Postal News from June 2001
June 30, 2001 -- The British newspaper, The Independent, has reported that "Britain's new postal regulator has ruled that the Royal Mail's obligation to deliver to every address in the country is a net benefit and that even deliveries to remote rural areas are profitable. The findings mean that PostComm is likely to sanction much more extensive competition to the Royal Mail's postal monopoly than previously thought. Consignia, formerly known as the Post Office, has maintained that its obligation to provide universal postal service is a net cost and that the cherry-picking of lucrative city-to-city deliveries by rivals will undermine its ability to maintain the universal obligation."
June 30, 2001 -- According to the Peoria Journal Star, "the National Association of Letter Carriers is fighting back to protect the jobs of postal workers pushing for federal legislation to reform the USPS into a more competitive, profitable entity."
June 30, 2001 -- Take a look at this story from the Greek newspaper, Kathimerini: "A French tourist was sentenced yesterday to one year's imprisonment for biting the shoulder and back of a Larissa post office employee who had refused to cash a check for him." And you thought dog's were the only ones keying in on postal workers.
June 29, 2001 -- Remember....Postal rates in the U.S. rise on July 1.
June 29, 2001 -- Canada Post Corporation will announce in the Canada Gazette tomorrow a one-cent increase (2.1%) in the domestic basic letter rate as well as its proposed increases for USA and International letter rates, all for implementation on January 14, 2002. Under the price-cap formula approved by the federal government in 1998, basic letter rate increases, when warranted, will not exceed 66.67 per cent of inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index. Increases will be implemented no more than once a year, in January, and announced six months in advance in the Canada Gazette Part I. The Consumer Price Index from May 2000 to May 2001 shows an increase of 3.89 %. Under the price-cap formula, 66.67% of the CPI increase plus the un- used portion related to the January 1, 2001 increase, permits a one-cent increase in the basic letter rate. Even at the new rate of 48 cents, Canadians will still enjoy one of the lowest domestic basic letter rates among industrialized nations Tomorrow, June 30, 2001 Canada Post will also announce in the Canada Gazette Part 1 the following proposed rate adjustments that will come into effect January 14, 2002.
- a $0.05 increase to $0.65 (8.3%) for letters, cards and postcards up to 30g destined for the USA; - a $0.15 increase to $1.25 (19%) for letters, cards and postcards to other foreign destinations. However the base weight for the International basic letter rate will increase from 20g to 30g.
Detailed information on these and other proposed rate changes is available in the Canada Gazette Part 1 and on the Canada Post Web site at www.canadapost.ca. Canadians have 60 days in which to make representations to the Minister Responsible for Canada Post regarding the proposed rate increases.Canada Post's proposed rates for a 30-gram letter to the USA and other International destinations compare favourably to the basic rates other countries charge to send mail to Canada. It costs $1.45 from Great Britain, $2.15 from Germany and $1.21 from Australia to send a 20g letter to Canada. The cost to mail a 28gram letter from the USA to Canada is $0.92.
June 29, 2001 -- Universal Express, has announced that its subsidiary, the Postal Business Center Network, has signed an agreement with E*TRADE Access Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of E*TRADE Group Inc., to provide PBC Network members with ATM machines and services. The PBC Network and E*TRADE Access agreement will enable store owners to place ATM machines in their businesses through a turnkey solution developed by E*TRADE Access, which currently has a network of more than 10,000 ATMs in North America. PBC Network and E*TRADE Access will market the ATM program to PBC Network's member stores through permission-based e-mailing and outcalling....Universal (USXP) operates several other subsidiaries in logistics and International shipping (WorldPost). Its association of private postal stores (PBC) provides numerous support services such as financing and mortgages and numerous other programs to its members."
June 29, 2001 -- According to The Washington Post, "online bill paying is growing in popularity, with an estimated 7.5 million American households already using Internet services for some or all of their payments, according to Forrester Research of Cambridge, Mass. The company, which tracks technology trends, predicts usage could increase to some 21 million households by 2004."
June 29, 2001 -- Reuters has reported that "the [U.K.] postal regulator says it would be unrealistic and irresponsible to introduce wide-open competition to the country's postal system, which faces a major shake-up in the first half of 2002. The comments came after the Postal Services Commission, set up to ensure a universal postal system, released a consultation document on promoting competition in postal services."
June 29, 2001 -- According to the tenth edition of the UPS Europe Business Monitor (EBM), European business leaders have been coping with a dramatic pace of change in the last few years. The survey shows that European leaders are considering whether to merge with or take over other companies, most are introducing e-business strategies and are aware that their business will have to transform to take advantage of e-business. Commissioned annually by UPS, the Europe Business Monitor provides Canadian businesses insight into the attitudes, opinions and habits of European business leaders. Available on interactive CD-ROM, this tenth edition of the survey considers some key issues facing business leaders: the business climate across Europe, economic and employment forecasts, prospects for European business, use of technology, etc. The Europe Business Monitor aims to provide UPS and its customers with a better understanding of the issues driving business decisions in Europe and the world.
June 29, 2001 -- According to CNET.com, "sputtering economies at home and abroad are dragging on the earnings of FedEx Corp. and United Parcel Service Inc., with little hope for quick relief for the American delivery-services giants. Quarterly profits for both companies will be down from a year earlier, according to analysts, who worry that volume and earnings growth at promising overseas segments may be slowing, at least for the short term."
June 29, 2001 -- According to BusinessWeek, "Some say Airborne (ABF ) is the third horse in a two-horse race between United Parcel Service and FedEx. Indeed, as No. 3 in the express delivery business, Airborne is way behind: In 2000, Airborne's sales were $3.3 billion, vs. $29.7 billion at UPS and $18.2 billion at FedEx. But that could change: Air-cargo sources whisper that Germany's DHL Worldwide Express has held informal talks with Airborne about acquiring a minority stake. In May, DHL said it intended to create a full U.S. ground-parcel unit and was awaiting a go-ahead from Uncle Sam. Airborne has an integrated air-and-ground network for door-to-door delivery of small packages and documents. Its ground network includes nine regional hubs, 700 trucks, and 100 tractors."
June 29, 2001 -- The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin is available on this site.
June 29, 2001 -- The U.S. Postal Service has won the National Association of Consumer Agency Administrators (NACAA) Best Web Site Contest. The Consumer Advocate's office received the very first NACAA Web Site Contest award in 1999. The award honors the consumer information web pages on www.usps.com, the U.S. Postal Service's official web site.
June 29, 2001 -- Dow Jones has reported that "Germany's lower house of parliament has approved a government proposal to extend the domestic letter monopoly of Deutsche Post AG through 2007 from 2002. At present, Deutsche Post has an exclusive right to deliver letters of up to 200 grams in Germany for at least DEM1.10 (EUR1=DEM1.95583) a letter." See also the report in the Financial Times.
June 29, 2001 -- Dow Jones has reported that FedEx Corp. has reported a 54% drop in profit for its fiscal fourth quarter, taking big charges and suffering from declining demand. The courier also warned that results for the current quarter will be at the low end of Wall Street expectations.
June 28, 2001 -- Pity the poor publisher.... Brill's Content has noted that "as publishers debate -- and lobby -- over postal reform this summer, the Washington Post Co. has found itself in a quandary. On one side is Richard Smith, chairman and editor in chief of the company's flagship magazine, Newsweek. Smith, who is also a member of the Magazine Publishers of America's board of directors, is actively pushing for a reform bill that includes pricing flexibility -- allowing magazines to negotiate volume discount rates with the United States Postal Service. Such a deal would undoubtedly help large-circulation magazines like Newsweek, which mails more than 3 million copies each week. On the other side is Smith's boss, Washington Post Co. chairman Donald Graham, whose Washington, D.C.-based daily is adamantly opposed to pricing deals because they have the potential to drive advertisers away from the Post and into the hands of direct-mailing companies."
June 28, 2001 -- According to the British newspaper, The Independent, "leaders of more than two million employees failed in their attempts to thrash out a united front over public services to present to the Prime Minister last night. Public service unions [including Britain's postal unions] were hoping to go to a 'working dinner' at Downing Street armed with a declaration condemning Tony Blair's insistence on increasing private-sector input into state-funded services. But deep splits between the unions emerged at a meeting of the ruling general council of the Trades Union Congress which could be exploited by ministers who support radical reform."
June 28, 2001 -- China Daily has reported that "cash transfers by post could take just one day to complete under an electronic remittance system due to come online nationwide on July 1. Senior officials at the State Postal Bureau (China Post) said the move will boost its financial business operation with the service available in 106 mail outlets in 20 municipalities and provinces."
June 28, 2001 -- Nihon Keizai Shimbun has reported that "Deutsche Post AG plans to raise its stake in express delivery firm DHL International Ltd. to up to 73% from 51% in early 2002."
June 28, 2001 -- According to Dow Jones, "courting investors in television commercials is apparently not doing much for Deutsche Post AG. Germany's partly privatized postal and logistics company said it is launching an "investor-relations offensive" to boost its sagging stock....In part, Deutsche Post has been hurt by its role as a deliverer of goods sold by Internet companies, a link it once played up in its TV spots. Now that the e-commerce boom has died down, couriers like Deutsche Post are seeing slower growth than they had expected. U.S. rivals FedEx Corp. and United Parcel Service Inc. have been hurt too."
June 28, 2001 -- The British newspaper, Evening Standard, has reported that the "Royal Mail's monopoly is to be blown away by the new postal regulator, which today forecasts a brave new world in which letters, costing less than the current first and second class rates, are delivered along with the morning milk or groceries. Unions fear the introduction of competition could cost thousands of jobs at the Royal Mail."
June 28, 2001 -- Direct mail is the most effective CRM (customer relationship management) tool to reach customers, according to a survey released today by Pitney Bowes. The study, conducted in conjunction with Peppers and Rogers Group, a management consulting firm specializing in customer-focused business strategies, surveyed more than 350 U.S. households with annual incomes greater than $35,000 and yielded surprising results that electronic-based communication and marketing tools such as e-mail and the Internet are not as effective for building customer relationships as expected.
June 27, 2001 -- Postmaster General John ("Jack") Potter has sent to House government reform committee chairman Dan Burton (R-IN) a letter detailing his plan to follow-up on actions recommended by the Comptroller General of the U.S. as part of the postal oversight process.
June 27, 2001 -- Financial Times Deutschland has reported that "Deutsche Post, the German mail and logistics group, will not bid for a stake of up to 25 per cent in Hellenic Post Office that is being sold by the Greek government. Deutsche Post said the conditions attached to the sale, which also included a 50 per cent stake in Tachymetafores, Hellenic Post Office's cou rier business, would have forced it to guarantee delivery of parcels anywhere in Greece. The German group, which would have integrated the Greek operations into Euro Express, its parcel services network, would have found such a guarantee too costly....The Germans' exit leaves La Poste of France and The Post Group of the Netherlands as interested parties."
June 27, 2001 -- According to the Financial Times, "British post office Consignia, which last week launched a 'no options excluded' review of its letter and package distribution networks, is already using milkmen and private couriers to deliver parcels. A series of small-scale trials by Consignia's lossmaking Parcelforce subsidiary involve milkmen from Express Dairies and staff from local courier firms. Parcelforce still collects the packages and puts them through its hub and lorry trunking network, but the 'last mile' delivery is made by non-Consignia workers."
June 27, 2001 -- According to Asia Pulse, "the postal departments of India and France will have business alliance in development and marketing of International Express Post which will provide guaranteed and faster delivery of parcels and other consignments between India and Europe. India Post and La Poste of France also will cooperate in philately, database post, financial retail services, technology upgradation of post officies and postal consultancy."
June 27, 2001 -- According to Business Day, British "post office bosses have blamed a rise in e-mail and text messages for crumbling profits....As more people choose to keep in touch by e-mail and mobile phone rather than writing letters, Consignia said it is seeing its margins drop....Consumer groups dismissed any excuses and said it was time Post Office bosses resigned over the state of the business and service."
June 27, 2001 -- According to the New Zealand news service, Newsroom, New Zealand "State Owned Enterprises Minister Mark Burton has threatened to sack any director of New Zealand Post found to have leaked details of a boardroom row. Mr Burton was referring to claims by the board's chair, Ross Armstrong, that his deputy, Syd Bradley, may have acted improperly in relation to a contract with the South African Postal Service."
June 27, 2001 -- Asahi Shimbun has reported that "official debate has begun over the proposed privatization of [Japanese] postal services, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's signature issue. Koizumi has set up a personal advisory panel on the subject, which is due to come up with recommendations in a year. Postal mail, savings and insurance operations are performed by a gargantuan state-run institution offering banking, life insurance and home-delivery services....The system is out of sync with the liberalization and internationalization now taking hold in financial services, distribution and other areas. A mammoth state-run enterprise with little concern for profitability sitting at the center of the financial markets could bring many evils, such as hampering the flow of capital into new industries and suffocating private initiatives."
June 27, 2001 -- The Financial Times has reported that "Consignia, formerly the Post Office, failed to meet government-set financial targets by £88m ($123m) last year and produced "disappointing" post-tax profits of only £66m. John Roberts, chief executive, blamed the 'self-inflicted damage' of unofficial strikes for much of the poor performance when he announced Consignia's results for the year to March 2001. Disputes, he said, were playing into the hands of competitors. 'We have to stabilise industrial relations. It is important that our people understand that if we are not able to get it under control, there will be an impact on jobs.'" See also the story in The Times and also the BBC.
June 27, 2001 -- According to the British newspaper, The Guardian, British "senior [postal] managers, led by chairman Neville Bain, blamed strikes and train delays for declining performance which has seen the PO consistently undershoot its targets for delivering mail on time."
June 27, 2001 -- China Post has announced that postal offices will provide electronic remittance services to residents in more than 20 large and medium cities in the country starting July 1." According to one Chinese postal official, "the move aims to improve China Post's competitive edge and reform the traditional hand-handling process of remittance." Gee....Have they heard about Remitco?
June 27, 2001 -- According to Africa News, "Zambia postal Services (ZAMPOST) yesterday gave national team players K100,000 each as a token of appreciation to the squad's two victories against Madagascar and Lesotho. Zampost regional assistant director Daniel Kasolo who handed the players money upon their arrival from Lesotho yesterday said the gesture was a token of their appreciation to the team's successes. Zambia edged Madagascar 1-0 in Antananarivo on July 16 to qualify to next year's Africa Cup finals before beating Lesotho 2-1 in Maseru on Sunday to sail to the semi-finals of the COSAFA Cup." It's nice to know our terminal dues go to support such a laudable effort. Oooops! Forgot about the Postal Service's support for a bicycle team...."
June 27, 2001 -- The Boston Globe guesses that "maybe the flashing hazard lights on United Parcel Service trucks transmit a secret code to meter maids. Or maybe Boston's 188 parking enforcement officers despise the color brown. Regardless, UPS's 125 Boston-based trucks racked up a whopping $540,000 in parking tickets in the first 11 months of fiscal 2001 - topping the list of companies besieged by the city's Transportation Department."
June 26, 2001 -- EPSIIA, a developer of document archival, retrieval and presentment solutions and PostX, a provider of secure e-communication technology, announced today they have formed a cooperative marketing partnership to provide financial services clients with both critical bill statement and archival technologies. The partnership will provide customers with the necessary advanced archival capabilities needed to comply with SEC regulations and reduce their retrieval costs.
June 26, 2001 -- PMG Jack Potter has told his people that the future is about "keeping our focus." [You may lose your patience waiting for the Postal Service's version to download. If so, you can find a simple text version of the presentation outline on this web site.]
June 26, 2001 -- According to The Scotsman, "Consignia's monopoly on postal services is likely to be initially broken in Edinburgh, Scotland. Groundbreaking changes could take place within months if PostComm, the mail regulator, accepts a licence application from Hays, the support services group. Company insiders have revealed the proposed service would be "in direct competition" with Consignia - formerly the Post Office - but on a limited scale that would not affect the universal service."
June 26, 2001 -- According to the British newspaper, The Evening Mail, "postal workers continued a strike across large parts of Belgium to demand more pay and less work. Postal deliveries were either late or non-existent and in Leuven, 12 miles east of Brussels workers blocked a major road to choke the morning rush hour. Some post offices remained closed and the action was expected to last through the weekend. Postal workers are demanding more staff to ease the workload and the payment of a special premium."
June 26, 2001 -- DM News has reported that, according to Deputy PMG John Nolan, the U.S. Postal Service is serious about pursuing postal reform. The paper said that "Nolan argued that the USPS’ should keep its monopoly on universal delivery but said that the agency needs flexibility in setting prices for some services."
June 26, 2001 -- Direct Newsline has reported that "SpeedGreetings, Bethesda, MD, has named two former postmaster generals to its board of directors. They are: Paul Carlin, the 66th postmaster general, and the 70th postmaster general Marvin Runyon, head of The Runyon Group. Also named to the board are John Kuiper, CEO of Mail2000 Inc. and Loren E. Smith, chairman of Perquia and a former marketing officer of the USPS. SpeedGreetings has also secured $3 million in financing from a number of investors including Carlin, the company said. The company is expected to use the funding to strengthen the development and delivery of services and advance its growth strategy. SpeedGreetings is a privately-held company that uses print-on-demand digital technology to provide customer relationship management. It also offers hard-copy mail services for businesses."
June 26, 2001 -- Privatization? Well...it can happen. Check out the latest from The Washington Post on efforts to privatize Social Security, the high holy, American sacred cow.
June 26, 2001 -- According to Handelsblatt, "Deutsche Post AG is confident it will this year beat the record sales and profits it posted for 2000."
June 25, 2001 -- In an address given before the Joint Conference of the National Academy of Public Administration's Panel on Executive Organization and Management and The John Hopkins Center for the Study of American Government, former Kappel Commission executive director Murray Comarow said that "postal executives function within a system of constraints which make effective management impossible. If the nation's best executives occupied every top postal position, they could not comply with the statute's mandate for efficiency, since the statute itself precludes efficiency. They would run an organization which has only marginal influence over how much it pays its people, or how much it charges its customers. These are core management responsibilities. Labor issues are at the heart of effective reform and create more tensions than any other."
June 25, 2001 -- Gloryosky, Batman! The Postal Service finally has returned to publishing its revenue, piece, weight reports on its own web site.
June 25, 2001 -- According to The New Zealand Herald, "New Zealand Post chairman Ross Armstrong and his deputy, Syd Bradley, are locked in a war in which there can be only one clear survivor....Ostensibly the Armstrong/Bradley battle is about allegations that the NZ Post deputy has been undermining the commercial future of the South African operations. But a wider philosophical argument is boiling over NZ Post's commercial raison d'etre - whether it should go all out for profit (the view of Armstrong and NZ Post chief executive Elmar Toime) or give regard to wider social issues."
June 25, 2001 -- India Post and La Poste of France have decided to enter into business alliance in development and marketing of International Express Post for guaranteed and faster delivery of parcels and other consignments between India and Europe.
June 25, 2001 -- According to Dow Jones, "DHL Worldwide Express Ltd. plans to boost its presence in China's booming market for international express delivery services, opening another 11 offices nationwide this year despite efforts by the country's postal service to restrict the business of foreign companies."
June 25, 2001 -- The New Zealand Herald has reported that "New Zealand Post chairman Ross Armstrong has stomped on directors' requests for discussions with shareholding ministers over the company's strategic direction. Director Ken Douglas said it was an 'open secret' that directors wanted to sit down with cabinet ministers Michael Cullen and Mark Burton to discuss NZ Post's strategies in the new economic era."
June 25, 2001 -- According to the German paper, Franfurter Allgemeine, "the Internet needs house numbers and zip codes to deliver data, but they are running out. Computers have to know to whom to send data. In this respect, the Internet is not much different than traditional postal services. If many new recipients and house numbers are added, zip codes need to be changed."
June 25, 2001 -- The Associated Press has reported that Belgian "postal workers continued a strike in large parts of the country for a third day running Friday to demand more pay and less work. Postal workers demand more personnel to ease the workload and the payment of a special premium. The unions hope a solution with the government-owned company can still be found this week. Otherwise, they say the scattered labor action will turn into a general postal strike next week."
June 25, 2001 -- Financial Times Deutschland has reported that "German postal services operator Deutsche Post AG plans to acquire further postal express services companies in the next few years. According to Deutsche Post, its European parcel network, Euro Express, is not yet complete. The company does not yet offer national Express products on foreign markets. Deutsche Post has not ruled out acquisitions of small-to-medium-sized companies. The European parcel network is seen as having strong growth potential, in relation to the traditional parcel market. Post Express, which delivers parcels within the national boundary, generated turnover of about 200m euros in 2000."
June 25, 2001 -- According to The Economist, "ever since his days as a young, wide-eyed politician, Junichiro Koizumi has wanted to privatise Japan's powerful post office. He came closer to his goal when he was elected prime minister in April. One of his first acts was to set up an advisory panel, stuffed with pro-reformers, to look at post-office reform. The panel, which met for the first time this month, is already demanding that the government-run postal savings system disclose all sorts of figures, including the true extent of its unrealised profits and losses."
June 25, 2001 -- According to Rick Merritt, Executive Director of PostalWatch, "If postal leaders think too many people are looking over their shoulders, they should be advocating full privatization -- giving up both the monopoly and federal agency status. Then they would be truly "responsive to the marketplace," and we would see how they would fare with "oversight" from both customers and shareholders. Until such time, any "postal reform" should focus more on accountability than flexibility."
June 24, 2001 -- In a recent perspective for Advertising Age, postal commentator Gene Del Polito wrote that "the most logical way is by transforming the Postal Service into a true stock corporation--one whose stock not only could be held (or redeemed) by the U.S. government but also by employees of the corporation and the general public. Such an entity no longer would be operated on a break-even basis, but would be expected to be a profit-making (and cost-minimizing) enterprise. It would be required to operate under the same rules governing all other corporations. It would be subject to antitrust rules, and its services would be sufficiently "de-monopolized" to encourage competitive entry while still preserving the nation's need for universal mail service."
June 24, 2001 -- According to postal commentator Gene Del Polito, PMGs may come and go. Fads may go in and out of fashion. But one thing remains constant within the Postal Service.
June 24, 2001 -- When the Treasury begins disbursing the refund checks resulting from President Bush's tax refund initiative, the Postal Service should see a bump up in First-Class Mail volume.
June 24, 2001 -- According to CNNfn, "a court victory by United Parcel Service could leave one of the world's strongest balance sheets with more than two billion more dollars, and analysts trying to anticipate what it will do with the money."
June 24, 2001 -- "We've been completely vindicated. We followed the law and did things properly. Calling our actions a sham was a complete affront." So said a United Parcel Service executive to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution following an appeal court finding in UPS' favor.
June 24, 2001 -- According to iQ, Cisco System's online webzine, "United Parcel Service isn't a stickler for tradition. Whereas most $30 billion companies tend to focus on business as usual, the Atlanta-based express carrier and package-delivery company is more interested in staying one step ahead of its competitors. It does so by focusing on the needs of its customers."
June 24, 2001 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "DHL Worldwide Express, the air courier company jointly owned by Deutsche Post and Lufthansa, has appointed Randy Clark to the newly-created position of senior vice president of customer relations. Clark, who will operate out of the company's U.S. headquarters in San Francisco, will departments in developing services such as customer relation management, software, e-commerce, customer service centers, and telemarketing."
June 24, 2001 -- According to the Federal Times, federal "agencies will have to track and manage better the $1 billion they collectively spend on mail each year, under a proposal by the General Services Administration. GSA is proposing changes to federal mail policy that would require agencies to redesign their financial systems to track the mail costs of each office by October 2002. GSA says the move would encourage federal offices to watch, and ultimately reduce, the amount of money they spend on mail. Agencies also would have to submit annual comprehensive mail management plans to GSA and develop performance measures for tracking mail operations under the proposal."
June 24, 2001 -- The Indian newspaper, The Statesman, has reported that "the [Indian] Expenditure Reforms Commission wants the postal department to give up its monopoly on letter service, separate the policy-making and operational arms and corporatise the latter. It could begin with the Directorate of Business Development which handles its premium money-making services. But India Post 'must be prepared to face competition... Once the comfort of legal protection is removed, the postal department has to gear itself to face the market demands for efficiency'. There are sufficient grounds to corporatise the department, the commission said, pointing to experiences in the US, Canada, the UK, France, Germany, Australia and closer home, in Malaysia where corporatisation demonstrated remarkable turn-around in the inefficient and financially-ailing postal services."
June 24, 2001 -- The British newspaper, The Observer, has reported that "Consignia, the troubled state postal service, is likely to show a further decline this week, when it publishes its first set of accounts as a public limited company. Declining revenue is expected to force Consignia, which the Post Office was renamed three months ago, to reapply to raise the prices of first and second class stamps."
June 22, 2001 -- "Over the transom," someone shared a document entitled: Optional Salary Compensation Package for Letter Carriers. It's been posted on this site.
June 22, 2001 -- It seems as if United Parcel Service (UPS) has a few ideas of its own on the matter of postal legislative reform. The UPS proposal has been posted on this web site.
June 22, 2001 -- If you need your package delivered within a week, China’s State Postal Bureau will soon be able to provide speedy service—anywhere in the country. The State Postal Bureau recently decided to provide express parcel service to the whole country beginning Aug. 1, reported Sina.com.
June 22, 2001 -- According to The Wall Street Journal, it's a real "mail disorder" as a "blizzard of grievances add to package of woes at U.S. Postal Service." As a result, "workers' costly complaints are sapping resources needed to fight the growing number of rivals."
June 22, 2001 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that "Atlanta-based United Parcel Service Inc. says its mail-pickup service, launched in Atlanta and Dallas this spring, will spread to about 30 major U.S. areas by the middle of next year. The foray is an effort to leverage U.S. postal rules that grant discounts on first-class postage rates to anyone mailing at least 500 pieces at once. Many businesses are too small to generate that much mail. So UPS combines all the letters it collects into piles that together qualify for a discount of two cents on every 34-cent stamp, a discount that gets passed to customers. UPS charges its usual ground-delivery rate of roughly $2 to pick up a sack of mail, and pays a third-party sorting company to haul the mail to the post office."
June 22, 2001 -- The Department of Justice has cleared the way for companies that are victimized by an estimated half-billion dollars a year in mail-order fraud to attempt to limit the instances of fraud against them. The Department's Antitrust Division said it would not challenge a proposal from the Promotion Marketing Association (PMA)--a New York based association of consumer product and service manufacturers, and providers, promotion agencies and other firms active in the promotion marketing industry--that would expand a previously approved information sharing exchange.
June 22, 2001 -- The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has overturned a 1999 decision that UPS had improperly tried to avoid federal income taxes when it restructured its program for providing extra package insurance to its customers. The appeals court said the IRS and Tax Court were wrong to brand UPS as attempting a "sham transaction" to avoid its tax obligations. After reversing the 1999 decision, the appellate court then remanded the case back to the U.S. Tax Court, saying any claims by the IRS should be analyzed under provisions of the Tax Code cited by UPS.
June 22, 2001 -- -- In its 2000/2001 Annual Report tabled yesterday with the Clerk of the House of Commons, Canada Post reported a net income of $84 million on revenues of $5.9 billion, more than doubling the net income forecast a year ago. The Corporation recorded its highest income ever before tax. "Canada Post's profits must be re-invested to improve postal services across the country," declared Dale Clark, President of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, in response to Canada Post's announcement of $84 million in profits. "This money should be put back into the post office so that every Canadian - whether in downtown Toronto, small town Saskatchewan or the far North - gets the quality of service we all deserve." This morning, Canada Post announced their sixth consecutive profitable year, recording their highest income ever before tax. Over five years, Canada Post has paid out over $260 million to the federal government in dividends. This year, the government will be paid $19 million, an increase of $7 million over last year.
June 22, 2001 -- According to The Daily Yomiuri, "Zoku-giin is a widely used piece of jargon in the Japanese political world. It literally translates as "tribes (zoku) of parliamentarians (giin)." However, the term actually refers to groups of lobbyists, or pressure groups. In a nutshell, zoku-giin signifies various groups of legislators from the Liberal Democratic Party who play a major role in the policymaking process. In fact, they have a say in almost everything, from concluding treaties to drafting the national budget. In his policy speech on May 7, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi referred to the hindrances presented by zoku-giin lawmakers while detailing his long-cherished plan to privatize the postal services."
June 22, 2001 -- Despite soaring fuel costs and a slowing economy, United Parcel Service of America Inc. (UPS) is maintaining its plans for a major expansion into the European market. Already considered a major player in the international market, UPS sees Europe as a strong growth opportunity.
June 22, 2001 -- Postcomm, the British postal regulator, has issued three interim licenses to operators of existing postal services. The companies provide mail for two financial services businesses and an international mailing service. The licences will last for one year. The first two cover existing activities until Postcomm has finalized its longer term licensing policy. The last covers an existing activity until it can be exempted under the Act. The companies are: TNT (UK) for value-added mail services to two clients in the financial services industry and G3 Worldwide Mail (UK) Ltd (a TNT/PTT Post company) for collection services for overseas mail.
June 22, 2001 -- The U.S. Postal Service has said that it intends to negotiate non-competitively with Responsible Solutions Ltd. of Redwood City. CA to provide professional and technical support to ensure successful continuation of critical security-related services in order to protect major web-based applications maintained by the United States Postal Service.
June 22, 2001 -- CEP News has reported that "the German government intends to privatise further parts of Deutsche Post World Net AG during 2002. Market experts believe that the government intends to sell its current stock majority."
June 22, 2001 -- CEP News has reported that "the Swiss Schweizerische Post is to receive amends from a compensation fund for losses incurred from its provision of public services. The fund will be fed through a fee on profits made by private companies on the liberalised postal and telecommunications market."
June 22, 2001 -- According to CEP News, "the Austrian Österreichische Post has just launched its long awaited modernization programme. ÖP AG intends to invest around 3.6m euros in the renovation of the post office network. A new three-stage service concept will be introduced to modernize the old post offices. In highly frequented locations, the name ‘McPost’ will stand for ‘standardised and reduced’ postal services (easy, fast, convenient). Other branches are to offer comprehensive services including supplementary services (‘Post Complete’), while smaller branches in particular will be run as agencies (‘Post Partner’)."
June 22, 2001 -- According to CEP News, "Britain bids farewell to the last letter sorting facilities on wheels. Currently, there are still 18 trains running every night, on board of which letters are sorted manually during the journey. According to a report in the London ‘Times’ (16.6.2001) the mail sorting on trains was the only way, apart from air mail, of ensuring that letters from remote areas were delivered the following day. However, the service has become too expensive. It is true that the postal workers sort a record average of 1,200 letters per person per hour but they also have to be paid allowances and must be put up in hotels the following day, before they can catch a homebound train."
June 21, 2001 -- The Daily Yomiuri has reported that Japanese "Public Management Ministry officials are discussing the transformation of the postal service into a public corporation, set to occur in 2003, but major issues still remain unresolved. Such issues include fostering management efficiency and dealing with private-sector competition. The public management minister is expected in early August to establish a private study group, which will be charged with completing proposals on the transformation by the end of the year so that the necessary bills can be submitted to the 2002 ordinary Diet session."
June 21, 2001 -- AsiaInfo Holdings, Inc., a provide of software products and infrastructure solutions for next generation network operators in China, announced today that it has signed a contract to provide billing and customer care software and solutions to China Post, the national postal service bureau in China.
June 21, 2001 -- BusinessFirst has reported that "United Parcel Service Inc. has revised a companywide policy that once prevented family members of the company's employees from gaining employment at UPS. The change will allow relatives of all the company's employees except 'upper management' to be considered for employment in part-time package handling positions, according to a news release. In the past, UPS did not hire relatives of its employees to avoid any 'conflict of interest or appearance of preferential treatment.'"
June 21, 2001 -- The Financial Times has reported that "Hays, the UK logistics and support services group, said on Tuesday it had sold its loss-making Spanish mail services operations for £500,000 ($700,000) to Capital Original, a management buy-out vehicle.
June 21, 2001 -- According to La Tribune, the "French post office La Poste is moving towards a strict distinction between its various activities. The group's aim is to better identify its activities, giving them each an identity, although unions fear that it could affect postal activities in branches as the move is seen as the first step towards outsourcing certain activities and then privatisation. The French senate has adopted an amendment to the Murcef law, fixing the end of this year as a deadline for the introduction of separate accounts for each activity."
June 21, 2001 -- The French newspaper, Le Figaro, has reported that "Martin Vial, chairman of the French post office (La Poste), claims that his organisation is about to sign a partnership agreement with its Spanish counterpart. This deal, says Mr Vial, is "of the same type" as that which La Poste has already concluded with the Italian post office, namely, a high-speed deliveries venture."
June 21, 2001 -- According to the French newspaper, Le Monde, "the European Commission is expected to issue a directive before the end of the year which will deregulate the courier delivery sector. The Commission aims to reduce the monopoly held by established postal services companies on deliveries weighing less than 50 grams. About 27 per cent of the courier delivery market is currently deregulated. The anticipated directive would also permit any business to make courier deliveries. Martin Vial, chairman of La Poste, the French post office, is opposed to deregulation, which he says will allow the market to be creamed off."
June 21, 2001 -- Royal Mail has appointed former Lloyds TSB marketer Paul Troy as its new director of brand and communications. Royal Mail will collate research, case studies, promotions, ideas and direct mail samples, which it will provide to agencies. It will also give advice on which mailing house to use.
June 20, 2001 -- The American Postal Workers Union (APWU) has announced that on May 24, 2001, its National Executive Board endorsed the concept of postal reform as outlined one week earlier by APWU President Moe Biller in his May 16, 2001 testimony before the House Government Reform Committee. You can see what those concepts were by reading bulletin 12 on the APWU web site. The APWU's executive vice president also has posted on the union's web site a memorandum on "What's the TRUTH about Postal Reform?" According to the APWU leadership, "Postal Service management and the USPS Board of Governors are spreading misleading information to achieve their objectives of postal reform and modification of the collective bargaining process." The purpose of the TRUTH piece is "to expose these USPS fabrications so that American citizens and the Congress will know the truth."
June 20, 2001 -- An alliance between the U.S. Postal Service and package carrier FedEx Corp. is generating higher volumes of packages than projected.
June 20, 2001 -- According to The Economist, "As China's economy opens up, its coddled state-owned monopolies know that they must prepare for greater exposure to the rigours of the marketplace. But some are in denial. A prime example is the postal monopoly, China Post. Rather than adapting to competition, it is trying to close it down."
June 20, 2001 -- According to The Washington Post Online, "the U.S. Postal Service is putting out the call to for help in creating new online ventures, as it weighs an electronic future in which the agency might one day spin off private enterprises. The Postal Service has received more than 700 business plans since asking for proposals in January. The 225-year-old agency has hired a half-dozen people with business expertise to analyze the potential for new partnerships. For now, the ventures are set up as collaborations between the agency and private companies, but postal officials are considering the possibility of forming new businesses."
June 20, 2001 -- The British newspaper, The Independent, has reported that "Consignia, the former Post Office, was forced into an embarrassing climb-down yesterday over its request for an inflation-busting hike in the price of stamps, but immediately sought to blame the Government for the debacle. In April, just days after being granted a licence to operate as a plc under a new regime, the company shocked the regulator, PostComm, with a demand that both first and second class stamps go up by 1p in October. PostComm had earlier said that it expected prices to be frozen for two years. Consignia, which is faced with the end of its monopoly over postal services, said yesterday it had "suspended" the application to raise prices. It said this was due to uncertainty over when the Government might take away its right to receive interest payments, worth pounds 100m a year, which come from profits paid to the state over the years."
June 20, 2001 -- In case you missed it, the Postal Rate Commission has issued a solicitation of comments on procedures currently under consideration regarding the filing of electronic documents in Commission proceedings.
June 20, 2001 -- DHL Worldwide Express has formed an alliance with Northwest Airlines that will enable it to offer faster transit times and improved delivery options to Asia.
June 20, 2001 -- Business 2.0 has reported that "despite planned rate hikes, the U.S. Postal Service is struggling to survive an Internet economy in which stamped envelopes seem archaic. Some observers suggest privatizing."
June 20, 2001 -- According to the BBC, "Royal Mail is calling on political representatives in a south Belfast suburb to achieve the withdrawing of a loyalist threat against Catholic delivery staff."
June 20, 2001 -- eWeek has reported that "UPS has launched what it calls its Customer Automation Program. UPS places PCs linked to its shipping system at customer sites, enabling Chinese companies to print their own smart shipping labels and to see the cost benefits of B2B commerce firsthand. UPS covers the cost of the hardware and software."
June 19, 2001 -- According to China Daily, "competition and monopoly are irreconcilable in the market. Competition tries to break through monopoly while monopolistic power wields its entrenched clout to curb competition. This is evident from the recent "Sunlight incident," in which China Post and a booming private postal business wrangled over the validity of non-State-owned firms in the business of newspaper distribution."
June 19, 2001 -- According to the Oil & Gas Journal, "many utilities are providing at least some customer services on line, but consumers don't seem eager to give up the telephone and the US Postal Service. Just 2 years ago, utility managers were optimistic the internet would help them cut transaction costs much as ATMs helped banks reduce costs. But a recent survey by Chartwell Inc., Atlanta, Ga., revealed both utilities and their customers are moving more slowly than initially anticipated."
June 19, 2001 -- DM News postal commentator Cary Baer asks: "Which Way Is Up for Postal Revenues?"
June 19, 2001 -- The U.S. Postal Service has announced that "beginning today, self-service Fed Ex Drop Boxes will be installed at post offices nationwide, implementing the first of two agreements between the Postal Service and FedEx Express."
June 19, 2001 -- European sources have reported that "Poste Italiane SpA denied a press report published in Buenos Aires Economico claiming it has entered preliminary talks with Socma Americana SA regarding the acquisition of a majority stake in Correo Argentino, the postal service concession of Socma's Sideco Americana SA unit. Poste Italiane said it has no interest in acquiring a stake in Correo Argentina."
June 19, 2001 -- According to mail handler Bernard Boos in a recent editorial for Federal Times, the news reports put out by postal management are "a concoction of fabrication and half-truths. Apparently the truth has no place anymore, only what people are led to believe falsely as the truth."
June 19, 2001 -- "Death Spiral on Main Street," by Carolyn Lochhead, The American Enterprise.
June 19, 2001 -- Posted on this site you can find: (1) the USPS financial report for Accounting Period Nine of Postal Fiscal Year 2001, (2) the Revenue, Piece Weight report for Quarter III Postal Fiscal Year 2001, and (3) the Revenue, Piece Weight report showing the year-do-date figures through Quarter III Postal Fiscal Year 2001.
June 19, 2001 -- Universal Express, Inc. has announced that it's subsidiary WorldPost.com has completed their newest web site as an addition to their WorldPost territory sales activities. WorldPost.com is Universal Express' International Express Shipping division providing discounted rates which are substantially less than major carrier rates. Universal Express has the right to sell WorldPost International Shipping Territories in the United States.
June 19, 2001 -- Senior Vice President, Chief Technology Officer Pete Jacobson has elected to leave the U.S. Postal Service. Jacobson had been mulling over the decision for some time. Vice President, Information Platform Charlie Bravo has been named acting SVP.
Postmaster General Jack Potter has announced that changes to the Management Committee and the creation of a new Executive Committee. According to Potter, the reconfigured Management Committee will consist of its present members, with the addition of all senior vice presidents. It will meet on a monthly basis and serve primarily for senior management to share information so that everyone is aware of the activities occurring throughout the organization. The Committee will focus on these key issues of the day, and will also help to prepare for each upcoming Board meeting.
Potter also has established a new Executive Committee consisting of seven members: the postmaster general; the deputy postmaster general; the chief operating officer and executive vice president; the chief financial officer and executives vice president, the senior vice president, Human Resources; the vice president, General Counsel; and the senior vice president, Government Relations and Public Policy. He contended that "unlike the Management Committee, the Executive Committee will be a decision-making body. It will meet frequently--as necessary--and consider a single, specific topic. There will be advance notice of the meetings identifying the issues to be considered."
June 19, 2001 -- The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) says it is losing money at unprecedented rates, with a deficit of $2 billion or more possible this year. The dire forecast has prompted pleas for White House intervention, caught the attention of Congress -- and raised concern at newspapers. Large dailies fear the USPS would use new freedoms to favor large direct-mail companies that compete for advertising. Smaller newspapers, which are distributed by post, fear ever-more frequent rate increases if the Postal Service sinks into chronic crisis.
June 19, 2001 -- According to MediaWeek, "with postal rate hikes going through the roof and advertising and circulation revenue headed south, publishers can't seem to catch a break this year. One bright spot is paper prices, which are declining at their steepest rate since the mid-1990s, the result of surplus inventory now that most magazines are printing smaller issues." A bright spot? Sure...unless you're the paper company.
June 19, 2001 -- Dutch postal, express and logistics firm TNT Post Group NV has said it is confident of achieving at least a threefold growth in revenue in Asia by 2005 despite the current economic downturn.
June 19, 2001 -- Xenos, the data to e-content company(TM), has opened up new sales distribution channels in Latin America, signing new partners in Brazil and Argentina to resell its technology. Xenosd develops software that enables 'bricks and mortar' companies to rapidly produce online bills and statements without the need to redevelop their systems.
June 19, 2001 -- Zimbabwe's post offices shut down Monday as the more than 10,000 workers at the state post and telecom company began a national strike over wages
June 19, 2001 -- DHL Worldwide Express has announced it will offer faster transit times and improved delivery options to Asia's top cities, reinforcing DHL's leading market position in Asia Pacific.
June 19, 2001 -- Firstlogic, Inc. has announced the availability of the industry's first solution for verifying the correct line-of-travel (LOT) sequence required by the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) for mailers seeking the maximum carrier route discount rates.
June 17, 2001 -- The Telegraph (London) has reported that "Parcelforce, the parcels division of the Post Office, has begun contracting out parcel deliveries in seven towns and cities around the UK, raising fears of thousands of job losses among its 12,000 workforce....[A]s much as half the Parcelforce workforce could be under threat. But the Post Office would be expected to try to redeploy staff and rely on natural wastage."
June 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.
June 16, 2001 -- The Asahi Shimbun has reported that "the [Japanese] posts ministry has come out with drastic measures as a counterproposal to Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's plans to privatize postal services. Documents obtained by The Asahi Shimbun show that the Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications is attempting to substantially improve the inefficient nature of postal services-mail delivery, postal savings and postal insurance-although it falls short of accepting privatization. The services are slated to be converted into a public corporation in April 2003. However, the details of how this will be done remain under wraps. The draft apparently has a hidden agenda-to stymie Koizumi's drive to place three postal services in private hands, observers said."
June 16, 2001 -- Dutch postal, express and logistics company TNT Post Group NV (TPG) has said the European Commission had given final approval to its joint venture with Britain's Consignia and Singapore Post. The three firms have formed a cross-border business mail joint venture.
June 16, 2001 -- Fact: During the past year, Time Inc. has sold more than one million new magazine subscriptions via AOL. Wonder what they'd do if periodical and advertising mail rates rise by double digits in the next postal rate case?
June 16, 2001 -- Consignia plc's agreement to allow Postal Preference Service Limited (PPS) to use Royal Mail trademarks on consumer lifestyle survey questionnaires does not breach competition law, the OFT has found. The competition authority started a Competition Act inquiry following complaints from Claritas (UK) Limited and the Direct Marketing Association that PPS's use of the Royal Mail trademarks would undermine competition in the market for consumer lifestyle data. The OFT investigation found that PPS - which is partly owned by Consignia - had not achieved substantially higher response rates than its competitors, that the Royal Mail trademarks had not markedly boosted the response rate, and that potential customers of PPS data were likely to continue to purchase data from their current suppliers. In sum, PPS is competing legitimately; competition is not being undermined. Consignia, which currently has a monopoly in the delivery of ordinary mail, has therefore been cleared of abusing a dominant position in the UK in breach of the Chapter II prohibition in the Competition Act 1998.
June 16, 2001 -- FedEx and the U.S. Postal Service have officially launch the national rollout of FedEx Express dropboxes at post offices throughout the country - implementing the first of two landmark public-private service agreements between FedEx and the U.S. Postal Service. With the nationwide rollout of this pioneering program, customers in local communities throughout the United States will now be able to enjoy the convenience of having FedEx dropboxes at post offices.
June 16, 2001 -- Patricia Hewitt, the British trade and industry secretary, yesterday told unions to stop focusing on protecting jobs and start concentrating on helping their members compete in the employment market. "There is no such thing as a job for life, but there can be employability for life," Ms Hewitt told the annual conference of the AEEU engineering union in Blackpool in her first speech as trade and industry secretary.
June 15, 2001 -- In a letter to The Washington Post, Azeezaly Jaffer, Vice President of Public Affairs and Communications for the U.S. Postal Service said: "We agree with The Post on the need for new thinking on how the U.S. Postal Service does business [editorial, May 29]. But more bureaucratic red tape is not new thinking. Consider the list of current overseers: Nine presidentially appointed governors who select the postmaster general and convene monthly to review postal operations and set policy. Five presidentially appointed members of the independent postal rate commission, which reviews all pricing changes in a time-consuming process. An inspector general who audits internal activities of the agency. A federal law enforcement agency, the Postal Inspection Service, which devotes its activities to investigating fraud. A standing committee in the House, which regularly convenes to review postal activities. A standing committee in the Senate, which regularly convenes to review postal activities. The comptroller general and the General Accounting Office, which regularly conduct audits, plus a variety of other federal agencies, including the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. It's time for legislative reform that will enable the Postal Service to be more responsive to the marketplace, not to more overseers."
June 15, 2001 -- William J. Henderson, former Postmaster General and Chief Executive Officer of the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), will join Quad/Graphics' Board of Directors, effective July 20.
June 15, 2001 -- Airborne Express (http://www.airborne.com) has launched its Small Business Center, and a variety of enhancements to help all business customers speed and simplify the shipping process. The Small Business Center, combined with new web-enabled tools, make shipping even more cost-effective and convenient for all desktop shippers.
June 15, 2001 -- The British newspaper, The Guardian, has reported that "Royal Mail is to introduce personalised postcodes that will allow people to move a dozen times in a year and still get all their mail delivered by the postman. Royal Mail hopes to combat the rise of email by finding innovative new ways for people to send what has become known as 'snail mail.'"
June 15, 2001 -- The Postal Service has published in Commerce Business Daily that it is in the process of competing two of the MTESC contracts. A total of four(4) sites out of a total of 22 sites currently in the network will bepart of this acquisition. The location of the four sites is LosAngeles, CA, Secaucus, NJ, Chicago, IL. and Greensboro, NC. Thesesites are designed to support repair of Mail Transport Equipment (MTE)and will be part of an established network formed to ensure thatadequate, timely, and high quality MTE is available to USPS Processing and Distribution Centers, Bulk Mail Centers and their customers.
June 14, 2001 -- According to DM News, Deputy Postmaster General John Nolan said that the Bush administration has been hinting to the U.S. Postal Service that it will fill upcoming openings on the Board of Governors with businesspeople.
June 14, 2001 -- Pitney Bowes Inc. has unveiled plans to transform the global mailing industry by developing a networked platform for its mailing systems. The information capture and exchange made possible by advanced technology, turns the postage meter into an "intelligent" terminal that networks the mailer to postal and carrier information and systems. This two-way information architecture, in turn, enables convenient access to and delivery of value-added services such as tracking, delivery confirmation and rate information to name a few.
June 14, 2001 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "Randy Clark, former chief operating officer of Circle International, has joined DHL Worldwide Express Inc. as senior vice president of customer relations."
June 14, 2001 -- CNF Inc. has said its Emery Worldwide airfreight unit will use fewer planes -- and has cut 900 jobs, or 11 percent of its work force -- because of a drop in volume.
June 14, 2001 -- Japan Today has reported that the "government-run [Japan] postal service operations are estimated to have posted a deficit of 43.3 billion yen for fiscal 2000, far more than the initially expected 35.1 billion yen, according to government financial statements. The statements were compiled by the Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications based on guidelines issued by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party's Administrative Reform Promotion Headquarters."
June 14, 2001 -- According to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the Communications, Electrical, Electronic, Energy, Information, Postal, Plumbing and Allied Services Union of Australia says the Australian Industrial Relations Commission has decided to allow the Australia Post to stop clearing street post boxes on Sunday mornings. The move, it said, will delay the delivery of more than 20,000 items in New South Wales every Monday.
June 14, 2001 -- Pitney Bowes Inc. has launched a new foreign currency payment service -- Pitney Bowes International Payments -- that provides small to mid-sized businesses in the U.S. with a simple, convenient and cost-effective way to make payments in over 60 foreign currencies, just by picking up the phone.
June 14, 2001 -- According to the Financial Times, Hays Business Group, one of Britain's 100 biggest companies, has emerged as the first serious potential competitor to Royal Mail, the letters arm of Consignia, since the postal market was opened to competition in March. Hays DX, the group's document exchange subsidiary, said it had applied to PostComm, the independent postal regulator, for licences to operate at least three new postal businesses competing head on with Royal Mail.
June 14, 2001 -- The Finnish postal services company Finland Post Corporation has acquired the IT company Tietonauha-yhtiot Oy's business activities related to the Proteus logistics management solution.
June 14, 2001 -- Money was stolen from the U.S. Postal Service depository in Phoenix in what investigators say was an inside job. Officials would not comment on the amount stolen earlier this month, but Phoenix television station KPNX said $3.7 million was missing, citing undisclosed sources.
June 14, 2001 -- PostMag.Com has reported: "The USPS has liabilities that far outweigh its current assets. It is required to develop its business by using free cash generated from its operations. It is using short-term debt to finance its year-end obligations and it is fast approaching the limits of its allowable debt. In this environment Alan Robinson and David Rawnsley in their paper presented to the Rutgers conference on Postal and Delivery Economics in Sorrento, Italy, offer a number of recommendations."
June 13, 2001 -- Read Bill McAllister's column in the Denver Post on the Postal Service's penchant for information security...even when it means having put employees at risk.
June 12, 2001 -- AFX News has reported that "ENEL SpA said its information technology unit Enel.it has launched a new business postal service in Italy called 'Speedpost'. Speedpost will offer business clients a service of printing, transmission, enveloping and delivery of every type of business correspondence including letters, account statements, bills and registered letters. ENEL said Speedpost will offer business clients a high technology, high quality service at low cost."
June 12, 2001 -- Here's a fact that ought to fry your egg. The U.S. Postal Service has spent over $5.3 million on its NetPost Mailing Online "Experiment" in pursuit of $56,549 worth of postage. Don't worry....They'll make it up on volume.
June 12, 2001 -- According to Precision Marketing, United Parcel Service (UPS) is risking the wrath of postal operators for donating to Labour Party funds, ahead of an application to operate mail services in the UK....According to the Electoral Commission's register of interest, UPS donated GBP17,625 to Labour on March 1, prior to the General Election being deferred. UPS is keen to move into the UK letter market, following the passing of the Postal Services Act in March, allowing private firms to apply for licences to deliver post under GBP1. The Act brought to an end Royal Mail's market monopoly. Royal Mail and the Communication Workers Union (CWU) are understood to object to the contribution, fearing the firm is currying favour with the party in an attempt to get a licence via the 'back door'."
June 12, 2001 -- Pegasus Communications has announced that it is offering its DIRECTV(R) customers the convenience of online billing. Pegasus E-Bill, a free service, gives customers a safe, secure and convenient way to view monthly statements and pay their bill on the Web. With a few mouse clicks, every Pegasus Satellite Television customer can eliminate the hassle of paper statements and postage.
June 12, 2001 -- Viking Office Products, a wholly owned subsidiary of Office Depot, Inc. (NYSE:ODP), the world's largest seller of office products, today announced that it will launch a direct mail business and Internet site in Switzerland in late 2001/early 2002.
June 12, 2001 -- The Baltic news agency BNS has reported that "last year, the best financial results among Baltic postal companies were achieved by Latvijas Pasts (Latvian Post), the company has reported. Last year, Latvian Post saw revenue exceeding costs by 6.25m US dollars. The total revenue for last year amounted to almost 37.5m US dollars."
June 12, 2001 -- According to InformationWeek, "United Parcel Service Inc. in Atlanta is putting its faith-and $100 million-in a wireless infrastructure that's based largely on Bluetooth and 802.11b, two up-and-coming short-range wireless transmission protocols that have yet to earn a reputation as trusted, stable standards."
June 12, 2001 -- As InformationWeek has noted, "United Parcel Service Inc. has a long history of being an early adopter of wireless technology to speed its business."
June 12, 2001 -- Here's an "oh dear..." from the British newspaper The Independent. "A stiff wake-up call to Britain's postal services to improve letter deliveries or face the lose of thousands of jobs appeared to have gone astray. Consignia, the new name for the Post Office, was forced to admit to a public relations disaster when 1,300 confidential letters sent out to members of their own staff were delivered to the wrong addresses."
June 12, 2001 -- The Minister of Sri Lanka's Posts and Telecommunications Nimal Siripala de Silva said that the objective of the Government was to establish a postal system which would meet the needs of the 21st century and carry out efficient and attractive services to take the people through shifting all Post Offices and Sub Post Offices in the country which were in rental houses to their own places and they were provided with modern facilities such as telephone, fax, e-mail, telemail, internet etc., and starting "postal shops" which provide services like stationery, photocopy in addition to postal service.
June 11, 2001 -- News.com has reported that "according to research by New York-based Jupiter Media Metrix, 63 percent of consumers said shipping and handling charges have deterred them from completing online purchases, and 45 percent of retailers said they are losing money on shipping and handling costs. Jupiter researchers said companies should use a weight-based system like that of the United States Postal Service to minimize the merchant and consumer risks attributed to shipping and handling charges."
June 11, 2001 -- As GovExec.Com notes, "if the Postal Service were an ordinary private-sector corporation seeking congressional help with the massive economic and regulatory challenges it faces, it would hire an armada of lobbyists and public relations folks, and spread loads of campaign money around to members of Congress. But the U.S. Postal Service is no ordinary company, and it won't be hiring any help from the usual suspects on K Street. The USPS is an unusual hybrid: part private-sector competitor, part government-approved monopoly. And that governmental link is crucial. It means that the Postal Service is barred from lobbying in the same way that other corporations do. So, as Potter--himself a 23-year Postal Service veteran--develops a turnaround strategy, he'll have to rely on a unique set of plans and tactics to try to win over Capitol Hill."
June 11, 2001 -- Check out Bill McAllister's latest on the battle of one man against the postal bureaucracy.
June 11, 2001 -- The Independent has reported that "the race is set. UK companies and privatised European postal services are jostling to get a foot in the door of the soon-to-be deregulated UK postal market. The new market regulator, PostComm, will fire the starting gun at the end of the month when it issues proposals on how to increase competition. The new market is in handling letters, or post valued at under £1, in which Consignia, the renamed Post Office, currently has a monopoly. Many parcel delivery and courier services already have some infrastructure which could help them compete, while overseas postal companies want a slice of the new action."
June 11, 2001 -- DM News has reported that "the U.S. Postal Service is courting the small-business market with a direct mail campaign, a joint effort with Microsoft and continued expansion of its NetPost Mailing Online service. The agency will send two direct mail campaigns to 500,000 small businesses from July to September that will focus on its services aimed at small businesses. The USPS would not reveal the cost of the campaign. The initiatives touted in the mailings include Priority Mail; PC Postage; Global Express Guaranteed, an expedited international shipping service; and NetPost Mailing Online, which allows mailers to electronically transmit documents, correspondence and newsletters, along with their mailing lists, to the USPS via the agency's Web site."
June 10, 2001 -- Eyefortransport.com has a "spotlight on UPS as they launch a new business unit."
June 10, 2001 -- Webfocus.com asks: "How does Federal Express manage to deliver so many packages to so many different countries? It would be difficult without FedEx’s Global Service Program (GSP). GSP spans many countries, the vast majority of which don’t have an optimal information technology infrastructure."
June 10, 2001 -- According to inlandempireonline.com, "Zero hour is still more than 13 months away, but some of the same old issues may become new again when the Teamsters union and United Parcel Service sit down to talk contract....In his recent 'state of the union' address in Washington, D.C., James Hoffa, president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, said the start of talks with UPS is the union's biggest priority over the next year."
June 9, 2001 -- PostInsight.Com has a complete set of the slides used in the presentations at the Ninth Conference on Postal Regulatory Economics held in Sorrento, Italy.
June 9, 2001 -- PostMag.Com has reported that "Dale Clark, President of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, expressed optimism for the future of relations with Canada Post at the end of his presentation here in Sorrento."
June 9, 2001 -- According to InsightMag.Com, "since 1997, the U.S. Postal Service has been conducting a customer-surveillance program, ‘Under the Eagle’s Eye,’ and reporting innocent activity to federal law enforcement."
June 8, 2001 -- The Gazeta Mercantil has reported that "United Parcel Service (UPS) will be able to offer its services all over Brazil starting in July this year, after a series of partnerships with local companies such as Rio Grande do Sul state´s Expresso Mercúrio."
June 8, 2001 -- According to the latest published by the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC), "the current economic slowdown is hurting UPS, FedEx and the smaller players in the parcel and document delivery business, but the problem is exacerbated for the USPS because the 1970 law that created it as an independent, self-sufficient government agency shackles its ability to respond to shifting economic conditions. This is particularly true when it comes to setting prices (postal rates), developing new services, and nurturing relationships with major customers. Recent developments—sudden billion-dollar losses, the twists and turns of the 2000 rate case—serve to underline the limitations of the legal framework that confines the Service today."
June 8, 2001 -- Catch up on the latest from the Sorrento conference on postal regulatory economics at the PostMag.Com web site.
June 8, 2001 -- As Aviation Week has reported "the Postal Service agreement will take effect in August and last seven years. It provides for FedEx to carry about 3.5-million lb. of mail per day, presorted by the Postal Service into sacks, trays, tubs and containers. This would fill about 30 DC-10s. Apart from a big chunk of additional revenue, the plus for FedEx in the Postal Service deal is filling so much of its widebody aircraft capacity during the daytime, when these aircraft normally are not in use, Smith commented. FedEx will hire additional pilots, mechanics and cargo handlers for this work, and it may need additional aircraft and equipment."
June 8, 2001 -- According to Wired.com, "no one writes letters anymore, or so it seems. Instead, people are turning to e-mail, faxes and the Internet to conduct business, pay bills and keep in touch. That's not good for the U.S. Postal Service, which is facing a $2 to $3 billion deficit this year and a drop in volume of first-class mail. So how is the 225-year-old independent government agency -- which is supposed to meet its own costs while also providing "universal service" to every address in the United States at an affordable, uniform price -- competing in the electronic age?"
June 8, 2001 -- The Courier-Express-and Postal Market News (CEP News) has reported that two German private letter companies discontinued their services last week. The Gießen based HPV letter service announced its final closure. So has the company known as Mail and More. The extension of the letter monopoly, it was said, made the market withdrawals unavoidable.
June 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.
June 8, 2001 -- According to Business Mailers Review, "periodicals mailers got a glimpse of what’s in store for this class of mail and it’s likely to include changes to the rate design and a streamlining of flats into two mailstreams — automated and manual. The Postal Service would like to propose in the next rate case full zoning for Periodicals Mail, which means a zoned rate for the editorial weight, flats so there are two mail streams: one for automation mail and one for manual mail. Right now, he said, flat mail has about four streams: automation, manual and two different kinds of mechanized mail. The Postal Service wants to cut this down to two simple streams of automated and nonautomated. [For BMR subscription information, contact BUSINESS MAILERS REVIEW, P.O. Box 328, Boyds, Maryland 20841 or call 301-528-0011; fax, 301-528-2497.]
June 8, 2001 -- Business Mailers Review has reported that "the Postal Service’s new line of addressing tools — called SnapCheck — includes its centerpiece, Delivery Point Validation (DPV). The USPS’ engineers figured out a way to condense all 147 million delivery point sequence addresses onto a single CD ROM. The DPV allows a user to confirm either "yes" or "no" whether an address — right down to the apartment or suite — is an accurate delivery point....The USPS is working with software vendors now to see how they can incorporate the data into their products. The product is expected to be available in September or October."
June 8, 2001 -- Business Mailers Review also has reported that "First Class mailers should expect a rate increase as high as the system average in the next rate case, probably about 10%, despite the fact that First Class Mail costs have flattened. Service to ask for a 3¢-increase in the price of stamp — a 10% hike....Many industry observers expect the Postal Service to ask for a 3-cent increase in the price of a stamp."
June 8, 2001 -- Investors Chronicle has reported that "Business Post [U.K.] is an unlikely casualty of the high-tech downturn. Management warned that volumes from clients in this sector were lower since the start of the year. However, it expects trading to pick up in the second half after signing a five-year contract with FedEx Express in April. Business Post will collect and deliver parcels for FedEx customers, offer its services and use the FedEx logo. Management is also trying to get a licence for delivering letter mail once the market is finally deregulated."
June 8, 2001 -- United Parcel Service (UPS) has announced that "beginning this week, the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex area will become the second market nationwide to receive a new presort service that helps customers better manage their mail. Atlanta was the first market to test the new service, which is designed for small- and medium-sized mailers that do not typically qualify for postal discounts on first-class mail....Through the UPS presort service, customers who sign up for the service meter their mail at a reduced rate and then place the first-class letters into a specially provided, bright yellow UPS bag. The familiar UPS driver who stops at the business every afternoon picks up this package along with the other UPS packages."
June 8, 2001 -- Western Union Financial Services, Inc., a subsidiary of First Data Corp. , continues the international expansion of its extensive money transfer system by adding the Communications Authority of Thailand, the country's national postal system (Thai Post), to its worldwide agent network. The new agreement significantly extends the presence of Western Union in Thailand. Western Union and the Thai Post reached a three-year agreement that facilitates the offering of Western Union Money Transfer® services at 1,000 of the country's 1,200 post offices over the next three years. Thai Post and Western Union will immediately offer services at post offices in 10 key cities and expects to have 50 additional locations operational by year end.
June 8, 2001 -- On the heels of a second postage rate increase this year, the Main Street Coalition formally launched its PostalFacts.com web site "to help the public understand that the real crisis facing the United States Postal Service (USPS) is one of management and cost containment. While USPS projected a FY 2001 surplus of $150 million in September 2000, it changed that prediction to a $2 billion to $3 billion loss just months later. This drastic change should show the administration, Congress and the public that the fundamental problems USPS now faces are ones of unsound management, cost control, and poor productivity. The goal of PostalFacts.com is to help the public understand these and other USPS challenges, and to furnish recommendations for returning this public service agency to its core mission of delivering the mail fairly and affordably to every home in America."
"The United States Postal Service has long blamed current postal laws for its financial woes," said Jack Estes, executive director of the Main Street Coalition for Postal Fairness. "PostalFacts.com addresses the facts and dispels the myths regarding cancellation of Saturday mail delivery and the impact of electronic mail on the USPS. In addition, the Web site analyzes the management crises facing the agency, including the time and money wasted on private sector ventures such as efforts to start-up an electronic bill-paying service, as well as huge advertising expenditures."
June 7, 2001 -- The Italian newspaper, La Stampa, has reported that "Italian post office Poste is to announce a plan for the early retirement of between 5,000 and 10,000 of its older employees, who will be replaced by young ones."
June 7, 2001 -- La Poste, France's state-owned postal office, is in talks with its counterparts in southern Europe about forging alliances as part of its ambition to build a pan-European network. The group, which has been on the acquisition trail in Germany and Britain over the past few months, is intent on increasing its share of Europe's e30bn (GBP18bn) parcels market before it is fully liberalised, which could happen as early as 2003.
June 7, 2001 -- According to Les Echos, "La Poste, the French post office, has not abandoned its plans for a partnership between GeoPost, its parcel delivery subsidiary, and Geodis, the French transport, delivery and logistics group, in which rail group SNCF has a 43.2 per cent stake. The project, which was announced a year ago, would create Europe's second-largest parcel delivery group. The operation was originally to involve the acquisition of a 24 per cent stake in Geodis by La Poste, which would sell 60 per cent of GeoPost to a new company, 51 per cent controlled by La Poste and 49 per cent controlled by Geodis. However, Geodis is now rejecting the idea of a financial partnership, although discussions towards an operational and commercial alliance are ongoing.
June 7, 2001 -- According to the CommentWire.Com, " La Poste will use the venture with Poste Italiane to boost its parcel delivery network in Southern Europe. The French postal service has spent the last few years working towards a strong pan-European network and this venture should help La Poste achieve its goal of generating a tenth of revenues internationally by the end of next year. The agreement between La Poste and Poste Italiane will involve the two postal organizations pooling some of their parcel activities. It will also see the exchange of a stake in GeoPost, La Poste's parcels and logistics subsidiary."
June 7, 2001 -- According to The Wall Street Journal, "three-quarters of the U.S. Postal Service's 28,000 offices lose money, but not a one of them is slated to be closed. Blame it on tradition -- and politics....It's an expensive ethic."
June 7, 2001 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that "the European Commission has opened an investigation into whether Belgian postal operator La Poste has abused its dominant market position. The commission, the executive body of the European Union, said it started the probe after a complaint from Hays Management Services SA, a competitor of a La Poste service providing a business-mail service. La Poste gave rebates on traditional mail services, where it has a monopoly, to customers who agreed to subscribe to a new business-mail service launched at the beginning of 2000. Because of its attractive rebates, many clients moved to La Poste from Hays, a subsidiary of Hays PLC, the commission said. Hays claims it will be forced out of the Belgian market by the end of 2001 if La Poste continues its practices."
June 7, 2001 -- According to AccountacyAge.Com, "hundreds of finance staff at Consignia, formerly known as the Post Office [U.K.], could find their roles hit by its plans to outsource core services in a bid to stave off growing competition from the private sector."
June 7, 2001 -- Commerce Business Daily has noted that "the U.S. Postal Service is issuing a draft statement of work for 2-D barcode postage indicia to the following licensed PC postage providers: Stamps.com, Pitney Bowes, Inc., Neopost Online and Envelope Manager."
June 7, 2001 -- South American Business Information has reported that "the Brazilian government owned mail service ECT (Empresa de Correiros e Telegrafos) has begun selecting financial institutions, would be operators of the soon to be created postal bank Banco Postal. ECT wants partnerships to create the Banco Postal that will operate in no less than 1,000 mail service branches until end 2001. There are 17 banks & financial companies interested in the opportunity, since ECT has 12,202 branches nationwide, from which 5,000 to host counters or selling points of Banco Postal."
June 7, 2001 -- The Australian Financial Review has noted that "Australia Post has paid a $A200m special dividend to the Australian Government in early June 2001. In 2000, the postal service paid the Government $A155m in dividends. The latest dividend was contained in the Government's 2001-02 Budget."
June 6, 2001 -- William J. Henderson, the recently retired Postmaster General and Chief Executive Officer of the United States Postal Service, has joined the Board of Directors of Acxiom(R) Corporation
June 6, 2001 -- The Associated Press has reported that "the Postal Service was $166 million in the red for the third quarter of its budget year and could finish the year with losses of $2 billion. The struggling national economy has reduced expected mail volume, postal chief financial officer Richard J. Strasser said Tuesday. 'The volume growth trend is not good," Strasser said, projecting that year-end losses range from $1.6 billion to $2.4 billion.'" Read also the report by Reuters and Dow Jones.
June 6, 2001 -- PostMag.Com has begun a series of reports on the proceedings from this year's international conference on postal regulatory policy and economics being held in Sorrento, Italy.
June 6, 2001 -- According to DM News, "the new Italian government under Silvio Berlusconi may help speed the long-stalled liberalization of European postal services by adding Italy to the pro-liberalization bloc led by Germany, Scandinavia and the Netherlands."
June 6, 2001 -- Read more on the parcel deal between France's La Poste and Italy's Poste Italiane.
June 6, 2001 -- ViaPostal, Spain's new private mail operator, in which Banco Popular, the Spanish bank, holds a stake, has carried out a 60.1m euro (Pta10bn) capital increase with which it aims to compete with Correos in the market for mail deliveries in Madrid from 12 June.
June 6, 2001 -- According to MarketWeek, "De Post, the Belgian post office, is to offer every Belgian citizen a free e-mail 'post box' from the end of this year. Charges will be made for official documents ordered over the system, which can be delivered either via the Internet or the existing postal system. E-mails between individuals using the system will be free."
June 6, 2001 -- La Stampa has reported that "the Italian treasury has entrusted Poste, the Italian postal service, to proceed with the distribution of euro coinage and the collection of Italian lire."
June 6, 2001 -- The U.S. Postal Service has published in the Federal Register a final rule that revises the Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) to implement changes to the standards governing permissible attachments and enclosures with Bound Printed Matter. This is a matter that PostCom championed. The rule is worth your notice.
June 5, 2001 -- The Associated Press has reported that "John E. Potter took office as the nation's 72nd postmaster general Monday, promising change but saying he won't 'turn the organization on its head.' Success in the future is going to require some change, Potter said: 'We're going to simplify as much as we can. We're going to eliminate duplication and unnecessary effort.'"
June 5, 2001 -- Dow Jones has reported that "postal services and logistics company TNT Post Group NV (TP) said it plans to sell its international mail business in the Netherlands to Swiss Post International, adding that it expects to receive European Commission approval for the sale within "the next few weeks". TPG is required to divest the business, with annual sales of EUR11 million, to receive final EC-approval for its proposed joint venture with Singapore Post Private Ltd. and Consignia, the former British Post Office."
June 5, 2001 -- Dutch postal, express and logistics company TNT Post Group NV (TPG) has sold unit XP France SA to Caravelle SA. XP France, which employs about 1,600 staff, specializes in domestic parcel delivery services in the above 30-kg market segment, as well as road freight chartering.
June 5, 2001 -- The Association of Postal Officials of Canada (APOC) has ratified the collective agreement reached with Canada Post on April 3, 2001. APOC represents some 3,100 operational supervisors and sales representatives. The four-year contract that expires March 31, 2005 provides for an 11.5 per cent pay increase over the life of the contract and includes a new sales classification and performance-based compensation for commercial sales employees represented by the Association.
June 5, 2001 -- PostalVoice.Com has reported that "passage of The Postmasters' Fairness and Rights Act of 2001 is highly likely during this congressional session."
June 5, 2001 -- The Yomiuri Shimbunhas noted that "the [Japanese] mail service should not be subject to the same rubric as the postal savings or insurance services, both of which can conceivably be profitably run. Mail, however, has nothing to do with profitability and everything to do with dependability--It must be provided in all areas and at regular times. We expect the panel to hold in-depth discussions on whether each individual postal service is necessary for the benefit of the people, whether it would be difficult for the private sector alone to provide the service and what formula should be used to privatize the three services."
June 4, 2001 -- In a letter to the editor of The Washington Post, USPS Inspector General Karla Corcoran said that while the Post "called for subpoena power to access Postal Service data," it was "unnecessary because the Inspector General Act already requires the Postal Service to provide my office with immediate access to all records."
June 4, 2001 -- Dow Jones has reported that "Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi has said that reform of the postal system would be a big step forward in reforming government affiliated corporations. Speaking at the first meeting of the panel set up to deliberate the reorganization of the postal system, Koizumi said he wanted the ad hoc panel to come up with recommendations in about a year."
Dow Jones noted as well that "the chairman of an ad hoc panel considering how to reform Japan's gargantuan postal system said Monday he hopes to reflect Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's ideas on privatizing the service in a final report to be drawn up in about a year. Chairman Naoki Tanaka also said he thought he was chosen for the panel because of his well-known views on the need to break up and privatize the system, which encompasses mail delivery, postal savings and insurance. However, he stressed debate would be open and that he didn't have a predetermined outcome in mind."
June 4, 2001 -- According to The Sunday Times (London), "the world's biggest parcel carrier, the American-owned UPS, has donated money to the Labour party. Its parliamentary lobbyist has also spent the past three weeks travelling with Tony Blair on his battlebus....The interest shown by UPS has alarmed Consignia - the former Post Office - and the Communication Workers Union, which represents Britain's postal workers. They believe the postal giant wants to persuade a future Labour government to allow it to compete with Royal Mail for Britain's £5 billion-a-year letter market."
June 4, 2001 -- The British newspaper, The Guardian, has reported that British "postal workers have threatened to halt mail deliveries across Britain in the biggest backlash yet against Labour plans to privatise key parts of the public sector."
June 4, 2001 -- THIS IS LONDON has reported that the French post office "La Poste is, apparently, attracted by the prospect of mail delivery when licences become available for operators to launch alternative services later this year. La Poste chairman Martin Vial said he would consider entering the UK postal delivery market in partnership with Consignia, the renamed Post Office. The second largest postal group in Europe already has a foothold in Britain with its Interlink Express and Parceline subsidiaries, which together have 6% of the parcel delivery market." See also the report in The Independent.
June 4, 2001 -- According to The Independent, "Tory leader William Hague has abandoned plans to privatise Parcelforce if his party wins the general election. The decision raises the possibility of the Conservatives opposing a Labour privatisation. The policy U-turn follows an extensive review of Consignia, the state-run postal company that controls Parcelforce, by Mr Hague's shadow trade and industry team. David Heathcoat-Amory, the shadow trade minister, said: 'We have gone off the previous policy of selling off Parcelforce. We feel that it is better integrated with the rest of the postal system.'"
June 4, 2001 -- According to ThisIsLondon.com, the British"Post Office is studying ways of providing cheaper utility bills for poor customers who do not pay by direct debit. The majority of utility customers pay bills directly through their bank accounts and save about 5% a year in the process."
June 4, 2001 -- According to The Irish Times, "An Post is facing a deadline for submissions to the postal sector's independent regulator on segmental accounts and the apportionment of its costs. An Post's last annual report (1999) only gave a breakdown of its turnover for its main business areas - letters, post offices, SDS and other services - but in the opinion of the directors, fuller compliance with the disclosure requirements of SSAP 25 'segmental reporting' would have been seriously prejudicial to the group's interests. However, under an EU directive, it was obliged to provide a transparent cost accounting system by the end of 1999. The regulator, Ms Etain Doyle, has noted that, while the detailed accounting information must be treated in confidence, there is a need for transparency to ensure that profits earned from letter services reserved to An Post are not used to finance unfair competition in competitive parcels and non postal services."
June 4, 2001 -- Be sure to check out http://www.postinsight.pb.com for the latest of its postings from recent speeches and presentations by postal authorities from around the world.
June 2, 2001 -- InformationWeek.Com has reported that "United Parcel Service Inc. subsidiary UPS e-Logistics is offering two new modules for its hosted logistics service that will let businesses manage customers' orders over the Internet and give clients a reliable date for when their shipments will be delivered. It's also introducing a set of services that lets businesses outsource their inbound and outbound transportation operations and customer call centers."
June 2, 2001 -- The British newspaper, The Independent, has reported that "leaders of 160,000 Royal Mail workers threatened to call national postal strikes yesterday over plans to allow private companies to sort and deliver letters....Senior union officials predicted that staff would walk out if their jobs were threatened by outside businesses. Delegates will call for a withdraw of backing for 'New Labour' candidates in the general election. Many activists believe that the union, one of the biggest Labour Party affiliates, should support only those candidates with a strong commitment to public services delivered by state employees."
June 2, 2001 -- The U.S. Postal Service has announced that David Solomon, vice president, Area Operations, New York Metro Area, has been named acting chief operating officer and executive vice president by PMG Jack Potter. Eugene Rear, district manager, North Jersey District, will serve as acting vice president, Area Operations, New York Metro Area.
June 1, 2001 -- Dow Jones has reported that "public prosecutors are investigating Deutsche Post World Net over postal secrecy breaches. In 1998, 60 branches allegedly participated in copying customer names and addresses from mail sent by express courier services, such as United Parcel Service (UPS) and TNT Post Groep (N.TNT). Earlier investigations were suspended but had to be resumed last month following complaints from competitors."
June 1, 2001 -- The latest issue of PostCom's "Tech-Notes" is available on this site for PostCom members. This issue deals with ADVANCE.
June 1, 2001 -- Shippers can access and use critical United Parcel Service (UPS) shipping information and tools quicker and more easily than ever -- improving customer service and reducing costs -- with the retail launch today of Microsoft Office XP(R) and UPS smart tags. Microsoft Office XP, the latest version of Microsoft Office(R), includes "smart tag" technology. Smart tags allow users to automatically open databases, files, applications and Web sites -- and to manipulate data or initiate actions like generating a label or sending an e-mail -- from within Microsoft Word, Excel or Outlook without launching a separate application or searching the Web for a specific site.
June 1, 2001 -- According to the French newspaper, Les Echos, "he French national assembly will approve a bill which will allow La Poste, the post office, to manage its property estate (at the moment owned by the state) as it wishes. The post office will thus be able to sell a building or piece of land without having to ask permission....La Poste's assets are estimated to have a net book value of some FFr23bn (3.5bn euros), representing almost two thirds of the group's non-liquid assets."
June 1, 2001 -- Kyodo News International has reported that "the [Japanese] government has established a new advisory panel to Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi tasked with discussing the possibility of privatizing the nation's postal services. The panel will meet once a month starting with its first meeting Monday, and try to draw up a conclusion in about a year." Meanwhile, here in the United States, calls to the Administration for the appointment of a Presidential Commission on the future of the U.S. Postal Service go unanswered.
June 1, 2001 -- Asian news sources have reported that "Lebanon has broken a contract with a Canadian company on its national postal system. Lebanese postal system LibanPost's Canadian investor SNC-Lavalin was given 90 days to hand over its postal deliveries and other services back to the government. LibanPost is a Canadian-Lebanese consortium that won a 12-year build-operate-transfer (BOT) contract in 1998 to provide Lebanon with a mail system."
June 1, 2001 -- The Asia Intelligence Wire has reported that "Vietnam Post and Telecommunications Corporation has issued Decision 1232/QD-GCTT-TGD to raise rates on domestic postal services beginning July 1, 2001. Charges applied to postcards, printed matter and small parcels and bags will increase by VND200 ($0.013) to over VND1000 ($0.068) per item. The charge for a letter will increase to VND800 ($0.055) from VND400 ($0.027), but charges applied on airmail will drop by VND200 ($0.013) for the first 10 grams and by VND100 ($0.006) for each additional 10 grams." July 1? Isn't that the date the U.S. Postal Service's rates will go up YET AGAIN(!!)? Is this what the Postal Service has sunken to...emulating Vietnam?
June 1, 2001 -- Writing in the National Review, the Cato Institute's Edward Hudgins urged newly named PMG Jack Potter to "tell the administration and Congress that it's not a question of 'whether' to privatize but of 'how.' The German model is a good one. Perhaps you could emphasize an employee stock-ownership option to give workers a stake in the private postal service. The crisis at the postal service will only grow worse in the future. Wait and the task will be tougher. Start now and you could create a dynamic 21st-century company and serve as an example of an entrepreneur working for customers and shareholders — rather than a bureaucrat protecting the turf of a dinosaur."
June 1, 2001 -- Zairmail, Inc. has announced a strategic relationship with Microsoft to provide direct access to Zairmail's direct mail services with the Microsoft Office XP suite and the Microsoft Tools on the Web site.
June 1, 2001 -- Envelope Manager Software has announced the availability of its Endicia Internet Postage(TM) service. Version 4.2.6 of the DAZzle(TM) 2001 software adds support for International Mail, all the Package Services with Electronic Delivery Confirmation, and enhanced support for Special Services. Endicia Internet Postage is an Internet Postage service that supports Free Electronic Delivery Confirmation on Priority Mail delivery.
June 1, 2001 -- As CNET.Com has noted, "as Internet retail shopping sites struggle to turn a profit, some consumers are crying foul over shipping and handling charges that they complain are very profitable for the companies....Offers of free Internet shipping, once common among online merchants, have vanished like an ice cube on a barbeque."