Postal News from July 2001
July 31, 2001 -- The Air Transport Association has posted its latest report on scheduled cargo traffic on its web site. Its figures show that the to-date volume of mail carried is less than for the same period of a year ago.
July 31, 2001 -- Airborne, Inc. has reported that its cost control efforts gained traction as net loss for the second quarter ended June 30, 2001 narrowed to $6.4 million, or $.13 per share compared to the first quarter net loss of $17.0 million, or $.35 per share. Airborne, Inc. is the holding company for Airborne Express. Airborne offers total distribution solutions by providing customers time-sensitive delivery of documents, letters, small packages, and freight to virtually every U.S. ZIP code and more than 200 countries. Customers can select from a variety of services including same-day, next-morning, 10:30, next-afternoon, second-day, ground delivery service, international air express and freight, ocean service, and logistics management. For the business to consumer segment, customers can use the airborne@home service, Airborne's delivery partnership with the U.S. Postal Service.
July 31, 2001 -- Prudential Retirement Services has announced that in addition to providing its 401(k) plan participants with access to electronic versions of their retirement account statements-- an option Prudential launched last year to positive customer feedback -- it will now offer them a convenient e-statement delivery option. Plan participants can elect to receive email notification to access their electronic retirement statements via Prudential's proprietary website, the Online Retirement Center. Customers who choose this option will enjoy the convenience of faster access to their retirement plan statements and "avoid the need to wait for postal delivery of a paper copy. This environmentally friendly option also helps customers cut down on paper clutter at home."
July 31, 2001 -- Dow Jones has reported that "the New Zealand Justice Department is investigating the source of commercially sensitive Treasury Department documents on the government-owned postal operator, New Zealand Post Ltd., that were recently leaked to the public, said Secretary of the Treasury Alan Bollard. These documents were related to New Zealand Post's business plans. New Zealand Post is due to branch into retail banking in the first quarter of next year."
July 31, 2001 -- According to Joe Loughran in a piece published in Parcel Shipping and Distribution, Fedex's ground standards are designed to maximize its profits, even at the expense of service. For its part, Fedex has said that Loughran's allegations are pure fiction.
July 31, 2001 -- The Swedish post office, Posten, has agreed to sell all of its interests in Postgirot Bank AB to Nordbanken AB.
July 31, 2001 -- Arcot Systems, Inc., a provider of solutions for securing e-business in Internet-scale, transactional and wireless environments, has signed a deal with Post.Trust, the e-security division of Ireland's national postal service An Post, to distribute Arcot digital identities. These identities are validated through face-to-face verification as part of the Post.Trust certification process. In the future this technology could see digital identities (ArcotID(TM)) provided to the entire population of four million.
July 31, 2001 -- Online.ie has reported that "the Irish Government has announced that it is to give An Post £10m to help implement a reform package aimed at securing the long-term future of Ireland's post office network. The cash injection of £5m this year and another £5m next year is designed to pay wage increases to sub-postmasters as promised in the Flynn Report. The Government award follows a report by the inter-departmental group established by Public Enterprise Minister Mary O'Rourke to consider the future of the post office network."
July 31, 2001 -- The U.K. publication, The Mirror, has reported that the Irish post office "An Post is to lose pounds 80million over the next five years through redundancies and business losses. Bosses are expected to announce job cuts over the next three years that will cost up pounds 72million. The job losses will affect the postal side of An Post and most will be in larger urban centres."
July 31, 2001 -- Ananova.com has reported that "Germany's post office is planning to use the internet to allow customers to print out their own stamps at home. By the end of August, Deutsche Post customers will be able to print their stamps directly onto envelopes. Along with internet access and a laser or ink jet printer, users will need specially-developed software. The stamp is accompanied by a bar code, which will help prevent abuse. Customers will set up a postage account which they can replenish when it is empty. Around 50 firms have participated in tests for the "Stampit" programme, the Deutsche Post website reports."
July 31, 2001 -- The Otago Daily Times (NZ) has reported that "New Zealand (NZ) Post plans to close Post Shop branches that are not making enough money, a move that may have repercussions for its people's bank. NZ Post chief executive Elmar Toime said there were no definitive numbers for the Post Shop closures."
July 31, 2001 -- According to the Irish Independent, "the Iriish Postmasters' Union is threatening industrial action, unless 12pc pay increases recommended in a report are implemented. The warning comes after a Government decision at the last Cabinet meeting before the summer to reject a proposal for funding to cover losses in sub-post offices."
July 31, 2001 -- According to Internet Business News, "most top companies leave their e-mails unbranded - ignoring an opportunity to enhance their brand awareness, according to new research conducted by the UK e-mail branding and marketing specialist Mailround. In the study one e-mail and one postal enquiry were sent to both the personnel and customer service departments of 75 of the 100 most valuable brands in the world as determined by Interbrand. Not one of the 87 employee e-mail responses received by Mailround exhibited any form of branding while only one of the 76 postal responses did not arrive on branded stationary. On the other hand, of the letters to the customer service departments 43% went unanswered compared to only 25% of the e-mails. Commenting on the results Mailround notes that e-mail is still largely seen as an informal communication method - an attitude that could be damaging to companies as e-mail has become the de facto tool for business communication."
July 30, 2001 -- The Jerusalem Post has reported that "Motorola Israel is developing and producing Windows CE-based hip terminals for the United Parcel Service Inc.'s wireless LAN and short-range wireless Bluetooth network project worth $100m. The network -- which is to be provided in its entirety by Motorola and partners -- will allow package sorters to work more efficiently, standardize the UPS system, and prevent the possibility of bar-code scanner cords getting caught in conveyer belts. Once the network is up and running, sorters will use a cordless ring scanner that will speak Bluetooth to the hip terminal, which in turn will relay the information to the UPS network through wireless LAN."
July 30, 2001 -- Dow Jones has reported that "the European Union Commission Monday warned Belgium that the office of national postal regulator must be fully independent from the public postal operators, as part of the liberalization of the postal sector."
July 30, 2001 -- PR Newswire reports that "The Gillette Company Selects Logistics.com for Strategic Transportation Procurement"
July 30, 2001 -- Die Welt has reported that "Deutsche Post, Germany's state-owned postal services monopoly, is about to embroil itself in a fresh conflict with the competition regulator. The company has announced its intention to acquire a 75 per cent stake in the parcel delivery group Trans-o-flex from Bayerische Landesbank. Deutsche Post already owns the outstanding 25 per cent. A contract has already been signed and the deal submitted to the competition authorities. Germany's federal anti-trust office has already expressed its reservations in the past about a complete takeover by Deutsche Post and has asked Bayerische Landesbank to find another buyer. Failure to do so could give Deutsche Post an unfair position of market dominance. If the deal is rejected, the company could be threatened with legal action."
July 30, 2001 -- According to The Times, "Royal Mail is considering hiring competitors to help deliver mail to areas adversely affected by strike action. Delivery and logistics company Hays, Securicor and DHL are seen as likely to help the group continue its operations. Observers have expressed concern, however, over the extent to which the companies will be prepared to assist Royal Mail."
July 28, 2001 -- Washington Technology has reported that "the U.S. Postal Service’s planned $1 billion information technology services contract is attracting some of the largest providers of computer hardware and services. Companies known to be competing for the Postal Service’s Acquisition for Desktop Extended Processing Equipment II contract include Hewlett-Packard Co. of Palo Alto, Calif., Getronics NV of Amsterdam, and Gateway Inc. of San Diego, and incumbent Compaq Computer Corp. of Houston. The agency intends to issue the solicitation in early August and select a contractor by October."
July 28, 2001 -- According to PostMag.Com, "the relationship between Canada Post and its union has entered a new era of optimism. The union recognizes CPC as “..a public service success story, with the lowest postal rates in the G-7.” It is actively working with the employer to expand service and create new jobs for its members. It is encouraging CPC to enter new business areas such as logistics and mailroom management and is cooperating to protect against UPS aggression. There is a sense that, with President Ouellet at the helm, Canada Post is under less pressure to privatize not that the union will relax its vigil as the defender of the public post office."
July 28, 2001 -- According to The Times (London), "the Royal Mail is on the brink of collapse because of a fundamental breakdown in trust between managers and workers, a review into industrial relations in the Post Office has found. Customers perceive the service as unreliable and are likely to turn to private-sector competitors, when they become available, if the service continues to deteriorate." See also the report by the BBC.
July 28, 2001 -- The so-called 'council' of industry ministers made the pledge at the end of two days of informal talks on improving competitiveness in the European Union (EU), held in Manchester. In a statement issued after the meeting the industry ministers tacitly recognised that many of the Union's current labour laws were drafted with big firms in mind, and do not take into account the specific needs of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). They said that this situation needs to change as a matter of urgency.
July 27, 2001 -- According to the Wall Street Journal, the "U.S. Postal Service, hoping to shrink a mountain of employee complaints that is blocking efforts to improve its bottom line, plans to transfer certain discrimination and harassment probes now handled by postal officials to an independent third party."
July 27, 2001 -- Consignia, formerly Royal Mail, hasissued the following press release: "Consignia's Response To Lord Sawyer's Review Of Industrial Relations In Royal Mail."
July 27, 2001 -- The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin is available on this site.
July 27,2001 -- PMG Jack Potter has announced two senior management changes: Pat Donahoe was named acting chief operating officer and executive vice president. He succeeds Dave Solomon, who returns to his position as New York Metro Area vice president. John Rapp was named acting senior vice president, Operations, Donahoe's previous position.
July 27, 2001 -- Traffic World has reported that "Emery Worldwide, two United Parcel Service subsidiaries and Livingston International have inherited the Ford Motor Co. customs clearance business that was abandoned by Expeditors International back in May. Emery's customs brokerage unit will be responsible for clearing all automotive parts shipped to the United States through its Dayton, Ohio hub from points around the globe....The bulk of the customs clearance business went to Fritz Cos. Fritz, now part of UPS's new freight forwarding unit, will clear the majority of internationally made parts and assembled vehicles bound for the United States....The Miles Group, also part of UPS's freight forwarding division and a 2001 acquisition for UPS, is a U.S.-Mexican border expert and was selected as the clearance agent for all parts and finished vehicles crossing the U.S.-Mexican border."
July 27, 2001 -- The House Committee on Appropriations has marked up its FY 2002 Treasury, Postal Service and General Government bill. The following are some of the highlights: (1) The bill appropriates $29 million for revenue forgone. (2) The report expresses concern about the USPS' financial condition. The committee requests copies of all reviews and of service changes, such as the now aborted consideration of five-day delivery. (3) The Committee "believes that the goal of maintaining universal service at uniform rates from self-supporting postal revenues is in jeopardy within the current financial and operational structure of the USPS. The Committee strongly support on-going efforts by the House Committee on Government Reform to achieve comprehensive postal service reform." (4) The Committee is "disappointed that the Administration has not taken a more active role in both postal service reform and the financial viability of the USPS. The Committee believes that these issues are of national significance and deserve the active participation of the Administration." (5) The Committee supports legislation correcting the current USPS "misinterpretation of the cooperative mailing rule." (6)The report suggests the need for new facilities in several cities.
July 27. 2001 -- Wirtschaftsblatt has reported that Osterreichische Post AG, the Austrian post office, plans, as from this autumn, to restructure its branch network, involving the closure of between 700 and 1,500 unprofitable branches over the coming years.
July 26, 2001 -- BusinessWeek has asked: "Can UPS Deliver in a Downturn?"
July 26, 2001 -- According to Advo governmental affairs senior vice president Vincent Giuliano, "the Postal Service's immediate financial problems, while significant, are manageable in the short term....Even without a rate increase, the Postal Service would be able to meet its operating cash flow needs by using all current revenue to cover operating costs."
July 26, 2001 -- Can the Postal Service phase-in its next round of postal rates? You bet your bippey. And a recent letter from PostCom general counsel to the Postal Service's legal counsel explains the rationale and the method of making it so.
July 26, 2001 -- Those espousing postal privatization should review a study that's been around a while that "examines the question of whose interests are represented by proposals to privatize and restructure the United States Postal Service. It looks at the actions supporters of privatization or commercialization have taken to advance their interests in government and at case studies of private contracts and postal rate restructuring. Based on the conclusions of the previous sections, it suggests ways that postal labor unions might be effective in defending a publicly-run postal service....The author worked for the USPS for 12 years and was a union steward and local officer of the American Postal Workers Union for nearly all of that time. The recommendations made in this paper are specifically aimed at APWU union activists, local and national, who find themselves in the middle of this controversy, though they may also have relevance for union members in other areas of public service."
July 26, 2001 -- According to Raymond J. Lehmann, a State Liaison of the Republican Liberty Caucus, "we don't need a Postal Reform Act. We need a Postal Dissolution Act, to break up the service into manageable pieces and sell them off to the highest bidders. Similar privatizations are transpiring the world over-in New Zealand, Peru, the Czech Republic, even the People's Republic of Vietnam -- to remarkable success and yet in this country, the cradle of free-market capitalism, such proposals are seen as 'nutty' or 'radical.'" Check out also What Works? The Privatization of the Dutch Post Office, a paper published by the Lexington Institute.
July 26, 2001 -- The Associated Press has reported that "as Lance Armstrong mounts a strong bid for a third consecutive title in the Tour de France, the world's foremost bicycle race, his sponsors at the U.S. Postal Service are basking in the reflected glory. Armstrong is the third most-recognized American athlete after Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods."
July 26, 2001 -- According to Editor & Publisher magazine, "despite heavy print spending by advertisers in several categories last year, newspapers lost some of their market-share gains of 1999, as ads...in broadcast media drove down newspapers' relative portion of dollars. Total newspaper ad spending by all companies rose 7.2%, to $23.9 billion, but newspapers' share declined to 24.2% from 25.4%. TV got $4 billion from the top 100 brand advertisers in newspapers, an 8.2% gain, as its share rose slightly to 35.8% from 35.7%. Radio's ad dollars swelled 16.6%, to $355.8 million, as its share rose to 3.1% from 2.9%." But, if you were to listen to the newspaper industry's lobbyists, the "real" evil is that nasty old Postal Service, which deigns to trump publishers with direct mail gains....Poppycock!
July 26, 2001 -- Switchboard Incorporated, a provider of directory technology and Nearbuy(SM) locally targeted e-marketing solutions, has announced that Switchboard's Maps On Us(TM) is powering the United States Postal Service's post office locator function on the USPS.com Web site. Utilizing Maps On Us advanced mapping technology, the Locate Post Office function provides improved features that are easy to use, including a revised inquiry form and the ability to search for multiple nearby post offices through a single query. USPS.com visitors are now able to quickly find the most conveniently located post office with interactive, full-route and turn-by-turn maps and detailed, point-to-point driving directions. A customized version of MapsOnUs.com was developed specifically for the Postal Service to blend seamlessly into the current USPS.com Web site.
July 26, 2001 -- According to the Financial Times, "privatisation of the post office has become a symbol of the fundamental changes that reformers are advocating as the only remaining solution to Japan's current woes."
July 26, 2001 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that "DHL Airways Inc. fired back against a fresh attack by rival FedEx Corp., claiming that a push to halt any regulatory approvals sought by DHL 'would serve only to insulate' FedEx from 'new competition.' In a Department of Transportation filing Wednesday afternoon, Chicago-based DHL said the move by FedEx, "is both patently anticompetitive and not supported by the statute, [DOT] precedent, principles of due process or the public interest."
July 26, 2001 -- The Wall Street Journal also has reported that "United Parcel Service Inc., siding with FedEx Corp. in its latest attack on Deutsche Post AG, said it plans to fight regulatory approvals sought by DHL Airways Inc. until a probe of the airline's ownership structure and relationship with the German delivery giant is completed. The vow, made in a filing with the Department of Transportation, escalates the Atlanta parcel carrier's six-month-long battle against Deutsche Post and its plans to expand in the U.S. In May, the DOT refused to ground the U.S. air and freight-forwarding operations of DHL Worldwide Express, rejecting claims by UPS and FedEx that the recently privatized German postal agency was trying to circumvent federal laws and funnel profits from its German mail business into its U.S. expansion."
July 26, 2001 -- Business.com has reported that "United Parcel Service (UPS, news) Inc. (UPS) filed to sell up to $500 million of notes from time to time, according to a prospectus statement filed late Monday with the Securities and Exchange Commission....The package delivery company intends to use the net proceeds for general purposes including working capital, investments in or extensions of credit to subsidiaries, acquisitions, investments in joint ventures and reduction of debt."
July 26, 2001 -- Computerworld has reported that "United Parcel Service Inc. plans to deploy the world's largest wireless LAN and short-range wireless Bluetooth network throughout its worldwide distribution hubs. The project, which will cost slightly more than $100 million, is expected to pay for itself within 16 months by enabling package sorters at the hubs to work more efficiently and by standardizing the company on single terminals and network systems."
July 26, 2001 -- According to Dow Jones, "the European Union Commission said Wednesday it had fined German mail and logistics company Deutsche Post AG a "symbolic" EUR1000 for abuse of its dominant market position. The Commission ruling brings to a close its second inquiry into the abuse of a dominant position by the partially privatized Deutsche Post. A third - and potentially more significant - investigation involving state aid to the company continues."
July 26, 2001 -- The Financial Times has reported that "the German cabinet on Wednesday approved a finance ministry proposal to remove the remaining legislative obstacle barring the sale of a majority stake in Deutsche Post, the country's post and logistics group. Berlin has not given any details about the size or timing of further share disposals. The proposal will now go before parliament. See also the report by the Associated Press.
July 26, 2001 -- The Cleveland Plain Dealer has reported that "the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday reinstated a lawsuit by three former Postal Service employees who claimed they were falsely accused of selling drugs after an investigation of possible drug use by workers. Fletcher Carr, Donald Taylor and Gary Herron, who are black, claimed postal supervisors targeted black employees and excluded white employees in the 1991 investigation, causing them to lose their jobs in Cleveland. The court noted a 1994 article in The Plain Dealer reported "the key informant" in the investigation admitted to wrongly implicating the men in drug purchases that never occurred. The appeals court ruled a federal magistrate incorrectly ruled in August 1999 that a two-year statute of limitations had expired before the three filed suit. The appeals court's decision sends the case back to U.S. District Court in Cleveland."
July 25, 2001 -- According to Investors Business Daily, the time has come to privatize the U.S. Postal Service.
July 25, 2001 -- The Main Street Coalition for Postal Fairness has come out with a proposal of its own on postal legislative reform. A copy of that proposal is posted on this site.
July 25, 2001 -- The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company and U.S. Postal Service have formed a business alliance based on the exclusive supply of all Postal Service ground tire needs for the next 10 years. Under this alliance, the Postal Service will purchase only Goodyear replacement tires for its fleet of more than 200,000 transport and delivery vehicles, which travel some 1.1 billion miles annually.
July 25, 2001 -- CEP News has reported that "the Belgian La Poste has acquired three French companies and incorporated them in the Belgian Post Group France....The companies specialize in digital printing and enveloping of administrative documents and invoices as well as the analogue and digital filing of company documents."
July 25, 2001 -- Financial Times Deutschland has reported that "Germany's finance minister Hans Eichel has indicated that the government could sell off a second tranche of capital in Deutsche Post, the state-owned postal services provider, as early as 2002. He is meeting with cabinet colleagues on Wednesday to prepare new legislation that would relieve the government of its duty to maintain a majority shareholding in the company."
July 25, 2001 -- According to the German newspaper, Die Welt, "the principal competitors of German telecoms operator Deutsche Telekom could in future opt to bill their customers via a new rival bill system developed jointly by Deutsche Post Com, a subsidiary of the state postal services provider, and Hewlett Packard, the US computer and printer manufacturer."
July 25, 2001 -- According to NewsBytes.Com, "there may soon be a day when the friendly neighborhood postman in India delivers more than just letters and parcels - he may also drop in e-mail messages at our doorstep. India's Department of Posts (DoP), which has been looking at alternative ways to boost revenues, is gearing up for the launch of 'E-post'- a new service that is aimed at taking e-mail to the far-flung corners of India and creating cyber centers within post offices. The DOP has plans to not only up Web browsing facilities within post offices, but also to provide a new e-mail delivery service. The e-mail service will be fee-based and a user will be given a unique E-post ID. With the ID, the user will be able to access messages from any part of the country. Sources in the department said that this new initiative has been planned to make up for the revenue losses incurred due to the extensive use of e-mail."
July 25, 2001 -- According to USPSNewsOnline, "when it rains, it pours. Inaccurate information about USPS on television and in print seems to have reached an all-time high. And perhaps the biggest inaccuracy – one that ranks right up there with the yarn that we are giving managers "bonuses" – is that our own inspector general has found $1.4 billion in USPS waste, fraud and abuse. It isn't true. Never has been."
July 24, 2001 -- According to The Times, British postal workers "will today embark on plans for an all-out strike amid a clash with Consignia, which operates Royal Mail, over redundancies and sick pay."
July 24, 2001 -- According to European news sources, Postcomm, the British postal services regulator, "today took the first step towards setting-up a regime which will enable it to impose financial penalties on postal licence holders who contravene their licence conditions. Under the Postal Services Act 2000, Postcomm is required to consult the Consumer Council for Postal Services (Postwatch) and other interested parties before publishing its statement of policy on financial penalties. A consultation document published today* includes the following proposals: - Decisions will be preceded by a proper investigation, which will have processes to ensure fairness going beyond the requirements of the Act: - The starting point in deciding the level of penalties following a licence contravention, will be the benefit obtained by the licence holder, added to the burden the contravention imposed on others: - Aggravating and mitigating circumstances will be considered: - Penalties will meet the statutory criteria of being reasonable and within the limits related to turnover."
July 24, 2001 -- According to the Lebanon Daily Record, "The U.S. Postal Service is looking for ways to take a bite out of its deficit. One of the areas being considered would involve closing the doors on unprofitable small, rural post offices around the country."
July 24, 2001 -- European new sources have reported that "European competition commissioner Mario Monti said he welcomes the Italian government decision to open up its market for day, or time-certain delivery of hybrid postal services."
July 24, 2001 -- Mailers Council Executive Director Robert McLean has reported that "(1) The APWU has hired former representative and postal oversight committee chairman Bill Clay as a legislative consultant. The APWU has been participating in postal reform meetings, but has not been a significant player on Capitol Hill for several years. The union's last national legislative training seminar was in 1988. The APWU has employed a number of outside lobbyists in the past, and is likely to retain others besides Clay, and (2) As one sign of the new fiscal attitude espoused by new PMG Jack Potter, the Postal Service's National Executive Conference has been rescheduled for October 22-25, in Washington. Local PCES managers were told they will be expected to commute to the event, rather than staying in the host hotel at postal expense."
July 24, 2001 -- According to the Nordic Business Report, "Novia has received a contract award for air transport services for international mail from the Danish postal services company Post Danmark."
July 23, 2001 -- Les Echos has reported that "the French post office (La Poste) is believed to have asked the French finance ministry for permission to extend its range of financial services to damage insurance and consumer credit. The ministry is said to be in favour of the insurance proposal, but opposed to the idea of La Poste's distributing consumer credit. This second venture, say observers, would involve a change in the French post office's status - and protests from the French banking federation (FBF). La Poste already sells life insurance policies Sopasssure, the subsidiary which it set up in conjunction with the French national savings group Caisses d'Epargne."
July 23, 2001 -- The United States Postal Service (USPS) was attacked last week by Members of Congress, the news media and several citizens groups -- including PostalWatch -- for unfairly competing with private sector businesses and "for its plans to award lucrative hundreds of millions of dollars in bonuses to top executives."
July 23, 2001 -- In a recent commentary, postal observer Gene Del Polito writes: "Should postal employees be provided performance-based incentives? Absolutely! But they also should be provided performance-derived consequences for failing to be up to snuff. What's needed is not a gerrymandering of a system of payments and 'rewards' stemming from a legislative anachronism. What's needed is a comprehensive overhaul of entire postal legislative framework to give rise to a postal system that is as open, competitive, and unencumbered a scheme as possible. The embarrassment which the Postmaster General faces today is largely due to the postal Governors' unwillingness to address more quickly and forthrightly the need to restructure the nation's postal compact. Instead of leading, the Governors have bumbled, and now the PMG is wearing egg where he should be wearing a smile."
July 23, 2001 -- Hey, there! Great news! "Fedex is now at the post office." Great news for whom???
July 23, 2001 -- According to postal commenator Gene Del Polito, in an article for Direct magazine, "when the postal Board meets to determine the nature of this next round of postal rate increases, it will be facing a key decision. It can choose to file for a commerce-killing, business-as-usual increase designed to allow the Postal Service to run fat for a year or two at customers' expense. Or, it can choose to ask the PRC for extraordinary forbearance of usual rate-making rules to permit increases to be phased in over a period of years (typically, no more than three) to ease the burden that mailers will face, while still providing the USPS, on a just-in-time basis, with the cash it needs to stay afloat fiscally."
July 23, 2001 -- FORTUNE has announced that United Parcel Service, Inc. will be added to the FORTUNE e-50(TM)Index after the close of trading on Wednesday, July 25, 2001, replacing component Exodus Communications, Inc. The FORTUNE e-50 Index was developed by the editors of FORTUNE to be the definitive benchmark of the Internet economy. Index component selections are made at the discretion of the FORTUNE Index Committee.
July 23, 2001 -- Dow Jones has reported that "Germany plans to completely privatize its national postal service, bringing a bill this week to the Cabinet on selling all government-owned shares in Deutsche Post. Finance Minister Hans Eichel will allow laws governing the postal service to be changed that had required the government to own a majority in the monopoly. The government now holds 69% of shares in Deutsche Post. See also the report by the Financial Times and Handelsblatt.
July 23, 2001 -- According to Dow Jones, "the Swedish postal service Posten AB is in negotiations to sell off Postgirot Bank AB."
July 21, 2001 -- In its most recent postallink, the USPS told postal employees that "you’d think the newspapers could get it right. But n-o-o-o-o! So here are the facts. About 84,000 of the Postal Service’s postmasters, supervisors, administrative employees, managers and executives are eligible for annual pay-for-performance incentives. But let’s make it very clear up front – they’re not bonuses. You have to work for them. And they’re not guaranteed."
July 21, 2001 -- According to Cargo Facts newsletter, CNF Inc., parent company of Emery Worldwide, is considering offers for the sale of Emery Worldwide Airlines. Under the plan, the buyer would assume existing lease obligations on its DC-10s, Dc-8s and Boeing 727s, as an alternative to the recently announced plan to downsize its aircraft fleet to 38 freighters from 54 a year ago, it added. The plan was announced in mid-June as part of a programme to reduce losses on Emery's domestic network.
July 20, 2001 -- Postmaster General John (Jack) E. Potter has announced the selection of Al Iniguez as Vice President, Area Operations, for the Postal Service's Pacific Area. Iniguez has been acting in this position since December 2000.
July 20, 2001 -- The Xinhua news agency has reported that "Lebanon's national LibanPost company has decided to dismiss about 1,000 employees by the end of July....LibanPost, a joint venture launched by the Lebanese government and a Canadian company, won a 12-year build-operate-transfer (BOT) contract in 1998 to provide Lebanon with a mail system. The SNC-Lavalin company, LibanPost's Canadian shareholder, has promised to invest an initial 20 million U.S. dollars in developing a universal postal service and an additional 50 million dollars on the coming phase. In return, the Lebanese government promised to allow LibanPost to monopolize mail delivery and cut the company's tax. But the government terminated the BOT contract in May due to an estimated loss of 12 million dollars by the company since 1998. LibanPost, which fell short of its revenue targets last year, blamed the government for allowing private courier companies to compete with it. But the government attributed the company's poor performances to its overspending in the initial phase."
July 20, 2001 -- -- Postcomm, the British postal services regulator, has published its first annual report. Copies are available from Stationery Office bookshops for GBP8.60. The report may also be downloaded from the Postcomm website, http://www.psc.gov.uk.
July 20, 2001 -- Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) has excoriated the U.S. Post Office’s senior executives for voting themselves bonuses of up to 25 percent of their salaries, despite a projected $2 billion loss this year, and reports of massive waste, fraud, and abuse.
July 20, 2001 -- United States Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Elizabeth Mullen President/CEO of Women's Information Network Against Breast Cancer (WIN ABC) are counting on Congress and the American public to save the stamp designed to save lives. These two individuals have worked to ensure continuance of the Breast Cancer Research Stamp that is slated to be discontinued in July 2002. According to Ascribe News, "the USPS has delivered a death sentence to the first stamp of its kind to raise money for a cause. The USPS decided that only one semi-postal stamp will be available for purchase at any given time for a period of no more than two years."
July 20, 2001 -- According to Le Soir, "faced with the prospects of a liberalised postal market in 2003, complaints from employees and unions over lack of staff and poor working conditions, Belgian post office La Poste is to implement deep reforms of its distribution system and network of 1,364 offices."
July 20, 2001 -- According to the Denver Post, "mail from Denver to much of the West that once arrived in two days now is taking three. Coloradans and many other Westerners are experiencing the impact of an unannounced realignment this year of out-of-town mail delivery standards by the U.S. Postal Service."
July 20, 2001 -- Dow Jones has reported that "European antitrust enforcers are about to deliver another legal setback to Deutsche Post AG by finding the company guilty of unlawfully disrupting international mail bound for Germany. The European Commission is likely to issue its ruling as early as next week, requiring the company to stop the practice.... It is unclear whether the commission will also impose a fine."
July 20, 2001 -- The French newspaper, Les Echos, has reported that "BGP, the Belgian postal service, has announced the acquisition of three French companies, which will make it France's leading information management group in the areas of digital printing of bills, management documents and archiving, amongst others."
July 20, 2001 -- Agence Europe has reported that the French group FIMALAC (services to business) is selling its mail processing subsidiary Secap Technologies to Pitney Bowes.
July 20, 2001 -- The Financial Times has reported that "United Parcel Service has warned that its third-quarter earnings would miss Wall Street estimates as parcel shipments continue to decline in the wake of the US economic downturn."
July 19, 2001 -- Here's a nice story that recently ran in the Washington Business Journal about two old gray-hairs, former PMG Paul Carlin and former USPS exec Gene Johnson, who made a go of an idea that seemed out of time.
July 19, 2001 -- United Parcel Service (UPS) has reported a nearly 4% increase in revenue, volume growth in its air and international businesses and earnings in line with previous guidance, despite a weak global economy during the second quarter of 2001. Highlights for the quarter included continued growth in the company’s logistics business, a double-digit gain in international export volume and an increase in domestic air volume, combined with effective controls on discretionary expenses. UPS took several critical steps to expand its global infrastructure. It completed the acquisition of Fritz Companies Inc., which became part of a new $750 million customs brokerage and freight forwarding unit that also includes operations obtained in seven other small acquisitions. In addition the company purchased the assets of Mail Boxes Etc. A comprehensive mail services strategy was unveiled featuring the acquisitions of Mail2000 and Global Management Services LLC (commonly know as RMX).
July 19, 2001 -- The Washington Post has reported as well that "the U.S. Postal Service is staring at a $2 billion deficit this year, yet the postmaster general has told its top managers they could see performance bonuses of up to 25 percent of their salaries....Postal officials defended the 'pay-for-performance' system. It does not amount to bonuses or a form of profit-sharing, they said, but offers incentives to improve service and efficiency." See also the report by CBS Radio.
July 19, 2001 -- Robert McLean, executive director of the Mailers Council told Government Executive magazine that "the Postal Service’s overall productivity is improving, so it 'makes perfect sense' for managers to receive bonuses based on the economic value added model....'Why shouldn’t they be rewarded for meeting those objectives,' he asked.” In contrast, Michael Riley, the Postal Service's former chief financial officer told Government Executive that he questioned the wisdom of handing out bonuses during a year when the agency could lose nearly $3 billion. He criticized the Postal Service's pay-for-performance system, saying it rewards even mediocre managers. “The pay-for-performance system really needs a tune-up,'" he told the magazine.
July 19, 2001 -- As PostMag.Com has noted, "given that the outcome is now ordained, it seems we are destined to face another rate case sooner rather than later....A major increase in the price of a first-class stamp, beyond the traditional one or two cents, could, potentially, establish postal reform as a significant political issue." In a guest editorial published by PostMag.Com, Edward Gross, a self-styled taxpayer's advocate, claimed that "the taxpayers would reap an even more staggering benefit if the Postal Service were privatized, with an end to the Postal monopoly created by governmental fiat and the consequent infusion of competition."
July 19, 2001 -- European sources have reported that "the Belgian post office is negotiating compensation and the buyout of Axa's stake in a joint venture to sell insurance products via the postal network."
July 19, 2001 -- The German newspaper, Die Welt, has reported that "Ver.di, the union which represents workers of Germany's postal service, it threatening Deutsche Post (DP) with strikes following the announcement that DP intends to cut 3000 jobs, a plan which it rejects. It announced that its works councils will no longer approve overtime by its workers, who number around 80,000. DP plans to start cutting jobs from this summer, and will gradually reduce the number until it reaches 3000. The postal and telecommunications association believes the move is linked to the expiry of DP's monopoly, saying that the company is preparing itself for competition."
July 19, 2001 -- According to Newsbytes.com, "U.S. Postal Service Web sites were inexplicably offline late Tuesday afternoon, a telltale sign that the sites may have suffered a crippling denial-of-service attack."
July 19, 2001 -- Richard Werner, a professor at Sophia University in Tokyo and chief economist of Tokyo-based Profit Research Center Ltd., wrote in a recent issue of the Japanese newspaper, The Yomiuri Shimbun, that Japanese postal "privatization is a scam....Publicly owned institutions are the property of all the citizens of Japan. The politicians are the stewards who have been entrusted with overseeing the public sector. If public institutions have been managed badly, then politicians need to improve their management. They need to change the incentive structure and motivate staff correctly. It is too easy a way out for them to abrogate their responsibility by just selling off the family silver."
July 19, 2001 -- The French newspaper, Le Figaro, has reported that "La Poste, the French post office, feels that dialogue between employees and management in the company was strengthened in the year 2000 and that there has been a progression in the number of stable jobs, with 9,467 employees on fixed term contracts benefiting from a permanent contract in 2000. According to La Poste, at 31 December of the year 2000, 94 per cent of services had been restructured around a 35 hour week and 8,400 extra jobs had been created, with a strong rise in the recruitment of civil servants."
July 19, 2001 -- The Wilson [N.C.] Daily Times has reported that a postal spokesperson has said that "rumors are false that a proposed study will recommend closing small rural post offices to cut costs." Nonetheless, the paper reported that "several members of Congress, including U.S. Rep. Bob Etheridge, D-N.C., have introduced bipartisan legislation to protest any such closures or consolidations."
July 19, 2001 -- Japan Times has reported that "the [Japanese] posts ministry is considering cutting back on loss-making special mail services such as registered mail....The Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications is planning to let private businesses enter the letter-delivery field in line with a government plan to turn the Postal Services Agency into a government-backed entity in 2003."
July 19, 2001 -- According to CommentWire.com, "Consignia and Deutsche Post World Net (DPWN), the national postal organizations in the UK and Germany respectively, have both announced job cuts in response to stronger competitive forces and technological developments. Consignia's 2,100 planned cuts should take place at managerial level. Deutsche Post's 3,000 new job cuts will take place in the mail delivery division, joining the 8,000 job cuts that Deutsche Post is planning to make in its transport division by 2004. The job losses are essential for both Consignia and DPWN if they are to remain competitive when they eventually lose their regulatory protection. Part-listed DPWN now also has to worry about creating shareholder value, even though the EU has agreed to grant an extension to its postal monopoly."
July 18, 2001 -- The Financial Times has confirmed that "Deutsche Post, Europe's largest postal services group, will cut 3,000 jobs in its mail delivery unit by early next year. The move was widely perceived as an attempt to accelerate cost savings in the division that is Deutsche Post's largest and most profitable, but which analysts say has the lowest potential for growth. The group depends on mail delivery for 74 per cent of its profits, and industry experts said Klaus Zumwinkel, the chairman, had come under pressure to improve the unit's performance."
July 18, 2001 -- CEP News has reported that "increasing personnel costs are the main reason why the Irish An Post’s operating result dropped by 27%...during the financial year 2000....Personnel costs, which by 2003 will increase cumulatively by 18% after the current wage talks, now represent almost 70% of the overall costs." Hellooooo! 70% of costs? Heck, here in the U.S. personnel represents 78% of overall costs And An Post thinks IT faces a challenge...?.
July 18, 2001 -- CEP News has reported that "the Polish post and government are involved in an argument over the liberalisation of the postal market. While the post predictably wants to maintain its monopoly for as long as possible, the government aims for rapid competition, ideally before the country joins the EU. According to Polish media reports the post is supported by the Sejm, the Polish parliament, which torpedoes the new postal legislation and put a draft on ice in the Sejm committee for post and communication, where it has been resting since March 2000."
July 18, 2001 -- CEP News also has reported that "The Danish Post Danmark and the Swedish firm Stralfors intend to cooperate in the field of printing and enveloping. According to an announcement this week, the Post’s subsidiary MailHouse will be part of the new joint venture with Stralfors A/S, in which the Post would be the minority partner....Since the beginning of the year the activities of the Post subsidiary MailHouse have been the object of an inquiry by the Danish audit office, which is investigating whether the 10.7m euros losses accumulated by MailHouse as a competing company over the last two years were financed through surpluses from the letter monopoly."
July 18, 2001 -- According to PostmastersOnline.Com, "the worst aspect of [the Postal Service's Economic Value Added program] EVA is that it drives the wrong behavior. You shift priorities and resrouces and focus simply to meet the numbers. The craft sees right through it. The customer often feels its brunt....It is a sin. It is shameful. It is wrong....With the release of PMG Jack Potter memo that he penned just a few days after taking office by the press, the Senate and the public at large is realizing the harm of this program. In the memo, Potter tells senior postal managers that "by pulling together, we can minimize our loss and earn additional pay for the performance achieved." I guess the "Postal crisis" is an opportunity for increased payouts. The projected PCES payout in the memo could reach 25%.....Postal reform won't happen, because managers get huge bonuses even though the Post Office loses money."
July 18, 2001 -- The U.S. Department of State has issued a report on the most recent High Level Group (HLG) meeting of the Universal Postal Union in Bern, Switzerland. The State Department reported that the HLG agreed to create a " new third circle would consist of key postal stakeholders, including private express couriers, international mailers, equipment manufacturers, and trade unions. This 'Consultative Committee' (CC) will have two meetings a year to learn about and give advice on UPU issues. Members of the CC will have observer status in the annual meetings of the Council of Administration (CA) and the Postal Operations Council (POC), as well as in the UPU Congress that meets every five years. In certain circumstances, they will be able to observe and participate in project teams and working groups of the CA and POC. Membership in the Consultative Committee would be open to umbrella organizations representing groups of stakeholders in various areas, but not to individual companies or agencies. These umbrella associations could be either national or international in scope. One private group objected to the draft document's stipulation that membership required the group to have a "legitimate" interest in the postal sector (what is "legitimate" and who would decide?), and the HLG agreed to change the word to 'special' or 'particular.' The CA will develop specific criteria, review and decide on applications for membership."
July 18, 2001 -- Hays DX, a mail and courier subsidiary of business services group Hays Plc , is likely to win a licence within a few weeks to operate niche postal services in the UK
July 17, 2001 -- The Associated Press reports that the "German post office plans to cut about 3,000 mail carrier jobs, or nearly 4 percent of that work force, as it tries to slash costs and boost a wilting stock price. Deutsche Post AG intends to start on the cutbacks from its 80,000 mail-carrying positions this summer, but will stick to a contract that specifies no carriers can be fired before 2004, spokesman Uwe Bensin said. He didn't specify when the cuts would be completed. The reduction could come through natural attrition and early retirement."
July 17, 2001 -- The St. Petersburg Times has reported that "to combat the image of 'slow' and focus on the virtue 'steady,' the U.S. Postal Service is arming letter carriers with lasers. Postal carriers nationwide are now required to scan bar codes placed in mailboxes at seven locations along their route. Carriers zap the bar codes affixed to business and residential mailboxes at points about an hour apart.
July 17, 2001 -- Responding to the Mailers Council's call for more focused management, the Postal Service received improved grades in several categories in the second Quarterly Report Card on postal productivity. Grades in several categories improved, especially where the Postal Service has focused management attention and improved the use of technology to reduce the time and staffing required to move the mail. The Quarterly Report Card (a graphic is available at www.mailers.org) shows improved grades in Mail Processing (A-), attributable to the attention postal management has given to streamlining the automation of letter mail. Productivity for Delivery (C+) continues to disappoint, but may reflect in part stagnant mail volume. Data presented by the Mailers Council at a recent congressional hearing shows that recent large increases in postage rates have done little to boost postal revenues.
July 17, 2001 -- The Boston Herald, in an editorial, said "other countries have privatized their postal systems with good results. It may take prodding by big users, but Congress should put this option on the table. Otherwise, the Postal Service can only deteriorate."
July 17, 2001 -- According to the British newspaper, The Western Daily Press, "high levels of growth are being unwrapped by the express parcels delivery service as business becomes increasingly global. Even the domestic market is seeing some expansion, although intense competition means purely local or UK operators are unlikely to see major increases in business. The quickest way for express parcel firms to drive forward their businesses is to win market share from their rivals. But as the sector varies from truly global players such as DHL and FedEx, to the purely local man-and-a-van firms, there is scope for growth by companies which meet their customers' needs - whether it is delivering to Swindon or Sweden."
July 17, 2001 -- According to the British newspaper, The Western Daily Press, "for many years the [U.K.] Post Office operated its parcels business with one hand tied behind its back. The ending of its monopoly on the UK parcel market had allowed U.S. giants such as UPS and DHL to move into its market. Yet successive governments failed to give it the commercial freedom to expand its own business. However, once these restrictions were lifted, the Post Office, (now Consignia) launched headlong into an aggressive acquisitions campaign to make it one of the leading international delivery businesses."
July 17, 2001 -- Reuters has reported that "Yamato Transport Co -- pioneer of the successful "takkyubin" service that allows customers to send everything from bicycles to chilled cantaloupes -- sees a pledge by Japan's reformist prime minister to privatise the postal service as a chance to push the envelope of door-to-door delivery."
July 16, 2001 -- The U.S. Postal Service is "seeking to pre-qualify suppliers for digital printing, finishing and mailing services in support of the Mailing Online Network. Primary point of contact for Q&A and for sumission of responses is: Stanley A. Lipinski, (202) 268-4750, email: email@example.com." Yes, Virginia, the Postal Service intends to pour money down this bureaucratic black hole. At last count, the USPS had spent over $5 million in pursuit of less than $80,000 worth of postage.
July 16, 2001 -- According to a new Deloitte Consulting report, "corporations need to look no further than their own internal operations to capitalize on the latest in wireless technology. Rather than continuing to make huge investments in the consumer marketplace, corporations should invest in linking their front-line workers to back-end processes and systems to unleash the real value of wireless technology....For example, the United States Postal Service (USPS) has seen a return on its wireless investment within six months and saved a month's worth of data entry time in one year, according to Deloitte Consulting's research report, 'Mobilizing the Enterprise: Unlocking The Real Value in Wireless.' USPS needed a better system to monitor airline performance while transporting USPS packages. Now, using the wireless system, USPS mails incident reports to airlines within days instead of months. Quicker, accurate and more efficient information exchange between the airlines and USPS ensures better service and faster settlement between organizations."
July 16, 2001 -- According to European news sources, "The proposed short-term licence for Hays PLC's Hays DX division will last for one year, said independent postal regulator Postcomm. The licence is intended to help assess the effects of competition on the UK postal market, while the regulator is developing its longer-term licensing policy. Postcomm today began consultation on the proposed issue of a short-term licence to Hays DX for the provision of niche postal services. The consultation period will close on Aug 15....Hays has applied for a licence for three areas of work:-- collection, streaming and consolidation of mail from customers of Hays' existing document exchange service -- a pre-8am delivery service for customers of the company's document exchange service sending letters to businesses in the London EC and WC, Edinburgh EH1 and EH2 and Manchester M1-M5 and M60 postal districts, and -- services to customers of Hays' Mailine service in the insurance, travel, opticians', licensed betting and retail financial services industries."
July 16, 2001 -- Essent NV, one of the largest energy suppliers in the Netherlands, said it has formed an alliance with a joint operation of TNT Post Group NV (TP), or TPG, and ING Group NV (ING) to sell its green power product in local post offices. Green power refers to electricity supplies which must be sourced to renewable generation sources such as wind or hydro.
July 16, 2001 -- According to the British newspaper, The Independent, "the [U.K.] Post Office is preparing to privatise many of its services in a move that could lead to tens of thousands of job losses. A document, marked 'strictly confidential', sets out a strategic five-year plan and reveals that the organisation, now called Consignia, is preparing to 'outsource' services across the company, reduce staff and slash costs."
July 16, 2001 -- Dow Jones has reported that "in a move to boost its competitiveness as Vietnam deepens its regional economic integration, state monopoly Vietnam Post and Telecommunications Corp. said it is planning to separate off its money-losing postal services....The official said the plan would help the telecommunications company compete. Currently, the profitable telecommunications division subsidizes the money-losing postal service."
July 16, 2001 -- The Irish newspaper, The Sunday Business Post, has reported that "a radical scheme to transform rural post offices into government information `one-stop-shops' which also provide banking services is among the proposals under scrutiny by the government. Anxiety is mounting over the future of 1,900 sub-post offices, following predictions from An Post that its post office division would show a £13 million loss this year. Group chief executive John Hynes last week described the losses as 'unsustainable'. An interdepartmental group appointed by the Minister for Public Enterprise, Mary O'Rourke, will report back next month on a range of proposals for the post office division, following a consultant's report by Phil Flynn. The report concluded that the only option to secure the future of post offices was for the state to pay a subvention to An Post."
July 15, 2001 -- Federal Times has reported that "the outlook may appear sour this year for the U.S. Postal Service, which is facing a potential $2 billion deficit. But many Postal Service executives may be on the brink of a banner year. Postmaster General John Potter told top postal executives if the Postal Service continues increasing productivity this year, their bonuses could amount to 25 percent of their salaries." The Federal Times is also running a poll to see if readers "think U.S. Postal Service executives should receive bonuses for meeting productivity goals regardless of the agency’s financial situation." Well over 90% of those voting said "No."
July 15, 2001 -- The BBC has reported that U.K. "shoppers will be soon able to use their nearest post office as a delivery address for mail order purchases. The Post Office - recently renamed Consignia - will offer consumers the option to collect their ordered items from their selected post office as long as their chosen retailer has signed up to the scheme. Retailers will not be charged extra for the service so delivery costs should not rise, said Consignia. Home shoppers will have the choice of using a post office as their direct delivery address or as an alternative address if they are not at home." See also the report by The Independent.
July 15, 2001 -- According to Federal Computer Week, "the check is no longer in the mail. In fact, there is no check. The Treasury Department is expected to launch a program this summer to make it easier for businesses and citizens to pay certain taxes, loans, fees and other funds to the government completely online — a program expected to handle $125 billion a year. The service, free to the public, is called Pay.gov and expands a pilot program."
July 15, 2001 -- Dutch postal, express and logistics company TNT Post Group NV (TPG) has won a 34 million euro ($29 million) contract to design and manage an integrated logistics operation in Latin America.
July 15, 2001 -- So...online advertising is a bust, right? Think again, says Business Week. "Everything about online advertising -- formats, pricing, measuring, even its purpose -- is being rethought -- and improved. Yes, this industry has a future."
July 14, 2001 -- According to postal commentator Gene Del Polito, with a little work, it would be possible to recast the U.S. Postal Service into a true, stock corporation--one that would be better positioned to provide the nation with the kind of postal services it would need in the decades ahead.
July 14, 2001 -- According to Invisible Hand, "for many of the stakeholders and policy makers involved in the debate over legislative reform, the real issue deals with what the legitimate role of the Postal Service should be. Should the Postal Service continue to be a public service organization with a universal service obligation? Should it function as a business with the freedom to engage in competitive activities not currently mandated by the Postal Reorganization Act. Advocates of the latter position interpret the statutory language as already providing a business-oriented mandate.' There are significant differences in perspective among stakeholders, however. Not only are external parties such as many large mailers, mailer associations, and members of Congress not convinced the Postal Service should operate as a business, there are concerns that the Service lacks the proper infra-structure and business acumen to do so."
July 14, 2001 -- According to Direct Newsline, "the U.S. Postal Service may be facing a $1 billion dollar deficit this year but it is prepared to pay its senior managers additional pay incentives of up to 25% later this year."
July 14, 2001 -- The British newspaper, The Guardian, has reported that "thousands of managerial and front-line delivery jobs are at risk in the Post Office, in the face of crippling unofficial strikes and the prospect of competition in the postal services industry. Directors of the state-owned organisation, now known as Consignia, are planning to shed more than 9,000 managerial and administrative posts, and have warned postal workers that thousands of sorting and delivery jobs could be axed unless there is an improvement in the industry's appalling industrial relations record. In a letter to Royal Mail ser vice delivery employees, a copy of which has been seen by the Guardian, managing director Mick Linsell said that about 100 business customers were reported to be reducing their spending with the Royal Mail in the wake of unofficial strikes at sorting offices in the UK two months ago." See also the report in The Independent and The Scotsman.
July 14, 2001 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "United Parcel Service may join FedEx Corp.'s request that the U.S. Department of Transportation defer a renewal of DHL Airways' authority to fly between the United States and Mexico pending completion of an informal review of DHL's ownership status."
July 14, 2001 -- According to Traffic World, you can "forget United Parcel Service's huge win in China. That is a distant memory. UPS now wants route authority beyond Hong Kong, a designation that would allow the company to compete for sought-after intra-Asian traffic." UPS, the magazine said, "wants more."
July 14, 2001 -- According to The Economist, many economists believe that America’s economy has escaped recession and may rebound in the second half of this year. But a new paper argues to the contrary that large, unsustainable imbalances may make a recession inevitable. Among the reasons for a suspected recession are: (1) private-sector spending was growing faster than income, causing a huge increase in corporate and household debt; (2) household debt climbed from 95% of disposable income in the early 1990s to 124% in the fourth quarter of last year; and (3) private-sector net saving will eventually rise sharply, as households repair their balance sheets, thus driving the economy into recession.
July 14, 2001 -- The Financial Times has reported that "Consignia, the UK's state-owned post office, announced plans to shed 2,100 jobs, saying it was responding to changes in the competitive environment and advances in technology. Consignia, formerly the Post Office, said the cuts would be made at managerial level and would not affect front-line staff. The job losses were expected to occur through redundancies and natural wastage. A further 7,300 staff would also be redeployed over the next few years, the group said." See also the report in The Times.
July 14, 2001 -- According to TechWeb.Com, "All of FedEx's e-business strategies flow through its FedEx.com portal....The very latest feature, dubbed Insight, adds a set of proactive notification capabilities that will alert customers to key logistics events. For instance, if a package runs into trouble at customs, FedEx will message a customer via e-mail, cell phone, or pager about the problem and offer some advice on how to work around the situation." Seems as if the Postal Service's competitors really know how to get IT done.
July 13, 2001 -- According to Dow Jones, "FedEx Corp., launching a fresh attack against Deutsche Post AG, asked the federal government to put the brakes on any regulatory approvals sought by DHL Airways Inc. until a probe of the airline's ownership structure and relationship with Deutsche Post is completed....The latest move by FedEx is likely to bring new attention to the complicated ownership structure of the largest delivery network outside the U.S. Bonn-based Deutsche Post, as part of its bid to become a major global competitor in the delivery industry, last year took a controlling stake in Brussels-based DHL International Ltd., the largest delivery company outside the U.S. DHL has a newly formed U.S. holding company that in turn holds a 25% voting stake in DHL Airways, as well as all of the new ground-based delivery operation." Dow Jones reported that "DHL officials denounced FedEx's filing, calling it an attempt to quash competition. 'There is nothing to worry about,' added Monika Wulf-Mathies, a Deutsche Post senior vice president." See also the report in the Memphis Business Journal.
July 13, 2001 -- The British newspaper, The Mirror, has reported that "the first national postal strike for five years was looming last night. Union leaders pledged to call a strike ballot after bosses threatened to cut sick pay by more than £235 a week....Royal Mail bosses say absenteeism has soared since better sick pay was introduced." As a result, "Royal Mail said it has one of the worst absenteeism records in industry."
July 13, 2001 -- DM News has reported that "the Direct Marketing Association yesterday released an economic impact study showing that the steady increase in commercial mail volume experienced by the U.S. Postal Service over the past 15 years would be crippled if Congress passes stringent data restrictions....The USPS cannot expect to survive if major marketers abandon the mail system for more cost-effective and reliable measures to reach their customers, the study concluded."
July 13, 2001 -- The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin is available on this site.
July 13, 2001 -- According to The Wall Street Journal, "Europe's postal services have largely put an end to the days when vacationers would return home before the postcards they sent had arrived at their neighbors'. Now, postal offices are trying to leverage their mail-delivery and other services to make a mark on the Internet. With their combination of delivery networks and banking services, post offices across Europe are uniquely positioned to be key electronic-commerce players. And many are moving to add services like online-payment systems and free electronic-mail accounts, as well as online parcel tracking and electronic-commerce Web hosting."
July 13, 2001 -- According to Computer Weekly, the UK's "Parcelforce has a fine pedigree of delivering other companies' parcels. Now, with a new online channel in place, it is delivering its own."
July 13, 2001 -- The Irish Independent has reported that "An Post [the Irish post office] is seeking increases of over 30pc in postage stamp costs as its own costs are rising faster than sales. The state company, which last year suffered a £3m drop in operating profits, is heading towards mounting deficits and is awaiting proposals for a subvention to meet the burden of loss-making rural post offices."
July 13, 2001 -- According to the Irish Independent, "An Post, the [Iish] State-owned postal services group which enjoys turnover of almost GBP500m, does not operate like a business in the private sector....One of the clearest indications of this is that chief executive John Hynes is committed to spending GBP35m each year over the next few years on fleet replacement, post office modernisation and other capital expenditure. This level of expenditure is being undertaken by a company which generated an operating margin of only 1.7pc last year. No other business in this country would spend so heavily on replacement if the return on investment was so low. Most successful businesses would seek a return of at least 10pc on their capital investment a return of GBP3.5m per year at least."
July 12, 2001 -- Reuters has reported that "a [British] government sponsored report criticised rising costs at Britain's industry regulators and called for more accountability and transparency. The report, while acknowledging the introduction of competition and regulation into the former utility monopolies had brought 'tangible benefits to consumers', said it was not reasonable that regulators set up to ensure the transition to a free market cost more to run now than they did 10 years ago." Among those criticized...Britain's new postal regulator.
July 12, 2001 -- According to the Nordic Business Report, "a strike by pilots and aircraft from Falcon Air, the Swedish postal airline, will affect all air postal routes. There will reportedly also be a blockade that will stop the Swedish Post from delivering mail on time to Norrland, the northern part of Sweden. The action has been estimated to affect about 4.6bn mail items - mainly mail to and from Norrland, but also some foreign mail. The Swedish Post has said that the action will also delay its express services. The union has also launched a blockade against overtime work today (12 July), meaning that no pilots will work overtime or on their scheduled days off."
July 12, 2001 -- According to Borsen Zeitung, "the future of Deutsche Post's holdings in the parcel delivery service Transoflex is up in the air. By the end of July Germany's competition authorities will have clarified the situation, namely whether its 24.8 per cent stake strengthens Deutsche Post's position of market dominance. If the cartel office sees things in this light, the ex-monopoly will be forced to divest its stake."
July 12, 2001 -- According to InformationWeek.Com, "Ryder System is putting IT at the center of its plans to change how companies manage logistics."
July 12, 2001 -- RMH Teleservices, Inc. has entered into a multi-year agreement with United Parcel Service, Inc. to provide inbound customer relationship management (CRM) services.
July 12, 2001 -- Handelsblatt.com has reported that "Deutsche Post AG is close to reaching agreement on the takeover of Austria's Cargoplan-Gruppe."
July 12, 2001 -- A summary of the U.S. Postal Service financial and operating statements for accounting period 10 postal fiscal year 2001 is posted on this web site.
July 12, 2001 -- The U.S. Postal Service has published in the Federal Register a "proposed rule [that] revises the Postal Service's regulations that govern procedures for delivery of an addressee's mail to a commercial mail receiving agency (CMRA)."
July 12, 2001 -- Dutch postal, express and logistics company TNT Post Group NV (TPG) has purchased the remaining 49 percent stake in French logistics firm Barlatier SA.
July 12, 2001 -- CEP News has reported that "last year Mr John Roberts Chief Executive of the British Consignia had to accept considerable salary cuts. According to the company’s financial statement Mr Roberts earned 360,776 euros (excluding pension entitlement), which is 9.7% less than his earning for the previous year. While in 2000 all board members received bonus payments amounting to a total of 83,695 euros - most of which went to Mr Roberts - the following loss-making financial year 2001 (25 March) did not allow for any extra payment to board members. However, other board members still experienced a slight pay rise: plus 0.7% for Chairman Mr Neville Bain (156,763 euros) and a 3.8% plus for Mr Jerry Cope, the board member in charge of business strategy and development, who received 249,931 euros."
July 12, 2001 -- CEP News has reported that "the Belgian carrier group ABX Logistics has unofficially confirmed negotiations concerning the sale of its parcel service. A subsidiary of the Belgian national railway company, ABX Logistics now wants to focus on its core business, which includes a European general cargo network and worldwide logistics services."
July 12, 2001 -- In a letter to House Government Reform Committee Chairman Dan Burton (R-IN), National Association of Postmasters of the U.S. President (NAPUS) Charles Moser reaffirmed NAPUS' strong support for H.R. 250, Postmasters Fairness and Rights Act of 2001.
July 12, 2001 -- Airborne Express, Sir Speedy, Inc. and PIP Printing have announced the launch of a strategic partnership to link the companies' business services and solutions. The partnership is designed to make it more convenient for small to medium-sized business customers of each organization to access and manage their shipping and printing needs. The first phase of the partnership gives Sir Speedy and PIP Printing special Airborne Express National Account status, providing cost-effective, reliable delivery of their customers' printing and document orders - from over 1100 locations nationwide. In addition, e-commerce efforts are integrated to help the business customers of both companies manage their most important business activities.
July 11, 2001 -- The latest issue of the PostInsight newsletter is available on the PostInsight web site.
July 11, 2001 -- "The charade is over." So said the nonprofit world's chief postal critic to The Washington Post on the news that the Postal Service has decided to retain six-day mail delivery.
July 11, 2001 -- The U.S. Postal Service has released the results of a PricewaterhouseCoopers External First-Class (EXFC) Measurement System report reflecting that First-Class Mail service destined for next-day delivery met this standard 94 percent of the time.
July 10, 2001 -- In a letter to House Government Reform Committee chairman Dan Burton (R-IN), Postmaster General Jack Potter explained why the Postal Service was opposed to H.R. 250, The Postmasters Fairness and Rights Act of 2001.
July 10, 2001 -- CargoWeb News has reported that "four of the thirteen members of the management team of Van Gend and Loos, the Dutch distribution company of German business Deutsche Post, have left. They are leaving because they disagree with the policies, according to CEO Ad Ebus. They do not agree with the reorganization."
July 10, 2001 -- The Associated Press has reported that the "U.S. Postal Service has decided to continue delivering mail six days a week. Facing losses that could approach $2 billion this fiscal year, the agency had been considering cutting back to five days, eliminating Saturday deliveries. But, after a preliminary study, the postal Board of Governors decided to drop the plan." See also the report by Dow Jones. See also the press release from the USPS announcing its intent to look at facility consolidation.
July 10, 2001 -- Viking Freight Inc., a leading LTL (less-than-truckload) carrier providing next- and second-day Western regional transportation service and a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. (NYSE:FDX), will implement a general rate increase of 5.9 percent, effective Aug. 6, 2001.
July 10, 2001 -- AFX News has reported that "the Dutch cabinet has decided that the telecom and postal sector watchdog Opta will remain an independent body until 2005."
July 10, 2001 -- Xinhua has reported that "the Postal Corporation of Kenya is set to spend over 102 million shillings (about 1.3 million U.S. dollars) to introduce a new coding system for all post office boxes across the country. All post offices will have their own codes to help sorting mails."
July 10, 2001 -- ZDNet has reported that online grocer Webvan Group has announced it is closing down after a long struggle to stay in business. Does anyone still believe there's a future for the Postal Service in delivering groceries?
July 9, 2001 -- Traffic World has reported that "FedEx Corp. managed to close the books on a rocky 2001 by beating analysts' estimates but warned that the economic pallor hanging over the transportation industry isn't going to be lifted anytime soon....FedEx is bolstering its cost-cutting initiatives by continuing an aggressive hiring freeze that has prevented several thousand positions from being filled. Top executives at the company also are foregoing bonus compensation packages for fiscal 2002 and taking a 5 percent pay cut to shave costs."
July 9, 2001 -- By the way, the U.S. Postal Service has begun to post its financials on a quarterly basis on its web site. Of course, if you don't run your cursor over a Java activitated applet, you may never find them. The quicker way is simply to direct your browser to the following URL: http://www.usps.com/financials/.
July 9, 2001 -- The U.K.'s Postal Services Commission (PostComm) has posted on its web site two interesting documents. The first is entitled "Promoting Effective Competition in UK Postal Services," and the second is "An Assessment of the Costs and Benefits of Consignia's Current Universal Service Provision."
July 9, 2001 -- According to the Daily Review, "the U.S. Postal Service hopes its efforts to adapt to the Internet -- and the many partnerships it is forging with online companies to meld the online and offline worlds, will not only secure its future, but also improve correspondence, the transmission of payments and the delivery of parcels."
July 9, 2001 -- The South American Business Information news service has reported that United Parcel Service (UPS) " has announced a deal with Expresso Mercurio, in which the Brazilian company will be responsible for the delivery of UPS packages in six Brazilian states. UPS is currently in third place in this market, behind Fedex and DHL. Expresso Mercurio is the largest road cargo transport company in Brazil, with 45 branches and 32 franchises. Company turnover was R$200mil in 2000, with predictions of R$270mil this year."
July 9, 2001 -- According to the British trade publication, The Grocer, Britain's "postal regulator Postcomm has consulted supermarkets and grocery chains as it draws up plans for a mail delivery revolution. Postcomm said there had been widespread enthusiasm for proposed reforms in informal talks which took place before this week's consultation document was issued. Postcomm's proposals for effective competition in UK postal services suggests supermarkets and milk delivery companies could take on licences to deliver letters under GBP1. Changes which could be in place later this year will end the newly renamed Consignia's monopoly on the delivery of letters. New entrants could introduce their own franking systems and piggy back mail deliveries on existing delivery infrastructure, with the bonus of cutting their own post bills."
July 9, 2001 -- As the Irish newspaper, The Sunday People, has noted, "once considered the cornerstones of Irish rural life, An Post's postmasters and postmistresses, contractors, are now closing their post offices. Dozens of post office owners are now looking for new jobs. And the reason is money! Almost half of them earn less than half the minimum wage. Hundreds of post office contractors earn only pounds 90 - for a 46 hour week -- less than pounds 2 per hour. Post office owners are expected to cash pension and children's allowance books, sell stamps, dog licences and postal orders - and perform many other duties. Postmasters are paid per unit transaction. In many small villages there may be few transactions but post office owners are expected to remain at their post all day - every day. Now dozens are throwing in the towel simply because they cannot survive on the low wages being offered by An Post."
July 9, 2001 -- One Wall Street Journal commentator wants to know: "Why is the Postal Service honoring a commie?"
July 8, 2001 -- Here are just some of the comments posted by postal workers on the PostalNews.Com discussion board concerning the Postal Service's "news" that the end of year deficit will not be as bad as initially predicted:
July 8, 2001 -- HConRes 181: "Whereas the United States Postal Service has announced that it may consider closing post offices that do not cover their costs; Whereas the Constitution of the United States grants Congress the authority to "establish Post Offices", recognizing that mail services are essential to binding the citizenry of this Nation together; Whereas Congress has stated, time and time again, that post offices should not be closed or consolidated solely for operating at a deficit, it being the intent of Congress that effective postal services be ensured for all Americans, whether residing in urban, suburban, or rural communities; Whereas many communities have only limited methods of communication, and rely on the post office to allow them to correspond with persons elsewhere in the Nation or around the world; and Whereas the post office is an essential institution within every community: Now, therefore, be it Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That it is the sense of the Congress that the United States Postal Service- (1) should provide a maximum degree of effective and regular postal services to all communities, including rural areas and small towns where post offices may not be self-sustaining; and (2) should take all necessary steps to ensure that post offices are not closed or consolidated."
July 8, 2001 -- The Guardian has reported that "Royal Mail managing director Richard Dykes is resigning next month after two years of poor performance that have seen mail volumes drop and performance targets go unmet....Chief executive John Roberts said that unless there were improvements in service quality - plagued by more than 60,000 working days of industrial action last year - Royal Mail would be outstripped by competitors. Industry regulator Postcomm is currently consulting on ways to open up the Royal Mail's monopoly on letters to competition....Post Office insiders say that Dykes, 56, was given no choice but to leave by Roberts.He is to be replaced by Jerry Cope, Consignia's head of strategy and business development."
July 8, 2001 -- The Sunday Times has reported that "the Irish government plans to put pressure on banks to provide up to £15m in business for rural sub-post offices over the next five years. Mary O'Rourke, the public enterprise minister, will ask cabinet colleagues later this month to endorse a strategy aimed at saving the country's post office network."
July 8, 2001 -- According to the Tampa Tribune, "the U.S. Postal Service has raised its rates twice this year and is already talking about raising rates again next year. It has also made noises about eliminating Saturday mail deliveries. But the big problem with the Postal Service is not any of these particular policies. The big problem is that it is a monopoly and that the government keeps it a monopoly by law."
July 8, 2001 -- The American Postal Workers Union (APWU) has announced that: "APWU and Postal Service representatives completed the neutral arbitrator selection process on June 27, 2001 by striking all but one name from the list of potential arbitrators. The arbitrator selected is Stephen B. Goldberg, a Professor of Law at Northwestern University Law School in Chicago, IL. Professor Goldberg is also president of Mediation Research and Education Project, Inc.; a member of the Center for Public Resources Panel of Distinguished Neutrals; and a court-appointed special master for several courts. The APWU and the Postal Service also announced their party-appointed arbitrators. The APWU’s party-appointed arbitrator will be Professor Carin Ann Clauss of the University of Wisconsin. Professor Clauss served as Solicitor of Labor, the highest ranking attorney in the US Department of Labor, during the Carter Administration. Before that, she served as Associate Solicitor of Labor for Fair Labor Standards. In that capacity, she was responsible for enforcement of the Equal Pay Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, among others. The Postal Service’s party-appointed arbitrator will be Mr. Robert Dufek, who is a partner in the Washington, DC, management labor law firm Morgan, Lewis & Bockius. Mr. Dufek is a graduate of Georgetown University Law School, where he is now a member of the adjunct faculty. As the next step in the process, the party-appointed arbitrators will contact Professor Goldberg to schedule hearings."
July 7, 2001 -- According to Traffic World, "Etrace automates messaging between dispatchers and drivers, has real-time map views of the fleet for dispatchers over the Internet, and can capture signatures, proof of delivery and bills of lading. Truckers also can obtain real-time driving directions, and define their own smart mobile forms."
July 7, 2001 -- Bloomberg.com has reported that "United Parcel Service Inc. has received $63 million worth of media exposure through the first 15 Nascar Winston Cup races, establishing a new full-season record in the category, said a sports consultancy that measures the effectiveness of sponsorships."
July 7, 2001 -- According to Dow Jones, "Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi has instructed government officials to study the idea of complete liberalization of the mail service....'There is no reason to spare the mail service from reform, and competition (resulting from the liberalization) would improve the service,' Koizumi was quoted as saying."
July 7, 2001 -- Air Cargo World has reported that "air cargo volumes handled by U.S. carriers dropped 4.8% in May, according to the Air Transport Association. Total volume for the carriers, including cargo operators Federal Express, United Parcel Service and Emery Worldwide, came to 1.95 billion ton miles, down from 2.05 billion ton miles in May of 2000....Domestic freight and express traffic led the freefall, plunging 8.1%. International freight and express volume dropped 1.8%, while domestic mail fell 5.7%. International mail was the only category to score an increase, rising a modest 1.1%. For the year as a whole, total volume is off 4.2%, with domestic cargo down 7.6%."
July 7, 2001 -- According to the British newspaper, The Telegraph, "the [British] Post Office, or Consignia as it now prefers to be known, bumbles on its own sweet way. But a timebomb is ticking under its mail monopoly, and its performance is actually getting worse. Last week, Consignia announced its third consecutive year of worsening mail deliveries, along with a trading loss for last year and 62,000 days work lost to industrial action - a substantial slice of the entire nation's time on strike. Postal volumes also grew less fast than Consignia predicted, costing the company £60m in revenue. Disillusioned consumers are increasingly relying on their mobile phones and email, rather than letters that seldom get through on time."
July 7, 2001 -- According to Dow Jones, "with their combination of delivery networks and banking services, post offices across Europe are uniquely positioned to be key e-commerce players. And many are moving to add Internet-based services, including online-payment systems and free e-mail accounts, as well as online parcel- and letter-tracking services and e-commerce Web hosting."
July 7, 2001 -- Direct Newsline has reported that "Richard Strasser, the chief financial officer of the U.S. Postal Service today is expected reveal that the U.S. Postal Service is in better financial shape than initially thought. Sources inside and outside the USPS told DIRECT Newsline that that he will tell the postal service's Board of Governors that the USPS will end its fiscal year in September with a deficit of somewhere between $900 million and $1.5 billion instead of the earlier predicted $2 billion to $3 billion."
July 6, 2001 -- Dow Jones has reported that "the U.K. court has deferred legal proceedings brought against business services provider Hays PLC (U.HYS) by Consignia, the U.K. government-owned former Post Office group. Hays' application for postal licenses under the Postal Services Act will proceed, however, with a decision expected by early autumn."
July 6, 2001 -- Hitachi netBusiness Ltd. has adopted Tumbleweed Integrated Messaging Exchange(TM) (IME(TM)) for its new Secure Contents Delivery service called Se-nD.com. Hitachi netBusiness is a provider of net business platforms for Internet businesses and offers services ranging from ASP, Data Center (hardware and middleware), business process outsourcing and consulting. Hitachi netBusiness plans to launch its Se-nD.com service in July 2001.
July 6, 2001 -- Federal Computer Week has reported that "the U.S. Postal Service is getting ready to award a $1 billion contract to a technology vendor able to supply office computers and related items to postal centers across the country. The Postal Service said it wants a long-term supplier for desktop and notebook computers, peripherals such as printers, disk and tape storage devices and a variety of software. The terms of the contract are challenging. In a published notice, the Postal Service said it is requiring the contract winner to offer most-favored-customer pricing and the ability to handle orders for 500 or more systems or a single order valued at $1 million or more.
July 6, 2001 -- Direct Newsline has reported that "legislation prohibiting the U.S. Postal Service from assigning postal ZIP codes to adjacent communities in different states has been introduced by Senator Michael Enzi (R-WY)." The measure ostensibly would "clear up confusion over the payment and collection of use taxes while keeping catalogers, other direct marketers and their customers from avoiding payment of those taxes through the use of out-of-state postal facilities."
July 6, 2001 -- Dutch postal, express and logistics company TNT Post Group NV (TPG) has formed a strategic alliance with Poste Italiane. The first venture will be a company to be launched by September operating in the direct marketing sector in Italy. Both partners will explore the possibilities of further cooperation in the future in such areas as international mail and hybrid mail.
July 6, 2001 -- Japan's state-run post service has vowed to become profitable after three years in the red, amid tough competition from private operators and pressure for reform from Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi. The third straight annual loss was blamed on growing competition from private parcel-delivery services. Delivery of private letters, currently monopolised by the state postal service, will be partially opened to the private sector in 2003, further fueling competition in the market.
July 6, 2001 -- The Associated Press has reported that "Amtrak is branching out in pursuit of new income to stay in business, from souvenirs to cell phone service, real estate development to express package delivery. The national railway now gets 43 percent of its revenue from non-passenger business, up from 29 percent in 1990." The Amtrak Reform Council, created by Congress as a watchdog, has encouraged the railway in carrying mail and freight but says the system is wearing too many other hats. The council has proposed replacing the railway as owner of the tracks and stations in the Northeast that Amtrak uses for many of its business ventures. 'Its core business is simple: running trains that carry passengers, mail and express, from Boston to San Diego,' said Gilbert Carmichael, the council's chairman." Hmmmm. This has as a familiar ring.
July 6, 2001 -- The Financial Times has noted that "while US companies struggle with their balance sheets amid the economic slowdown, one of America's largest and most established organisations is also fighting to cope with rising costs and dwindling revenues: the US Postal Service."
July 6, 2001 -- Business Daily has reported that "Hongkong Post has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Korea Information Certificate Authority in Beijing Friday to provide a framework of cooperation for exploring the establishment of a reliable and seamless cross-border certification system. According to the MOU, the parties will explore the possibility of establishing a common set of certification policies and practices as well as promoting an open and seamless infrastructure so as to ensure interoperability between the certification authorities."
July 6, 2001 -- According to the Financial Times, "the [Chinese] State Postal Bureau will soon co-operate with Western Union, one of the world's biggest money remitters, to provide fast and safe money transfer business in China. Under an agreement signed by the two sides, Chinese people will soon be able to go to some post offices across the country to send money to or receive money from overseas through Western Union's network which has 101,000 locations in 185 countries and regions."
July 6, 2001 -- Also from the Financial Times, Liu Liqing, general director of the State Postal Bureau (China Post) has said that "the [Chinese] government should set up a compensation system and issue new regulations to make up the losses made during the post sector's universal services...Universal service,' he said, 'means everybody in the country, no matter rich or poor, should get postal service as part of their citizen rights. To provide universal postal service, China Post has set up 66,000 outlets all over the country. But most of the 50,000 outlets in the countryside are losing money, said Liu. China Post thus has to support those money-losing outlets with money it earned in prosperous cities. But the emerging private parcel delivery companies and transportation firms are severely eroding China Post's profits, said Liu....China Post will soon launch more new services to cater the need of the customers. 'China Post will become the country's top logistic service provider in e-business,' Liu said." For more information, check out PostCom's update on news on China Post.
July 6, 2001 -- According to the Financial Times, "after a year of solid growth on the Chinese mainland, DHL Worldwide Express said Thursday it plans to expand its presence to 50 Chinese cities by the end of 2002."
July 6, 2001 -- DHL Worldwide Express has launched its newest customer-focused Internet application, DHL e-Link. A total e-commerce logistics solution for Internet cyber-malls or portals, e-Link allows customers to integrate logistic activities via the Internet with DHL's advanced infrastructure and global network. Compatible with Windows NT, Linux or Unix applications, it can be used to print airway bills, commercial invoices, track shipments, order packaging materials and supplies and book shipment pick-ups.
July 5, 2001 -- CEP News has reported that "the French La Poste reached an agreement with two important trade unions - CFDT and CFTC – which introduces a staff profit-sharing system and will be effective from 2001 until 2003. The agreement had been envisaged at the beginning of the year as a possible additional incentive for employees."
July 5, 2001 -- Dow Jones has reported that "Dutch postal company TNT Post Groep NV (TP), or TPG, has agreed to take a 51% stake in T.E.I., Thailand's largest domestic express delivery company, for an undisclosed amount. TPG said it will buy the remaining 49% of T.E.I. in August." See also the TPG press release.
July 5, 2001 -- Kyodo News International has reported that "the [Japanese] government's Postal Services Agency is in talks with its union on cutting its 297,000-person workforce by 20,000 over the next five years....It plans to conduct the sharpest cut in the 138,000-person mail division by slashing 12,700 jobs."
July 5, 2001 -- Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung has reported that "Deutsche Post World Net, the German postal services group, has sold subsidiary Deutsche Post Wert Logistik GmbH to Securicor PLC, the UK-based security service provider. Deutsche Post holds 25 per cent of capital and 50 per cent of voting rights in Securicor Omega Holdings Ltd, the distribution subsidiary of the UK group."
July 5, 2001 -- According to CargoWebNews, "in the local youth council elections to be held in Esslingen on the Neckar on 12 July, young people will also be able to cast their votes online. In order to do so they have to prove their identity by means of a chip card containing their digital signature. Deutsche Post, the world's biggest post and forwarding group, is issuing the chip cards."
July 4, 2001 -- According to Eyefortransport.com, "AEI Denmark will be integrated into Danzas's AEI Intercontinental Business Unit. The resulting organization will operate under the name of Danzas AEI Intercontinental A/S. Integration is starting immediately and is expected to be completed by October."
July 4, 2001 -- Dutch postal, express and logistics company TNT Post Group NV (TPG) has said that its business mail joint venture with Britain's Consignia and Singapore Post had officially started operations. Last month, the European Commission gave approval to the joint venture and TPG said the U.S. merger authorities had also given the green light. The new company will be based in Brussels and will have 1,500 employees, serving more than 200 countries.
July 4, 2001 -- Dow Jones has reported that "Hays PLC, a business support services company, said Wednesday that it is being sued by Consignia, the U.K. government-owned former Post Office Group. Consignia claims that Hays is providing services in breach of its de facto postal monopoly, namely the delivery of tickets, itineraries and invoices between travel companies and their branches and agents. See also the story in the Financial Times.
July 4, 2001 -- Newsroom.com has reported that "the board of New Zealand Post will remain unchanged, the Minister of State Owned Enterprises, Mark Burton, has announced. Mr Burton said he had accepted a proposal from the SOE's board to resolve the controversial row. The issue was sparked when NZ Post chair, Ross Armstrong, raised allegations that his deputy, Syd Bradley, had leaked confidential information to the South African Post Office, with which the SOE has a contract. Mr Burton said the board had addressed its internal differences and had provided an assurance that it was focused on its job of running a successful government-owned business."
July 4, 2001 -- Bridge.com has reported that Japan's Postal Services Agency is considering cutting as many as 20,000 jobs in five years out of a total of 300,000 employees, an agency spokesman said Wednesday. The slimming down is an attempt by the agency to return to profitability as it prepares to transfer its mail, savings and life insurance operations to a public corporation in 2003.
July 4, 2001 -- Venture Encoding Service has developed an automated, turnkey solution for managing certified mail - the ACE system. ACE allows Venture to send their customer's certified mail via the United States Post Office (USPS) and securely post the mail online for viewing by customers. ACE is approved by the USPS and uses USPS-approved and patent-approved forms.
July 4, 2001 -- According to the Detroit News, "James P. Hoffa, nominated for re-election as Teamsters Union president, must now convince rank and file members that he will deliver on his pledge to rid the union of government control, build union membership and negotiate union-friendly contracts with United Parcel Service and the nation's trucking firms."
July 4, 2001 -- Business.com has reported that "United Parcel Service Inc.'s (UPS) UPS Logistics Group unit agreed to acquire a majority interest in Uni-Data AG, a German-based logistics provider for the high tech industry in Europe."
July 4, 2001 -- Kitty Hawk, Inc. has announced that it has received from the U.S. Postal Service a notice that its W-Net contract will be terminated for convenience effective August 25, 2001. The notice and its effective date are consistent with Kitty Hawk's business plan that is set forth in the Disclosure Statement supporting Kitty Hawk's Amended Plan of Reorganization dated May 30, 2001, which assumes that the W-Net contract will be terminated as of the end of August 2001. Kitty Hawk is unable at this time to predict the amount or form of a termination for convenience payment from the U.S. Postal Service.
July 4, 2001 -- According to China Daily, "the [Chinese] State Postal Bureau (China Post) is struggling to become profitable as it adapts to the market economy. Once the most profitable government arm, the bureau has suffered huge losses in recent years as people increasingly turn to the telephone and e-mail for communication instead of writing letters. Starting next year, the bureau will have to survive without any government subsidies or assistance from associated companies in the telecoms sector. The bureau aims to become profitable over the coming year. China Daily also has reported that "most people are not in favour of the State Postal Bureau's monopoly of the nation's postal system, according to a survey report issued by the Economic Monitory Centre with the National Bureau of Statistics."
July 3, 2001 -- The New Zealand Herald has reported that "State Owned Enterprises Minister Mark Burton and NZ Post chairman Ross Armstrong held talks last night over the feud engulfing the Post board."
July 3, 2001 -- FedEx Custom Critical's CharterAir(R) division now offers Saturday delivery of premium air freight through its Point-to-Point service. This enables customers to enjoy the benefits of overnight service on Friday pickups, instead of waiting until Monday. Point-to-Point utilizes exclusive-use FedEx Custom Critical vehicles for pickups and deliveries and the FedEx Express aircraft network to provide next-day and same-day deliveries. The result is a premium air-freight service that features charter-like quality and communications.
July 2, 2001 -- Dow Jones has reported that "the board directors of New Zealand Post Ltd., the postal services operator, is at loggerheads with Chairman Ross Armstrong. The board held an emergency meeting in Wellington Sunday night. National Radio reported that Armstrong left the meeting which continued in his absence. The latest rift between the New Zealand Post board and its chairman occurred over Armstrong desire's to pursue an inquiry into how information on New Zealand Post's contract with South African Post Office was obtained by the South African company, which wants to cancel the NZ$54 million contract with New Zealand Post's unit Transend. Armstrong has blamed New Zealand Post's deputy chairman Syd Bradley for passing information to the South African Post Office. Armstrong has failed to get New Zealand Post board support for an inquiry into the leaks involving the Transend's South African contract.
Dow Jones has reported that New Zealand's center-right opposition National Party has declared that "the time has come for the chairman of the government-owned postal services company, New Zealand Post Ltd., to resign....New Zealand Post Chairman Ross Armstrong must resign or be fired before he brings this New Zealand icon to its knees," the National party's finance spokesman Bill English told reporters. "I think what is quite clear now is that the board (of New Zealand Post) doesn't have confidence in its chairman."
Opposition National Party leader, Jenny Shipley, said Monday there should be an independent inquiry into the functions and responsibilities of New Zealand government-owned commercial companies, or SOEs, because a number of SOEs have become unclear about their primary role within the economy.
July 2, 2001 -- Neopost Online, Inc., an Internet-based postage and shipping solutions provider, has announced that its PC-based postage system, Simply Postage(R), is compliant with the new rate change being imposed by the USPS this week.
July 2, 2001 -- Be sure to check the PostInsight web site. It contains slides from the 9th Conference on Postal and Regulatory Economics in Sorrento, Italy. It also has posted a speech by Deutsche Post CEO Klaus Zumwinkel at a recent shareholders' meeting.
July 2, 2001 -- E Commerce Group (ECG), a provider of integrated electronic payment solutions, announced today the introduction of Speedpay eBills(R), an online bill presentment product that does not require costly setup fees or upfront capital expenditures. In a dramatic departure from standard industry pricing models, Speedpay eBills requires billers to pay only a nominal fee for each bill electronically presented to customers. ECG absorbs all related installation, development, and maintenance efforts and fees, and there is no minimum monthly fee.
July 2, 2001 -- E-Stamp Corporation has entered into an agreement with Pitney Bowes, Inc. to settle all litigation between the companies. The litigation, which included patent infringement claims by Pitney Bowes and antitrust counterclaims by E-Stamp, was resolved without admission of liability. E-Stamp has paid a settlement amount to Pitney Bowes, and expects to recover insurance proceeds to largely offset the cost of settlement.
July 2, 2001 -- According to Dow Jones, "the struggle within China's government over the fate of foreign express delivery companies is spilling into public view, as the foreign trade ministry turns to the media to argue its case against the postal service. China Post believes that it has the exclusive right to deliver letters and parcels in China, and has tried to enforce that right by disrupting the operations of its foreign and local competitors - particularly in the lucrative express delivery field. But the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation, which licenses the foreign companies in that field, has taken a dim view of those efforts, and is negotiating with the State Council on their behalf."
July 2, 2001 -- KOIN-TV has reported that "Portland letter carriers held a 'Save Our Public Postal Service' rally Sunday in support of postal reform legislation....The postal workers want reform legislation to retain six-day mail delivery, prevent privatization, preserve universal delivery and rates, and protect postal employees' right to bargain collectively."
July 2, 2001 -- -- Pitney Bowes Inc. is in discussions with Fimalac, the French diversified services group, for the acquisition of Secap SA, Fimalac's mailing subsidiary. Secap provides a range of mail processing equipment, supplies and technology for low- to mid-volume mailers. Pitney Bowes expects customers to benefit from Secap's innovative line of products and shareholders to benefit from Secap's more than 30% postage meter market share in France and approximately 60% recurring rental revenue stream. In the meantime, DM News has reported that "Pitney Bowes Inc., Stamford, CT, has completed its acquisition of Danka Services International from Danka Business Systems PLC for $290 million in cash."
July 2, 2001 -- As Air Cargo World has noted, "early in 2000, pundits were predicting that the likes of FedEx Express and United Parcel Service, as well as national post offices and other parcel operators, would be big beneficiaries of a wave of new package business on the back of business-to-consumer and business-to-business e-commerce applications....In Europe these days, the leading players are singing a different tune....The new economy may have had a brief lifespan in the United States, but in Europe it barely had time to draw a virtual breath."
July 1, 2001 -- According to the Stevens Point Journal, "businesses will feel the brunt of a postal rate increase that begins today. Catalog and periodical publishers will be hardest hit."
July 1, 2001 -- South American Business Information has reported that "the Brazilian subsidiary of IBM has won three tenders issued by the government owned mail & express services ECT, representing contracts worth R$100mil. The contract for the creation of the postal bank Banco Postal is worth R$35mil for IBM that will supply it hardware & operating systems. Another R$39.8mil is for the creation of two data storage centers, and R$25mil for the creation of infrastructure for the mail service Correio Hibrido."