Postal News Reported During January 2002
January 31, 2002 -- Les Echos (France) has reported that "Martin Vial, chairman of the French post office (La Poste), has said in a recent newspaper interview that 2001 was an "extremely difficult" year for the group, with lower operating profits than in previous years because of slower growth than anticipated in courier activity as well as the effects of September 11 and an increase in transport costs. The transition to the euro and the reduction of working hours also played a part."
January 31, 2002 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that "air-cargo volume fell 16% in December, a steeper slide than the previous month's decline, the latest sign that many businesses still are struggling despite recent signs of an uptick in economic activity. The Air Transport Association, the main trade group for U.S. carriers, said scheduled air-freight traffic declined to 1.77 billion revenue ton miles in December from 2.12 billion a year earlier. A revenue ton mile is one ton of revenue-generating freight moved one mile. The results reflect world-wide volume at 17 carriers, including FedEx Corp. and United Parcel Service Inc....The U.S. Postal Service, responding to new restrictions on parcels shipped in the bellies of passenger planes, has shifted many parcels to trucking companies and all-cargo commercial airlines. As a result, mail-cargo volume in December plunged 55% to 121.7 million revenue ton miles from 270.5 million a year earlier, the ATA said. "
January 31, 2002 -- According to AFX, "Business Post Group PLC said it welcomes the report issued this morning by the Postal Services Commission which will permit it to expand its mail operations."
January 31, 2002 -- The U.S. Postal Service has published in the Federal Register a "proposed rule which provides information on the implementing standards for the rate, fee, and classification changes the Postal Service proposes to adopt if the terms of the second revised Stipulation and Agreement are consistent with the PRC's recommended decision on R2001-1 and if the Governors of the Postal Service, acting pursuant to 39 U.S.C. 3625, approve that recommended decision. Comments must be received on or before March 1, 2002."
January 31, 2002 -- Reuters has reported that "Britain's troubled public postal service is to lose its protected mail business and face full competition by 2006 under plans unveiled on Thursday by industry regulators. Regulators Postcomm ruled that from April bulk business mail -- nearly half the letters sent in Britain -- could be handled by rival operators to state-owned Consignia and that all deliveries would be open to competition within four years. The move was aimed at safeguarding the UK's flat-fee letter delivery system, it said."
January 31, 2002 -- According to The Independent (U.K.), "the post, along with water supply, is one of the few remaining public services where consumers do not have a choice of supplier. Under the proposals announced today by Postcomm for liberalising the market, you still won't have a choice until 2006, unless you happen to be the kind of household that mails out Christmas cards 4,000 at a time. But even that is too brisk a pace of change for Consignia, which has let out a blood curling warning that competition will sound the death knell for the universal service, This is the Royal Mail's guarantee to deliver to every address in the land for the price of a first-class stamp, sometimes, even, by the following day. Consignia has grown fat on its monopoly."
January 31, 2002 -- CMA Section of AMICUS (U.K.), in responding to Postcomm's proposals on competition within postal services urges caution. Peter Skyte, Amicus National Secretary said that the regulatory frame work established and the form of liberalisation proposed holds real risks for the uniform service obligation, uniform postal price and closure of the post office network. The introduction of competition in the postal service should be gradual measured and controlled to ensure that there are benefits for all users and not just large business users."
January 31, 2002 -- The British news service, Anova, has reported that "the [U.K.'s] postal regulator says traditional justification for maintaining Consignia's monopoly is no longer valid. The comments come in a Postcomm report setting out a timetable for increasing competition in the market. Postcomm says that if Consignia is to thrive it must embrace alternative technologies. Its report adds that Consignia must look for ways of providing customers with more choice and better value for money." See also the report by the BBC.
January 31, 2002 -- If you're perplexed over what's going on with the British postal system, be sure to check out the Q&As posted on the BBC web site.
January 31, 2002 -- The Financial Times has reported that:
January 31, 2002 -- According to GovExec.Com, "Rising costs continue to tax the Postal Service's bottom line. Wages keep going up. In late December, the 340,000-member American Postal Workers Union won a 4.4 percent raise over three years, retroactive to 2000. Although the raise was much less than the 13.5 percent the union sought, it will nonetheless have an impact. The Postal Service is either in collective bargaining or headed to arbitration with its other three unions, too. Retirement benefits will also pose major problems during the coming years. The Postal Service estimates that its retirement expenses will grow to $14 billion in 2010, up from $9.1 billion in 2001. Retiree health care costs are projected to climb from nearly $900 million to $2 billion during the same period. To top it off, the agency will likely reach its $15 billion borrowing limit by the end of the year."
January 31, 2002 -- The Associated Press has reported that:
January 31, 2002 -- The U.S. Postal Service is requesting information regarding electronic filing (eFiling) document management systems for their national purchasing program. The USPS is seeking information about eFiling systems that are able to collect, process, store, and retrieve all purchasing documents electronically. The documents to be considered for eFiling include standard forms, funding documents, statements of work, solicitations, contracts, modifications and amendments, receiving reports and various other support documents related to the purchasing process. The Postal Service is considering eFiling both existing and/or future documents.
January 31, 2002 -- According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, "the U.S. Postal Service has become a big seller on the auction site eBay, offering all kinds of goods that never made it to their intended destination."
January 31, 2002 -- According to the Financial Times, "political dithering led to decline of universal postal service in the U.K." Oh....like the dithering we're doing in the United States?
January 31, 2002 -- AFX has reported that "the U.K. government has refused to comment on a report it is planning to close 3,000 post offices but warned the network's operator Consignia it faces hard choices in its restructuring of the business."
January 31, 2002 -- La Tribune (France) has reported that "the French post office (La Poste) is working on an alternative to its partnership with Eulia, the joint venture created by Caisse des Depots, the French institutional investment authority, and Caisses d'Epargne, the French banking group. La Poste may try to team up with Franco-Belgian banking group Dexia, which has a 20 per cent stake in Credit du Nord, a subsidiary of French bank Societe Generale. La Poste has refused to comment on the press reports, while Dexia has merely reiterated its aim of playing a role in future banking mergers in France and Europe, where La Poste is a possible protagonist."
January 31, 2002 -- The Guardian (U.K.) has reported that "Britain's pounds 5bn a year inland postal market is to be opened to full scale competition within four years in a dramatic three stage plan drawn up by the industry regulator, Postcomm. The proposals, which go considerably further than EU plans for liberalisation of European postal markets, have horrified management and unions at Consignia, the troubled Royal Mail and Post Office owner." See also the report in The Independent.
January 31, 2002 -- The Financial Times (U.K.) has reported that "public postal services will no longer enjoy a protected monopoly under plans, to be revealed on Thursday, to open the market to full competition for the first time. Postcomm, the independent regulator, has ruled that bulk business mail - nearly half the letters sent in Britain - can be handled by new rival operators within eight weeks. Consignia, which loses more than £1m a day running the Royal Mail, said it was shocked by the speed and extent of Postcomm's proposals, which threaten the most profitable part of its business.
January 31, 2002 -- Dow Jones has reported that "the Teamsters union and United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS) opened contract negotiations Wednesday in a face-off that could define the strength of organized labor. A two-week strike by 185,000 Teamsters in 1997 cost the company millions of dollars, crippling the Atlanta-based package delivery giant. The five-year contract that was reached expires July 31."
January 31, 2002 -- According to Asia Pulse, "the [Vietnamese] postal service has announced plans to install a high-speed national information highway in order to provide all districts nation-wide with access to the telecoms network, according to an ambitious 10-year strategy. The information highway will provide a wide-band link to districts and communes with high-tech facilities such as optical fibre links and satellite and wireless services. The 10-year strategy includes plans to modernise national information facilities, diversify services, lower service costs in regional areas and universalise services."
January 30, 2002 -- A copy of the Postal Service's financial summary for accounting period four (AP 4) for postal fiscal year 2002 has been posted on this site.
January 30, 2002 -- The U.S. Postal Service has posted the agenda for the February meeting of its Mailers Technical Advisory Committee on its RIBBS web site.
January 30, 2002 -- CEP News (Courier- Express- and Postal-Market News) has reported that:
Check out the latest issue of CEP News for the details on this and other news items affecting the courier, express, and postal market around the world.
January 30, 2002 -- The Washington Post has reported that:
January 30, 2002 -- The Associated Press has reported that "cleanup crews are turning their attention to anthrax-contaminated postal facilities now that the disinfected Hart Senate Office Building is back in use. Postal officials are working with the Environmental Protection Agency and other experts to determine how best to decontaminate the Brentwood facility in Washington and the Trenton facility in Hamilton Township, N.J."
January 30, 2002 -- Michael J. Riley, the former chief financial officer of the Postal Service, will present testimony to the Postal Rate Commission on behalf of the APWU, opposing the discounts the Postal Service is offering large mailers in its rate proposal. The APWU also will present testimony by Dr. Joel Popkin, an economist who has represented the APWU in previous postal rate proceedings. The witnesses will explain why they believe the discounts the Postal Service is offering large mailers are inefficient, will increase postal rates and undermine the financial position of the Postal Service. The Postal Service admits that the discounts it is offering exceed the costs it avoids when large volume mailers pre-sort their mail.
January 30, 2002 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "United Parcel Service earned $645 million or 57 cents a share in the fourth quarter of 2001, down from $724 million or 63 cents a share from the same period in 2000. International export volume rose 8%, with exports from Europe jumping 15%. Volume growth originating in Asia rebounded and improved 7% during the quarter. But a 0.8% fall in domestic traffic resulted in a 0.5% decline in total average daily package volume to 14.7 million parcels a day."
January 30, 2002 -- The Financial Times has reported that "Consignia must reform its "frankly Victorian" management and work in partnerships with its trade unions to assure the future of postal services. Patricia Hewitt, [U.K.] trade and industry secretary, said that in parts of Consignia, formerly the Post Office, the management culture was archaic and needed to be brought up to the standards of the 21st century."
January 30, 2002 -- The Birmingham Post (U.K.) has reported that "the Tories yesterday accused the Government of allowing trade union 'militancy' to flourish among postal workers and in the rail industry. Shadow Trade and Industry Secretary John Whittingdale said industrial relations in Britain were 'shambolic' and accused Labour of giving trade unions too many rights. The Conservatives were to raise the issue in a debate in the Commons yesterday, citing the strike ballot of nearly 150,000 postal workers campaigning for a five per cent pay rise as evidence of the 'march of militancy'."
January 30, 2002 -- The Independent (U.K.) has reported that "the [British] Government is preparing to close up to 3,000 urban post offices in the biggest programme of cutbacks the network has seen. Ministers are putting the finishing touches to a compensation scheme for sub-postmasters that could see a third of the Post Office's 9,000 branches in town centres and suburbs disappear."
January 30, 2002 -- The AFX news service has reported that "the [Danish] government will convert Post Danmark into a limited company, which will pave the way for a privatisation of the Danish postal services."
January 30, 2002 -- Business Day (South Africa) has reported that "the SA Post Office was locked in an urgent industry meeting last night to thrash out differences over a proposed 12% to 15% increase in postal tariffs which has outraged a host of big and small mail users. The SA Post Office is the third state-owned organisation, after Telkom and Eskom, to apply for an above-inflation tariff hike for this year, placing further pressure on SA's inflation targets. SA Post Office senior GM Bernard Magabe said yesterday the average increase was 12% at most. This could push the current R1,40 cost of posting a standard letter to R1,57. The Post Office's licence restricts annual postal increases to the consumer price index (CPI), projected at 3% to 6% this year."
January 30, 2002 -- The New Straits Times (Malaysia) has reported that "sending greeting cards to friends and loved ones during festivals and birthdays is a common practice in the Malaysian culture. Today, for those with Internet access, sending electronic greeting cards is becoming a much favoured option. However, for Malaysians who live abroad, sending home an e-card may not be a viable option as their loved ones in the suburbs may not have Internet access to receive and read the card. But sending home a paper-based card through snail mail, which may take up to weeks to be delivered or sometimes become lost, too, can leave one feeling frustrated. With this in mind, POS-Malaysia.com, the national postal services company's online presence, has come up with a solution to help both Malaysians living abroad and here to send an e-greeting card that will ultimately be delivered in paper-based form to its receiver."
January 30, 2002 -- According to Reuters, "Pitney Bowes Inc., the No. 1 postal equipment maker, has reported lower fourth-quarter profits, as customers pushed back plans to buy or upgrade mailing systems, but it said new products and a stamp rate hike would boost results in 2002."
January 30, 2002 -- ABCNews.com has reported that the "tradition of waiting for college acceptance letters erodes as schools turn to e-mail, Web, on-the-spot welcome."
January 30, 2002 -- As Technology Decisions has noted, "unless you’ve opened a port to allow instant messaging—AOL, ICQ, Yahoo Messenger, and the like—e-mail is probably high on your employees’ list as a way to keep in touch with the outside world. No one can overhear an e-mail message, and it doesn’t cost anything to send a recipe to Aunt Marguerite in Boise. E-mail is also becoming the method of choice for outsiders to communicate, whether for business or pleasure, information or inquiry."
January 30, 2002 -- According to CargoWeb News, "Deutsche Post Direkt continued its growth in the electronic recording of paper documents in 2001. The number of documents scanned and recorded rose by 22.1 percent compared to the previous year to 91.8 million pieces. Using high performance scanners and text recognition software, Deutsche Post Direkt processes papers from post card format on up to DIN-A3, for example sweepstakes coupons, order cards and application forms. Customers include among others, mail order houses, telecommunications companies, operators of customer loyalty systems, retailers, as well as energy providers and governmental authorities."
January 30, 2002 -- The Business Recorder has reported that "Pakistan Post Office (PPO) has shelved a project for acquiring two "Russian Freighter Aircraft" (RFA) on lease for the lifting of its air-cargo to different international destinations. The PPO is now likely to ink an agreement with some "International Courier Company" for this purpose."
January 29, 2002 -- According to DM News postal commentator Cary Baer, "Barring unforeseen circumstances, it does seem that the postal service and the vast majority of rate case intervenors have agreed to settle the case, roughly along the terms as filed by the USPS. The intervenors did not choose to settle for any altruistic reason. It was the fear that the alternative would be more expensive. The postal service threatened that if the rate case were to continue, it would modify its filing with the Postal Rate Commission and raise its revenue requirement by perhaps as much as 50 percent. Faced with potential rate increases of 15 percent instead of 10 percent, the settlement decision was relatively easy."
January 29, 2002 -- The Associated Press has reported that "the shuttered regional post office that processed anthrax-tainted mail could reopen in April."
January 29, 2002 -- According to The Independent (U.K.), the British "Post Office still commands great respect - but for how much longer?"
January 29, 2002 -- Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung has reported that "Germany's finance ministry has defended its decision to leave the country's postal service free of tax charges until 2007. The move will see it retain its current status until the end of its monopoly in 2007, with no change in law expected at present."
January 28, 2002 -- R.R. Donnelley Logistics President John Campanelli wrote in a letter to DM News that "trade groups representing major U.S. Postal Service customers agreed this month to lift their opposition to another increase in mailing rates. But as these magazine publishers and direct mailers work with the postal service in this difficult time of security concerns, this price concession should not derail the larger effort to improve postal service inefficiencies."
January 28, 2002 -- It may not be Enron's kind of accounting tricks, but why is the U.S. Postal Service paying out millions in bonuses, even as it loses billions? The inside story from ABCNEWS' John Martin.
January 28, 2002 -- The Scotsman (U.K.) has reported that "according to last week’s National Audit Office (NAO) report, the post may now be "far less efficient than it was 30 or 40 years ago". It is about to get worse. In the next two weeks, Consignia (the absurd name given last year to the Post Office) will announce how it is to achieve the £1.2 billion of cost cuts it says it needs to stay afloat. This could derail negotiations with its irksome unions - who were expecting a longer time to negotiate potential redundancies - and leave the postal service facing its worst strikes for decades.""
January 28, 2002 -- Roll Call has reported that "the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms has formed a task force to investigate new health concerns after staffers in at least six Senate offices complained of headaches, nausea and a tingling sensation in their hands after handling irradiated mail. So far, the task force has found no evidence that the mail is the cause of the staffers' symptoms."
January 28, 2002 -- The editorial writers of the Financial Times have written that "if the Royal Mail, or Consignia as it now prefers to be known, provided a quality service, there would be little need to consider big changes this week in the market for delivering letters. Consignia does not provide such a service. It has failed to achieve its first-class mail delivery target in each of the past six years. Its 200,000 employees are responsible for more strikes than any other industry. It made its first operating loss last year....Consignia's recent failures cannot be blamed on the gradual introduction of competition at the margins of its monopoly. And it is absurd to suggest that because Consignia is so bad, competition should be avoided."
January 28, 2002 -- According to the Evening Standard (U.K.), "people working from home would be "crippled" by a plan to delay mail deliveries until mid-afternoon, says the Federation of Small Businesses. Consignia, which owns the Royal Mail, is considering prioritising postal deliveries as part of a series of cost-cutting measures to save £1.26 billion a year. This would mean businesses getting deliveries first, with householders having to wait for their post until up to 3pm. But the Federation of Small Businesses warned the scheme would be a disaster for some of the one million businesses based at residential addresses."
January 28, 2002 -- According to Reuters, "Abdul Bari has been a postal clerk for 40 years in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar, but he has just one problem -- there are no letters."
January 27, 2002 -- Ananova has reported that "householders may have to wait until mid-afternoon to get their post delivered under cost-cutting plans being considered by the Royal Mail. The Royal Mail says it needs to make savings of £1.26bn a year and admits a series of reforms may need to be introduced to help them hit their targets. A spokesman for Consignia, formerly the Post Office which owns the Royal Mail, says prioritising deliveries so businesses receive their post before residential customers is one of the plans under consideration."
January 26, 2002 -- According to CNSNews.com, the U.S. Postal Service is about to pull off the "Great Postal Con Game."
January 26, 2002 -- The new Mail.dat specification is now available. Mail.dat 02-1 has been updated to reflect new Postal Regulations, including those of the pending rate case. In addition the new specification has additional usage scenarios, enhanced definitions, and improved communications and quality features. Published Specification: 01/16/02; Permitted Version: 02-1; Usage: 04/29/02; Anticipated Rate Case implementation: 06/30/02; End usage of Version 00-1: 08/16/02. For more information, check out http://www.gca.org/maildat/. To order, please contact IDEAlliance (formerly GCA) at 703-837-1096 or by email to: GVolakis@idealliance.org. If you have questions, please contact Dan Minnick, Mail.dat Chief Editor, at 847 517 5683 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
January 26, 2002 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "United Parcel Service has become the first logistics provider to be granted a license by Taiwan customs to handle clearance procedures previously conducted by the state agency. Customer can now get consigned parcels in 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 hours after a UPS plane arrives."
January 26, 2002 -- The Independent (U.K.) has a nice "short history of the post code."
January 25, 2002 -- According to Dow Jones:
The European Union could soon slap Deutsche Post AG with a record penalty of more than EUR800 million for allegedly using revenues from its monopoly letter business to undermine express mail competitors like United Parcel Service (UPS), say lawyers and a former E.U. Competition Commissioner. The ruling could jeopardize the German government's plan to sell another block of shares in Deutsche Post. It still controls 69% of the company and wants to reduce its stake to less than 50%.
January 25, 2002 -- The Postal Service will be publishing on January 30 in the Federal Register a proposed rule which provides information on the implementing standards for the rate, fee, and classification changes the Postal Service proposes to adopt if the terms of the second revised Stipulation and Agreement are consistent with the PRC's recommended decision on R2001-1 and if the Governors of the Postal Service, acting pursuant to 39 U.S.C. 3625, approve that recommended decision.
January 25, 2002 -- According to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, "the U.S. Postal Service is looking to increase the cost of sending mail. They should not be given any increase until they start to manage the Post Office like a business. They do not have control over their costs and in many respects the union decides what is done and not the management....It is time for the Post Office to take control by eliminating waste, bonuses and deciding that they have the responsibility to manage and not the union."
January 25, 2002 -- According to CNET News, "the stored value card--like its higher-tech cousin, the 'smart' card, where value is stored on the card's computer chip rather than on a server--is just one of the emerging technologies gaining momentum while paper check usage is in decline, according to a new study by the Federal Reserve. Until now, it was widely believed that Americans write about 60 billion to 70 billion checks a year. The number is actually closer to 50 billion (including government and business checks), with consumers writing the majority. Electronic payments--which range from credit cards, debit cards and electronic benefits transfer to online bill payment, stored value and smart cards--are estimated at 30 billion a year in total transactions. The study, based on data collected by the Federal Reserve System and referred to as the Check and Electronics Payment Research Project, is the first comprehensive analysis of the retail payments market in more than 20 years."
January 25, 2002 -- The Christian Science Monitor has reported that "USPS deliveries dropped at end of '01, but recession may be the biggest culprit." But don't worry, the Monitor adds, mail will come back. After all, mailers really have no place else to go, right?
January 25, 2002 -- The Tucson Citizen has reported that "banks in Tucson are losing hundreds of thousands of dollars to the fast-growing problem of checks being stolen from mailboxes, then altered and cashed. Mail thefts here have grown to epidemic proportions in the past year, with nearly 1,000 recorded. Checks and credit card applications are what the culprits - mostly methamphetamine addicts - are looking for."
January 25, 2002 -- According to the Times of India, "though going largely unnoticed, writing personal letters and sending them to addressees through post offices has been declining at an alarming rate of about 3 per cent every year for the last some years"
January 25, 2002 -- According to Handelsblatt, "Deutsche Post AG is on course for a row with the German audit office over the extent to which the German postal services and logistics group should enjoy its controversial freedom from sales tax. On Thursday, Deutsche Post denied that it was currently enjoying an unfair competitive advantage due to tax breaks. A company spokesman said its freedom from sales tax was conferred under German and European Union law by virtue of its status as the provider of a public service."
January 25, 2002 -- TPG NV will change the name of its mail division Royal PTT Post to Royal TPG Post.
January 25, 2002 -- ExpressIndia has reported that "India and the UAE have agreed in principle to further reduce telephone and postal tariffs to rake in more revenue, the second such move in four months."
January 24, 2002 -- Business Day has reported that "the German postal company has avoided paying value-added tax (VAT) amounting to $800-million for 1998 and 1999 prior to its stock market listing in 2000, a member of parliament has charged. The accusation from Free Democrat Party member Juergen Koppelin is based on a confidential memo from the federal audit office and follows the launch of Deutsche Post on the stock market at the end of 2000. The tax break for Deutsche Post is 'a case for the public prosecutor and the stock market supervisory authority', Koppelin said. Koppelin, who is a member of the German parliament's public audit committee, confirmed that Deutsche Post had been spared by the finance ministry from paying hundreds of millions of euros in VAT.
January 24, 2002 -- The French newspaper, Le Monde, has noted that "the proposed privatisation - either partial or total - of five of France's public-service providers presents five different challenges, say observers. While there are no immediate plans to privatise the French post office (La Poste), observers point out that it is facing increasing stiff competition in the courier and parcel sector from its privatised German and Dutch counterparts."
January 24, 2002 -- According to El Pais (Spain), "Correos y Telegrafos, the Spanish post office, quadrupled the number of offices which offer electronic money transfer services to other countries in 2001. The number of offices providing these services now totals 1,232."
January 24, 2002 -- CEP News (Courier- Express- and Postal-Market News) has reported that:
Check out the latest issue of CEP News for the details on this and other news items affecting the courier, express, and postal market around the world.
January 24, 2002 -- Posted on this site is a letter PostCom has received from the U.S. Postal Service regarding MERLIN.January 24, 2002 -- If you take a look at the blue navigational bar on the left, you should notice that we've added another postal news and views site. This one is run by a postal employee. The site is Lu's News and Views.
January 24, 2002 -- European sources have reported that "the parliamentary committee on public accounts will question finance minister Hans Eichel or his representative tomorrow on the government directive to exempt Deutsche Post World Net AG from sales tax payments."
January 24, 2002 -- As the Washington Post has noted, "when Stamps.com and rival E-Stamp finally succeeded in winning federal approval for their fledgling services, it came with restrictions that severely limited their appeal to the public. And that might have spelled the end of Stamps.com had not anthrax spores turned up in ordinary letters. Now, there's new demand for ways to make mail more secure, and Stamps.com sees an opportunity to eliminate some of the restrictions that have hobbled it. Trial tests of a less fettered service get underway this month."
January 24, 2002 -- FoxNews has reported that "three months after four anthrax-related deaths among postal workers and mail scares in nearly a dozen federal government buildings, the post office is still scrambling to assemble the technology to detect and eliminate the dangerous spores from the mail. The United States Postal Service is expected to submit a report to Congress next month detailing how it will spend the $500 million in security funds earmarked to it, the first time Congress has appropriated taxpayer funds to the quasi-governmental agency."
January 24, 2002 -- According to The Scotsman, "up to half of Britain’s 17,500 post offices could be closed down under plans drawn up by Consignia as a desperate measure to cut losses. The former Post Office wants to close 1,000 post offices now with a further 7,000 to go over the next five years, according to a strategic plan submitted by Consignia to ministers in London. The report, produced by senior Consignia executives, claims too many post offices are making losses and have to be closed if the company wants to have a future."
January 24, 2002 -- According to European sources, "the [U.K.'s] National Audit Office has warned Postcomm, the new postal services regulator, that there are risks associated with its objectives to bring improvements to the industry through competition. In a report, the NAO said there may be insufficient competition to generate an improved service to most customers due to the strength of Consignia's brands, particularly Royal Mail and from the company's response to competitors." See also the report by The Guardian, The Independent, Dow Jones, Financial Times, and The Times.
January 24, 2002 -- Hong Kong i-Mail.com has reported that Siemens Demantic, who had "contracted to install a $187 million postal system for the airport is suing the [Hong Kong] government over delays that resulted in a loss of $79.34 million."
January 24, 2002 -- According to Newsbytes.com, "the United States Postal Service currently is in the middle of a marketing arrangement with Microsoft Corp. [NASDAQ:MSFT] that allows Microsoft to hawk promotional Windows XP CD-ROMs in post offices around the nation. The Postal Service's trucks also will advertise the MSN broadband service beginning in March."
January 24, 2002 -- According to the Financial Times, "if current trends hold, it is likely that the US will make a remarkable recovery from its shortest recession on record."
January 24, 2002 -- AFX Europe has reported that "Deutsche Post World Net AG said it believes its exemption from payment of sales tax conforms to national and European Union laws. Handelsblatt, citing an internal document of the federal accounts office, said Deutsche Post is being asked by the office to pay an additional 450 mln eur sales tax annually, rejecting a finance ministry's directive on its exemption from payment. Deutsche Post said the company is conducting an internal review on the matter."
January 24, 2002 -- Asahi Shimbun has reported that "the current [Japanese] Diet session will get down to details on formation of a Japan Postal Corp., which would take over postal services, postal savings and postal insurance programs beginning in April 2003. Discussion will focus on the proposals outlined in an interim report prepared at the end of last year by advisers to the Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications. The report recommends privatizing postal services, including mail delivery, on condition the quality of private service is the same nationwide, eventually permitting private-sector competition in what has been a government monopoly. Since much of the direct mail delivered in urban areas is already handled by home-delivery services, the interim report's recommendation is realistic."
January 24, 2002 -- PostNexus, Inc., a provider of integrated, e-to-post business communications solutions, has announced the commercial availability of pMail(TM), a solution for enabling businesses to use existing applications to send virtually any personalized, digital document as printed, postal mail."
January 24, 2002 -- ClickAction(TM) Inc., a provider of email marketing automation solutions, has launched the ClickAction Email Matching Service, an additional enhanced acquisition tool, to clients. ClickAction Email Matching Service matches and appends accurate, deliverable email addresses to corresponding names and postal addresses, enabling a new communication channel with existing customers."
January 24, 2002 -- The Philadelphia Business Journal has asked: "What do the space shuttle, the Anthrax-riddled postal system, a pharmaceutical manufacturing plant and an industrial pizza maker have in common? Each needs a really thorough vacuum -- something powerful and precise enough to suck up sand and microbes, airborne dust and microscopic food particles. Meeting that need in each of these cases: Nilfisk-Advance America Inc., the Malvern-based subsidiary of Danish concern Nilfisk-Advance A/S."
January 24, 2002 -- See the PostInsight home page for presentations on: "Managing Change in South America" ("Gestionando el cambio en Sudamérica") is a presentation by Roberval Borges Corrêa, Commercial Director, Correios, Brasil; "Signtrust ? Delivering Value-Added Services" is a presentation by Marcus Belke, Managing Director, Deutsche Post Signtrust GmbH, Germany; "Customer Perspectives" is a presentation by Gerhard Möller, Deutsche Post World Net, and Chairman of the Customer Relations Task Force, PostEurop, Brussels.
January 24, 2002 -- The Postal Rate Commission has published on its web site the schedule of its remaining hearings in R2001 before considering its recommended decision on the basis of a settlement agreement advanced by the U.S. Postal Service and mailers.
January 23, 2002 -- As the Washington Post has noted, "two recent audits by the inspector general at the U.S. Postal Service have, shall we say, raised a few eyebrows at the agency's L'Enfant Plaza headquarters. Inspector General Karla W. Corcoran found that a Postal Service program to help executives with their moving costs was more generous than the relocation perks offered by several large corporations and funneled postal money to some officials who were not eligible for the perk. For numerous employees, the reports fuel speculation about cronyism and favoritism at the Postal Service. That's not healthy, because the Postal Service is a troubled agency. It fell $1.7 billion further into debt last year and faces, for the short term at least, the prospect of reduced mail volume."
January 23, 2002 -- According to CNN.com, "The federal government's new CTO, Norman Lorentz, decided to return to the federal government on September 11 as he stood in Reagan National Airport in Washington when the Pentagon was attacked by a hijacked airliner."
January 23, 2002 -- Fairchild Imaging has announced that Lockheed Martin Distribution Technologies, Owego, N.Y., selected the Fairchild Imaging CAM 8525 as the core imaging module for the Wide Field of View (WFOV) Camera System. On Dec. 20, 2001, Lockheed Martin was awarded a contract by the U.S. Postal Service to provide the WFOV Camera System to postal facilities throughout the United States.
January 23, 2002 -- The BBC has reported that "a ballot of 140,000 postmen and women will go ahead after talks aimed at averting a national strike ended without agreement. The Communication Workers Union said no progress was made at a meeting with managers from postal group Consignia, held under the chairmanship of the conciliation service Acas on Tuesday. The ballot is part of a campaign to win a 5% pay rise. Consignia has offered 2%, with the chance of a further 0.5% if quality of service targets are met." See also the report in The Guardian.
January 23, 2002 -- According to The Times (U.K.), "unions and the Conservatives yesterday attacked the appointment of a one-day-a-week interim chairman for Consignia, the troubled postal group."
January 23, 2002 -- According to the Alaska Journal, "Sen. Ted Stevens intends to keep federal spigot open."
January 23, 2002 -- Asian sources have reported that "PhilWeb.com Inc said it has signed a memorandum of agreement with the Philippine Postal Corp to market its prepaid Internet cards at post offices nationwide. PhilWeb.com said PhilPost also agreed to develop with the company virtual post offices and hybrid mail services, such as electronic cards and business-to-consumer deliveries."
January 23, 2002 -- Le Figaro has reported that "the 219 employees of the French post office (La Poste)'s sorting office in Paris' 15th arrondissement yesterday continued the wildcat strike. This stop-work action is in protest against La Poste's refusal to renew the contracts of 10 fixed-term employees. At the same time, French postal workers have given notice of their intention to strike at the Louvre and La Chapelle sorting offices in Paris. They are demanding higher staffing levels and better job security."
January 23, 2002 -- According to Asia Pulse, "KoreaPost will set up a task force to prepare for possible terrorism via the postal system during the 2002 FIFA World Cup finals." See also Chosun.com National News and Korea Times.
January 22, 2002 -- The New York Times has reported that "the United States Postal Service has decided to consolidate most of its advertising assignments, with combined billings estimated at $100 million, and has begun a review to find an agency to handle tasks like mainstream campaigns, media services, direct marketing and promotions. Larry Speakes, advertising manager for the service in Washington, confirmed a report about the consolidation in the online edition of Adweek. The move is part of an effort to operate more efficiently and cut costs, he said."
January 22, 2002 -- According to the Jackson (MI) Citizen Patriot, "some experts say e-commerce and private companies will be the Postal Service's undoing."
January 22, 2002 -- CNN has reported that "investigators appear to be on the verge of cracking the genetic sequencing of the anthrax strain that has killed five Americans since the fall. An announcement on the breakthrough could be made this week. The FBI and the U.S. Postal Service have been trying to locate the person or group that began sending anthrax-laced letters through the mail in mid-September to Senate offices in Washington and media outlets in New York and Florida."
January 22, 2002 -- United Parcel Service has announced that Alan Gershenhorn, a 23-year veteran of UPS, has been promoted to president of UPS Canada. Gershenhorn, will be responsible for all UPS operations in Canada, where UPS has been operating since 1975. In his new role, Gershenhorn will draw on his extensive experience to drive UPS Canada as an enabler of global commerce.
January 22, 2002 -- According to the Evening Standard (U.K.), "Allan Leighton, the former chief executive of Asda, has been named interim chairman of Consignia, the parent company of the Royal Mail. Leighton, who had previously declined an invitation from ministers to take the chair as successor to Neville Bain, told the London Evening Standard's Business Day he changed his mind on condition that his appointment is only short term while a full-time chairman is found for the company. However, that may not prove easy, as the kind of chief the Post Office needs will want far more of a free hand than the Government, Consignia's only shareholder, may be willing to offer." See also the Evening Standard's commentary and the item by the BBC.
January 22, 2002 -- As the Strait Times (Singapore) has noted, "Singapore Post's (SingPost's) global mail joint venture with European counterparts TPG and Consignia has unveiled its new brand name, Spring, and announced that the venture hit its revenue target in the first six months of operations. Spring said it aims to grow at up to 10 per cent a year."
January 22, 2002 -- According to the BBC, "talks to avert national post strike A national strike could be held as early as March Talks aimed at preventing a national postal strike are to be held between union leaders and managers of Consignia the former Post Office. Tuesday's meeting at the conciliation service ACAS will see the Communications Workers Union argue for a pay rise of 5 for 140 000 Royal Mail staff."
January 22, 2002 -- According to Die Welt, "Deutsche Post World Net AG has to open 323 new branches in Germany under the new postal laws passed late last year. Most of the branches will be in eastern Germany. Opening the new branches is the 'political price' the company has to pay for extending until 2007 Deutsche Post's monopoly for letters weighing up to 200 grams."
January 22, 2002 -- The Canada News Wire has reported that "members of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) in Brandon, Manitoba, Lethbridge and Medicine Hat, Alberta, are poised for an all out strike. Months of negotiations in each of the three cities have failed to settle outstanding differences between the union and courier companies who hold contracts with Canada Post, and the union has already undertaken limited job action in each of the cities."
January 22, 2002 -- According to European sources, German "services union Ver.di said its members from the postal and logistics sectors are demanding wage rises of between 5-7 pct in the upcoming wage rounds."
January 22, 2002 -- Africa News has reported that "postal facilities in major cities and towns nationwide [Nigeria] are being given a face-lift under a programme embarked upon by NIPOST to improve its operation."
January 21, 2002 -- CargoWeb News has reported that "ShipitSmarter.com and ABCMail have introduced a mail service to have the goods paid on delivery by using an international POD service."
January 21, 2002 -- If the postal service was making money there would be no problem with their trying to run all of the businesses they are in, says Maxwell Sroge leading catalog consultant. But with their never-ending losses it's time for them to cut back just the same way that so many other businesses are doing today.
January 21, 2002 -- The Financial Times has reported that "Allan Leighton, the former chief executive of Asda, is expected today to be named interim chairman of Consignia - formerly the Post Office - with a mandate to streamline its urban network and fight increasing competition in mail delivery."
January 21, 2002 -- ABF U-Pack Moving(R) has partnered with the U.S. Postal Service and Imagitas to provide an online service to help the millions of Americans who move every year. MoversGuide.com is the U.S. Postal Service's official online change of address Web site.
January 21, 2002 -- Canada.com has reported that "a rotating strike among postal workers could affect Calgary. The strike first ignited in Winnipeg on Wednesday, following a breakdown in negotiations between Canada Post and its employees over job security and contracting out.
January 21, 2002 -- The Guardian (U.K.) has reported that "Consignia, the postal services group, is to hold talks with union leaders at the arbitration service Acas tomorrow in a last-ditch attempt to avert a national postal strike."
January 20, 2002 -- Government Computer News has reported that "As the Office of Management and Budget’s first chief technology officer, Norman Lorentz will provide technical support for OMB’s chosen 24 e-government initiatives—up from 23, counting a newly planned governmentwide payroll system—plus the Office of Homeland Security." Lorentz formerly served as the U.S. Postal Service's chief technology officer.
January 20, 2002 -- The Sunday Times (U.K.) has reported that "up to half of Britain’s 17,500 post offices could be closed under plans drawn up by Consignia for one of the biggest shake-ups in the 360-year history of the mail service. In a strategic plan submitted to ministers, the company has recommended the immediate closure of 1,000 post offices with a further 7,000 phased over the next five years. The report, prepared by senior Consignia directors with the help of the investment bank UBS Warburg, says radical surgery is needed if the network is to have a commercial future."
January 20, 2002 -- According to UTV, "the British postal workers union have condemned a decision by Royal Mail managers to dock the wages of employees who did not return to work after the funeral of Daniel McColgan. Consignia had backed the suspension of services in the two days leading up to Tuesday`s funeral but deducted pay as deliveries did not return to normal until the following day." See also the report by the BBC.
January 20, 2002 -- The Philadelphia Inquirer has noted that "after months of delay, batches of irradiated mail are trickling back to government employees. But some are finding platinum credit cards stained the color of coffee, snapshots singed, magazines fused shut, and floppy disks wiped clean by the powerful electron beams that were intended only to kill anthrax and other biological poisons."
January 20, 2002 -- Traffic World has reported that:
January 20, 2002 -- The Independent has reported that "the UK's postal regulator is set to throw open nearly a third of the Royal Mail's market to competition in a move which will put £1.25bn of business at risk. PostComm is expected to unveil a radical shake-up of the postal system at the end of the month which will result in rival operators being granted long-term contracts to compete with Consignia for 30 per cent of its monopoly business."
January 20, 2002 -- Japan Today has reported that "the [Japanese] government will submit two bills to the Diet aimed at fully opening mail services to the private sector in 2003, when a new public corporation is created to take over state-run postal services."
January 18, 2002 -- Le Monde (France) has reported that "La Poste, the French postal service, will reportedly announce a 30 per cent drop in profits in 2001 to about 87m euros pre-tax. For 2002, profits are expected to reach only 15m, for a 1 per cent increase in turnover, to 15.3bn. Some 803m in investment is still anticipated, however, including 200m on external growth. This performance can be attributed to the global economic downturn, which began in the US and was exacerbated by the events of September 11."
January 18, 2002 -- According to Le Figaro (France), "La Poste, the French post office, has asked the state for help with switching to the 35 hour week. In 1999 it was refused on the grounds that it manages a monopoly, but it can now say that in 2001 55 per cent of its activity was in a competitive market."
January 18, 2002 -- "To relocate executives from low to high cost areas without lowering their standard of living, the U. S. Postal Service has a unique program that purchases the executive's new home and operates as the lien holder," says Inspector General, Karla W. Corcoran, whose agency just made the findings public today for an audit that was completed on the program. The Inspector General's independent audit found that the postal program, called the Shared Real Estate Appreciation Loan Program, was more generous than relocation programs offered by Fortune 500 companies and federal agencies; offered selectively to 48 executives - 10 of whom did not fit the program eligibility requirements - between January 1997 and October 2000; offered in 3 cities not covered by the program; offered to 5 individuals multiple times, regardless of their eligibility; based on informal policies that did not address program exceptions or establish adequate documentation." See also the report in the Washington Post.
January 18, 2002 -- AdWeek has reported that "the United States Postal Service is consolidating four pieces of its estimated $100 million account and has posted an RFP on a government Web site. 'We're looking to consolidate into a single agency to make [the advertising process] more efficient and to achieve cost-savings,' said Larry Speakes, manager of advertising for the Washington, D.C.-based client. Non-roster agencies are invited to compete, he said, 'It's wide open.'"
January 18, 2002 -- According to The Times (U.K.), the British "Post Office stands to lose up to one third of its total market in a radical shake-up of competition."
January 18, 2002 -- The Ashahi Shimbun has reported that "the fate of Japan's postal service appears to be unraveling in a similar fashion to many other postal services throughout Asia. Formerly operating under the Posts and Telecommunications Ministry, postal operations were transferred to a newly created Postal Business Agency last year as part of government fiscal and structural reform. The government is expected to draw up a blue print for the Postal Business Agency to become a public corporation by 2003. A long time advocate of postal service privatization, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi supports plans to separate and privatize this government operation, pushing the postal services closer into battle with private enterprises on more level ground."
January 18, 2002 -- According to Dow Jones, "government and opposition lawmakers told the U.K.'s troubled postal service provider, Consignia, Thursday that it has no choice but to shape up. The government was taking 'active steps' to turn the company around, Trade and Industry Minister of State Douglas Alexander told the House of Commons. Consignia had 'simply no alternative ... but to improve its performance, Alexander said."
January 17, 2002 -- The National Postal Forum has elected its new officers for 2002: as chairman, Peter Lyons (DuPont Consulting Solutions), as treasurer, William David (PostCom Director), as secretary, Mary Elcano (Sidley, Austin Brown & Wood).
January 17, 2002 -- So why is the American Postal Workers Union opposing the proposed R2001 postal rate case settlement? All you need to do is examine the APWU president's assessment of what was won or lost in the recent binding arbitration to find out: "In these uncertain economic times, I concluded that it was appropriate to provide all members of the bargaining unit who were on the rolls as of the beginning date of the 2000 Agreement with the assurance that they cannot be laid off during the term of that agreement. While it is difficult to cost out the value of this assurance, in light of the competition that the Postal Service faces from low wage private sector sortation and distribution firms, the certainty that such competition cannot lead to layoffs among employees represented by APWU is a not inconsiderable benefit to those employees." Apparently the fear of competition from "low wage private sector sortation and distribution firms" is giving APWU the fits.
January 17, 2002 -- According to the U.S. Postal Service's financial data, accounting period four (AP4) for fiscal 2002 was far from sterling. While First-Class Mail volume grew by a modest 1.5% when compared to the same period of a year ago, Standard Mail showed a decline of 5.5%. While Parcel Post showed a 13% volume increase, package services overall declined by 5.5% In addition, Priority Mail volume was down by 13.2% and Express Mail was down by 13.9%. International mail volume also tanked by more than 20%. We'd post the complete AP report, but the Postal Service's green eyeshades would have a cow and start a bureaucratic witch-hunt for our source.
January 17, 2002 -- The Irish Times has reported that "An Post has forecast a €30 million (£23.6 million) loss this year after a €7.2 million deficit in 2001. The State company is understood to attribute the deepening financial crisis to the economic downturn, wage increases and its failure to implement a cost-cutting plan agreed with staff almost two years ago. With a general election only months away, An Post is also understood to have informed the Government that it cannot attempt to address the losses without a significant increase in postal tariffs."
January 17, 2002 -- The Irish Independent has reported that Irish "telecoms regulator Etain Doyle insists that her office is not to blame for any delays in agreeing postage price increases for An Post. The state postal service operator told the Office of the Director of Telecommunications Regulation (ODTR) that it is incurring unsustainable losses in its international postal business and that it is unhappy with the rate of progress on her decision on approving new non-domestic tariffs."
January 17, 2002 -- A copy of the powerpoint presentations given by the Postal Service and Consignia at the recent announcement of the USPS-Consignia agreement on European-bound international packages has been posted on this site.
January 17, 2002 -- ADVO, Inc., one of the nation's largest direct mail marketing companies, has announced a $500,000 reward for the capture and conviction of anyone responsible for contaminating the nation's mail with anthrax. The amount doubles ADVO's pledge made two months ago when it committed $250,000 to the $1 million reward then offered by the United States Postal Service and the FBI. Today's announcement puts the total now offered at $1.5 million, an amount that could go even higher when government agencies, as expected, increase their portion of the reward. ADVO also called on other companies that recognize the need to protect the US mail system to contribute to the reward and help push the total even higher.
January 17, 2002 -- The Irish Times has reported that "An Post has forecast a EUR30 million ((pounds) 23.6 million) loss this year after a EUR7.2 million deficit in 2001. The State company is understood to attribute the deepening financial crisis to the economic downturn, wage increases and its failure to implement a cost-cutting plan agreed with staff almost two years ago." The Irish Times noted as well that "An Post's problems refuse to go away. The State company's failure to implement crucial savings agreed with staff in 2000 will contribute to losses."
January 17, 2002 -- Euronet Worldwide, Inc., a provider of secure electronic financial transaction solutions, has contracted to drive merchant-replenished ATMs in Post Office branches throughout the United Kingdom. This project is in addition to the full-service ATMs Euronet already operates in 65 Post Office branches.
January 17, 2002 -- According to EBN.com, "logistics executives will notice some changes on their bills from shipping companies as rate increases kick in and fuel surcharges drop."
January 17, 2002 -- According to eWeek, "smart cards offer enhanced security for e-commerce as well as any online function that requires authentication, such as digital signatures. A smart-card issuer could offer customers digital certificates that confirm their identities online and allow them to digitally sign documents as well as a key that translates encrypted information. If a business user, for example, wants to sign a purchase agreement, an application on the computer or Internet sends a thumbnail of the document, called a digest, to the smart card in the smart-card reader. The processor on the card signs the digest using the certificate stored on the card, then sends it back to the computer. The certificate and key never leave the card. In contrast, in applications that don't use smart cards, the certificate and the key are stored on the hard drive of the user's computer or in a browser. There, they can be easily stolen. In addition, the user can access only the key and certificate from a particular machine.
January 17, 2002 -- TransportNews.Com has reported that:
January 17, 2002 -- According to Richard Miller, executive director of the International Mailers Action Group (IMAG), in a recent postal perspective for DM News, "shackled by archaic constraints, the U.S. Postal Service sits helplessly as overseas counterparts move briskly into the 21st century. The postal reorganization act of 1970 seemed like the solution back then, but it now severely limits the options to respond to today's demands."
January 17, 2002 -- According to Precision Marketing (U.K.), "Postwatch chairman Peter Carr has fuelled speculation that the second class postal system is to be scrapped, calling it 'daft' and saying that it contributes to the current difficulties experienced by the postal service. If such a move occurred, it would have serious implications for the direct marketing industry as the majority of business post is delivered second class. But Consignia has denied that it will follow up the suggestion."
January 17, 2002 -- The Washington Post has reported that "Federated Department Stores will sell or close its Fingerhut catalogue retailing unit after enduring millions of dollars in losses since buying Fingerhut for $1.7 billion in 1999. It said it does not expect to find a buyer."
January 16, 2002 -- CEP News (Courier- Express- and Postal-Market News) has reported that
Check out the latest issue of CEP News for the details on this and other news items affecting the courier, express, and postal market around the world.
January 16, 2002 -- The Financial Times has noted that "even as FedEx struggles with the sharp fall in its air express delivery business, its share price has risen nearly 50 per cent since late September. Such a dichotomy underlines investors' growing confidence in the company's transformation from a basic overnight deliverer of documents and parcels to an all-service transportation company. Chief among those changes is an expansion into ground services. FedEx has nabbed nearly 16,000 new clients by entering the home delivery arena, a small but significant amount given its absence from the market only two years ago. United Parcel Service and the US postal system dominate this sector. 'The residential business wasn't really a target market segment for us before,' says Rodger Marticke, executive vice-president of FedEx Ground. 'But now we're going out there soliciting the business.'"
January 16, 2002 -- The joint venture international business-mail company formed by TPG, Consignia and Singapore Post has announced the name of its new brand. From today, the new company that began operating on July 2, 2001, will be known as Spring. In the Americas, the launch of the new brand is being completed in two stages, with Canada and the United States involved initially. Argentina, Chile and other Latin American countries will adopt the new brand later this year. Spring's mission is to reshape global mail in the run up to -- and beyond -- postal liberalization, and to take the industry to new heights by bringing its pioneering brand values to life. As an independent business with its own, definitive culture, Spring will continuously look at new opportunities and innovative solutions beyond the postal world -- such as mail fulfillment, customized mail logistics solutions and data management -- to give customers greater value and choice.
January 16, 2002 -- According to European sources, "Shares in Ion Beam Applications SA extended yesterday's losses on ongoing fears over the company's contract with the US postal services and over its financial position. An IBA spokeswoman yesterday denied any link between the company and an incident in the US in which a recipient of a package sterilised by the company fainted. However, dealers said rumours continue about IBA's possible role in the incident and the future of its US mail contract."
January 16, 2002 -- The Financial Times has reported that "US postal and law enforcement officials indicated on Tuesday that they would sharply increase the reward offered for information on last year's anthrax attacks. The US Postal Service, which has been grappling with falling business and workers' fears of processing anthrax-tainted mail, said it would double its original reward to $2m. The new reward would take effect in about a week, said postal officials. The move comes as investigators still struggle to find likely suspects or motives nearly four months after the first anthrax-related death in Florida."
January 16, 2002 -- According to Broadband Networking News, "since the anthrax scare hit the nation's postal system last October, companies such as Alexandria, Va.-based Document Technologies have been swamped with inquiries about its RemoteMAIL digital postal mail conversion system, which allows in-house mail handlers to scan paper mail and automatically deliver digital versions locally via intranet or globally over e-mail. RemoteMAIL uses integrated technology from Fujitsu and Cardiff Software to convert paper mail into Adobe PDF images."
January 16, 2002 -- Internet Commerce Corporation (ICC) (Nasdaq: ICCA), a provider of e-commerce business-to-business communication services, has launched ICC.CATALOG, an innovative U.P.C./EAN catalog system for vendors and retailers.
January 16, 2002 -- Citibank e-Business, a unit of Citigroup (NYSE:C), the premier global financial services company, announced today that it has licensed its Citibank e-Billing B2B software to the global energy company BP p.l.c. Citibank e-Billing B2B is powered by Bottomline Technologies, a leading global technology provider of Financial Resource Management (FRM) software. Citibank e-Billing B2B provides BP a comprehensive end-to-end solution including online presentment and payment, automated workflow and online billing correction. With Citibank e-Billing, companies can present invoices to their customers, who can then make adjustments, obtain approvals and process the bill for payment--all online. Immediate access to invoice information online allows customers to reduce their costs as well as the time associated with paper-based billing and payment.
January 15, 2002 -- The Washington Post has reported that "Lockheed Martin Corp. will announce that it is developing a new system to detect biohazards in the mail. The BioMailSolutions filtration system would be retrofitted to existing mail sorters. The ventilation system, which looks like a filter in a metal tube, would sample and test the air around and inside the sorter for biohazards."
January 15, 2002 -- DM News has reported that "audio/video and car stereo cataloger Crutchfield cut back on prospect mailing for its Winter/Spring 2002 book, which began mailing the last week of December and will have regional drops each week through February. The book will go out to 6.8 million people, including 3 million from the house file. The reduced use of rental names has resulted in a 'low single-digit percentage decrease' in catalogs mailed compared to last year." A sign of the times?
January 15, 2002 -- According to postal observer Alan Robinson, "the recession and long term trends in mail usage prevent the Postal Service from resting if it is to survive. We may still have mail, but ensuring that the American People continue to have service is not yet given.The future of the Postal Service is cloudy for five reasons. First, there is less mail than before. Second, postage prices keep rising. Third, the Postal Service's financial position continues to weaken. Fourth, the Postal Service's scope continues to shrink. Fifth, competition has intensified."
January 15, 2002 -- Be sure to check out http://www.postinsight.pb.com/ for the following items that have been posted: "The UPU in a Changing Postal World" is a presentation by Thomas E. Leavey, Director General, International Division, Universal Postal Union (UPU); Presentation by Panos Kyriakopoulos, Managing Director, Hellenic Post (ELTA), Greece; and Presentation by Tage Benjaminsen, Chief Financial Officer, gatetrade.net, Denmark.
January 15, 2002 -- According to Dow Jones, "Vietnam's postal service plans to offer a service allowing companies to pay staff salaries through post offices. This is the first time Vietnam has introduced personal accounts in post offices."
January 15, 2002 -- The Canadian online service, Canoe, has reported that "Canada Post increased the cost of sending letters Monday with a hike in stamp prices as observers continued to sound a death knell for so-called 'snail mail.' The cost of domestic mail rose by a penny to 48 cents, letters to the United States now cost an extra nickel at 65 cents, and mailing overseas will set you back $1.25, up from $1.05. The added cost will likely not help a postal service that observers say is already under siege by competition from newer, faster technologies such as e-mail."
January 15, 2002 -- According to the NALC Bulletin, "bargaining for a new contract to replace the 1998-2001 National Agreement will resume Tuesday, January 29 with a main table session in Washington that will include the entire NALC [National Association of Letter Carriers] Executive Council. The contract was extended through the holiday season by mutual agreement of the union and Postal Service in light of major demands on both parties because of the anthrax crisis and September 11 terrorist attacks that interrupted the normal bargaining timetable. The old contract was to expire at midnight November 20."
January 14, 2002 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that "a federal oversight group voted to recommend breaking up the current Amtrak structure and permitting the passenger rail service to introduce competition in its train routes. The plan approved by the Amtrak Reform Council, a group established by Congress that is monitoring Amtrak's financial performance, nevertheless has few illusions that passenger rail, like highways and airports, can function without government investment. 'We are going to have to subsidize the rail passenger mode just like we subsidize the aviation and the highway mode,' said Gil Carmichael, a former federal railroad administrator who is chairman of the Amtrak Reform Council." Might the same be said about postal?
January 14, 2002 -- The Financial Times (U.K.) has reported that "contingency plans to maintain the rural and sub-post office network if the government's Universal Bank plan does not start on time are being discussed in Whitehall amid growing conviction that the deadline will be missed. Delay could see the Department of Trade and Industry paying an additional, temporary subsidy to Consignia, the renamed Post Office, to keep endangered branches open."
January 14, 2002 -- As the Irish Times has reported, "despite the development of e-mail, post remains a vital channel for business. As with any support service, commercial users are looking for quality at a competitive price."
January 14, 2002 -- The Christchurch Press has reported that "New Zealand Post rejects claims that unease among a growing number of operators over the costs of setting up its new bank will kill the Kiwibank. But it indicated yesterday it may accelerate negotiations with franchises after the 'revolt' appeared to be gathering momentum."
January 14, 2002 -- "Dear Congressman....Never mind." As Roll Call has noted, "three months after an anthrax-laced letter received in Senate Majority Leader Thomas Daschle's (D-S.D.) office brought Congressional postal operations to a halt, Hill officials are still trying to determine how to cope with a huge backlog of undelivered mail."
January 14, 2002 -- Reuters has reported that Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge has said that "the recent spate of potentially deadly anthrax mailings is being investigated chiefly as suspected U.S. domestic terrorism, not a foreign plot."
January 14, 2002 -- SkyNews (U.K.) has reported that British "postal group Consignia has been threatened with legal action after reports that deliveries to thousands of rural homes in Scotland have been cut back to save money."
January 14, 2002 -- As DM News has noted, "Canada Post Corp. increases U.S. and other international rates and domestic lettermail rates today. Rates for letters, cards and postcards up to 30 grams destined for the United States will increase by 5 cents (Canadian) to 65 cents. There will be a 20-cent increase to $1.25 for letters, cards and postcards to other foreign destinations. However, Canada Post said the base weight for the international basic letter rate will rise from 20 grams to 30 grams. Rates for addressed admail, including catalogs and other categories used by direct marketers, will increase by a weighted average of 3.6 percent April 1."
January 13, 2002 -- In a perspective to be published in Direct magazine, postal commentator Gene Del Polito noted that settling the R2001 postal rate case was far preferable to the most likely alternative.
January 13, 2002 -- Postal workers at the Sydney [Australia] dead letter office claimed they were asked to burn a backlog of one million letters or parcels without making any attempt to trace the senders or receivers. Australia Post denies the claim.
January 13, 2002 -- Yes, you can believe it. The American Postal Workers Union (APWU) has opposed the settlement of the R2001 postal rate case.
January 13, 2002 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that "a federal oversight panel for financially troubled Amtrak voted Friday to recommend opening the nation's entire intercity rail system to competition. Amtrak, for three decades the nation's monopoly provider of long-distance trains, would be given an opportunity to compete with private companies to operate the trains. But Amtrak-owned tracks and stations, as well as its operations and policy-making authority, would be distributed among state, federal and private entities." Could such a fate await the U.S. Postal Service?
January 13, 2002 -- The Financial Times has reported that Members of Parliament have "attacked the Department of Trade and Industry for failing to oversee adequately the Post Office's purchase of German Parcel. The Post Office - now Consignia - spent Pounds 289m on Germany's third-largest parcel business in January 1999 as it used new financial freedoms to make its first big diversification into overseas markets."
January 12, 2002 -- According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "with the congressional machinery revving up for the start of a new session, lobbyists and special-pleaders are once again preparing to line up at the public trough, each insisting his cause or his case deserves attention. Among the special-pleaders is the U.S. Postal Service, which lost $1.7 billion in the most recent fiscal year. After the anthrax attacks, the Postal Service quickly put together a request for $5 billion, citing the need for new equipment to clean and process mail threatened by germ warfare and losses generated by public fear. But the request was actually borne out of the Postal Service's abysmal balance sheet rather than bioterrorism."
January 12, 2002 -- According to Traffic World:
January 12, 2002 -- Federal Computer Week has reported that "former U.S. Postal Service official Norman Lorentz began work this month as the Office of Management and Budget's first chief technology officer. Lorentz will lead multiple teams to identify and develop emerging technology to support federal IT and e-government projects."
January 12, 2002 -- According to the Journal of Commerce, "A shipment of radioactive material carried by FedEx from Sweden to New Orleans was leaking so much radiation after it reached its destination that workers from the recipient were unable to get near enough to measure it directly."
January 12, 2002 -- As Bank Technology News has noted, "the United States Postal Service finds itself an unfortunate casualty in the terrorists' crusade to destroy America. In the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, mail to the New York and Washington metropolitan areas has been gradually climbing back to its pre-attack levels. However, with anthrax introduced into the equation, mail service nationwide has slowed as the Postal Service attempts to decontaminate affected facilities. With an approximate 7% decrease in first-class mail, the USPS is feeling the effects."
January 11, 2002 -- Dagens Naeringsliv has reported that "Posten Norge, the Norwegian post office, is acquiring the remaining 20 per cent of shares in Transport Systems International, the largest transport systems company in Scandinavia, through which it will become established in Copenhagen and Stockholm."
January 11, 2002 -- The Associated Press has reported that "A package irradiated as part of the government's anti-anthrax screening gave off a noxious gas Thursday when it was opened at the Commerce Department, sickening at least 11 workers."
January 11, 2002 -- According to Xinhua, "starting from Sunday, post authority in the Chinese capital will launch a new electronic remittance service which can transfer money to other provinces and cities nationwide within 24 hours."
January 11, 2002 -- The Journal of Commerce asks: "After a rapid series of logistics acquisitions totaling $5 billion from 1997 through 1999, and a $5.6 billion initial public offering in November 2000, Deutsche Post World Net has settled down to the quieter-and more difficult job of melding its diverse companies into a cohesive whole. The goal is complete integration of DP's companies and their information systems by 2003. Can it be done?"
January 11, 2002 -- According to Business Week, "for transportation as a whole, revenue will slide by 2.8%, to $587 billion in 2002, from $604 billion last year. Industry execs are particularly bearish about prospects through the first quarter. It's clear that manufacturers will be shipping fewer products to stores, that retailers will be transporting fewer goods to customers, and so on. That, in turn, is hurting purchases of trucks, planes, and railcars....Come the second half of 2002, transportation demand is expected to get into gear and roll on for the next several years. Until then, every shipper is in the slow lane"
January 11, 2002 -- Bloomberg.com has reported that "United Parcel Service Inc. may lose business to rivals such as FedEx Corp. if the largest package-shipping company fails to reach an agreement on a new Teamsters union contract by July 31. About 62 percent of customers said in a survey they may divert as much as 61 percent of spending on shipments to rivals that could insure delivery if no accord is reached. The survey by Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co. and Transportation & Distribution magazine includes about 200 United Parcel customers among 800 shippers polled."
January 11, 2002 -- According to the New York Times, "FedEx unwittingly carried a package from Paris to New Orleans last week that was emitting so much radiation that the recipient, a company that packages radiation sources for industrial testing, has been unable to get near enough to measure it directly. But FedEx officials said the fact that the container passed undetected through the company's system did not indicate a security risk, because the shipper and the recipient were known to FedEx, allowing easy approval of the shipment."
January 11, 2002 -- According to the Journal of Commerce, "Europe's railways have abandoned all pretense that freight is as important as passenger traffic, thereby ceding victory to trucks but creating the beginnings of a massive problem for the continent's creaking highway network."
January 11, 2002 -- Japan Times has reported that "the posts ministry's administrative evaluation bureau has drafted a report urging the ministry to streamline state-run postal services through measures such as large job cuts and consolidation of neighboring post offices." It's a piece of advice that just as easily could pertain to the U.S. Postal Service.
January 11, 2002 -- InformationWeek.com has reported that "Unisys is reselling a software package that lets signature-intensive businesses set up Web-based forms for capturing data and then obtaining signatures without using traditional mail."
January 11, 2002 -- Fleet Owner magazine has reported that "online load matching service provider National Transportation Exchange (NTE) has launched a private community and other electronic transportation applications to help Direct Logistics Inc., a third-party logistics firm based in Carrolton, TX, capture a larger share of the $50-billion spent each year on direct mail. NTE said this new "private community" manages online the collection, pricing and quotation, rules-based execution and visibility of shipments for Direct Logistics, which helps bulk mailers take advantage of U.S. Postal Service discount incentives."
January 11, 2002 -- According to the Nation (Thailand), DHL Worldwide Express, an air express and logistics provision provider, has been ranked seventeenth out of 208 multinational companies in Far Eastern Economic Review's (FEER) "Review 200: Asia's leading companies survey."
January 10, 2002 -- The Financial Times has reported that "nearly 150,000 postal workers are to be balloted on strike action in a dispute over pay between union leaders and Consignia, which runs the Royal Mail. The move raises the prospect of a "spring of discontent", peppered with national walk-outs as strikes on the railways escalate."
January 10, 2002 -- The Jerusalem Post has reported that "the headache of having to spend half a day in an Interior Ministry office to apply for a new passport, replace an old identity card, or arrange any of 12 other bureaucratic tasks is over. The Interior and Communications ministries have set up special facilities in 55 post offices to process applications for these services at no cost....The post office will increasingly offer one-stop shopping for residents as government offices authorize the Postal Authority to facilitate bureaucratic functions for them."
January 10, 2002 -- Airborne Express ( www.airborne.com) has announced a new agreement with Neighborhood Postal Centers(R) (NPC), allowing further expansion of Airborne's retail presence to over 1700 mail and parcel outlets nationwide. Beginning January 22, 2002, Neighborhood Postal Centers' licensed locations will be eligible to offer their customers a wide variety of shipping services through Airborne Express. "We've enhanced our portfolio of services, including Ground Delivery and airborne@home business-to-residential service, which has put us in a perfect position to serve the needs of small business through NPC store front locations," said Rich Corrado, Vice President of Marketing at Airborne Express. "This agreement with Neighborhood Postal Centers is a milestone in our continuing strategy to reach out and bring value to small business customers. They'll find it extremely convenient and attractive to use Airborne's low-cost, comprehensive shipping services through these Neighborhood Postal Centers."
January 10, 2002 -- La Tribune (France) has reported that "according to union sources, 600 jobs are to be cut this year at the 21 financial centres of La Poste, the French post office. These centres currently employ about 20,000 people. The job cuts were announced to unions at the start of the week. Out of 1,400 people taking retirement, 600 will not be replaced." This is job reduction?
January 10, 2002 -- Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Germany) has reported that "the majority of Birkart Globistics AG, the German logistics company, is being acquired by Thiel Logistik of Luxembourg, which has beaten German post and logistics company Deutsche Post to the deal. Thiel said it is acquiring the clothing, exhibition and event, and contract logistics operations of the company, was well as its foreign subsidiaries."
January 10, 2002 -- According to European sources, "the [British] Department of Trade & Industry said Competition Minister Melanie Johnson has referred Neopost SA's proposal to buy Ascom Holding AG to the Competition Commission, in accordance with advice from the Director General of Fair Trading. Johnson said she was advised by DGFT that the acquisition may raise competition concerns in the market for postal franking machines in the UK, as the transaction would bring together the second and third largest market players in the UK." See also the announcement by the British Department of Trade and Industry.
January 10, 2002 -- The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin is available on this site.
January 10, 2002 -- According to the Associated Press, "the terrorist attacks and the slipping economy combined to cause the biggest drop in mail volume in more than 30 years, the Postal Service has reported. The bleak news came amid negotiations between the Postal Service and major mailers on an agreement that would allow the agency to raise rates June 30, three months sooner than planned." It also noted that "Chief Financial Officer Richard Strasser said Tuesday the agency has cut more than 16,000 full-time career employees over the last 15 months and continues to make reductions. Strasser said officials anticipate a further reduction of 10,000 to 15,000 this fiscal year. The post office has nearly 800,000 workers. The reductions 'will be made through attrition, we are not talking about layoffs.'" See also the report in the Chicago Tribune.
January 10, 2002 -- James P. Wade, Vice-President of the Postal Service’s International Business has announced that the Postal Service has signed a landmark agreement with Consignia LLP, formerly the British Post Office, for the delivery of Global Express Mail (EMS) and Global Air Parcel Post (Air Parcels) in Europe. See also the report by the Associated Press, The Times (U.K.), Reuters, and the Journal of Commerce.
January 10, 2002 -- According to Postal Watch executive director Rick Merritt, writing in the Washington Times, "the Postal Service incurred a whopping $1.68 billion deficit in fiscal 2001, despite additional revenue of $3 billion from two recent rate increases. That's an 800 percent increase from the prior year's loss of $199 million. For their part in this financial fiasco, postal managers rewarded themselves with $164 million in bonuses."
January 10, 2002 -- The Evening Standard (U.K.) has reported that "the threat of serious disruption to postal deliveries emerged tonight after the postal workers' union decided to ballot almost 150,000 Royal Mail workers for industrial action in a dispute over pay." See also The Independent.
January 10, 2002 -- Dow Jones has reported that:
January 10, 2002 -- Catalog Age has reported that "a poll of 1,005 consumers conducted by Princeton, NJ-based ORC International for the Direct Marketing Association during Jan. 5 and 6 shows that consumers overwhelmingly favor postal legislative reform. When asked if they feel that legislation is necessary to give the U.S. Postal Service the flexibility and tools it needs to reform and improve its operations, 73% said yes; 19% said no, and the remainder said they didn’t know. On the other hand, just 55% said the problems of the USPS should be a high priority of Congress."
January 10, 2002 -- Zawya.com has reported that "India’s government-owned postal network, in partnership with US-based Western Union Financial Services Inc, has come out with another ‘customer-friendly’ service called International Money Transfer Service (IMTS). The money transfer service enables instantaneous remittance of money from 186 countries to India, through dedicated online services which, according to the promoters, are safe and secured and 'cannot be hacked.'"
January 10, 2002 -- According to the Portland Business Journal, "Consolidated Freightways announced it has secured a contract with the U.S. Postal Service expected to be worth at least $9 million annually. But that's a far cry from the $75 million in financing the $2.3 billion company is seeking."
January 10, 2002 -- According to ComputerWorld (Australia), "Australia Post has been accredited to deliver the Government's Gatekeeper service through 73 of its postal outlets. Through its KeyPost service, Australia Post will pay a role in increasing nationwide access to digital certificates to enable secure digital communication and the delivery of government services online. Under the Gatekeeper strategy, certification authorities issue digital certificates to individuals and organisations who apply to purchase certificates. KeyPost will inform the certification authority of an applicant and the authority will then issue the digital certificate to the applicant.
January 10, 2002 -- According to Vnunet.com (U.K.), "postal services group Consignia has invited suppliers to bid for one of the biggest outsourcing contracts in the UK this year. Consignia is issuing a tender to outsource the majority of its day-to-day IT operations, as predicted by Computing (13 September). The 10-year deal covers systems used by 35,000 staff worldwide, for an organisation with an annual IT budget worth £600 million. The company wants to focus on its own business and leave IT issues to a specialist vendor."
January 10, 2002 -- The Dallas Business Journal has reported that "citing the loss of business from the slow economy, Express One International Inc., a Dallas cargo airline, has laid off 118 people in Dallas and Austin."
January 10, 2002 -- AirCargo World has reported that "United Airlines' cargo division has added a new online feature for tracking its small-package delivery product. The new feature provides customers with real-time tracking information and is accessed quickly from any page of the company's Web site, at unitedcargo.com."
January 10, 2002 -- California television stations soon will receive a Postal Service public service announcement (PSA) featuring Governor Gray Davis. The Governor also is featured in a video taped message to California's 95,000 postal employees that is being distributed to the state's more than 2,500 post offices and 32 mail processing facilities. Distribution of the 30-second PSA to 100 California television stations will begin Monday, Jan. 14, 2002. The PSA praises postal employees for their hard work, assures Californians that the mail is safe and encourages use of the mail.
January 9, 2002 -- According to Reuters, "the U.S. Postal Service said Tuesday it plans to cut up to 20,000 jobs this year, citing disappointing financial figures for the first quarter of the 2002 fiscal year. The cuts come on top of 11,600 positions cut last year when the postal service lost $1.7 billion for the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 2001."
January 9, 2002 -- The Associated Press has reported that "the terrorist attacks and the slipping economy combined to cause the biggest drop in mail volume in more than 30 years, the Postal Service reported Tuesday. The bleak news came amid negotiations between the post office and major mailers on an agreement that would allow the agency to raise rates on June 30, three months sooner than planned. In the first quarter of its fiscal year -- Sept. 8 to Nov. 30 -- mail volume was 2.8 billion items below the same period last year, said postal Chief Financial Officer Richard J. Strasser Jr. That was the biggest drop-off since the current postal service was established more than 30 years ago, Strasser said. It was led by advertising mail, which was down 2.2 billion items, costing the agency millions of dollars."
January 9, 2002 -- The Associated Press also reported that "a deal that would raise mail rates by June 30 seems likely, the chairman of the Postal Service's board of governors said."
January 9, 2002 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "United Parcel Service and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters plan to open negotiations later this month on a new contract to replace the existing five-year pact, which expires on July 31. The early start to the negotiations is designed not only to help avoid a strike, but also to discourage shippers from shifting traffic to other carriers in anticipation of a possible work stoppage. A 15-day strike in 1997 cost the company $750 million in lost revenue. The loss in traffic also meant a loss of jobs for the Teamsters."
January 9, 2002 -- According to Dow Jones, "State-owned postal operator New Zealand Post says it will have 300 Kiwibank branches open by May despite rumblings of discontent from operators of postal franchises, The Dominion newspaper reports. Some of the smaller operators are concerned they will be forced to carry losses by having a Kiwibank at their postal outlet, the newspaper said."
January 9, 2002 -- Also from Dow Jones, "China's postal sector has reported its first profit since its split from the old Postal and Telecommunications monopoly in 1999."
January 8, 2002 -- Reuters has reported that "digital dream gadgets are being irreparably zapped by an irradiation process the U.S. Postal Service has used since October to sanitize mail against anthrax threats, an electronics trade group said on Tuesday. Compact flash memory cards used to store data on many name-brand digital cameras and handheld computers face not just data loss but become entirely inoperable when subjected to electron beam irradiation, the CompactFlash Association said."
January 8, 2002 -- According to DM News, "the U.S. Postal Service yesterday labeled as "false" recent reports that stated the closed Brentwood facility in Washington may not reopen."
January 8, 2002 -- According to the National Post (Canada), "three Canada Post workers in Halifax have their own self-prescribed cure for anthrax anxiety: pogey. Since Nov. 19, they have refused to work at Halifax's mail-sorting plant, fearing it may be contaminated by an October mail shipment from New Jersey -- even though there is no evidence the shipment contained a single anthrax spore. Now the postal threesome wants Ottawa to subsidize their hysteria by handing over Employment Insurance payments until such time as Canada Post orders an elaborate and expensive anthrax testing procedure."
January 8, 2002 -- Be sure to check out http://www.postinsight.pb.com/. "From e-Business to MultiChanel Business" is a presentation by Gerhard Schwab, CEO, yellowworld. "The Postal Industry in 2010" and "Liberalisation Trends and Implications" are presentations by Adrian King, The Strategia Group, UK. "Developing the Postal Business Through Technology Information" is by Bengt Norin, The Strategia Group. "Postal Services and Express Delivery in Trade Negotiations" is a presentation by Bernard Ascher, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. Presentations from the World Mail & Express Americas, IDEI Toulouse, PostEurop Plenary, Post-Expo, Fall NPF, Rutgers CRRI, and Postes Européennes conferences can still be accessed via the Home Page. Click on the "Presentations" button on the left menu bar and select the name of the conference.
January 8, 2002 -- WJLA-TV has reported that "the main mail sorting facility for the Washington area remains remain sealed against an anthrax threat. DC health officials will meet privately with US Postal Service managers to discuss the future of the site."
January 8, 2002 -- The Sacramento Bee has reported that "the U.S. Postal Service has ended correspondence between a group of mobile home residents who have been sending personal notes and greeting cards to one another without using stamps. The people who live at Orange Crest Mobile Home Park have been using the same system for more than 25 years. When someone needed to send monthly newsletters, party announcements or bridge notices, the mailboxes were the best form of communication. The Postal Service learned of the practice from a resident who complained about the stampless mail. Under federal law, mail not bearing stamps is not allowed. It's been six weeks since residents have stopped exchanging mail and they are not pleased with the Postal Service crackdown."
January 8, 2002 -- According to Japan Times, "local government chiefs in favor of privatizing postal services outnumber those who oppose it, according to a recent survey by Kyodo News and its member newspaper publishers nationwide. But the survey also showed a region-based disparity, with local government heads in urban areas supporting the planned privatization with the hope that costs will go down and services will improve and those in in rural areas opposing it on concerns of paying more to receive the same services."
January 7, 2002 -- According to postal commentator Gene Del Polito, "it's time we band together as an industry and make our demands known to the only party in this whole matter who really would have any political hell to pay if the postal system falls to its fiscal knees. It's time to tell the White House that when the buck stops, it stops on the President's desk."
January 7, 2002 -- Universal Express, Inc. has announced the rebranding and some organizational changes for selected subsidiaries. FedFinancial Corp., USXP's equipment leasing subsidiary, will now be renamed Universal Express Capital Corp. The present Postal Business Center (PBC Network) will become the strategic partnership division of the newly named Private Postal Network(TM). "I am especially pleased with the formal re-naming of our Private Postal Network because after a number of years of owning this tradename, we are finally confident to present this easily understood and valuable name to the public and to the trade. All members can now proudly be part of a private postal network without confusion or ambivalence", said Richard A. Altomare, President and CEO of USXP. In addition, a newly formed subsidiary is being added for future branding opportunities and future projects - Universal Express Logistics, Inc. This will become the division containing Virtual Bellhop(R), Luggage Express(TM) and WorldPost(TM) - all logistical operations.
January 7, 2002 -- Die Welt has reported that "Deutsche Post, the German post and logistics group, is planning a new logistics system called Packstation that will be introduced throughout Germany this year. The system will enable the receivers of parcels to fetch their packages themselves 24 hours per day. Prior to collection, SMS or e-mail messages will be sent out to inform the addressees that a package is waiting for them, and they can then pick up the parcels from automatic machines."
January 7, 2002 -- Borsen has reported that "Post Danmark, the Danish postal service, has denied rumours that Pan Nordic Logistics (PNL), the logistics company owned in co-operation with Posten, the Norwegian postal service, is about to make an alliance with Germany's Deutsche Post. Helge Israelsen, managing director of Post Danmark, confirmed that the company is currently trying to find an international partner for PNL and that Deutsche Post therefore is a natural candidate."
January 7, 2002 -- The Washington Post has reported that "the U.S. Postal Service has reached agreements with many of its major customers on a plan to raise postal rates June 30, three months earlier than projected, bringing a swifter infusion of money to the financially struggling agency. While the rate increases would generate an additional $4.2 billion a year -- and the agency would gain about $1 billion from the three-month difference in timing."
January 7, 2002 -- The Record (NJ) has reported that "the news that the United States Postal Service is likely to increase rates an average of 8.7 percent at the end of June was met with acceptance, puzzlement, and grumbling by postal patrons Saturday."
January 7, 2002 -- As DM News has noted: "FedEx Corp. and UPS will each increase rates 3.5 percent across the board today. FedEx Express now charges a $1.35 residential delivery fee for nonfreight shipments to residences, and it increased its courier pickup charge from $3 to $4. FedEx Ground's residential delivery surcharge will increase from $1.30 to $1.35, and the FedEx Home Delivery surcharge will increase from $1.05 per package to $1.10.On average, residential premium rates for UPS commercial ground services will increase from $1.05 to $1.10. Other UPS increases include an additional charge for deliveries of express letters and packages to residential addresses and expanding the $1.50 delivery area surcharge on certain ground deliveries to include express deliveries."
January 7, 2002 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that "for years, Western Union and Moneygram have handled almost all of the $8 billion that Latinos in the U.S. wire each year to friends and relatives in Mexico. But a new player is about to disrupt this comfortable duopoly. This month, Wells Fargo & Co. of San Francisco, the nation's fifth-largest bank, will launch a service allowing people in the U.S. to remit as much as $1,000 to their relatives in Mexico for a flat fee of $10. That fee will be well below the amounts charged by the two leaders. Most customers of Western Union, a unit of First Data Corp., and Moneygram's Travelers Express Co., a unit of Viad Corp., pay $15 to remit sums up to $300 and as much as $50 to send $1,000 to their families south of the border." So what's been happening with the Postal Service's Dinero Seguro?
January 7, 2002 -- According to the Economist, "Lebanon has a first-class postal service. Too bad no one uses it."
January 7, 2002 -- As Traffic World has noted, "the once-sizzling market for executive logistics jobs appears to have cooled off a bit."
January 7, 2002 -- Traffic World also has noted that "when the New Year rang in, Michael L. Eskew ascended to the position of chairman and chief executive officer [at United Parcel Service] replacing the retiring James P. Kelly....Much of Eskew's first few months on the job will be focused on easing wary shippers' minds by bringing a swift and successful end to contract negotiations with the Teamsters."
January 7, 2002 -- According to Gay.Com, "officials at the United Parcel Service are reportedly not amused by a new version of the popular gay 'Billy Doll' dressed to look like a UPS delivery driver."
January 7, 2002 -- The Polish News Bulletin has reported that "the [Polish] Post Office has announced that it is to increase its charges by an average of 5.9 percent, with a stamp for a local letter or postcard going up from ZL1 to ZL1.1. The Post Office said that increases are necessary to conform to EU standards. Consumers will be hoping that the post office will conform in terms of service not just prices."
January 6, 2002 -- According to the LA Times, "when anthrax spores turned up in the mail in October, government officials and millions of anxious Americans saw it as a dangerous threat. A handful of companies saw it as an irresistible business opportunity."
January 6, 2002 -- The Daily Mail (U.K.) has reported that "the timetable for launching a [postal-run] Universal Bank to provide no-frills current accounts for millions of benefits claimants is under renewed threat after the Government's failure to spell out how it wants to transfer payments to the new system. Clashes between the Treasury and the Department of Trade and Industry, which devised the 'people's bank' scheme to salvage large numbers of rural post offices, have already put the April 2003 launch deadline in jeopardy."
January 5, 2002 -- According to Traffic World, "FedEx Corp. stock is within striking distance of United Parcel Service for the first time since Big Brown went public in November 1999. FedEx's stock has shot up in the last few weeks, not because the company has made any dramatic changes to its business model, but because the Memphis-based company seemed to surprise industry watchers at how adept it is at steering through an economic recession."
January 5, 2002 -- The Associated Press has reported that "the Postal Service and major mailers appeared Friday to be close to an agreement that could lead to postage rate increases by the end of June instead of in the fall, a boon to the agency that faces billions in costs stemming from anthrax-by-mail letters....In return, the Postal Service promised not to seek another increase this year." See also the report in the Chicago Tribune.
January 5, 2002 -- Accoridng to CRMDaily, "the Nielsen index ranked the fastest growing e-tailers for the 2001 holiday season, based on total shopping trips. It also noted that despite the economic worries of 2001, consumers continued to flock to online Web sites."
January 4, 2002 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that "the U.S. Postal Service and the country's largest mailers are close to agreeing on a compromise that would boost postage rates as soon as June but stave off an even bigger increase threatened by the post office in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and the recession. The deal, which includes accepting the Postal Service's proposal of late September to raise the price of a first-class stamp to 37 cents from 34 cents, follows two months of negotiations aimed at avoiding skirmishes that usually cause the rate-setting process to drag on for about a year. The settlement calls for the higher rates to take effect at least three months earlier than the October implementation the Postal Service originally projected, giving the agency a much-needed revenue infusion. The agency reported a $1.7 billion loss for the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 2001, and it has predicted a similar result for the current fiscal year."
January 4, 2002 -- FedEx Trade Networks has announced that its subsidiary, Tower Group International, Inc., has entered into an alliance with Koninklijke Frans Maas Groep N.V., a leading European provider of international freight forwarding and logistics services. The companies will operate door-to-door air and ocean forwarding transportation services between Europe and North America.
January 4, 2002 -- The Times of India has reported that "the Indian Post Office has inaugurated Speednet -- an online track service to trace the status of speed post consignments sent by the customers. The national service was started on Tuesday from 120 national speed post centres. According to senior postal officials, speed post articles could be kept on track on the basis of the number of the postal bag in which they are sent. The postal bag movement can be traced on the online."
January 3, 2002 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that "air-cargo volume fell 14.4% in November, a big improvement over the previous month's decline, another sign that the U.S. economy has rebounded at least a bit from the slide triggered by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The Air Transport Association, the main trade group for U.S. carriers, said scheduled air-freight traffic declined to 1.82 billion revenue ton miles in November from 2.12 billion a year earlier. A revenue ton mile is one ton of revenue-generating freight moved one mile. The results reflect world-wide volume at 17 carriers, including FedEx Corp. and United Parcel Service Inc." See also the report in the Journal of Commerce.
January 3, 2002 -- Reuters has reported that "a threatening letter containing a powdery substance opened in the office of Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle was tested and found not to be hazardous, the U.S. Capitol police said on Thursday."
January 3, 2002 -- The Postal Service has proposed in the Federal Register to amend the Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) to clarify and simplify the eligibility standards for free matter for the blind and other physically handicapped persons in conformance, to the extent practicable, with similar standards adopted by the Library of Congress for its National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. This proposed rule also would require free matter mailers that submit mailings of at least 200 pieces to register with the post office(s) of mailing and submit statements of mailing that document information relating to each such mailing. Comments on the proposed standards must be received on or before February 4, 2002.
January 3, 2002 -- In an article prepared for Direct magazine, postal commentator Gene Del Polito wrote: "Unless the Postal Rate Commission somehow loses its resolve to facilitate a settlement in Docket No. R2001-1, the 2001 postal rate case will be brought to an early end. At the invitation of the PRC Chairman, George Omas, representatives from the Postal Service and virtually all major players in postal rate cases have agreed to submit a case-terminating 'settlement agreement.' Most mailers will have to judge for themselves as to whether settling this case was better than litigating it. As someone who was fully involved in R2001 from the get-go, I can assure you that the outcome was preferable to the alternative the Postal Service was planning to dump on the table.This, however, should not be interpreted to mean that I believe the settlement agreement was anything close to being the greatest thing since sliced bread. Quite the contrary."
January 3, 2002 -- According to postal commentator Cary Baer, in a perspective published in DM News, "it seems obvious that Congress is not in any rush to assist the postal service. Therefore, the agency will need to find new, less expensive ways to do things. It cannot continue to go back to its shrinking customer base and ask for annual increases at double the inflation rate (if not more). To start, how about some changes to the postal service's physical infrastructure?"
January 3, 2002 -- Gazeta Mercantil has reported that "the Brazilian state owned mail and express services company ECT (Empresa de Correios e Telegrafos) expects the Banco Postal to start operations until late 2002' first half."
January 3, 2002 -- According to CyberAtlas.com, "nearly 29 million people bought gifts online during the 2001 holiday shopping season, a study from the Pew Internet & American Life Project found, and women did most of the buying. Consumer confidence, which has been a big concern with the U.S. economy in recession, appears to be increasing online." In a related story, Reuters has reported that "America Online Inc. the world's largest Internet services provider and a unit of AOL Time Warner Inc, has said that online retail purchases by AOL members in 2001 jumped 67 percent to more than $33 billion from 2000."
January 3, 2002 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that "package carriers are ringing in the new year by quietly hitting millions of customers with a mushrooming list of "accessorial" fees that don't fall under normal delivery pricing but are climbing at a much faster rate."
January 3, 2002 -- The Postal Service's Office of the Inspector General has found fault with an Inspection Service executive award program. The OIG's report says in part: "The audit revealed that although executive awards did not exceed salary limitations established for other federal law enforcement agencies, the Inspection Service expended a higher percentage of funds on awards than did other agencies, and did not implement their program in a comparable manner. We also found that the program was not effectively implemented because the Inspection Service based performance awards on performance targets which did not require an improved performance over prior years; however, the Inspection Service administered the program in accordance with established policy. We recommended that management modify the Inspection Service.s executive awards program to make it comparable with the programs of other federal agencies."
January 3, 2002 -- The U.S. Postal Service has selected Consolidated Freightways to manage all USPS non-mail LTL freight delivery in the continental U.S. The contract comes with options that allow the USPS to extend the partnership through February 2012, with a value of at least $9 million per year. The decision condenses the USPS LTL freight network from 20 national, regional, and local carriers to just one transportation provider.
January 3, 2002 -- Roadway Express, Inc., best known as a truck freight carrier, is starting an air freight service called Roadway Air. Roadway officials said they plan to focus on heavy freight, at least 150 pounds, rather than mail or small parcels.
January 3, 2002 -- Zairmail, Inc. has announced a partnership with GMAC Real Estate to offer Zairmail's direct mail services to GMAC Real Estate agents. Zairmail's direct mail service, Zairmail Express Direct(TM), allows agents and brokers to take advantage of direct mail to expand their client base. With Zairmail, agents can send various types of postal mail, including postcards, letters and flyers, straight from their personal computer.
January 3, 2002 -- Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Germany) has reported that "a court in the city of Cologne has ruled that Deutsche Post AG, the German post office, cannot monopolise the term "Post". It ruled against a claim by Deutsche Post against a local company which had been given a license deliver mail, which it did under the brand name 'Postmodern'. The court ruled that there was not a danger that the public would confuse Postmodern with Deutsche Post."
January 3, 2002 -- According to Suddeutsche Zeitung (Germany), "PIN AG, a German private delivery company that has for around two years has delivered mail and packages at lower prices than Deutsche Post AG."
January 3, 2002 -- Der Standard (Austria) has reported that "Austria's postal services operator announced yesterday that it would decide in the first half of 2002 whether to sell parts of its property operations."
January 3, 2002 -- According to DM News, "the U.S. Postal Service is near an agreement with FedEx Corp. that would increase the amount of Priority Mail transported on FedEx planes, according to a statement by the USPS."
January 2, 2002 -- According to American Banker, "despite [recent] disturbances, the [banking] industry does not seem to be moving any more quickly than before to adopt electronic payment methods. Other issues, such as disaster preparedness, are more pressing for many. In the short term, the greater amount of public awareness will result in people being more attentive in designing electronic payment programs."
January 2, 2002 -- According to the National Post (Canada), Canada Post and the Canadian government may have a hard time challenging "a ruling by a NAFTA panel examining a United Parcel Service of America Inc. claim for $230-million in damages because of what it alleges is Canada Post's unfair cross-subsidization of its Purolator Courier subsidiary."
January 1, 2002 -- Dow Jones has reported that "annual retirement plan costs of the U.S. Postal Service are projected by postal officials to increase from $8.5 billion in fiscal 2000 to about $14 billion in fiscal 2010. 'This significant increase presents a serious financial challenge to USPS management,' the General Accounting Office said in a report released Monday. 'The projected future cost of retirement benefits could have a material impact on the Service's ability to operate on a break-even basis without significant increases to the rates charged for universal postal service,' said the GAO, a Congressional watchdog agency." See the GAO web site for a copy of the report.