NNA assured overnight newspapers will be unaffected by new letter carrier rules

Notify NNA if you find examples of delivery delays because of the experiment

By Tonda Rush, NNA General Counsel

NNA President Matt Adelman, publisher of the Douglas (Wyoming) Budget, has been assured by the USPS Postal Service Chief Operating Officer David E. Williams that the new experiment called Expedited to Street/Afternoon Sortation (ESAS) will not delay service for overnight newspapers.Williams said in response to a letter last week by Adelman to Williams and the new Postmaster General Louis DeJoy:

“This test will not affect the service standard or the service performance for any overnight-entered newspaper at post offices. Our top priority remains our commitment to serving our customers. You can rest assured that the USPS will remain a reliable delivery partner throughout the operation test.”

Adelman said NNA appreciated USPS’ prompt response to the inquiry. He said the letter did not necessarily address every circumstance publishers might face because of the experiment, but that the assurance for overnight entry would calm many publishers.

USPS has not issued public statements in response to press or industry inquiries about the scope of ESAS, although it reportedly told its letter carrier unions that the purpose is to eliminate overtime costs as it attempts to grapple with continued financial stress.

ESAS appears to affect only carrier routes that require the “casing” of newspapers — in other words, those mail pieces that must be sorted to a carrier’s case before delivery.  For USPS motor routes, newspapers are taken to the street in bundles. For carriers covering city walking routes, casing has previously been completed before the route begins.

Adelman asked NNA members to report to Tonda Rush, tonda@nna.org, if they experience delivery delays because of the experiment, which is supposed to continue through mid-September.

A copy of Williams’ letter is available to members here to show to local postmasters if needed.

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