October 31, 2000 -- PostX Corporation, a provider of secure e-communications platforms, has announced the availability of its PostX Express 3.0 platform as the foundation for its new e3 strategic initiative. PostX's e3 strategic initiative provides a comprehensive and holistic view of an enterprise's secure electronic communications needs.
October 31, 2000 -- Firstlogic, Inc. and Document Sciences have announced a partnership to deliver an integrated solution that enables rapid application development of automated documents, with customer data quality services and extensive postal sorting capabilities.
October 31, 2000 -- According to Mark Falk, Managing Director of the Postal Business Center Network, in a recent guest editorial for PostMag.Com, anyone who believes the U.S. Postal Service is subject to true across-the-board competition is dreaming.
October 31, 2000 -- Approved by the U.S. Senate: George A. Omas as Postal Rate Commissioner for a term expiring October 14, 2006 and Alan Craig Kessler as Governor of the U.S. Postal Service for a term expiring December 8, 2008.
October 31, 2000 -- For those who are MAIL.DAT mavens, you should know that the latest update on the MAIL.DAT database is available for ordering on the Graphic Communications Association web site.
October 31, 2000 -- e-centives, Inc., a direct marketing infrastructure company, and Val-Pak, Cox Target Media's well-known blue cooperative advertising envelope, have begun to digitize and deliver Val-Pak's coupons and to target audiences within the e-centives network. This relationship enhances e-centives, Inc.'s content offerings by providing relevant, printable, neighborhood-based coupons and promotions for e-centives users who include a zip code in their member profile. Clearly, postal officials can take NO ONE'S business for granted.
October 31, 2000 -- Agence France Presse has reported that the German post office, Deutsche Post, does not exclude the acquisition of a stake in a foreign company at some time in the future, chairman Klaus Zumwinkel said in a newspaper interview. "We can very well imagine buying a stake in a foreign post office company one day in the future," Zumwinkel told the business daily Handelsblatt. Nevertheless, such a deal was still some way off, since he did not expect any substantial progress to made in the liberalisation of the European postal markets within the next five years."
October 31, 2000 -- P ostalWatch.Org is carrying an interesting story. It concerns a letter sent Acting Assistant Attorney General Douglas Melamed asking the Justice Department if the Postal Service has an "enforceable obligation to take competitive factors fully into account in adopting any regulations, which may have significant competitive impacts." The letter quotes a 76 page Justice Department opinion from 1979 which details Postal Service rulemaking obligations and asks if the DOJ continues to believe that the [USPS] "must develop a record respecting the competitive impact of its proposed actions which will be sufficient to pass appellate court muster." See also the letters sent on this issue from Congress and from Justice.
October 31, 2000 -- The U.S. Postal Service has published in the Federal Register a proposed rule that "would revise the standards for preparation of Periodicals nonletter-size mailing jobs that include both an automation flats mailing and a Presorted flats mailing to require use of the co-sacking preparation method in Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) M910."
October 31, 2000 -- European sources have reported that TNT Post Group NV and P&T Luxembourg have agreed to sign a contract to establish a joint venture that will offer high quality express and courier services to, from and within Luxembourg.
October 31, 2000 -- According to Dow Jones, "Deutsche Post [has] pledged ambitious development, including 36% profit growth this year, and it looks to be a sure bet for entry into Germany's DAX blue chip index. That would boost demand for the shares among index fund managers." But, as The Wall Street Journal has noted, the DP IPO must satisfy the skepticism of many a potential investor.
October 31, 2000 -- Competing with the Royal Mail has been part of the game for any distribution service in the UK. Now fulfilment start-ups offering drop box services have a choice – to work against the incumbent, or work with it. The drop box concept, delivering and returning goods via a local shop or distribution centre rather than to an individual’s home, is aimed at getting round the classic fulfilment problem – that most people are at work when the goods are delivered.
October 31, 2000 -- As Intera ctive Week has noted, "the Internet poses one of the greatest challenges to the Postal Service (USPS), but it is also creating new opportunities. Even as e-mail displaces standard mail, e-commerce is creating new demand for home parcel delivery. Hundreds of companies have formed around a new marketing channel that can reach across the nation, but lacks ways to ship goods to far-flung customers. The USPS is trying to keep up with new opportunities, while hanging onto its mainstay revenue source: first-class mail."
October 31, 2000 -- GovExec.Com has reported that "a partnership between the U.S. Postal Service and the Merit Systems Protection Board has produced faster resolutions to pending personnel cases....Because the Postal Service had the greatest number of pending enforcement cases—six, with an average age of 777 days—the board met with agency officials to enlist their aid in resolving the cases."
October 31, 2000 -- Two of Australia's leading banks want to arrange a deal with Australia Post for it to service their small business customers. In late-October 2000, Commonwealth Bank, which has had a long association with Australia Post, announced its intention to use at least 200 postal outlets to handle its business banking processes. National Australia Bank is also in discussions with Australia Post in October 2000 over the possibility of transferring its redundant staff to postal outlets. Both banks believe Australia Post's 2,800 outlets throughout Australia offer a good alternative to their own full service branches.
October 31, 2000 -- The (London) Sunday Times has reported that "the [UK] Post Office will...announce plans for a two-pronged assault on the home-shopping market in an attempt to dominate this growth sector. The group is set to launch a six-month trial covering about 5% of its 18,500 post offices in an attempt to revolutionize the delivery of goods ordered over the internet."
October 31, 2000 -- According to the Asia Intelligence Wire, "the Communications Authority of Thailand has announced it will increase postage fees once it has completed its privatization plan and become a public company."
October 30, 2000 -- According to Traffic World, "while visionary is not a word typically used to describe United Parcel Service, the company has a big view of global commerce and wants to play an even larger role in it than it does now. Unlike FedEx Corp., which has been distracted financially and intellectually by its attempt to build a single brand, UPS is all grown up and looking for a second career beyond hauling boxes." "United Parcel Service," the transportatio n weekly reported, "has a lot of money and is looking for new places to spend it. While expanding its transportation services around the globe with new products and services, the company also is coming at global commerce from a whole new direction."
October 30, 2000 -- According to the Journal of Commerce, "Deutsche Post World Net, Germany's state-owned mail, express and logistics giant, began to court Europe's swelling number of retail investors...in an attempt to ensure the success of its forthcoming initial public offering....The company hopes that European retail investors will buy up to 50% of the share issue, which involves a global institutional placement and a public offer in Germany, Austria, Britain, the Netherlands, Italy, Switzerland and Spain."
October 30, 2000 -- According to postal commentator Gene Del Polito in a perspective prepared for publication in Direct magazine, there is little likelihood the U.S. Postal Service will seek to raise rates yet again in 2001.
October 30, 2000 -- The Norwegian postal services company Posten Norge is to establish its own retail chain comprising some 330 outlets. The new shops will sell books, music, mobile phones, office supplies, videos and basic financial services.
October 30, 2000 -- Nonprofits are breathing a sigh of relief as the President has signed into law provisions that permanently reform the manner in which nonprofit postal rates are set.
October 30, 2000 -- Blue Rhino Corporation has completed its acquisition of QuickShip, Inc., a privately held, in-store, retail shipping service company based in Lenexa, Kansas. QuickShip is an established shipping-solution company with installations at over 200 retail locations in 16 states and annual sales of approximately $1 million. QuickShip provides retailers with an additional revenue source through a convenient, full- service, in-store postal and parcel shipping system, which allows consumers to drop off their packages for shipment via major carriers for a fee.
October 30, 2000 -- According to the Financial Times, "shoppers [in the U.K.] will be able to collect goods at 1,000 post offices, including during evenings and Sundays in some areas. The Post Office will test the service in the south-west, spurred by internal research predicting the number of online shoppers will reach 6m by January, doubling the 1999 figure.
October 30, 2000 -- As The Wall Street Journal has noted, "Deutsche Post AG stands to raise up to 7.4 billion euros ($6.22 billion) in its Nov. 20 initial public offering, although that won't matter much to the state-owned postal and logistics group. The proceeds will go directly to the selling shareholder, the German government."
October 30, 2000 -- Dow Jones has reported that according to Deutsche Post CEO Dr. Klaus Zumwinkel, Deutsche Post AG's logistics, express and postbank divisions will make up 50% of its profits in the next three to five years.
October 30, 2000 -- According to the German publication, Die Welt, Deutsche Post AG will introduce a digital stamp in the summer of 2001. As in the States, customers would be able to print out stamps with their own computer and printer and would pay for the postage via the internet.
October 30, 2000 -- Cana dian Business has reported that "UPS alleges that Canada Post has an unfair advantage in the courier business because it is allowed to piggyback its Xpresspost and Priority Courier products directly onto its lettermail business....UPS officials say they’ve tried sitting down with Canada Post, but it has refused to negotiate. Now their only recourse is to file a claim under NAFTA, which allows them to go before a tribunal of judges and ask only for monetary damages."
October 28, 2000 -- The Naples News (FL) has reported that two postal managers who disappeared in February and were found two months later in South America pleaded guilty Friday to charges in connection with a contract fraud. Jerry Lenn, 49, and Wanda Martinez, 41, (a married couple who worked for the U.S. Postal Service in Miami-Dade County) pleaded guilty to a 40-count indictment charging them with conspiracy to commit money laundering, money laundering, mail fraud and tax evasion. Authorities said the couple received more than $1 million in bribes from two computer companies, whose postal contracts they supervised. The couple faces up to 20 years in prison for the money laundering and conspiracy charges, in addition to a $500,000 fine or twice the value of the property involved in the scheme, whichever is greater. They face a maximum 10 years in prison and fines as high as $500,000 for the mail fraud and tax evasion charges. The couple also agreed to forfeit their $1 million home in Parkland, a boat, bank accounts in four countries, more than $500,000 worth of jewelry and hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash, among other possessions.
October 28, 2000 -- LocalBusiness.Com asks "What Internet company had a successful IPO within the past year, has a stock price that is some 80 percent of its 52-week high and carries a market cap of $68 billion?" "The answer," it said, "is UPS Inc."
October 28, 2000 -- TransportNews.Com has reported that WiredMerchant.com Inc., an Internet intermediary for computer products, and UPS Canada Ltd. have announced the integration and deployment of a Web-based fulfillment solution. The new application enables WiredMerchant.com customers to have access to a one-stop, shipping and pricing platform for products sourced in Canada. The application will also detail applicable duty, taxes and brokerage fees, provide address validation and full tracking information.
October 28, 2000 -- Veredex, an Internet logistics company targeting same-day delivery suppliers and shippers, has launched. The Toronto company said that its suite of products and services meets the growing needs of the same-day market. Veredex’s offerings include:
United Couriers – the world’s largest virtual network of same-day delivery companies, with more than 1,250 companies integrated;
Hotship –a same-day Web-based shipping source; and
Virtual Dispatch – an electronic suite for transportation suppliers.
Veredex said it integrates those offerings to create what it described as "the first complete solution for both shippers and sameday delivery companies."
October 28, 2000 -- Due to the continued rise in fuel prices, DHL Airways, Inc., the U.S. arm of the DHL Worldwide Express network, today announced a one percent increase in the company's temporary fuel surcharge, effective November 12, 2000. This will increase its temporary fuel surcharge to four percent.
October 28, 2000 -- According to the Belgian newspaper, L 'Echo, "the Belgian post office, which will invest a total of BFr22bn in privatisation, plans to set aside BFr5bn for its 2001-2005 strategy, which aims to offer an alternative to traditional postal services. The post office is to launch a new internet division, which will allow it to be more transparent and to take advantage of opportunities on the market such as mergers and partnerships. It also plans to create a chain of electronic terminals for customers without internet access. The first of these new services is expected to be operational by the middle of next year."
October 27, 2000 -- The U.S. Postal Service has signed an agreement with Overseas Courier Service (OCS), Canada, an international courier service company, to provide companies in Canada with a new option for shipping to the United States. OCS will prepare shipments, transport them to the U.S., clear them through commercial customs, and then enter the packages into the Postal Service's domestic delivery network.
October 27, 2000 -- In a letter sent to all Members of Congress, Postmaster General William Henderson asked Congress to turn away the barbarians (United Parcel Service) who were pounding on the legislative gate.
October 27, 2000 -- Dow Jones has reported that according to United Parcel Service (UPS) CEO James Kelly, "aside from fuel issues, the company also had issues with competition from the U.S. Postal Service." Kelly said it was a "government-controlled monopoly wishing to compete against the private sector." He said that while UPS welcomes competition, he did not feel it was on fair and even levels since the Post Office brings in revenue of $60 billion a year. He said that anything above "$50 billion is monopoly revenue, and some of that is being used to compete in the private sector. That is what we oppose."
October 27, 2000 -- According to Reuters, British brokers "are offering prizes ranging from Christmas baskets to a new car" for those who sign up for shares of German post office Deutsche Post's initial public offering. Even with the rather unorthodox incentives, it reported, Deutsche Post and its designated brokers may face an uphill battle to convince British retail investors to buy stock in a foreign company that derives the bulk of its profits from mail delivery, which many view as a slow-growing business. "While its 14,000 post offices and Postbank branches make Deutsche Post a household name in Germany," it said, "investors elsewhere may be reluctant to buy into what some critics see as a low-margin business concentrated in Germany."
October 27, 2000 -- Here's an interesting summary of "who's on first" in Europe.
October 27, 2000 -- According to AFX Europe, Deutsche Post AG has said it is planning to generate over 50 pct of its profits from overseas in five years time. The company, now trading under its new brand name of Deutsche Post World Net, has set itself the goal of becoming the leading international logistics service provider by offering integrated letter, express, logistics and financial services.
October 27, 2000 -- The Times (London) has reported that "the German Government could backtrack on its commitment to scrap the Deutsche Post monopoly on letter services within Germany if other EU countries fail to agree to open their own postal services to competition by 2003. Concern is growing within the German Government that it will face unfair competition if it opens its postal market while the rest of Europe remains closed." The paper said that the EU Council of Ministers is due to decide on December 22 whether to back a European Commission plan to limit state postal monopolies to 50-gram letters by January 2003.
October 27, 2000 -- Here's a factoid for you. - E-mail has become a fundamental communication tool in the United States and more than 40 percent of Americans use e-mail every day. According to the "Surveying the Digital Future" report from the University of California at Los Angeles ( UCLA) Center for Communication Policy, "in 1998 the U.S. Postal Service delivered 101 billion pieces of paper mail. The number of e-mail messages transmitted that year was as high as four trillion."
October 27, 2000 -- Which is maybe why....the Postal Service is looking for a good deal on computers for its 800,000 workers. The agency said it is inviting offers for a company to provide postal employees with a computer, printer and Internet service for a monthly fee. "The Service is acting as a broker on behalf of employees to get them computers and unlimited Internet access," spokeswoman Judy de Torok told Associated Press. The post office won't be paying for the computers and service, she said. The fee is to be paid by the participating employees. The fee has not been set but the agency is hoping it will get offers in the range of $10 to $15 a monthly.
"This would create new avenues of communications for employees to receive postal news while reducing administrative costs," said Deputy Postmaster General John Nolan. According to AP, "the Postal Service has been seeking ways to increase its high-tech services, including offering electronic bill-paying services and electronic postmarks for secure documents. By connecting postal workers to the Internet, de Torok said, the agency believes they will be better able to understand and explain these new postal services." Okaaaaay....
October 26, 2000 -- United Parcel Service (UPS) has been vigorously lobbying its congressional allies to append to H.R. 2614 provisions that would: (1) require the Department of State to adopt and advocate a "pro-competitive" policy regarding the customs treatment of official mail and nongovernmental express goods, (2) empower the Secretary of State to treat for this customs parity, (3) grant the Postal Rate Commission full authority over international postal rates and services, and (4) provide the Rate Commission with subpoena authority to carry out these provisions. With so few hours left to the legislative life of the 106th Congress, the betting is that UPS' last-hour effort will fail to win enactment.
October 26, 2000 -- The Bangkok Post has reported that "the Communications Authority of Thailand plans to outsource the delivery of international express mail in order to lower its operating costs.
October 26, 2000 -- According to InformationWeek, "users' enthusiasm for online bill payment has been dampened by high fees. Gartner says CheckFree makes $4 per user per month; banks generally charge $5 to $8 per month to pay bills online without offering many other benefits, other research has found. While the advantages in business-to-business online bill payment are obvious to the billers--lower cost, a more streamlined process to support E-commerce, a vast reduction of paper, and the elimination of errors associated with manual bill payment--benefits to consumers have been more elusive....In anticipation of online bill payment's ascension, even the U.S. Postal Service is jumping into the game. For $6 a month, a user can send 20 transactions online. An unlimited number of transactions can be had for $4 a month and 40 cents per transaction."
October 26, 2000 -- Also from InformationWeek, "wiring money is taking on a whole new meaning thanks to a new service from Neovi Data Corp. It lets consumers and businesses E-mail payments, and the recipient prints out a check seconds later."
October 26, 2000 -- Barnes & Noble has said it will install Internet service counters at its superstores so that customers can get online to order books or other products through its Web arm, Barnesandnoble.com. Shoppers will be able to pay by cash, check or credit card at the Net counters and may choose to pick up their orders at the stores or have them delivered. Customers now can also return books and CDs purchased from the Web site to any Barnes & Noble store. Shoppers who use the returns program will get merchandise credits at Barnes & Noble bookstores.
October 26, 2000 -- As PostMag.Com points out, there's no glass ceiling for women at Canada Post.
October 26, 2000 -- According to the Journal of Commerce, the U.S. less-than-truckload sector posted across-the-board growth in 1999, although shipment, revenue and tonnage expansion was relatively modest over 1998 levels." "UPS," it reported, "continued to strengthen its dominance of the ground parcel segment in 1999. In fact, UPS moved 75% of the 3.4 billion parcels shipped last year. It controlled 78.3% of the $18.4 billion in parcel revenue, and 80% of all parcel tonnage....Its main rivals in the parcel field, Roadway Package Systems (now FedEx Ground) and the U.S. Postal Service (Parcel Post) both lost share of total ground parcel shipments....FedEx Ground and Parcel Post also reported share declines in year-over-year revenue and tonnage share."
October 26, 2000 -- According to Newsbytes, "E-mail is putting the squeeze on 'snail mail' as computer users opt for the faster, cheaper and more convenient method of writing to friends, family and business associates. Feeling the pinch is the Communications Authority of Thailand (CAT), the country's postal service operator. The CAT has suffered decreasing mail volume for the past several years as more and more Thais become Internet users and discover the benefits of e-mail. According to CAT statistics, domestic postal items fell last year by 70 million, from 1.18 billion in 1997. The volume of incoming international mail fell also last year to 34 million items, compared with 36 million in 1995. The volume of outgoing international mail dropped most - to 61 million items last year, compared to 100 million in 1995. In response, the Authority has cut its staff from 26,012 in 1995 to 23,610 last year. This is probably no mere slump. Household computer use in Thailand is relatively low now, but as more and more people buy personal computers and hook on to the Internet, the use of 'snail mail' will continue to decline." Yeah....I can hear postal union officials spewing the same old "It'll never happen here." Riiiight!
October 26, 2000 -- According to The New York Times, Z-Box is "trying to make package delivery as easy as shopping online."
October 26, 2000 -- For those who have been absolutely dying to mail into Afghanistan, there's good news(!). Afghanistan's Taleban postal minister has announced that "despite the imposition of economic sanctions on Afghanistan by the UN Security Council, the postal services are operational to 189 countries, via the Post Office of the Government of Pakistan. Previously, post from Afghanistan was carried by Ariana Afghan Airlines to Dubai and then on to other countries. Since the imposition of the sanctions the post is now sent, according to an agreement between the IEA Ministry of Communication and the Post Office of Pakistan, through the Post Office of the Government of Pakistan with the cooperation of 24 foreign post offices throughout the world. Our post bags are exchanged twice a week (Sunday and Thursday) with the Post Office of Pakistan, secure with Afghanistan stickers on them, to be dispatched from there to every corner of the world within 4-10 days." Wow....What a relief!
October 26, 2000 -- Group 1 Software has announced the latest release of Message1, its software solution offering marketers unprecedented flexibility to develop, manage and deliver individualized marketing messages. Message1 is offered in conjunction with DOC1, the fastest way to produce dynamic, easy-to-read, personalized business documents for print and on-line delivery.
October 26, 2000 -- CyberBills, an EBPP Application Service Provider, has announced Business Payables Management, a complete electronic bill presentment and payment solution developed specifically for small-to-medium-sized businesses. With this new service, business operators can receive, review, approve, pay and manage all of their invoices via the Internet. CyberBills offers Business Payables Management at its web site, www.apfactory.com, and through channel partners.
October 26, 2000 -- Agence France has reported that "investor interest in the flotation of the German post office, Deutsche Post, has dwindled." Only eight percent of those polled by market research institute Institut fuer Sozialforsch the proportion of investors who hoped to buy additional Deutsche Post shares after the initial allocation had shrunk to five percent from nine percent.The flotation of Deutsche Post on November 20 was originally expected to be one of the biggest listings in Europe this year.
October 26, 2000 -- Australia Post has won a multi-million dollar contract to supply all goods purchased through an Australian online retailer. ColesOnline, the Internet arm of Coles Myer, is planning to expand the retail firm's business through home deliveries, offering a two-hour window in which customers may choose to have their goods delivered. The postal service will increase its fleet of refrigerated trucks and vans for the service. It is expected to reach 100 Sydney suburbs by the end of 2000. In Sydney and Melbourne, a pilot program preceding its rollout achieved 99.98% accuracy of deliveries.
October 26, 2000 -- The American Postal Workers Union is telling its members that postal management really isn't interested in a negotiated settlement.
October 25, 2000 -- The Financial Times has reported that the U.K. Post Office has said banks could opt out of its controversial plan for new universal banking services, by striking separate commercial agreements giving customers access to their bank accounts through Post Office branches. Post Office plans to launch its own no-frills banking service, targeting the financially excluded, have come under fire from banks which claim they replicate existing or planned services of their own.
October 25, 2000 -- Pitney Bowes Capital Services, a division of Pitney Bowes, Inc., has announced the launch of PitneyEscrow.com, the first in a series of solutions in the PitneyB2BCapital suite of online financial services. PitneyEscrow.com will provide e-marketplaces with escrow management, funds management, secure communications and logistics services. PB also announced that it had chosen the Bowstreet Business Web Factory to integrate its web-based escrow service, PitneyEscrow, with partner sites.
October 25, 2000 -- The Financial Times has reported that "the German government wants the initial public offering of Deutsche Post to be a roaring success. That means that its pricing is unlikely to be aggressive. But caution is still needed. Deutsche Post's managers have shown they can pull off large integrations, having successfully absorbed the East German post office. The question mark is over the strategy of broadening its offering to include express parcels, logistics and financial services."
October 25, 2000 -- According to one opinion writer in the Financial Times, "Deutsche Post's high-spending acquisition spree is designed to turn the German post office into a large global logistics player. It is the talk of the industry, yet the company's chief executive, Klaus Zumwinkel, unexpectedly concedes that the calibre of his added-value logistics offering might not measure up to the competition."
October 25, 2000 -- The German newspaper, Die Welt, has reported that "Hermes, the parcel delivery service of German mail order group Otto Versand GmbH & Co, plans to develop its letter delivery activities in the near future. The company aims to enter the market well before the end of 2002, when further deregulation of the postal market takes place. Initially, the company plans to concentrate on mass deliveries from business customers, and standard letters from private customers should be added at a later date. The company will thereby be the first nationwide competitor for the mail service of Deutsche Post AG, the German post office."
October 25, 2000 -- Dutch postal and courier group TNT Post Group NV (TPG) has said that its Omnidata unit had agreed to form a data collection joint venture with Britain's state-owned Royal Mail. The venture, known as The Preference Service, will collect data on British consumer preferences which will be used for direct marketing purposes.
October 25, 2000 -- Agence France has reported that Deutsche Post will pay more than originally expected to increase its stake in the parcel delivery service DHL International. DP will pay 745 million dollars (887 million euros) instead of 500 million dollars to increase its stake in DHL from 25 percent to 51 percent.
October 25, 2000 -- According to the Financial Times, "It's not one of the most prominent themes of those heroic canvases by Jacques-Louis David depicting the French revolution in all its glory. But all the same, some patriotically minded citoyens are fighting a brave battle against EU cross-border mail liberalization. When Medef, France's employers' federation, declared itself in favour of opening up the EU postal market last week, the country's main post office union quickly moved to denounce the employers "anti-republican". The unions reckon the bosses let down la patrie by siding with the liberal policies of Commissioner Frits Bolkestein. So now we know why the sans culottes stormed the Bastille on 14 July 1789 - to protect France from postal liberalization of packages of more than 50g."
October 25, 2000 -- According to Dow Jones, Deutsche Post AG has acknowledged that European Union competition investigations into the company could have "considerable detrimental effects" on its financial health. Deutsche Post also said general European and German postal regulatory uncertainties represented appreciable "risk factors" for any investors in the company.
October 25, 2000 -- United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS) Chairman and Chief Executive Jim Kelly has said he is confident profits at the world's largest delivery company will keep growing in the "mid-teens" annually as revenue continues to expand at a 10% rate.
October 25, 2000 -- R.R. Donnelley Logistics has gone live with i2 TradeMatrix Transportation Optimizer(TM) from i2 Technologies, Inc. The i2 solution is designed to help manage R.R. Donnelley's "pipeline-to-the-home" delivery network by optimizing Donnelley shipments across multiple transportation modes and managing complex logistics information for faster and more effective decision-making.
October 25, 2000 -- CyberSource Corporation has expanded its eCommerce Transaction Suite with enhancements to its Delivery Address Verification service. These enhancements are designed to improve delivery of online purchases, increase customer satisfaction and reduce lost/returned merchandise and restocking costs.
October 25, 2000 -- Post Danmark, the Danish national postal service, plans to launch a range of Internet-based services. The company is reportedly looking at electronic communications as it has been estimated that on a global scale, five times as many e-mail messages are sent as traditional letters. The postal service has lost market share to electronic communications in recent years, as traditional mail is becoming less popular. "Web E-Post," (web e-mail) a service that enables customers to send a letter as e-mail and have it printed and sent as a normal letter the following day, is to be launched at the start of next year.
October 25, 2000 -- Zairmail, a company that bills itself as one designed to facilitate the convergence between the Internet and postal mail, has announced an agreement with Genuity, Inc. to host and help manage Zairmail's Internet infrastructure. Genuity will provide a full spectrum of integrated services including high performance Web hosting, network management, and systems integration assistance to maximize the performance of Zairmail's Internet infrastructure and service applications.
October 25, 2000 -- PostalMag.Com has a little egg on its face. Now, it has learned, local Emery management already has informed employees that the contract with the USPS will terminate in early January 2001. The news will be published more widely after the USPS takes it to the Board of Governors in early November.
October 25, 2000 -- According to PostalWatch.Com, "the Phoenix Business Journal has reported that Tosco Marketing Co. -- the Tempe -based operator of Circle K stores -- has launched a new retail concept called e-Place.com where customers can shop online in a café and pick up and return their on-line orders at the same place. The company refers to the concept as a 21st century hybrid of the corner convenience store and coffee shop, and says [the stores will] let shoppers cash checks, access ATMs, rent post office boxes, copy and fax, and process film."
October 24, 2000 -- At their annual meeting in Bermuda, it was plain that magazine publishers are concerned about a proposed 15 percent hike in postal rates, which if approved by the Postal Service, will take effect in January. "We have applied strong and constant pressure on the Postal Service with bipartisan support from leaders in Congress to improve its efficiency and hold down our postal increase," said MPA President Nina Link. "We are hopeful that the Postal Commission will recommend a lower increase on Nov. 13, but even then it won't be over." She said a campaign for postal reform is underway.
TV Guide, the largest circulation U.S. magazine, resigned from the Magazine Publishers of America on the eve of this week's American Magazine Conference in Bermuda. Last week, John O'Reilly, president of TV Guide Magazine Group, submitted the magazine's resignation to MPA president Nina Link in a move that stunned board members and was a blow to the association, which has invested heavily to lobby the U.S. Postal Service to cut next year's proposed 15 percent rate hike for magazines. The industry group was particularly concerned about losing a "significant chunk" of dues - said to be $500,000 a year -- from TV Guide, the 10.8 million-circulation weekly.
October 24, 2000 -- Read more on the effort in the European Union to speed the pace of postal reform.
October 24, 2000 -- The Irish post office, An Post, has bought two same-day delivery firms in Dublin for a sum believed to be in excess of IR£11m. The state postal company acquired JMC Van Trans and Wheels Courier, which will now operate independently within the postal service.
October 24, 2000 -- Dow Jones has reported that Dutch postal and logistics company TNT Post Groep NV (TP) has signed a letter of intent with Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. Group on setting up a 50-50 joint venture in China. The venture will provide logistics services to the automotive industry in China and is expected to become one of the key players in the country.
October 24, 2000 -- And now, from The Wall Street Journal, something completely different....Its WORD MINE feature discusses the stories behind the words we hear and read every day in technology and business, exploring the origins of terms and how language has evolved.
October 24, 2000 -- According to BusinessWeek, "Online bill paying is beginning to live up to its potential. The primary reason is that people...now can get all of their bills sent in digital form to their computers."
October 24, 2000 -- Unfazed by the slow commercial adoption of smart cards, InfoWorld has reported, makers of the authentication technology are stepping up efforts to deliver development tools and improved ease-of-use features to assuage users' skepticism and help convince smart-card manufacturers to lower their prices.
October 23, 2000 -- The Denver Post has reported that "those 202,000 red, white and blue postal trucks soon could be carrying advertising placards for private products." According to the paper, "the cash-hungry federal agency is toying with the idea of selling advertising on its delivery trucks." Ohhhh. We're sure that either UPS or the newspaper publishers will grind their teeth over this one.
October 23, 2000 -- According to the British paper, The Independent, "this Christmas is the first when e-commerce is expected to play a major role in buying and sending presents, and operators such as Amazon and eToys are gearing up for bumper sales. But industry experts believe that parcel-services are not equipped to handle the added volume." "In 1999," the paper said, "the package-shipping companies – including FedEx, UPS and the US PostalService – ran out of capacity two weeks before Christmas, largely because of internet retail. This year, he projects, the US will be at capacity as much as six weeks before Christmas." See also the article in The Wall Street Journal.
October 23, 2000 -- The Washington Post has noted that "while Congress is passing little legislation this year, it has managed to send to the president a postal bill seen as critical to nonprofit mailers--churches, Easter Seals, the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, colleges and others. The bill--passed by both chambers earlier this month--basically ties postal rates for nonprofit mailers to a percentage of those for commercial mailers. Without the change, the nonprofit groups would be facing double-digit rate increases in January. The legislation was sent to the president last week for his signature, which is expected." The bill contained a provision advocated by PostCom to fix the Standard Mail (A) nonprofit rate at a percentage of the regular rate. This provision was supported by all other affected parties.
October 23, 2000 -- Internet postage company Stamps.com has announced that it would cut more than 240 full-time, part-time and contract employees, or 40% of its staff in all locations. These job cuts are part of the Internet postage company's efforts to cut operating costs and stay afloat in a very competitive marketplace. "Although we have nearly $300 million in cash reserves, today's competitive environment demands that we operate our busine at maximum efficiency," said Stamps.com Chairman Marvin Runyon. Mr. Runyon said these changes are key if the company is to achieve profitability and develop its new iShip service, and several other subsidiaries currently being developed by Stamps.com.
October 23, 2000 -- A group promoting liberalization in Europe's postal sector was launched in Brussels and claimed it was needed to balance a debate currently dominated by monopolies resisting change. "Those who are against liberalization in the postal sector are very vocal and are being heard all over Europe," Philippe Bodson, the President of the Free and Fair Post Initiative (www.freefairpost.com), told a news conference. "We feel," he said, "this debate is not going to be a very democratic debate if there is no counterweight to those who oppose liberalization." So far the group has won the backing of the French, Belgian and Swedish employers' federations and the pan-European retailing organisation Eurocommerce. Corporate sponsors included U.S. courrier company United Parcel Service Inc. , British support services firm Hays Plc and Sweden's CityMail. He said Belgian secure transport firm Ziegler SA also supported the initiative.
October 23, 2000 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that while "Deutsche Post charges a lot to deliver letters...[and while] the German postal operator still awaits results of the European Commission's investigation into [alleged] illegal state subsidies and cross-subsidization of its parcel business...if its shares are priced at only 25 euros ($21), as is widely expected, they will be on a multiple of around 16.6 times next year's consensus forecast earnings." "At this price," the newspaper noted, "Deutsche Post will be able to withstand a lot of regulatory buffetting."
October 23, 2000 -- According to The Wall Street Journal, "credit-card issuers sent out nearly one billion direct-mail solicitations in the second quarter, but the national response rate fell to 0.4%, the lowest ever."
October 23, 2000 -- The Italian newspaper, La Stampa, has reported that Poste Italiane, the Italian postal service, has leased more than 10,000 vehicles owned by Italian automotive group Fiat to improve mail deliveries.
October 23, 2000 -- According to PostMag.Com, when it comes to the Emery-USPS Priority Mail deal, "no-news is likely good-news. The outsourcing deal with Emery was a giant first for the USPS, who espouse a strategy that includes outsourcing and focusing on being the Last Mile Delivery Agent. Having to take back this work would be a backward step for the USPS and one, we suggest, they would want to avoid. A failure such as this would become a large impediment to any future outsourcing deals."
October 21, 2000 -- UPS e-Logistics, Inc., a subsidiary of United Parcel Service, has selected Elizabethtown, Ky., as the site for a new 400,000 square-foot logistics and technology center. . It will be a multi-client distribution center providing warehousing, inventory management, order fulfillment and other supply chain management services.
October 21, 2000 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that Mario Monti, the European commissioner responsible for antitrust affairs, has proposed an overhaul of the 15-nation European Union's antitrust enforcement powers. The reforms would allow the commission to increase fines for the worst infringements of EU competition law (including post offices) and conduct raids in homes as well as offices.
October 21, 2000 -- The Financial Times has reported that while Deutsche Post has sought to settle its dispute with Royal Mail, the British post office has said it would continue to pursue its complaint about Deutsche Post with the European Commission. The Commission also said it would continue its investigation into Deutsche Post's business practices. "We are certainly interested to see what Deutsche Post is doing, but it does not automatically put an end to our investigation," the Commission said. "If we find these practices have been applied over a number of years, we can still act."
October 20, 2000 -- According to the founder of E-Stamp.Com, Sunir Kapoor, educating the Postal Service about the internet postage concept was a real challenge. In fact, working with the Postal Service was a real challenge. Neither the executives of E-Stamp.Com or Stamps.Com have much nice to say about the Postal Service. They blame an "overly cautious" Postal Service with making it virtually impossible to make buying postage online easy.
October 20, 2000 -- According to postal commentator Cary Baer, writing for DM News, while there's been a lot of talk about the need for postal reform, there's not been much discussion on the form it should take.
October 20, 2000 -- According to the Direct Marketing Association, about 95 percent of paper catalogs have their own Internet sites. The sites are used as a new way for catalog companies to acquire first-time customers and for shoppers, who are buying an increasing amount of their "mail-order" purchases online.
October 20, 2000 -- And when they go "mail order" shopping, shoppers will have a new way to pay for the goods they order. MBNA has announced plans to give consumers a more secure way of shopping online, with a disposable credit card number. It will use technology created by New York-based Orbiscom to allow its 45 million Visa and MasterCard customers to buy goods on the Net without ever disclosing their personal credit card number. MBNA cardholders will be able to download Orbiscom's O-power application from the bank's Web site to use a unique card number for each transaction and set a dollar limit on that transaction. American Express already has a similar system in place.
October 20, 2000 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that United Parcel Service has reported that its net income rose 21.7% in the third quarter to $702 million, or 60 cents a share. That compares with $577 million, or 52 cents a share, in the comparable period last year. The gain exceeded analysts' expectations by 2 cents a share.
October 19, 2000 -- E-Stamp Corporation has been recommended as the authorized Internet postage provider for the United States Navy.
October 19, 2000 -- Dow Jones has reported that Deutsche Post AG has moved to settle two regulatory disputes that have complicated its planned Nov. 20 stock-market listing. Deutsche Post said it had reached a cross-border mail accord with the British Post Office and agreed to modify rebate schemes for large mail-order customers. The second concerned Deutsche Post's offering of rebates to large mail order customers are given the discounts if they send all their parcels and an annual minimum volume through Deutsche Post. DP said it would scrap this scheme. It also said it was negotiating over modified rebate schemes and would ensure that future rebates clearly conformed with competition rules. Finally, DP is considering the repayment of billions of German marks by Deutsche Post to end the charge that it has used profits from its monopoly letter-delivery service in Germany to subsidize other activities. See also the story filed by the Associated Press.
October 19, 2000 -- With a little help from icons of the new economy and a $44 million advertising blitz, the German post office is working hard to shed its mailman image ahead of its mammoth public offering next month. One Deutsche Post commercial features bosses of computer makers Dell and German software firm Intershop gloating over e-commerce only to admit it cannot really function without the post office delivering the goodies. Sounds like something the U.S. Postal Service should be doing to raise America's consciousness of the importance of the postal system to the nation's economic infrastructure.
October 19, 2000 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "Germany is planning a series of initiatives that aim to promote faster development of its logistics branch and a more efficient transportation network." In a speech at the 17th annual German Logistics Conference in Berlin, Transport Minister Reinhard Klimmt said the government plans to make its transportation infrastructure more efficient, create new programs to help train logistics experts and to foster "economically favorable conditions" for logistics companies. He told his audience that "the importance of logistics experts in our economy has been greatly underestimated." Given Deutsche Post's drive to become a European logistics giant, it would seem that German postal officials have gotten that message. As far as America is concerned...just try to imagine life without a universal postal infrastructure....
October 19, 2000 -- The British newspaper, The Guardian, has reported that "the [UK] government is expected to put out to tender the running of the post office-based universal bank. The universal bank, which it emerged yesterday will offer accounts under the brand name Clear, is a crucial part of the government's attempt to deposit social security payments directly into bank accounts by 2003. A business plan drawn up by the Post Office puts the annual cost of running the Clear accounts at as much as £300m; the government wants the financial services industry to contribute £130m of this each year. When Congress FINALLY awakens to America's burgeoning postal fiscal crisis, it'll be interesting to see what twists it will devise to keep a universal mail delivery system afloat.
October 19, 2000 -- European sources have reported that the European Commission's proposal for further postal liberalization has run into broad resistance and is likely to interfere with tentative plans by the French EU presidency to reach political agreement during an equally tentative December 22nd meeting of telecoms ministers. Ironically, much of the difficulty comes from the French themselves, because although the occupant of the rotating EU presidency is expected to remain neutral, the French minister in charge of the issue, Christian Pierret, has been outspoken in his belief that the Commission proposal goes too far. "Total liberalization, or a forced progression towards it," he's declared, "is not necessary...[and] is not unavoidable." France is however pushing hard for political agreement under its stewardship in order to avoid handing the entire matter over to Sweden, which takes over as the next EU president on January 1st and is committed to full liberalization.
October 19, 2000 -- American Banker magazine has reported that Citigroup Inc. has begun offering its U.S. corporate customers the ability to send consumer billing statements and receive payment electronically. It is working with YourAccounts.com in offering the business-to-consumer service and with Paytrust on the credit card service. Citi wants to partner with software specialists in online billing but at the same time keep its distance from providers such as CheckFree Corp., the leading e- billing supplier. Only a handful of institutions are delivering electronic bills, and most of them work with CheckFree (which also serves as the Postal Service's partner in the USPS' EBPP venture).
October 19, 2000 -- TheBancorp.com (www.thebancorp.com), the financial services Internet company providing online banking services to affinity groups, today announced a key agreement with Mail Boxes Etc. (MBE), the world's largest franchisor of retail business, communications and postal service centers. Through TheBancorp.com's agreement with MBE, TheBancorp.com will further expand its customer service by offering a deposit strategy through MBE retail locations. This fall, customers of TheBancorp.com and at any TheBancorp.com banking web sites or through the MBE web site (www.mbe.com). This service is provided at no cost to the customer.
October 19, 2000 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "a sharp drop in operating income at Emery Worldwide led to a fall in net income for its parent, CNF Inc. Emery's U.S. domestic business results remain below expectations, more than offsetting good results posted by its international group.
October 18, 2000 -- Global express carrier TNT has launched iConnections, "the first integrated e-commerce solution that gives businesses the power to provide fast, reliable and user-friendly end-to-end worldwide delivery solutions. For the first time, Web companies are able to offer full access via their own Web sites to a global express delivery network, providing the functionality of an in-house integrated shipping department. TNT iConnections seamlessly meshes one or more of the TNT Express price checking, tracking, proof of delivery and shipping management facilities into customers' Web sites, intranets, extranets or ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems."
October 18, 2000 -- The U.S. Postal Service is urging that holiday parcels traveling by surface mail to Africa and the Middle East be sent by Oct. 27. Surface parcels bound for Asia and the Pacific Rim, Australia, New Zealand and Central and South America should be on their way by Nov. 3, the agency said. The deadline is Nov. 6 for surface parcels bound for APO and FPO addresses. It's Nov. 11 for surface parcels to the Caribbean, Mexico and Europe, and Nov. 24 for Canada. APO and FPO packages traveling space available should be sent by Nov. 27 and those going PAL by Dec. 4. For civilian packages traveling by air the deadline is Dec. 4 for Africa and Central and South America. All other air packages should be sent by Dec. 11 except for Canada, where the deadline is Dec. 15. Cards and letters should be sent by Dec. 4 for Africa and Central and South America and Dec. 15 for Canada. Elsewhere, including APO and FPO, the deadline is Dec. 11.
October 18, 2000 -- The European Commission's blueprint for postal services in Europe sharply contradicts Government policy to ensure UK consumers and businesses can continue posting mail to all 27 million addresses nationwide at a uniform and affordable price, the British Post Office told a House of Lords committee. Post Office Chief Executive John Roberts said the proposals from Brussels would, if implemented, give a green light for "cream skimmers" who had no interest in maintaining the universal, uniform-price service to every address. People living in rural areas would be the biggest losers, while individual postal users throughout the UK would face the prospect of steep increases in postage, said Mr. Roberts. See also the report in The Independent
October 18, 2000 -- The Commercial Appeal (Memphis) has reported that mail-order merchant Lands' End is promoting the use of body scans to help consumers choose clothes on the Web that accurately fit their body type. A very interesting use of technology that could bring value to doing business on the Web or in the mail.
October 18, 2000 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that -- Credit Suisse First Boston said it has signed an alliance with Deutsche Postbank AG to sell corporate-equity issues arranged by the investment bank to retail clients of Postbank's online broker Easytrade. Deutsche Postbank is owned by the German postal service, which is soon to be privatized.
October 18, 2000 -- TenFour US, Inc., a provider of Secure Messaging solutions for corporate e-mail systems, has formed a partnership with Digital Signature Trust (DST) to provide Secure Messaging solutions to the banking industry using DST's TrustID(R) digital certificates. The partnership is intended to solidify TenFour's Secure E-Mail solutions within the banking industry and provide enhanced capabilities for banks to expand their eBusiness offerings to their clients through secure and effective electronic communication.
October 18, 2000 -- CyberBills, an EBPP Application Service Provider and first company to offer Total Bill Management(TM) over the Internet, today announced the availability of its service on 3Com's new Internet appliance, Audrey(TM), a device that provides near instant access to personalized web content. 3Com(R) will sell all appliances pre-loaded with CyberBills' Total Bill Management service channel, allowing customers to receive, view, pay and manage all of their bills through the device.
October 18, 2000 -- Good grief! The Associated Press has reported that thousands of Sna Francisco absentee ballot requests are being returned to senders because the city-issued request form is one-eighth of an inch too big to use the regular 33-cent stamp.
October 18, 2000 -- The Postal Service's official press release on the appointment of new officers is now on the Postal Service web site.
October 18, 2000 -- Read more about TNT's wireless web-based shipping software in the Journal of Commerce.
October 18, 2000 -- eCopy, Inc., a company specializing in the electronic distribution of paper documents, has announced a partnership with UPS that enables business users to create digital "eCopies" of scanned paper documents, and send them instantly and securely over the Internet to colleagues and customers anywhere in the world. eCopy's enhanced product line is the ideal front-end for UPS Document Exchange, the first trackable, encryption-based secure delivery service for digital documents.
October 17, 2000 -- Alltrista Corp.'s TriEnda Corp. unit has received a contract to supply the U.S. postal service with its 2000-2001 postal pallet requirements.
October 17, 2000 -- Kitty Hawk, Inc., a mail carrier under contract to the Postal Service, has announced that the Bankruptcy Court presiding in its Chapter 11 Reorganization Case had approved its Disclosure Statement. According to company officials, the troubled air carrier has refocused on its core businesses of scheduled overnight freight service and its Boeing 727 air freight charter contracts, including its U. S. Postal Service and BAX Global contracts. These will be the centerpieces of the Company's business as it exits from Chapter 11. Great....Now who will float the USPS when its ship begins to flounder?
October 17, 2000 -- E-commerce shippers now have an option when searching for Same Day shipping requests. NowEx.net has joined SmartShip.com to become an official SmartShip nationwide Same Day Delivery Service source. SmartShip.com (incorporated 1997 as Virtran, Inc.) unveiled their sophisticated search engine for the shipping industry in 1999. www.smartship.com allows customers to compare the services and prices of many shipping companies (Federal Express, UPS, the US Postal Service, and now, NowEx.net). Users of the site are able to arrange for pick up and delivery, and pay for shipments online and without having to use the telephone.
October 17, 2000 -- U.S. lawmakers from California have urged federal officials to make their decision soon on adding flights to China, saying a delay could be costly to American business. The California delegation has backed UPS and United's proposal for daily service to Shanghai from San Francisco. UPS currently transfers air cargo bound for mainland China to another carrier in Hong Kong, putting it at a disadvantage to Fedex.
October 17, 2000 -- Due to the limitations of aircraft used to transport mail, the Postal Service has announced in the Federal Register that it is lowering the maximum pallet height from 77 inches to 72 inches for Periodicals, Standard Mail (A), and Standard Mail (B) entered at Anchorage and Fairbanks, Alaska.
October 17, 2000 -- ZixIt Corporation has announced that Jeff Papows, former president and chief executive officer of Lotus Development Corporation and current president and chief executive officer of Maptuit Corporation, has been elected chairman of the board of ZixIt Corporation. ZixIt Corporation provides products and services that enhance security, privacy, and convenience for users of the Internet. Principal services include: SecureDelivery.com -- an Internet secure-messaging portal, and ZixMail(TM) -- a secure document delivery, private email, and message tracking service that enables users worldwide to easily send and receive encrypted and digitally signed communications using their existing email systems and addresses.
October 17, 2000 -- FedEx Ground, the second largest small-package ground carrier in North America and an operating unit of FedEx Corp., is rolling out a new data-collection system. The $80-million project, the largest non-facility investment in company history, includes the installation of new on-van computers; enhanced handheld scanners for electronically capturing delivery information, including signatures; wireless Local Area Networks (LANs) at every FedEx Ground facility; and wearable ring scanners. Collectively, this new technology will provide ground shippers with even greater package visibility through more detailed tracking and faster delivery confirmation, including signature proof of delivery (P.O.D.). FedEx Ground is the only small-package ground carrier that provides free P.O.D. signatures on the Internet.
October 17, 2000 -- YOUcentric, Inc., an eBusiness Relationship Management solutions provider, has announced that FedEx Corporate Services, Inc. has deployed YOUrelate from YOUcentric to its 2,800 sales management and professionals in the U.S.
October 17, 2000 -- The U.S. Department of Commerce has reported that Americans' access to computers and the Internet has grown dramatically over the past 20 months with computers now in more than half of all households. The share of households with computers rose from 42.1 percent in December 1998 to 51 percent in August of this year--a total of 53.7 million households. The number of households with Internet access also soared, hitting 41.5 percent in August, up from just 26.2 percent in the previous 1999 survey.
October 17, 2000 -- eFruit International, an operator of online marketplaces for buyers and sellers of agricultural commodities, has announced a partnership with United Parcel Service that will allow eFruit's JuiceMarketplace members the ability to ship juice samples internationally through UPS. UPS has never before offered juice sample shipments beyond the North American continent. After speaking with eFruit International management regarding the volume of juice samples shipped internationally each year, however, UPS has decided to offer international service for the first time to eFruit's JuiceMarketplace members. Members will be able to arrange their shipments online via a link between the JuiceMarketplace web site and the UPS web site.
October 16, 2000 -- Dutch postal and courier group TNT Post Group NV (TPG) said it will invest $25 million in Insight Capital Partners' new investment vehicle European Fund that investsin young and mid-stage software and services companies in the business-to-business and business-to-consumer e-commerce sectors.
October 16, 2000 -- Military Mail Solutions, Inc. has launched ShipItAPO! (http://www.shipitapo.com), a parcel mail forwarding service for APO/FPO address holders.
October 16, 2000 -- The balance of the new officer assignments at the U.S. Postal Service have been announced. They are:
Jack Potter as chief operating officer and executive vice president
Richard Strasser as chief financial officer and executive vice president
Donna Peak as vice president of finance and comptroller
Michele Purton as vice president and treasurer
Paul Vogel as vice president for network operations management
October 16, 2000 -- PostMag.Com has launched its "The Americas" addition. Featured is its first guest editorial entitled: "Can We Wake The Sleeping Giant?"
October 16, 2000 -- According to the British newspaper, The Telegraph, the U.K. "Post Office is to trial a new parcel delivery scheme, which will take advantage of its extensive local network. The scheme will allow home shopping customers to nominate a Post Office near their place of work and have the parcel waiting there for collection."
October 15, 2000 -- Having lost its COO, CEO, CFO, president and chairman, the remaining leadership at Stamps.com said things will get better for the company whose stock has fallen 97 percent since January. "I am confident we will come out of this stronger," said interim chairman Marvin Runyon. He told the MarketWatch.com Radio Network the company is seeking a new executive style in its next chief executive. "We're looking for skills of people and systems management, as opposed to someone who is very good at explaining the overall picture."
October 15, 2000 -- As The Washington Post has reported, the "Carson City mailbag test," known within the Postal Service as "Today's Mail," is being implemented within the greater Washington, DC area.
October 14, 2000 -- As The Washington Post has noted, the public relations battle contesting the Postal Service's right to enter the e-commerce arena in competition with private sector businesses is escalating. Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) and Robert W. Goodlatte (R-Va.) joined a news conference at the Capitol to support the conclusions of a study sponsored by the Computer and Communications Industry Association entitled "The Role of Government in a Digital Age." Goodlatte was especially critical of the Postal Service, which he said competes unfairly against other online bill payment systems and delivery services because "it pays no taxes and doesn't have to worry about the threat of bankruptcy."
October 14, 2000 -- United Parcel Service Inc. has announced the retirement of two veteran executives, including Chief Financial Officer Robert Clanin, who will step down at the beginning of 2001 as will Chief Operating Officer Charles Schaffer, 55. Each of the two executives had worked for the company for about 30 years. UPS also named its vice president of finance, Scott Davis, 48, to succeed Clanin, and Thomas Weidemeyer, 53, now senior vice president for transportation and engineering, to take over from Schaffer.
October 14, 2000 -- While the traditional business may be going through a slowdown, Pitney Bowes has taken significant steps to utilize the opportunities created by the Internet. The company is investing more than $100 million in growth initiatives this year, including development of new products and services, enhancements of the IT infrastructure and Web enabling the customer support process.
October 14, 2000 -- The Senate has passed the appropriation bill for the Treasury Department and Postal Service on a voice vote. That bill that includes $130 million for funding of Customs' next-generation computer system, and $258 million to upgrade the existing Automated Commercial System and International Trade Data System.
October 14, 2000 -- According to eMarketer's eMail Marketing Report, total spending on e-mail marketing in 2000 will be almost $1.1 billion. This figure will rise to over $4.5 billion by 2003. eMail marketing includes ads, sponsorships, promotions, announcements and customer relationship management, and retention initiatives delivered via e-mail.
October 14, 2000 -- CNNfn has reported that Boeing Co. has agreed to convert 30 used jumbo jets into freighters for United Parcel Service Inc. in a deal worth up to $1.5 billion.
October 14, 2000 -- Email remains the killer app for the Internet, evidenced by the many opportunities and challenges facing providers and users of email. Understanding how and where email usage will occur in the future is the focus of a new IDC study titled Email Usage Forecast and Analysis, 2000-2005.
October 13, 2000 -- More from The Wall Street Journal on top executive changes at Stamps.Com.
WE REGRET TO NOTE:
Gerald (Rocky) Matthews, 52, passed away last week of complications from surgery. Rocky worked for years at USPS headquarters on such initiatives as the ancillary service endorsements revision. More recently, he worked at the USPS National Customer Support Center in Memphis. He is survived by a wife, Patricia, and three children. Cards can be sent to the family at 2648 Southmoore Cove, Germantown TN 38138-5927 or care of Susan Hawes, USPS, 6060 Primacy Pky, Memphis TN 38188-0001.
October 13, 2000 -- Part of the United Kingdom's plan for saving its Post Office was to create a Post Office Bank that would feed business into its retail centers. According to the British newspaper The Guardian, British "taxpayers will be expected to provide at least £130m towards the annual running cost of the government's planned universal bank....The contribution from the public purse means that the post office-based bank will cost as much as £300m a year to run its operation."
October 13, 2000 -- According to Agence France Presse, "Deutsche Post will have to pay more than originally expected to increase its stake in the US parcel delivery service DHL International. Deutsche Post will pay 745 million dollars (858 million euros) instead of 500 million dollars to increase its stake in DHL from 25 percent to 51 percent."
October 13, 2000 -- ThePostalGateway.Com has reported that "TNT enters the world of m-commerce...with the launch of its new WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) tracking facility at http://wap.tnt.com. The new facility enables any customer with a WAP-enabled mobile phone or device to track their international consignments, whenever and wherever they want. Customers can now instantly check both the status (in transit, or arrived) and location of their international consignment using either a TNT consignment number or their own tracking reference. In addition, customers can also view the date and time of the pick up or delivery, and even the person who signed for the shipment. The tracking facility is available in any country, whose telecommunications networks support the WAP standard."
October 13, 2000 -- Merging the complex world of air cargo logistics with the simplicity of instant messaging, CargoReservations.com (www.cargoreservations.com) has unveiled a revolutionary new business-to-business exchange for booking airfreight with a single mouse click.
October 13, 2000 -- Handelsblatt.Com has reported that "with just a month to go before its initial public offering, state-owned postal services group Deutsche Post AG has finally revealed how important its monopoly in letter delivery is to its business."
According to the German postal industry publication CEP News (Courier-Express-Postal Market News), published by the MRU Consultancy GmbH, "the monopolized letter service sector still contributes around 76 % of the total company profits. The risks involved with the future deregulation – which may lead to a complete opening of the market – are, however, believed to be relatively unimportant. The same goes for the risks involved with the pending competition proceedings in Brussels."
October 13, 2000 -- CEP News also has reported that:
Negotiations between the Portuguese mail company CTT and the French La Poste, which have been going on for months, were broken off without result. Mr Emilio Rosa, CEO of CTT, stated that the two companies had been discussing an extension of their global partnership. At the end of last month Mr Rosa told Reuters that the negotiations were cancelled in August without any outcome. CTT and La Poste both belong to the alliance of south European mail companies together with the corresponding companies in Italy and Greece. The four companies aim for an intensified co-operation, which would involve, among other things, the extension to the other alliance partners of the recent co-operation agreement between FedEx and La Poste.
October 13, 2000 -- Again, from CEP News, "the French mail company has renamed its holding company Coelo (Courier et logistiques)....The express, parcel and logistics business will now appear under the name of Geopost. The holding company co-ordinates the operations of the subsidiary Chronopost International as well as the companies TAT Express, Publi-Trans, Eurodispatch, DPD France and the shares in the German DPD."
October 13, 2000 -- CEP News also has reported that "on the occasion of a postal conference in Geneva Mr Philippe Lemay, deputy chairman of Canada Post Corporation, suggested last Thursday that the mail companies should agree to create a joint e-business platform, a 'global postal market place.' Quoting FedEx’s appearance on the market as an example, Mr Lemay declared that the lack of unity amongst mail companies had strongly encouraged the success of the integrator. He believes that the integrator would never have been able to attain its powerful market position, had the mail companies in good time taken on board the trend towards express dealings – in particular the overnight business - and acted upon it by creating their own service offers."
October 13, 2000 -- This is interesting. In Europe, CEP News has reported, United Parcel Service is giving its customers the option of using local Texaco gas stations as their parcel pickup point. Who knows? Maybe gas stations in the United States are next.
October 13, 2000 -- "These days, a business that stagnates is a business in its rivals' cross-hairs." So says the senior news editor for Logistics Online. "You've got to be nimble to make it in today's Internet-speed business environment. Advances in technology, new business practices, and the dizzying rate of mergers and acquisitions can be overwhelming. The trick isn't just being able to handle the changes yourself. You've got to bring everyone else in your department - or even your entire company - along for the ride." How do you know when change is needed? It's simple. Here are some of the hallmarks:
Competitors are stealing market share.
Market forces - such as the growth of the Internet economy - require expansion or adaptation.
The company is spending too much.
Customers are complaining.
Employees' dissatisfaction is becoming public, perhaps to recruiters.
Productivity is down; operations are inefficient or ineffective.
Sound like any enterprise you might know?
October 13, 2000 -- Want to know what life would be like if America's postal system were delegated to the Customs Service's scrutiny? Take a look at this tale of woe from Logistics Online.
October 13, 2000 -- According to Logistics Online, "Expedited transportation in the United States has become "grounded" - so to speak. It wasn't so long ago - back in the '90s, in fact - when expedited shipping meant sending freight via an airfreight or integrated carrier. But today, the trucking companies have wrested a large share of the expedited transportation market from those airfreight and integrated carriers."
October 13, 2000 -- dotLogix, Inc., an e-business solutions provider, has launched a proprietary web-based equipment management and shipment tracking solution targeted to logistics enterprises.
October 13, 2000 -- Nonprofit rate mailers should be delighted to know that both the House and Senate have passed legislation to make permanent a more rational reform of nonprofit postal rates. The vehicle: S. 2686. It embodies a proposal advanced by PostCom to fix permanently the relationship between regular and nonprofit Standard Mail (A) rates. It's designed to eliminate the problem of nonprofit "rate shock" which was so obviously an issue in the Postal Service's initial proposals in Docket No. R2000-1. Once the President signs this bill, the interests of regular rate and nonprofit rate Standard A users will be permanently linked together.
October 13, 2000 -- Three prominent economists, including a former top aide to President Clinton, have said the U.S. government may be sliding into improper competition with its citizens in electronic commerce. In a study commissioned by the Computer & Communications Industry Association, a trade group, they cited ventures such as the U.S. Postal Service's new "eBillPay" program. With such an electronic billing and payment service, "the government seems to have overstepped the boundaries that should apply to public provision of goods and services." The report can be viewed online at http://www.ccianet.org/digitalgovstudy/main.html.
October 13, 2000 -- Connecticut Governor John Rowland and Attorney General Richard Blumenthal joined ADVO, Inc. (a PostCom member) and its partners, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and the United States Postal Service, in celebration of the safe return of 100 missing children as a result of ADVO's "Have You Seen Me?" direct mail cards, and in a "call to action" to urge the citizens of Connecticut to renew efforts in the search for children and teens who remain missing.
October 13, 2000 -- Diamond Phoenix Corp., a manufacturer of high-performance material handling carousel and order-fulfillment systems, has been selected by Lockheed Martin Systems Integration - Owego as the exclusive licensee to manufacture and sell products based on Lockheed Martin's advanced vertical integrated storage and retrieval (VIS/R) technology. VIS/R(TM) systems are a family of high-speed material handling sortation products from Lockheed Martin's Distribution Technologies business in Owego, N.Y.
October 13, 2000 -- Interested in making money while staying at home? Remember that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is! That is what Better Business Bureaus across North America have confirmed in a year-long study of 112 work-at-home companies that advertise in newspapers and magazines, on the Internet, and on signs posted in various communities. Operation Job Fraud, a task force comprised of 15 BBB professionals in cooperation with the United States Postal Inspection Service, coordinated the project.
October 13, 2000 -- Canada Post has partnered with Calgary- based Cybersurf Corp., an Internet technology company, to offer a CD-ROM product that allows Canadians to get connected and enjoy free email, and unlimited free Internet access on the 3web network. The CD, which sells for $9.95, is custom tailored for Canada Post customers, providing a branded Internet homepage that includes single-click access to Canada Post's current Internet-based services, including Postal Code Look-up, the Electronic Post Office, eParcel and the Go Shopping directory.
October 13, 2000 -- An important study of the parcel industry entitled: "The Parcel Industry in the U.S.: Its Size and Role in Commerce" by Edward K. Morlok is available on the following web site: http://www.seas.upenn.edu/sys/logistics/parcelstudy.html. This is one you'll want to read. One important conclusion:
"...the traditional modal view of transportation, in which the transportation system is looked at as a collection of modes and theri companies or agencies, is out of date. Freight transportation is increasingly a service that transcends modal boundries. This trend is emplified by parcel service which now has revenues inexcess of all of the traditional freight modes except trucking. Its importance to the economy is obvious from the fact that parcel carriers deliver over 10% of our Gross Domestic Product each year. the traditional modal sturcture of governmental policy making, planning, and regulation is increasingly mismatched to the freight transportation system"
Sure sounds like a powerful endorsement of the need for postal legislative reform.
October 12, 2000 -- Former Postmaster General Marvin Runyon has been named Chairman and CEO of Stamps.com.
October 12, 2000 -- The New York Times has reported that "federal agents [IRS and postal inspectors] armed with search warrants yesterday raided the Topeka, Kan., headquarters of the Tax People, a company that has been selling tax-avoidance techniques to middle-class Americans."
October 12, 2000 -- The Direct Marketing Association has reported that "the increase in jobs attributed to direct marketing continues to outpace overall U.S. employment growth by almost four to one....For every job that is created in the mainstream economy, 11 jobs will be created in the direct marketing industry."
October 12, 2000 -- FedEx has announced that the company would offer nonresident U.S. citizens free election ballot delivery for the November elections. The offer is open to all U.S. citizens currently residing in Greater China and the North Pacific and South Pacific regions. Ballots can be dropped off from now until Nov. 3, 2000 at FedEx Express World Shipping Centers, FedEx Express Stations and participating American Clubs for collection within regular local cutoff times.
October 12, 2000 -- I.D. Systems, Inc., a provider of end-to-end wireless asset management solutions, has announced that the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has ordered the company's Wireless Asset Net(TM) fleet tracking and management system for industrial vehicles at the USPS Processing and Distribution Center (P&DC) in Greensboro, NC. This is the fifth USPS facility -- with a cumulative total of more than 400 vehicles -- to order the company's wireless fleet management system. The USPS maintains approximately 500 major mail processing centers and approximately 40,000 facilities overall in the United States.
October 12, 2000 -- The surge in drug dealers' use of Fedex and UPS for drug-related transactions speaks loudly for extending the Postal Inspection Service's policy powers to include ALL postal-related shippers.
October 12, 2000 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that United Parcel Service has picked Thomas H. Weidemeyer, president of UPS Airlines, as its new chief operating officer, effective Jan. 1.
October 12, 2000 -- Canada Post has responded to the PostMag.Com guest piece on the Post's alleged unfairness toward rural letter carriers.
October 12, 2000 -- The U.S. Postal Service has published in the Federal Register the following:
On August 7, 2000, the Postal Service announced an interim rule in the Federal Register (65 FR 48171) providing a 5 percent discount off the regular postage for all Express Mail International Service (EMS) shipments paid by an Express Mail Corporate Account (EMCA). The Postal Service hereby gives notice that it is implementing the interim rule on a permanent basis.
October 12, 2000 -- When you begin to think things with the U.S. Postal Service are going bad, keep the following item in mind. "The Nigeria Postal Service (NIPOST) has announced a revenue yield of over N500 million, just as it handled about 120 million mail items within the first six months of this fiscal year. This represents about 78 per cent of its projected estimate of N692, 348,000 for the said period. However, the performance is an improvement against last year's figure of N460 million it generated within the period under review." You COULD be trying to business in Nigeria.
October 12, 2000 -- Direct mail advertiser, ADVO Inc., has created a new consumer web site, ShopWise.com, to complement its core direct mail product offering. The web site will target on-line values to consumers, and will benefit clients by linking with the extensive readership and traffic-driving capabilities of ADVO's ShopWise branded direct mail advertising product. Sheesh! When ADVO starts doing things on the web...the Postal Service should REALLY get nervous.
October 11, 2000 -- United Parcel Service is under investigation by the state attorney general's office after as many as 10 business customers alleged that the shipping giant systematically overbilled them.
October 11, 2000 -- Deputy Postmaster General John Nolan, in response to a letter from PostCom, has advised mailers to "plan on a relativesly short implementation period" for new rates. Postal management has been telling its customers to plan on a January 7, 2000 implementation date.
October 11, 2000 -- As CNN has noted: "The village of Supai -- accessible only by foot, horseback or helicopter -- is home to more than 600 Havasupai Indians who live on a reservation deep below the south rim of the Grand Canyon in northern Arizona. Remote? Yes. Isolated? No. The U.S. Postal Service delivers mail and supplies to the Havasupai the same way it's been done for more than a century -- by mule train."
October 11, 2000 -- The Financial Times has noted that "the centrepiece of the government's plan to save the Post Office network and bring banking to the poor is under threat, as the high street banks threaten to scupper plans for a new Universal Bank. The banks may appear to be shirking their responsibilities; but their arguments deserve a careful look."
October 11, 2000 -- As the Memphis Flyer notes: "'The enemy of my enemy is my friend.' And these days FedEx and USPS have a common adversary for the door-to-door dollar: United Parcel Service, whose big brown delivery vans are as ubiquitous in American neighborhoods as the red-white-and-blue vehicles of the Postal Service and the purple-orange-and-white delivery trucks of FedEx."
October 11, 2000 -- Lockheed Martin has introduces its Enterprise Mail Product which is designed to integrate physical mail with the digital world. ManageMail streamlines mailroom operations as well as offers employees a desktop portal to mail-related services.
October 11, 2000 -- The Hindu has reported that India's Postal Department is planning to introduce e-mail and e-com services through its vast network of post offices to keep pace with changes in communication technology.
October 11, 2000 -- The Age.Com.Au has reported that "Australia Post processed and delivered a record number of letters last financial year despite the growing popularity of e-mail. Ironically, the GST - which has put pressure on Australia Post's profit margins - was a key contributor to the growth." If privacy legislation passes the U.S. Congress anytime soon, the U.S. Postal Service could get a similar shot in the arm as financial institutions scramble to comply with new financial records privacy requirements.
October 11, 2000 -- According to a recent Pitney Bowes-sponsored study, "only 27% of the mail center managers interviewed had any knowledge of the postal rate increase scheduled for implementation in January 2001."
October 10, 2000 -- In his most recent article, postal economist and postal policy watcher Alan Robinson wrote: "The financial difficulties that the Postal Service now faces should not surprise any postal stakeholder. While the Postal Service has shown profits for the past five years, the Postal Service has employed a number of one-time accounting and budgetary adjustments to maintain its profitability. These short-term actions have allowed the Postal Service to consistently post a positive net income, that prudent management with a longer-term focus would not have achieved."
October 10, 2000 -- Postmaster General William Henderson has announced that Deputy Postmaster General John Nolan has assumed the duties of Chief Marketing Officer. Allen Kane, the former CMO, will assume the duties of a new post, Senior Vice President, Future Business Design. In this position, Kane "will be responsible both for guiding the development of an integrated plan to increase competitiveness, and the creation of a comprehensive vision for the Postal Service in a new regulatory model."
Announcements regarding the appointments of Richard Strasser as Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, and John (Jack) Potter as Senior Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, are expected.
October 10, 2000 -- CNET has reported that BMG Entertainment has said it will begin selling a select number of songs and albums to consumers via downloads from the Internet, the latest major record label to launch a digital music initiative. Gee, let's raise postal rates again, and see if this business stays in the mail or goes the way of the Internet.
October 10, 2000 -- Are you finding newsletters in your email in-box? If not, get ready to see a lot of them soon. According to David Ferris, president of Ferris Research, email newsletters are already a popular way for companies to reach customers and prospects with sales offers, product information, and image-building campaigns. By 2005, Ferris says, they will largely replace newsletters sent by the postal mail.
October 10, 2000 -- PitneyWorks, Pitney Bowes' division dedicated to providing Internet-enabled solutions to small business owners, will offer free ClickStamp Online 2.0 software to buyers of select Brother printer models designed for small office and home office (SOHO) use.
October 10, 2000 -- Zairmail, a privately held company funded by both venture capital and private investors, has said it is working with Xerox Corporation to create the first large-scale distributed Mail-on-Demand (MoD) system. Zairmail will use Xerox distributed global print production and insertion sites in North America to enable Zairmail customers -- businesses, political organizations and consumers -- to send postal mail overnight via desktop computers.
October 10, 2000 -- Dow Jones has reported that Australia's government-owned postal service, Australia Post, said Tuesday it recorded profit after tax of A$259.5 million in the year to June 30, 2000, up 4.7% from the previous year. Revenue rose 8.5% to a record A$3.74 billion in 1999-00, partly reflecting growth in mail volumes. Productivity at the postal service rose 6.3% in the year, due mostly to a new automated mail handling system and the consequent introduction of improved work practices. According to Australia Post Chairman Linda Nicholls, "Australia Post's next challenge is to continue the web-enablement of the corporation and its products and services, and to implement our strategy of helping our customers in their transition to the on-line economy."
October 10, 2000 -- According to the Financial Times, Chile is dealing with a government-postal executive compensation hullabaloo of its own.
October 10, 2000 -- Computer Associates International, Inc. and Poste Italiane S.p.A., the Italian National Post Office, have implemented a state-of-the-art National Service Center -- Centro Nazionale Servizi -- to enhance the quality, speed and efficiency of Italy's mail services.
October 10, 2000 -- According to Time magazine, "the U.S. hasn't come to grips with the fact that in a fast-changing world, mail delivery is better run as a competitive business than as a government monopoly. While many countries have privatized their postal systems, the USPS has a foot stuck in each world. It is a semiprivate corporation with a lumbering government bureaucracy. It is run by a board of governors made up not of crack chief executives but of a folksy blend of local politicians, small-town business leaders and federal bureaucrats. The board has no postal experience, and Postmaster General William Henderson, a 28-year USPS veteran, has no other experience in business."
October 9, 2000 -- PostMag.Com's continuing saga on "The Great Parcel War." This week has a profile on Fedex.
October 9, 2000 -- Stamps.com, a provider of Internet mailing and shipping services, has announced that Loren Smith, who has served as president and chief operating officer, has returned to his primary role as a director on the Stamps.com Board of Directors. In addition, Chief Financial Officer John LaValle and Comptroller Candelario Andalon are leaving the company to pursue other endeavors.
October 9, 2000 -- According to Dow Jones, Germany's postal monopoly, Deutsche Post AG (G.DEP), could be valued at up to EUR29 billion when it floats next month.
October 9, 2000 -- In an article for Gravure magazine, Radio Shack's Fred Brussow says he's "mad as Hell" and is "not going to take it anymore."
October 9, 2000 -- Federal Computer Week has reported that "like a sharp-fanged mutt, the Internet is nipping away at the U.S. Postal Service, and the bites are beginning to hurt. In a newly published five-year plan, the Postal Service warns that its economic future is threatened by the increasing use of e-mail in place of first-class letters, for billing and bill paying, and even as a replacement for...[advertising] mail."
October 9, 2000 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that Germany's Finance Ministry will offer a price discount and free Deutsche Post shares in a bid to encourage retail investors to subscribe early to the initial public offering of the state-owned postal services group. The incentives will be offered to retail investors in Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, the Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland and Spain.
October 9, 2000 -- Agence France has reported that subscriptions for shares in the German public postal service Deutsche Post, to be quoted on the Frankfurt market on November 6, will be open to private investors in Germany and six European states from October 30 to November 10.
October 9, 2000 -- South African post office CEO Maanda Manyatshe has told his Parliament that the postal services division of the SA Post Office, which suffered an operating loss of 482 million Rand in the year to the end of March, would not achieve its breakeven target by the end of March next year as projected. The target, which was part of the strategic management partnership contract signed with New Zealand Post International and the UKs Royal Mail in October last year, would be reached a few months later.
October 9, 2000 -- The Royal Mail has defended itself against an attack by the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) over its plans to launch a new Postal Preference Service (PPS). The DMA has written to members, MPs and new postal regulator Graham Corbett expressing concern over Royal Mail's involvement in the PPS. It contends that the PPS, which allows customers to choose the direct mail they receive, would operate from a monopoly position because of Royal Mail's association with government. According to a Royal Mail spokesperson, a 100,000-strong test mailing had shown that more than 90% of people wanted more choice over the mail they receive and said that Royal Mail operates under competitive constraints.
October 9, 2000 -- Apparently, United Parcel Service and four other airlines are still waiting to be told which one will be allowed to establish new routes to China. The Department of Transportation's preliminary decision, they have been told, could come at any time.
October 9, 2000 -- The fact that a hoax about the Postal Service levying a charge on all emails made it into the Lazio-Rodham senatorial debate goes to show just how uninformed some politicians can be. Both were quite willing to express an opinion on a bill that never was and will never be. See also the story in The New York Times.
October 9, 2000 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that FedEx Corp. is trying to make it easier to return purchases made using the Internet by significantly expanding the capabilities of a system that lets customers and merchants process package returns electronically. Itsthree-year-old NetReturn system will let customers print a shipping label generated on a personal computer. For the first time, the system also will provide the customer with nearby drop-off locations for the return package. The system essentially matches a service already brought on-line by United Parcel Service.
October 8, 2000 -- According to GovExec.Com, the heat is being turned up on the Postal Service's much-discussed alliance with Federal Express.
October 8, 2000 -- The Times (London) has reported that the U.K. Government will fight European plans for a drastic cut in the postal monopoly by 2003. Stephen Byers, Trade Secretary, told members of the European Parliament (MEPs) that the Government will resist plans for a cut in the monopoly on letters weighing under 350 grams to 50 grams out of fear that a big cut will endanger the universal service. The threshold, he said, should be modified to 150 grams.
October 8, 2000 -- On the other hand, Frits Bolkestein, the European Commission for Internal Markets and the architect of EU postal reform, has maintained in a commentary published by The Times that "the European Commission's proposals on the further opening of Europe's postal market, unveiled last May, represent a major opportunity not only for people and businesses using postal services but also for the postal sector itself. Despite what some critics may say, these proposals would neither threaten the provision of postal services throughout the country nor cause unemployment."
October 7, 2000 -- UPS Logistics Group has completed the purchase of Livingston Inc. of Oakville, Ontario, and Livingston Healthcare Services Inc. of Newark, Del. The Livingston Inc. acquisition will provide UPS Logistics Group with 18 distribution centres across Canada, specializing in supply chain management in the high-tech, consumer products and healthcare sectors. Livingston Healthcare Services has six distribution centers in the US and specializes in logistics for healthcare, biotechnology and medical device customers.
October 7, 2000 -- Consumers for World Trade (CWT) presented an award to United Parcel Service CEO, Jim Kelly, for his commitment to open and competitive world trade.
October 6, 2000 -- The National Newspaper Association (NNA) has reported that postal delivery service for newspapers "has not improved over the past year. With the United States Postal Service (USPS) now asking for substantial rate increases, newspapers that use the postal system will be paying significantly more for less." "This situation," said one industry spokesman, "is unacceptable."
October 6, 2000 -- The Korea Herald has reported that Hanjin Express, the international service of Hanjin Transportation Co., has forged a partnership with the U.S. Postal Service which will provide companies in Korea with a more economical and speedy way to ship goods to the U.S.
October 6, 2000 -- XYAN.com, a provider of digital document solutions, has signed a contract with the U.S. Postal Service to provide distribute then print document services to support the Postal Service's new Netpost Mailing Online service.
October 6, 2000 -- The U.S. Postal Service has said it will sell commemorative stamp volumes and agency history books in retail stores this year, rather than only in postal stores.
October 5, 2000 -- Brokers Worldwide, a full-service international distribution company headquartered in suburban Philadelphia, has announced Group La Poste's acquisition of 40 percent of the privately held company. It is the French firm's first U.S. acquisition. Group La Poste, which is part of the French post office, is one of the world's largest postal and logistics services firms. The acquisition is part of La Poste's strategy to strengthen its position in the U.S. and world markets. Brokers Worldwide is the largest independently owned international mail distribution company in the U.S., and is a pre-qualified wholesaler with the United States Postal Service, sharing in the $7 billion per year industry.
October 5, 2000 -- International Data Post has featured its WEB ePOST system, which is designed to integrate Internet mail with well-known postal services, at the Post-Expo 2000 conference in Geneva. IDP is also showing the "electronic envelope" technology that secures the same privacy and security in electronic mail as known from letter mail. WEB ePOST is expected to create new markets for Customer Relationship Marketing, Direct Marketing, invoicing etc. It will help traditional postal operators into the New Economy and offer them a new generation of postal e-commerce.
October 5, 2000 -- The chairmen of the House Committee on Government Reform and its Subcommittee on the Postal Service have written to Attorney General Janet Reno. In the letter, Chairmen Dan Burton and John McHugh agree that it is inappropriate for an entity like the U.S. Postal Service to be with antitrust scrutiny. But, the chairmen said, if you're going to look at the Postal Service, don't stop there. Look at the "entire domestic postal and delivery sector, which would include both public and private entities. This economic sector includes companies that may exert substantial domination in their chosen markets and as a result, may unfairly impose higher costs on consumers. This is ofparticular concern to consumers and small businesses in rural areas of our nation who may have limited choices and access to a competitive delivery network."
October 5, 2000 -- The Postal Service, in a letter to House Government Reform committee chairman Dan Burton, has expressed concern over a legislative proposal that would expand the authority of the U.S. Customs Service to conduct border searches of mail.
October 5, 2000 -- DM News has reported that some United Parcel Service (UPS) customers took the occasion of the Parcel Logistics Expo to voice their unhappiness with UPS' policy for charging fees for the use of its parcel tracking service.
October 5, 2000 -- Dow Jones has reported that the European Union Commission has widened the scope of its investigation into Deutsche Post AG's alleged abuse of its dominant position as the German postal operator. In a statement, the Commission said that it extended the investigation following new evidence concerning Deutsche Post's contracts with its major mail order customers, which included a "combination of fidelity and target rebates." The Commission said that under the terms of the rebate schemes, "large mail-order customers are granted discounts on the double condition of them sending all their parcels and an annual minimum volume through Deutsche Post". See also the story by the Associated Press.
October 5, 2000 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that the Danzas Group (a division of Deutsche Post AG) is taking over two French forwarders from the Ducros Euro Express parcel-delivery company. Danzas has said that it plans to integrate the two French companies -- Arcatime, based in Brest, and Sernadis-Berthet, in Lyon -- into the Eurocargo business unit of Danzas France. The intention is to bolster its overland transport network in Europe.
October 5, 2000 -- The Associated Press has reported that "the U.S. Postal Service must pay more than $1 million to the family of a 3-year-old girl killed by an errant 18-wheeler truck." A federal judge has awarded damages of $850,000 to the parents of Andrea Salazar, $50,000 to her mother for emotional distress, $25,000 for injuries suffered by her brother and $100,000 to her father for emotional distress. On April 21, 1998, a tractor-trailer truck delivering mail lost control, crashed into a building and demolished the downtown Kansas City apartment where the girl was sleeping. Postal officials said the driver, who jumped from the truck just before the crash, had been negligent and accepted liability.
October 5, 2000 -- Information Week, Advertising Age's BtoB and CIO magazines all recently honored FedEx Corp. for its creative and practical use of information technology.
October 5, 2000 -- According to the Deseret News, "the Postal Service is a huge enterprise, a force majeur that threatens to clear the market of competition....[Its] unfair size advantages are compounded by the fact that the Postal Service doesn't pay taxes to the government or dividends to shareholders, and when revenues fall short of expectations, it can shift losses to taxpayers....[I]f aspects of the Postal Service have outlived their usefulness, rather than vainly attempting to revive them, we should phase them out. It's called progress. Permitting the agency to become enveloped in new projects like eBillPay is simply beating a dead horse."
October 5, 2000 -- The U.S. Postal Service announced that it posted a score of 94 percent for on-time delivery of local First-Class Mail in the last quarter of fiscal year 2000. That equals the score recorded for the same period last year and marks the twelfth consecutive quarter that national overnight delivery scores have hit or exceeded the 93 percent mark. The results, independently measured by Pricewaterhouse-Coopers, cover overnight delivery service during the period May 20, 2000, through September 8, 2000.
October 4, 2000 -- Escher Group, a provider of technology and e-commerce solutions to the postal industry, and the Universal Postal Union (UPU) have announced a strategic alliance focused on joint marketing and development of the two organizations' products and services. Escher and the UPU will collaborate to create common interfaces between the Escher product sets and the products and services developed and supported by the UPU's Postal Technology Centre. Specifically Escher will interface Riposte, its flagship XML-messaging solution, and RiposteDispatch, its innovative Internet postage and shipping solution, with the UPU's International Postal System (mail management, logistics and tracking) and International Financial System (financial services, money orders and payments). /p>
October 4, 2000 -- zBox has completed its first test of its "smart" home delivery box in a "formal beta test" with major online retailers, the U.S. Postal Service and other major shippers.
October 4, 2000 -- As Dow Jones has noted: "European Union member states are sharply divided on a plan to open up the postal services market an additional 20% by 2003 and to lower the limit for reserved letter post to 50 grams from 350 grams. Christian Pierret, French secretary of state for economy, industry and finance, said 'many' member states support France's rejection of aspects of the plan, citing danger to universal services. Pierret, who also serves as council president during France's six-month E.U. presidency, said France opposes the measure because state monopolies need the revenue from letters over 50 grams to finance universal service to rural areas." Postal liberalization? Qu'est-ce que c'est?
October 4, 2000 -- The Register (U.K.) has reported that Royal Mail is in the process of extending its delivery times, and says it is now making evening deliveries. It has the infrastructure in place and knows the logistics of large scale delivery systems. It also has a network of depots, known as Post Offices (remember them?) that could easily have their pick up hours extended.
October 4, 2000 -- Newsbytes has reported that a coalition of high-tech companies has asked the federal government to nix its growing number of e-commerce initiatives that directly compete with the private sector under the guise of citizen-friendly e-government programs. At a hearing of House subcommittee on Treasury, Postal Service and General Government, Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA) President and CEO Ed Black said he would support a bevy of lawmakers who have called on the government to impose a moratorium on activities that would directly compete with the private sector. A number of a e-commerce companies - particularly those in the electronic stamps market - believe the USPS has no business competing in a dot-com world, and that it's taxpayer-funded status gives it a hefty competitive advantage. CCIA has commissioned an economic study to analyze the implications of the federal government moving into e-commerce. The results of that study will be made available later this month.
October 4, 2000 -- Here's a tidbit passed on by one of our correspondents. The Air Transport Association has posted on its web site its "prelimary scheduled cargo" tally. In a nutshell, it shows that the growth of mail carried by commercial carriers is lagging the growth of other freight and express cargoes.
October 4, 2000 -- David Rawsley, Editor-in-chief of the PostMag.Com web site writes: "When PostMag test-drove e-Post we came away disappointed with its performance …”e-Post drives more like a post office than an e-site”. Our assessment was echoed in a guest editorial from an early user who had abandoned it and by e-mails we received. We posted the response from e-Post and accepted their offer for a meeting. Here is what we know now."
October 3, 2000 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that Deutsche Post World Net has expanded its worldwide logistics network by delivering two more forwarding firms to its logistics pillar, Danzas AG. Danzas has acquired the Spanish and South Korean subsidiaries of U.S.-based Air Express International, which Danzas acquired earlier this year.
October 3, 2000 -- Overnite Transportation Company has announced that it is the first less-than-truckload carrier to offer guaranteed free pickup service nationwide. The Guaranteed Pickup Service is available at no extra cost -- if Overnite fails to pick up and deliver the shipment as scheduled, it moves free of charge.
October 3, 2000 -- MyOnlyCatalog.com, an online shopping destination site, has opened its virtual doors for business with hundreds of brand name catalogs that have joined what promises to be a new merchandising phenomenon. The founders of MyOnlyCatalog.com say that it's not online catalogs that are new, but rather a complete shopping experience made possible by a cascading diversity of brands and merchandise coupled with advancing Web technology that should impress even the most die-hard of print catalog shoppers.
October 3, 2000 -- The British newspaper, the Independent, has reported that the British Post Office has come under attack over plans by the Royal Mail to take part in a mass exercise to find out what kinds of unsolicited advertising mail households want to receive. The Direct Marketing Association (DMA), which counts Centrica, Great Universal Stores and John Lewis among its members, claimed that the Royal Mail's planned involvement in the Postal Preference Service would be an abuse of its monopoly position and misleading to consumers.
October 3, 2000 -- Lockheed Martin Systems Integration - Owego now offers advanced technology for automatic data collection on cartons, boxes and parcels. The company's Distribution Technologies unit has developed a Carton Optical Character Recognition (OCR) and Video Coding Subsystem (VCS) product that automatically reads labels, addresses and barcodes on cartons. Image-capture capabilities range from a single side up to six sides.
October 3, 2000 -- For as long as we've had computers, we've heard predictions of the paperless office. Hasn't happened yet. And probably won't anytime soon, says Michael Critelli, CEO of Pitney Bowes.
October 3, 2000 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that the U.S. Postal Service and DHL Worldwide Express Inc. expanded an alliance to offer jointly a two-day delivery service between the U.S. and international destinations. The expanded service includes guaranteed two-business-day delivery between about 20,000 retail postal outlets, or almost 60% of the 34,000 U.S. postal locations, and almost any address in more than 200 foreign countries and territories.
October 3, 2000 -- As the Memphis Commercial Appeal has noted, while a FedEx-Postal Service alliance could dramatically alter the competitive landscape in the United States, posing a threat to Atlanta-based United Parcel Service Inc.'s dominant ground network, Frederick W. Smith, FedEx Corp.'s chairman, president and chief executive officer, has said there may not be a deal with the U.S. Postal Service. And certainly, his company doesn't plan to become a new postal service or subsidize one of its chief competitors.
October 3, 2000 -- Traffic World has reported that a new report by Forrester Research says supply chains are not robust enough to handle the future demands of global e-commerce. The company predicts global e-commerce will reach an astounding $6.8 trillion by 2004, which will "crush today's brittle supply chains."
October 3, 2000 -- The Postal Service is proposing to add new sections to the Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) and to title 39, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), to reflect policies and regulations pertaining to all postage evidencing systems that generate information-based indicia (IBI).
October 3, 2000 -- TeamLinux Corporation has announced that it has launched a new kiosk, specialized device and e-commerce solutions business unit. TeamLinux has acquired these assets from NCR's Design Center and Gem City Solutions. Its new business unit will provide end-to-end kiosk, special device and e-commerce solutions to the banking, hospitality, retail, food service, supermarket and government industries as well as other developing interactive markets. The U.S. Postal Service has expressed an on-again/off-again love affair with kiosks. Remember "Postal Buddy?"
October 2, 2000 -- The Washington Post has reported that "the U.S. Postal Service plans to make early retirement offers, starting next month, to employees at its headquarters and 10 area offices as part of an effort to cut about 700 administrative jobs. The Postal Service, which faces the prospect of red ink, hopes that providing early outs to employees will help it avert layoffs in fiscal 2001.
October 2, 2000 -- Bloomberg news notes that UPS and others in the business of logistics -- tracking, storing and distributing inventories -- increasingly offer new services from designing warehouses to programming cellular phones to handling customer-service calls. They're trying to win a bigger piece of the $3 trillion annual worldwide logistics business. Industry sales are growing at least 20 percent a year as Internet-based retailers proliferate and as companies shed costly assets such as warehouses and trucks and hire someone else to handle supply, inventory and shipping services.
October 2, 2000 -- In testimony before Congress, Fedex CEO Fred Smith said that Congress must do something to reduce airport delays that have plagued passengers and cargo shipments. He called on Congress to reinstate slot controls during peak hours at key hub airports around the nation.
October 2, 2000 -- Here's an interesting item from the Denver Post. Officials at the U.S. Postal Service are red-faced about the agency's newest publication, "An American Postal Portrait," a lavishly printed volume filled with photos of early post offices across the nation. The problem is that the book was shipped to book reviewers by United Parcel Service. Nice going....
October 2, 2000 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that Deutsche Post AG, Germany's postal services operator, closed the first six months of the year 2000 with record profits in advance of its IPO.
October 2, 2000 -- Touch Technology International Inc. (TTI), a provider of smart card application software, has joined the Visa Smart Partner Program and will offer its PocketServer smart card personal productivity applications to Visa member banks at specially negotiated prices. TTI's personal productivity applications embedded into the Visa card will allow individuals to customize the information they use most in their everyday lives. TTI's pre-packaged applications added to the Visa smart card demonstrate a powerful benefit to cardholders, providing security and overall convenience. In addition to these extensions the first roll-out of the cards will contain the four standard PocketServer applications: (1) myFavorites stores an editable list of favorite Web site addresses with applicable user names and passwords. Once a site is selected a default browser is launched to view the site; (2) myShipTo stores cardholder address information which can be automatically entered at e-commerce Web sites; (3) myWallet stores all information necessary for credit card transactions; and (4) myContacts stores all personal contact data including phone numbers, email and postal addresses.
October 2, 2000 -- The Nihon Keizai Shimbun has reported that the Japanese Fair Trade Commission is set to recommend private companies be allowed to enter the letter delivery business, which is now monopolized by the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications.
October 2, 2000 -- The New Britain Hearld has reported that the Connecticut state attorney general’s office is investigating claims of systematic and fraudulent overbilling made against United Parcel Service (UPS) by several of its business customers.
October 1, 2000 -- The Federal Times has reported that the U.S. Postal Service will offer early retirement to some administrative employees to prevent layoffs as it attempts to cut expenses by $4 billion in four years. The move, the paper said, is part of an effort to cut 700 administrative jobs, but officials said the exact number of early retirements to be offered is not yet determined.
October 1, 2000 -- The Memphis Commercial Appeal has reported that "FedEx Express, the $15 billion air express unit of Memphis-based FedEx Corp., announced Tuesday its second formal postal service alliance in recent weeks. This time, it's in the Caribbean, where the Trinidad and Tobago Postal Corp. (TTPost) will offer its customers international express shipping through FedEx's global network starting Oct. 2. However, the product will bear the name, TTPost Global Express."
October 1, 2000 -- According to the British news source, Evening Standard (London, U.K.), the prospect of a major postal strike in London has increased with a fresh campaign to reinstate two brothers sacked for alleged football hooliganism.
October 1, 2000 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that according to Tom Weidemeyer, president of UPS [United Parcel Service] Airlines, "new investments in infrastructure and technology are essential if the air cargo industry is keep growing."