Postal News From October 2001
October 31, 2001 -- The French newspaper, La Tribune, has reported that "the French post office (La Poste) has unveiled plans to expand its range of financial services. In an internal document intended for its staff, La Poste claims, for example, that it is considering credit facilities for its customers - an initiative which would involve the creation of a postal bank. The organisation deplores the fact that, at present, it can only offer its customers housing loans. The La Poste document goes on to say that, as a result of these limitations, it is excluded from commercial lending and from the most important areas of the market for loans to individuals, including personal loans and student loans. Moreover, it stresses that housing loans are essential for its development as this type of financial service is the best means of gaining customer loyalty. Meanwhile, the French post office continues to discuss these same issues with the government as it renegotiates its contract."
October 31, 2001 -- According to De Financieel Ekonomische Tijd, "the Belgian Post Group (BPG) is starting its new Early Post service on Friday. This new service guarantees companies that their mail will be delivered before 9 a.m. Small and medium-sized enterprise organisation Unizo is angry because the service is not free and customers have no choice because of BPG's monopoly. BPG says that there was no guarantee of postal deliveries before 9 a.m. Every company paying a monthly fee of 60 euros will receive an appropriate service and everyone will consequently be treated equally. The target group of the new service consists of 50,000 professionals and more than 1,000 have already subscribed to Early Post."
October 31, 2001 -- In a press release, the Mailers Council, the nation's largest coalition of mailers and mailing associations, said it recognized that the Postal Service "is facing the worst crisis in its history. The mailing industry supports all efforts to ensure the safety of the mail, postal employees and the public in response to the contamination of mail by anthrax....Mailers continue to use the nation's postal system to deliver millions of letters, publications, parcels, greeting cards and payments."
October 31, 2001 -- In a major new report on the quality of postal services in developing countries, Consignia's Dr Tim Walsh, has called on governments, operators and postal bodies to "take more seriously" their responsibilities for the development and reform of postal infrastructures. The 60-page report examines the state of postal services across the developing world and reviews the nature of postal change programmes from Africa to Latin America and from the Caribbean to the Middle-East. For the first time, all the World Bank sponsored postal reform projects since the mid-1990s have been evaluated, as have national reform efforts. The report identifies the causes of poor performance of postal services in developing countries and pulls no punches in setting out the particular responsibilities of governments in establishing the right policy environment conducive to postal services' improvement.
October 31, 2001 -- According to CargoWeb News, "Airborne reported net income improved for the third quarter ended September 30, 2001 to USD 1.7 million, or USD .04 per share, because of the subsidy of the Bush administration."
October 31, 2001 -- Document Technologies, a systems integrator of digital imaging, automated forms and document capture solutions, has announced the launch of RemoteMAIL(TM), an automated paper- to-digital conversion system for processing postal mail. Using RemoteMAIL, remote mail processing personnel can be trained and equipped to handle and scan incoming paper mail, and automatically deliver digital versions to recipients locally, an organization's Intranet or anywhere else in the world via e-mail. The RemoteMAIL system allows organizations to scan incoming postal mail and automatically route safe, universally recognized Adobe(R) portable document format (PDF) images to network mailboxes or individual recipients. This provides organizations the ability to control the number of employees exposed to paper mail.
October 31, 2001 -- The Washington Post has reported that "Postmaster General John E. Potter went to Capitol Hill yesterday and defended the U.S. Postal Service against concerns that the agency gave Congress deferential treatment in safeguarding it against anthrax, while postal workers remained in danger. Despite all the testimony about tainted mail and reports of more contaminated facilities, Potter stuck to his assertion that the mail for the general public is not a threat. 'We deliver to 137 million addresses every day,' he said. 'We have a handful of letters that have moved through the system that have caused death and disease. But in terms of what is in the mailbox . . . [catalogues, bills, letters], that mail is safe.'" Check also the Postal Service's web site for its message on "How we're making the public and employees safe."
October 31, 2001 -- CNN has reported that:
October 31, 2001 -- According to former House postal subcommittee chairman John McHugh (R-NY), "I believe it is fair to say without overstatement that the U.S. Postal Service faces the biggest crisis of its long existence....The Postal Service is in the midst of a serious operational and financial free-fall, which – absent legislative change – placed the Service’s ability to meet its universal service obligations at 'high risk.' The challenges were clear: A looming deficit of $2 to $3 billion for the coming year; Barred from borrowing due to the fast approaching statutory debt limit; Another proposed rate hike of more than 10 percent, that is following quickly on the heels of an unprecedented two rate increases in less than a year; and A severe cash crunch as the Service runs out of cash and freezes capital spending....Understandably, there are calls to break down the basic 'subsidy-free' operating framework of the 1970 Postal Reorganization Act to start subsidizing the Postal Service again with taxpayer monies. However, as those calls begin to take the form of concrete and substantiated requests, we in the Congress have a fiduciary responsibility to the taxpayer to not blindly send money to a sinking ship without also shoring up that ship. We must preserve universal postal service."
October 31, 2001 -- Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) told a House postal oversight panel that "we are all well aware that the Postal Service needs significant help in order to deal with various security issues, including the purchase and operation of the mail sanitation machines....There is full justification for help in the form of funding to cover lost [postal] revenue as well....The last thing we want to do during this economic downturn is put these costs on the backs of postal customers."
October 31, 2001 -- The Denver Post has reported that "despite worries of a mail slowdown on the East Coast because of anthrax precautions, officials, businesses and utilities on the receiving end of high volumes of mail elsewhere say their deliveries are on time and unchanged."
October 31, 2001 -- According to the Kansas City Star, "the Daschle letter is believed responsible for part or perhaps all of the contamination from the main postal facility in the nation's capital throughout the city, affecting more than one dozen federal facilities."
October 31, 2001 -- Dow Jones has reported that:
October 31, 2001 -- DM News has reported that "catalogers at the DMA fall conference have said it's business as usual despite the terrorist attacks on American business, and they forecast a healthy holiday shopping season. The DMA also released a white paper that indicated that direct mail member companies have experienced a negligible impact on revenue and business practices in the wake of recent mail safety concerns.
October 31, 2001 -- Dow Jones has reported that "a judge who once sorted mail for the U.S. Postal Service has urged lawyers to handle a lawsuit concerning anthrax and postal workers urgently because the issue is of 'tremendous importance to the United States.' The judge sharply criticized Louie Nikolaidis, attorney for the New York Metro Area Postal Union, a lawyer who filed the lawsuit a day earlier, for showing up an hour late for the first hearing on the matter."
October 31, 2001 -- As Business Week has noted, "chiseled into the granite walls of the General Post Office that takes up an entire block at 8th Avenue and 33rd Street in midtown Manhattan are the immortal words, 'Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.' No mention of anthrax. Yet the terrifying pathogen has elicited strike threats from the postal union at the U.S. Postal Service's enormous Morgan sorting facility in Manhattan. And that strike, if it happens, could bring mail service to a standstill for Gotham's residents, both businesses and individuals alike. The potential delays for everyone who relies on mail deliveries could add momentum to the ongoing trend of moving business communications into the digital realm."
October 31, 2001 -- As Reuters has noted that according to Postmaster General Jack Potter, "the anthrax crisis and new steps needed to make U.S. mail safe could cost 'several billion dollars,' adding to the financial troubles of the U.S. Postal Service. He said he planned to approach Congress or the White House for emergency funding, once firmer cost estimates were available. The postal service was not seeking to raise the price of stamps as long as there were other alternatives, Potter added. 'We don't think the ratepayer should have to pay (for terrorism),' he told the Senate Government Affairs Committee." See also the report in the Washington Post. As the Post reported, "Potter noted that the Postal Service had requested a rate hike--its third this year--before the Sept. 11 attacks, but that he hoped not to place the burden of anthrax-related costs on the rate payer. But if the postal service does not find a way to cover its costs, he noted, it will have to turn to customers."
October 31, 2001 -- The Associated Press has reported that "top Postal Service officials faced sharp questioning Tuesday as Congress turned its attention to the handling of the anthrax crisis. Rep Henry Waxman, D-Calif., complained that the post office had planned for an attack on the airlines but not for a direct attack on the post office itself. Now, he said, they 'are trying to do emergency planning at the worst possible time, in the midst of a crisis.' Potter said the costs to the agency will amount to billions of dollars. Both Burton and Waxman said Congress would work with the agency to help cover the costs." See also the report by Dow Jones.
October 31, 2001 -- According to Reuters, "United Parcel Service Inc. Chairman and Chief Executive James Kelly has said that the world's largest package delivery company's fourth-quarter shipping activity would be ``less robust'' than expected earlier following the September attacks on the United States."
October 31, 2001 -- The Daily Review has reported that "companies that shuttle packages around the world on planes and trucks are being hit hard by a nationwide economic slowdown that has worsened after the Sept. 11. terrorist attacks."
October 31, 2001 -- According to Pantagraph, "despite anxiety about anthrax, shipping businesses and the U.S. Postal Service don't think the resulting increased security will delay holiday gift deliveries."
October 31, 2001 -- IT Week has reported that "non-delivery and late arrival of goods ordered online has been a major problem in the past two years, but services from Consignia [the British post office] could improve matters for some buyers and sellers."
October 31, 2001 -- With all the attention being paid to the mail, it should come as no surprise that proponents of e-mail marketing say it's the way to go for the upcoming holiday season. But the latest research on the subject shows marketers can indeed benefit if they're careful. According to DoubleClick, 82 percent of consumers have made a purchase in the past year as a result of clicking on a permission-based e-mail, compared to 61 percent in a study DoubleClick conducted in 2000. More than one-third (37 percent) of shoppers clicked through an e-mail and purchased immediately, up from 20 percent in 2000. DoubleClick's data also found that 70 percent of consumers plan to use e-mail to help them with their shopping during the upcoming holiday season.
October 31, 2001 -- Norwegian ErgoGroup is increasing its focus on the international electronic communication market. In order to gain further access to the markets of letters as well as e-mail distribution, ErgoGroup acquires the postal industry’s e-messaging specialist International Data Post. IDP, based in Copenhagen, becomes thereby an important sales channel for the group’s wide range of electronic communication solutions.
October 30, 2001 -- According to ABCNews, "if the postal service begins irradiating mail, the technology could kill more than anthrax. Some have questioned whether the electron beam irradiation systems the United States Postal Service bought late last week to help prevent the spread of anthrax through the mail could also endanger some commonly shipped items, including seeds, film and electronics. According to radiation safety experts, the answer is yes."
October 30, 2001 -- Touchless mail delivery by email is available from PaperlessPOBox. PaperlessPOBox works this way: All mail goes to a central processing center where high-speed extraction machines open each piece. Each piece is then scanned into photo quality color image files, which are routed systematically to their customers' email.
October 30, 2001 -- The Associated Press has reported that "as worry spreads about mailed anthrax, health officials say average Americans have little to fear from their mail." But, as the Wall Street Journal has noted, "it's starting to look as though another American tradition could fall victim to the news this year. Though it's still early, some individuals and companies are rethinking their annual ritual of sending holiday greeting cards to friends, relatives and business associates. The hesitation may so far be limited mostly to the East Coast, where jitters over anthrax-tainted postal equipment are rising. But a number of ardent card senders there say they're thinking about switching to electronic greetings, postcards that don't have to be opened, or deciding to forgo a holiday mailing altogether."
October 30, 2001 -- GovExec.Com has reported that "efforts to reform the Postal Service are likely to become intertwined with the agency’s attempts to get emergency funding for its fight against anthrax attacks. 'Before we start giving taxpayer money of that magnitude, let's make sure we are not giving it to a sinking ship,' said Robert Taub, chief of staff for Rep. John McHugh, R-N.Y., the leading advocate of postal reform."
October 30, 2001 -- According to the Washington Post, "mail delivery in the District of Columbia remained sluggish and backlogged yesterday, a full week after the area's main postal facility was shut down for anthrax testing. Downtown businesses received their first deliveries in a week, although the piles were considerably smaller than expected. And many residents found their mailboxes empty except for a single envelope, maybe two, or an old magazine. Lawyers are using overnight delivery services and faxes to get documents. 'Thank God for the Internet,' one said."
October 30, 2001 -- As the BBC has noted, "it is possible to sterilise letters and packages sent in the mail, but it is a procedure normally reserved for medical products and some types of food. The main methods use electron beams, gamma rays, ethylene oxide gas, and steam. Each would have drawbacks if used on mail."
October 30, 2001 -- United Parcel Service has said that it plans to start a consulting business that will offer advice on supply chain management. UPS said the UPS Consulting subsidiary will advise clients on areas beyond distribution such as product design, sales and marketing, planning, procurement, production and cash management. Gene Long, a former global director of supply chain consulting for Ernst & Young, has been named president of the subsidiary.
October 30, 2001 -- USA Today has reported that "postal officials signed a $40 million contract to buy eight electron-beam devices to sanitize letters and packages. The equipment will be used first in the nation's capital, where the anthrax scare has spread from mail centers for Congress and the White House to the Supreme Court and the CIA."
October 30, 2001 -- As the Bangkok Post has noted, "the oldest excuse in the book has taken on new meaning in light of recent events involving envelopes and white powder. Countless Americans behind in their bills are doubtless telling bill collectors that it's not their fault if the mail with their cheque in it hasn't arrived. With mail deliveries in the United States becoming sporadic, some mortgage, credit card and utility payments aren't reaching their destinations on time. Consumers who paid their bills have done their part, so they won't be pleased if late-payment penalties are tacked on to the following month's statements. Some companies are waiving fees under the circumstances, and the US Postal Service insists that disruptions in service have ben relatively few."
October 30, 2001 -- According to Ananova, "irradiation machines being used by the US postal service may reduce the number of items which can be sent by post. Even the small doses of radiation needed to kill bacteria could be enough to damage sensitive materials like photographic film."
October 30, 2001 -- According to the Farmington Daily Times, "Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, a group that opposes all tax increases, is furious at the U.S. Postal Service. It's not the federal agency's reaction to letters carrying anthrax spores that has Norquist upset. He's fearful that the 'notoriously inefficient' agency will use the current crisis to avoid making long-term, cost-cutting changes in the way it operates. "
October 30, 2001 -- PostCom has learned that the President has nominated Tony Hammond of Virginia to be appointed as a member of the Postal Rate Commission. Hammond's not a total unknown to those within the Washington postal community. He had at one time served as Rep. Gene Taylor's (R-MO) legislative director.
October 30, 2001 -- The Associated Press has reported that "a postal union filed an environmental lawsuit to force the closing of New York's biggest mail-sorting center where traces of anthrax were found on four machines. Union leaders have repeatedly requested that the nine-story, 2-million-square-foot Morgan Processing and Distribution Center in midtown be closed for testing."
October 30, 2001 -- An update on the deployment of Merlin has been posted on this site. The Postal Service and mailing industry representatives continue to make progress on the issues concerning the mailing industry about the deployment of Merlin. Included in this update are the minutes from the recently held meeting with the IDEAlliance/POISE work group. Because of concerns about competitive disadvantage created by current deployment of MERLIN, the USPS proposed to change the current deployment schedule and first deploy Merlin to the large (printer) detached mail units and then go back to BMEU deployment later. The printers considered the proposal and have now agreed to an alternate deployment plan. In the new plan MERLIN units will be deployed to one location per national printer with a detached mail unit. This will be in addition to the current deployment plan, Specific site selections have not yet been determined. A more comprehensive update is planed for the upcoming MTAC meeting
October 29, 2001 -- The Financial Times has reported that "USA Direct, Money Mailer, and other US-based direct marketing firms face heavy losses amidst mounting public fears over anthrax infection following the discovery of anthrax bacteria on New York post office sorting machines on Thursday. The $528bn (GBP370bn) direct mail marketing industry relies heavily on US post to communicate with potential customers. Increased security measures could reduce the country's GDP by as much as $110bn this year, according to the Economic Strategy Institute."
October 29, 2001 -- The agenda for the November meeting of the Mailers Technical Advisory Committee is posted on the Postal Service's RIBBS web site.
October 29, 2001 -- AmazingMail(TM) ( www.amazingmail.com), which enables users to create and send real, full color custom postcards with personal messages from the Internet, offers a safe alternative to traditional mail amid anthrax contamination fears. AmazingMail postcards are created on the Internet by the customer and are printed and mailed the next business day from a secure facility-- and unlike traditional mail sent in envelopes, with AmazingMail.
October 29, 2001 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that:
October 29, 2001 -- The New York Times has reported that:
October 29, 2001 -- As Catalog Age has reported, Acting chairman of the Postal Rate Commission George Omas has suggested that because of the financial crisis the U.S Postal Service is experiencing, the USPS and the mailing community should consider a rate case settlement as opposed to the long, often adversarial proceedings. Omas also appointed Daniel Foucheaux, postal service chief counsel, to act as settlement coordinator. He asked that Foucheaux give participants 72 hours to consider his remarks and then to contact participants to determine if a settlement can be arrived at in this case. He also asked that Foucheaux report to the commission by November 2 as to whether a settlement might be possible and what steps the commission might take to reach an outcome.
October 28, 2001 -- The Washington Post has reported that:
October 28, 2001 -- As was noted in the Chicago Tribune, "the U.S. mail — may go the way of the railroads. Postal service — long the workhorse of the nation's written-word communications system — may become a second (or third or fourth) option when people desire to write to each other....The impact would be almost too big to comprehend — the impact on the men and women who make their livings by sorting and delivering the mail, the impact on the magazine and catalog publishers who depend on the postal service to carry their products, the impact on everyday Americans who love — or loved — the routine of, the personal touch of, the very feel of the U.S. mail. There will always be mail. Just as there will always be railroads, there will never be a United States in which mail service does not exist. The change will be in how people think of the mail, and how much they use it."
October 27, 2001 -- The Titan Corp., a technology provider to the U.S. military, announced on Friday that the U.S. Postal Service has selected it to provide up to 20 electron beam systems and services to sanitize mail and eliminate the threat of anthrax contamination. San Diego-based Titan said it will subcontract with its subsidiary SureBeam to provide the proprietary electron beam systems, which uses electron beam and X-ray technology to destroy harmful bacteria.
October 27, 2001 -- According to the Associated Press, "postal workers demanded the closing of an anthrax-contaminated sorting center in New York and the shutdown of other postal installations for precautionary testing Friday, threatening to sue if necessary. William Burrus, president-elect of American Postal Workers Union, said he is against the closing of postal installations for precautionary testing. He also called strikes and lawsuits 'counterproductive.'"
October 27, 2001 -- The President intends to nominate Dan Gregory Blair to be Deputy Director of the Office of Personnel Management. Blair has served as Senior Counsel for the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs since 1998, and was previously Staff Director of the House of Representatives Committee on Government Reform and Oversight's Subcommittee on the Postal Service from 1995 to 1998. From 1985 to 1995, he was Minority General Counsel to the House of Representatives Committee on the Post Office and Civil Service. Blair received both his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Missouri-Columbia.
October 27, 2001 -- The Daily Yomiuri has reported that "the Japanese government has announced it would abolish the practice of providing general promotional funds, or watakiri, to about 19,000 government-designated special post offices, beginning in fiscal 2002. The special post offices, more than half of which are run by three or fewer employees, have received more than 90 billion yen a year over the past several years to improve and promote postal services. This practice came under fire Tuesday, when it came to light that post-office chiefs in the Tohoku region had apparently diverted 350 million yen from the funds into secret accounts between fiscal 1994 and 2000. Part of the money was allegedly used to buy tickets for fund-raising parties organized by lawmakers who once worked for the former Posts and Telecommunications Ministry."
October 26, 2001 -- A report of the Postal Service's "preliminary revenue, pieces, and weight by classes of mail" for accounting period one (September 8-October 5, 2001) of postal fiscal year 2002 has been posted on this site for review by PostCom members. The data are depressing. First-Class Mail volume is down two percent compared to last year. Standard Mail is down 11%!! Overall, mail volume is down some 6.6%. It's going to be a grim year.
October 26, 2001 -- According to an online poll conducted by America Online, 68% of those polled said that in light of recent events they now are throwing away their advertising mail without opening it.
October 26, 2001-- Newsbytes has reported that "the anthrax attacks that have hit the U.S. Postal System are likely to boost the use of the Internet, the president of America Online Inc. But, he said, "if we start shutting down post offices, we are going to talk ourselves into a terrible economic situation."
October 26, 2001 -- New Jersey Online.com has reported that "scientists are warning that it is a giant leap from zapping chicken parts and surgical knives to sanitizing 680 million pieces of mail every day. And executives say the equipment may cost too much for some companies."
October 26, 2001 -- The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin is available on this site.
October 26, 2001 -- Reuters has reported that "the U.S. Defense Department has ordered chip-based ID cards for 4.3 million military personnel over the next 18 months to tighten security on access to buildings, including the Pentagon, and to computer networks, including access to encrypted e-mail and online transactions. That may sound like a drop in the ocean for an industry that shipped some 600 million chip cards last year, mostly bank cards and mobile phone cards. But ID cards may eventually go to more of the 23 million names on the defense department's database, including family members, retired servicemen and contractors." It could be the beginning of a trend that could leave the Postal Service out in the cold.
October 26, 2001 -- ADVO, Inc. has announced it has further strengthened and focused its ongoing safety and security efforts through the establishment of a dedicated executive level Office of Safety and Security. Reporting directly to Gary Mulloy, ADVO's Chairman and CEO, the new office will be led by Jack Dearing, Senior Vice President of Safety and Security, and most recently ADVO's SVP of Operations. In this new role, Mr. Dearing will oversee ADVO's company-wide security, safety, facility planning and corporate logistics activities. A sign of the times.... ADVO also announced the appointment of Don McCombs, the Company's EVP and CFO, to the newly established position of President of the ADVO Operations Group, and Julie Abraham, ADVO's SVP and Controller, to Chief Financial Officer.
October 26, 2001 -- The U.S. Postal Service has told its employees that "the Postal Service continues to take steps to ensure employee safety to combat threat of anthrax moving through the mail. USPS purchased 86 million pairs of gloves made of vinyl and Nitrile, a high-grade industrial plastic. This will supply three pairs of gloves per employee per day throughout the nation. So far, 44 million pairs have been shipped to postal facilities. Use of the gloves isn’t mandatory, but is encouraged. USPS purchased four million face masks and shipped two million of them Oct. 23 to 140 locations, starting on the East Coast. The masks are able to filter out 95 percent of all microbes in the air, including anthrax spores. Use of the masks isn’t mandatory, but is encouraged."
October 26, 2001 -- According to the Associated Press, "four months ago, when John E. "Jack" Potter took charge of the U.S. Postal Service, his biggest challenge was taming a debt of close to $2 billion. Then someone started sending anthrax through the mail."
October 26, 2001 -- Dow Jones has reported that "an employee at the State Department's remote mail facility in suburban Virginia is hospitalized with anthrax, a spokesman announced Thursday, the latest jolting evidence of a spreading campaign of bioterrorism against the U.S."
October 26, 2001 -- According to the Economist, "the postal service's woes began long before September 11th."
October 26, 2001 -- Here's a suggestion from one business mail veteran, James Schemmel of Communication Data Service that's worthy of thought:
We have reached a point in time where the general welfare of the employees - Postal Service and businesses - deserves protection from terrorists -- and kooks. A protection, which can be provided by the removal of the anonymity of the mailer, provided by the street collection box. It took only an instant to seal those boxes against letter bombs in the Days of Desert Storm, back in the fall of 1990. The exclusion of accepting mail of 16 ounces or more, through these boxes, remains in effect today. Now we need to take the same approach to seal street collection boxes from the unidentified terrorists -- and kooks.
This change can be made immediately. The most high tech requirement is new labels on the street boxes. From that point we can work on a better system of providing a tracking identifier on mail, which can lead back to an individual source.
A label can be added with any stamp on an envelope. Provide free labels - by the hundreds - simply by presenting a photo ID at the local post office. The label code can uniquely identify the sender and can be saved on to a file. Then the street boxes could be opened again. A Business Reply letter, or a letter with a stamp, that has no label goes to trash. A BRM or letter with a stamp, from a kook, should have a label so we can go find him--just like metered mail, or Permit Indicia mail can be traced back to a source.
The New York Times proposal to shut down the mails is unacceptable. No one can afford that today. It's time that America see the color of their mail, and the whites of their eyes as personal mail is personally presented before it goes into the system. Let's remove the most vulnerable access to the postal system today - the street collection box - from the use of those with malicious --or mischievous -- intentions.
October 26, 2001 -- Dow Jones has reported that "FKI PLC has gained a distribution and sorting contract with Osterreichische Post AG, the Austrian postal service. FKI said the deal follows a contract with Germany's Deutsche Post for the installation of automated parcel handling equipment."
October 26, 2001 -- Newbytes has reported that "Stamps.com has announced United States Postal Service (USPS) approval for a beta test of its online stamp printing service. The company said it will be able to test a service that allows Internet users to print sheets of postage without the current USPS-imposed restrictions. Currently, stamps printed through Stamps.com are tied to a particular destination address and expiration date as a way to reduce fraud. It will now be allowed to offer online customers sheets of postage without those restrictions. Internet users will be able to print the sheets on an inkjet or laser printer. Security is provided by 'intelligent' two-dimensional bar codes that identify the sender."
October 26, 2001 -- Nihon Keizai Shimbun has reported that Japanese "Posts and Telecommunications Minister Toranosuke Katayama will voluntarily return an estimated 500,000 yen from his monthly salary to take responsibility for illegal election campaigning by a number of senior postal officials. The ministry will also punish other postal officials involved in the scandal by cutting their salaries and admonishing them in accordance with the Government Officials Act."
October 25, 2001 -- As the Washington Times has noted, "John E. 'Jack' Potter did not expect to be this visible when he took over the job as the nation's top postal official nearly five months ago. Yesterday the postmaster general had an op-ed piece in USA Today and turned up on NBC's 'Today' show and ABC's 'Good Morning America.' And those television appearances came after an interview late Tuesday on ABC's 'Nightline.' The affable-looking Mr. Potter, 47, has become a fixture of news conferences and interviews since an anthrax-laced letter was opened Oct. 15 in the office of Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, South Dakota Democrat."
October 25, 2001 -- Forbes.com has reported that "the steps that the U.S. Postal Service is taking to protect mail from bioterrorism may put cost pressure on companies who rely on the mail to do business. The post office is in the process of installing machines that will irradiate mail to remove contaminants. They're also looking at installing filters and exhaust hoods. These things cost money. These costs will undoubtedly be passed on to individuals and companies in the form of postage rate increases."
October 25, 2001 -- The Associated Press has published a "summary" regarding the anthrax mail threat.
October 25, 2001 -- Many direct marketers are seeking alternatives to direct mail for their 2001 Holiday marketing programs. ClickAction Inc., a provider of email-marketing automation products and services, has announced a series of Direct Mail to Email Educational Programs to assist direct marketers in using email successfully this holiday season. These programs help direct marketers leverage email as a viable way to communicate with their customers and promote their business.
October 25, 2001 -- Usually informed sources have told PostCom that the Postal Service's data for AP 1 show that its net income is $200 million off of plan. It did manage to eke out a small net income of about $31 million, but the plan called for a net income of $243 million.
October 25, 2001 -- Private sector postal stakeholders will in the future be able to participate in meetings of the Universal Postal Union’s (UPU) main bodies. This was made possible after the UPU’s Council of Administration, during its annual session in Berne, Switzerland, adopted the recommendations of a High Level Group on the future development and role of the organisation. This Group recommended the creation of a new UPU body to be known as the Consultative Committee. This means that the UPU's structure will now include three interest groups, namely governments or postal regulators, postal operators, and external stakeholders. PostCom has been recognized by the UPU as an official mailing industry representative.
October 25, 2001 -- The Wall Street Journal has asked: "Will anthrax anxiety bring on the demise of snail mail? With Congress, the White House and several major companies temporarily halting mail distribution -- and some consumers tossing out unsolicited residential mail -- thousands of businesses are suddenly looking for other ways to communicate."
October 25, 2001 -- Dow Jones has reported that "the Bush administration has announced that the U.S. Postal Service will soon adopt the practice of irradiating mail as a way to kill harmful bacteria, including the anthrax bacteria. White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said the postal service was 'adopting and deploying new technology to neutralize anthrax that might move through the mail. This new technology, which involves irradiation, is already being used successfully to fight bacteria in food.'"
October 25, 2001 -- Freight carriers such as United Parcel Service Inc. and FedEx Corp. are unlikely to see any big uptick in business by consumers and companies looking for alternative ways to ship goods amid the national anthrax scare, analysts have said.
October 25, 2001 -- "Under ordinary circumstances," the Washington Post rightly noted, "the postmaster general maintains a public profile so low that he is virtually invisible. But as terrorism has spread to the U.S. mail in the form of deadly anthrax spores, John E. "Jack" Potter has quickly become the most visible postal chief in recent memory, his linebacker body and thick New York accent now fixtures on national television."
October 25, 2001 -- In an appearance on CNN Crossfire, Deputy Postmaster General John Nolan stated clearly and unambiguously that the mail is safe to receive and open. Nolan noted that 90% of the mail that's handled by the U.S. Postal Service doesn't come anywhere near meeting the profile that postal officials have described for "suspicious" mail. The Postal Service, Nolan said, is taken swift and prudent, not hysterical, action to address the issue of employee and postal customer safety without needlessly endangering the viability of the nation's postal system. Kudos to Nolan for taking a giant step toward helping to assuage the misconceptions and anxieties surrounding anthrax and the mail.
October 25, 2001 -- Then again, the Washington Post has reported that "U.S. postal officials, under fire for not moving fast enough to protect workers from exposure to anthrax spores, took a range of steps yesterday to ensure the safety of the mail but acknowledged that they cannot be "100 percent sure" that the mail is free of contamination. 'Since we don't have 100 percent control of the mail that comes into this system, we can't say it's 100 percent safe,' the Postal Service's chief operating officer, Patrick Donahoe, said in an interview yesterday."
October 25, 2001 -- And...for an opposing point of view... New York Metro Area American Postal Workers Union President William Smith said that postal officials have applied a "double standard" to the disadvantage of postal workers. He told CNN's Greta Van Susteren that postal workers were used as "sitting ducks."
October 25, 2001 -- The Washington Post has noted that "businesses that rely heavily on the U.S. Postal Service continue to look for ways to lower the public's anthrax-induced anxieties about their mail. More than $44 billion is spent annually in direct-mail advertising that generates $528 billion in sales. The whole direct-mail business employs 12 million workers. The industry's concern was only heightened yesterday after Postmaster General John F. Potter said he couldn't guarantee that every piece of mail is free from anthrax spores. He even suggested that Americans wash their hands after handling a letter."
October 25, 2001 -- According to CNN.com, "consumers have little to fear from anthrax-laden parcels or tainted catalogs say the nation's mail order retailers and industry experts. Expected packages from reputable companies such as Lands' End, ebay, Amazon.com, or Lillian Vernon pose little threat, especially since they are shipped via the United Parcel Service or Fedex and not the U.S. mail, the companies said."
October 25, 2001 -- Reuters has reported that "most Americans are not gripped by anxiety over the anthrax attacks that have killed three people this month in the United States, according to an ABC News poll released on Thursday. Seventy-two percent of those polled expressed concern but not fear about the danger of exposure to the potentially deadly bacteria that has turned up in letters mailed through the United States postal system. Eleven percent said they were not concerned at all. An overwhelming 92 percent of respondents also said they think their own mail is safe, despite the discovery of anthrax at Postal Service facilities. However, about half said they were handling their mail with more caution."
October 25, 2001 -- The San Francisco Chronicle has reported that "the Postal Service got $175 million from the White House emergency fund yesterday, but, said Rep. John McHugh, R-N.Y., chairman of the House government reform subcommittee, 'This is clearly only a grain of sand on the beach.' The money the Postal Service will need to ensure safety of the mail 'will be substantial even by Washington standards,' McHugh said. More important, he said, this month's bioterrorist attacks are a huge blow to the only institution that reaches every home in the country. 'Public confidence in the Postal Service has been greatly shaken,' McHugh said. 'The post office delivers mail to every address in America at low cost six days a week. That kind of service we have had for 226 years is in jeopardy.'" As the Associated Press has noted, "The number of Americans taking anthrax-fighting antibiotics at the government's urging neared 10,000."
October 25, 2001 -- The San Francisco Chronicle also reported that "the U.S. Postal Service recommended yesterday that Americans wash their hands after picking up their mail, even though medical experts said it wouldn't do much to ward off anthrax. Postal Service Senior Vice President Deborah Willhite said common sense and a little soap and water could go a long way toward protecting the citizenry from germ-laden envelopes sent through the mail. 'We believe that people should wash their hands in soap and water after they handle their mail every day, just to make sure that if anything is on the envelope, that they're clean,' she told the Associated Press."
October 25, 2001 -- "More than 4,000 postal workers in the nation's capital were given the antibiotic drug Cipro during the past two days," the San Francisco Chronicle reported, "and many of them are very uneasy about it....They were told that Cipro is safe but that it does have potentially troublesome side effects, including dizziness, confusion, tremors, hallucinations, tendinitis and sensitivity to sunlight. Other potential problems include the danger of developing drug-resistant infections in the future."
October 25, 2001 -- According to Dow Jones, "news about anthrax deaths among U.S. postal workers is spreading anxiety in European post offices. No cases of anthrax have been recorded in Europe so far, but a spate of hoaxes and chilling reports from the U.S. are forcing authorities to take precautionary measures."
October 25, 2001 -- Then, the Washington Post has noted, there are the others. "People who may have grumbled about slow deliveries pass on their prayers. Others come to the mail counter bringing tidbits of the latest news along with their envelopes and packages. Still others, glad to see latex gloves on some employees, say they wonder if the Postal Service should have done more to protect its workers. And customers who always thought the Postal Service did its job well appreciate its work even more."
October 25, 2001 -- "With mail delivery in the Washington area slowed -- and in some places stopped," the Washington Post noted, "consumers may receive some bills late and their return payments could be sidetracked, perhaps resulting in late charges. But creditors say they will go easy on customers who can reasonably explain that their check really was in the mail. And they note that electronic alternatives now exist to make quick payments -- including a relatively new system of authorizing a direct debit over the telephone."
October 25, 2001 -- According to Reuters, "the deadly anthrax scare gripping the nation is piling new woes and financial strain onto a U.S. Postal Service that is already bleeding red ink and suffering through one of its worst years in recent memory. Postal reform advocates on Wednesday said that despite the anthrax crisis, an equally pressing problem for the agency is fixing its financial weakness and lack of profitability."
October 25, 2001 -- A group representing many of the nation's mailers urged Congress and the President to make protecting postal workers and moving the mail a top homeland security priority. The Main Street Coalition for Postal Fairness, representing First Class, periodical, religious and other mailers, expressed concerns about the long-term financial impact to the nation's troubled economy if the public loses confidence in the safety of the mail.
October 25, 2001 -- Postal observer Alan Robinson has asked: "Could the USPS be the first major business casualty of the war on terrorism?"
October 25, 2001 -- As the Washington Post has noted, "Postmaster General John Potter began a day [Wednesday] filled with officials' speeches and TV appearances by saying the postal service is giving its workers masks and gloves. It plans soon to kill potential mail-borne toxins with irradiation techniques, he told NBC's 'Today' show. Nonetheless, 'I can't offer a guarantee' about the safety of all mail, Potter said. 'There are no guarantees in life. You know, if you just look at the preponderance of mail, we have some very isolated incidents of anthrax in the mail. And so the majority of mail is safe. Could I guarantee it? No.'"
October 25, 2001 -- CNN has reported that "the nation's postmaster general said Wednesday there is no need to shut down the U.S. Postal Service despite an increasing roster of confirmed and suspected cases of anthrax. "We have very defined incidents in four locations around the country," Postmaster General Jack Potter told CNN, referring to cases in New York, Washington, D.C., Florida and New Jersey. 'I don't believe there is a need to shut down the Postal Service. Life is filled with risks. That's not to minimize what's going on here.... If you did, how would you ever open it again? ... There are no guarantees there is no anthrax anywhere.'"
October 25, 2001 -- The Associated Press has reported that "Postmaster General John F. Potter said Wednesday he can't guarantee the safety of the mail, and he and other postal officials began suggesting Americans wash their hands after handling letters. Improved safety gloves and masks are being sent to mail workers as the Postal Service awaits next week's delivery of its first high-technology equipment to sanitize mail....Deborah Willhite, a senior vice president of the Postal Service, said the agency is simply urging people to use common sense. 'We believe that people should wash their hands in soap and water after they handle their mail every day, just to make sure that if anything is on the envelope, that they're clean,' she said. Later, Willhite urged organizations that send bulk mail through a contaminated Washington post office to have their employees tested for anthrax."
October 25, 2001 -- Postmaster General Jack Potter has announced tough new safety procedures as part of the Postal Service's four-part effort to make the mail safe. "We are taking concrete steps immediately to protect employees and the public through education, investigation, intervention and prevention," the PMG said. Potter said USPS is educating employees and the public about steps they can take to spot suspicious pieces of mail. "We also are investigating to find out who is sending these dangerous mailpieces," the PMG said, "and we are aggressively intervening when the public or our employees are put at risk by terrorists."
October 25, 2001 -- The General Services Administration (GSA) has published information on how to respond to an anthrax threat in a mail center.
October 25, 2001 -- Canada Post Corporation has received Governor-in-Council approval for proposed increases in International and USA postal rates and in regulated Domestic Lettermail rates, effective January 14, 2002.
October 25, 2001 -- The Washington Post has reported that "District of Columbia health officials have extended their recommendation for immediate antibiotic treatment to all workers in bulk mail receiving operations at 60 large institutions in the District, including the Library of Congress, Georgetown University Law Center, The Washington Post and federal agencies and departments. The decision was based on concern that bulk mail and other letters may have been contaminated at the Brentwood mail processing center."
October 25, 2001 -- The French newspaper, Les Echos, has reported that "a European Commission decision published yesterday has given France two months to correct the relationship between La Poste, the French post office, and mailing companies. The Commission says La Poste is both a competitor of these private companies and their partner due to the postal monopoly. Brussels believes that France is contravening article 86 of the EU treaty on the relationship between public companies and their private competitors.
October 25, 2001 -- The Belgian publication, De Financieel Ekonomische Tijd, has reported that Frans Rombouts, CEO of Belgian postal company Belgian Post Group (BPG) has said that 'Early Post has nothing to do with abusing our monopoly but everything with making our services more efficient'. Early Post guarantees a post delivery before 9 a.m. from 1 November onwards but the service costs 60 euros a month."
October 25, 2001 -- Air Cargo World has reported that "Deutsche Post World Net, Germany's global mail, express and logistics conglomerate, had no comment on a report that it is about to acquire package delivery provider Airborne Express. Deutsche Post chief executive Klaus Zumwinkel has dismissed similar reports in the past as 'speculation,' but this has failed to still current industry rumors that a deal is imminent. Airborne Express is the third-largest domestic air transport firm in the U.S. behind United Parcel Service and Federal Express. Focus Money, a German business magazine, last week said the acquisition of Airborne Express was due to be announced in early October but the two companies are still negotiating over the price. One significant obstacle is a U.S. airline ownership rule that requires 51% of its equity and 75% of its voting stock to be U.S.-owned. It is unclear how Deutsche Post would work around these requirements."
October 25, 2001 -- According to the Journal of Commerce, "rescue crews initially failed to locate two people lost when a converted tugboat capsized and sank Tuesday in the Detroit River. The J.W. Westcott II, which served as a U.S. marine post office with its own zip code, delivered mail and crew to ships in the Great Lakes."
October 25, 2001 -- According to TransportNews, "logistics professionals, transportation managers and others who procure and manage transportation services now can get a free guide explaining online transportation services. NTE has published the new educational resource to assist professionals interested in improving their logistics operations with Internet-based solutions. Called the "NTE e-Transportation Guide," the 16-page publication offers simple explanations, firsthand experiences and practical advice on how to use and benefit from electronic services offered by NTE and others.
October 25, 2001 -- GovExec.Com has reported that "federal agencies may be able to pay new top-level hires more than the current law allows under legislation Sen. George Voinovich, R-Ohio, plans to introduce later this week. Voinovich said his proposed legislation would allow agencies to fill mission-critical positions within the government by raising the current senior executive pay cap of $161,200 for top-level recruits. Voinovich’s legislation would raise the salary level for new top-level hires to that of the Vice President, who this year makes $186,300....Rep. Connie Morella, R-Md., plans to introduce a companion bill in the House."
October 25, 2001 -- According to the Nordic Business Report, "Sweden will not increase the postage fees at the start of next year."
October 25, 2001 -- The Japanese newspaper, Daily Yomiuri, has reported that "an association comprising the chiefs of special post offices in six prefectures in the Tohoku region misappropriated funds equivalent to 20 percent of promotional funds allocated by the former Posts and Telecommunications Ministry in fiscal 1999. According to sources, the shady practice began at least as early as fiscal 1994 and continued until fiscal 2000, with a total of 350 million yen being siphoned off. Part of the misappropriated money reportedly was used to purchase tickets for political fund-raising parties."
October 25, 2001 -- European sources have reported that "TPG NV said it will take the Dutch postal regulator Opta to court over rules on revenue disclosure. The postal law requires TPG to provide insight into the results from different categories of its postal activities. In early 2001 TPG launched a complaint against 'some unnecessary conditions' Opta attached to its disclosure system. Opta responded in mid-2001 by maintaining most of the conditions as well as adding some additional conditions. According to TPG, the new conditions are 'inconsistent with the system approved by Opta itself' and as a result 'unworkable'. TPG is asking the court to suspend Opta's decision."
October 24, 2001 -- eCommerce Times has reported that "according to industry analysts, retailers that already had catalog operations in place have effectively adapted their offerings -- including known brands, sheer size and developed distribution networks -- to consistent success online."
October 24. 2001 -- "We're asking people to handle mail very carefully," Postmaster General John Potter told ABC's "Good Morning America." "People have to be aware of everything in their day-to-day life, and certainly, mail in our system is threatened right now. "There are no guarantees that that mail is safe," he said. According to Reuters, "the top U.S. postal official told Americans on Wednesday there was no guarantee that their mail was safe from anthrax and they should wash their hands after handling it."
October 24, 2001 -- Word has it that the Postal Service soon will report that its fiscal position will show it's down $100 million for AP 1 when compared to the previous year's report.
October 24, 2001 -- You know that mail security video the Postal Service is touting for mailers? Don't even bother asking for it. Why? Because the Postal Service is telling mailers it will take 10-15 days to fulfill all orders, which includes 5-7 days for shipping by Priority Mail. I thought this was a crisis.
October 24, 2001 -- According to Doug Bandow of the Cato Institute, "hit hard by falling demand in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attack, U.S. airlines cut fares and hotels dropped prices. Hit hard by competition from such technological substitutes as e-mail and on-line bill-paying, the U.S. Postal Service is raising rates. Such is the privilege of being a government monopoly. USPS is now blaming its problems on the anthrax scare."
October 24, 2001 -- According to one writer for the Washington Times, "more than 2,000 postal workers have been put on antibiotics and four postal workers who handled the anthrax dosed letter to Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle letter have come down with inhalation anthrax, two of whom have died. This may be only the beginning. Not only anthrax, but even more fatal pathogens can infect unsuspecting Americans in the future — all through the simple expedient of a 34 cent stamp."
October 24, 2001 -- The Washington Times has noted that "federal authorities looking for the terrorists who sent anthrax-laced letters to three states believe the culprits may have infected themselves when they loaded the bacteria into envelopes bound for Florida, New York and Washington D.C."
October 24, 2001 -- The Washington Post has reported that:
October 24, 2001 -- The Denver Post has reported that "Postmaster General John Potter, who joined Ridge in a White House news conference, vowed that his agency won't stop delivering the mail. Potter himself is taking the drug Cipro, which is used to fight anthrax, after holding a news conference last week in what officials now believe was the affected area of the district's Brentwood Post Office, postal spokesmen later confirmed.
October 24, 2001 -- The Associated Press has reported that:
October 24, 2001 -- As the New York Times has noted, "the war keeps expanding. Some 800,000 postal employees entrusted with 680 million pieces of mail daily now find themselves on the front lines in the struggle against terror."
October 24, 2001 -- The BBC has reported that "the British High Commission in Dar es Salaam has not collected letters from the Tanzania Postal Corporation [TPC], and declined to take their express mail without any reason amid the threat of anthrax infection in the world."
October 24, 2001 -- Worried about the image of postal workers, the American Postal Workers Union has urged its members who work in view of the public not to wear protective gear being provided since the discovery that anthrax was sent through the mail.
October 24, 2001 -- The Italian newspaper, Corriere della Sera, has reported that "Bancoposta, the company which groups together all of the financial activities of the Italian Post Office, has laid down yet another gauntlet to the banking world. Massimo Arrighetti, head of the company, has announced that by the end of the year, customers will be able to buy shares at their local post office."
October 24, 2001 -- De Financieel Ekonomische Tijd has reported that "the Antwerp Chamber of Commerce is critical of a new service presented by Belgian Post Group (BPG). A BPG press release of 5 October states that the group will offer a new fast morning service tailored to the requirements of companies and the professions. This service guarantees that mail is delivered before 9 a.m. from 1 November onwards. The Antwerp Chamber of Commerce observes that the state-owned postal company was due for a makeover and had to evolve into a modern company gradually. However, its government monopoly is abused to develop schemes which customers have to pay for, while this service should be free. The additional service is meant to counteract the increasing competition of private companies."
October 24, 2001 -- The Canadian Marketing Association, responding to mounting fears about anthrax-contaminated mail, has issued a bulletin encouraging its members to "help ensure consumers of the safety and integrity" of direct-mail campaigns. Among its suggestions, the bulletin advises direct mailers "to work with your letter shop and other related suppliers to stress the importance of security."
October 24, 2001 -- According to the French newspaper, La Tribune, "the European Commission has given the French government two months in which to set up an independent regulatory body to ensure that fair trading reigns in the French postal services market. More specifically, the new authority will prevent the French post office (La Poste) from imposing tariffs and conditions on this market to the detriment of private courier companies."
October 24, 2001 -- As the Bangkok Post has noted, "no matter whether or not you were intimidated by the anthrax hoaxes here last week, you can be certain that your email will not pose you any such threat. Email messages cannot 'harm' you--as long as you don't open any attachments. But, even then, probably the worst thing that could happen is that your hard disk would be trashed. If you backed up your data, then you would have lost a few hours' work--at the most. In Cyberspace, at least, the viruses are only virtual....With travel security concerns at an all-time high and with people feeling a need, wherever possible, to stay close to home, so there is a strong chance that more people will now favourably consider participating in a conference call as opposed to joining a far-flung meeting. And possibly they may give more consideration to using email, or even to sending a fax, rather than to use the postal service."
October 24, 2001 -- The Nihon Keizai Shimbun has reported that "reversing its earlier position, the Ministry of Posts plans to gradually open mail delivery to private-sector competition starting in April 2003, when a new public corporation is launched to take over mail delivery, postal life insurance and postal savings. The ministry will start the deregulation cycle by allowing private-sector companies to handle mail weighing above a certain minimum level. After that, the ministry is likely to widen mail delivery to the private sector every two to three years, eventually allowing private-sector competitors to handle all forms of mail."
October 24, 2001 -- FedEx Corp. has outlined service changes and schedules for the peak holiday season to help its customers prepare for the busiest shipping time of the year. FedEx is gearing up to help its customers meet the challenges of the holidays through its extensive air, ground and information networks that include FedEx Express, FedEx Ground, as well as its residential-ground service, FedEx(R) Home Delivery.
October 24, 2001 -- According to InfoWorld, "although EBPP (electronic bill presentment and payment) has long been a key component of b-to-c transactions, b-to-b transactions are still largely handled by legacy, batch-oriented methods, such as ACH (Automated Clearing House). To CTOs and other business leaders, EBPP may not seem like a huge priority but it should. Legacy methods of supporting electronic transactions require separate communications programming and integration efforts for each trading partner. This adds to the cost of processing b-to-b transactions and also makes it difficult to add or change trading partners. Using XML and other Web standards to process billing and payments allows companies to avoid reinventing the wheel for every trading partner, providing a number of advantages compared with customized legacy methods. By migrating EBPP processing with all trading partners to the same Web interface, businesses can reduce costs, automate workflows using a single standard, and increase the amount of reporting capabilities to better manage the billing and payment cycle."
October 23, 2001 -- William Burrus has been elected to succeed Moe Biller as President of the American Postal Workers Union (APWU).
October 23, 2001 -- FedEx Corp. has said that its FedEx Express unit will soon discontinue a recently launched service that gives customers more time for package drop offs, due to economic challenges and as part of its cost-control measures.
October 23, 2001 -- "In recent weeks, envelopes containing suspicious powders -- mostly hoaxes -- have been sent to several companies and government offices. It's important to note that the high-profile Anthrax tainted mail used stamps or prepaid postage envelopes, not a postage meter," said Michael J. Critelli, Chairman and CEO Pitney Bowes Inc. "Metered mail can help companies easily identify the place of mailing for an envelope or a package. It is important that companies take precautions, so they do not have to experience needless anxiety. This includes teaching their employees how to identify a professional piece of mail versus one that could be suspect."
October 23, 2001 -- According to the New Strait Times (Malaysia), "if indeed someone has successfully turned the postal service into an effective weapons delivery system, then they have stealth capability in the real sense. No radar or spy satellite in the world could track pathogens lodged in mail and no intelligence agency would know for sure which letter contains an agent of a deadly disease such as anthrax or the dreaded smallpox. For centuries mankind have been perfecting weapons delivery systems - from bows and arrows, to cannon, guns, inter-continental ballistic missiles, radars, satellites and even laser-guided munitions. But events within the past two weeks show that an age-old system still works wonders for those with wicked minds. The postal service may have been rendered obsolete by Internet technology, but someone must have figured out if you can deliver computer viruses in cyberspace to affect billions of computers, why not use a similar mass delivery system in the real world to threaten the masses."
October 23, 2001 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that "for all the talk of an Internet economy, "snail mail" remains a crucial part of the U.S. economy. Even a temporary disruption in the distribution of letters and packages due to the anthrax scare could be yet another blow at a time when recession seems at hand."
October 23, 2001 -- Also from the Wall Street Journal: "While state-sponsored programs invested fortunes in developing missiles and bombs to launch germ warfare, bioterrorists have found a simpler dispersal method -- ordinary envelopes sent through the postal system -- to readily infect both mail recipients and mail handlers, contaminating facilities along the way."
October 23, 2001 -- The Washington Post has reported that:
October 23, 2001 -- As the Associated Press has noted, "with worries about anthrax and the safety of mail handlers mounting daily, it might seem to be an inopportune time to press for major reforms of the postal service and lobby against the latest round of rate increases. But magazine publishers, who kicked off their annual meeting in New York Monday, said they have no choice. The periodicals industry is already in the worst shape it's been in for many years, largely because of an advertising slump well under way even before Sept. 11, and most signs point to things getting worse. That leaves them poorly equipped to deal with another 10 percent increase for magazine postal rates being proposed for next year. That would be on top of a 9.9 percent increase last year and a 2.6 percent increase imposed last month."
October 23, 2001 -- According to the Associated Press, "it cost 34 cents in postage and less than a dime for the convenience of using a prepaid envelope -- no stamp licking involved -- to send the toxic letter from New Jersey to a U.S. senator. That letter and perhaps others like it have taught officials a disturbing and time-consuming lesson just when time is of the essence: An envelope containing anthrax may not need not be opened to infect people with the disease's deadliest form."
October 23, 2001 -- The Canada News Wire has reported that "Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) and the Council of Canadians (the Council) were denied standing as parties in a lawsuit against the government of Canada brought by United Parcel Service (UPS). UPS is suing Canada for $ 230 million because it claims that Canada Post is interfering with its rights as a foreign investor. UPS's claim will be decided by an international tribunal operating entirely outside the framework of Canadian law. The tribunal will examine the case under commercial arbitration rules set out by Chapter 11 of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Both the CUPW and the Council sought rights as parties in the tribunal hearing because of their concern that the UPS claim will undermine public postal services, particularly in rural areas. CUPW, which represents over 45,000 postal workers, is also concerned about the threat to the jobs and pensions of its members."
October 23, 2001 -- According to the Daily Telegraph (U.K.), "independent auditors have been appointed to supervise surveys of late postal deliveries and losses of mail. Quarterly performance figures produced by Consignia, the company that owns the Post Office, Royal Mail and Parcelforce, will no longer be based simply on the number of first-class items delivered the next day but on the delivery of all mail. Deloitte & Touche, the London-based chartered accountants, have been given a three-year contract to monitor the surveys after complaints from Postwatch, the industry's watchdog, that existing research is too limited and not independent. Mail losses are known to run into millions of letters and cards each week."
October 23, 2001 -- As the Newark Star-Ledger has noted, "over the past week, two, probably three, of their colleagues have contracted skin anthrax. Yesterday, authorities said preliminary tests revealed 13 'hot spots' in their regional processing center in Hamilton Township, which is out of commission until further notice. Then came reports that a Washington postal worker, who may have handled an anthrax letter that had been sent from the Trenton processing center, was in critical condition, stricken with the often fatal 'inhalation anthrax.' Lined up for free antibiotics outside the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital at Hamilton, many postal workers complained openly and bitterly. They had been kept in the dark about their colleagues who had been infected, they said. They had been given hollow reassurances and vague medical advice. They felt they were not getting the same treatment as the people who had been exposed in Washington and New York."
October 23, 2001 -- According to the Associated Press, "the post office is looking to technology like that used to sanitize food as a way to block the movement of anthrax in the mail. Postmaster General John E. Potter also said Monday that the agency will be turning to Congress for financial assistance as it struggles with declining mail volume and the costs of dealing with the mailed germ threat."
October 23, 2001 -- As the Associated Press has noted, "the Brentwood postal facility, the focus of the anthrax crisis in the nation's capital, is the city's primary mail processing and distribution center. The U.S. Postal Service closed the 700,000-square-foot facility Sunday to allow testing for contamination and shifted mail sorting to sites in suburban Maryland. An air mail facility near Baltimore-Washington International Airport also was temporarily closed."
October 23, 2001 -- The Associated Press has reported that "it's highly unlikely that any anthrax present in a Washington post office could have contaminated other letters awaiting delivery to people's homes. Though bulk mail has not been the culprit, and the number of tainted letters is low, Gartner analyst Scott Nelson said 'the key here is perception, and (consumers) become afraid of unexplained packages.'
'People who might have hesitated or who have been against e-mail as a marketing tool will reconsider their position,' said Glenn Freedman, president of L.I.S.T. Inc., a Lake Success, N.Y., company that handles both postal and electronic mail campaigns. Usage of e-mail for marketing, bill payments, greeting cards, newsletters and general correspondences has already been growing for years. The anthrax scare is merely accelerating the growth. In the past, concerns about Internet bill payments and other online transactions have largely related to information security and identity theft. Steven Schneider, a State University of New York professor who has been studying Internet use, said the anthrax scare shifts the tolerance level."
October 23, 2001 -- According to the Associated Press, "the anthrax scare forced one Weston, Fla., company that specializes in payroll and personnel programs to cancel a long-planned marketing campaign. Urbanik, the company's marketing director, is now looking to salvage fourth-quarter sales by reviving the campaign on the Internet."
October 23, 2001 -- According to Computimes (Malaysia), "air express company DHL Malaysia will focus on five key areas under its information and communications technology (ICT) programme over next year. The areas are electronic office (e-office) protocols, voice over Internet protocols (VoIP), file and document sharing systems, supply chain management (SCM) and network management system (NMS). DHL Malaysia's general manager Yasmin Aladad Khan said the thrust of the ICT programme will be on enabling the company to operate at electronic speed, with the aim of providing better all-round services to its clients. She said by putting in place the e-office functionalities, DHL Malaysia will be able to move closer towards a paperless work environment, which is in line with its environmental policy of conservation."
October 22, 2001 -- The following is from a letter to the editor of the San Diego Union Tribune from Robert J. Salvi, a letter carrier:
In light of public paranoia and the unnecessary burden it's placing on local, state and federal government resources, it's time for a public reality check about anthrax. As a letter carrier with the U.S. Postal Service for more than 20 years, I can testify that if there's any one group that should exhibit legitimate fear of anthrax, it's us postal workers. We unfortunately have become an unintended target in a deliberate campaign. But, you know, we're not afraid; cautious and vigilant, yes; afraid, no.
Postal customers shouldn't be afraid, either, and, unless your life is in immediate danger from a suspect letter, dialing 911 only will create more problems and waste government resources.
Common sense dictates that unless you are of a high public profile commensurate with that of those who already have received tainted letters, the chances of your receiving an anthrax-laced letter are nil.
We need to calm down and exercise restraint in determining whether or not a parcel or letter represents a bona-fide threat. One thing you can do to help yourself is get to know your letter carrier. One thing you can do to help everyone is make sure your return address is on all sent mail.
In the grand scheme of things, I'm just a person. But, as an experienced letter carrier, I'm the postal customer's best line of defense. I'm not afraid, and neither should you be.
October 21, 2001 -- As the Mailing and Fulfillment Service Association (MFSA) has noted, "'Advertising mail' has a unique role in the drama that is communication today. It is among the safest types of mail because it must be taken to the post office in a face-to-face transaction and is accepted there only with some type of authorized identification mark. This marking allows the mail to be traced back to the authorized mailer, making it an unlikely candidate for intentional contamination. There are usually two types of identifying marks used in advertising mail: a postage meter imprint or a pre-printed box (indicia) which appears near the corner of the envelope where a postage stamp usually appears and which contains information about the mailing city and authorizing permit number. Postage meter imprints contain the authorizing permit number as part of the imprint, immediately signaling the identity of the mailer. Mail carrying a pre-printed indicia is even less vulnerable to intentional contamination. To use an indicia, mailers must have a permit from the Postal Service and meet stringent preparation requirements."
October 21, 2001 -- According to Die Welt, "Deutsche Post, Germany's postal services monopoly, is being affected by the international terrorist threat. It has had to close down temporarily several of its 83 main sorting centres while staff deal with suspect mail. Experts have been called in from the Robert Koch Institute in order to screen premises for possible anthrax contamination. The group's head Klaus Zumwinkel sees no cause for undue alarm or panic, though. He said that around 1.4 per cent of mail was arriving later than usual but that the additional costs, including extra overtime for staff, arising from the threat fell within manageable limits. Deutsche Post handles around 72 million letters and two million packages every day."
October 21, 2001 -- According to the British publication, Marketing, "the Federation of European Direct Marketing (FEDMA) has stepped up its demands for the European Commission to set a date for the liberalisation of EU postal services. The industry body has signed up to The Platform For Postal Reform, which lobbies for full liberalisation and includes representatives of postal operators, business users, customers and national interest organisations."
October 21, 2001 -- Agence Europe has reported that "French Socialists Anne Ferreira and Beatrice Patrie clearly stated their views in a press release against the agreement of 15 October concerning the new stages in liberalisation of the postal services market within the EU. Both MEPs consider this 'agreement signs the death warrant for the public postal service, not only in France but also at European level'. They consider that, by reducing the share of the sector reserved to the public postal service, the new phase in liberalisation prevents the service from operating internal financial equalisation allowing it to keep up public service activities. The compromise of 15 October 'is equivalent in time to the suppression of the single stamp price', they stress. Acknowledging that liberalisation of the postal sector is already very well advanced in certain Member States, Ms Ferreira and Ms Patrie expressed doubt about the ability of some States to maintain the same service whatever the constraints linked to distribution (insular regions, mountainous areas, etc.). Deploring the fact that the logic of competition and completion of the internal market takes primacy, they state they are determined to obtain, as quickly as possible, the adoption of a framework directive establishing guiding principles for services of general interest."
October 21, 2001 -- The Nikkei English News Service has reported that "Posts Minister Toranosuke Katayama has decided to make the postal corporation scheduled to be set up in 2003 subject to the payment of the fixed asset tax. The measure is aimed at leveling the playing field to ensure fairness for private-sector companies. The public corporation will take over the postal service and savings and insurance operations now handled by the Postal Services Agency. The three operations are now exempt from all taxes, including corporate and fixed asset taxes, except for the consumption tax. The new corporation will likely pay the levy to the central and municipal governments. The planned corporation should be made as much as possible like a private entity."
October 21, 2001 -- As the Financial Times has noted, "Even when their magazines were plump with advertising last year, publishers were worried. Postal rates were rising, and circulation was in the doldrums after the industry was barred in the mid 1990s from using sweepstakes to sell magazines. And publishers complained that they had lost power to the large retail chains that now control most US news stands. Paper costs, as always, were a cause for concern. None of these problems have disappeared for magazine publishers, but a lot of advertising has. Total advertising is down 2.5 per cent so far in 2001, and advertising pages are down 9.2 per cent, according to the Publishers Information Bureau, an industry research group."
October 21, 2001 -- Die Welt has reported that "Deutsche Post AG, Germany's postal services operator, is to keep its letter monopoly until 2007, it was announced yesterday. The monopoly had previously been scheduled to end on 31 December 2002. The extension of the monopoly is meant to prevent European competitors from entering the German postal market before all other EU members deregulate their postal services. The German government argues that the privatisation of Europe's postal services is making slow progress."
October 21, 2001 -- Asia Pulse has reported that "Korea Post will engage in purchasing the U.S. dollar and Japanese yen in exchange for the won at its 10 regional offices, including the Central Seoul Post Office, from early November for a six-month trial run. The post office said it has not engaged in the buying and selling of foreign currencies, except post office drafts as issued under the Universal Postal Union. The post office said it has decided to handle foreign exchange transactions involving the dollar and yen in an effort to expand its business boundaries. It will use foreign exchange rates posted by the Korea Exchange Bank and after the six-month trial run, the post office will decide whether to expand the business to post offices nationwide."
October 21, 2001 -- The British newspaper, The Independent, has reported that British Telecom (BT) "has emerged as a surprise bidder for the pounds 300m-a-year contract to manage Consignia's pool of vehicles, in a move that could lead to the creation of Europe's largest fleet company."
October 21, 2001 -- According to Direct newsline, Rodale Press, Emmaus, PA, will eliminate 148 jobs, or approximately 135 of its work force. While the cuts would come from all areas, Rodale's book business would be hardest hit. The company is a direct mailer of books and magazines in the health and fitness arena. The book division will focus on books sold in bookstores than through direct mail. Nice going, Postal Service. Let's raise rates again.
October 21, 2001 -- Die Welt has reported that "Deutsche Post, the German post office operator, plans to introduce a new logistics system for e-commerce and mail order. By the end of this month, a pilot scheme will have been launched whereby 24 computer-controlled machines will be installed in Mainz and Dresden, from which customers will be able to collect parcels."
October 21, 2001 -- DM News has reported that "Deutsche Post Global Mail is preparing the U.S. launch of its European-based Competence Center, which helps direct marketers expand into Europe and Asia. DPGM, the U.S. subsidiary of Deutsche Post World Net, Europe's largest postal company, will make the announcement at next week's DMA conference. Deutsche Post also is preparing a direct mail campaign to support the service. The Competence Center, which was launched in 1999 and is based in Germany, offers a range of services for direct marketers that want to expand into Europe."
October 21, 2001 -- -- DHL Airways, Inc. has announced the appointment of two new officers. Joanne Smith will join DHL Airways as Vice President of Marketing and Planning and Chuck Thomson has been named Vice President of Human Resources and Labor Relations. Both executives will report to Joe O'Gorman, DHL Airways' Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
October 21, 2001 -- -- Fedex plans to add 100 more cities to its Chinese network within five years, senior company officials said on Oct.17. "By 2005, we hope to extend our express delivery service to about 290 cities across China, compared with the current 190," said Frederick W. Smith, chairman, president and chief executive officer of FedEx Corp.
October 20, 2001 -- A sample of the mail piece that will be sent to every American home has been posted on the U.S. Postal Service's web site. See also it's "Message to Customers."
October 20, 2001 -- The Washington Post has reported that "the U.S. Postal Service is reeling from the effects of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and the ongoing anthrax scare, with declining mail use and rising costs threatening the financial viability of the venerable institution."
October 20, 2001 -- According to the Washington Post, "many large retailers, such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Lands' End Inc., use more expensive private carriers, including United Parcel Service and Federal Express, to deliver orders placed online or through catalogues. But many smaller retailers have depended on the Postal Service for package delivery." Some Internet-based businesses are shifting their shipping business to Federal Express. Some who had relied almost exclusively on U.S. Priority Mail to deliver now give all their business to UPS.
October 20, 2001 -- The Federal Times has reported that "new federal mail-handling procedures may ward off the anthrax threat at hand, but they are doing little to reduce the anxiety levels among many federal managers and employees."
October 20, 2001 -- According to the Federal Times, "the U.S. Postal Service is exploring technologies that could help it ensure the mail’s safety. The Postal Service is examining, for instance, devices developed by the Defense Department to detect anthrax."
October 20, 2001 -- The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has reported that, according to United Parcel Service, its "domestic and international package shipping volume has nearly returned to normal six weeks after the terrorist attacks against America. The company said package volume fell 10 percent the week after Sept. 11 but recovered in the past two weeks to about 3 percent below normal."
October 20, 2001 -- According to Traffic World, "as e-business advances, more paper is being cleared out of supply chains to make way for faster electronic communications. But there is one piece of paper that up until now has refused to budge: the check. While much effort is being put into reconciling the payments cycle with web-powered supply chains, American businesses still love to write checks. The New York Clearing House intends to change all that by providing what it described as 'the first Internet-enabled global payments infrastructure needed to support (business-to-business) commerce.'"
October 20, 2001 -- According to Air Cargo World, "the Post Office and U.S. airlines are formulating new security procedures that will allow the airlines to resume carrying priority mail in time for the busy holiday shopping season. The Federal Aviation Administration banned priority mail - typically parcels weighing up to 70 pounds with two- to three-day delivery - since the Sept. 11 hijackings. The agency ended its ban on airline movements of express mail and registered mail about 10 days ago. However, most express mail moves on cargo-only Federal Express planes."
October 20, 2001 -- The Financial Times has reported that "leading package delivery companies may step in to help smooth disruptions to the US postal system following a spate of anthrax-tainted letters delivered to government offices and media companies. United Parcel Service, which has an extensive ground delivery network that rivals the US Postal Service, said it was in discussions to help carry some of the mail load usually handled by the government postal system."
October 20, 2001 -- As eWeek has reported, "the recent spate anthrax-laced letters have put the United States Postal Service squarely on the front lines of the bio-terrorism battlefield. A special task force looking at ways to better secure the U.S. mail this week released recommendations that included broadening the use of information technology to make it easier to trace the source of letters and packages. Michael Critelli and John Nolan, co-chairs of the Mailing Industry Task Force, issued the recommendations to make more widespread the practice of digital-stamping of letters, packages & flat mail to create 'intelligent mail.'"
October 20, 2001 -- As States News Service has reported, "the Postal Inspection Service has its own laboratories, although they have not previously been used to research bioterrorism. The service's evidence testing labs usually conduct analyses for bomb debris, firearms, many different kinds of fibers and illegal drugs. This week marks the first time that mail has been used for bioterrorism."
October 20, 2001 -- According to the Financial Post (Canada), "customers of B2B Trust and Laurentian Bank of Canada will now be able to carry out certain transactions at 50 postal outlets across the country. Canada Post said employees at the locations have been trained for the service. Pin pads have already been installed at the outlets."
October 19, 2001 -- According to an online poll conducted by the Federal Times, 66.9% of those responding said the Postal Service was NOT justified in its request for new higher rates. Only 33.1% thought it was. Too bad vox populi has little impact on postal rate policy.
October 19, 2001 -- According to InternetWeek, "electronic bill payment and presentment software has finally made some headway into corporate accounting and purchasing departments. And for good reasons."
October 19, 2001 -- A notice from the U.S. Postal Service regarding anthrax and the mail has been posted on its site.
October 19, 2001 -- The Postal Inspection Service and the FBI are offering a reward of up to $1 million for information leading to the arrest of anthrax mailers.
October 19, 2001 -- The St. Paul Pioneer Press has reported that "concerned about safety, postal officials have canceled the popular Operation Dear Abby that encourages citizens to write holiday greetings to anonymous soldiers.
October 19, 2001 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that "lawmakers are developing a $5 billion to $10 billion package that would accelerate vaccine production, improve local emergency-response efforts and ease some antitrust rules for drug companies." While they're at it, Congress should make plans to appropriate a billion or two to underwrite the extraordinary cost the U.S. Postal Service is going to suffer for heightened mail security.
October 19, 2001 -- The Denver Post has noted that the confluence of various events threaten the Postal Service's fiscal health.
October 19, 2001 -- Direct newsline has reported that "lettershops are bracing for the impact the anthrax scare is going to have on the mailing industry as clients are starting to postpone mailings scheduled for this month. This is coupled with the fact that many corporate and other institutional mailrooms have begun heightening security measures and may not be accepting business-to-business direct mail as easily as hey used to. 'This is a disaster and its going to get worse before it gets better,' said Lee Epstein, chairman of Mailmen inc., a New York –based lettershop. He predicts a 20% decline in business over the next few weeks. 'The falloff hasn't happened yet, but it will.' The Mail & Fulfillment Service Association reports that about 15% of its members indicated this week that their clients were postponing mail drops they had scheduled for this month, said spokesman Eric Casey."
October 19, 2001 -- According to DM News, "direct marketers should continue with mailings despite the anthrax scare, a direct marketing investment banker advised yesterday. MeritDirect sponsored a conference call during which Donald R. Libey advised clients on how to get through the scare involving anthrax in the mail. In the presentation, 'Anthrax and Your Mail Plans - A Libey-MeritDirect Viewpoint,' he urged direct marketers to stick to their mail plans and not panic. 'The sky is not falling,' said Libey, president of Libey-Concordia, Haddon Heights, NJ. Though he acknowledged that the transmission of anthrax through the mail has had repercussions for direct marketers, he said marketers should not stop mailing. 'Above all, do not abandon mailings,' he said."
October 19, 2001 -- ID Mail Systems Inc has announced that planning is under way to modify its existing In-Bound Mail sorting systems - The Dispatcher, to scan for identified anomalies in the mail processing and create a 1st line of defense against potential terrorist attempts in Government and Corporate Mail Centers worldwide.
October 19, 2001 -- Autonomy Corporation plc, an infrastructure software for the enterprise, has announced that Consignia, the government-owned group which runs the UK's Royal Mail, Post Office and Parcelforce Worldwide companies, has purchased Autonomy's technology to automate content delivery on its new transactional e-channel, due to be launched later this year.
October 19, 2001 -- Deutsche Post World Net is looking at strengthening its presence in the U.S. air express market to complete the formation of its global express network, a board member told Reuters. 'We cannot operate this worldwide air express network without a strong U.S. presence. How this can be organised is something we are looking into,'' said Peter Kruse, board member for European express services while at the German logistics conference in Berlin. Kruse declined to comment on reports in German media that Deutsche Post was interested in acquiring listed transport company Airborne Express, the third-largest domestic air express transport operator in the U.S. after UPS. Airborne Express has also declined to comment on possible Deutsche Post interest.
October 19, 2001 -- According to Die Welt, "Deutsche Post, Germany's postal services monopoly, is being affected by the international terrorist threat. It has had to close down temporarily several of its 83 main sorting centres while staff deal with suspect mail. Exerts have been called in from the Robert Koch Institute in order to screen premises for possible anthrax contamination. The group's head Klaus Zumwinkel sees no cause for undue alarm or panic, though. He said that around 1.4 per cent of mail was arriving later than usual but that the additional costs, including extra overtime for staff, arising from the threat fell within manageable limits. Deutsche Post handles around 72 million letters and two million packages every day."
October 19, 2001 -- Die Welt has reported that "Deutsche Post's parcel delivery service is expected to fall just short of its target for pre-tax returns (between 2.6 and three per cent). The EU Commission has forced it to create a separate marketing and sales company for business customers and the shortfall in earnings is being attributed to the cost of setting up the new division. Peter Kruse, chairman of Euro Express, the parcel delivery arm of Deutsche Post, said that the new company would start up operations in January 2002. It will be based in Bonn and initially employ 1,000 workers. The express delivery business is expected to achieve a pre-tax return of five per cent by 2005."
October 19, 2001 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that "United Parcel Service Inc. reported a 19% decline in third-quarter profit, in line with a recently lowered target, but expressed little hope of a turnaround in time for its crucial year-end shipping season. The dour outlook, including the possibility that profit in the current quarter could fall below Wall Street estimates even if the economy doesn't slip further, shows that many businesses that rely on the world's largest parcel carrier have been shrinking or delaying orders of raw materials and finished goods since last month's terrorist attacks."
October 19, 2001 -- The Swiss newspaper, Neue Zurcher Zeitung, has reported that "the Swiss Federal Council has decided against the establishment of a post office bank, although the Swiss post office will be able to expand its range of services by means of co-operations with banks. The general opinion at the discussion was that the post office should not be allowed to offer loans independently. The department of the environment, transport, energy and communications said the post office would use the offer of co-operating with banks in order to retain customers and improve competitiveness. The Federal Council also decided to work on revising postal organisation law so that the post office's capital resources can be increased. Reactions to the decision about the post office bank were largely positive, but the postal unions and Social Democrats were disappointed."
October 19, 2001 -- A good report on the progress of arbitration talks between the National Rural Letter Carriers Association and the U.S. Postal Service is posted on the Rural Letter Carriers' web site.
October 18, 2001 -- According to one commentator writing in Business Week, "the U.S. Postal Service can't guarantee complete safety but can do plenty to improve it. The stakes are too high to do otherwise."
October 18, 2001 -- As Forbes has noted, "Given the volume of mail you probably throw away each day, you'd never guess how important the postal system is to the overall economy. That is, until someone messes with it."
October 18, 2001 -- The Financial Times has reported that "Consignia, the state-owned postal services group, is considering drastic changes to its distribution network that could lead to a big reduction in its use of mail trains. A review of the company's transport needs is understood to be seeking substantial savings in the cost of distributing 80m letters a day, of which about 20 per cent go by train."
October 18, 2001 -- The Irish Times has noted that "An Post [the Irish post office] has expressed concern over European Union proposals to introduce full competition for letters and parcels weighing more than 100 grammes by 2003."
October 18, 2001 -- The Associated Press has reported that "Federal agencies are tightening security to guard against mail-delivered anthrax, with mailroom workers under orders in some offices to open packages and envelopes before delivery and new restrictions in place in other agencies on what mail to accept. At many federal offices, from the nation's capital to outposts around the world, mailroom workers have been told to wear rubber gloves and given the option of wearing surgical-type masks. The Federal Communications Commission said Wednesday it will no longer accept documents or filings at its headquarters but only at a separate Washington facility specifically for mail deliveries. The FCC encouraged more electronic filing."
October 18, 2001 -- According to Dow Jones, "the postal threat may well be the most serious aspect of the terrorist threat to the U.S. economy. If postal traffic continues to be delayed and disrupted it could have far greater effects on all kinds of commerce than the disruption to air traffic had, putting a drag on the country's all-important productivity growth rate."
October 18, 2001 -- Dow Jones has reported that "greeting cards may lose their envelopes and become glorified -and powder-proof -postcards in the U.S. Your e-mail file may grow. Hackers once made online billing a hard sell; terrorists are making it popular....David Farber, a former Federal Communications Commission chief technologist, said he predicted a spike in online billing, which is already biting into the U.S. Postal Service's revenues."
October 18, 2001 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "the Post Office and U.S. airlines are formulating new security procedures that will allow the airlines to resume carrying priority mail in time for the busy holiday shopping season. The Federal Aviation Administration banned priority mail - typically parcels weighing up to 70 pounds with two- to three-day delivery - since the Sept. 11 hijackings. The agency ended its ban on airline movements of express mail and registered mail about 10 days ago. However, most express mail moves on cargo-only Federal Express planes. The U.S. Postal Service is the largest customer for the airlines, contributing about $1 billion a year in revenue. Priority mail accounts for about 30% of the airlines' postal revenue."
October 18, 2001 -- Organizations looking to reduce the risks of handling and storing their in-coming business mail can turn to electronic signatures as a safer alternative, said Tommy Petrogiannis, President of Silanis Technology - a developer of electronic signature and approval management software. Electronic signatures eliminate the need to sign paper by keeping the process completely electronic so that documents can be distributed via e-mail. The primary reason why business documents are still being mailed and stored in paper format is to record people's signatures in customer agreements, legal contracts, and a variety of other critical documents needed to support the continuation of business. Alternatively, an electronic signature application permits documents to be securely signed electronically and returned via e-mail to reduce the need for postal and courier services.
October 18, 2001 -- Der Standard has reported that " Osterreichische Post AG, the Austrian postal service company, has unveiled the 666 offices it is looking to close. This is a scaled-down version of the original 712 offices it had chosen to shut."
October 17, 2001 -- FedEx Corp .has announced that its subsidiary Federal Express Corp. (``FedEx Express'') will lower its current four percent fuel surcharge to three percent beginning Nov. 5, 2001 based on a new index for calculating fuel surcharges on U.S. domestic and U.S. outbound shipments. The surcharge will be subject to adjustment monthly using a rounded average of the U.S. Gulf Coast (USGC) spot price for a gallon of kerosene-type jet fuel, as published monthly by the U.S. Department of Energy.
October 17, 2001 -- As the Wall Street Journal has noted, "the U.S. Postal Service already was facing serious problems; now, the spate of letter-borne anthrax attacks could mushroom into financial disaster for the world's largest mail system."
October 17, 2001 -- According to the Washington Post, the anthrax scare has gotten mailers to take steps to sustain the public's confidence in mail. According to DM News, "worries persist over ad mail."
October 17, 2001 -- The Washington Post has reported that anthrax anxieties "are rippling around the world." The Wall Street Journal and others have reported of concerns around the world as well in countries such as New Zealand, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Japan.
October 17, 2001 -- According to DM News, "George Omas, acting chairman of the Postal Rate Commission, told a group of nonprofit mailers yesterday that the U.S. Postal Service could improve its performance even without the passage of postal reform."
October 17, 2001 -- NetGram Inc., (http://www.netgram.com) the world’s leader in e-mail based hybrid mail technology and services, today announced that former U.S. Postmaster General and automotive industry executive, Marvin Runyon, will join the Company in an active advisory role for worldwide postal mail initiatives.
October 17, 2001 -- The Italian newspaper La Stampa has reported that "the Italian government has set up a task force which will be specifically trained to deal with anthrax attacks. It will have helicopters at its disposal. Meanwhile, employees of the Italian postal service will be issued with surgical gloves and masks."
October 17, 2001 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that "authorities closed an entire wing of an eight-story Senate office building Tuesday and began testing and treating hundreds of people for possible exposure to anthrax after overnight results confirmed the presence of spores in mail addressed to Majority Leader Tom Daschle."
October 17, 2001 -- Air Cargo World has reported that "cargo traffic through its seven United Kingdom hubs declined 27.5% in the three weeks following the terrorist attacks in the U.S. Cargo traffic at Frankfurt, Europe's top air freight hub, tumbled 13% in September, and 4.6% through the first three quarters of 2001, to 1.104 million ton."
October 16, 2001 -- The Denver Post has reported that "about 135 million U.S. homes, businesses and other addresses will soon receive warnings from the U.S. Postal Service cautioning them about the risks of biological hazards moving through the mail system."
October 16, 2001 -- Reuters has reported that "America's shipping giants now face a new hurdle in delivering millions of packages each day: stepped-up security checks and procedures at office buildings and other workplaces worried about risky mail."
October 16, 2001 -- The U.S. Postal Service has moved a large portion of items it usually ships in airplane "bellies" to trucking companies and commercial cargo airlines, as it faces new restrictions, the Wall Street Journal reported in its online edition. The move comes after the introduction of new Federal Aviation Administration rules requiring most cargo carried on passenger planes to be screened for explosives.
October 16, 2001 -- The Associated Press has noted that "with letters contaminated by the potentially deadly anthrax arriving at offices in New York, Nevada and Washington, D.C., mailrooms and delivery services across the country are implementing new procedures to protect workers."
October 16, 2001 -- "This is not the first time mail has been used as a weapon," noted Forbes, "mail and letter bombs have exploded from time to time. Remember the Unabomber?"
October 16, 2001 -- The Washington Post has reported that "the U.S. Postal Service will send a warning to 135 million U.S. homes, businesses and other addresses cautioning them about the threat posed by biological hazards moving through the U.S. mail, and it will provide gloves and masks immediately to all mail-handling employees. The Postal Inspection Service has reassigned the vast majority of its 1,900 inspectors nationwide and 1,400 postal police officers to the threat. The inspectors will be at postal facilities to isolate suspicious packages and to be a visible presence to reassure the public."
October 16, 2001 -- According to the Washington Post, "ederal investigators homed in yesterday on two Postal Service operations in New Jersey and South Florida in search of clues that may help them track the origins of the spate of anthrax cases discovered in the past two weeks.
October 16, 2001 -- The key note address of Postmaster General John E. Potter at the National Postal Forum in Denver, CO is posted on this site. Also posted are the comments by Deputy Postmaster General John Nolan.
October 16, 2001 -- The U.S. Postal Service's Mailing Industry Task Force report was released at the National Postal Forum and is available on the Postal Service's web site. The Task Force report outlines actions to increase the effectiveness of mail by unifying the industry to focus on products and service improvements that make the mail more competitive and responsive to evolving customer needs. The mailing industry is a $900 billion market employing 9 million people, representing nearly 8 percent of the domestic Gross National Product.
October 16, 2001 -- According to the Associated Press, "with anthrax-contaminated letters arriving in offices from Nevada to the nation's capital, mailrooms and delivery services across the country are putting new handling procedures in place. Mailroom employees are being warned to check packages for misspellings in common names and words, to look for powdery substances and excessive or inadequate postage, and to contact authorities about any suspicious mail."
October 16, 2001 -- The Associated Press has noted that the Postal Service has created an Anthrax Task Force. The goal is to educate people as to what to look for in potentially dangerous items and to see if any new safety and security procedures need to be developed. Joining the task force are postal managers, union leaders, the post office safety and medical and operations group, postal inspectors and the mailing industry.
October 16, 2001 -- As the Denver Post has noted, if the Postal Service doesn't change the way it does some things, mail soon could be made obsolete.
October 16, 2001 -- The Financial Times has reported that "European Union ministers voted yesterday to increase competition in the postal sector over the next five years after 12 years of wrangling over the issue. But they avoided commitments on total market opening. In a move identified as a "major victory" by both the European Commission and France, the most hesitant member state about market reform, ministers agreed that the market for letters should be further opened in 2003 and 2006 but that complete liberalisation, pencilled in for 2009, should await further legislation."
October 16, 2001 -- The British newspaper, The Guardian, has reported that "Royal Mail could lose its near-monopoly on the delivery and collection of letters in the UK before the end of the decade following a EU deal struck in Luxembourg last night. The company, already facing limited competition in the recently liberalised British postal market, will be forced to accept a wave of new rivals in 2003 and 2006 respectively after ministers from all 15 EU member states agreed to a phased-in abolition of national postal monopolies with a view to creating a harmonised EU single market in the sector."
October 16, 2001 -- According to Dow Jones, "Deutsche Post AG has welcomed a postal market liberalization accord among European Union governments, saying its sales and earnings opportunities abroad would increase as a result. The 15-member E.U. agreed Monday to the further gradual opening of its EUR80 billion-a-year postal market. It didn't fix a firm date for full liberalization."
October 16, 2001 -- The Financial Times has reported that "after a series of damaging disputes with postal workers, Consignia, the government-owned group that runs Royal Mail, is trying to end a battle with its workforce over a deal on new working practices, which has cost tens of thousands of working days. Talks with union leaders have made progress, and the two sides last week signed a three-month no-strike agreement, following two earlier four-week deals."
October 16, 2001 -- According to the Associated Press, "a white powder was found in the mailroom at German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's offices Monday, and authorities were investigating whether the substance is dangerous. Germany's national postal service, Deutsche Post AG, said Monday it had intercepted five suspicious letters since late last week, three of which had already determined were harmless."
October 16, 2001 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that "corporate mailrooms suddenly are being pressed into duty as the first line of defense against bioterrorism."
October 16, 2001 -- DHL Worldwide Express has announced a partnership that will bring DHL's premium international air express products to Unishippers customer network comprised of 200,000 businesses.
October 16, 2001 -- An all-new advertising campaign by FedEx Corp. has launched on network and cable television. Five 30-second spots with the tagline, "Don't worry. There's a FedEx for that,"(SM) will highlight the broad portfolio of shipping solutions offered by FedEx.
October 16, 2001 -- Reuters has reported that "Dutch postal, express and logistics company TPG NV (TPG) and Korea Post have signed a memorandum of understanding outlining an alliance in the field of international express delivery."
October 15, 2001 -- According to a new study by the Mailers Council, the nation’s large coalition of postal customers, the Postal Service maintained most of its recent productivity gains in its second quarter, but again failed to improve the overall productivity of its delivery operations. The data comes from the third Quarterly Report Card on the Postal Service, published by the Mailers Council.
October 15, 2001 -- As the Denver Post has noted, a task force of mailing industry executives will warn the U.S. Postal Service today that it must get its finances in order and stop raising stamp prices more than the rate of inflation."
October 15, 2001 -- The New York Times has noted that "news of possible terrorist attacks using one of the nation's oldest, least sophisticated means of communication — the United States mail — has prompted many companies to take a hard look at how they run their mailrooms, one of the most mundane business operations."
October 15, 2001 -- According to the Financial Times, "European Union ministers will today seek to deliver a reform which has long eluded them - postal liberalisation. Belgium, which holds the rotating presidency of the EU, hopes to use a ministerial meeting today to break an impasse between liberalising countries, such as the Netherlands, and countries which cite public service concerns, notably France. Officials put the chances of a breakthrough at at least 50-50. The European Commission maintains that the demise of postal monopolies is a necessary part of the EU's single market." See also the Irish Sunday Business Post
October 15, 2001 -- The BBC has reported that "Japan's postal services agency has tightened inspections of mail arriving from overseas in view of recent anthrax exposures in the United States. Anthrax bacteria have been detected in mail sent to several people found to be infected by the virus in the United States. The postal services agency has instructed its post offices to notify police if they spot an odd-looking package from overseas or if a customer reports receiving suspicious mail from someone unknown. At Japan's main international post office in central Tokyo, employees have begun X-raying items that are in any way suspicious, for example, if they bear no return address. Every day about 30,000 parcels arrive from overseas for distribution throughout eastern Japan. To cope with the new security concerns, the post office has increased the number of employees performing inspections. The postal services agency plans to continue these stricter inspections for some time."
October 15, 2001 -- The Australian Broadcasting Corporation has reported that "Australia Post workers could wear protective clothing following the anthrax outbreak in the United States, the postal service said. Australia Post corporate affairs manager Stephen Walters said the service had increased security since the September 11 terrorist strikes on the US. Mr Walters said Australia Post staff had been trained to detect suspicious mail, with further security meetings planned for today."
October 14, 2001 -- According to postal commentator Gene Del Polito, it's time for the Postal Service to recalibrate its thinking.
October 14, 2001 -- Newsweek has asked: "Is the threat of a deadly disease enough to kill off postal deliveries?"
October 14, 2001 -- According to Reuters, "long on alert for hate mail that can kill, Israel pointed Sunday to decades of postal security measures for coping with the likes of anthrax-laden letters which have sent jitters through the United States." At the same time, Reuters has noted that "U.S. authorities are trying to calm a jittery nation after anthrax scares sparked fears that the postal system was being used to wage biological warfare just days after the FBI warned of possible new attacks on the United States."
October 14, 2001 -- According to Dow Jones, "six letters believed to contain traces of anthrax appeared to be a hoax according to preliminary government laboratory tests, Belgian officials said Sunday."
October 14, 2001 -- UPS will announce its third quarter earnings on Thursday, Oct. 18, 2001, at approximately 8 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time. At 10 a.m. EDT, UPS Chief Financial Officer Scott Davis will conduct an investor conference call. This call will be open to reporters and the public, on a listen-only basis, via a live Webcast. To listen to the live Webcast, go to www.ups.com, click on UPS Investor Relations, then click on "Earnings Webcast."
October 14, 2001 -- The New York Times has reported that "after suggesting otherwise, the United States Postal Service has said it is ready to move full speed ahead on plans to expand Pennsylvania Station into a vast new ticketing hall and concourse in the General Post Office on Eighth Avenue."
October 14, 2001 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "a less-than-containerload service for Asia-U.S. shipments that represented United Parcel Service's first foray into ocean shipping has disbanded."
October 14, 2001 -- The South Florida Sentinel-Sun has reported that "the U.S. Postal Service handed out latex gloves to any worker who asked and the nation’s top law officer on Friday urged everyone to be on high alert for suspicious packages and letters."
October 14, 2001 -- - According to the Associated Press, "a threatening letter mailed to Tom Brokaw from New Jersey one week after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks contained the anthrax that infected the NBC news anchor's assistant."
October 13, 2001 -- The Financial Times has reported that "Consignia, the government-owned group which runs the Royal Mail, is to use the Post Office to sell telecommunications services nearly 20 years after it was split from British Telecommunications. From next week, post offices around the UK will offer self-branded, pre-pay cards giving customers access to a leased network run by Tele2, the Swedish pan-European telecoms operator. The move represents an effort by Consignia to expand its revenue base, which has been hit by the proliferation of e-mail and the growth of private postal companies."
October 13, 2001 -- Postal chief executive officers (CEOs) worldwide say customers are their primary concern, followed closely by the impact that the Internet and other changes occurring on the competitive landscape are having on the delivery of traditional postal services. Findings from a survey recently conducted by Accenture, a global provider of consulting and technology services, also found that CEOs of the mail, express delivery and postal distribution industry are concerned about changing customer requirements and expectations to a far greater extent than CEOs in other industries.
October 13, 2001 -- Postal officials are urging people to be wary of suspicious and unexpected mail following the discovery of a case of anthrax in New York, possibly transmitted by mail.
October 13, 2001 -- U.S. agents questioned and tested Florida postal workers who might have handled mail for tabloid publisher American Media in the search for the source of the deadly anthrax that contaminated the company's headquarters.
October 13, 2001 -- The Associated Press has reported that "with America already on heightened alert, Attorney General John Ashcroft said Friday citizens should be cautious in opening suspicious items they receive in the mail.
October 13, 2001 -- The French post office (La Poste) and its Swedish counterpart (Posten) have concluded a strategic partnership agreement to develop a joint express parcel service for Scandinavia and the Baltic region. Specifically, La Poste plans to open its DPD European express network to Posten on 1 January 2002 for a period of 15 years. The Swedish post office will also be given access to its French partner's international network, Chronopost, which concluded its own agreement with the US courier company FedEx.
October 13, 2001 -- According to European sources, "Jacob Buksti, the Danish minister of transport, is responsible for the collapse of the merger plans of Post Danmark, the Danish post office." At least, so says Lennart Grabe, the managing director of Posten AB, the Swedish post office. "De Sammensluttede Vognmand (DSV), the Danish transport group, sold its parcel division to Posten yesterday and Post Danmark is now at risk of falling behind in Europe. Post Danmark had the opportunity to enter a new alliance with Posten, La Poste of France and DSV but the Danish government prevented this, according to Mr Grabe."
October 13, 2001 -- According to South American Business Information, "the postal company Correo Argentino called in the receivers 3 weeks ago, and now this process was approved by a judge. The company controlled by the Macri group declared a debt of US$737mil of which around US$260mil corresponds to unpaid levies to the State since 1999. Franco Macri, President of Sideco, company which controls 68.5% of the shares of Correo, blamed the Government and the disloyal competition for the economic crisis of the company. The Ministry of Infrastructure admitted a debt of the National State to the company of US$34mil for unpaid services in 1999. The Government does not recognise the around US$800mil that Correo claims for non-fulfilment of the contract of the concession."
October 12, 2001 -- The Postal Service has expressed concern over the provisions of Section 117 of H.R. 3004, the "Financial Anti-Terrorism Act of 2001" pertaining to the Customs inspection of cross-border U.S. mail. See also the communication between the U.S. Postal Service and the Acting Commissioner of the U.S. Customs Service over similar issues.
October 12, 2001 -- According to European news sources, "Correos y Telegrafos, the Spanish postal service, is considering a possible purchase of a courier company with the aim of gaining market share in the sector. Correos recently launched courier subsidiary Chronoexpress and group chairman Alberto Nunez announced yesterday that French counterpart La Poste is to take a minority stake in the new venture. The aim of the operation will be to further the group's strategy to diversify in order to boost revenue."
October 12, 2001 -- According to China Post, "Since the 9th of this October, customers can turn in their mobile handsets fee, fulfill insurance policies and enjoy the service of international freight delivery at one place - Beijing Post Office. Liu Liqing, the director with the State Post Office, stated that economy globalization would endow postal services industry with new historical tasks. Based on the advantages of postal network resources, China Post has vowed to vigorously develop logistics as well as information industries. By the end of the 10th Five-Year Plan period, the incomes of electronics information service industry and logistics delivery industry will respectively take over 10% and around 20% of the total income of China Post."
October 12, 2001 -- A copy of the Postal Service's "Guidelines for Optimizing Readability of Flat Size Mail" has been posted on this site. [It's a big .pdf file.]
October 12, 2001 -- PostCom's report on the latest meeting of the Mailers Technical Advisory Committee workgroup on flats has been posted on this site.
October 12, 2001 -- @#%&$Motowfliggarumie@#$%! Is it the latest in postal acronyms or merely an expression of exasperation over "postal speak?" Don't go nuts. Check out the Postal Service's Glossary of Postal Terms to translate postal Greek into English. It's available on the Postal Service's web site.
October 12, 2001 -- Emery Expedite!, the subsidiary of CNF Inc. (NYSE:CNF) that provides urgent transportation services, has become the first company of its kind to offer a money-back guarantee for all its services, including charter, air and surface shipments. Emery Expedite! is offering this guaranteed service to customers as part of its basic pricing and product offering. All of the company's shipments are specially labeled for priority handling and are constantly monitored until final delivery. If any shipment fails to meet the agreed deadline (subject to terms and conditions), Emery Expedite! will refund up to 100% of the invoice amount back to the customer.
October 12, 2001 -- Lloyd's List has reported that "freight forwarders across Europe will have to meet uniform air cargo security regulations under proposals from the European Commission. Tight controls on cargo handling prompted by the terrorist attacks on the US are contained in a broad range of measures for airline passenger security put forward by Brussels. The common rules are set out in the European Civil Aviation Conference, to be incorporated into community law. The proposed regulations for freight are similar to those already in place in Britain, Denmark and France. Under these the onus is on the freight forwarder to ensure security of the consignment at the point of collection from the shipper through to final delivery to the airline."
October 12, 2001 -- The Boston Globe has noted that "following the terrorist attacks of September 11, the US Postal Service has called a halt to the shipment of all packages on passenger aircraft, with the exception of first-class letters weighing up to one pound. A spokeswoman for the Cargo Airline Association, which represents air cargo companies that employ cargo-only planes, reported that many of the airlines have limited their counter-to-counter service to known customers with Federal Aviation Administration approved security programs in place."
October 12, 2001 -- According to Air Cargo World, "the Federal Aviation Administration has tightened its cargo security rules in the wake of the U.S. and British air strikes in Afghanistan. Under the new 'known shipper' rule,, freight forwarders - known as indirect air carriers in FAA parlance - may submit cargo to passenger airlines only if the goods come from a customer that has booked at least 24 shipments with that forwarder since Sept. 1, 1999. In addition, the shipper must have been doing business with the forwarder before Sept. 1, 1999. If the shipper fails to meet those two criteria, it is considered an 'unknown shipper' and the forwarder must validate that the customer is a legitimate business. The validation process includes a visit to the shipper's premises and a check of the customer's financial records.
October 12, 2001 -- Traffic World has reported that "Costco Wholesale Corp. selected UPS Logistics Group UK to provide distribution and transportation network support throughout Europe. UPS Logistics Group UK will manage the collection, consolidation and delivery of stock from European suppliers to Costco distribution centers. Costco chose UPS Logistics Group UK after a six-month pilot program designed to identify who was most suitable for the company's European distribution needs. UPS Logistics Group was one of seven firms involved in the program."
October 12, 2001 -- The Korea Times has reported that "according to the company, FedEx Korea has two labor unions. One was founded under the umbrella labor group the Federation of Korea Trade Unions (FKTU) in 1989, members of whom include workers for the FedEx air cargo service at the Incheon International Airport. The other one was established last August under the other major umbrella labor group, the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU). The majority of union members are drivers for the pick-up services and part of workers from the branch office at the Incheon Airport. Around 180 KCTU union members from branch offices in Seoul and the Kyonggi Province are on strike."
October 12, 2001 -- Economista/Corporate Mexico has reported that "the Mexican air cargo industry by the end of this year will register a decline of 1.5 percent, as a result of the crisis in the United States."
October 12, 2001 -- Compaq Computer Corp. has signed a contract with the US Postal Service to provide hardware and services that could be worth $1.5 billion to $2.0 billion. Compaq said the five-year contract could be worth about $1 billion and that it has a five-year option that brings the value of the deal to about $1.5 billion to $2.0 billion. The agreement covers WindowsNT-based technology and includes server, desktop and notebook computers.
October 12, 2001 -- Dow Jones has reported that "the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center are the latest blow to a celebrated plan to revitalize Penn Station using the city's landmark James A. Farley post office as a grand ticketing and shopping concourse." See also the report in The Washington Post.
October 12, 2001 -- Il Sole 24 Ore has reported that "Poste Italiane, the Italian post office, reported net operating losses of 44m euros in the first half of 2001, 72 per cent less compared to the same period of 2000. Managing director, Corrado Passera, forecasts that the group will break even in 2002."
October 12, 2001 -- The German newspaper, Die Welt, has reported that "Deutsche Post AG, the German postal services company, is beginning to feel the after-effects of the recent terrorist attacks on the US. It believes that its Ebita result will fall by a double digit sum in the millions. This is thought to have been caused by a fall in turnover as well as increased costs for insurance at airports. Despite the problems, DP is expecting to achieve a substantial increase on last year's figures in both profit and turnover."
October 12, 2001 -- According to Shanghai Securities News, "China Post, China's postal service giant, aims to become one of six leading postal service companies in the world over the next four years. China Post aims to have 10 per cent of its annual revenues come from electronic and information services in 2005 and plans to become the largest logistics service provider in China. The company has expanded its businesses into the domestic telecommunications, logistics, finance and insurance sectors."
October 12, 2001 -- Catch up on the latest concerning the arbitration going on between the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) and the U.S. Postal Service.
October 11, 2001 -- Dow Jones has reported that " Posten AB, the Swedish postal service, has signed a memorandum of understanding with its French counterpart La Poste to cooperate on services including package service networks in Europe. The memorandum allows La Poste to propose to its 85%-owned Direct Parcel Distribution - one of Europe's largest package service networks - to enter into franchise agreements with Posten in the Nordic and Baltic countries. Posten is also negotiating with La Poste to gain access to the latter's subsidiary, Chronopost's, European and intercontinental express network in alliance with FedEx Corp. of the U.S."
October 11, 2001 -- Royal Mail (Consignia) has announced "a new agreement on three months of industrial stability to improve customer service and working conditions for employees has been reached by the business and the CWU. Under the latest 'moratorium', which will last until January 12, Royal Mail will not implement any unagreed changes in working practices at local level and the union will suspend any threats of industrial action."
October 11, 2001 -- This Is London has reported that "FBI agents now believe Briton Robert Stevens, who died last Friday from pulmonary anthrax, the most lethal form, was deliberately infected at his Florida office and are treating it as murder. The case has plunged the town of Boca Raton where Mr Stevens worked into panic although the FBI stressed there was no link so far to Osama bin Laden. Although there are no firm clues to indicate if it was the work of political terrorists or the crazed act of a homicidal crank, they believe the killer spores probably arrived by mail or possibly were put in the air conditioning system. The anthrax incubation period is between 12 hours and five days. Consignia, formerly the Royal Mail, has held security talks with the US postal service and had advice from British police and national security chiefs."
October 11, 2001 -- According to the British newspaper, the Evening Standard, "the Royal Mail is to launch a Pounds 10 million campaign to encourage people to use first-class post this Christmas. Royal Mail is facing competition for the first time and is looking at new strategies to boost its revenue, says the journal Marketing. It is also considering the introduction of an inter-city mail delivery service for 15p, evening deliveries and allowing customers to collect their post from a designated outlet."
October 11, 2001 -- There's concern that terrorists could try to use the United States Postal Service to deliver biological agents like anthrax or small pox. The Postal Service said that there isn't much that it can to do to stop an attack. Check out the reports from NewNet5, KGTV, Channel6000, and KPRC.
October 11, 2001 -- The British newspaper, The Guardian, has reported that "Royal Mail is hoping for a fresh spell of industrial harmony after reaching a three-month 'no strike agreement' with its unions. The moratorium comes less than a week after parent company Consignia warned of plans to cut pounds 1.2bn worth of costs and follows two similar one-month agreements during which unofficial industrial action all but ceased."
October 11, 2001 -- According to De Volkskrant, "TPG, the parent company of Dutch postal company PTT Post, has shown analysts plans to cut almost Fl 600m on postal deliveries. In the era of fax and e-mail, letters have been ousted in favour of publicity folders. As registered letters and consignments paid at the door are on the decline, postmen need no more skills than newspaper deliverers. Since the job of postman has become much simpler and post is sorted automatically, the number of staff and salaries can be cut, according to TPG."
October 11, 2001 -- According to Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, "Deutsche Post AG, the German post office, will achieve record profits and turnover this year, despite the economic slowdown. However, the slowdown was affecting results, according to chief executive Klaus Zumwinkel. Deutsche Post increased Ebitda by 5.5 per cent to 1.4bn euros in the first half of the year. Although Mr Zumwinkel predicted a slump in the air freight sector, he thought the situation could provide opportunities for acquisitions."
October 11, 2001 -- Many residents and businesses uprooted by the attack on lower Manhattan are staying in temporary locations, and the Postal Service wants to get their mail to them. As a result of the World Trade Center incident and continuing security precautions, the Postal Service is unable to access nearly 10,000 residential and business delivery locations. Some buildings are intact, but are not inhabitable. The Postal Service is holding mail for residents and businesses of these addresses, but many have not begun to claim their mail. The Postal Service is urging business and residential customers from the affected locations (ZIP Codes 10007-8, 10048, 10249, 10281-82) to come to the side entrance of Manhattan's General Post Office (380 W 33rd St, between 8th & 9th Ave.) and claim their mail between 7:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday. P.0. Box holders can retrieve their mail 24-hours-a-day, seven days a week.
October 11, 2001 -- Be sure to check out the latest posted on postinsight.com. Among the features you'll find will be: "Broaden Your Horizons," the opening Post-Expo speech by Thomas J. Leavey, Director General of the International Bureau of the Universal Postal Union (UPU) and "Rethinking Strategic Partnerships," a Post-Expo speech by Michael J. Critelli, CEO, Pitney Bowes.
October 11, 2001 -- According to PostCom President Gene Del Polito in an article published in Traffic World, "in the interests of consumers, market share should be won through competitive performance, not through political influence and campaign contributions. if giant U.S. corporations in the express field...succeed in cornering the market, there'll be no stopping the growing trend toward monopoly. Then all consumers will be the losers."
October 10, 2001 -- According to Postal Rate Commission Chairman George Omas in a letter written to Rep. John M. McHugh (R-NY), the PRC has estimated "that using domestic postage rates as a substitute for UPU terminal dues would reduce the contribution of international mail to the Postal Service's institutional costs by $59.1 million."
October 10, 2001 -- Postmaster General John Potter has asked the Office of Management and Budget to "allocate to teh Postal Service a portion of the $20 billion that Congress has appropriated to reimburse federal agencies for costs incurrred as a result of the September 11 attacks on the United States."
October 10, 2001 -- Dow Jones has reported that "Netherlands-based postal and logistics company TPG NV will acquire VNU's business-to-business direct marketing company VNU Directview. In a joint release with Sanoma Publishers, the former magazines division of VNU which has recently been bought by Finnish publisher SanomaWSOY Oyi, TPG also said it has concluded a long-term contract to deliver the publisher's magazines. TPG will be gradually taken over the delivery of the magazines as Sanoma Publisher had earlier decided to gradually cease the operations of Media Expresse. At the same time both publishers and TPG said they will form a 'strategic alliance in e-distribution.' They intend to cooperate in the electronic delivery of documents and direct mail via Internet."
October 10, 2001 -- The U.S. Postal Service has published in the Federal Register a proposed rule that changes certain sections applicable to Periodicals mail in the Domestic Mail Manual (DMM). It adds a new optional method a publisher may use to determine per-copy weights and to substantiate the advertising percentage in each edition of each issue of a periodical. The option requires Postal Service certification of the publisher's employees' ability to use PAGE-certified software accurately, and it requires the publisher to use one of the software programs that is PAGE-certified by the Postal Service. This option will eliminate the publisher's need to submit a manually marked copy showing the percentage of advertising for each edition of each issue at the time of mailing. It also eliminates to some degree the requirement for Postal Service acceptance employees to determine per-copy weights by weighing 10 copies of each edition at the time of mailing. Comments must be received on or before November 9, 2001.
October 10, 2001 -- Post Corporation of Malaysia has suspended all service to Pakistan and Afghanistan, Malaysia National News Agency reported. All mail, parcel and express delivery services to the two countries had been suspended.
October 10, 2001 -- - With an uncertain economy, small business owners are faced with the constant struggle of either attracting new customers or risk being one of the thousands of small businesses that falter each year. The Postal Service thinks it has a solution.
October 10, 2001 -- The Universal Postal Union, the United Nations agency overseeing the world-wide postal service, announced today that it has selected AirClic to enable a new service giving proof of delivery of international parcels and express mail (EMS) items. Using bar codes read by small scanners attached to mobile phones, postal workers will be able to increase the efficiency and service levels of mail delivery using a new, but familiar, tool.
October 10, 2001 -- The Xinhua news agency has reported that "China's postal sector has ended decades of profit loss, logging significant earnings for September. Liu Liqing, head of the State Post Bureau, was quoted as saying that the postal sector earned a profit of 160 million yuan (about 19.3 million U.S. dollars) in September. China Post, with 500,000 employees, has been operating under service-oriented reforms since the beginning of the year."
October 10, 2001 -- NETdelivery Corporation, a provider of community-based electronic document management and exchange systems, has announced its partnership with Berlin-based UBIS AG to offer its services exclusively to e-businesses in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. UBIS provides specialized e-business solutions to customers within the banking, retail, energy, telecom, industry and insurance markets. The agreement is one of several partnerships NETdelivery is announcing this month in conjunction with its effort to broaden its marketing and sales reach through leading systems integrators and resellers in strategic locations around the world.
October 10, 2001 -- CEP News (Courier- Express- and Postal-Market News) has reported that:
The German magazine ‘Wirtschaftswoche’ Deutsche Post AG plans to enter into close co-operation with the Bertelsmann AG (BAG) media group based in Gütersloh. With reference to industry insiders, the magazine claims that Deutsche Post wants to participate in BAG’s lettershop business, in return for which the post would relinquish some logistics contracts to its partner, which carries out mobile phone and CD deliveries to retail stores on a large scale.
Consignia is about to become active on the German letter market. In the summer questionnaires were sent to letter service providers with the aim of finding the right partners for Royal Mail’s strategic planning. The Dutch post reportedly is still involved in negotiations with other candidates interested in having a share in the company. Market observers believe that both the Swiss Schweizerische Post and the British Consignia could be candidates, as TPG already works with them in separate joint ventures.
The French La Poste does not intend to expand into the German letter market at present. La Poste’s CEO Mr Martin Vial has said the development of further ‘co-operations with post companies in America and Asia’ modelled on existing co-operations with the Italian (CEP News 24/01) and Spanish (CEP News 26/01) posts.
Check out the latest issue of CEP News for the details on these and other news items affecting the courier, express, and postal market around the world.
October 10, 2001 -- The Detroit News has reported that "election ballots for president and top officers of the Teamsters Union will be mailed today to the union's 1.4 million members. The ballots must be returned by Nov. 13 when counting will begin at a neutral location in suburban Virginia. The counting is expected to take three or four days. The contest for Teamsters Union president features a return match between Teamsters President James P. Hoffa and Tom Leedham, a Teamster from Portland, Ore. Hoffa won the 1998 election with 57 percent of the vote. Leedham received 39 percent. A third candidate, John Metz, of St. Louis, received 5 percent. Only Hoffa and Leedham are contesting for the presidency this year. One big issue both candidates face is increasing voter participation. In the last election, less than 25 percent of the eligible union members voted even though all that is required is to mark the ballot and put it in the mail. The union faces tough contract negotiations with United Parcel Service next year and then must work out a master freight agreement the following year."
October 10, 2001 -- The Associated Press has reported that "United Parcel Service has received a giant delivery as a one-time passenger airliner converted into a freighter arrived to become an international workhorse for the shipping company. The freighter was the first of 13 MD-11s that UPS has ordered from Boeing Co. Two more are scheduled to arrive by month's end. The rest will be delivered within three years. UPS has options for 22 more planes between 2005 and 2010. The MD-11s will temporarily join UPS' domestic fleet to shoulder some of the work load during the peak holiday season. The planes will switch to Asian routes at the start of 2002, with flights to Hong Kong and Seoul, South Korea."
October 10, 2001 -- TransportNews.Com has reported that " United Shipping & Technology, Inc., the largest provider of nationwide same-day delivery services in North America, announced that it closed the sale of its air division, Air Courier Dispatch, Inc. The sale was structured as an asset purchase. An individual investment group, led by John Ovens, purchased the air courier company."
October 10, 2001 -- According to Credit Card Management, credit card "issuers are modifying their direct-mail campaigns to offset two postal-rate increases this year. Some are pushing Web-based interaction with their cardholders while the industry fights future increases in the halls of Congress. In this competitive market, issuers are close-mouthed on their marketing plans. However, they do agree that rate increases have caused them to tailor their mailing pieces to keep costs down. That adjustment includes both the timing of the mailings and the size and layout of the letter. Postal increases could cause issuers to shift to other forms of customer acquisition and service, and mailing budgets could be shifted to encourage electronic bill payment and presentment.
October 10, 2001 -- Esign Australia and Australia Post have launched a Gatekeeper Accredited Registration Authority Service. Through its KeyPost service, Australia Post now provides registration authority services on behalf of Esign and under Esign's full Gatekeeper accreditation. It's just like applying for a passport, Australia Post says. To apply for a digital certificate, applicants can download and complete the forms available on eSign's Web site, at http://gatekeeper.esign.com.au .
October 10, 2001 -- Pakistan's Minister for Communications and Railways, Lieutenant General Jawed Ashraf Qazi (Retd), has said that, the government desires participation of the private sector in modernisation of postal system. The minister said that every possible steps must be taken for providing world level postal facilities to the people, adding, maximum facilities will be provided to the postal employees as per rules and regulations. He added, the present leadership of Pakistan desires to provide world class postal facilities to the people and for this purpose the need is that the postal system be established on modern lines.
October 10, 2001 -- GovExec.Com asks: "Should the Postal Services be split into two entities—one that maintains a statutory monopoly over First Class mail and one that offers such competitive products as express and priority mail? Should the entire Postal Service be privatized? How about making it easier for the agency to change postage rates? And what exactly is 'universal service?' These questions are at the center of two draft postal reform documents circulating among Postal Service officials, lawmakers and stakeholders."
October 10, 2001 -- According to Dow Jones, Dutch postal and logistics company TPG NV (TP) has said that it expects more international alliances if European Union governments further liberalize the E.U.'s EUR80 billion a year postal market. TPG has an international mail joint venture with Consignia, the newly named British postal service, and Singapore Post.
October 10, 2001 -- A new automatic address recognition product -- InMailRouter(TM) -- will soon be available from Parascript(R), LLC, offering large corporations and organizations new efficiencies for their complex in-house mail routing and transport needs. Similar to the Parascript technology that helps save the U.S. Postal Service $350 million annually, InMailRouter utilizes the company's Total Recognition(TM) technology, which automatically recognizes and processes handwritten, hand printed and machine printed addresses to speed mail to its correct destination.
October 10, 2001 -- ZDNet has reported that "Internet service provider (ISP) Jaring's 600,000 subscribers will soon be able to use the postal service's 636 nationwide branches to access a range of Web-related services, information as well as payment modes."
October 9, 2001 -- Postal commentator Gene Del Polito takes a crack at answering the question: "Who is Jack Potter?"
October 9, 2001 -- If you're not familiar with postal ratemaking in the United States, you might want to check out PostCom's "Anatomy of a Postal Rate Case."
October 9, 2001 -- Pitney Bowes Inc. has announced a new partnership between two of its rapidly growing product suites: docSense, which offers electronic bill presentment and payment, and PitneyPay, a comprehensive Internet payment solution.
October 9, 2001 -- At its most recent meeting, the Board of Directors of the Association for Postal Commerce elected the following persons as PostCom's officers for the years 2002-2003: Chairman--Jim O'Brien (Director of Distribution & Postal Affairs for Time Inc.); Exec Vice Chairman--Vince Giuliano (Senior Vice President Government Relations for Advo Inc.); Secretary--Judy Marks (President, Lockheed Martin Distribution Technologies); Treasurer--Anita Pursley (Vice President, Postal Affairs for Quebecor World Direct). The following also were elected as new directors to the PostCom Board: David Johnson (Vice President of Direct Marketing for Lands' End); Val Scansaroli (Director of Distribution & Postal Affairs for G & J USA Publishing); Robert Shippee (Group Manager, Postal Relations for Capital One); Steve Zwieg (Vice President of Development for Parcel/Direct).
October 9, 2001 -- Investigators are considering the possibility that a letter sent to the mailroom of a Florida tabloid publishing company could have carried the anthrax bacteria that killed an employee, a law enforcement source confirmed to CNN.
October 9, 2001 -- At the request of Congress and the Comptroller General, the Postal Service is preparing a comprehensive plan for the structural transformation of the postal system to meet the challenges of serving the American public through the remainder of this decade. The Comprehensive Transformation Plan will be presented to Congress and the General Accounting Office on December 31, 2001. As an interim step, the Postal Service has issued a paper entitled An Outline for Discussion: Concepts for Postal Transformation. This Outline for Discussion describes the framework and process that it is using to prepare the plan. Through a Federal Register notice, it has invited comments and suggestions from all interested parties to help us to complete a plan that serves the public interest and advances public engagement in shaping the future of America's postal system. Comments must be received by November 1, 2001.
October 9, 2001 -- Reuters has reported that KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and postal and express delivery company TPG have said that TPG's TNT Express will become KLM cargo's sole supplier for feeder services in Europe. Under the partnership deal which starts October 29, KLM cargo will feed its freight into the TNT Express network and will no longer operate leased freighters on European routes.
October 9, 2001 -- Experts are claiming that the air cargo market is not likely to recover until late 2002.
October 9, 2001 -- The Washington Post has reported that "the Postal Service has agreed to rehire a former letter carrier who contended that he lost his job because of injuries suffered while on military duty in Bosnia." The Post also has reported that the U.S. Supreme Court will be hearing arguments in a case involving the firing of a postal employee who was disciplined many times but managed to extend her appeals all the way up to the nation's highest court.
October 9, 2001 -- Dow Jones has reported that Italy's largest bank, Intesa BCI SpA has denied newspapers reports saying that Lino Benassi, the bank's co-chief executive officer, might be about to leave his post. Italian daily Corriere della Sera said that Corrado Passera, chief executive of Italy's postal system, Poste Italiane SpA, has been rumored to be a possible successor to Benassi.
October 9, 2001 -- According to the (London) Sunday Times, "Consignia, the renamed Post Office and one of Britain's biggest employers, will be split into two companies under a radical proposal being examined by the government. Ministers are considering a plan to merge Royal Mail and Parcel Force into one company and put Post Office Counters (POC), which runs the network of 17,800 regional post offices, into another. Each company would have a separate board and management structure." See also The Scotsman.
October 9, 2001 -- According to the (London) Sunday Times, Consignia is in deep financial trouble. Consignia's CEO John Roberts told Trade and Industry Minister Patricia Hewitt that "we are living beyond our means and we need to get a grip on this now. We want to take out 15% of our cost base, which equals £1.2 billion. This means reducing our employee and non-employee costs by 15%. We must do this by March 2003."
October 9, 2001 -- The Sunday Times also noted that troubles with labor haven't made Consignia's challenges any less.
October 9, 2001 -- Cargo Web News has reported that "From January 2002, Deutsche Post World Net will be terminating further routes within its German overnight airmail network. Termination of the routes has been made possible by optimizing the logistics connecting the Group's 84 state-of-the-art mail sorting centers."
October 9, 2001 -- CEP News (Courier- Express- and Postal-Market News) has reported that:
The Norwegian and Danish posts intend to create a joint IT services venture before the end of the year. Resulting from a merge of their IT departments, the new firm will initially offer its services exclusively to the two mail companies.
Dr Klaus Zumwinkel, CEO of Deutsche Post AG, has been awarded the German Federal Republic’s order of merit.
Check out the latest issue of CEP News for the details on these and other news items affecting the courier, express, and postal market around the world.
October 9, 2001 -- According to Die Presse, a "list of 700 Austrian post offices to be closed out of the 2,300 currently in operation has now been fixed. The staff affected were informed by letter"
October 6, 2001 -- According to Africa News, "predictions that new technologies are bound to replace physical mail have not come to pass but instead some of the new technologies are generating additional mail volumes, communications and transport minister Lupando Mwape has observed. In his message to commemorate World Post Day which falls on October 9, Mwape stated that they were optimistic about the future of Zambia Postal Services (Zampost). Mwape said postal services were increasingly looking at the use of electronic communications to improve the management and operation of traditional services and Zampost was working with the Universal Postal Union (UPU) to establish a credible service acceptable to customers."
October 5, 2001 -- Eyefortransport.com has reported that "logistics solutions provider Danzas has signed a joint venture agreement with logistics company Royal Cargo Corporation (RCC) in the Philippines. RCC will be integrated into the Danzas Intercontinental Business Unit in the Philippines and form a new entity called Danzas AEI Inc. With the joint venture, Danzas AEI Inc. will provide logistics services for both incoming and outgoing cargo."
October 5, 2001 -- As AirCargo World has noted, "with the passenger carriers reeling, experts warned that the more imminent danger to cargo operators was from a sharp downturn in an American economy that was already in steep decline."
October 5, 2001 -- Traffic World has reported that "air cargo industry groups in the United States are asking the Federal Aviation Administration to tone down tough new security requirements that would bar cargo from passenger planes if the country went on a "heightened security alert."
October 5, 2001 -- "In an effort to eliminate one of the major barriers plaguing the electronic logistics arena," Computer Weekly has reported, "Logistics.com has developed a standard to allow multiple industry players and software programs to communicate more effectively. The company announced a logistics architecture designed to foster business process and integration standards in the logistics industry. The new system features Transportation XML (TXML) to enable standard application integration among all members of a logistics chain as well as intra-enterprise requirements between legacy and new systems."
October 5, 2001 -- According to ComputerWorld, "while neither Federal Express nor United Parcel Service has put any major IT projects on hold, both plan to carefully scrutinize future initiatives in view of the weak global economy....Over the past year, FedEx, like UPS, has upgraded the wireless LAN systems in its hub and terminals and currently has started to install the technology on its fleet of more than 600 aircraft."
October 5, 2001 -- The New Zealand Herald has reported that "New Zealand Post subsidiary Transend has finally ended its strife-plagued South African postal management contract. Transend Worldwide, NZ Post's international consultancy arm, which has contracts in about 40 countries, said yesterday that it had 'reached a commercial settlement' with the South African Post Office (Sapo) over cancelling the contract, believed to be worth $54 million."
October 5, 2001 -- The Scotsman has reported that "Scotland could lose up to 1,600 jobs under a massive cost-cutting scheme announced yesterday by Consignia, owner of the Post Office, Royal Mail and Parcelforce."
October 5, 2001 -- The Indian Department of Posts (DoP) will launch an e-mail service called e-post, which will help large populations in non- metropolitan cities. As part of this service, customers will be given an e-post identity, which will allow them to send and receive e-mails at the local post offices across the country. A DoP employee will serve as the interface between the customer and the computer. Customers will be able to obtain hard copies of their mail. Customers can give handwritten or typed documents that will be scanned and forwarded to the addressee's post office.
October 5, 2001 -- According to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, "you may have thought the only issue readers care about is the terrorist attack on America. You may be surprised to learn some also care about the U.S. Postal "Service." And they refuse to give their stamp of approval to this government monopoly."
October 5, 2001 -- The Postal Rate Commission has noted in the Federal Register that "the Postal Service has proposed temporary experimental suspension of the manual delivery confirmation fee used in conjunction with Priority Mail. It notes the Service's interest in settlement negotiations. It also establishes several procedural deadlines and sets dates for settlement and prehearing conferences."
October 5, 2001 -- Francotyp-Postalia, Inc. (FP Mailing Solutions) has announced FP Mail Center Manager (MCM) software, a PC-based multi-carrier shipping system from MOS International. Featuring a direct, seamless interface with FP postage meters--including FP Mailing System's popular JetMail --MCM gives mail center managers complete control over shipping, postage costs and accounting in real time.
October 4, 2001 -- Dutch postal, express and logistics company TPG NV has signed an agreement to establish a mail delivery joint venture with German distribution group Hermes. TPG would hold 71 percent and Hermes 29 percent of the joint venture, which would be named EP Europost AG & Co KG. According to Die Welt, "things are about to change in Germany's letter-delivery market. German private postal group Hermes Versand (part of Otto Versand) is planning to create a joint-venture this year with EP Europost AG. Europost is the German subsidiary of TPG Post Groep of Holland. Hermes is seen as Deutsche Post's main rival, largely because of its financial strength and nationwide network. Alex Eglseer, simultaneously head of TPG's German operations and the Europost office in Hanover, is also convinced that a partnership will be formed in 2001. The Dutch company, which has built up a network in Germany of business-to-consumer postal services, would be the majority partner in the joint-venture."
October 4, 2001 -- Oh the woes of a truncated monopoly. "Consider this," writes Royal Mail's managing director of business services Kevin Brown in the Financial Times, "your company has had a legal monopoly for 350 years. Your core products are regarded as public services, so the government retains rights to interfere in business decisions. Neither your managers nor your workforce hasever seen a competitor. Suddenly, the government abolishes the monopoly, handing the future of the industry to an untried regulator. The regulator starts licensing competitors, even before establishing a clear regulatory framework. Meanwhile, you are left with a public sector operating culture, a strike-prone workforce and a legal duty to maintain expensive public services even as competitors start eating into your more profitable markets. How do you respond?"
October 4, 2001 -- According to Reuters, "the [British] state-owned postal service Consignia says it will have to cut one billion pounds from its operations by March 2003 and slash thousands of jobs to ensure it remains profitable as competition increases. The savings could mean losing one in 10 staff in some areas of the company over the next 18 months, but no decision had yet been taken on the level of job losses. Consignia employs about 200,000 people." See also the Financial Times. Also, as the British newspaper, The Guardian has noted, "A brief glance at Consignia's recent annual report is enough to show the pressing need for the sort of draconian cutbacks being laid before the group's 200,000 employees."
October 4, 2001 -- The news of possible job cuts, according to the Financial Times, is not going down well with British postal workers. "Consignia, the government-owned group that runs Royal Mail, was threatened with industrial action by the Communication Workers' Union yesterday after it announced plans to cut its costs by 15 per cent - about Pounds 1.2bn - over 18 months. John Keggie, deputy general secretary, claimed the company was planning to axe 30,000 of its 200,000 workforce. 'This madcap plan to slice up the industry and reduce the workforce by 15 per cent is ill-conceived and destructive,' he said."
October 4, 2001 -- Daily Yomiuri has reported that "Kenji Koso, a Liberal Democratic Party member of the House of Councillors, tendered his resignation on Sept. 25, only two months after his July election to the upper house, taking responsibility for a vote-soliciting scandal involving senior officials of regional postal service bureaus. Koso, a former postal service bureaucrat, was forced by his party to resign from the Diet after 16 senior postal officials were arrested on suspicion of conducting illegal campaigns to support his bid for the upper house. Among the 16 officials involved were the incumbent head and other senior officials of the Kinki Regional Postal Services Bureau, as well as postmasters of post offices and special post offices in the Kinki region. Special post offices are small local post offices run by influential local figures under government licenses. A special post office and the land it is built on are normally owned by a postmaster and leased to the central government. All special post office postmasters have the status of national government employees."
October 4, 2001 -- The National Post has noted that "courier companies and postal services that rely on airplanes to deliver packages have already lost hundreds of millions of dollars as a result of the Sept. 11 terrorist assaults against the United States. The U.S. Postal Service has lost nearly US$500-million in revenue. Canada Post officials also say service here has suffered."
October 4, 2001 -- According to Der Standard, "Osterreichische Post, the Austrian post office operator, is in the process of reorganising property assets and plans to sell off property not necessary for business and which has no potential for development. The company mainly wants to sell Schloss Frohsdorf, comprising 4,000 metres of floor space, while two villas in Sievering will also be sold. A number of projects are currently underway with partners in Salzburg. About half of the 3.5 million square metres of property managed by the post office consists of offices and similar buildings. More than one third is comprised by storage and buildings used for technology, while the remainder is rented out or is used for special purposes."
October 4, 2001 -- The board of directors of ViaPostal, the Spanish private postal service, has ratified the appointments of Josep Manuel Basanez, Julio Ariza and Javier Cardenal. Ariza is chairman of Grupo Intereconomia, Basanez is chairman of Caprabo, while Cardenal chairs consultancy Icas.
October 4, 2001 -- Australia's Qantas has stopped carrying mail for the Papua New Guinea postal service two weeks ago due to its failure to pay its bills.
October 4, 2001 -- Agence France Presse has reported that "the dramatic grounding of Swissair's fleet will likely hit international postal services by the Swiss Post too. Post sent econony class could face delays of between three days and a week depending on its destination, the Swiss Post said in a press release, though mail sent priority was not expected to be affected. Swiss Post, which handles between 50 and 80 tonnes of postal freight a day, relied until now on the Swiss national carrier for about half the volume."
October 4, 2001 -- NTE and pFreight have announced that under a new agreement they will allow ground transportation carriers who use the pFreight Web site to sell their capacity and receive a variety of e-transportation benefits through NTE.
October 3, 2001 -- The first draft of the Postal Service's "comprehensive transformation plan" has been posted on the USPS web site.
October 3, 2001 -- The remarks by Postmaster General Jack Potter at the October meeting of the U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors has been posted on the USPS web site.
October 3, 2001 -- Be sure to check out the latest issue of PostInsight.
October 3, 2001 -- The U.S. Postal Service has unveiled a new 34 cent stamp displaying the American flag and the phrase "United We Stand" to symbolize unity and patriotism following the Sept. 11 attacks on New York and Washington. "The 'United We Stand' stamp is a ballot for freedom," Postmaster General John Potter said at post office headquarters before the stamp was unveiled. "Every time we use this stamp, we remind ourselves, and others, that (freedom and unity) are core values and are unshakable." The stamp, which shows Stars and Stripes with the words "United We Stand" in black across the bottom of the banner, will be available to consumers in early November.
October 3, 2001 -- Airborne Express (www.airborne.com), today announced that Clarke American Checks, Inc., one of the largest check printers in the United States, has selected airborne@home, the carrier's low-cost, business-to-residential delivery service, for a substantial portion of its 55 million annual bank check and share draft orders. Shipments can be tracked from the factory loading dock to the destination delivery unit through Airborne's state-of-the-art tracking system, and ultimately to the consumer's mailbox through the U.S. Postal Service's delivery confirmation service.
October 3, 2001 -- British stamps went from plain old lick and stick to high tech scratch and sniff with the launch of a new series of "interactive" stamps to celebrate a century of Nobel prizes. A spokesman for the Royal Mail said the special series included six stamps with special features matched to each of the six Nobel prize categories. He said the 40 pence stamp in the medicine category was impregnated with thousands of miniscule gelatine capsules which releases the scent of eucalyptus when scratched. The physics stamp is the first in Britain to include a hologram while an electrically-charged particle emerges on the chemistry stamp under the heat of a finger, he said. "This is the world's first interactive set of stamps. Never before has a single set used such diverse printing techniques," said Gavin Macrae, head of Royal Mail stamps and collectibles.
October 3, 2001 -- Neosphere Technologies, Inc., the Northern Virginia-based information systems and e-business services company, has announced the acquisition of BICENG Corporation of Vienna, VA, creator of the DigiPostal(TM) system for confidential Internet document delivery and on-line certification, authentification and verification of e-postal transactions.
October 3, 2001 -- According to The Scotsman, "the old excuse is true after all. According to the Royal Mail, Pounds 250 million worth of cheques really do go missing in the post every year. Admittedly, the Post Office does handle 81 million pieces of mail every day, so some are bound to go missing. But into which black hole do they disappear? The answer is ... Belfast. Undelivered letters are sent there, where a team of sleuths attempts to discover whence the letters came and whither they are bound. It is possibly the nightmare thought of mounds of uncashed cheques accumulating in Belfast that continues to keep 3.5 million of us from even having a bank account."
October 2, 2001 -- The U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors has approved the purchased of another 1003 MERLIN (Mail Evaluation Readability and Lookup Instruments) units to be deployed by August 2003. The Governors also praised postal employees and the Postmaster General for their extraordinary efforts subsequent to the terrorists attacks in New York and Washington on September 11.
October 2, 2001 -- According to Cox Direct's Diane Elmer in an article written for DM News, "the postal service already enjoys far too much power over rate setting -- not too little. When it can change the revenue request after the record is closed, ignore a 10-month administrative hearing where mailers' input was received and considered, and disregard the opinion of the PRC, the system is indeed broken. Congress needs to investigate the USPS' abuse of its power by this last rate increase and repeal the statutory provision that the governors abused. Only in this way can mailers know that last week's request for higher rates will lead to PRC proceedings that have any meaning. If the postal rate-setting mechanism is rigged so that no matter what the PRC determines, the postal service has the raw power to implement rates that serve its self-interest, mailers can have no faith in the rate-setting process."
October 2, 2001 -- According to DM News postal commentator Cary Baer, "every business needs to do all it can to support a weakening economy. Surely the postal service, part of the business communications backbone, can do its part. The postal service and its unions need to 'suck it up.'"
October 2, 2001 -- According to the publisher of Realty Times, "given that a large percentage of real estate marketing is tied to postal rates -- farming by mail, shopper newspapers, magazines, etc. -- it follows that if postal rates increase, marketing costs will also rise. Given a limited ability to raise brokerage commissions, even minor increases for marketing cannot be ignored."
October 2, 2001 -- As the BBC has noted, "since the terrorist attacks on the USA, the Hungarian Post Office has also introduced tight security measures. Vilmos Keszthelyi, head of the Post Office's internal protection department, said that the protection of employees and offices had been stepped up. Since 1995, post office employees in Hungary have been separately trained in recognizing the signs of a letter bomb. The Customs Office and [Hungarian airlines] Malev have also tightened controls governing international parcels."
October 1, 2001 -- A new postage stamp reflecting the surge of patriotism in the wake of the terrorist attacks will be unveiled Tuesday by the Postal Service. The design of the 34-cent stamp will be made public by Robert F. Rider, chairman of the postal governing board, and Postmaster General John E. Potter. Reportedly it will show a large American flag above the words "United We Stand." While this stamp is planned for the standard first-class rate, some members of Congress have proposed a stamp with a surcharge to raise money for the families of those killed at the Pentagon and World Trade Center.
October 1, 2001 -- Read about "The changing routes of the Postal Service" as reported by the e-Business Communication Association.
October 1, 2001 --Dutch postal and logistics company TPG NV has said that Chief Financial Officer Peter Bakker will succeed Ad Scheepbouwer as chief executive officer from Nov. 1.
October 1, 2001 -- The British newspaper, The Independent, has reported that "Consignia, formerly known as the Post Office, is launching an array of new services, which could include telecoms, in an effort to boost revenues. The expansion comes at a time when Consignia's income is under pressure due to the increased use of e-mail and competition from private postal delivery companies. The proposed telecoms move would be a countrywide scheme, say insiders. It could involve delivering fixed line and mobile services under a Post Office brand, although this is likely to be in partnership with a telecoms provider.
October 1, 2001 -- Asian business press sources have reported that India's "Department of Posts (DoP) is all set to enter the bulk cargo business. How would the department differentiate its service from that of private sector players, who are well established in the business? According to one Indian postal minister, "We are offering maximum security and safety."
October 1, 2001 -- According to Dow Jones, "Neuer Markt-listed Thiel Logistik of Luxembourg is in talks with Deutsche Post about possible cooperation. The logistics services company is also interested in a partnership with a small European postal firm, including in Austria and Switzerland."