Postal News Reported During May 2002
May 31, 2002 -- A new five-year agreement between the Postal Service and the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) has been overwhelmingly approved by the union's membership, with 94,732 in favor and 12,866 against. The NALC represents all city delivery letter carriers employed by the U.S. Postal Service in the 50 states and U.S. jurisdictions. The contract includes general wage increases of 7.1 percent over the term of the agreement, along with semi-annual cost-of-living adjustments, streamlining of grievance and arbitration procedures to reduce the time in handling disputes, and sets up an Alternate Dispute Resolution process jointly administered by the union and management. The agreement -- which runs until November 20, 2006 -- provides a 1.8 percent wage increase retroactive to November 17, 2001; a 1.5 percent increase in November 2002; 1.2 percent in November 2003; 1.3 percent in November 2004, and 1.3 percent in November 2005.
May 31, 2002 -- Electronic bill paying is supposed to change the way people pay their monthly debts, but whoops -- it seems online payments sometimes result in late charges. "Although a growing number of customers are using online banking for basic services, far fewer are turning to the Net for bill payment," according to ZDNet. "Part of the problem is that banks can take days to process electronic payments, offering little advantage over sending checks by regular mail, while often charging fees for the service....Instead of transferring money instantaneously," the article explains, "banks send online payments to large clearinghouses that process transactions in batches. This system is far less expensive for banks than real-time transfers, costing only a few cents per batch."
May 31, 2002 -- Why "Consignia?" According to the BBC, the new name for the famous UK postal service is "the most ruinous decision since the biblical scam that saw Esau swap his birthright for a bowl of stew. Think 'Post Office Group', think trust, honour, gritty postmen braving blizzard to save a child's smile. Think 'Consignia', the name which replaced it. Think, um, Roman general? Footballer? Tummy bug? " The article explains the concepts behind the name change and offers an interesting view of labels and marketing on a large scale.
May 31, 2002 -- There's no postal rate "increase" coming June 30th, at least in Alabama. According to the Atmore Advance, "on June 30th, most standard postage rates are going up. Again. But according to officials with the Atmore Post Office they prefer to 'refer to it as a rate change, not an increase.' The expected 'change' will be from $0.34 to $0.37, which is more an increase than a change. As the rates go up, the mail volume seems to fall, a fact due to an ever-increasing reliance on e-mail and the Internet," explains the paper, "catalogs and magazines, payment for bills, tax forms, etc. can all be found online, reducing the amount of paper mail sent through the Post Office. Yet by this 'rate change,' some see the Post Office as inadvertently supporting the computer age and only hurting itself."
May 31, 2002 -- First the Wall Street Journal reports that first-class mail routinely arrives before higher-priced Priority items. Now Ananova says first-class mail in the UK is not making delivery targets -- while second-class items are likely to arrive on time. The publication reports that, "nine out of 10 first class letters were delivered on time in the past few months, slightly below the target set for the Royal Mail. Reliability in February and March was 91.6% - the best figure since August 2000 -- against a licence target of 92.1%.The number of letters arriving a day after being posted has increased from 86.5% in April of last year, when the service was being hit by industrial action. Second class mail achieved a reliability rate of 98.9%, beating its target by 0.4%.
May 31, 2002 -- Looking for a solid investment? Forget high-tech firms, telecom companies, and Internet IPOs. Instead, advises USA today, find companies that do the mundane -- and do it well. One example cited by the national newspaper: "Avery Dennison, up 13%, which makes such low-tech products as yellow highlighter markers and the self-adhesive stamps used by the U.S. Postal Service."
May 31, 2002 -- Moody's, says the The Star (Malaysia), has cut Japan's credit rating, a step which would normally make credit more expensive except that Japan has enormous government debt and huge stocks of cash. Where is this money? Turns out that much of it is deposited in simple postal savings accounts. Moody's explains that "the essentially closed nature of the Japanese financial system, in which household deposits finance bank and postal savings claims on the government, provides a high level of financial stability such that the risk of an uncontrolled funding crisis is remote." In essence, Japan has endured an economic funk for more than a decade. It has a surplus of cash and a shortage of demand. Why borrow to expand a factory when consumers prefer to save rather than buy? While the Nikkei average reached 38,915 on December 29, 1989, it closed yesterday at 11,763.70. The official discount rate for the Bank of Japan is now 0.1 percent.
May 31, 2002 -- Ever wonder why the Postal Service needs more money? Here's one view, from The American Reporter:
"Unlike most governmental programs, the U.S. Postal Service is expected to exist on its own self-generated revenue. You never hear Congress arguing about raising taxes for the postal service because we, the users, are paying the costs. Even though it is a government agency with Congressional blessing and oversight, the postal service faces the same day-to-day challenges as does any business which depends upon its revenues to survive.
"Why does the U.S. Postal Service advertise its services so much? Because there are competitors, and it must keep market share in order to sustain and grow revenues. Why did the U.S. Postal Service contract with one of its leading competitors to allow FedEx customers to drop off packages at post offices? Because it judged the financial benefit to be worth it -- just like a private sector business.
"So when you have to shell out an additional three cents for a postage stamp later this year, remember that by doing so you are helping the postal service from having to dip into the federal budget (your taxes) to sustain itself. "
May 30, 2002 -- "U.S. Postal Service employees accounted for nearly half of all employee discrimination complaints filed governmentwide last year, " says the Federal Times, "and cost the agency $16.3 million in claims costs, a new report says. However, almost 40 percent of the 11,203 complaints filed in fiscal 2001 came from employees filing multiple complaints -- an indication that employee dissatisfaction is not as widespread as it has been in past years."
May 30, 2002 -- The Dutch TNT Post Group will likely apply for a U.K. postal license, according to EyeForTransport.com. "TPG," says the site, "is already active in mail, express and logistics in the U.K. and has always shown interest in a postal license. Spokesman Tanno Massar said TPG will study the proposals from U.K. postal regulator Postcomm before making a decision." See also Dow Jones.
May 30, 2002 -- A committee in the Japanese House of Representatives has begun to consider whether three current postal services (mail, savings, and life insurance) should be merged -- and also whether private competition will be allowed in the future, according to The Japan Times.
May 30, 2002 -- If deregulation does come to Japan, at least one company is waiting in the wings. Sokuhai Co. will start an express mail service within Tokyo for business users. The company, says the Yomiuri Shimbun, has 800 motorcyclists and bicyclists.
May 30, 2002 -- UK to lose its punch... After being in print for 161 years, the humor journal "Punch" will cease publication. The BBC says the publication was down to 6,000 print subscribers a week, far below the 175,000 it had in the 1940s. A web edition will continue, however.
May 30, 2002 -- The battle over UK postal rates and services continues. "Another conflict was brewing last night between Consignia, the renamed Post Office, and its new regulator over the price Royal Mail can charge competitors for delivering mail over the 'final mile,'" says the Guardian. " Sources said Consignia would expect to be paid around 20p a letter for sorting and delivering mail for rival operators -- although discounts could be given for bulk mail. But consumer groups warned that access charges paid by competitors to use the Royal Mail network must be realistic. 'No access means no competition,' they said last night."
May 30, 2002 -- Doing business in India? Rates are scheduled to rise next month. The Times of India reports that the new rate will be Rs 5 for envelopes weighing 20 grams, up from Rs 4.
May 30, 2002 -- The postal business is plainly developing worldwide relationships. "New Zealand Post's Maltese business is searching for a new chief executive following the departure of Bob McGregor," according to the New Zealand Herald. NZ Post subsidiary Transend has a 35 per cent stake in Maltapost.
May 30, 2002 -- What software should be used by postal services and other government agencies? There is a growing trend toward Linux, says the Boston Globe, in part because the system is open to all, requires no royalties, and can be readily modified. The Chinese Postal Service, as one example, is using Linux according to the paper.
May 30, 2002 -- Where's the money? According to The Washington Post one in four households in the DC area now has an income of $100,000 or more. While using seen as a government center, the area is also an important hub for computing, bio-technology, and communication services.
May 29, 2002 -- The Wall Street Journal reports that Priority Mail is both costly and routinely late -- later then in the past. According to the paper:
See: "Data Reveal 'Priority Mail' Is Slower Than First-Class," May 29, 2002
May 29, 2002 -- Should the Postal Rate Commission only accept documents sent electronically? That's what the PRC proposes in a notice published in the Federal Register. "The Commission." says the Register, "proposes revising its rules of practice to require, in most instances, that participants file documents electronically over the Internet. This will allow the Commission and others to apply modern technology to certain routine procedures. This should reduce the burden and expense associated with traditional hard copy filing. Conforming and related changes to other rules, including those addressing service and submission of computer-generated studies and analyses, are also proposed. These changes also will contribute to more efficient participation in Commission proceedings and enhance administration. DATES: Working session on June 12, 2002 (10:00 a.m.); comments due by June 21, 2002. ADDRESSES: Send correspondence concerning this proposal to Steven W. Williams, Secretary, Postal Rate Commission, 1333 H Street, NW., Suite 300, Washington, DC 20268-0001. The working session will be held at the same address."
May 29, 2002 -- Mail not getting through in Nebraska? Police have arrested three boys for stealing mail trucks and breaking into the Hastings post office. The local Independent newspaper says investigators are checking to see if there has been mail tampering.
May 29, 2002 -- Proposals to quickly end the Consignia mail monopoly may be deferred. "The postal regulator is to back down on its proposals to end Consignia's monopoly," says the Financial Times (U.K.), "delaying the introduction of new competition until 2003 to soften the impact on the loss-making company. The move will be a victory for Allan Leighton, Consignia's new chairman, who has warned of damage to the Royal Mail operator from the speed of the regulator's plans." Full deregulation is not expected until 2007.
May 29, 2002 -- Tellers in the rue du Louvre branch of France's La Poste struck over "planned redundancies." The Financial Times (U.K.) says the branch is the largest in France. Workers want staff levels maintained and replacements for all employees who leave.
May 29, 2002 -- Will the Italian postal service be privatized? Not any time soon, according to a study by the economics ministry. AFX Europe says the Italian government had determined that it is "premature" to consider a postal service sale.
May 29, 2002 -- The crash of a Taiwan airliner with 225 people aboard is leading to new calls for direct contact between China and the island state. The Hindustan Times reports that many of the 225 passengers "killed in the crash Saturday were bound for the Chinese mainland. Because there are no direct flights between Taiwan and mainland China, they were travelling via Hong Kong - where the plane was headed when it broke up in mid-air shortly after leaving Taiwan. Beijing would 'make redoubled efforts' to open direct trade, transport and postal links with Taiwan following the crash, 'and hopes Taipei will do the same,' the state-run China Daily newspaper quoted a Chinese government official as saying."
May 29, 2002 -- Tanzania Posts Corporation (TPC) has started a multi-million shilling project to automate its services, according to The Nation. "The project is part of a major East African postal service automation exercise being implemented jointly in the three East African countries through funding from the East African Development Bank.The $546,000 (Sh42.5 million) project will start in June and will cover regional offices in Bukoba, Iringa, Mtwara, Shinyanga, Tabora and Tanga." The paper said the first phase of the project "had enabled the firm to diversify services for a variety of businesses including electronic billing presentation and payment as well as postal shops."
May 29, 2002 -- Is the Postal Service cutting back? When it comes to a little help sealing a package or filling out a form, the Boston Herald says consumers should be aware of new policies at the Canton post office. "If a customer needs tape, he has to bring it along. If a customer has trouble filling out a form, the clerks are forbidden to help. Why? Because postmasters have been ordered to cut costs. David Lessa is Canton's postmaster. He has said that customer satisfaction is a priority. But in an effort to curb spending he has ordered his clerks not to help even the elderly who live in senior housing across the street when they have trouble filling out a form."
May 28, 2002 -- The image of the Postal Service is changing as a result of 9-11. "The Internal Revenue Service is certainly an object of fear and loathing in pop culture," says USA Today, "but when it comes to image problems among U.S. institutions, it's hard to beat the U.S. Postal Service." The paper explains that "The postal worker's situation as the Rodney Dangerfield of labor has been changing, however. Two postal workers died from anthrax-laced letters sent last fall. And the Postal Service and its workers gained respect as heroes for staying on the front lines while other government operations, including the U.S. Congress, shut down in the wake of Sept. 11." The Leo Burnett ad agency in Chicago has developed an ad which shows the Postal Service as "the portal, or conduit, that brings people together," according to the newspaper.
May 28, 2002 -- The Swedish postal service is being cited as a model of future thinking. The Austin (TX) American Statemen explains that consumers should "forget paper invoices, junk circulars and credit-card statements that pile up in the mailbox. That's what Posten, Sweden's national post office, is encouraging with an Internet mail delivery service that aims to make most physical mail go the way of the typewriter." The article explains that "the Swedish post office is urging large-volume mail senders such as banks, city governments and housing agencies to trade paper correspondence for its Internet service. To send mail through ePostbox, companies pay about 2 kronor (19 cents) per item, some 25 percent less than it would cost to have the mail delivered by carriers."
May 28, 2002 -- The Swiss Postal Service first-class letter monopoly is likely to be limited by a weight reduction in 2006, when the first-class letter monopoly limit would be reduced to 100 grams from the present 200 grams. Swiss Week says reducing the ceiling to 100 grams would mean a loss of 450 million Swiss francs annually for the system.
May 28, 2002 -- Consignia, the British postal system, is losing more than $1 million pounds a day. As a result, says Reuters, the UK government is considering a return of "dividends" worth more than $300 million pounds in an effort to stablize the service. Consignia has already cut 15,000 and more reductions are expected. Also see the Financial Times (U.K.).
May 28, 2002 -- "Deutsche Post World Net looks less like a postal authority in its latest earnings report and more like the global logistics giant that its managers are seeking to create," according to Air Cargo World. "Not only did DPWN weather the global economic downturn in 2001, but the express business led by DHL Worldwide Express and logistics business at forwarder Danzas grew far ahead of Deutsche Post's core postal and financial services units. The private-sector express and logistics operations now make up about 45 percent of DPWN's revenue and some 33 percent of Deutsche Post's overall revenue came from outside Germany."May 27, 2002 -- According to the Financial Times, La Stampa (Italy) has reported that "Massimo Sarmi, the new managing director of Italian post office Poste, says that the new business plan will be ready before the summer and will be implemented from January 2003. He says that the government, which controls Poste, has not yet decided when to list the group."
May 27, 2002 -- What does it take to bind a people together these days? Well, it may not be the mail. According to Wired magazine, "in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, there is no postal system, there are very few faxes -- but even the rebel leaders use e-mail. They use e-mail to communicate, but also to publicize their cause."
May 27, 2002 -- The Internal Revenue Service, which claims that UPS owes more than $2 billion in back taxes, will mediate the dispute according to Traffic World. "The IRS," says the magazine, "has estimated UPS's total liability in this matter could reach $2.353 billion. The company has vigorously defended itself and has won a ruling by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, Atlanta, which overturned the tax court's ruling. The IRS decided against appealing to the Supreme Court. That decision remanded the case back to the tax court, which asked for a new round of briefs from each side."
May 27, 2002 -- According to Business Week, "Michael L. Eskew, UPS chairman and CEO, "has the task of shepherding the parcel shipper into a new, more wired and more international era. He is aggressively moving UPS into supply-chain management. At the same time, he's steering the company deeper into Asia, where the fast-growing factory sector is opening new doors for UPS."
May 27, 2002 -- FT Deutschland has reported that "Deutsche Post will raise about €1bn ($920m) through a bond issue within the next few weeks. The move, the first ever by the former state monopolist, is aimed at transforming short-term liabilities into longer-term ones." Deutsche Post, says the paper, "received its first credit ratings at the beginning of May. Standard & Poor's gave the company an A+ rating, Fitch gave it AA- and Moody's Aa3." See also the Financial Post.
May 27, 2002 -- "The postal operator Consignia risks insolvency unless the government guarantees its future, senior executives have warned. Allan Leighton,chairman of the renamed Post Office, is due to announce losses expected to near £1.3bn in the next few weeks," according to The Guardian.
May 27, 2002 -- Consignia, according to the Financial Times (U.K.), "has been assured by ministers that it will get a rescue package good enough to guarantee its future.The move yesterday by Patricia Hewitt, trade and industry secretary, holds out hope to the renamed Post Office that it will receive an injection of government funds out of the ý1.8bn it paid to the Treasury when it was profitable in the 1980s and 1990s."
May 26, 2002 -- According to the BBC, "loss-making post operator Consignia faces insolvency unless it can win government support."
May 26, 2002 -- The Portland Commercial Review has reported that "cost-cutting moves by the U.S. Postal Service will bring changes in the way some Portland residents receive their mail. Faced with dropping volume caused by a variety of factors, post offices across the country - including the one in Portland - are in the midst of converting some in-town delivery of mail to a driving route instead of walking. The change means that residents along those routes will be asked to install mailboxes along the street instead of at or near their front door."
May 26, 2002 -- The Financial Times (U.K.) has reported that British government "ministers are confident the postal regulator will water down plans to open the market to competition when it reveals its plans next week. Postcomm has faced criticism of the speed of its plans, which would open the UK market to competition ahead of Europe. Patricia Hewitt, trade and industry secretary, is privately confident that it will slow the introduction of competition. But the regulator is expected to stop short of demands by trade unions that it adopt the European Union timetable. Europe is unlikely to see full liberalisation of its postal markets before 2009."
May 26, 2002 -- According to postal commentator Gene Del Polito, "Vinnie Barbarino may have been a funny character in a TV sitcom, but he's got no business being the model for what passes in this nation as 'postal leadership.'"
May 25, 2002 -- Financial Times Deutschland has reported that "Deutsche Post, the German postal service operator, has announced that it is to withdraw from its business with digital signatures, declaring at the same time that it was to sell its loss-making subsidiary Signtrust. Deutsche Post said its withdrawal was due to the fact that the market appears to be unready for digital signature technology, meaning that it could not implement its strategy for this area of the business."
May 25, 2002 -- According to ZDNet
News, "convenience store chain 7-Eleven, which is testing out
interactive kiosks in nearly 100 stores, plans to allow those kiosks to accept
cash for online purchases later this year. The company plans to add its
so-called Vcom kiosks to up to 3,500 of its stores during the next 18
months." And what about using 7-Eleven stores for expanded postal retail
May 25, 2002 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that:
Express carriers in Europe are calling for government aid to help meet the substantial additional costs likely to be incurred by the industry under new aviation security regulations expected to take effect next year. The carriers are also concerned that they will have a very short time window to conduct the necessary training needed to comply with the new regulations, said John Goldsworthy, chairman of the European Express Association's Security Committee. The association represents about three dozen companies, including the big four integrated carriers DHL Worldwide, FedEx Corp., TNT and United Parcel Service.
May 25, 2002 -- Traffic World has reported that "like everyone in the air cargo industry, couriers are anxiously awaiting the first move of the Transportation Security Administration when its attention turns to cargo later this summer. Couriers, like freight forwarders, rely on passenger airlines to move their expedited packages usually within just a few hours. It is a business that is built on speed and does not have the option of shifting shipments to the ground. The Air Courier Conference of America is adamant that when the TSA gets to cargo it doesn't impose new regulations that would cost untold millions of dollars, as it did with the passenger airlines. It is calling its plea 'no unfunded mandates.'"
May 25, 2002 -- According to The Independent (U.K.), "Consignia accused its critics of scaremongering yesterday over allegations that it planned to cut more than 2,000 mainly rural Scottish households from daily deliveries. Reports that Consignia wanted to persuade PostComm, the postal regulator, to increase the number of homes to which the company will no longer have to deliver mail six days a week caused widespread anger in Scotland. Postwatch Scotland, which monitors postal services, said the company – formerly the Royal Mail – wanted to extend the number of exempt addresses from 43 to 2,284." See also the report by the BBC.
May 25, 2002 -- Ananova (U.K.) has reported that "a dairy has applied for permission to deliver letters and parcels with the morning pint of milk. Express Dairies is seeking a licence to allow milkmen and women to deliver business mail to householders. If postal regulator Postcomm grants the application, Express Dairies will be given a 12 month licence to carry up to 4.6 million items." See also the report in The Times.
May 25, 2002 -- The Irish Independent has reported that "the country (Ireland) is facing complete shutdown of post offices and postal delivery services from the beginning of next month after Communications Workers' Union members voted overwhelmingly in favour of industrial action. Of the 7,479 members who voted, almost 90pc supported the proposal for industrial action against An Post. The union has served An Post with two weeks' notice."
May 24, 2002 -- Asia Pulse has reported that "Australia Post has beefed-up its service offering, striking a deal with American Express enabling customers to access travellers cheques and foreign exchange through 2,900 postal outlets around Australia. In addition, customers will be able to cash their Travellers Cheques commission-free at the same outlets."
May 24, 2002 -- Reuters has reported that "the UK's postal regulator has issued three further one-year interim postal service licences as part of plans to open state-owned Consignia's market to competition. In a statement, Postcomm said it had awarded the licences to Securicor Omega Express , Datarun and London Underground Ltd, following a 30 day consultation period."
May 24, 2002 -- Le Figaro (France) has reported that:
May 24, 2002 -- The Financial Post (Canada) has reported that "the Swiss government plans to limit the Swiss Post's monopoly to letters below 100 grams from 2006. Currently the Swiss Post has a monopoly on deliveries of up to 2 kilograms.The EU plans to limit national postal services' monopolies to below 100 grams by 2003, and below 50 grams by 2006."
May 24, 2002 -- The Financial Times (U.K.) has reported that:
May 24, 2002 -- In a report to Congress, the U.S. General Accounting Office noted that "while USPS currently has two contracts to irradiate the mail, there are many issues that must be addressed to expand the use of ionizing radiation technology. For instance, the USPS will need to assess (1) how it will integrate this technology with the current mail-processing equipment and (2) the technology’s associated costs, schedule, benefits, and risks."
May 24, 2002 -- The U.S. Postal Service Inspector General has released the report of a "self-initiated review [of the National Postal Forum] was to determine whether the Postal Service achieved its objectives to strengthen customer relations, train mailers, and generate sales revenue. We also wanted to identify financial payments and other support provided by the Postal Service to the National Postal Forum and the basis for providing the support; and determine whether the National Postal Forum generated sufficient revenues to cover its operational expenses. The review disclosed information that indicated the Postal Service objectives for attending the Postal Forum were achieved."
May 24, 2002 -- RTE News has reported that Irish "postal workers have voted by a large majority to take strike action over a pay claim relating to ongoing work changes." See also Dow Jones.
May 24, 2002 -- The Scotsman (U.K.) has reported that "a consumer watchdog and Scottish MPs last night condemned plans by Consignia to stop daily postal deliveries to more than 2,000 Scottish homes. Post Watch Scotland has lambasted the framework presented by Consignia which will increase the number of addresses to which the company would not have to deliver mail six days a week, it was reported. Consignia hope to persuade the postal regulator, PostComm, to allow them to increase from 43 to 4,638 the number of exemptions to a delivery obligation which dates back more than 160 years. Approximately half of the exemptions, 2,248, would be in Scotland, mostly in rural areas."
May 24, 2002 -- As Wired magazine has noted, the U.S. House of Representatives approved new surveillance powers by a 327 to 101 vote to allow Customs officials to search incoming or outgoing mail at the border "without a search warrant."
May 23, 2002 -- All Africa Media has reported that "the Postmaster General and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Postal Service, Alhaji Abubakar Musa Argungu and his Management team met with 247 Head Postmasters from all the Territories of NIPOST at this year's Annual Postmaster-General's meeting with head postmasters on Monday 13th and 14th May 2002, at Modotel Hotel, Enugu, Enugu State. ln his opening remarks at the occasion, High Chief Samuel Nwanganga, Chairman NIPOST Board, implored the head postmasters to daily appreciate their position as the link, channel and life wire of the Post in all the communities both rural and urban, where postal establishments are located. According to him, postal service in all it's ramifications is community based, hence the head postmasters are part and parcel of the community development in their areas of operation. The Postmaster-General of the Federation, Alhaji Argungu in his keynote address charged the head postmasters to be customer focused realizing that the deregulated economies, fierce competition and introduction of new t; technologies, provide ample choices for customers. In order to tilt their demand for postal services, aggressive marketing of NIPOST products and services has to be undertaken by the head postmasters."
May 23, 2002 -- Ananova (U.K.) has reported that "Consignia has confirmed that it may rename itself Royal Mail PLC. This could mean the end of the Consignia name after just 16 months. Consignia said its name change was justified on the grounds that it suited its goal of becoming an international postal operator. The decision followed a £500,000 consultation with Dragon Brands." See also the report by Th e Independent.
May 23, 2002 -- The Guardian (U.K.) has reported that "the Post Office, part of the loss-making Consignia group, has joined forces with Bank of Ireland offshoot First Rate Enterprises in an attempt to boost its position in the £26bn UK travel services market." See also the Irish Times.
May 22, 2002 -- United Press International has reported that "fear of anthrax contaminating mail at the World Bank has forced the institution to have nearly 1,200 of its 10,000 employees work from home for up to three days. While no trace of anthrax was found in a second test, a sample from the bank's mail, containing what is believed to be residual anthrax, was at a West Virginia facility for a culture that could take up to three days to complete."
May 22, 2002 -- The Inspector General of the U.S. Postal Service has told Congress that "Workers’ compensation costs have been a contributing factor in the deteriorating financial condition of the U.S. Postal Service. She told the Subcommittee, which is looking at Office of Workers’ Compensation Program issues, that, 'Since 1998, annual Postal Service workers’ compensation costs have increased by 29 percent from $567 million to $731 million.' And this directly impacts the Postal Service because, 'Unlike other federal agencies, these costs are paid from postal revenues...'"
May 22, 2002 -- The Staffordshire Sentinel (U.K.) has reported that "Consignia's new £9.5 million call centre in Stoke-on-Trent is set to go live for calls today. The Stoke development is a result of Consignia' s decision to focus its customer service operation on a smaller number of centres - which will lead to significant improvements in the service. It will join a nationwide network of customer contact centres run by Consignia, and will initially handle Royal Mail customer enquiries only."
May 22, 2002 -- The Guardian (U.K.) has reported that "a private postal company has been forced to delay for six months the introduction of a service to compete with Consignia after failing to reach agreement with the state-owned firm over the cost of doorstep deliveries. Now Business Post has asked the independent industry regulator, Postcomm, to intervene and impose a tarrif on the two parties."
May 22, 2002 -- Read more in the Financial Times (U.K.) about how "Consignia, the embattled postal service, is planning to offer employees participation in a profit-related incentive scheme in an attempt to revive flagging morale as the company begins to make mass redundancies. The former Post Office is expected this month to announce a further 15,000 job losses and reveal it lost about ý1bn in the year to the end of March."
May 22, 2002 -- Japan Today has reported that "Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi reiterated his determination Tuesday to privatize Japan's postal services as the Diet began deliberations on a package of four government-sponsored bills on the issue. The House of Representatives started debate on bills to allow private firms to begin offering mail services and to establish a new public corporation in 2003 to take over the three state-run postal services."
May 22, 2002 -- According to eCommerce Times, "the driving force behind Sears' US$1.98 billion purchase of Lands' End (NYSE: LE) was the clothing brand itself. But Lands' End's reputation for merging catalog and online sales and providing high-quality customer service played a role as well."
May 22, 2002 -- Handelsblatt (Germany) has reported that "Deutsche Post chief executive Klaus Zumwinkel, speaking during a visit to Japan, said that parcel-express service DHL and logistics service provider Danzas will be at the center of these plans. "Asia is, for us, a growth market to which we are paying a great deal of attention," he said. The group had particularly high expectations of opportunities on the Chinese market." See also the report by the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
May 22, 2002 -- The Moscow Times (Russia) has reported that "aluminum and automotive magnate Oleg Deripaska has reportedly diversified his holdings by buying a stake in Rospechat, the nation's leading distributor of newspapers and periodicals."
May 22, 2002 -- The Daily Yomiuri has reported that Japanese Prime Minister "Koizumi has reiterated his intent to privatize Japanese postal services." See also the Kyodo news service.
May 22, 2002 -- Middle East News Online has reported that Qatar's General Postal Corporation has said that "existing postal rates in Qatar are most likely to remain till the year-end."
May 22, 2002 -- As Dow Jones has noted, "the U.S. Postal Rate Commission, bowing to modernity, wants parties filing documents with it to do so electronically over the Internet. 'This will allow the commission and others to apply modern technology to certain routine procedures,' the Postal Rate Commission said in a proposed rule published Tuesday. 'This should reduce the burden and expense associated with traditional hard copy filing,' the commission said, specifying postage as one of the areas where savings will be achieved. The commission said it has 'preliminarily concluded that it is feasible and desirable to make electronic filing of documents over the Internet the standard procedure for filing official documents with the commission.'" See also the Federal Register.
May 22, 2002 -- Reuters has reported that "British postal operator Consignia has signed a five-year contract worth 70 million pounds ($102.3 million) with SchlumbergerSema to outsource occupational health and welfare services. The deal is part of the UK state-owned firm's plan to cut costs by outsourcing the parts of its business which are not core to the postal network, which it says will save it 60 million pounds ($87.68 million) a year overall."
May 21, 2002 -- Traffic World has reported that "the predictions for a bold turnaround of the air freight industry by the second half of the year may have been a little premature and a little too optimistic. While this year most assuredly will be better than last, now most industry watchers and participants are banking on a sharp upswing in air freight demand in 2003."
May 21, 2002 -- According to Air Cargo World, "new U.S. government rules on compensation for airline industry losses from the September 11 terrorist attacks could send millions of dollars to air forwarders even as the Department of Transportation begins an audit of past payments that may end up with refunds from some carriers that have already gotten checks."
May 21, 2002 -- SmartMail, LLC, a provider of flat mail and light parcel shipping services, is using its work-share partnership with the U.S. Postal Service to expand its national presence, giving Florida businesses up to 17 percent discounts off of First Class postal rates and up to 5 percent discounts off of Priority rates. The company uses its proprietary SmartTrack(TM) system to individually scan, weigh and track each piece of mail processed at the facility, resulting in expedited deliveries and cost savings for customers.
May 21, 2002 -- The Associated Press has reported that "the Teamsters voted overwhelmingly to strike if contract negotiations fail with United Parcel Service Inc."
May 21, 2002 -- The Guardian has reported that:
May 21, 2002 -- Gulf News (UAE) has reported that "a new speedy and secure means of transferring money to anywhere through 70 post offices across the UAE has been set up. Emirates Post, and Western Union Financial Services Inc., entered into a tie-up and announced their International Money Transfer Service agreement yesterday. Money transfer transactions will now take place via a direct link between Emirates Post's nationwide systems and Western Union's World-Wide network that covers 186 countries and territories across the globe in over 110,000 locations."
May 20, 2002 -- The Board of Directors of the Association for Postal Commerce will be holding its regularly scheduled Spring meeting on May 22, 2002 in Washington, DC. Among the topics to be discussed will be: postal legislative reform, the U.S. Postal Service's Transformation Plan [Deputy PMG John Nolan, speaker], redesign of the mail processing and transportation network, mail classification redesign, MERLIN, the Postal Service's flat-mail processing plans, R2001 implementation rules, MC2002-1 (Confirm), and package services redesign.
May 20, 2002 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that "the two highest-rated service providers [according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index, a survey of consumer attitudes conducted quarterly by the National Quality Research Center at the University of Michigan Business School in Ann Arbor, Mich.] are the big package-delivery companies, rivals Federal Express Co. and United Parcel Service of America Inc., with scores of 82 and 80, respectively. The U.S. Postal Service had a respectable showing of 73."
May 20, 2002 -- According to Air Cargo World, "Deutsche Post World Net looks less like a postal authority in its latest earnings report and more like the global logistics giant that its managers are seeking to create. Not only did DPWN weather the global economic downturn in 2001, but the express business led by DHL Worldwide Express and logistics business at forwarder Danzas grew far ahead of Deutsche Post's core postal and financial services units. The private-sector express and logistics operations now make up about 45 percent of DPWN's revenue and some 33 percent of Deutsche Post's overall revenue came from outside Germany."
May 20, 2002 -- The Scotsman (U.K.) has reported that "postal operator Consignia is set to pay its new chief executive a state-owned industry record package of up to £750,000 a year, despite the anticipated announcement of 15,000 more redundancies at the company. Consignia’s second highest paid executive is finance director Marisa Cassoni, who earns £295,000 per year." [By way of contrast, the chief executive of the U.S. Postal Service earns a maximum of $164,000. His CFO earns even less than that.]
May 20, 2002 -- The U.S. Postal Service has filed with the Postal Rate Commission its proposed procedural schedule in the matter of Docket No. MC2002-1 regarding the establishment of a classification and fees for the Confirm service. The Postal Service is hoping to move this matter to settlement as it did in the case of the 2001 postal rate case.
May 20, 2002 -- The U.S. Postal Service has filed with the Postal Rate Commission its Cost and Revenue Analysis for fiscal year 2001.
May 20, 2002 -- In case you missed some of the hand-outs provided at the recent National Postal Forum in San Diego, the NPF folks have made them available via the PostInsight web site at the following links:
May 20, 2002 -- "Forget paper invoices, circulars and credit card statements that pile up in the mailbox. That's what Posten, Sweden's national post office, is encouraging with an Internet mail delivery service that aims to make most physical mail go the way of the typewriter,' reported the Newark Star-Ledger. 'Our vision is that the hall carpet or mailbox will never be cluttered with anything but the occasional love letter or invitation to a party,' says Posten spokeswoman Margareta Chowra. Posten's ePostbox is cheap, environmentally friendly and lets recipients pick up mail at any Internet-connected computer, anywhere in the world. The Swedish post office is urging large-volume mail-senders like banks, city governments and housing agencies to trade paper correspondence for its Internet service."
May 20, 2002 -- DM News has reported that "while a spokesman for Rep. Dan Burton, R-IN, chairman of the House Committee on Government Reform, said a postal reform bill would be marked up May 23, a spokesman for Rep. Henry Waxman, D-CA, said he would 'be very surprised if a bill was marked up' this week."
May 20, 2002 -- As the Straits Times has noted, "as European banks and corporations burst national boundaries and go global, many are making English the official corporate language. In Germany, the national postal service, Deutsche Post World Net, increasingly uses English as its working language. Smaller companies are doing likewise.
May 20, 2002 -- According to Auction Bytes, "for as long as there has been a U.S. Postal Service, there has been undeliverable mail. In the 1700s, a person could purchase a piece of undeliverable mail for a penny. Three centuries later, the USPS has found a new outlet for relieving themselves of undeliverable packages: eBay. For the past year, the U.S. Postal service has been testing the online auction waters by 'eBaying' merchandise that could not be delivered to its destination or returned to its sender. Dubbed the 'eBay Disposal Project' internally, the test was set up to evaluate the effectiveness of selling undeliverable items online compared to more traditional venues such as live auctions."
May 20, 2002 -- Dow Jones has reported that "Japan's Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications is considering excluding credit cards and certain direct mail from the definition of 'postal mail,' a move that would open the way for the entry of private companies into such delivery operations, The Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported in its Saturday-morning edition, citing government sources. The ministry is in talks with officials at the Prime Minister's Official Residence and Liberal Democratic Party members. If these provisions are incorporated into the four postal bills currently under deliberation in the Diet, delivery businesses without postal delivery licenses will become able to deliver such items starting April 2003."
May 20, 2002 -- The Guardian (U.K.) has reported that "the remaining staff in Consignia, the renamed Post Office, could be offered bonuses worth up to pounds 1,000 a year, under radical plans to restore the ailing corporation to profitability being drawn up by Allan Leighton, its part-time chairman. The bonuses would take the form of 'phantom share options' which would be awarded from 2004/2005, the target date for Consignia to be back in the black after racking up losses of pounds 1bn a year."
May 19, 2002 -- The Boston Globe has reported that "Congress is casting a skeptical eye at a plan by the US Postal Service to permanently close little-used post offices. Though the US Postal Service refuses to say which offices may close in New England, there is little doubt that the impact will be felt in Boston suburbs and on Cape Cod, where there are multiple post offices within a relatively small area."
May 19, 2002 -- Dow Jones has reported that "Airborne Inc. said core express shipment volumes for the first six weeks of the second quarter have been lower than the volumes for the comparable 2001 period. In its quarterly report filed Tuesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Airborne said it expects continued pressure on year-over-year shipment and revenue growth, particularly in its higher yielding express products for the balance of 2002. Airborne said it expects 3% to 5% sequential quarterly growth in its airborne@ home product in the second quarter. Both product lines should see seasonal increases in the fourth quarter of the year."
May 19, 2002 -- According to the Daily Yomiuri (Japan), "Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, who has pledged to privatize postal services, and Hiromu Nonaka, a Liberal Democratic Party heavyweight representing party members with vested interests in the postal sector, have agreed to the passage of four government-sponsored postal bills during the current Diet session. See also Ashai Shimbun.
May 19, 2002 -- The Kyodo news service has reported that "Ending the national monopoly on postal services would be a victory for Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi in implementing his pledged economic reforms, House of Councillors lawmaker Takeshi Kondo from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) said Friday."
May 19, 2002 -- The Guardian (U.K.) has reported that:
Allan Leighton, the former Asda chief executive, will 'reluctantly' pull out of several non-executive directorships over the next few months to concentrate on restoring Consignia to profitability.
May 19, 2002 -- The Federal Times has reported that "Comptroller General David Walker is the latest to call for an independent panel to consider U.S. Postal Service reforms. 'The Postal Service’s business model does not work in the 21st century,' Walker told the Senate Governmental Affairs subcommittee on international security, proliferation and federal services May 13. "It needs legislative changes to give it more flexibility and there needs to be a definition of what universal service is. But there must be a vehicle - a commission - to make a package of recommendations because of the difficult choices that have to be made.'"
May 19, 2002 -- Yahoo! UK has reported that "TPG will join DPWN to threaten Consignia when the UK's postal sector is opened to competition. The main problem is that Consignia will see its market share slowly eroded by other European postal operators, who have monopolies for several more years. A possible solution is to postpone the UK's postal liberalization in line with other European countries."
July 05, 2002 -- Borsen-Zeitung has reported that "Deutsche Post, the German postal services operator, is thought to have conducted talks with struggling airship manufacturer, Cargolifter, about a possible co-operation agreement. Deutsche Post confirmed on Thursday that the two had talked, while Cargolifter said that talks had not ended. It had previously been speculated in the media that Deutsche Post had abandoned the idea several weeks ago."
May 19, 2002 -- Postmaster General John E. Potter has recognized six companies that the United States Postal Service considers "the best of the best" in supplying its employees with the equipment, tools and services they need to deliver superior products and services to the American public.
May 18, 2002 -- The Asahi Shimbun has reported that "under pressure from Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, a staunch advocate of postal deregulation, the posts ministry will consider allowing the private sector to deliver unsolicited direct mail. But it will do so grudgingly. Mail delivery is the main source of revenue for the government-run postal services, and the Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications has long been fiercely protective of its turf."
May 18, 2002 -- According to the Associated Press, "the U.S. Postal Service district that serves most of Minnesota and western Wisconsin is in a double bind, mirroring a nationwide problem. The volume of mail has declined in the Northland District, taking revenues down with it, while the number of addresses where mail has to be delivered is up. One reason for the drop in local volume is the demise of Minnetonka-based Fingerhut, its largest mail-order customer in the country."
May 18, 2002 -- Dow Jones has reported that "some 1,300 workers closed 300 post offices across Finland Friday to protest further privatization plans that would move postal services to local kiosks."
May 17, 2002 -- The Boston Globe has reported that "acting (Mass.) Governor Jane Swift, who has suffered through three years of having others describe her career highs and lows, personal foibles, and political missteps, wants a chance to tell her side of the story. Swift, 37, has often seemed flummoxed by her depiction in the news media, and has expressed concerns that she has been misunderstood. She has received employment inquiries from the private sector, a think tank, and academia. And the Bush administration appears ready to offer her a $40,000 a year, one-meeting-a-month sinecure on the US Postal Service's governing board. She will also probably serve on corporate boards. As lieutenant governor, she faced an Ethics Commission probe for having used her staff to baby-sit her child at home. She was fined $1,200 and apologized. She was also skewered in the press for using a State Police helicopter for a ride home to Williamstown on the eve of a busy Thanksgiving holiday. Later, as acting governor, Swift was embarrassed by the revelation that she was her husband Chuck Hunt's fourth wife. She said she was aware of his previous marital status, but then faced questions over why the couple had signed a marriage license application that stated he had been married only once before. She apologized for making a mistake, but the incident sparked speculation about the couple's relationship and some mocking commentary, and seemed to further reinforce Swift's determination to shield her family from publicity."
May 17, 2002 -- DM News has reported that "the U.S. Postal Service expects to close the more than 200 annexes it uses nationwide by the end of the year, postmaster general John E. Potter told attendees to the Mailers Technical Advisory Committee meeting." Potter also told attendees at the Mailers Technical Advisory Committee meeting yesterday that they need to get involved in postal reform and transformation. "There is a window of opportunity here to work with folks on [Capitol] Hill and to work with the administration to get some changes," he said, "and I encourage all of you to stay active and participate in those ongoing efforts."
May 17, 2002 -- According to Jordan Times, "after restructuring the former [Jordanian] Post and Communications Ministry into the new Information and Communications Technology Ministry, redefining its role, and laying the foundations for the privatisation of postal services, e-minister Fawaz Zu'bi is now after bringing investments to the ICT sector."
May 17, 2002 -- The Times (U.K.) has reported that "one of Consignia’s main rivals has urged a slowdown in postal liberalisation, saying that Consignia is too weak for full competition before the rest of Europe and that competitors will not be big enough to pick up the pieces when it struggles. TPG, which operates the Dutch post office and which has held merger talks with Consignia, has asked the postal regulator to delay the opening of the full market to competition and to change the way liberalisation is phased in."
May 17, 2002 -- According to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, "beyond dogs that bite mail carriers, the U.S. Postal Service has been facing a rash of new foes. There were the anthrax attacks last fall and the more-recent spate of mailbox pipe bombs. But its business also is faltering in a down economy -- especially as its largest mail-order customer, Minnetonka-based Fingerhut Companies Inc., winds down operations. The Postal Service says it is in a bind: Mail volume has declined while the number of U.S. addresses it delivers to increased by more than 1.7 million last year."
May 16, 2002 -- The Financial Times (U.K.) has reported that "postmen employed by the Dutch post office could soon be delivering mail on the streets of Britain, the company said on Wednesday. Peter Bakker, chairman of TPG, said it would hire its own postmen rather than the Royal Mail's under plans by the postal regulator to allow companies to compete with Consignia. 'Lots of people come to deliver stuff to your house. There is nothing special about having my mailman here. There are so many delivery organisations in this country. All we will do is add another one or combine it with our express network if practical,' said Mr Bakker."
May 16, 2002 -- Wired has reported that "in another attempt to close the gap between the wired and the unwired, Brazil will install computer kiosks in post offices around the country, where people will be able to log on to the Internet. Correios, Brazil's postal agency, hopes to have the kiosks up and running by the end of June, officials said. People will be able to surf the Web and retrieve e-mail."
May 16, 2002 -- The Financial Review (Australia) has reported that "Australia Post has emerged as frontrunner to buy Ausdoc's $NZ200million ($167.2 million) New Zealand courier and express freight business Freightways Express Ltd, in a move that would signal an Australasian expansion strategy by the postal giant."
May 16, 2002 -- Purolator Courier Ltd., Canada's leading overnight courier company, has selected Rogers AT&T Wireless to provide a customized end-to-end wireless data solution that will enable access to quick and reliable shipping information for Purolator customers across the country. This agreement marks the first and largest wireless data solution implemented in Canada. The industry-leading Rogers AT&T Wireless GSM/GPRS network is enabling dispatch and field personnel, supervisors and over 4,000 on-road Purolator couriers across Canada to synchronize and download real-time information to their rugged wireless handheld computers made by Symbol Technologies.
May 16, 2002 -- According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "Teamsters at United Parcel Service plan a strike authorization vote this week to "turn up the heat" before contract talks resume Monday in Chicago, the union said."
May 16, 2002 -- CNET News has reported that "the Board of Directors of United Parcel Service, Inc. (NYSE: UPS), at its regularly scheduled meeting, today declared a quarterly cash dividend of 19-cents per share on all outstanding Class A and Class B shares."
May 16, 2002 -- Reuters has reported that "a 53-year-old Philadelphia man with no known links to terrorist groups was arrested on Wednesday and charged in connection with a homemade bomb left inside a U.S. Postal Service mailbox with a note referring to Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network."
May 15, 2002 -- The StraitsTimes (Singapore) has reported that "SingTel hs yet to decide on SingPost listing. Talks, it said, with investment bankers on options available are part of strategic reviews of its subsidiaries."
May 15, 2002 -- Gulf News (UAE) has reported that "Emirates Post has launched a single counter postal service - manned by one person - in crowded districts to meet growing demands, said Abdullah Al Daboos, Director General of Emirates Post. Speaking to Gulf News, Daboos said the service has been initiated as part of efforts by Emirates Post to provide greater convenience to the public. "The service is known as Satellite Post Offices comprising just one counter. They are established in market places where space is limited, in order to have a full-fledged post office."
May 15, 2002 -- The NALC Bulletin has noted that "NALC [National Association of Letter Carriers] President Vince Sombrotto, in a letter to members accompanying their ballot on ratification of a tentative National Agreement, has urged all members to vote on the contract and has enthusiastically recommended that it be approved by the membership."
May 15, 2002 -- The Denver Post has reported that "the U.S. Postal Service's hopes for increased power to set stamp prices suffered a potentially lethal blow Monday when Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, declared he opposes the plan. Appearing at a hearing on the financially troubled agency's "transformation plan," Stevens declared the mail service is doing just fine under a 1970 law he helped enact. Stevens, the ranking GOP member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and also the Senate's second-ranking Republican, suggested another fix for the mail service: "a few hundred million a year" to help the agency meet its soaring retirement costs for postal workers."
May 15, 2002 -- Pravda (Russia) has reported that "Russia's Postal Security Service has been given a World Mail Award. The awarding ceremony took place in Amsterdam, May 13. The World Mail Award programme was launched in 2000 and has ever since aimed to spread the most recent world expertise of doing postal business and to emphasise its role in international trade and information exchanges. The Russian Postal Security Service was given the award in the Postal Security nomination. Along with ensuring safety of mail items, the Russian International Post Office's foremost concern is to prevent the postal network from being used for posting material, particularly biohazardous material, and illicit drugs threatening people's lives and health, as well as national and international security, said Igor Syrtsov, General Director of Russia's International Post Office, also a prize winner."
May 15, 2002 -- Japan Today has reported that "Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said Tuesday he instructed members of his advisory panel on the privatization of the three state-run postal services to accelerate work to draft concrete plans for the project. Koizumi told economic critic Naoki Tanaka, who heads the private panel, to map out two or three clear plans for the project so the public can gain an idea of how the postal services will be privatized in the future after the launch next year of a new public corporation for postal services."
May 15, 2002 -- AirCargo World has published its "2002 World Air Freight Forecast."
May 15, 2002 -- eCommerce Times has reported that "many catalog firms did not rush to get online, giving them time to evaluate their options. Now that they finally are venturing into e-commerce waters, many are choosing to invest in rock-solid systems that will provide their customers with a satisfying shopping experience -- and that will be in business for the long haul. One major benefactor of that trend has been IBM. A recent IDC report found that sales of Big Blue's WebSphere e-commerce platform grew 258 percent last year."
May 14, 2002 -- Le Figaro (France) has reported that "the postal and telecoms division of the French trade union FO has expressed concern about the fact that no member of the new French government has put been specifically in charge of the French post office Poste and of French telecoms group France Telecoms."
May 14, 2002 -- The Kansas City Business Journal has reported that "Kansas City-based Sceptor Industries Inc. is one of four companies the U.S. Postal Service has selected to test an automated biological-agent detection system for use with large-scale automated mail-sorting equipment."
May 14, 2002 -- USA Today has reported that "President Bush made his case for accelerating the government's welfare-to-work push at a United Parcel Service warehouse here Monday."
May 14, 2002-- As Business Week has noted, "only the ninth CEO at United Parcel Service in its 95-year history, Michael L. Eskew knows the business from top to bottom. He should, too: The 52-year-old veteran started in the engineering division way back in 1972. Eskew has the task of shepherding UPS into a new era. He's overseeing a strong push into Asia, where much of that continent's massive manufacturing capacity is opening new doors for both UPS and rival FedEx. Eskew is also moving aggressively into supply-chain management for domestic companies."
May 14, 2002 -- Bloomberg.com has reported that "the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, trying to step up the pace of talks with United Parcel Service Inc., said it plans a strike vote among the 220,000 workers it represents at the Atlanta-based delivery company, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing a union official."
May 14, 2002 -- CNET.com has reported that "President George W. Bush, accompanied by Mayor Richard Daley, joined UPS CEO Mike Eskew and thousands of UPS employees here today for a special event recognizing the company's success in recruiting and hiring welfare recipients."
May 14, 2002 -- As Bill Dean rightly noted in DM News, "the umpteenth annual reform of the postal system was proposed recently by the U.S. Postal Service. Every stakeholder is weighing in with its opinion: the media, both in support and in opposition; every user class espousing its interests; the postal labor force asking for higher wages and shorter hours; postal management with "new ideas" to cut costs and, finally, the public’s representatives. Don’t you wonder what the postal service would look like today had it been revised using the plan of, say, a year or two ago? The problem is that the USPS does need reform. Times and technology make the current system a dinosaur. Without reform not only will the postal service suffer, every stakeholder will suffer. Simply put, the question is how will cataloging survive without a strong and relatively inexpensive postal service?"
May 14, 2002 -- The Washington Post has reported that:
May 14, 2002 -- U.S. Comptroller General David Walker's testimony before the Senate postal oversight panel at Monday's hearings has been posted on this site.
May 14, 2002 -- CBSNews has reported that "the Postal Service's desire to shut down little-used post offices will probably require a panel akin to a military base-closing commission, a congressional agency said Monday. No lawmaker will like the idea of voters complaining about the closure of their long-standing post office, so putting together a commission is probably the only way to get it done, Comptroller General David Walker told a Senate subcommittee. 'In the end, nobody likes to close anything, and change is difficult,' said Walker, who leads the General Accounting Office, Congress's watchdog arm."
May 14, 2002 -- Reuters has reported that "lawmakers criticized the U.S. Postal Service on Monday for failing to provide a transparent look at its deteriorating financial health even as the agency pushes for more power to raise rates and close post offices. 'The postal service's financial house has to be in order before it will be granted more flexibility,' Sen. Daniel Akaka, a Hawaii Democrat, said at a subcommittee hearing that oversees the post office."
May 14, 2002 -- DM News has reported that "the Direct Marketing Association expressed concern yesterday over the decision by the Mailers Council to call for a presidential commission to study changes to the U.S. Postal Service. The DMA, which is a member of the Mailers Council, said that though a commission might prove desirable at some point to address issues that could not be resolved by other methods, it also could delay needed postal reform legislation."
May 14, 2002 -- According to the Albuquerque Tribune, "consumers who convert from paper to electronic statements and then pay online are destined to save hours each month in managing their accounts, let alone postage. And by designating in advance the timing of an electronic payment, they can save on late fees. Growth of online billing so far has been slow. But that is expected to change."
May 14, 2002 -- The Business Times (Singapore) has reported that "Singapore Telecom may soon float its postal arm Singapore Post - in what could be the biggest local public float in recent times."
May 14, 2002 -- The Daily Telegraph (U.K.) has reported that "the price of first and second class stamps could rise following an announcement by the chairman of postal group Consignia. Last month Consignia warned the price of a stamp could rise by up to 3p a year if plans to open the service to competition go ahead. It called for a penny increase to fund investment for a three-year 'renewal' plan, and said further price rises might be needed if competition was introduced at the 'fast track' rate being proposed by industry regulator Postcomm."
May 14, 2002 -- This Is Bristol (U.K.) has reported that "Amicus, which represents 15,000 managers and professionals in Consignia, claim 80 per cent of staff surveyed said they had experienced bullying in the past year."
May 14, 2002 -- The Gulf News (UAE) has reported that "as a result of its strategic business alliance with DHL, Emirates Post has launched International Express services to its customers for speedy shipping of parcels and goods to 120,000 destinations in over 220 countries. Initially, the service, which will be on DHL airway bills, will be available at Emirates Post's outlets in Karama and Jumeirah in Dubai and main offices in Sharjah and Ajman. Phase two will see the introduction of its service to the rest of its offices in the UAE. Customers utilising this service will be entitled to send a free 500 gram document anywhere in the world for every five shipments sent through International Express."
May 13, 2002 -- U.S. Postmaster General Jack Potter told a Senate postal oversight committee that "the Postal Service's long-term financial outlook has grown even more cloudy. The 2002 economic downturn hit us hard - and continues to hurt us. It will contribute to a projected net loss in the range of $1.5 billion this year - for a third consecutive year of net losses."
May 13, 2002 -- Reuters has reported that "Sears, Roebuck and Co. has agreed to buy Land's End Inc. for about $1.9 billion."
May 13, 2002 -- Traffic World has reported that "acquisitive European logistics organizations still have the North American market in their sights despite tough economic conditions and the challenges of finding suitable targets. As economic conditions improve, analysts expect merger and acquisition activity to pick up fast."
May 13, 2002 -- In an interview conducted by the Financial Times, "Junichiro Koizumi, Japan's prime minister, vowed to proceed with plans to roll back the state sector and speed up the disposal of bad loans, brushing aside suggestions he was being forced to slow his reform agenda. Mr Koizumi said his three priorities for the next 12 months were to accelerate the disposal of non-performing loans, dissolve the state housing loan corporation and to pass legislation aimed at eventual privatisation of the post office."
May 13, 2002 -- According to the BBC, "Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi is attempting to burnish his image as a reformer with controversial proposals to deregulate the post office, long a pillar of support for his party. He intends to introduce four bills to parliament on Friday that could eventually lead to privatisation of the post office."
May 13, 2002 -- The Denver Post has reported that "Craig G. Wade, the Postal Service's sometimes abrasive leader in Denver, resigned Friday under pressure."
May 13, 2002 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that "foreign express-delivery companies fighting for access to the lucrative China market are seeing an unlikely champion: bureaucrats with vested interests in global trade -- which suggests that a long-simmering dispute could be resolved soon."
May 13, 2002 -- The Guardian has reported that "Consignia, the loss-making Post Office group, is likely to be dealt a further blow this week when industry regulators meet to finalise plans to open the postal market to competition. Despite pressure from Consignia directors and some MPs to water down their liberalisation proposals, postal services commissioners are expected to press ahead with plans for a three-stage relaxation of the £5bn market."
May 13, 2002 -- Skynews has reported that British "postal group Consignia has been urged to crack down on workplace bullies and sex pests. This follows a union survey in which the majority of managers claimed to have experienced harassment in the past year."
May 13, 2002 -- Financial Times Deutschland has reported that "Mail Boxes (MBE), a subsidiary of US delivery company United Parcel Service, aims to create a delivery, office and communications service network in Germany on a franchise basis through German subsidiary MBE Deutschland. It aims to grant franchises to more than 1,000 independent businessmen within 10 years."
May 13, 2002 -- The Financial Times (U.K.) has reported that "the price of postage stamps is set to rise by 1p after ministers privately agreed to Consignia's requests for an increase. The company has asked for the increase as soon as possible, on first and second class stamps. Stamp prices in Britain are among the lowest in Europe and Consignia believes the rise would net it £170m ($248m) a year. Stamp prices are frozen until 2003, although the regulator, PostComm, said a rise could come into place earlier if 'Consignia gives good enough reasons'."
May 13, 2002 -- According to Hong Kong iMail, "there may be fewer post offices and libraries in your neighbourhood if the Planning Department uses the findings of its latest survey."
May 12, 2002 -- The BBC has reported that the "struggling UK mail firm Consignia is to demand the repayment of £1.8bn it has paid to the government as dividends."
May 12, 2002 -- The Mailers Council, a coalition of mailers and mailing associations, has called on the White House to create a Presidential Commission on Postal Reform to evaluate the United States Postal Service (USPS).
May 12, 2002 -- According to the Boston Herald, "Jane Swift just can't seem to get the hang of this governor thing. First of all, in a lame-duck feeding frenzy, your main agenda should be hiring people, not firing them. They'll all be fired soon enough, just like you were. Second, shouldn't any sitting governor, even a toll-crazed embarrassment, be able to come up with a better consolation prize than a $42,600-a-year no-show with the U.S. Postal Service? Oh sure, the 'part-time'' post office gig is like stealing, and that's important to a serial kleptomaniac like Swift. Her dream of a $12 toll from Framingham to Logan may be dead, but how about a $12 stamp to mail a first-class letter?"
May 12, 2002 -- According to the Washington Post, "mail carriers and residents in the rural Midwest are probably breathing easier since Luke Helder was arrested and charged with planting pipe bombs in mailboxes in Illinois, Iowa and Nebraska. Quick action in the case came thanks to Mr. Helder's father, who gave authorities critical information last Monday, and to a motorist who spotted Mr. Helder's car traveling down Interstate 80 in Nevada. That episode stands in sharp contrast to the apparent lack of progress on the nation's other major mail-terror investigation: the search for those responsible for last fall's deadly anthrax mailings. In that case, the need for answers has become no less urgent, but the mystery has seemed only to grow over time."
May 12, 2002 -- An Post [the Irish post office] has launched it PostPoint service that allows users to access electronic-based payment and postal services in the local convenience store Over the past 18 months An Post has deployed electronic payment terminals in almost 3,000 shops nationwide. PostPoint, a fully-branded outlet-based delivery channel, builds on this network to offer consumers a range of payment facilities and postal services. Through this national network of sho- based locations, in partnership with community-based retailers, PostPoint will deliver a growing range of services.
May 12, 2002 -- The Federal Times has noted that "the U.S. Postal Service is taking its pitch for vast postal reform directly to Congress and nudging its big customers to do the same. Already, Postal Service officials have briefed more than 150 lawmakers on their proposal to transform the agency into a profit-making enterprise. The Postal Service strategy, which appears to bypass an appeal to the broader American public, may be the most effective available, given that the greatest interest in low postage rates and universal service comes from business."
May 12, 2002 -- Read more on the Postal Service's plan to save $200 million over the next five years by substantially simplifying its internal computer network in Federal Computer Week.
May 12, 2002 -- The eyefortransport Shipper - Carrier Forum! - San Francisco 2002. How shippers and transportation companies can work together to boost profits by synchronizing technologies, business strategies and cargo security initiatives...at the Hyatt Regency Hotel San Francisco, June 24-26 2002.
May 11, 2002 -- Those who should know have said that President Bush has signed off on a concept paper for the creation of a commission on the future of the U.S. Postal Service, and that the process of identifying those who will serve on the commission already has begun.
May 11, 2002 -- TheDeal.Com has reported that "the French state-run post office, La Poste, said it would likely pursue foreign acquisitions with proceeds from a sale of part of its real estate portfolio after the government announced May 10 it would permit divestment of the assets. A La Poste official would not estimate the value of the entire property portfolio but did not dispute a press report claiming it could be worth as much as €4 billion ($3.6 billion). She added that the proceeds would likely be used for foreign acquisitions. La Poste Chairman and CEO Martin Vial has publicly expressed his desire to buy courier services and related businesses outside France."
May 10, 2002 -- ePostalNews has reported that:
Find out about this and all other ePostal news of the day by contacting: e-Postal News. It's published weekly by G2 Computer Intelligence Inc.; 323 Glen Cove Avenue; Sea Cliff, NY 11579, USA; Tel.: 516 759-7025 Fax: 516 759-7028. www.g2news.com. It's a great news source.
May 10, 2002 -- Business Mailers Review has reported that:
Peter Moore Software Inc. has a simple, inexpensive and valuable tool for users of Mail.dat.
Check out and even more of the latest postal news by contacting Business Mailers Review. It's published biweekly by Sedgwick Publishing Co. and is available electronically. For more information contact: Business Mailers Review, P.O. Box 32B, Boyds, MD 20841 or call 301-528-0011. This is one of the most widely read postal news publications in the U.S..
May 10, 2002 -- La Stampa has reported that "the Italian government is to renew the board of directors of Italian oil group ENI, Italian electricity group Enel and the post office Poste. Sources say that Massimo Sarmi is to replace Corrado Passera as managing director of Poste."
May 10, 2002 -- The Wine Spectator has reported that "the Canadian government has given the green light to Canada Post, the federal mail carrier, to significantly expand its deliveries of "intoxicating beverages" to Canadian homes and businesses." Salute! Bottoms up! Whatever....
May 10, 2002 -- The Washington Post has reported that:
May 10, 2002 -- The Associated Press has reported that "new stamps worth 37 cents but with no value printed on them will go on sale June 7 to help meet demand in response to the rate increase."
May 10, 2002 -- The Boston Globe has reported that "the White House is considering Acting Governor Jane Swift for a part-time position that would pay her up to $42,000 annually to serve on the board that oversees the US Postal Service, according to two Republican Party operatives."
May 10, 2002 -- Bank of America is waiving its monthly fee for the bill payment feature of Online Banking for new subscribers, making the entire service free. Starting on Monday, May 13, consumers can sign up for Online Banking with the bill payment feature for free at Bank of America during this promotion, saving them $5.95 a month. The bank is thanking customers for the growing interest in Online Banking and encouraging people to pay bills online. Bank of America has 3.3 million active Online Banking customers and 1.1 million using Online Banking with Bill Pay - the most in the industry. Whoosh! That's the sound of more mail leaving the postal system.
May 10, 2002 -- The U.S. Postal Service, the agency's Office of the Inspector General yesterday told a subcommittee of the House Committee on Government Reform in written testimony, that "workers' compensation costs have risen 29 percent since 1998, contributing to financial troubles at USPS workers' compensation costs for 2001 were $731 million, up from $567 million in 1998, inspector general Karla W. Corcoran told the subcommittee, which is examining issues of the Office of Workers' Compensation Program for federal employees. This directly affects the postal service because 'unlike other federal agencies, these costs are paid from postal revenues' she said."
May 10, 2002 -- DM News has reported that "the U.S. Postal Service's productivity declined in almost every category during the fourth quarter of its past fiscal year, according to a study released yesterday by the Mailers Council, a coalition of businesses, nonprofits and mailing associations. The data from the fourth Quarterly Report Card on the Postal Service, published by the Mailers Council, covers the quarter that ended Sept. 8. The report card also showed that overall, postal productivity for the year rose only modestly."
May 10, 2002 -- AdWeek has reported that "the U.S. Postal Service has narrowed the review for its $100 million account to three finalists, according to sources. Making the cut were Foote, Cone & Belding in New York, teamed with Frankel in Chicago (both incumbents); Havas agencies Arnold in Boston along with Brann Worldwide in Wilton, Conn.; and Campbell-Ewald Advertising, Warren, Mich., along with DraftWorldwide in Chicago, both Interpublic Group of Companies shops. No longer in the competition are incumbent Leo Burnett in Chicago; Bates, D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles and Young & Rubicam, all New York. Media buying, previously at MediaCom in New York, is also in review. Another meeting will precede an expected decision in June." See also Advertising Age.
May 10, 2002 -- EU Business has reported that "the European Commission in Brussels wants Deutsche Post, the semi-privatised German postal authority, to repay up to 300 million euros (273 million dollars) in state aid, the financial daily Boersen-Zeitung reported on Friday."
May 10, 2002 -- Dow Jones has reported that Japanese "delivery service firm Nippon Express Co. will begin next month a service to handle the collection of payments for products sold by small companies and direct-mail firms, The Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported in its Friday morning edition, quoting company sources. In addition to the option of payment on delivery, customers will be allowed to log onto Nippon Express's Web site to select payment by credit card or bank transfer, or to settle up at a convenience store."
May 10, 2002 -- The Financial Times News Service has reported that:
May 9, 2002 -- The New York Times has reported that "postal investigators say a chance extra run through sorting machines by the anthrax-tainted letter sent last fall to Senator Patrick J. Leahy may explain why its clumps of spores were smaller and more dangerous than those in a letter mailed the same day to Senator Tom Daschle. The high-speed machines, which handle up to 550 letters a minute, could have acted like a mill, crumbling the microscopic clumps of deadly spores into smaller and more floatable bits with each pass, said an investigator involved in the hunt for the anthrax mailer who killed five people last fall."
May 9, 2002 -- According to the Wall Street Journal, "one of the Sept. 11 hijackers, Ahmed al-Haznawi, was treated by a Florida doctor for a severe lesion on his leg in late June. (He claimed he'd bumped into a suitcase.) The treating physician now is convinced he had cutaneous anthrax: two leading Johns Hopkins biodefense experts, Tara O'Toole and Thomas Inglesby, after reviewing the records, say "the most probable and coherent" diagnosis is anthrax. The FBI rejects this because if a Sept. 11 hijacker contracted anthrax last summer, it inextricably links the two issues."
May 9, 2002 -- According to CQ Monitor News, "the Teamsters union and United Parcel Service of America Inc. are leading efforts to prevent House Government Reform Committee Chairman Dan Burton, R-Ind., from moving a draft bill that would allow the Postal Service to adjust rates to match the rate of inflation. Burton plans a markup for May 22, but he faces strong opposition from UPS and the union, which represents 60 percent of its 370,000 employees. Teamsters General President James P. Hoffa has sent a letter to President Bush urging him to help block the Burton bill on grounds it would hurt package delivery companies."
May 9, 2002 -- The Associated Press has reported that:
May 9, 2002 -- The Kosciusko (MS) Star-Herald has reported that "United States Postal Service officials have given the City of Kosciusko and a local engineer two weeks to fork over $87,000 in fees the USPS now claims is owed on property work at the site of the new Post Office on Fairground Street."
May 9, 2002 -- Traffic World has reported that "Teamsters union President James P. 'Jimmy' Hoffa's vision to shore up sagging IBT finances got some juice last week in Las Vegas - just as contract talks with United Parcel Service hit a critical point with fewer than 90 days remaining on that contract. Hoffa engineered a dues increase that could add as much as $134 million to Teamsters finances. The hard cash influx comes as the union is in midst of negotiations with its largest employer, United Parcel Service, and only months before talks with the Big Four national LTL carriers are to begin this fall on a National Master Freight Agreement."
May 9, 2002 -- Business First (Louisville, KY) has reported that "UPS Airlines, a Louisville-based subsidiary of United Parcel Service Inc., is installing a new collision avoidance system in the cockpits of more than 100 of its planes."
May 8, 2002 -- The Associated Press has reported that " 21-year-old college student was charged Tuesday in connection with the five-state string of mailbox pipe bombs after he was arrested on a windswept highway following a manhunt that stretched across half the country. Luke J. Helder of Pine Island, Minn., was captured after dropping a gun out his car window, the FBI said. At least one other gun was found in the car, and bomb squads found explosive devices, possibly pipe bombs."
May 8, 2002 -- Hoovers Online has reported that "United Parcel Service Chairman Mike Eskew warned business leaders they face a "populist backlash" from recent scandals and simmering frustration."
May 8, 2002 -- The Independent (U.K.) has reported that the British government "has ordered Consignia to abandon its attempts at further overseas expansion after the failure of its merger talks with the Dutch postal giant TPG. Douglas Alexander, the Industry minister with responsibility for Consignia, told MPs that the state-owned company's priority in future would be to concentrate on its loss-making domestic operations with the aim of returning them to profitability. The minister also appeared to criticise Consignia for taking its eye of the ball by pursuing previous overseas acquisitions, such as the pounds 300m purchase of German Parcel (the U.S. Postal Service's trouble-plagued partner), whilst its costs were running out of control in the UK."
May 8, 2002 -- Japan Times has reported that "Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's Cabinet on Tuesday endorsed the remaining two bills of a set of four on postal services deregulation and plans to submit both to the Diet."
May 8, 2002 -- According to the Daily Yomiuri (Japan), the government and the private sector may revisit 130-year-old mail dispute over what constitutes a proper definition of a "letter."
May 8, 2002 -- Dow Jones has reported that "Reader's Digest Association Inc. (RDA) said it expects that the recently announced U.S. postal rate increase of 3 cents will raise its postage costs in the United States 9%, or about $10 million, in 2003."
May 8, 2002 -- The Dallas Morning News has reported that "if you thought the world was already plastered with bar codes, check your mailbox. Most of them aren't tagged – at least not yet – but go ahead and flip the lid open. Spot a set of those universally recognized parallel lines and numbers? A big-city letter carrier now totes a small scanner to log each day's delivery schedule – by swiping bar codes that have been stuck on mailboxes at those points."
May 8, 2002 -- The Richmond Times-Dispatch has reported that "UPS, long known for delivering packages for small businesses and homeowners, is bidding to capture a bigger piece of the multibillion dollar transportation and logistics market....It's a behind-the-scenes effort you won't see when a brown, boxy UPS truck pulls up outside your house. But industry professionals in trucking, warehouse and manufacturing are hearing the Brown bear's growl.."
May 7, 2002 -- The U.S. Postal Service and the Postal Rate Commission have announced that they are jointly sponsoring a Ratemaking Summit to be held on Tuesday, May 28, 2002, at the Bolger Academy, 9600 Newbridge Drive, Potomac, Maryland. Continental breakfast will be served starting at 8 a.m. and the Summit will begin at 9 a.m. and conclude at 4:30 p.m. The Summit will focus on how the process and approach for establishing and changing postal rates in major "omnibus" cases can be improved. If this Summit is successful, the Postal Service and the Postal Rate Commission may sponsor additional meetings to address other ratemaking issues.
May 7, 2002 -- Postmaster General John E. Potter has said the Postal Service faces a projected net loss of approximately $1.5 billion in fiscal year 2002, with mail volume for the year expected to drop some six billion pieces below last year's total. Despite the magnitude of this decline, Potter said cost-containment actions taken by the Postal Service have reduced this estimated net loss well below earlier projections that ranged as high as $4.5 billion.
May 7, 2002 -- The Postal Service's Chief Technology Officer has unveiled a major Transformation Plan action item underway to upgrade, modernize, enhance, secure, and simplify the world's largest intranet infrastructure. The initiative, known as the Advanced Computing Environment (ACE), will save up to $200 million over five years by centralizing and reducing support functions for 130,000 computer users among 28,000 postal facilities nationwide.
May 7, 2002 -- EU Business has reported that "the EU Council of Ministers has adopted a new directive, or law, that will gradually open EU postal services to competition over the next four years, the European Commission announced. The directive, which modifies legislation which launched postal service liberalization in 1997, provides for a 'gradual and controlled' opening of the postal market, 'combining more competition with maintaining a universal service,' said a commission statement. 'Implementing the internal market for postal services is one of the major structural reforms that Europe needs,' said Internal Market Commissioner Frits Bolkestein. The directive requires members states to open up substantial additional sections of the market to competition beginning in 2003 and 2006."
May 7, 2002 -- The New York Times has reported that "deepening the mystery of the biological attacks that terrified the nation last fall, federal investigators have discovered that the anthrax sent through the mail, in general, grew more potent from one letter to the next, with the spores in the final letter to be opened the one sent to Senator Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont the deadliest of all."
May 7, 2002 -- Prophesy Transportation Solutions, Inc., a provider of comprehensive software solutions to the transportation and logistics industries, has been selected as a Top 100 Logistics Provider by Inbound Logistics Magazine. Prophesy's ShipperTPL solution is an integrated freight consolidation, rating and routing decision support system specifically designed for 3PLs and public warehousing companies. It allows users to cut costs by building the best loads, selecting the correct carriers, and implementing pooling, cross docking and multi-drop capabilities.
May 7, 2002 -- The Washington Post has reported that "postal and law enforcement officials in Illinois, Iowa and Nebraska said they have developed several promising leads in their investigation of the bombings, which have left six people injured and have rattled communities far removed from other recent terrorist scares. The FBI has described the bombing campaign as a case of "domestic terrorism." Investigators believe the culprit, who has placed anti-government notes along with the bombs, is most likely a middle-aged or older man working alone."
May 7, 2002 -- As the Associated Press has noted, "along comes another terrorist trying to get attention and – once again – the nation's postal employees find themselves in the line of fire. This time it's bombs hidden in mailboxes. Last fall it was anthrax. Add these to the normal hassles of weather and driving and dogs."
May 7, 2002 -- Forbes has reported that "the world's biggest express carrier FedEx said on Tuesday it was confident China, newly on-board the WTO, will allow foreign firms into its small shipments market despite opposition from the state postal bureau. David Cunningham, president of FedEx Asia Pacific, said a tussle between international firms and the Chinese postal bureau, which wants to control shipments weighing 500 grammes (17.65 ounces) or less, was likely to be settled by a June 15 deadline."
May 7, 2002 -- The Financial Times (U.K.) has reported that:
May 7, 2002 -- Gulf News has reported that "Emirates Post has entered into a strategic business alliance with DHL to launch International Express. The move is aimed at improving the speed and reach of the postal service."
May 7, 2002 -- Aftenposten (Norway) has reported that "Norway's mail service can be hard hit by industrial action after 20,000 postal workers were offered an overall wage reduction during this year's salary negotiations."
May 7, 2002 -- Well, there are real bombs and metaphorical bombs. Read more about the U.K.'s metaphorical boomer in Canada's The Globe and Mail.
May 7, 2002 -- Reuters has reported that "the Bush administration announced on Monday that it would let private firms compete for federal printing and copying contracts worth $500 million a year, moving to end the U.S. Government Printing Office's 141-year-old monopoly on federal business." Can postal be far behind?
May 6, 2002 -- The Associated Press has reported that "rural letter carriers planned to deliver mail as usual on Monday despite the discovery of six more mailbox pipe bombs in Nebraska."
May 6, 2002 -- Voice of America has reported that "U.S. officials are warning of more possible acts of 'domestic terrorism' following the discovery of 14 homemade bombs in mailboxes in three midwestern states."
May 6, 2002 -- The Associated Press has reported that "the head of Britain's beleaguered postal operator said Sunday that the company planned to drop its unpopular name, Consignia. Chairman Alan Leighton told the British Broadcasting Corp. that the name, adopted last year by the former Post Office, would likely be changed within two years. He said the company probably would revert to an established and recognized name such as Post Office or Royal Mail." See also the report by the BBC and The Guardian.
May 6, 2002 -- Reuters has reported that "the loss-making state-owned postal operator Consignia will axe up to 50 senior managers."
May 6, 2002 -- The Karachi News has reported that "Asst Postmaster General (Operations), Syed Usman Ali has clarified a news item titled 'Misappropriation worth millions reported in Postal Training Institute' published on April 30. He stated that complete renovation work, which was being carried out almost after two decades, was being carried out after the approval from the competent authority - Director General Pakistan Post Office, Islamabad - with an amount of Rs 1.9 million. He said it was incorrect that the project was initially approved for Rs 200,000. He mentioned that the total covered area of the premises was approximately 16,200 square feet for which new construction cost have cost the department around Rs 12 million. So far as the alleged misappropriation of funds and over-charging of clientele on registered letters and bungling in money orders in North Nazimabad and Saddar GPOs was concerned, no specific instances have been cited."
May 6, 2002 -- Frankfurter Allgemeine has reported that "Germans have discovered their favorite on-line activity: After using e-mail, German Internet users like to bank on-line. Some 20 million bank accounts are currently being maintained on-line, says Germany's banking association. In the last two years, the number of bank accounts has doubled, with around 15 million people in Germany doing their banking on-line."
May 6, 2002 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "three major North American airlines on Friday unveiled Cargo Portal Service, a Web-based tool for booking air freight aimed at air carriers and freight forwarders. The service, developed by United Airlines, Northwest Airlines, Air Canada and Unisys Corp., is scheduled to be launched by the end of the year, and will be available to forwarders at no charge."
May 6, 2002 -- Traffic World has reported that:
UPS says its China service was profitable after only six months of service.
Under the Aviation Security Act, all-cargo airlines must "operate a system that screens, inspects or otherwise ensures the security of goods aboard their aircraft." Securing the air freight pipeline is part of the legislation, but who, when and how are big questions that are yet unanswered.
May 5, 2002 -- The Salt Lake Tribune has reported that "five [additional] pipe bombs were found Saturday in rural Nebraska mailboxes, heightening fears among Midwesterners already on edge after similar bombs injured six people a day earlier in Iowa and Illinois."
May 5, 2002 -- The Quad City Times has reported that "domestic terrorism hit the Upper Mississippi River Valley on Friday, shutting down postal service in at least eight counties as federal officials converged on a string of small Iowa and Illinois communities where a pipe-bomber left a trail of fear and injury."
May 4, 2002 -- Gulf News has reported that "Pakistan will assist development of Afghanistan's postal services and continue to provide transit facilities for Afghan mail to and from the rest of the world, according to an agreement signed here yesterday. Senior officials of the two countries signed the accord in the presence of Afghan interim government Telecom Minister Abdul Rahim and Pakistani Communi-cations minister Javed Ashraf Qazi. Under the agreement Pakistan Post Foundation will offer printing facilities and develop eleven kinds of computer software for postal needs of the neighbouring country. Pakistan will also provide training facilities for the employees of Afghan postal department in information technology and extend other assistance for the development of the postal network."
May 4, 2002 -- The Guardian (United Kingdom) has reported that "John Roberts, chief executive of Consignia, the former Post Office, is set to leave his job after seven tumultuous years following severe political pressure for sweeping management changes at the loss-making corporation."
May 4, 2002 -- Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Germany) has reported that:
May 4, 2002 -- Canada Post Corp. and CGI Group Inc. (GIB) have finalized plans for a jointly-owned information technology services company that will provide all IT services to the Canada Post group of companies and other postal organizations worldwide. In a joint news release, the companies Canada Post will own 51% of the new company and CGI will own the remaining 49%.
May 4, 2002 -- The Associated Press has reported that "pipe bombs accompanied by anti-government propaganda exploded Friday in five rural mailboxes in Illinois and Iowa, injuring at least seven people. The bombs were set to explode when the mailboxes were opened, investigators said. Authorities did not immediately name any suspects."
May 3, 2002 -- The Financial Times (U.K.) has reported that "the financial crisis that has engulfed Consignia, formerly the Post Office, is about to claim the scalp of John Roberts, its chief executive. The government will shortly begin the hunt for a successor to 57-year-old Mr Roberts, who, one senior Whitehall insider said, had "reached the end of his natural life" at the state-owned postal group. Chief executive since 1995 and with the Post Office since 1967, he will leave once a replacement has been found."
May 3, 2002 -- At the same time, AFX (U.K.) has reported that "Consignia, the renamed Royal Mail group, said John Roberts remains its chief executive as it attempts to end speculations he is stepping down from his post. The Financial Times reported that Roberts, who has been chief executive since 1995, is being replaced due to his poor handling of the group's 30,000 redundancies and 500,000 stg spend on the company's name change. 'We don't know where the story came from. It definitely did not come from us,' a Consignia spokeswoman said."
May 3, 2002 -- According to The Scotsman (U.K.), "the threat of a [British] national postal strike was lifted last night after a deal was agreed to end a long-running dispute over pay. Members of the Communication Workers Union had been due to walk out next Wednesday, threatening a fresh crisis for the postal group, Consignia. But the strike was called off after an agreement was reached between the two sides following talks at the conciliation service, ACAS." See also Reuters, The Independent, and the Associated Press.
May 3, 2002 -- The New Zealand Herald has reported that "the leader of the world's second most powerful economy caused traffic chaos in Wellington yesterday when he made an unscheduled inspection of two post boxes outside Premier House."
May 3, 2002 -- Dow Jones has reported that "Dutch postal and logistics company TPG NV has acquired a 50% stake in DFDS Transport Logistics, a unit of Danish transport and logistics company DSV A/S."
May 3, 2002 -- Gulf News has reported that "areas of mutual interest and cooperation such as training, money transfer, expediting the India Express Parcel and India Express Document, were discussed between postal authorities of the UAE and India. A high-level delegation led by Abdullah Al Daboos, Director General of Emirates Post, was in India recently."
May 3, 2002 -- The BBC has reported that "postal voting [in the U.K.] has been judged an unqualified success in the 2001 local elections, boosting turnout by an average of 28% in areas where it was trialled." It's also good for postal revenue!
May 2, 2002 -- Word has it that the Postal Service will file with the Postal Rate Commission its first request for a negotiated service agreement on June 3.
May 2, 2002 -- Looking for an addition to your liabrary that may provide information about how the USPS would provide for its universal service obligation if it operated as a private sector company. Then take a look at the book offered at the Transport Law web site at http://www.transportlawtexts.com/order.html. The author is Bill Augello, a premier litigating attorney who represents shippers of freight and one of the few active attorneys who have worked in both the regulated and unregulated environment.
May 2, 2002 -- Direct magazine has reported that "the ailing U.S. Postal Service has to be fixed--and fast. So says the man who runs it: Postmaster General Jack Potter, who championed running the service as a Commercial Government Enterprise (CGE), a government owned entity but one that enjoys some of the operational and financial flexibility found in the private sector. The model would allow the USPS to retain universal service while giving it more freedoms such as pricing and labor flexibility, and enabling it to retain earnings, work under private sector labor law and depending on future legislation, could even pay taxes or dividends to the government. This model that would also allow the postal service to compete in today's competitive marketplace."
May 2, 2002 -- Catalog Age has reported that "Direct Marketing Association president/CEO H. Robert Wientzen is less than sanguine about the future of the U.S. Postal Service. "Frankly I think our chances of doing anything to have a material effect soon are slim," he told CATALOG AGE in a one-on-one interview."
May 2, 2002 -- Dow Jones has reported that "Dutch postal and logistics company TPG NV has said that comments in a report issued by the Dutch post and telecommunications watchdog Opta aren't binding. In a report, Opta said liberalization of the Dutch postal market was moving too slowly. Opta believes the postal market, which is 70% liberalized, should be fully opened. TPG stressed that it's in favor of an accelerated liberalization of the Dutch postal market and that it will make its views known in the summer."
May 2, 2002 -- According to the Financial Times, "Deutsche Post cannot be faulted for the scale of its ambition. But outpacing established players such as United Parcel Service, FedEx and TPG to become number one in worldwide logistics and express parcels is taking longer than expected....DP's plans to increase non-mail business marked time, with both logistics and financial services turnover falling slightly....Optimists take the view that the management's strategy will start delivering results in two to three years' time. But for DP to narrow the 35 per cent price/earnings discount to the likes of TPG, it must start to make real money from its costly diversifications."
May 2, 2002 -- The U.S. Postal Service is proposing to revise the product submission procedures for postage meters and other postage evidencing systems. The proposed procedures were originally published as interim procedures in the Federal Register on January 7, 1997 [Vol. 62, No. 4, pages 1001-1004], and were revised and published as draft procedures on September 2, 1998 [Vol. 63, No. 170, pages 46728-46732]. The draft procedures were again revised and published in the Federal Register on August 17, 1999 [Vol. 64, No. 158, pages 44760-44766], with submission of comments due by October 18, 1999. After receipt and consideration of comments, the procedures were amended and published in the Federal Register on April 14, 2000 [Vol. 65, No. 73, pages 20211-20218], with a request for submission of additional comments by May 15, 2000.
May 2, 2002 -- As ContentBiz.com has noted, "while the advent of electronic communication has afforded publishers these relatively efficient and inexpensive means to advertise their products and services, these forms of advertising are not without legal risk. Indeed, spurred by "privacy" advocates and, in some cases, attorneys specializing in class-action lawsuits, there has lately been a backlash against advertising by fax and e-mail. Both forms of advertising are now subject to a patchwork of sometimes conflicting federal and state laws of which publishers should be aware if they decide to market their products electronically."
May 2, 2002 -- The Florida Times-Union has said that "by raising the rate on first-class postage by 8.8 percent, the U.S. Postal Service will lose a greater percentage of both volumes and revenues. Beginning students in economics are taught about demand elasticity; when a firm raises price and demand is elastic, total revenues fall. That the demand for first-class mail is elastic is shown by the previous rate increases (of only 3 percent), which resulted in declining revenues from first-class mail. The Postal Service has economists on its staff who presumably informed management of the likely outcome of a rate increase. Thus, the Postal Service management must be throwing down the gauntlet to Congress." Taken a look at Standard Mail volumes lately?
May 2, 2002 -- Reuters has reported that:
The Dutch telecommunications regulator OPTA has said it saw no reason to maintain the postal monopoly of transport and logistics company TPG NV, operator of the Netherlands' post office.
May 2, 2002 -- LogicTools was selected by the United States Postal Service (USPS) as the vendor for software and modeling support for the Network Integration and Alignment Project. This project is a major focus of the USPS as it attempts to streamline and become more efficient.
May 1, 2002 -- Word has it that the House Committee on Government Reform could have a postal legislative reform proposal set for committee markup on May 22.
May 1, 2002 -- CEP News (Courier- Express- and Postal-Market News) has reported that:
TPG intends to expand strongly on the German and Scandinavian logistics markets. A Scandinavian acquisition was imminent, said Mr Peter Bakker, chairman of the Dutch post group, in an interview with the German daily ‘Die Welt’. Moreover negotiations were still under way with German takeover targets.
Deutsche Post AG has denied the existence of an agreement concerning new postage rates, which will come into effect from 2003. Deutsche Post said that it remains firm that there will be ‘no scope’ for price reductions.
Mr Erich Höllweger, CEO of the Austrian branch of ‘Quelle’ mail order, has demanded that the post introduce evening deliveries of parcels to private customers.
From July onwards Deutsche Post intends to standardise further Euro Express network products. With the aim of facilitating customer access to standardised international services, such products as the ‘Euro Pack’ (parcels up to 31.5 kilos) and ‘Euro Premium’ (palletised consignments up to 800 kilos) will then also be available within one country. Transmission time is not expected to exceed 24 hours. Scheduled deliveries, e.g. by 12 noon or by 10 a.m. are not planned but are said to be reserved for a more expensive range, which will be marketed under the DHL express brand.
The international courier and express service DHL plans to enter a cooperation scheme with Cathay Pacific Airlines for the purpose of transporting express consignments between major Asian business centres.
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.
May 1, 2002 -- According to Deutsche Post, "the newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) has reported that Deutsche Post faces being served with a notice of a high fine imposed by the EU, probably as early as May but at the latest in June. The FAZ’s account is wrong on several key points. First of all, Deutsche Post has never availed itself of state aid. On the contrary, up to 1996, Deutsche Post paid billions in the form of revenue-based levies and, subsequently, dividend payments to the Federal Government. Secondly, Deutsche Post did not have to pay any fine last year for cross-subsidising its parcel service from its mail monopoly. On the contrary: in anti-trust proceedings at the EU initiated by our competitor UPS, it was precisely the charge of cross-subsidisation that was dismissed."
May 1, 2002 -- The Jerusalem Post has reported that "the [Israeli] Postal Authority’s Philatelic Services did not expect a man with a magnifying glass to catch it – Sherlock Holmes-like – with its pants down. But Alan Silver, a South African immigrant and owner of the hardware store in Telz Stone outside Jerusalem, did just that. Silver noticed that the Elul stamp in the series of 12 marking the Hebrew months has God’s name in Hebrew several times, and that instead of having text from the pre-Rosh Hashana Slihot prayers (as promised in the first line), it offers much of the text of the Grace After Meals. He showed it to the leading rabbi of Telz Stone, Arye Shulman, who ruled that it is forbidden under Jewish law to use the Elul stamp. One also may not buy it, he said, and if you have any, you have to put them in the collection of holy texts that are taken for burial, instead of being thrown in the garbage can." Boy! Talk about ticking someone off!
May 1, 2002 -- According to Traffic World, "the benefits of being a union truck driver are about to go up — perhaps way up. Starting Aug. 1, Teamster drivers will earn over $1,000 a week in combined salary and benefits, an analysis of the National Master Freight Agreement shows. Teamster drivers already are enjoying a pay raise. On April 1 the Teamsters received a 35-cent-an-hour boost in base pay to $19.86 an hour. That translates into $794.40 a week for an over-the-road or local cartage driver covered by the Central States' supplemental agreement, for example. A nice living — $41,309, before overtime that can easily boost a Teamster driver's pay over $55,000 in a good year."
May 1, 2002 -- The Daily Telegraph (U.K.) has reported that "the chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, Edward Leigh, said yesterday that the postal regulator was "making decisions in the dark" that could jeopardise the universal postal service. He added that the regulator, Postcomm, needs to be cautious about the potential consequences of its proposals. Postcomm has indicated that it wants to open up the whole of Consignia's monopoly to competition by 2006." See also the report in the Guardian.
May 1, 2002 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that "air-cargo volume fell in March by its smallest percentage since May 2001, a sign that the economic recovery is slowly spreading to more businesses that use planes to move raw materials and finished goods."
May 1, 2002 -- One of the more noteworthy presentations at the National Postal Forum was the discussion presented by USPS Chief Financial Officer Richard Strasser on postal finances and retirement obligations. [File size: 720k]
May 1, 2002 -- According to Roll Call (a newspaper covering Capitol Hill), "this town's political direct-mail consultants have a dirty little secret - in a perverse way, they're actually looking forward to the day that the McCain-Feingold bill takes effect. 'It's going to be a direct-mail bonanza,' quipped one hired gun, who for several decades has been creating persuasive direct-mail pieces for Democrats. 'Reformers have this idea that [soft] money is going away. It's just going to different places - and in most places, it will be direct mail,' the strategist continued. When asked to predict what will happen to the direct-mail industry once the new campaign finance laws contained in the McCain-Feingold take effect Nov. 6, GOP consultant Dan Hazelwood echoed those sentiments."
May 1, 2002 -- Nihon Keizai Shimbun has reported that the Japanese "Diet is set to deliberate on the bills designed to open postal delivery to private-sector companies, but the planned deregulation may actually mean tighter government controls depending on the new definition of 'postal mail.'"
May 1, 2002 -- Transport News has reported that "United Way of America recognized FedEx Corporation and its subsidiaries as a part of its annual Spirit of America(R) awards program. FedEx was the only company to receive Summit Awards in all four categories: employee campaign, major gifts, volunteer programs, and corporate contributions. The awards are given annually by United Way to honor national corporate involvement and commitment to building better communities."
May 1, 2002 -- According to the Bloomberg news service, "the International Brotherhood of Teamsters approved its first dues increase since 1983 to bolster its finances and build up a strike fund for contract negotiations with United Parcel Service Inc. The current contract, covering 230,000 UPS workers, expires July 31. The union, suffering from declining membership, has net assets of $5 million and is strapped for cash."