Pallet intrigue

Nick Bravo could hardly believe his eyes.

The Los Angeles postal inspector was investigating a tip about missing postal equipment when he visited a local company that had amassed a collection of roughly 11,000 USPS pallets.

“In my 15 years as an inspector, I have never, ever seen so many pallets in one place,” Bravo said.

The investigation was set in motion when Al Villasenor, transportation manager at the Los Angeles Processing and Distribution Center, passed along the tip to Bravo.

The lead was accompanied by a photo showing a few of the distinctive black-and-orange plastic USPS platforms poking out over a hillside fence.

Bravo discovered on follow-up that they were only the tip of the iceberg.

“They took no effort to hide them,” he said. “Typically, [guilty companies] try to conceal them but here, there was no effort.”

Because the Inspection Service could not determine if any criminal intent was involved, the agency opted not to file charges.

In fact, “they were kind of glad we were there,” Bravo said. “There was no pushback.”

Whatever the pallets’ provenance, Bravo could count it a good day’s work, recovering between $250,000 and $300,000 worth of USPS property.

You may be wondering: Why would anyone steal postal pallets in the first place?

Bravo explained that some companies like them because they’re so durable, and he knew of one recycling firm that shredded them and sold the results as reusable plastic pellets.

The Postal Inspection Service would like to get the word out that there is a central place to report such finds, the Mail Transport Equipment recovery hotline: 866-330-3404.

You can also email with information.

Bravo believes a lot of postal workers come across such equipment every day and just don’t know how to report it. The Inspection Service has a poster with relevant information on the sorts of items that go missing and the contact information mentioned above.

“Once the tip comes out, we’ll investigate,” he said.

Click-N-Ship update

The Postal Service has updated the Click-N-Ship application to allow employees to generate shipment labels for administrative use.

Using Click-N-Ship for administrative labels offers several benefits, including address validation, the ability to print to and from addresses on the label and the ability to add an Intelligent Mail package barcode on the label for tracking purposes.

Using the Click-N-Ship application for administrative labels will improve package visibility in the mailstream and reduce fraud related to the unauthorized use of G-10 labels.

As a result, Label 41 and Label 101V, both G-10 labels, will be discontinued.

Employees who want to use Click-N-Ship to generate administrative shipment labels must submit a request for “CNS G10 User” in ARIS, the organization’s platform for requesting access to USPS digital resources.

Login credentials will be assigned after the “CNS G10 User” request is approved by a manager.

Flower essence

Floral Geometry, two stamps that celebrate the symmetry and shapes found in flowers, were released June 21.

The stamps have $2 and $5 denominations and are designed to be used with packages and large envelopes.

The art features the basic patterns of flowers boiled down to their simplest geometric elements: circles, triangles and ovals.

The watercolor backgrounds were painted by hand and then scanned, with the $2 stamp in green and the $5 stamp in purple. The white geometric lines were then added digitally.

A foil treatment adds glimmer to the images.

Both stamps were created and designed by the firm Spaeth Hill. Antonio Alcalá was art director.

There will be no dedication ceremony for the stamps, which will be sold at Post Offices and The $2 issue will be sold in panes of 10 and the $5 stamp in panes of four.

Retiree health care

Postal Service employees can participate in an upcoming webinar to learn about Medicare and the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program with Blue Cross Blue Shield.

The session, “Medicare, FEHB, and Blue Cross Blue Shield,” will be held Tuesday, June 28, at noon Eastern.

Christel Bull, federal account manager for CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield, will discuss continuing health coverage into retirement and determining whether you need Medicare Part B. There will also be a live question-and-answer session.

Participants must register beforehand on the webinar website. After signing up, directions for accessing the session will be emailed to each registrant.

Following the webinar, registrants will receive an email with a link to the archived recording of it.

Participation is voluntary. Nonexempt employees may only participate off the clock or during authorized breaks.

For more information, email the USPS Wellness team or visit the USPS Wellness LiteBlue page.

News Briefs

Scanning snapshot

Scanning snapshot. A snapshot of Postal Service scanning data shows the national rating was 97.06 percent during the week ending June 17, down 0.1 percent from one week earlier.

The data was collected June 22.

Central led the four areas with a rating of 97.15 percent, while Atlantic ranked last with a 96.95 percent rating.

Among the 50 districts, Washington, part of WestPac Area, ranked first with a 98.06 percent rating, while Illinois 1, part of Central Area, ranked last with a 95.02 percent rating.

Scanning data allows customers to track their mail and packages, which helps USPS deliver excellent service, boost loyalty and drive revenue.

To see the latest data, go to the Informed Visibility website and select “Customer Experience,” followed by “DES 2 Scan Performance.” Postal Service employees must request Informed Visibility access through eAccess.

Delivery data. From April 1-June 10, the Postal Service delivered 93.5 percent of First-Class Mail on time when compared with the organization’s service standard, according to data released last week.

During the same period, USPS delivered 94.8 percent of Marketing Mail and 86.5 percent of Periodicals on time, the figures show.

Postal Bulletin. Postal Bulletin’s June 16 edition features an overview of the Postmaster General Heroes’ Program, along with the latest updates to USPS policies, procedures and forms.

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