The Amazon Prime price hike has me thinking about what I’d really like to see from the service. Think streaming sports, personal shoppers and never having to go to the post office again.
The USPS could be considering a proposal to sell magazine subscriptions to consumers direct through its website and stores, in an attempt to keep consumers checking their mailboxes for the latest print content, which remain highlights of people’s mail moments.
One big loser in the The United States Postal Service’s planned rate hike is Netflix, which could see its costs to support its DVD-by-mail business increase by an additional $50 million a year in postage and handling if the proposal goes through.
Smart grid firm GridPoint says it’s scored a deal to provide its energy management system to potentially 2,250 United States Postal Service locations in the U.S. USPS needs all the help it can get when it comes to reducing costs.
I do a lot of my correspondence electronically, but sometimes I still need to mail a letter. I know where the blue USPS mailboxes are in my neighborhood, but it’s getting harder to find pickup locations when I’m on the road
Climate Change and Cali Wildfires: “To the average person a 1-degree rise in average spring and summer temperatures may not seem like much. But for residents of the western United States—including California, which is fighting at least eight fires right now—it could mean a staggering increase in the extent and cost of fires.” — Climate Progress
EU Bids Adieu to Incandescent Bulbs: When the U.S. starts phasing out incandescent light bulbs in 2012, the transition will likely look like the one taking place now in Europe, where a ban on incandescent bulbs has just taken effect. — TNR’s The Vine
Musk on Valley Girl: Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk appears on the first episode of the pinked-out Valley Girl Show’s new season, talking about his triplets and goal of making millions of cars in ten years. — The Valley Girl Show via AutoblogGreen
ReVolt Seeks $30M in Stimulus Funds: Switzerland-based battery developer ReVolt Technology, working on rechargeable zinc-air batteries for electric vehicles, plans to request $30 million in grants from the Department of Energy for a manufacturing center in Portland, Oregon. — Press Release
V2G to Go Postal?: Broad use of electric vehicles in the U.S. Postal Service delivery fleet would be operationally feasible, according to a new study from the USPS Office of the Inspector General, but due to the Postal Service’s current financial distress, government funds and vehicle-to-grid revenue would likely be needed to make this transition economically feasible. — Green Car Congress
The United States Postal Service is in dire straights. The second-largest employer in the country (behind only Wal-Mart (s wmt)) is facing a massive fiscal crunch amid falling mail volumes and rising expenses. The GAO estimates total mail volume will fall to 175 billion pieces in 2009, a massive, unprecedented drop to levels not seen in more than 15 years. In a release today, the USPS blamed the drop on the “trend of letter mail and business transactions being replaced with electronic alternatives” and anticipated “continued downward pressure into coming years.” In other words, email is killing the USPS. But it’s not that simple. Read More about Don’t Blame the Web for Postal Service Woes
I currently run a small urban vinyl toy shop where we run all of the shipment processing from mac-based software.
At the moment we exclusively use USPS for all shipping (both domestic and international), and lucky for us there is some software that helps streamline that entire process.
Endicia for Mac provides an interface for calculating, weighing, printing postage, and a few dozen other things. It has probably cut package processing time in half (if not more).
What has really be fantastic is that it will fill in all the various customs forms for you instead of having to hand write it all yourself which not only helps cut down on time but helps eliminate mistakes.
We use Endicia in conjunction with a DYMO LabelWriter 400 to quickly print off postage, delivery confirmation, and address labels.
A couple of other highpoints:
- Discounted domestic and international postage (up to 8% in some cases)
- Automatic Address Verification – Helps avoid mistyped addresses
- Mailing Log – Very useful when needing to find a previously shipped package
- Bulk postage payment – Purchase your postage upfront in “bulk” instead of having to pay one transaction at a time
- AppleScript integration