Postal News from March 2001
March 31, 2001 -- The Postal Service's numbers for accounting period six are looking glum. You can find a copy of the AP6 PFY 2001 report on this web site.
March 31, 2001 -- From The Washington Post: "The economy, hit by a drop in spending on expensive items by businesses and consumers, grew at an annual rate of just 1.0 percent during the last three months of 2000, the weakest performance in more than five years. The Commerce Department's final reading on fourth-quarter gross domestic product -- the total output of goods and services within the United States -- showed the economy grew a bit more slowly than previously thought. In the third quarter, the economy grew at a 2.2 percent rate. Also, after-tax profits of U.S. corporations fell in the fourth quarter by 4.3 percent, the largest decline since the first quarter of 1998. In the previous quarter, profits grew by 0.6 percent." There's not a single mail-related business in America who couldn't tell you the same based on its own experience."
March 31, 2001 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "United Parcel Service will begin direct service to China on Sunday with inaugural flights to Beijing and Shanghai from Ontario, Calif., and Newark, N.J. 'With these new flights, UPS will offer the broadest portfolio of services to customers shipping to and from China,' said Jim Kelly, chairman and chief executive of UPS. 'It's further proof that UPS is a global carrier that not only moves goods, information and funds but also connects today's global businesses with markets and producers worldwide.'"
March 31, 2001 -- The Journal of Commerce has posted its Handbook for International Trade on its website. The Handbook is an important and vital reference tool for transportation industry professionals. It contains export document requirements, company directories for both steamship lines and NVOCC's, domestic port information, association & agencies and a glossary of export terminology.
March 31, 2001 -- CargoWebNews has reported that "PTT Post, part of TNT Post in The Netherlands, is abusing its position as manager of post office boxes, according to its competitor, Mail Merge. Competitor postal companies can only deliver post destined for post offices boxes under strict conditions. Mail Merge is today lodging a complaint with the Dutch postal market regulator, Opta The Dutch Post Office Act states that TPG must provide other suppliers of mail carriage with access to the post office boxes on an equal basis. Mail Merge says that TPG is obstructing access to the post office boxes with a great many conditions, amounting to unfair competition."
March 30, 2001 -- The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin is available on this site.
March 30, 2001 -- Bloomberg.com has reported that "CNF Inc.'s Emery Worldwide got 99 percent of 2000 profit from a mail contract that likely will end when a $7.2 billion shipping agreement between rival FedEx Corp. and U.S. Postal Service begins, a regulatory document showed." Without this contract, does this mean the end of Emery Worldwide? It's enough to get stockholders to sing: "O Lord, it's hard to love postal, when they stiff you in everyway...."
March 30, 2001 -- The U.S. Postal Service has announced that its traditional certified mail product is now available via the Internet. The Postal Service partnered with USCertifiedLetters (USCL) to add this new offering to a suite of hybrid electronic services (correspondence that originates in electronic form and is delivered as physical mail) designed to save customers time and money, and to reaffirm the relevancy of hard-copy mail as well.
March 30, 2001 -- Global Express Guaranteed, the U.S. Postal Serviceís expedited international shipping service, will be available online beginning April 1. Global Express Guaranteed's date-certain delivery is available to more than 200 countries and territories worldwide from approximately 20,000 retail locations nationwide. With the new online shipping option, customers can check destination countries, learn the delivery commitment, be advised of any restrictions, calculate the postage and print the shipping label. There are links to sites designed to help customers learn more about customs fees and foreign postal codes. Global Express Guaranteed through a strategic alliance with DHL Worldwide Express.
March 30, 2001 -- Critical Path Inc., a provider of Internet messaging infrastructure, has announced that it is providing La Poste, France's national postal service, with the messaging technology for a new email service. Following a contract signed in the fourth quarter of last year, La Poste is leveraging the security, scalability and reliability of Critical Path's InScribe(TM) Messaging Server (IMS) to extend the benefits of the physical mailbox and provide free email addresses for the general French population. La Poste's initiative will some day make it possible for all French citizens to have a definitive and free email address. Today, more than 250,000 French citizens have already created their own address @laposte.net either on the Web site of La Poste (www.laposte.fr) or on the Web portal (www.illiclic.com) dedicated to the general public.
March 30, 2001 -- The Federal Express Corp. cargo hub in Indianapolis, according to one Knight-Ridder publication, has meant to the region's economy involves dealing in assumptions and anecdotes. The nature of economic development means that a variety of factors - from the location of a city to its transportation system and schools - helps determine where a company relocates or expands, said Suzanne Vertesch, vice president of client services with the Indianapolis Regional Economic Development Partnership. But Vertesch, whose job focuses on boosting the economy in a nine-county region around Indianapolis, said FedEx's national cargo hub has only helped, not hindered, the growth of the region. Now...imagine the contributions made to this nation via the postal infrastructure!!
March 30, 2001 -- The latest edition of the Online Retail Index from the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Forrester Research says North American consumers spent $3.4 billion online in February, an increase of $400 million since January. "In light of the economic slowdown, we are pleased to see that the Internet continues to thrive as a consumer shopping channel," James McQuivey, research director at Forrester.
March 30, 2001 -- La Poste, the French state mail monopoly, said Thursday exceptional costs and higher energy prices caused a significant drop in profits in 2000. La Poste reported net profit of EUR139.2 million in 2000, down 51% from EUR283.6 million in 1999.La Poste chief executive Martin Vial cited costs related to the euro switchover, higher transport and energy prices, and the implementation of the 35-hour working week were behind the declining profitability.
March 30, 2001 -- Nihon Keizai Shimbun has reported that "the [Japanese] Postal Services Agency, part of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications, plans to begin opening up postal mail transport in April to major shipping and transport companies, including door-to-door parcel delivery firms. From early April, the agency will introduce a bidding system for the transport of mail by air from Tokyo to remote places such as Sapporo, Fukuoka and Okinawa. Currently, only three airlines, including Japan Airlines Co. (9201), are permitted to transport mail by air. Trucks and airplanes transporting mail travel 1.5 million kilometers a day, with airplanes accounting for 54% of the travel. The agency pays over 20 billion yen a year to the three airlines for mail transport. The agency also plans to hold a tender for mail transport by ship in April. A date has still to be determined for mail transport by trucks, but will likely come after the agency becomes a public corporation in 2003. The postal mail business is expected to see a loss of more than 30 billion yen in fiscal 2001, bleeding red ink for the second year in a row. The earnings environment is becoming tougher ahead of turning the agency into a public corporation.
March 30, 2001 -- A copy of the European publication, the Courier-Express-and Postal Market News (CEP News) is posted as a courtesy provided to PostCom members. Our thanks go to the MRU Consultancy GmbH for this courtesy.
March 30, 2001 -- EPOST has announced new international business and technology modules, based on the proprietary EPOST model in Canada, that are now available to postal administrations worldwide. The EPOST international modules will offer postal administrations critical speed-to-market results through EPOST's intellectual property on the business, technical and operational issues involved in launching an e-postal initiative. EPOST is the world's first electronic post office, providing a secure location where customers and businesses can receive and process any type of mail on-line. Founded by Canada Post Corp. and Cebra Inc., the e-commerce subsidiary of one of Canada's largest banks, EPOST was successfully launched in the Canadian marketplace in November 1999. Since launching, more than 130,000 Canadians have registered with the EPOST service, and more than 90 companies have committed to sending mail through EPOST.
March 29, 2001 -- According to Quicken.com, United Parcel Service Inc. Chairman and Chief Executive James Kelly received 4.1% more in salary, bonus and other compensation last year than the year before, according to a proxy statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The chairman of UPS, the world's largest delivery company, earned $1.58 million in 2000, compared with $1.52 million in 1999. The Postmaster General of the United States, by contrast, can be paid no more than $164,000 for overseeing a $65 billion enterprise. See also CNET.Com.
March 29, 2001 -- Sweden Post's recently announced contract with EDS, who has contracted Checkfree i-Solutions and NETdelivery Corporation, for a comprehensive e-business solution for online postal services further positions NETdelivery as the leading provider of advanced electronic document delivery systems. NETdelivery's technology platform has now been selected by the world's only two online postal services -- as Sweden Post joins Canada Post's EPOST in offering Internet-based capabilities for businesses and consumers within their countries. NETdelivery partnered with EDS, and Checkfree i-Solutions, an operating group of Checkfree, to build a comprehensive electronic billing system and secure electronic document delivery solution. Together, the companies expect to provide Sweden Post's business and consumer customers with online services during 2001.
March 29, 2001 -- The Australian federal government has ditched plans to reduce Australia Post's monopoly of postal services, blaming opposition from Labor and the minor parties. The government originally had proposed legislation that would have allowed Australia Post competitors to shift letters of 50 grams or more, but kept the monopoly for standard letters. Introduced under national competition policy, the bill would also have removed the monopoly on incoming overseas mail, corporatised Australia Post and partially deregulated business mail.
March 29, 2001 -- The recession hits UPS. According to Bloomberg.Com, "United Parcel Service Inc., the largest delivery company, is reviewing ways to lower costs and may delay some projects as the U.S. economic slowdown reduces package shipments." Last week, UPS had reported that U.S. shipment growth fell to 1 percent in the past two months, as higher utility and fuel costs and a weaker euro boosted expenses. The company expects profit this quarter as low as 49 cents a share, down from 56 cents a year ago, and second-quarter earnings of as low as 55 cents, compared with 60 cents in the same period of 2000.
March 28, 2001 -- Dow Jones has reported that Standard & Poor's has placed its ratings on Airborne Freight Corp. on CreditWatch with negative implications.
March 28, 2001 -- DHL Airways Inc., the U.S.airline that participates in the DHL Worldwide Express network, has named Joe O'Gorman chairman and chief executive officer. O'Gorman, a 35-year industry veteran, spent much of his career with United Airlines, from which he retired in 1997. In addition to his past duties as executive vice president of operations for United, O'Gorman has also served as chief executive of Aloha Airlines, Frontier Airlines and Evergreen International. In 1999, as chairman and CEO, O'Gorman completed a successful one-year turnaround of Reno Air and sold it to American Airlines.
March 28, 2001 -- The Canadian Union of Postal Workers and the Council of Canadians are joining forces to challenge the constitutionality of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) rules that allow foreign corporations to sue Canada.
March 28, 2001 -- According to the Scottish newspaper, The Scotsman, postal services across the West of Scotland were in chaos last night because of a manager's lewd remarks to a 16-year-old female colleague. More than 3,600 Royal Mail workers are staging an unofficial strike in an action which has left four million items of mail undelivered across the Strathclyde area.
March 28, 2001 -- The German government has decided to extend Deutsche Post AG's lucrative domestic letter monopoly by five years through the end of 2007, waiting until European Union regulations for postal markets are established. The monopoly on the delivery of letters and catalogues was scheduled to run out at the end of 2002. According to government spokesman Uwe-Karsten Heye, however, Germany wanted to wait for European-wide legislation on the postal markets before allowing Germany to open up.
March 28, 2001 -- The Roanoke Times has reported that "It's raining grievances at Roanoke's mail processing and distribution center. Unions are at odds with each other and with management about job changes that U.S. Postal Service officials insist are necessary at its increasingly automated sorting centers. One union official contends related tensions are beginning to affect mail service."
March 28, 2001 -- The Associated Press has reported that "the U.S. Postal Service has announced sharp spending cuts in an effort to reduce looming losses. Despite an increase in stamp prices in January, the declining economic conditions and a slowdown in mail growth have the post office facing potential losses of $2 billion to $3 billion in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, agency officials estimate. The Postal Service already announced a freeze in construction spending this month. On Tuesday the agency said that it plans to cut over the next five years 75,000 work-years in labor costs, reduce administrative costs by 25 percent and cut transportation costs by 1 0 percent. A work-year is the work of one person for one year. The post office employs about 798,000 people. The cuts were announced by Deputy Postmaster General John Nolan during an industry meeting in Orlando, Fla. He said the agency is committed to cutting costs by $2.5 billion by 2003."
March 28, 2001 -- According to PostCom Bulletin editor Gene Del Polito, the spin placed on the news as to what the Postal Service intended to do to address its fiscal crisis was a bit eccentric.
March 28, 2001 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that "German postal agency Deutsche Post AG has now taken complete control at DHL International Ltd., after taking a majority stake in the air-express concern in September."
March 28, 2001 -- "As it loses its monopoly on UK postal services," CommentWire.Com has reported, "Consignia [the new name for the British post office] is shifting its focus to make sure it doesn't lose revenue. It's well on the way to becoming a one-stop-shop supply chain solutions firm, with services ranging from logistics to eFulfillment. Diversifying should allow Consignia to meet the challenge from its competitors, not just in the UK but globally."
March 27, 2001 -- United States Postal Service Deputy Postmaster General John Nolan and Michael J. Critelli, Chairman and CEO, Pitney Bowes have announced at the National Postal Forum in Orlando, FL, the formation of a Mailing Industry Task Force. The primary goals of the task force are to assess the current role and value of hard copy mail in business and consumer communications, evaluate the competitive environment affecting the industry's future, and identify opportunities for future growth.
March 27, 2001 -- A copy of the address given by Postmaster General William Henderson at the National Postal Forum in Orlando, FL is posted on this web site.
March 27, 2001 -- Lockheed Martin Corp.'s Owego Distribution Technologies unit agreed to be the prime contractor in a $70.5 million pact to deploy U.S. Postal Service sorting machines.
March 27, 2001 -- The British newspaper, The Independent, has noted that "last year, six in every 10 industrial disputes concerned the Post Office, and since last October alone the company has lost 30,000 working days to strike action. But every cloud has a silver lining. The head postie, John Roberts, is using this appalling record to warn the organisation's 180,000 staff that unless they start putting their customers first, then the customers will start going elsewhere."
March 27, 2001 -- Dow Jones has reported that "Dutch express delivery and postal company TNT Post Groep (TP) said Wednesday that it has signed a letter of intent to "explore a long term strategic alliance" with Portuguese postal company CTT Correios. Financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed. In a statement, TP said the aim of the cooperation is to improve its position in southern Europe. The cooperation between the companies is focused on domestic and international express delivery."
March 27, 2001 -- CargowebNews has reported that "TPG, through its TNT Logistics division, has announced a stakeholding in Albateam, the consortium which has today signed an agreement to acquire 100 percent of Renault's transport and logistics subsidiary, Compagnie d'Affretement et de Transport (C.A.T.)."
March 27, 2001 -- DM News has reported that "speaking at his last National Postal Forum as Postmaster General, William J. Henderson told a packed crowd at the keynote session here yesterday that while the U.S Postal Service is going through some tough times, a new rate hike is not a given. Earlier this year, the USPS announced that it might be filing a rate increase this summer averaging 10 to 15 percent. However, at the Forum, Henderson hedged, 'weíre not taking a potential rate hike as a given just yet.'Henderson said he asked Deputy Postmaster General John Nolan 'to explore alternatives to filing a double-digit rate hike this year.' Henderson said 'I know many of you have said there may be other options here. And John is going to help us take a close look at them.' After the keynote session, Nolan said that he is working with mailing groups, associations and mailers and looking at possible scenarios, but said, 'there is nothing official yet.'"
This report is correct. There have been discussions with PostCom and others. The report is correct in noting that there is "nothing official" at this time. The bottomline is that mailers should keep the pressure on to ensure that Congress and the President understand the seriousness of the Postal Service's threat not only to businesses that use or support the use of the mail but also to the health of the nation's economy.
March 27, 2001 -- DM News also has reported that "a group of mailers denouncing the U.S Postal Service's next proposed rate increase made their message clear yesterday at a press conference at the Spring National Postal Service. The group, called the Ad Hoc Coalition Against the Postal Rate Increase, included members of taxpayer and consumer watchdog groups such as Citizens Against Government Waste, the Cato Institute and PostalWatch. All parties were concerned about the 10 percent to 15 percent average rate increase expected to be implemented next year, and the $2 billion to $3 billion loss it will experience this year."
March 27, 2001 -- DM News postal commentator Cary Baer has noted that "it seems that some in Congress want to take flexibility away from the postal service....Absent a federal government subsidy, which is extremely unlikely, we should expect postage increases greater than inflation for the next few years."
March 27, 2001 -- SkyNews has reported that "Consignia - the new name for the Post Office has begun life as a Government-owned plc as postal services are opened up to competition. Many of the familiar brands - such as high street and village post office outlets and the Royal Mail delivery - will remain. But the big change should be an improvement to mail deliveries, as Consignia's monopoly on letters under £1 comes to an end. The move coincides with the launch of a new postal watchdog, PostComm, which will issue licences to postal operators. Graham Corbett, chairman of PostComm, said he would like to see 'healthy' new competitors - such as bus operators - have the capacity to make local deliveries. But he said he would not allow firms to move in and "cherry pick" business from busy areas because he did not want the Post Office's national delivery service to be damaged. The new name is intended to show the Post Office does a lot more than deliver mail.
March 27, 2001 -- The BBC has noted that "the Swedish island of Gotland, in the middle of the Baltic sea, looks back to more than a thousand years of trading heritage. It has also become an unlikely testing ground for a free-market in postal services. Customers here, for instance, are free to chose from two competing mail companies, each with their own post box. Sweden Post is the established service, but its rival delivers down the same forest roads and many customers have turned to it because its stamps are cheaper. Since 1993, a hundred such mail companies have been set up, but three-quarters of them have gone out of business as customers proved slow to switch their loyalties."
March 27, 2001 -- Post Office managers are warning that thousands of jobs could be at risk as postal services are deregulated, The Independent has reported. From today, when the Post Office receives its first operating licence from postal regulator PostComm, it will have the structure of a public limited company. The Post Office is changing its name to Consignia. The switch to a plc, announced last year, will give the company greater freedom over commercial decisions and more freedom to borrow and invest in services. But it will also face growing competition, the Independent said. It said the Consignia board believed PostComm would grant licences to competitors who could provide reliable deliveries in areas constantly hit by Post Office strikes. In the year 1999-2000, 22,000 working days were lost in the Post Office through industrial action, the majority of them not sanctioned by the union.
March 27, 2001 -- The British newspaper, The Telegraph, has reported that "the Post Office, now officially known as Consignia, has been set tough targets by its regulator and could be fined if it doesn't meet standards. The organisation received its first operating licence yesterday, which is valid for a 15-year period. Under the terms of the licence, the company must improve the number of first-class letters that are delivered the next day from 89pc to 92pc. It must also consult with the regulator, PostComm [Postal Services Commission], before raising the price of stamps during the next two years.
According to The Telegraph, John Roberts, chief executive of Consignia, said: "The licence is balanced, but it will also stretch us. Consignia is the first company to be granted a licence by PostComm, but it will certainly not be the last. Competition was already tough and now it is bound to get tougher. We fully intend to remain the number one player in the UK market, but we are going to have to earn our number one position by continuing to win our customers' business."
As the British newspaper noted, PostComm has the power to fine Consignia up to 10pc of its £7.5 billion turnover if it does not meet the targets set for it. The delivery of the licence marks the end of several weeks of bickering and wrangling between the Post Office and its regulator, during which the Post Office threatened to withdraw from the licence negotiations. It is also the first step towards the removal of the monopoly on delivering mail for under £1, as other licences for delivery will be granted in the next few months.
March 26, 2001 -- According to the National Center for Public Policy Research, the new postage rate increase contemplated by the U.S. Postal Service is not justified. Instead, it said, the post office could hold down costs for customers by reducing waste and boosting productivity.
March 26, 2001 -- Crescent Systems has introduced PayDQ eBill, an electronic bill delivered to the consumer via email with the look and feel (and advertising possibilities) of a traditional paper bill.The typical Electronic Bill Presentment and Payment (EBPP) service requires the consumer to perform two tasks that are unnecessary with traditional bill payment. First, absent postal service delivery, the consumer must remember that a payment is due. Failure to comply with this task subjects the consumer to late fees and service interruptions. Second, the consumer must seek out the bill on a specific web site, entering a predetermined user name and password. PayDQ eBill eliminates the need for consumers to surf the web to view and pay bills. It offers greater consumer convenience and comfort because it is delivered to consumers via email, and it has the built-in capacity for consumers to ``click-to-pay'' from their choice of a checking/savings account or a credit/debit card without the need for prior enrollment.
March 26, 2001 -- Neopost Online Inc., an Internet-based postage and shipping solutions provider, and Northrop Grumman Corporation have received U.S. Postal Service (USPS) approval to test the first browser-based self-service kiosk for online postage in the United States. The kiosk-based Simply Postageģ solution is a joint development of Neopost Online and Northrop Grumman's Automation and Information Systems Division.
March 26, 2001 -- PostalInsight.pb.com is listing the slides from the presentations at the Orlando National Postal Forum on its web site.
March 26, 2001 -- The U.S. Postal Service has published in the Federal Register a proposal for a change to the standards in the Domestic Mail Manual governing permissible attachments and enclosures with Bound Printed Matter.
March 26, 2001-- The U.S. Postal Service has published in the Federal Register a final rule "to make package shipping easier for mailers, is developing standard guidelines for creating package shipping labels."
March 26, 2001-- The U.S. Postal Service has published in the Federal Register a "final rule sets forth the Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) standards adopted by the Postal Service to introduce an option to mail at Nonprofit Standard Mail rates via the NetPost Mailing Online experiment initiated September 1, 2000."
March 26, 2001 -- The British newspaper, The Guardian, has reported that "Postwatch, the [British] consumer watchdog, has accused the new [postal] industry regulator of caving in to the Post Office and allowing it to raise prices when it issues its first licence this morning. Peter Carr, the watchdog's chairman, accused the regulator, PostComm, of 'undertaking a series of unexplained u-turns resulting in a weakened licence' and of 'capitulating to threats by the Post Office to withdraw its licence application'. The Postal Services Commission has dropped plans to insert a clause into the Post Office's operating licence allowing potential rivals to use its infrastructure at prices below its costs. The Post Office, now known as Consignia plc, now faces competition for the first time in 350 years over mail costing less than £1 and gains greater commercial freedom from the government."
March 26, 2001 -- According to the British newspaper, The Independent, "senior post pffice managers are warning the most militant work force in Britain that thousands of their jobs could be at risk from today as postal services are deregulated. Directors of the company, now called Consignia but also known as Last Unreformed Nationalised Industry (Luni), have told union leaders that they must get a grip on their own members or face crippling job losses. Postal workers are responsible for half the strikes throughout the economy."
March 26, 2001 -- The British newspaper, The Sunday Mirror, has reported that "a pounds 480million scheme to revamp the country's 18,000 Post Offices will be announced by the Government this week. Trade Minister Alan Johnson will unveil a modernisation programme to cut queues, make it easier to pay bills and provide a bigger range of services. A new pilot scheme, with a touchscreen kiosk providing information on benefits, health, education, housing and crime prevention, will also be launched."
March 26, 2001 -- As PostMag.Com has noted, "what the Postal Service has learned in the last thirty years, as it has watched mail volumes grow by 250% while prices have gone up nearly six-fold, is that as long as it has no competition then it can largely do what it wants with prices." Well, those days are over.
March 26, 2001 -- According to the Associated Press, Germany's four biggest banks will develop a single standard of digital signature by the end of this year to allow electronic commerce via mobile telephones and handheld organizers. The plan is to issue customers with a code held on a so-called smart card and a personal identification number so that they can order and pay for goods, transfer money or sign e-mail while on the move.
March 24, 2001 -- As the Financial Times has noted, "at midnight on Sunday, 350 years of Post Office history will come to an end. For the first time since it was founded in the 17th century, Britain's oldest communications business will face the threat of competition for its core letters business....Yet it faces an uncertain future in the face of regulatory reform at home and overseas. John Roberts, chief executive, says bullishly that if it succeeds it could become a global force in communications. But if it fails, it faces dismemberment or oblivion. The first challenge is the deregulation of the British market from Monday. A new Postal Services Commission, chaired by Graham Corbett, will decide how much of the market should be regulated, and how much of the regulated sector should be a Post Office monopoly." Read also the story in the British newspaper, The Guardian.
March 24, 2001 -- NetCompliance, Inc., an Internet provider of "paperless'' compliance solutions, online worker training and safety equipment, today revealed that the U.S. Transportation Department (DOT) has been put in the middle of a nasty compliance fight between two of the world's premier air freight carriers - DHL Airways, Inc. and Federal Express Corporation. U.S. companies must comply with DOT rules, which regulate interstate and overseas transportation of property and mail, and also contain citizenship requirements for air carriers traveling through U.S. airspace. Fedex has asked DOT to conduct a formal investigation into DHL's compliance with government regulations and possible unfair advantage in the airfreight business. DHL has countered it is in full regulatory compliance and that over the past 20 years, DOT "has confirmed Airways' (US) citizenship'' and that the change in Airways' ownership "results in even more of Airways' stock being in the hands of US citizens.'' DHL concluded that "In the cause of driving Airways out of the market, Federal Express appears willing to sling whatever charges, innuendo or conspiracy theory, it can dream up, regardless of merit.'' DOT has yet to resolve the dispute. According to the DOT records available from NetCompliance, Fedex contends that DHL "may be under the control of foreign nationals,'' asserting that through a restructuring, DHL is actually owned by DHL Worldwide Express BV, a Netherlands corporation, which is in turn owned by DHL International Ltd., a Bermuda corporation.
March 24, 2001 -- Direct Newsline has reported that Edward J. Gleiman, chairman of the Postal Rate Commission (PRC) for the past seven years, has joined the Direct Marketing Association to head lobbying efforts aimed at reforming the U.S. Postal Service.
March 24, 2001 -- Direct Newsline also has reported that "House Government Reform Committee Chairman Rep. Dan Burton (R-IN) has introduced legislation overriding a U.S. Postal Service rule denying reduced rates to nonprofit mailers based on their business relationships with commercial entities."
March 24, 2001 -- On March 15, 2001 PostCom along with representatives from the U. S. Postal Service, The Postal Rate Commission, U. S. Customs Department, FedEx, U. S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Postal Service Inspector Generals Office, and Experian attended a briefing by the Department of State on the issue of reform of and customer/private sector participation in UPU proceedings. A copy of PostCom's report has been posted on this site.
March 24, 2001 -- Dow Jones has reported that "national postal monopoly La Poste has selected Groupe Bull's subsidiary Integris to install an IT system integrating 600 post offices in eastern France. Financial terms of the contract weren't disclosed. The contract is part of La Poste's introduction of a letter-tracking service consultable via phone or Internet."
March 24, 2001 -- According to Dow Jones, "Deutsche Post AG has delivered financial results that ensured its first week in Germany's leading share index wasn't simply an occasion for renewed concerns about the company's regulatory problems and growth prospects."
March 24, 2001 -- PostalWatch.Com has reported that "representatives from the Ad Hoc Coalition Against the Postal Rate Increase, a new confederation of taxpayer and consumer watchdog groups, today announced a press conference at the National Postal Forum in Orlando, FL. on Monday to denounce the USPS's next proposed rate increase. Coalition members include representatives of: Citizens Against Government Waste, the CATO Institute, Americans for Tax Reform, the National Center for Public Policy Research, Citizens for a Sound Economy, 60 Plus, and PostalWatch."
March 23, 2001 -- State postal company CTT-Correios de Portugal has agreed a strategic partnership with the Dutch TNT Post Group NV covering courier services and urgent mail.
March 23, 2001 -- According to United Parcel Service, "the European Commission affirms a formal suit filed by UPS in 1994 that Deutsche Post is setting predatory prices, cross-subsidising its commercial products with revenue from its monopoly services and creating an unfair and unlevel competitive playing field. As a result of the EC ruling, UPS called on the U.S. Department of Transportation to act quickly to revoke a foreign air freight forwarder license granted to DHL Worldwide Express, which is owned and controlled by the Deutsche Post."
March 23, 2001 -- From the APWU News Service: "American Postal Workers Union President Moe Biller is calling on all APWU members to begin mobilizing in the face of the coming onslaught on our wages and our jobs from the Postal Board of Governors, USPS management and business mailers.....'The anti-labor forces smell blood in the water,' said APWU President Moe Biller, 'and they want to add the blood of postal workers to their feast, as they rip their pound of flesh from the Postal Service.'" What claptrap!
March 23, 2001 -- E-mail may be the quickest way to deliver a message, but it is far from the best way to receive a response, particularly for wired citizens eager to communicate with Congress. With 80 million e-mail messages a year hitting Congressional in-boxes, Capitol Hill is facing an eCrisis. Citizens who want their electronic voices heard must polish their e-mail skills. Read more about it.
March 23, 2001 -- The Economist has reported that "it's official: Deutsche Post, Germanyís postal operator, is an abusive monopolist guilty of predatory pricing and anti-competitive practices. On March 20th, competition officials in the European Commission (EC) enjoyed a rare moment of satisfaction when their boss, Mario Monti, announced the findings of a lengthy inquiry into the groupís business practices. On top of being forced to pay a euro24m ($21.6m) fine, Deutsche Post has agreed to split its operations, creating a separate entity to run its business-parcel services and ring-fencing this operation from its monopoly in letters." The magazine added that "Deutsche Post tried to put a positive spin on Mr Montiís announcement, saying that it welcomed the end of the inquiry and that its new structure will make it more efficient. The truth is that the episode is hugely embarrassing and potentially costly."
March 23, 2001 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "United Parcel Service has announced it expects first quarter earnings to be in the range of 49 to 51 cents a share, which compares to earnings of 56 cents a share in the same period last year. The company cited the slowing economy as the primary reason for lower earnings."
March 23, 2001 -- According to the New Zealand Herald, "Elmar Toime says NZ Post has already diversified and banking is a natural step for its branch network. The bank that New Zealand Post opens early next year will change the banking market.It is a further component of our business diversification and is a growth plan that we have been seriously considering since 1998."
March 23, 2001 -- Africa News has reported that "the newly constituted board of directors of the Nigeria Postal Services, NIPOST, has declared that the new direction for the organisation is the speedy implementation of its objectives which are aimed at improving the effectiveness and efficiency of its operations and services."
March 23, 2001 -- According to The Wall Street Journal, "Deutsche Post AG is expected to report strong preliminary 2000 results in the wake of a sharp share price decline that has puzzled analysts. The monopoly mail group, which is seeking to expand in the parcels, logistics and financial services markets, is widely expected to report a roughly 36% rise in net profit to around EUR1.5 billion in 2000 and a roughly 43% increase in sales last year to around EUR32 billion."
March 23, 2001 -- Dutch postal, express and logistics company TNT Post Group NV (TPG) has signed a letter of intent with Lason Inc. to acquire Lason UK Group. Lason UK Group specializes in data capture, database management and output services.
March 22, 2001 -- According to the Financial Times, "John Roberts, the UK Post Office chief executive, on Tuesday said the company planned to turn last year's net deficit of £264m ($378m) into a profit of £300m within three years, despite a new regulatory regime that will cut up to £100m from net profits. Mr Roberts said hitting the "demanding" target would require a reduction of about 5,000 in the company's 200,000 workforce, saving about £50m a year, and an end to unofficial strikes, which have cost 30,000 working days this year. Most of the increase in profits would come from better marketing and growth in higher margin activities such as parcels, bulk contracts and sorting other countries' mail."
March 22, 2001 -- According to The Scotsman, "Consignia, the revamped Post Office which becomes a plc next week, should be split up and the Royal Mail and Parcelforce businesses allowed to compete internationally."
March 22, 2001 -- According to The Irish Independent, "the Irish Government is facing a tough question about the future of An Post with the nettle of rural sub-post office closures unlikely to be grasped until long into the next Government's term."
March 22, 2001 -- According to the Financial Post, buoyed by some measure of success in its claims against Deutsche Post, United Parcel Service now will concentrate its fire on its continuing dispute with Canada Post.
March 22, 2001 -- The German newspaper Die Welt has reported that "Klaus Zumwinkel, boss of Deutsche Post AG, Germany's national postal services operator, is said to be satisfied with the decision of the EU commission to fine the company 24m euros. He qualified the decision as 'good for our customers and for the capital market.' The reason for his satisfaction is that the decision has nothing to do with claims by private competitor UPS over alleged cross-subsidising between the letter delivery monopoly and parcel services. The ruling is based instead on illegal discounts to customers paid out between 1997 and 1999. Deutsche Post has held back provisions to cover the potential cost of one other ongoing case of alleged cross-subsidising. The size of the penalty does not seem to have caused Deutsche Post any serious anxiety."
March 19, 2001 -- According to The Washington Post, all over Capitol Hill one can hear the cry: "You've got mail!"
March 19, 2001 -- Handelsblatt.com has reported that "Deutsche Post AG, Europe's largest mail carrier by sales, will pay a 100 million deutsche mark ($45.9 million) fine for blocking competition, the German newspaper Handelsblatt reported, without citing its sources. European Union Commission Commissioner Mario Monti will side with United Parcel Service Inc.'s complaint against Deutsche Post later this week."
March 19, 2001 -- The Cincinnati Post has reported that "the financially troubled U.S. Postal Service awarded $280 million in bonuses to managers for meeting performance goals last year even though that move and others resulted in $199 million in net losses. The agency's inspector general has been reviewing "the reasonableness" of the performance bonus program for about 80,000 managers, which is in addition to merit raises that they may receive."
March 19, 2001 -- CargoReservations.com (www.cargoreservations.com) has announced the launch of its Less Than Planeload (LPL) online air cargo trading function. Introduced in 2000 as the first business-to-business air cargo exchange operating in real time, CargoReservations.com facilitates the process of sourcing scheduled air freight capacity on aircraft worldwide. The new LPL capability broadens the reach of CargoReservations.com by allowing buyers and sellers to negotiate trades for any cargo, regardless of size. CargoReservations.com is the first to introduce this type of service in the transportation field.
March 19, 2001 -- The British newspaper, The Telegraph, has said that according to a report from the Centre for Policy Studies, "the [U.K.] Post Office should be split into two divisions and its distribution business privatised as soon as possible." See also the report in The Independent.
March 19, 2001 -- In a letter to Robert Rider, the Chairman of the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) Board of Governors, Robert McLean, executive director of the Mailers Council (a coalition of which PostCom is a member) that the USPS' plans for "a large increase, coming so quickly after the January increase, would be counterproductive to your goal of increasing revenue. As your own data has repeatedly shown, a double-digit increase will devastate volume in the months immediately following the new rate implementation. Although some eventual recovery in volume might be expected after a small increase, we believe your current plans will ensure permanent volume losses in several mail classes."
March 17, 2001 -- According to TrafficWorld:
The U.S. Postal Service, which has a long history of protecting consumers' privacy with hard copy mail, wants to nip that concern in the bud where the Internet and e-commerce are concerned....She advises senior management on privacy policies and procedures...She is exploring Internet and e-commerce privacy policies that USPS should have in place. She does not believe current privacy concerns will affect how paper mail is handled by USPS....The top three issues for Strickland this year are personalization and customer choice; how privacy issues affect non-Internet issues such as software products; and getting the message out to customers that USPS cares about their privacy concerns.
March 17, 2001 -- The Postal Service, through a notice published in the Federal Register, is seeking comments on the following proposed mail preparation changes to the Domestic Mail Manual (DMM): Packages of First-Class Mail Presorted rate flats and automation rate flats that are part of the same mailing job would be required to be co- trayed according to the standards in M910; Packages of Standard Mail Presorted rate flats and automation rate flats that are part of the same mailing job would be required to be co-sacked according to the standards in M910; Standard Mail Enhanced Carrier Route and 5-digit flats would be required to be sacked or palletized using the labeling list L001 scheme sort.
March 17, 2001 -- So just what are city letter carriers paid these days? Check out the answer on the National Association of Letter Carriers web site. What are rural letter carriers paid? Well, you can find that information too on the National Rural Letter Carriers Association web site.
March 17, 2001 -- Read the tribute by Sen. Akaka (D-HI) on the Postal Inspection Service published in the Congressional Record.
March 17, 2001 -- Eyefortransport.com has posted an interview with Jack Duffy, Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy for United Parcel Service on its web site.
March 16, 2001 -- The latest PostCom Postal Issues Update, this one dealing with International Mail Issues, is posted for PostCom members on this site.
March 16, 2001 -- A copy of the European publication, the Courier-Express-and Postal Market News (CEP News) is posted as a courtesy provided to PostCom members. Our thanks go to the MRU Consultancy GmbH for this courtesy.
March 16, 2001 -- The Courier-Express-and Postal Market News (CEP News) has reported that "the Madrid based Spanish mail company Correos y Telťgrafos has placed an order with Siemens Electrocom in Constance for the installation of 42 letter sorting systems with a capacity of up to 11 million standard letters per day. The new equipment should be in operation by the end of 2002, the aim of the increased sorting automation being to ensure that 85% of all letters reach their destination on the day after they were posted. According to the subsidiary of Siemens Production and Logistics Systems AG in Nuremberg, the order is worth 39m euros."
March 16, 2001 -- CEP also has reported that "the German courier network Kep AG in Cologne and the Munich based courier service LTA GmbH have entered a marketing alliance, which was announced to the public on the occasion of the 7 th European CEP Conference in Bonn. Both partners say they have focussed their core competence in a strategic alliance. Kep AG will achieve overnight delivery of courier consignments throughout Germany, while LTA with its 13 nationwide branches and own call centre will be able to present customers with a multi-service offer in addition to the mere courier transport. Every day LTA feeds over 600 consignments into the Kep AG network. Before becoming a Kep AG partner last year, LTA was an associate of the open Nightline network."
March 16, 2001 -- According to the German newspaper, Die Welt, "La Poste, the French postal services company, plans to become the second largest parcel delivery company in Europe following its acquisition of 85 per cent of Deutsche Paket Dienst GmbH (DPD), the German parcel delivery company. La Poste aims to expand in Germany and has founded a new parent company for DPD, Geo Post, in Aschaffenburg. However, the German cartel office has not yet approved the plans, but a decision is expected in the next two months."
March 16, 2001 -- The Washington Post has reported that "Emery Worldwide argued in federal court Tuesday that the Postal Service's $6.3 billion no-bid contract with FedEx Corp. was unfair and illegal."
March 16, 2001 -- United Shipping & Technology Inc., which describes itself as the largest same-day delivery company in North America, has reached an agreement with SmartMail Services Inc. to provide scheduled package delivery in several key Midwest markets. This new agreement expands US&T's logistics service to five of SmartMail's 13 service areas across the country. SmartMail Services Inc., headquartered in Atlanta, is one of the country's leading mail expeditors. The new contract awards US&T's subsidiaries, Velocity Express and VXP, shuttle routes between Cincinnati and Indianapolis, and between Detroit and Cleveland on a daily basis. These routes are in addition to Velocity Express' same-day service already underway in Boston, Cincinnati, Detroit and Tampa, Fla., and VXP's same-day service in Chicago.
March 15, 2001 -- The House Committee on Government Reform has scheduled a postal oversight hearing on Wednesday, April 4, tentatively set to begin at 10 a.m. Witnesses will include PMG Bill Henderson, representatives of the USPS Board of Governors and the director of the General Accounting Office. It oughta be a doozy.
March 15, 2001 -- In case you missed it, PostInsight has a copy of the speech given by the Postmaster General of the Hong Kong Post on "building for the future." The speech was delivered at the World Mail & Express Asia 2001 conference. You might also want to check out the slides presented by Luis Jimenez, Vice President of Global Growth and Futures Strategy for Pitney Bowes which were used in a presentation before a meeting of the Secretaria de Communicaiones y Transporte in Mexico.
March 15, 2001 -- The Associated Press has reported that "a federal grand jury is investigating whether Emery Worldwide, the global air freight company, may have violated regulations for handling hazardous material shipments. The company's management said it is cooperating fully with the government's examination of the company's handling of hazardous materials. Emery has been given no indication how long the investigation, led by the U.S. Department of Transportation inspector general's office, will continue."
March 15, 2001 -- According to InformationWeek, "early experience from Kmart and others shows that kiosks often prompt customers to spend more time and money in stores. Kiosks also provide salespeople and customers with mountains of information, including product specs, warranty information, and pricing comparisons. They're also relatively cheap to activate and manage, since in most cases they're just another terminal hanging off an in-store intranet." So where are the Postal Service's kiosks?
March 15, 2001 -- The Irish Times has reported that state aid is vital to the preservation of Ireland's rural An Post [Irish post office] network. "A crucial report on the sustainable development of An Post's rural network, long a political hot potato, is believed to say it cannot break even without State aid." According to the report, "An Post will be unable to secure investment from an international strategic partner until uncertainty about the rural network is resolved. Such investment - most likely from Deutsche Post or the Dutch operator TNT Post Groep - is seen as crucial to An Post's survival as the European industry consolidates."
March 15, 2001 -- According to the French newspaper, La Tribune, "French individuals and businesses will soon be able to check the progress of their courier deliveries at the post office. To see whether their parcels are making good time, customers can log on to the website of the national postal office, La Poste, at www.laposte.fr/csuivi, or to a special Minitel server (3614 code CSUIVI), or call 0820 80 3000. The system, which has been tested on 12,000 individuals and 500 businesses, represents an investment of 150m euros."
March 15, 2001 -- Dow Jones has reported that New Zealand Post CEO Elmar Toime "doesn't expect New Zealand Post's planned low cost bank to face serious competition from the financial services that discount retailer Warehouse (A.WAR) is expected to unveil in about a month." In the meantime, Southern Cross magazine has reported that "Kiwis have lost faith in NZ Post's new bank...The New Zealand Cabinet has approved NZ Post's plan and will contribute almost NZ$80 million of taxpayers' money into the venture, which will open for business next year through NZ Post's existing network."
March 15, 2001 -- Direct Newsline has reported that "several Senators have blasted the U.S. Postal Service for paying $280 million in bonuses to its managers of top-performing units, at a time when the Service predicts loses in the billions. Senators Fred Thompson (R-TN) and Jeff Sessions (R-AL) questioned the pay outs last year to roughly 80,000 managers when its officials knew the postal service would have to raise rates for the second time in less than two years to head off a financial crisis. Thompson was quoted by Scripps Howard News Service as saying that postal officials needed a 'reality check' to approve bonuses at a time when they were planning to seek new rate increases amid predictions loses of between $2 billion and $3 billion defies logic.' Thompson chairs the Senate's Governmental Affairs Committee."
March 15, 2001 -- DM News has reported that "the U.S. Postal Service might have to cut back on mail delivery to every address if it doesn't get more flexibility to adjust prices, said Deborah Willhite, the agency's senior vice president for public affairs."
March 15, 2001 -- Will the Postal Authorities (Posts) of the future deliver the profits they need to compete and fund future growth? They will if they decide to deliver more than just the mail. Michael Killen, chairman and founder of Killen & Associates, explains it this way: "Management teams of today's Postal Authorities have two choices. They can create their own futures by competing effectively with the private sector for a slice of the trillion-dollar information conveyance and processing market. Or, they can have their futures handed to them on a plate." In the first scenario, Posts can grow at 10%-12% per year. In the second, growth would be uncertain as Posts take a back seat to private concerns and find themselves serving residential customers "on the smallest roads in the smallest towns." To successfully compete with UPS, FedEx, DHL, and other private services that have consumed a significant amount of the parcel and corporate letter delivery business, Posts must reinvent themselves as eBusinesses. The focus for eBusinesses will be on delivering products and services. However, the emphasis will shift from transporting paper goods to homes and businesses and toward Non-Mail services.
March 15, 2001 -- CNF Inc. has announced that it expects first-quarter 2001 earnings will be below those of the first quarter of 2000. Among the uncertainties it cited was the eventual resolution of its dispute with the U.S. Postal Service regarding the canceled contract to provide Priority Mail services.
March 15, 2001 -- Canada has outlined its negotiating position for the planned international General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), but vowed to protect its right to deliver health care, education and postal services.
March 15, 2001 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "TPG, the Amsterdam-based global mail, express and logistics group, today said European antitrust regulators have cleared its joint mail venture with Britain's Royal Mail and Singapore Post."
March 14, 2001 -- A letter from the White House in response to PostCom's call for the creation of a Presidential Commission on the postal system has been posted on this site.
March 14, 2001 -- Dow Jones has reported that "a two-week strike among South African postal workers has ended and employees will return to work."
March 14, 2001 -- According to postal commentator Gene Del Polito, the chutzpah evidenced by the leadership of the U.S. Postal Service concerning its plans for a summer postal rate massacre is direct evidence of the perverse incentives that underlie present postal law.
March 14, 2001 -- According to postal commentator Gene Del Polito, inquiring minds want to know: "If postal management is to be believed, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is a fast sinking fiscal ship. Senior postal managers are now telling the world the USPS could finish its present fiscal year with more than a $3 billion deficit. So what is postal management doing about it?"
March 14, 2001 -- When you're foolish enough to yell "FIRE!" in a crowded theater, said postal commentator Gene Del Polito, you had better expect to get crushed in the rush for the exit.
March 14, 2001 -- -- NETdelivery Corporation, a provider of digital solutions for next-generation online data management and exchange, will introduce high performance, secure electronic forms for business automation as part of its e-gov solutions software at the Web-Enabled Government Conference in Washington. With technology from Formatta Corporation, NETdelivery can now offer government agencies, postal organizations, healthcare providers and other types of businesses worldwide interactive electronic forms that can be securely and freely exchanged over the Internet.
March 14, 2001 -- According to the Financial Times, the French post office La Poste has launched its new service 'lettre suivie' as part of its policy of widening the range of services it offers. According to Bernard Bonneton, general manager of postal services, it is biggest initiative taken by La Poste in years and is a first in Europe. The service allows clients, companies and people to now the date on which their correspondence has been posted, as each letter will have a barcode which can be read as it is posted.
March 14, 2001 -- According to Jurgen Lohmeyer in a piece written for PostMag.Com, "the Postal Services are an important part of a countryís infrastructure. The strengthening and modernization of the postal sector plays a critical role in pursuing the World Bankís mandate. Often, the posts are the only connection to the outside world. Their countrywide networks that connect rural and remote regions are a precondition for economic development and an important factor in social development and poverty reduction. Their potential for introducing new products and services is huge and they have the opportunity to be the facilitator of electronic business."
March 14, 2001 -- CargowebNews has reported that "Accenture (formerly Andersen Consultance) of supply chain management solutions to Fortune 1000 companies has formed a strategic alliance with Vigilance Inc....The alliance joins Accenture's global management and technology consulting capabilities with Vigilance's software for integrated chain event management solutions, which will help companies to improve their supply chain operations."
March 14, 2001 -- CheckFree Corporation, a provider of electronic billing and payment (EBP) services and software, has debuted two extensions to its electronic billing and payment capabilities, aimed squarely at accelerating the convenience of Internet billing and payments for consumers. The first enhancement is the ability for consumers to receive and pay e-bills over e-mail. The second is the ability for consumers to exchange money with each other using e-mail "invitations" to send or receive money.
March 14, 2001 -- Derivion(R), a provider of e-billing enablement solutions for B2C, B2B, and small business applications, announces the newest upgrade of its core e-billing solution, inetBiller(R) 2.0, the latest major version of the company's market-leading application that offers unprecedented parsing and presentment speed, and introduces enhanced capabilities such as online presentment of graphs and charts, and higher level of biller control and scalability.
March 14, 2001 -- American Banker magazine says that banks' commitment to online bill payment and presentment is about to take off. No, all that First-Class Mail will NOT find its way back to the Postal Service.
March 14, 2001 -- Read more on the Postal Service's plans to raise rates in the Federal Times. The Federal Times also has a nice chart showing where postal costs have exceeded the rate of inflation.
March 14, 2001 -- The Times [London] has reported that "the UK postal regulator rounded on Brussels yesterday and accused it of 'unfairly' questioning Britainís commitment to ending the Royal Mailís monopoly on delivering letters. Gerald Corbett, chairman of PostComm, the body tasked with recommending how far and how fast the British postal market should be liberalised, claimed yesterday that Britain was 'significantly ahead' of most other European countries and did not deserve to be criticised by the European Commission."
March 14, 2001 -- Dow Jones has reported that "the European Union Commission has given conditional antitrust clearance to two joint ventures dealing with outbound cross-border mail between the U.K. Post Office, TNT Post Group NV (TP) and Singapore Post Private Ltd. The three companies are the national postal operators of the U.K., the Netherlands and Singapore, respectively."
March 14, 2001 -- Emery Worldwide has argued in federal court that the Postal Service's $6.3 billion no-bid contract with FedEx Corp. was unfair and illegal.
March 13, 2001 -- According to Eyefortransport.com, "FedEx automation solutions are now divided into the following categories: eShipping Tools, which enable customers to automate shipping processes; eCommerce Solutions, which enable customers to conduct business online by integrating FedEx shipping capabilities and eSupply Chain Solutions, which enable customers to improve global supply chain performance."
March 13, 2001 -- The Financial Times has reported that "shares in TNT Post Group (TPG), the Dutch mail and parcels carrier, firmed on Monday as the government launched an equity offer representing 7.3 per cent of its capital. It came as the company reported its best year yet in profit growth, and said it expected the European Commission this week to approve its joint venture in business post with Royal Mail of the UK and Singapore Post."
March 13, 2001 -- SmartMoney.Com has reported that "the European Union Commission won't likely rule before May on whether Deutsche Post AG (G.DPW) received illegal state aid." See also Handlesblatt.com.
March 13, 2001 -- CNET.Com has reported that "UPS [United Parcel Service] has announced significant enhancements to UPS OnLine(R) Tools -- already the most sophisticated and robust suite of shipping tools available. UPS OnLine Tools are an offering of advanced shipping and logistics applications that allow businesses to seamlessly link their intranets and Internet Web sites with UPS, empowering their customers to calculate shipping costs, select and compare shipping services and track packages from the point of order entry to delivery."
March 13, 2001 -- PostCom has issued a "call to arms" to its members on recent announcements made by the U.S. Postal Service Board of Governorsl.
March 13, 2001 -- According to AFX Europe, "Ad Scheepbouwer, chief executive of TNT Post Group NV, said he expects to announce in the first half of this year further joint ventures or acquisitions to expand the company's domestic mail networks throughout Europe."
March 13, 2001 -- The Xinhua news agency has reported that South Africa's on-going post office workers' strike continues Tuesday as both the labor and management sides are trying to reach a deal.
March 13, 2001 -- As CargowebNews.Com has noted, "the Dutch government wants to reduce its interest in TNT Post Group (TPG) over the coming years from 43.3 to 10 percent. This would give TNT Post more opportunities on the international market and less interference from regulators on the European Commission. The government is also renouncing its right to appoint commissioners."
March 13, 2001 -- - Commercial printer Mail-Well, Inc. has said that its first-quarter earnings will be lower than expected because the slowing U.S. economy has hurt orders for advertising materials and catalogs.
March 13, 2001 -- FedEx Corporation has rolled out its next generation of electronic services to make shipping information available anytime, anywhere to customers and employees. FedEx, in an alliance with w-Technologies, Inc., a global provider of wireless software products, expanded the reach of fedex.com to most types of hand-held devices, making it faster and easier for customers to access real-time package status tracking information and to identify the nearest drop-off locations.
March 13, 2001 -- The Governors decision on the Postal Rate Commission's second recommended decision is posted on the Commission's web site.
March 13, 2001 -- The Postal Rate Commission is seeking input from interested parties on the Postal Service's request for reconsideration of the Commission's second recommended decision.
March 13, 2001 -- Information on the Postal Service's request for a recommended decision on experimental presorted Priority Mail rate categories is posted on the Postal Rate Commission web site.
March 13, 2001 -- Need a hoot? Check out http://www.brknews.com/news/fedex.html.
March 12, 2001 -- CBS MarketWatch has reported that according to USPS senior vice president Deborah Willhite, "the U.S. Postal Service might have to cut back on mail delivery to every address six days a week if it doesn't get more flexibility to adjust prices."
March 12, 2001 -- Dutch TNT Post Group (TPG) announced a jump in 2000 net profit as the state announced it was cutting its stake further in the postal, express and logistics company. See also The Wall Street Journal.
March 12, 2001 -- According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "the Mail Boxes purchase also fits with major UPS initiatives such as promoting e-commerce merchandise returns through UPS Logistics and generating small-business loans through UPS Capital. Industry analysts say that Mail Boxes retail stores could soon become miniature financial centers that handle loans and credit as well as coordinate shipping. UPS has said it will continue to allow Mail Boxes to sell rival products. But Satish Jindel, a transportation consultant, said he doubts other companies will want UPS looking over their shoulders."
March 12, 2001 -- The Federal Times has reported that "the U.S. Postal Service is being accused of violating federal laws by ousting injured workers. Dozens of postal employees across the country who were injured on the job and given new positions meeting their physical limitations allege they have been removed illegally because they could not return to their previous jobs....A Postal Service official said the agency is making a concerted effort to return injured employees to productive work in the Postal Service. If they cannot be placed in a productive Postal Service job, they are asked to find work in the private sector and are given help in doing so.But the official said all laws are being followed."
March 12, 2001 -- "Rate increases being considered by the U.S. Postal Service could put many small periodicals out of business, according to a trade association for the magazine industry," reported the Journal of Commerce. "While the rate increase won't put the largest magazines out of business, it just might be the death knell for many smaller publications," MPA's James Cregan said.
March 12, 2001 -- The Associated Press has reported that "The Royal Mail has taken a lighthearted look at Britain's often-gloomy weather _ creating postage stamps that change gray skies to blue with a rub of the finger.Heat-sensitive stamps depicting weather-related scenes were unveiled Thursday to celebrate the 150th anniversary of publicly available weather maps. The range _ one stamp shows tumbling cats and dogs in the rain _ features a cloud design that changes from gray to blue depending on its temperature."
March 12, 2001 -- PostMag.Com has reported that the answer to the question "Can the USPS remain self-supporting while providing affordable, high-quality universal service" is "only if it privatizes; only if it changes its management style and involves the union in creating the Postal Service of the future; only if it reduces costs and improves productivity; only if it recognizes that the Industry it created yesterday is the Industry it must serve tomorrow."
March 12, 2001 -- Die Presse has reported that "A restructuring programme to be undertaken by Osterreichische Post, (OP), the Austrian postal company, could lead to 800 post offices being closed down, marking a third of the 2,300 Austrian post offices. The figures were presented by the board of management at a supervisory board meeting yesterday. Postmaster general Anton Wais named 160 post offices which had a competitor within one kilometre. Mr Wais plans to streamline the postal service, which will result in 6,000 postmen losing their jobs, and massive opposition to the closures is expected from the Austrian postal union. It has already opposed sorting office closures.:"
March 12, 2001 -- ABCNews.Com has reported that "Rain, sleet or snow may not have stopped the U.S. Postal Service before, but the financial bottom line could."
March 12, 2001 -- Dow Jones has reported that "liberalization of French companies, in particular postal services, is progressing too slowly, Fritz Bolkenstein , the E.U. Commissioner in charge of internal markets and taxes said in an interview with Les Echos. "I know that in France there are trade unions, a Communist Party, elections, I understand all that. But we must be realistic. These are old battles. The market is pushing us in another direction," he said."
March 11, 2001 -- The Washington Post has reported that "a $6.3 billion no-bid contract awarded to FedEx Corp. by the U.S. Postal Service will increase the cost of transporting mail by between $443 million and $1.17 billion over the life of the agreement, according to documents filed in a lawsuit by a FedEx competitor. That would translate into higher prices for Postal Service customers and poorer service, the suit alleges."
March 11, 2001 -- Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW), America's largest taxpayer watchdog group, has denounced the United States Postal Service's (USPS) recent tactics to obtain another rate increase as "`nothing more than political extortion. 'The USPS argues it is not to blame for its current financial woes and that its hands are tied,' CAGW Vice President Leslie Paige said. 'To get their way on these new rate increases, they are resorting to an alarmist campaign by dramatically ceasing their new operations. It is typical Washington politics, the equivalent of shutting down the Washington monument to foment public concern and twist the government's arm. Postal officials so far have provided no data on the cost-savings or cost-benefit analysis of the new proposal, but they have made clear that practically every congressional district in the country will be affected,'' Paige added. '`Such behavior indicates political, not financial objectives.'''
March 10, 2001 -- The U.S. Postal Service has announced that it is beefing up its electronic certification service in a bid to make it easier for federal employees to send sensitive data over the Internet. The Postal Service will roll out the broadened service - which will ultimately allow people to use smart cards to validate "sensitive transactions" - in about two weeks, Postal Service Official Stephen Kearney told conferees at the Global Internet Summit in Fairfax, Va. "We are providing solutions for the business of life," said Kearney. "We believe our combination of trust, security and privacy are exactly the attributes that can help American consumers and businesses realize the potential of the Internet," Kearney said. Specifically, the new service, which the Postal Service is touting as an "enhancement" to its NetPost Certified product, will provide identity validation for the purpose of issuing "digital certificates." Those digital certificates can, in turn be embedded in the Postal Service-issued smart cards that fall under the NetPost line, according to a Postal Service release.
March 10, 2001 -- The Direct Marketing Association (The DMA) again announced its support for legislative postal reform. The announcement came a day after the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) Board of Governors again publicly called for reform. The DMA has repeatedly called for reform of the 31-year-old laws that continue to shackle the post office in the face of mounting electronic communications and private sector competition. The Governors' call for reform comes on the heels of the USPS asking for an additional $700 million in increases above and beyond the rate increase it won in November 2000. In addition, the USPS this summer will seek a 10-15 percent overall rate increase that likely would take effect in the summer of 2002. "Another request for increases in postage rates is only a Band-Aid on a wound that requires major surgery. Reform is needed and needed quickly -- neither partisanship nor business-as-usual can be allowed to stand in the way of reform,'' said H. Robert Wientzen, president & CEO, The DMA. "`Continued reliance on rate increases will make the USPS less competitive in the marketplace, jeopardizing its long-term health, and will send business mailers away in droves,'' Wientzen added.
March 10, 2001 -- Dow Jones has reported that "the Argentine government has rejected Exxel Group SA's purchase of a majority stake in the post office."
March 9, 2001 -- In case you missed it, the news from the U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors is noted below.
March 9, 2001 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that "Deutsche Post AG, trying to blunt an attack by rivals FedEx Corp. and United Parcel Service Inc., said its DHL Worldwide Express affiliate has no plans for a major expansion of its ground-delivery operation in the U.S. Klaus Zumwinkel, chairman and chief executive of Deutsche Post, the big German mail carrier and parcel hauler, said DHL's planned U.S. expansion is aimed at increasing international deliveries across U.S. borders. 'The main objective of DHL is to provide international service ... not to go into the U.S. and sell parcels from New York to San Francisco,' Mr. Zumwinkel said in an interview. 'We are not buying trucks and launching [domestic] products.'"
March 9, 2001 -- The U.S. Postal Service is proposing in the Federal Register to revise its regulations to enable mailers to additionally qualify for International Customized Mail (ICM) service if they are capable, on an annualized basis, of tendering at least 600 pieces of non letter-post mail (including Global Priority Mail), or paying at least $12,000 in international non letter- post postage to the Postal Service.
March 9, 2001 -- The Magazine Publishers of America have told Dow Jones that "the Postal Service needs to deliver on cost control before imposing massive rate increases on the American public. They announced their intention to take some very strong actions today," the MPA said in a statement. The group said if the Postal Service did an effective job of cutting costs - such as by freezing hiring and improve productivity - it would not need to raise rates. "With regard to their call for legislative action, we agree with the Postal Service that postal reform is necessary," the MPA said. "The present state of affairs certainly demonstrates that."
March 9, 2001 -- More on the Governors' press release from Associated Press, from the U.S. Newswire, and The Washington Post.
March 9, 2001 -- Africa News has reported that the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) is re-engineering and re- appraising its e-mail service to make it more service-oriented and customer friendly. The deputy Postmaster General, Mrs. A. I. Okonye spoke at a workshop in Lagos that this has become pertinent to make it conform with other reforms and restructuring measures of NIPOST in line with the development in telecommunication sector more especially in the internet technology in Nigeria..
March 8, 2001-- The U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors issued a press release that said:
Universal mail service is at risk without statutory reform of the laws governing the Postal Service warned the Postal Service Board of Governors following its strategic planning meeting yesterday. Universal service is the regular delivery of mail to every address across the country-from the biggest city to the smallest village-at uniform and affordable rates. Universal service is a national priority, called for by Congress since the founding of the nation. The Postal Service is facing a potential loss of $2 billion to $3 billion this fiscal year, reflecting the fact that the organization's costs are rising at a rate exceeding mail volume and revenue growth. After yesterday's meeting, the Board asked management to take unprecedented action on additional cost-control options, including an immediate freeze on capital commitments that will affect over 800 facility projects (list attached) and significant new reductions in work years and administrative staffing. Management will seek additional opportunities to reduce costs and will report on its progress to the Board at future meetings. Management has also made progress on other actions requested by the Board at its February meeting, including preparing a rate case that the Board may file with the independent Postal Rate Commission this summer, requesting a postage rate increase of as much as 10 to 15 percent.
The Governors also provided a list of some 800 facilities located in almost every congressional district around the country that would be affected by this action. No, the Sopranos have not taken over the Postal Service.
March 8, 2001 -- The Fedex Pilots Association and the American Postal Workers Union have resolved to work together to address concerns about the shipment of hazardous materials under an alliance between FedEx and the U.S. Postal Service. Under a seven-year, $6.3 billion accord announced on January 10, FedEx would provide air delivery of priority, express and first-class mail for the Postal Service beginning in late August. "While it might mean greater shipping efficiency for the Postal Service and create new pilot jobs, we have some real concerns about safety when we begin moving 3.5 million pounds of mail every day," said Captain David Webb, president of the FedEx Pilots Association (FPA). Webb, whose Memphis-based union represents 3,800 FedEx pilots, met March 1 with Moe Biller, president of the 366,000-member American Postal Workers Union (APWU) to discuss the potential for increased risk to both postal workers and pilots under the FedEx-Postal Service alliance.
March 8, 2001 -- The Xinhua news agency has reported that "an international private company has been awarded the privatization contract for consultancy services to the Post and telecommunication Corporation (PTC) of Zimbabwe, a move which signifies the commencement of the privatization of the parastatal. The broad sector policy objectives which would be achieved by the process included modernizing and expanding postal and telecommunication services, providing universal service access of postal and telecommunication services to the population of Zimbabwe."
Other objectives, he said, comprised the active participation of the indigenous people in the sector and the provision of long-term revenue streams for the government through a profitable PTC.
March 8, 2001 -- According to U.S. News & World Report, "foes of another anticipated postal rate hike are plotting to kill it. A plan being floated on Capitol Hill: Cut costs by instituting a hiring freeze on the 906,000-strong service. That'd trim 150,000 jobs in five years." Read more about the Postal Service and action by the Governors in the Journal of Commerce.
March 8, 2001 -- Telenor and the Norwegian Postal Service are set to form a fusion between the two companies Telenor ZebSign AS and ErgoSign AS. The new company, ZebSign, will offer secure electronic ID and digital signatures.
March 8, 2001 -- The British newspaper, The Herald, has reported that "threatened widespread deregulation of postal services could spark resignations by top Post Office executives, strike action by posties, thousands of job losses and the end of the uniform tariff structure.Graham Corbett, PostComm [the Royal Mail's regulator] chairman, has let it be known that he expects to sanction 'serious' competition for postal services by the autumn and license four or five operators to deliver bulk mail between cities such as London, Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow and Edinburgh. In addition, there will be many licences for local mail deliveries."
March 8, 2001 -- The British newspaper, The Telegraph, has reported that "the Government's new postal regulator, PostComm, yesterday dismissed the Post Office's threat to withdraw from postal licence negotiations as 'posturing'. 'This is all hype to inflict pressure on us," a PostComm spokesman said. 'They are not going to do it. It's not in anyone's interest that the postal service is disrupted.' Under government proposals for the postal system, anyone who wants to deliver letters and parcels in Britain after March 26 must have a licence from the regulator otherwise they will be acting illegally. The Post Office has said it may reject the licence because it 'appears to seek to diminish the confidence in the postal service and undermine the uniform tariff structure'."
March 8, 2001 -- According to the British newspaper, The Independent, "the Royal Mail is to issue first and second class stamps without the Queen's head for the first time. Four new designs will be offered to customers across England from 23 April - St George's Day. The new set features the Crowned Lion of England and the Three Lions of England."
March 8, 2001 -- Eyefortransport.com has reported that "the Justice Department has approved an application by Air France and Delta Air Logistics to establish a joint export marketing organisation in the United States."
March 8, 2001 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that "Dutch postal operator TNT Post Group NV managed to save its troubled 450 million euro ($420.6 million) joint venture with Britain's Post Office and Singapore Post by offering to sell part of its Dutch outbound mail business, say people familiar with the situation."
March 8, 2001 -- According to Dow Jones, "a German Economics Ministry plan to extend the domestic letter monopoly of Deutsche Post AG (G.DPW) through 2007 from 2002 was thrown into doubt Wednesday when the Green Party, junior members of the country's ruling coalition, firmly objected to it. The Green Party group in parliament appealed for a government reexamination on the draft plan, which would prolong Deutsche Post's exclusive delivery license in a market that accounts for most of the company's income. The plan is supported not only by Economics Minister Werner Mueller, who has no formal party affiliation, but also by the Social Democratic Party, the main member of the country's ruling coalition."
March 8, 2001 -- Dow Jones has reported that "Deutsche Post AG (G.DPW) said it was granting $500,000 for a World Bank project to upgrade the postal systems in developing countries.The partially privatized mail and logistics group described the partnership with the World Bank, which includes technical services support worth $250,000, as the first of its kind."
March 8, 2001 -- The Courier-Express-and Postal Market News (CEP News) has reported that "at their conference last week, the ministers of economic affairs from the German states reached an expected majority decision (CEP News 09/01) to request the federal government to allow the postal monopoly to expire in accordance with existing legal stipulations. The ministers argue that any delays would be detrimental to both customers and competitiveness." Mr. Kurt van Haaren, chairman of the German Postal Workersí Union (DPG), has expressed strong criticism of the majority decision by the German states to reject an extension of the exclusive license. ĎThe states in particular must be aware of their political responsibility for providing a nationwide coverage of postal infrastructure for the benefit of the population." See also the report on Handlesblatt.com.
March 8, 2001 -- The Courier-Express-and Postal Market News (CEP News) also has reported that "the German DPD has changed its delivery codes in order to simplify the tracking and tracing of parcels on the internet, replacing the previous letter and number code by a purely digital system. DPD says this would standardize the www.dpd.de or www.dpd.net online tracking for the entire international DPD association and make it more user friendly."
March 8, 2001 -- A copy of the European publication, the Courier-Express-and Postal Market News (CEP News) is posted as a courtesy provided to PostCom members. Our thanks go to the MRU Consultancy GmbH for this courtesy.
March 8, 2001 -- The U.S. Postal Service has announced the appointment of ZoŽ Strickland as its first chief privacy officer (CPO).
March 8, 2001 -- At the 2001 Global Internet Summit held in Northern Virginia, Stephen M. Kearney, Senior Vice President, Corporate and Business Development, offered insight into the U.S. Postal Service's role in the "emerging global framework of the Internet" ó the summit's theme. "The reality as we see it is that an extensive global framework of commerce and communications existed long before the Internet, and it is still very much intact today," said Kearney. "The Postal Service has been down this road before with the telegraph, telephone, television, computers and fax machines. Experience tells us that the Internet works best when it's integrated and allowed to enhance the familiar and powerful framework that already exists."
March 7, 2001 -- The Financial Times has reported that "the [U.K.] Post Office has rejected a draft licence published by its new regulator and raised the prospect of its withdrawal from licence negotiations before the legal deadline in three weeks' time. In a strong response to the draft licence, the Post Office accuses Graham Corbett, the regulator, of seeking to diminish confidence in the postal service and to undermine its uniform national pricing system. It says Mr Corbett's proposals require more significant changes than those imposed on any other regulated industry, and claims he is taking an 'unprecedented' approach to the introduction of competition."
March 7, 2001 -- According to the Financial Times, "TPG Post Group, the Dutch mail carrier, has offered to sell its TNT International mail business in the Netherlands, in an attempt to obtain European regulatory approval for its joint venture with the UK's Post Office and Singapore Post. The joint venture was set up a year ago to deliver business mail around the world, but has run into problems with the European Commission, which is concerned the deal will reduce competition in the Dutch market."
March 7, 2001 -- As GovExec.Com has reported, "faced with the possibility of losing more than $2 billion this fiscal year, the U.S. Postal Service is delivering an SOS to both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue."
March 7, 2001 -- Postal commentator Gene Del Polito notes in an article for Target Marketing magazine that the Governors of the Postal Service should be congratulated for their courage and candor in noting that the problems of the Postal Service may require the assistance of someone above their pay grade. A Presidential Commission would be a good start, he said, provided its work is focused on identifying and defining the key policy issues that underlie postal change to provide an appropriate framework for subsequent legislative action.
March 7, 2001 --Korea Post (KP) has opened an on-line post office at www.epost.go.kr. The on-line post office will provide a wide range of services including an on-line shopping mall and a conversion system for users to convert email into postal mail for delivery. KP's mailing service will also include a postal card service for one-day delivery of congratulatory or condolence cards anywhere in the nation, a service for issuing 26 types of civil affairs documents including residential certificates, a receiving service for international express mail, and services for change of address and buying stamps.
March 6, 2001 -- The Governors of the U.S. Postal Service have rejected the Postal Rate Commission's February 9 Opinion and Further Recommended Decision regarding Docket No. R2000-1. The Governors found that the rates and fees recommended by the Commission do not meet the statutory policy of break-even and jeopardize the Postal Service's financial situation duirng this fiscal year and future years. The Governors have returned the case to the Commission for yet another reconsideration.
According to Postmaster General William Henderson, through accounting period six, the USPS is running a $200 million loss. Governor Ernesta Ballard noted that the Board will be unable to meet its own mandate to pay down accumulated prior year losses (now some $3.7 billion) each fiscal year. The matter is scheduled to be addressed by the Board's Finance Committee in May.
March 6, 2001 -- Airborne Express (http://www.airborne.com), a Fortune 500 global air express and logistics company, and PushLoop Technology, (http://www.pushloop.com) a leading e-fulfillment software integrator, today announced formation of a strategic partnership to provide worldwide order fulfillment and delivery for online retailers. The alliance enables London and Washington, D.C.-based PushLoop to provide a complete, outsourced e-fulfillment solution for companies that sell products online -- including guaranteed delivery to over 200 countries utilizing Airborne's global logistics infrastructure.
March 6, 2001 -- The Governors of the U.S. Postal Service have sent a letter to the President of the United States and have called for a complete review of the legislative framework upon which the American postal system is based. "We understand and appreciate," they told the President, "that your Administration has begun to deal with a number of important issues but wish to call to your attention a situation which, if not addressed shortly, will begin to have a significant and negative impact on the economy of the United States. We, the Governors of the United States Postal Service, nominated by various Presidents and confirmed bu the United States Senate, urge that you devote your attention and resources necessary to implement a comprehensive review and overhaul of the postal laws of the United States."
March 6, 2001 -- TNT International Express, USA has announced the launch of two new services to the US express arm of the Netherlands-based express, logistics, and mail company, the $8.4 billion TNT Post Group (NYSE: TP - news). TNT now offers a national service to complement its existing international offering and a one-rate, unlimited weight letter for both its domestic, USA Express, and Global Express products. For the first time since its US inception in 1983, TNT will offer an intra-US service, USA Express, targeting the key metropolitan areas of Baltimore, MD, Boston, MA, Chicago, IL, Greenwich, CT, Hartford, CT, Houston, TX, Los Angeles, CA, Miami, FL, Newark, NJ, New York, NY, Philadelphia, PA, San Diego, CA, San Francisco, CA and Washington, DC. TNT, which leads the express market in Europe, will also offer a one-rate Express Letter with no commodities or weight restrictions to and from these cities for USA Express. Whatever can fit into the TNT express envelope will be sent for the same rate no matter the weight or the commodity.
March 6, 2001 -- Yup. Another hybrid mail service. According to the Orlando Business Journal, this one's called SuperLetter.com. Available in 25 or more languages, it will be accessible to 95 percent of the world's population -- and offered at a fraction of the cost of regular delivery via Federal Express or DHL. Among SuperLetter's target markets: Europe, Africa and Asia. Although still new, the company already has signed on the British Forces Post Office and is in the process of signing contracts with couriers and print shops in Canada and Europe. Here's how it works: Letter writers access SuperLetter's Web site and type in their message. Using secure printers that not only receive the letter but also fold it, address it and seal it in an envelope in complete privacy, SuperLetter terminals accept mail from around the world, and then deliver letters; typically within one day.
March 5, 2001 -- Are postal services "endangered" by the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS)? The Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) seems to think so.
March 5, 2001 -- According to the Federal Times, "the U.S. Postal Service is being accused of violating federal laws by ousting injured workers. Dozens of postal employees across the country who were injured on the job and given new positions meeting their physical limitations allege they have been removed illegally because they could not return to their previous jobs."
March 5, 2001 -- It has been announced that Senior Vice President for Sales, Gail Sonnenberg, will now be reporting to Deputy Postmaster General and Chief Marketing Officer John Nolan. Formerly, Sonnenberg's organization reported to the Chief Operating Officer Jack Potter.
March 5, 2001 -- PostCom has written to the U.S. Postal Service regarding its proposed policies on the implementation of its MERLIN program. A copy of that letter has been posted on this web site.
March 5, 2001 -- "Given some of the questionable last-minute pardons granted by former President Clinton," said DM News postal commentator Cary Baer, "itís too bad he didnít find time to add the postal service to his list, along, of course, with a Treasury Department check for, say, $6 billion."
March 5, 2001 -- The Financial Times has reported that the U.K. "Post Office has warned union leaders that thousands of postal workers face the sack when the industry is opened to competition later this month unless they put an end to a wave of illegal unofficial strikes. Senior managers think that Graham Corbett, the postal regulator, is considering licensing local competitors in a number of big cities where Post Office services have been hit by unofficial strikes in the past year."
March 5, 2001 -- Here's a wrinkle the Postal Service didn't factor. Check electronification is relatively new concept, but is catching on rapidly according to data released Feb. 16 by Herndon, Va.-based NACHA - The Electronic Payments Association. The group estimates that 32 million paper checks were converted into electronic checks at retail locations in 2000. Electronic checks are processed through the Automated Clearing House (ACH) Network, an electronic payments system commonly used for Direct Deposit and Direct Payment. In an electronic check transaction, a consumer presents a merchant with a check. The merchant runs the check through an electronic reader, capturing the bank account number and routing information on the check as well as the check serial number. The merchant then returns the check to the consumer marked or stamped "Void," or similar language.The consumer signs a receipt authorizing the electronic transaction and keeps a copy as a record of the purchase. The merchant uses the check information, along with the transaction amount, to initiate an ACH debit, which is processed electronically through the ACH Network. A complete description of the transaction appears on the consumer's monthly statement.
March 5, 2001 -- The Charlotte Observer (NC) has reported that "the post office's blue mailboxes are getting some colorful company. FedEx has placed a purple drop box with its familiar orange, white and purple logo at Charlotte's uptown post office, the first step in the national rollout of its new partnership with the U.S. Postal Service. The Charlotte region is the test market for the pact which will have FedEx drop boxes at 82 post offices in 54 communities in the Carolinas. Within 18 months, FedEx will have 10,000 post office drop boxes nationwide."
March 5, 2001 -- The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) is inviting interested parties to review and comment on section 105(a) of the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act ("ESIGN" or "the Act") (Pub. L. 106-229, 114 Stat. 464). Section 105(a) requires the Secretary of Commerce to conduct an inquiry and report to Congress on the effectiveness of delivery of electronic records to consumers using electronic mail as compared with the delivery of written records via the United States Postal Service and private express mail services. In connection with this report, this Federal Register notice is intended to solicit comments from interested parties. NTIA invites the public to submit comments on section 105(a) of the ESIGN Act in paper or electronic form. All comments submitted in response to this Notice will be posted on the NTIA website.
March 4, 2001 -- According to the editor of PostMag.Com, "cost control and productivity improvement are highlighted by the GAO as important areas for the USPS to address in the future. How can this be? The USPS claims to be the most efficient Postal Service in the world citing its first class mail rate as being the lowest in the world. At PostMag we beg to differ. We contend that the USPS is one of the least efficient postal services in the world and here is why...."
March 3, 2001 -- United Parcel Service is on a role....-- UPS and MAIL BOXES ETC. today jointly announced that UPS has agreed to acquire MBE. MBE, a subsidiary of US Office Products, is the world's largest franchisor of independently owned and operated business, communication and shipping centers worldwide. The transaction will allow UPS and MBE to develop new opportunities in such areas as small business services, e-commerce and financial services. It also strengthens the important physical link UPS has to a growing segment of retail customers, such as Internet consumers, SOHO (small office/home office) owners and an increasingly mobile, technology-connected society. The transaction is structured as an acquisition of the assets of MBE. The parties expect to close as soon as practicable. See also the report in The Wall Street Journal and the UPS press release.
March 3, 2001 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "Britain's Post Office has acquired a 25.1% stake in Polish parcel-delivery company Szybka Paczka Spolka from Therab, a Dutch logistics group."
March 3, 2001 -- The Associated Press has reported that "late last year the government commissioned Vale Campos' team to design the low-budget machine as a response to worries about worsening the country's social and economic inequalities by starving the poor of information technology." The device can be linked to the internet portal created by Brazil's postal service, Porta Aberta or Open Door, a project that gives the public free access to Internet kiosks.
March 2, 2001 -- "We wish to call to your attention a situation which, if not addressed shortly, dwill begin to have a significant and negative impact on the economy of the United States." So starts a letter sent and signed by the nine Presidentially-appointed Governors to the U.S. Postal Service to key members of Congress. The Governors go on to say that the Postal Reorganization Act of 1970 sets forth a "statutory framework that simply does not provide practical and adaptable solutions in today's rapidly changing and truly global communications environment." "Without change to our regulatory framework," they add, "universal service will be difficult to maintain....We foresee rapidly rising rates and reduced service if legislative reform is not enacted promptly."
March 2, 2001 -- A team led by the Royal Mail's ViaCode division has unveiled a system that provides a range of recorded delivery features for e-mail. The new system, named ViaCode eCourier, uses digital certificate technology to provide time-stamped proof of sending, proof of opening, and even proof of "not-yet-opened" for S/MIME messaging. Having developed the technology, ViaCode is now seeking partnerships with ISPs, ASPs, and other organizations who want to use it for branded secure e-mail services.
March 2, 2001 -- The Washington Post has noted that "less than two months after the U.S. Postal Service raised rates, the nation's mail monopoly has given notice that it wants to increase them again. With costs rising fast and revenue falling short of expectations, the prospect of pricier postage is merely the latest sign, postal rate commissioners and mailers say, that the agency is in need of far-reaching reform -- perhaps privatization." Postal executives now claim that the end of fiscal year postal deficit could be as large as $3 billion. The time for reform in NOW!!! Given today's dour postal news, perhaps it would be worthwhile taking a gander once again at PostCom President Gene Del Polito's entreaty to the postal Governors and postal management to reject the idea of doing business as usual and do some out of the box thinking to avoid a postal catastrophe.
March 2, 2001 -- Business Mailers Review has reported that "the USPS apparently is not done with new sorting rules. In the next month or two it plans to release a proposed rule on the L001 scheme sort for Standard Mail, most likely for flats only. The Postal Service is telling vendors and customers that it plans to set a September implementation date for the L001 scheme sort. Of course for software vendors and mailers this poses the usual problem of timing. The proposed rule changes on packaging standards for Periodicals and Standard Mail (M020) are set for a June 1 effective date (see story p. 4). The new CASS cycle starts on Aug. 1 and the L001 changes will probably come in effect in September. Mailers will be integrat-ing new software almost every month of the summer. Still, it's not likely the USPS will push back the June 1 effective date for the flats packaging standards. As it says in the Feb. 20 Federal Register notice, 'projected lower Postal Service mail process-ing costs, due to reduced package breakage, were incorporated into the rates resulting from the R2000-1 rate case.' With a new rate filing right around the corner, the USPS doesn't have the luxury of waiting to put in place these new rules, which the last rate case anticipated would save money on flats processing."
March 2, 2001 -- Business Mailers Review has reported that United Parcel Service (UPS) has purchased former postmaster general Paul Carlin's hybrid mail enterprise, MAIL2000.
March 2, 2001-- The Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers has reported that Congressional Democratics are forming a Postal Caucus to serve to bring postal issues into greater focus on Capitol Hill. Rep. Danny Davis (D-IL) and Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-HI) will serve as the officers. The Caucus has also invited Rep. John McHugh (R-NY) and others to join the coalition.
March 2, 2001 -- MoneyGram Payment Systems, Inc., a provider of consumer money transfers, has been selected as the exclusive money transfer affiliate of Poste Italiane, the Italian Post Office. "The agreement with Poste Italiane includes up to 14,000 of its locations throughout the country, making it the second largest postal organization in Europe (after the UK) to select MoneyGram to provide money transfer services," according to Philip W. Milne, president and chief executive officer of Travelers Express/MoneyGram.
March 1, 2001 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that Britain's Post Office has acquired a 25.1% stake in Polish parcel-delivery company Szybka Paczka Spolka from Therab, a Dutch logistics group.
March 1, 2001 -- According to CRMDaily.Com, "supply chain management provider Kewill Systems plc has expanded its technology licensing agreement with FedEx Corporation. Under the terms of the expanded agreement, FedEx will use Kewill.Ship, Kewill's browser-based shipping technology, to drive its enterprise-wide FedEx Ship Manager Server. Kewill also will gain the right to provide add-on modules for FedEx customers who need additional processing capabilities."
March 1, 2001 -- The Postal Service said in the Commerce Business Daily that it is seeking a supplier to design, develop and conduct training courses in customer relations, interpersonal skills and a business service network overview. The design and development and pilot testing of the courses will be firm fixed price. The conduct of the courses will be indefinite quantities ordered by delivery order.
March 1, 2001 -- The U.S. Postal Service is soliciting through the Commerce Business Daily proposals for Technical Sales Support to help mailers who want to use the Postal Service--s Delivery Confirmation service. For more information on Delivery Confirmation go to USPS Publication 91, Confirmation Services Technical Guide located of the USPS web URL http://new.usps.com/cpim/ftp/pubs/pub91.pdf. This will be a one year contract with five one-year options.
March 1, 2001 -- According to The Wall Street Journal, "the [United Parcel Service] UPS [software glitch] situation illustrates the risks that even well-established companies take with their reputations as they increasingly try to reach customers through their computers." See also the report by the Associated Press.
March 1, 2001 -- Dow Jones has reported that "the German government said Thursday it planned to extend the domestic letter monopoly of Deutsche Post AG through 2007 from 2002."
March 1, 2001 -- More on the Magazine Publishers demand for a "time out" on postal rate increases.
March 1, 2001 -- According to the Memphis Commercial Appeal, "the Fedex Pilots Association has been studying the possibility of merging with a larger union and has narrowed its list of candidates to two--Air Line Pilots Association and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Airline Division
March 1, 2001 -- United Parcel Service Inc. said it expects to complete its $422 million acquisition of Fritz Cos. on schedule even though a legal dispute with rival FedEx Corp. over the purchase has extended to courts in two states.
March 1, 2001 -- According to the New Zealand Herald, what to call the new bank to be set up by New Zealand Post has been a matter of discussion and controversy. Among the names floated were MyBank, People's Bank, Kiwi Bank, Jim's Bank, and (from right wing politicians) "Left Bank."