visibility can lead to any number of accidents. Keeping items with you that can be easily put on and utilized to keep you visible is extremely important. Luckily MyPostalUniforms.com has a large amount of these items to choose from.

n1031014Now the first safety item you probably think of that keeps you visible would be reflective vests, and for good reason. There are a few different options when it comes to vests. You may choose to go with a more standard route vest. These come in both blue and orange with reflective strips on the front and back. The orange vests are particularly likely to stand out. Mix that with the reflective strips and you aren’t likely to be missed. There are additional vests you may choose to invest in, only these are made in navy blue. The reflective strips for these vests are horizontal instead of vertical, across the front and back. If you want something a bit more customized, our printed safety vests are perfect for you. These vests are printed with the USPS logo as well as the title of the employee. This makes you both easy to see and identify.

n1030395Do vests seem like a bit much to you? Safety gloves are a good option to try instead. They not only keep the water and wind off your hands, they make you easy to spot. The bright yellow really stands out in the rain and dark. They may not be efficient with warmer weather, so you may want to invest in other safety materials as well.

n1030383Maybe you do live somewhere that is cold and you want to keep warm. A high visibility sweatshirt is perfect for you. These sweatshirts are warm, making them great for those cool, fall days. They come in either bright yellow or orange. This alone will help you stand out, but the sweatshirt also is designed with silver reflective tape to help you be even more visible.

n1017661If all of this sounds too cumbersome for you we have a small and simple solution. Reflectors for carriers are small and lightweight. They can be clipped on a pocket or postal bag as they are needed. You can choose either a red or blue reflector depending on your taste. These are less visible than vests of course, but they can be kept with you with almost no trouble and easily clip on and off.

All of these items are designed to make you easy to spot in inclement weather and the dark. These items are also non-reimbursable so you will have to use some of your own money for them, but your safety is worth it. If you have any questions about what items may work best for you, give us a call at 1-800-229-4500.

Comments Off on Stay Visible, Stay Safe

Top Tips for Sun Protection

n1013803

One of the biggest concerns for outdoor workers in the summer is their exposure to the sun. The sun provides many excellent benefits, including vitamin D. But it also can cause many adverse side effects, both short and long term. That’s why it is extremely important to stay safe from the sun, and we’re here to give you some tips on how.

 

  • The top tip we have that you’ve likely heard many times is to make sure you wear sunscreen. You’ll want to make sure you use SPF 15 or higher to protect yourself from most of the sun’s rays. Make sure you cover all of your exposed skin. This includes your face and neck. And do not forget to reapply sunscreen. Your skin uses up the active ingredients, so new sunscreen should be applied every two hours.
  • Wear protective clothing. Where your hair parts can get sunburned, too! A hat not only protects your head, but can help with your neck and eyes. Sunglasses are also key to sun protection. While pants and long sleeves are a good defense, they are often not feasible in the hot summer sun.
  • Try to keep to the shade. Letter carriers in particular are very likely to be outdoors when the sun’s rays are at their strongest. Since this cannot be avoided, keep to the shade for some extra protection.
  • Pay extra attention if you work near water or sand. The sun reflects off these surfaces which can cause further damage to your skin. You may need to reapply sunscreen more often.
  • Take note of the UV index. Most weather websites will post the UV index. You can use this to plan your day. A higher UV index means higher damage likely from the sun, while a lower UV index means minor damage.

Sun protection is something that should be taken very seriously. Keep a close eye on your skin for any changes and report them to your doctor. Keep sunscreen with you while you’re working. MyPostalUniforms.com offers several options when it comes to sunscreen. Our sunscreen towelettes contain non-greasy sunscreen that is perspiration resistant. Each towelette covers commonly exposed areas of an average-sized adult. This item is portable and lightweight. The sunscreen dispenser system can be mounted at facilities and used on the way to a route.

Stay safe out there!

Comments Off on Top Tips for Sun Protection

Stay Cool with Summer Uniforms

Summer is underway, which means hot sun and hot temperatures, leading to hot working conditions. While there’s not much you can do about the temperatures themselves, you can outfit yourself in uniform items that will keep you as cool as possible. Today we’re going to break down the contents of our Summer Postal Uniforms category.

N1029381_1_1When it comes to keeping cool, having the right postal shirt is very important. Of course, you’ll want to go with something that has short sleeves to get more air. You may choose to go with a more traditional postal shirt, or you may opt for the more comfortable knit postal shirt. No matter what you choose, make sure it has short sleeves!

N1026593cNext, you’ll need to consider if you want to opt for pants, shorts, or the popular culottes. We advise you to steer clear of pants in the summer months, as that will trap heat around your legs. You can find multiple styles of shorts to suit your needs on our website. Our culottes are a great way to make your uniform a bit more classy while still having the same great benefits of shorts.

N1028849Another consideration is if you want to wear a hat. We highly recommend this. Hats keep the sun off your head and neck, which will have a significant impact on how hot or cool you are feeling. There are several styles to choose from. Choosing a postal hat that is made with breathable fabric or some sort of ventilation is ideal, as it will not only keep the sun off but allow for some air flow.

N1021885cWe also encourage you to take a look at our non-reimbursable summer accessories. You’ll have to pay for these out of pocket, but the benefits of these items are worth it. We’re going to highlight just a couple for you. Our neck cooling wrap can be submerged in cold water or chilled in the freezer. This will give you up to 72 hours of relief from the heat. Similarly, our bandanna can be worn under a hat after being soaked in water to keep you cool. Use these items to stay extra cool on extra hot days.

When it comes to the uniforms that will keep you cool, these are the best of the best. This doesn’t cover general tips for staying cool during the summer. Check back early next month for all our tips for looking after yourself, both inside and outside of your vehicle, during the hotter months. Stay cool and stay safe out there!

Comments Off on Stay Cool with Summer Uniforms

Retail Uniforms

We talk a lot about letter carriers on this blog, but that doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate window clerks too. Today we’re going to discuss the uniform items you need when you work in retail operations. Your uniform is just as important as any other USPS employees’!

N1029425_a_pThe first part of your uniform is the shirt. You may choose to go with a standard window clerk shirt, made of polyester and cotton. This crisp shirt looks professional and comes in both long and short sleeved options. You can get some great extra features with these shirts, such as the hidden pencil compartment in the pocket! If you’re looking for something a bit different, the polo shirts are for you. They’re less sleek, but more comfortable. It’s up to you to decide which way you want to go.

The next choice you have to make is between pants, skirts, or skorts. N1027272We’ll start with the pants. Our window clerk pants are 100% polyester with a tailored, pleated front. They’re professional and easy to work in. The skirt has a plain waistband and features a front kick pleat, allowing for fluid movement. It even has pockets! If you’re uneasy about wearing a skit to work but love the look, try a skort. You’ll get the same look as a skirt with the comfort of shorts.

N1026560dWhat about those chilly winter months? Window clerk sweaters are the answer! They feature a button down front with space for your name badge. The sweaters are made from Jacquard knit so you can say toasty warm even on the coldest of days. Pair it with one of your favorite window clerk shirts for a professional look.

While that covers the basics, what about accessories? We offer N1026608accessories that are both reimbursable and non-reimbursable. You can check out each category for details, but we offer items such as neckwear, belts, hair accessories, pins, lanyards, and much more! Dress up your uniform a bit with these fun extras!

You can find all these items on MyPostalUniforms.com. There’s more options than you would think when it comes to window clerk uniforms!

Comments Off on Retail Uniforms

Beat the Rain

pexels-photo-largeSpring is a popular time of year. The temperatures are rising and everything is starting to bloom. The downside to all this is that spring often comes with a lot of rain. Letter carriers have to deal with this rain on a regular basis. It can seem impossible to keep the mail, and yourself, dry.

While there’s no foolproof method to keeping dry in the rain, there are things you can do that will help.

Dress for the weather. This is by far your best defense against the rain. Your first line of defense should be a high quality rain coat. This can be a parka, a jacket, a coat…whatever it is you need to keep dry. If you want to stay as a dry as possible, go for waterproof over water resistant. When choosing one make sure you read the details, as you’ll want a coat that is breathable to prevent you from getting too warm. To keep properly dry you’ll also want to invest in some waterproof pants. These can be worn over your normal pants to keep your legs nice and dry.

And don’t forget about your feet. It’s hard to be comfortable when your feet are soaked through. There’s a few options to choose from here. You may decide to go for rubber boots, a classic item to help you stay dry. If you love your current postal shoes though, you may instead invest in rubber overshoes to fit over your comfortable work shoes. For a final line of defense, go for some waterproof socks in case water manages to get past your shoes.

You may also choose to invest in a hat or disposable raincoats for unexpected showers. These are also great ways to keep dry on the job.

Protect the mail. Yes, some of the mail is going to get wet. This is N1026533inevitable. This doesn’t mean you should disregard the mail completely. Make the effort to keep the mail you are delivering as dry as possible. This can be particularly difficult if you have a walking route. You might choose to attempt using an umbrella while on your route, but this can be challenging while on the job. Keep the flap on your satchel over the mail as you walk, and if you’re carrying any keep it against your chest to keep it as dry as possible. This has limited effectiveness, but it is better than nothing.

One of the most efficient ways to keep mail dry is to invest in a postal cape. It can be placed over the rest of your uniform, and since it has an opening in the front you will be able to hold the mail under it while you walk. This will keep the mail as dry as possible until you deliver it.

N1023738Have a positive attitude. Decide you don’t care if it rains. Instead, enjoy when it rains. Find humor in the rain. It may surprise you just how much a positive attitude can change how you feel about something unpleasant. You chose this profession knowing you’d have to deliver in the rain, so try and accept it and make the best of the situation.

Check out MyPostalUniforms.com for our selection of postal items that will help you keep dry in the rain.

Comments Off on Beat the Rain

Spectacular Spring Selections

The first day of spring is officially behind us. Have you found yourself stuck with uniform items that are perfect for the cold of winter and the warmth of summer, but not the in between temperatures of spring? Not to worry, because MyPostalUniforms.com has a wide selection of spring uniforms that are sure to fit your needs. Our spring uniform items will keep you protected from the frequent rains and the chilly breeze without making you overheated as winter outerwear would. You can find our selection of spring uniforms here. Read on to see what our favorite items are this spring!

N1026554b (1)Postal Windbreaker

When the rain starts falling on a regular basis, you need something to keep you dry. It is lightweight and water resistant, making it the perfect selection for those cool spring days. The windbreaker features two large front patch pockets. These patch pockets have side compartments and reflective material, which makes it easier for letter carriers to be seen. The USPS insignia is sewn onto the windbreaker, making letter carriers easy to identify. This high quality product is made right here in the USA and makes a great addition to your wardrobe.

N1026740Rubber Overshoes and Boots

Rubber boots are very effective at what they do, but may not give your feet the same support your regular postal shoes do. Get the best of both worlds by investing in these rubber overshoes and boots! They will stretch easily over your work shoes so you don’t have to sacrifice support and comfort just to keep your feet dry. These overshoes are seamless and provide 100% waterproof protection. The cleated outsoles provide slip resistance, which will help keep the wearer safe in rainy conditions. Invest in a product that will keep you dry and keep you safe.

N1027784oPostal Waterproof Parka

Keeping yourself the right temperature, dry, and comfortable are all very important while you’re on the job. Luckily this waterproof parka does all three of those things! The Sympatex liner is both waterproof and windproof while remaining breathable. This product will keep you warm from cool spring weather without overheating you as winter outerwear does. This garment, made in the USA, is made to last. You can be sure you’ll get many years out of this waterproof parka! Find our full selection of sizes by following the link above.

N1027200SealSkinz Postal Waterproof Socks

Sometimes, even when you do everything right, water will get past your shoes. When that happens make sure you’re wearing our SealSkinz postal waterproof socks! They are designed to keep your feet dry no matter what. These are great for rainy days to act as extra protection. No one wants to work for an entire day with soaking wet feet. You can purchase these socks in several sizes. You may also be interested in the Chillblocker socks, which have a cozy, fleece lining to keep your feet dry as well as warm.

N1026536bNEESE-TEX Rainwear

Keep rain and wind out while allowing perspiration to escape with this groundbreaking product. Not only will you stay nice and dry, but your body will remain cool in warmer conditions. This rainwear is great for all types of weather, and can be purchased as either a parka or trousers. Each piece of rainwear includes a reflective postal ribbon for extra safety in those rainy conditions. Choose between men’s and women’s styles for both the parka and the trousers. Keep the rain at bay with this high quality uniform item.

 

This is just a taste of the spring items we have to offer. Browse our site to check out all our spring uniform items!

Comments Off on Spectacular Spring Selections




Secured for spam by MLW and Associates, LLP's Super CAPTCHASecured by Super-CAPTCHA © 2009-2010 MLW & Associates, LLP. All rights reserved.