Postal News Reported During June 2002
June 30, 2002 -- The enthusiasm for postal reform shouldn't be allowed to die. Perhaps, as postal commentator Gene Del Polito has noted, a blend of the bold and the timid is needed to chart a path that at least has some hope of retaining a universal mail delivery system whose reform falls short of corporatization or privatization.
June 30, 2002 -- Lloyd's List has reported that "a three-year plan has been revealed by TNT Express , parcel delivery arm of Dutch mail and logistics giant TPG, to upgrade its European air freighter and trucking networks. Alan Jones, group managing director of the e 4bn ($3.78bn) turnover subsidiary, is adding 12 destinations by 2005 or earlier, primarily in eastern Europe, to the premium overnight air network hubbed out of Liege. He will also add a further seven countries to TNT Express&' separate European road network for non-premium traffic. By 2005 the TNT Express air fleet map will expand from 55 to 67 airports and the road haulage arm will criss-cross 38 countries in Europe."
June 30, 2002 -- According to Wired, "after Saturday, the price of a first-class stamp will increase from 34 to 37 cents, a 7.7-percent increase that could lead many businesses already hit by the economic downturn to forego traditional mail in search of cheaper, electronic alternatives. The current rate hike is the largest in a round of three increases in the past 18 months."
June 30, 2002 -- The Daily Telegraph (U.K.) has reported that "leaders of the [British] postal workers' union have awarded themselves remuneration packages worth hundreds of thousands of pounds each as they prepare for a strike ballot over redundancies at the Post Office. Senior executives of the Communication Workers' Union (CWU), which voted last week for a campaign "including industrial action" over the threat of 30,000 Post Office job losses, received pay and pensions deals worth an average of more than £140,000 each last year."
June 30, 2002 -- The BBC has reported that "negotiators from Marshall Islands and the US have initialled four agreements on a range of services, including a new US postal services pact. The postal agreement changes postage rates from the current domestic level to special cost-related rates over a five-year period. This allows the US Postal Service to develop special rates for the Marshalls that do not necessarily have to follow standard international rates."
June 30, 2002 -- According to the Globe and Mail (Canada), "under the auspices of the World Trade Organization, the Chrétien government, through the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade is deeply engaged in developing a General Agreement on Trade in Services, known as the GATS negotiations. All services, including public services, are on the table. A leaked document from the European Union in early April of this year provides a glimpse of what's to come. The EU document calls on Ottawa to open other publicly delivered services to European corporations and remove or change various Canadian laws and regulations regarding sectors such as hydro electric utilities for the wholesale trading of electricity, postal and express delivery services, plus any remaining publicly run telecommunications."
June 30, 2002 -- Mailing a letter will cost consumers an additional 3 cents as postage stamp costs increase to 37 cents. This additional cost to mail a letter is expected to shift more consumer attention to paying bills online. In a Yankee Group survey, the analyst firm found 8.9 million households pay bills online and this number is expected to nearly double by 2004. SBC (NYSE:SBC - News) is experiencing first-hand the growth in popularity of paying online with online billing customers increasing 266 percent across SBC's 13-state service territory in 2001 from the previous year. SBC Ameritech's five-state territory reported a 230 percent increase in online billing customers over the same period with is free SBC Ameritech eBill service. Cost savings is one of several factors spurring more people to sign up for online billing. In the 2001 Yankee consumer survey, people using online billing said their primary reason was convenience followed by time-saving and easier record keeping.
June 30, 2002 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that "across Eastern Europe, a workers' revolt is threatening the continuing sale of old state enterprises -- a sell-off widely considered crucial for the region's economic health. More than a decade of economic reforms and industrial restructuring has given workers a taste of a better life, but a bellyful of the free market's downside: layoffs, production targets and profitability goals, sometimes with scant unemployment benefits. Any serious check on privatization could have dire consequences for Eastern European nations. The global economic slump has already impeded their drive to catch up to the West. Their nascent free-market economies can't bear the dead weight of central planning's industrial legacy. State-owned enterprises felt little pressure under communism to operate efficiently, modernize or turn a profit. Now they are often still managed by communist-era bureaucrats who lack the skills and capital to transform them. These enterprises run up billions of dollars annually in losses, deepening budget deficits and depriving governments of funds they could spend more productively." Any ring of familiarity here?
June 30, 2002 -- A leading-edge, Web-based business tool that offers a new level of visibility into your shipping activities, FedEx InSight: Proactively tracks your inbound, outbound and third party payor shipments. Automatically notifies you via e-mail, fax, Internet or wireless of critical shipping events so you can take action. Offers precise status summaries of international (including multi-package) and domestic shipments on one report because tracking is based on addresses and/or account numbers - not individual tracking numbers. Even helps pinpoint customs delays and delivery attempts, then suggests recommended actions to expedite delivery. Using InSight will help you: Save time by eliminating the need to track each package separately. Reduce shipment delays. Efficiently plan your staffing and inventory levels. Proactively manage your relationships with customers and suppliers, resulting in increased customer satisfaction. Ultimately, increase your bottom line. Just think....And all this just from listening to customers.Wjy should the USPS try to reinvent the wheel? Maybe it should just leave this business segment to others.
June 29, 2002 -- Direct magazine has reported that "some nonprofit mailers have accused United Parcel Service of 'robbing money' from charitable causes through its lobbying to defeat the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act in a House committee last week."
June 29, 2002 -- As the Heritage Foundation has noted, "faced with shrinking business and massive deficits, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is in trouble. Steadily advancing technologies and the rise of electronic alternatives mean that the Postal Service, as currently structured and operated, may not long be viable. Although postal management recently announced a welcome set of policy reforms, more fundamental changes are necessary--including elimination of the USPS monopoly on letter mail, and even privatization. Yet Congress has considered only smaller reforms and, last week, rejected even that approach. Attention now turns to the White House, which may appoint a blue-ribbon commission to recommend changes. Meanwhile, America's postal consumers continue to wait--or move in line."
June 29, 2002 -- According to the San Jose Mercury News, "when the cost of a first-class postage stamp jumps from 34 cents to 37 cents Sunday, the U.S. Postal Service will address one problem and aggravate another. The rate increase -- the third in 18 months -- will provide the debt-ridden agency more than $4 billion a year in new revenue. But it could also cost millions of customers. That's because every time the cost of mailing a letter goes up, more consumers and businesses turn to the Internet to electronically present and pay monthly bills -- often more cheaply and conveniently than by mail."
June 29, 2002 -- Japan Today has reported that "Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said Thursday in Canada a set of bills on deregulation of state-run postal services now before the Diet will not be revised despite some calls from his ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP)."
June 29, 2002 -- As Americans face another jump in the cost of a First Class stamp, the Main Street Coalition has renewed a call for the appointment of a Presidential Postal Reform Commission to seek a top-to-bottom review of the United States Postal Service (USPS).
June 29, 2002 -- According to Traffic World, "Wall Street's negative reaction to FedEx's strong financial report was cause for confusion and frustration in Memphis where executives believe the company is in the best financial position of its 30-year history."
June 29, 2002 -- Air Cargo World has reported that "in the United States, the Transportation Department says freight at all airlines fell 9.6 percent in 2001. Boeing estimates the decline in the U.S. from 2000 at 9.2 percent. In a sobering view of the impact of September 11, the International Air Transport Association says it had been projecting an industry-wide loss of $1 billion to $2.5 billion before the terror attacks in the United States. IATA is now looking for $6 billion in industry losses this year."
June 29, 2002 -- For more information on PMG Jack Potter's presentation at the Brookings Institution conference on the Postal Service, check the report by the Federal Times. You can also read the entire presentation off the USPS web site.
June 29, 2002 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "the International Brotherhood of Teamsters offered United Parcel Service another counter-proposal for a new contract late Thursday. The current agreement, covering more than 210,000 UPS workers, expires July 31, 2002."
June 29, 2002 -- As Government Computer Week has noted, "Postal Service officials don’t measure the documentation business mailers send them by thickness in inches, but in how many feet high the records stand. USPS receives a mountain of such paper each month and stores it in warehouses across the country, taking resources to sort and manage it. To handle the data, the Postal Service will implement phase two of the PostalOne system to replace piles of documents with terabytes of data. The USPS Board of Governors last month approved $54.1 million for phase two."
June 29, 2002 -- The Washington Post has reported that:
Amtrak and the Bush administration reached a final agreement yesterday on a financial package to keep the national passenger train system running through September, after the administration toned down controversial provisions involving organized labor and cuts in operating expenses. Amtrak agreed to a dozen conditions as the price for receiving the loan. One is that it not spend any money planning or operating new routes -- including those for high-speed trains -- through Sept. 30, 2003. Most of the conditions involve stricter financial accounting and reporting. Amtrak also agreed to bring in consultants to thoroughly assess the value of its property, and to suspend salary increases or bonuses during calendar 2002 for any manager making more than $75,000.
Researchers mining the data from their survey of 2,000 U.S. households recently came across an interesting fact about the "digital divide." There isn't one. Or, at least, the divide that once was clear seems to be disappearing. In short, a wide-scale diversion of paper-based transactions to electronic alternatives is more feasible today than ever before.
June 29, 2002 -- The Bangkok Post has reported that "the price of Thai postage stamps is going up. Transport and Communications Minister Wan Muhamad Nor Matha said he agreed with calls for a price rise put by the Communications Authority of Thailand. The two baht minimum price had been fixed for more than 17 years. The handling cost of each envelope was four baht."
June 29, 2002 -- Corporate America has shown us in this past year that company-sponsored auditing cannot always be trusted. The United States Postal Service's debt has risen to nearly $13 billion and the agency is burdened with another $80 billion in additional liabilities looming and has no debt reduction plan in place. To back a call for Postal Service accountability and transparency, a new Wirthlin Worldwide telephone survey confirms that 85 percent of Americans want independent auditors to investigate the Postal Service's finances and make the results public, before the Postal Service is allowed to raise rates again.
June 29, 2002 -- Canada Post wishes to advise its customers that effective immediately and until further notice, all air and surface mail service to the country of Chad is suspended due to strike action by its postal workers. However, courier service is available with Purolator International.
June 28, 2002 -- The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin is available on this site. What? You don't get the PostCom Bulletin? Get in the know. Ask how you can have the Bulletin delivered to you.
June 28, 2002 -- TechTV has reported that "online bill-paying and email by younger consumers could accelerate the financial crisis at the US Postal Service and threatens to bring higher postage costs to older customers and business mailers sooner, a new private survey suggests."
June 28, 2002 -- According to the MenaReport (Lebanon), "the Saudi Cabinet recently approved the transfer of its state-run postal services to a joint public-private sector company. The Kingdom's Supreme Economic Council (SEC) approved the move as part of a series of decisions designed to speed up the pace of privatization in the country. The Saudi Post Establishment (SPE) will receive all of the General Post Department's employees in addition to its total assets. Revenues from the privatization scheme will be used to pay part of the Kingdom's $168 billion public debt."
June 28, 2002 -- The Economist has reported that: "a decade or so ago it seemed that privatisation would provide the cure for part of continental Europe's economic ills. Governments of all hues were following the trail blazed by Margaret Thatcher in Britain after 1979. By shifting assets from public-sector control to the disciplines of private ownership and the capital markets, huge economic efficiencies could be unleashed—and, not incidentally, large sums of money could be raised for state coffers. Today, however, the momentum in Europe has slowed. In several countries, including the Netherlands and Germany, planned privatisations of infrastructure—such as postal systems, airports and railways—have been postponed or cancelled. In Italy, Silvio Berlusconi's government, which was expected to be an enthusiastic privatiser, has made almost no progress. It has been stymied by debate over the political fall-out from further sales. In France, the election of a strong right-wing majority in parliament could give new impetus to a programme that stalled two years ago, but there is still deep political concern that the whole policy may backfire."
June 28, 2002 -- The Financial Times has reported that "Deutsche Bank, Germany's largest bank and the leading foreign bank in Spain, forecasts that its co-operation with Spain's postal services operator will generate profits for the first time this year. As part of the collaboration, which came into effect more than two years ago, the German bank distributes its products via Spain's 1,800 post offices."
June 28, 2002 -- As DM News has reported "the U.S. Postal Service may soon file a negotiated service agreement with the Postal Rate Commission, postal officials said yesterday at the ratemaking summit in Potomac, MD. USPS chief marketing officer Anita J. Bizzotto said the agency 'is getting close to signing on with a company,' though she did not offer specifics. Negotiated service agreements are special service and rate arrangements negotiated between the USPS and a mailer or group of mailers. Proponents say NSAs could provide variable pricing that would encourage greater volume and reward the postal service's major customers with discounts and premium services."
June 28, 2002 -- The Washington Post has reported that "negotiations on a final agreement to prevent an Amtrak shutdown snagged yesterday, at least temporarily, over Bush administration conditions that the national passenger railroad set a cost-cutting goal for next year and not enter into agreements that would prevent work now done by unionized rail workers from being contracted out." Hmmm. Cost cutting? Worksharing? Sounds like a reasonable approach to the Postal Service too.
June 28, 2002 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that:
FedEx Freight said Thursday that its general rates would increase 5.9 percent as of July 22. The increase will cover the company's two independent operating units, FedEx Freight East and FedEx Freight West, both regional less-than-truckload freight services and subsidiaries of FedEx Corp. The increase applies to intra- and interstate traffic, including Canadian transborder and other international lanes, as well as minimum and accessory charges, according to a company statement. In the last fiscal year FedEx Freight experienced double-digit increases in health care costs and insurance premiums and the company expects substantial increases again next year.
June 28, 2002 -- The Associated Press has reported that "Pitney Bowes Inc. has agreed to acquire PSI Group Inc., which prepares, sorts and organizes mail to earn postal discounts and expedite delivery for its customers, for $130 million. PSI will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Pitney Bowes, continuing to operate under its current management."
June 28, 2002 -- Airborne, Inc. has announced it has assumed operations of its former service partner in France, Pagtrans SA, effective immediately. The new company will operate as Airborne Express France.
June 28, 2002 -- The Daily Yomiuri (Japan) has reported that "the public management division of the Liberal Democratic Party, which has been at loggerheads with Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi over postal service deregulation, has proposed allowing private firms to partially enter the delivery service business. The division drafted two amendments to a set of four postal service deregulation bills that the prime minister hopes to see passed through the Diet."
June 28, 2002 -- According to Japan Today, "a ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) panel on postal reforms has drafted a six-point report criticizing a set of four postal services deregulation bills being debated in the Diet,"
June 28, 2002 -- Dow Jones has reported that "the Japanese government on Thursday secured a commitment from the Liberal Democratic Party to help enact during the current extended Diet session bills that would create the public postal corporation if Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi defines direct mail as correspondence in a Diet question-and-answer session."
June 28, 2002 -- Les Echos (France) has reported that "the European Commission has issued a formal warning to the French government, instructing it to ensure the independence of its postal services watchdog (Autorite de reglementation postale), which regulates national post office La Poste, in line with a European directive of 1997."
June 28, 2002 -- Irish Times has reported that "profits at services run by An Post in competitive markets are subsidising growing losses in its monopoly businesses."
June 28, 2002 -- DoubleClick Inc., a provider of tools for advertisers, direct marketers and web publishers, has announced that it acquired the remaining equity in the Abacus Direct Europe business from Claritas Europe, the leading provider of consumer lifestyle data in Europe. To date, the Abacus Direct Europe business consists of operations in the United Kingdom. Prior to this acquisition, DoubleClick owned 50% of the business and Claritas Europe owned 50%. Abacus UK's revenue will now be fully consolidated into DoubleClick's revenue results. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed."
June 27, 2002 -- Read more on the Citizen Against Government Waste call for a comprehensive independent audit of the U.S. Postal Service's finances in The Washington Post and KYW News Radio.
June 27, 2002 -- The Associated Press has published a history of First-Class postage rates.
June 27, 2002 -- As CNN has reported, "according to our inflation calculator, the 3-cent cost of a postage stamp in 1932 translates to 37 cents today. As it happens, that's exactly what the price of a stamp is about to increase to effective June 30. For that 37 cents, our mail gets delivered just once a day, six days a week. Sometimes, letters still arrive overnight, but you have to pay dearly to guarantee it: Express Mail for up to an 8-ounce envelope costs $12.45, with guaranteed delivery by noon the next day. It's not just inflation driving up postal rates, though. The recent decline in mail volume -- the first since the U.S. Postal Service became an independent entity that runs without tax funding in 1971 -- means there's less money to fund operations. Because the Postal Service receives no money from taxes, products and services must generate enough to cover its operations."
June 27, 2002 -- USA Today has reported that "in a Brookings Institution Center for Public Service poll that we are releasing Thursday, two-thirds of the federal employees interviewed this spring said they took their job for its security, pay and benefits — not the chance to help people, make a difference or accomplish something worthwhile. Two out of five said they come into work solely for the paycheck, while fewer than one in 20 said they show up to help the public. (Postal, military and employees of quasi-government agencies weren't polled.)" Duh!
June 27, 2002 -- According to Dow Jones, "the Japanese government and the Liberal Democratic Party are edging toward letting the Postal Public Corp., slated for creation in April next year, take stakes only in domestic private-sector mail businesses."
June 27, 2002 -- The Independent ( United Kingdom) has reported that "Labour's troubled relationship with the unions will be back in the spotlight today when postal workers decide whether to break their historic link with the party. Delegates to the Communication Workers' Union conference will debate the step as a protest against the Government's plans to end Consignia's monopoly on deliveries."
June 26, 2002 -- In a letter to the Deputy Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy, United Parcel Service said that it "supports a Presidential Commission on the future of the United States postal system. A viable letter mail system is important not only to our country but also to our company. UPS relies on the mail system for communication to employees, shareholders, and customers. And we and our customers are dependent upon the commerce that our letter mail system generates. The financial and operational problems confronting the USPS are serious and a commission created by the Administration could go a long way towards finding appropriate solutions."
June 26, 2002 -- A public briefing for organizations and individuals interested in issues relating to the Universal Postal Union was convened in Room 1406 of the Department of State at 2 p.m. on Thursday, June 13, 2002. Ambassador E. Michael Southwick, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs, chaired the meeting. Neil A. Boyer, Deputy Director of the Office of Technical and Specialized Agencies in the Bureau of International Organization affairs, assisted. A report of this meeting has been posted on the Department of State web site.
June 26, 2002 -- You want a hoot? Take a look at the ham-handed attempt at historical revisionism by the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) concerning its "support" for postal legislative reform. File it under "What a crock!"
June 26, 2002 -- Days before the US Postal Service is set to raise its rates for the third time in three years, and at the same time the Postal Service is billions of dollars in debt, a leading taxpayer watchdog group (Citizens Against Government Waste) kicked off a national protest demanding a full, operational audit of the Postal Service. To highlight the need for Postal officials to act more responsibly, CAGW unveiled a series of "commemorative stamps" depicting egregious examples of recent Postal waste and mismanagement. CAGW and other groups are making the stamps available online to their members and the public at www.cagw.org. CAGW is launching a national protest to encourage supporters to download the "stamps" from the Internet, and - after affixing the proper postage - affix them elsewhere on letters to federal officials demanding a Postal Service audit. The group also has posted a sample letter for citizens to send to the White House to support the call for postal open disclosure. You also might want to check out its "Postal Waste" post card and the editorial materials it left for the press.
June 26, 2002 -- You wanna talk waste? Let's talk waste. According to the latest report filed by the U.S. Postal Service with the Postal Rate Commission concerning Mailing Online, the USPS said that during the first six accounting periods of this year, it spent around $ 5 million to earn some $56,549 in Mailing Online postage over 774 total transactions for some 332 specific customers. How much longer will the Postmaster General and the Board of Governors tolerate such waste just to feather the nest of some petty bureaucrats?
June 26, 2002 -- The National Federation of Small Businesses has described how the postage rate increases will affect small business. Some of the highlights are noted below:
Sixty-one (61) percent say that elimination of Saturday mail delivery would have no impact on their businesses; 24 percent say that there would be a small negative impact; but, 14 percent believe such a step would create a large negative impact. The primary reason for negative impacts is the loss of a day on check deposits.
June 26, 2002 -- In a press release distributed at the Coalition's morning press conference on the postal rate increase (see item above), the National Federation of Independent Business said that the postal "rate hike will take a $2.3 billion bite out of the bottom line for small business. The rate increase is also projected to cost jobs, especially in the retail sector."
June 26, 2002 -- So how did the U.S. Postal Service react to all this? Well...it just said this all was "old" news.
June 26, 2002 -- Japan Times has reported that "Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said Tuesday he has told a key minister that he wants a set of four postal deregulation bills to pass the Diet without amendments -- a move that should provoke further political wrangling over the controversial legislation."
June 26, 2002 -- CEP News (Courier- Express- and Postal-Market News) has reported that:
Check out the latest issue of CEP News for the details on this and other news items affecting the courier, express, and postal market around the world. PostCom is most grateful for CEP's willingness to share this information.
June 26, 2002 -- According to postal commentator Gene Del Polito, besides postal legislative reform and presidential commissions, "there is another option to which Congress and the Administration could default. That is to do nothing and simply to let nature (and the marketplace) take its course. While this might be disconcerting to those who dread uncertainty, those who are a part of the postal industry should prepare themselves for such an outcome. Indeed, if you take a look at how Congress and the Administration are dealing with Amtrak, you can see a precedent in the making."
June 26, 2002 -- The Washington Post has two stories worth noting about the Amtrak mess (for which you might want to substitute the words "Postal Service"):
June 26, 2002 -- The Financial Times has reported that "FedEx provides an interesting snapshot of corporate America. It met its fiscal fourth quarter numbers courtesy of aggressive cost cutting. It is reducing capital intensity - lower capital spending means it is now cashflow positive. And FedEx's customers, reflecting the bear market mood, appear to be trading down. In the fourth quarter, volumes in the ground division were up 21 per cent while domestic FedEx Express was down 3 per cent. FedEx has benefited in ground shipments at the expense of UPS."
June 26, 2002 -- According to World Net Daily, "the cost of sending first-class letters goes up three pennies Sunday to 37 cents and is predicted to swell to double that in a matter of years as the U.S. Postal Service grapples with the grimmest financial crisis of its 227-year history. The increase comes as prospects for legislative reform dimmed considerably when a House bill failed to make it out of committee last week. The postage hike is part of the Postal Service's efforts to stem the red ink flowing through the quasi-governmental agency that serves as the linchpin of a $900 billion mailing industry that employs nearly 9 million workers and accounts for 8 percent of the country's gross national product."
June 26, 2002 -- According to the Providence Journal, "the friendly letter carrier is being muzzled; no more chatting with people along the route, say local postal workers. Stamp prices are going up, they say, and the customer is getting shortchanged."
June 26. 2002 -- Gulf News (UAE) has reported that the Hashemite kingdom of "Jordan expects to finalise a policy on how to privatise its postal services within the next three months."
June 26, 2002 -- Asahi Shimbun (Japan) has reported that "delivery firms say the failure to define mail hinders liberalization. Ambiguity surrounding the definition of postal mail has long confounded potential newcomers to the mail delivery sector and is now threatening to derail postal deregulation, one of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's pet reform projects."
June 26, 2002 -- As The Guardian (U.K.) has noted, "The European Union has become the place where the economic reforms that most of the individual member states want, but can't do politically, are implemented. That's one of the reasons why Brussels is everyone's favourite whipping boy. All those faceless bureaucrats are forcing us to modernise."
June 26, 2002 -- The Xinhua news agency has reported that "the Indonesian Government has stipulated the increase on postal tariffs to be in effect as of July 1, an official at the communication ministry announced Wednesday. Director of the Post and Telecommunication of the ministry Djamhari Sirat disclosed that tariff of postal delivery would be increased by 25 percent for post cards and 41 percent for letters under 2000 grams of weight. Tariff on overseas delivery within the Asia-Pacific Postal Union (APPU) will climb by 36 percent and non-APPU member countries by 18 percent." See also the report by Asia Pulse.
June 26, 2002 -- DM News postal commentator Cary Baer has asked: "So what exactly is USO? There doesn’t appear to be a single, simple definition. However, it is generally considered to be six-day-a-week delivery to a curbside mailbox, mailbox on a front door or centralized cluster box (inside or out). Clearly, the type of delivery varies by density and political pressure."
June 26, 2002 -- According to Direct, "so often real, progressive legislation that could benefit large numbers of Americans doesn't become law because well-placed and well-financed corporate interests don't want it to. It happened when President Clinton's national health insurance proposals were shot down by lobbying and massive propaganda from insurance companies. And it's happening again now that the health--if not the survival--of the U.S. Postal Service is at stake."
June 26, 2002 -- Financial Times Deutschland has reported that "Deutsche Post, the German postal service operator, is unwilling to reduce postage charges as a means of avoiding a possible repayment of 572m euros to the German state. The EU commission has demanded that the company repay the amount, as it classifies the company's financing of its parcel service with income from its letter service as state subsidising. Deutsche Post reports that it plans to set aside 850m euros in reserves in view of the EU's claims. The amount demanded is thought to amount to around 33 per cent of the company's annual profit."
June 26, 2002 -- The Financial Times (U.K.) has reported that "hopes are rising that Consignia and the main postal union could overcome a key sticking point in plans to change mail deliveries in Consignia's bid to cut costs. The Communications Workers' Union said continuing talks with Consignia on holding trials for shorter delivery runs for postal workers under new delivery plans had been 'constructive."
June 26, 2002 -- The Associated Press has reported that "postal bus drivers in Austria go on strike for second time to protest planned privatization."
June 26, 2002 -- According to Traffic World, "United Parcel Service and the Teamsters union are entering their seventh consecutive week of negotiations with a renewed sense of urgency as they enter the final month of the current agreement. The two sides are just beginning to tackle the nitty-gritty of negotiating compromises after examining their initial economic proposals."
June 26, 2002 -- The Kyodo news agency has reported that "Seino Transportation Co. has no plans to enter the mail delivery business because it finds it difficult to meet requirements set under the government's plan to privatize the sector."
June 25, 2002 -- The agenda for Day 2 of the Ratemaking Summit co-sponsored by the U.S. Postal Service and Postal Rate Commission has been posted on the PRC's web site at http://www.prc.gov/news/summit/summit-day2.htm.
June 25, 2002 -- The Federal Times has reported that "the House of Representatives is laying plans to have incoming mail converted into electronic documents by a contractor to speed up mail delivery and shield against mail-delivered attacks. Such a system could reduce delivery time of a first-class letter or magzine to as few as five days. Currently, mail takes up to two weeks to be sanitized and delivered to government buildings in Washington, DC....Mail volume to the Hill has decreased since October, and many constituents and others are now communicating with lawmakers by telephone or e-mail."
June 25, 2002 -- FedEx Corp.'s fiscal fourth-quarter profit more than doubled, thanks in part to strong results at its ground and freight units. But the delivery giant Tuesday said it expects earnings for the current quarter to reach only 40 cents to 50 cents a share, far shy of the 57 cents a share estimated by analysts.
June 25, 2002 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that "AMR Corp.'s American Airlines said it has raised the fee it charges passengers wanting paper tickets when electronic tickets are available and will eliminate paper tickets altogether in 18 months. The nation's largest airline, in a move to cut costs by steering travelers away from paper tickets, said it has increased the charge for paper tickets to $20 from $10. The carrier also said it will stop issuing paper tickets on wholly domestic itineraries by March. It plans to eliminate paper tickets on all other itineraries or automate other paper transactions by December 2003." What? Nothing to mail? Don't panic. "Experts" say that all the mail will come back after the economy turns around....Yeah....Sure.
June 25, 2002 -- According to the New York Times, "people who use high-speed services to connect to the Internet from home have a much more active relationship with the online world than those who dial up to it over a regular phone line, according to a study to be released today sponsored by the Pew Research Center. Broadband users spend almost four hours more online a week than people who dial up, performing twice as many kinds of tasks, including trading music files and telecommuting, according to the study, issued by the center's Internet in American Life Project."
June 25, 2002 -- Mail Boxes Etc. (MBE), the world's largest franchisor of retail postal, shipping and business services, has announced that it has expanded its network of franchised centers to 1,000 international and more than 3,500 in the United States. This milestone was reached with the opening of an MBE center in Berlin -- the first in Germany -- and is evidence of the company's unprecedented growth throughout its 22-year history.
June 25, 2002 -- As the Washington Times has noted, "As the U.S. Postal Service seeks to stay afloat in the face of lower mail volumes, it would behoove them to reward all customers for making extra efforts to ready mail for processing and delivery. Otherwise, the rate rises will continue."
June 25, 2002-- According to the Washington Business Journal, "the imminent postal-rate increase should help the beleaguered Postal Service. But will it hurt the direct-mail industry? Apparently, that's a fair question, one that direct marketers hear every time the price of a stamp goes up. This time, the cost of first-class stamps will rise 3 cents, to 37 cents, June 30." As the paper noted, "direct marketers shrug off latest bump in stamp prices."
June 25, 2002 -- DM News has reported that "Democratic senators from New York, New Jersey and Delaware are demanding that the Bush administration provide loan guarantees to Amtrak to cover a $200 million shortfall and keep trains running....Amtrak handles 5 percent of the U.S. Postal Service's mail, with most of that volume coming from First-Class mail and periodicals moving along the East Coast from Washington to Boston." Wait...just wait...and you can expect to see the same kind of panic and response when the USPS reaches the point where it can't pay its bills. See also the report in The Washington Times and The Washington Post.
June 25, 2002 -- CNET has reported that "UPS again has been named to Fortune magazine's list of the "50 Best Companies for Minorities," rounding out the top 25 companies in this year's list. Minorities comprised 52 percent of UPS new hires in 2001 and represent more than one-third of the company's U.S. workforce of 330,000. In addition, nearly 28 percent of UPS managers are minorities, including representation on the UPS Management Committee and the company's Board of Directors."
June 25, 2002 -- La Tribune (France) has reported that "the French post office (La Poste) plans to open a national administrative centre in Nancy in October. This base is one of 24 new centres of this kind (CIGAPs) which the post office has set up as part of its restructuring programme. Unlike the other CIGAPs, however, the Nancy centre will operate on a national rather than a regional level, managing the records and payment of 14,000 La Poste employees throughout France."
June 25, 2002 -- The Financial Times (U.K.) has reported that:
June 25, 2002 -- The Malta Times has reported that "the Malta Study Circle, a society dedicated to Maltese postal history, has just published a study paper on the island's commemorative and 'first day' postal markings dating back to the British Empire Exhibition in 1924, the first local commemorative marking ever issued."
June 25, 2002 -- The Kyodo news service has reported that "Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said Tuesday he has ordered the Diet passage of a set of four postal deregulation bills without amendments, a move that should add fuel to political wrangling over the controversial bills."
June 24, 2002 -- The Daily Yomiuri has reported that "the transport industry has raised a ruckus over the toll exemption for postal service vehicles delivering mail to a small island on the Tokyo Bay Aqualine highway, irked that the preferential treatment puts trucking companies at a disadvantage."
June 24, 2002 -- According to Business Mailers Review, "the newest flat sorting machines will save the Postal Service more than $290 million this year, but it's coming at a cost to some companies that continue to see the machines rip the covers off their publications. ...The Postal Service and AFSM 100 manufacturer Northrup Grumman are testing solutions right now....Unfortunately for mailers...deployment of a fix...would not occur before spring 2003." In other words, flats mailers will be required to suffer an effective, additional postal rate increase by having their mail damaged and rendered undeliverable by equipment that should be fixed with dispatch.
June 24, 2002 -- On Friday, the U.S. Postal Service filed with the Postal Rate Commission a stipulation and agreement to seek a settlement of the issue of proposed rates for Confirm services (Docket No. MC2002-1).
June 24, 2002 -- According to Dow Jones, "the [Japanese] government is considering a subsidy system to maintain postage rates for newspapers, magazines and Braille publications at the current level after the mail service is transferred to a new public corporation in April."
June 24, 2002 -- Good grief! According to Bloomberg News, "WPP Group Plc, the world's No. 2 advertising company, said it sees 'few, if any' signs of an increase in ad spending. WPP's outlook suggest the ad industry's worst slump in at least a decade may drag on through the rest of the year."
June 24, 2002 -- The Federal Times has reported that "the House Government Reform Committee’s inability to win support from House leaders for a measure to overhaul the U.S. Postal Service appears to have doomed chances for postal reform anytime soon. Support within the committee eroded after Committee Chairman Dan Burton, R-Ind., was unable to win assurances from House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., that a bipartisan bill would come before the full House for a vote, said one aide. Burton and Rep. John McHugh, R-N.Y., met with Hastert June 18, but could not secure such a promise, said Robert Taub, McHugh’s chief of staff. The committee voted down the measure June 20 after one key backer, Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., withdrew his support."
June 23, 2002 -- The Glasgow Sunday Mail (U.K.) has reported that "Britain's postal service is in a mess. Consignia lost £1.1billion last year. Now more than 1000 Scottish posties are facing the sack because of vital restructuring. This week, Consignia chairman Allan Leighton visited Scotland to explain how he plans to deliver a first class postal service."
June 23, 2002 -- According to the Sunday Herald (U.K.), "whether Allan Leighton [the new chairman of Consignia/Royal Mail], at 49, becomes a hero or a villain remains to be seen. If he can turn the teetering edifice around within the three years he has been given it will be a modern miracle. Particularly when he can devote only two days a week to the job. But the multi-millionaire says he isn't doing it for the money."
June 23, 2002 -- According to the Daily Yomiuri, Japanese"Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and Liberal Democratic Party lawmakers representing the interest of the state-run postal services are likely to butt heads in deliberations on amending a set of four postal service deregulation bills this week."
June 23, 2002 -- The Ottawa Citzen has reported that "United Parcel Service Canada Ltd. has delivered a new shot at Canada Post, emboldened by a European Commission decision forcing Deutsche Post to repay 572 million euros plus interest (about $840 million Cdn) to the German government for using monopoly profits and state aid to subsidize its commercial courier operation. The EC ruling, prompted by a UPS complaint, "has significant adverse implications for Canada Post, which faces a similar claim from UPS under the provisions of NAFTA," the courier company says."
June 23, 2002 -- As Newsday has noted, "with increases fast approaching in prices charged by the U.S. Postal Service, Reeve Conover began thinking more about paying bills online."
June 23, 2002 -- According to the Detroit News, "with their contract covering 210,000 employees set to expire in a little over a month, negotiators for the Teamsters Union and United Parcel Service this week begin the nitty-gritty haggling over crucial economic issues."
June 22, 2002 -- As the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has noted:
As stamp price rises again, the mail system is mired in politics and a changing marketplace." The paper notes that the USPS' CFO has predicted that "advertising mail, which accounts for almost half of volume, is projected to decrease 8 percent this year." [Other sources, evidently erroneous, had said the USPS had predicted growth of advertising mail rather than a decline.]
June 22, 2002 -- According to the Memphis Business Journal, "China wants to be a full member of the World Trade Organization, but it's having trouble following the rules."
June 22, 2002 -- Dow Jones has reported that "deregulation in the area of express postal mail delivery will create a market worth more than 80 billion yen within the 23 wards of Tokyo alone."
June 22, 2002 -- According to Traffic World, "over the last year or so service providers have expanded their offerings across the supply chain, moving into areas such as asset planning and event management. They also are looking to exploit new opportunities in consulting and lead logistics provider contracts. The report said market leaders such as United Parcel Service, FedEx, Exel and TNT Logistics have invested in integrated logistics services and are changing buyer expectations."
June 22, 2002 -- According to Gulf News (UAE), "Abdullah Ibrahim Al Daboos, Emirates Post's Director General, has revealed a set of recommendations and resolutions adopted by the Arab Ministers of Communications during the Arab Cabinet Ministers' meeting recently held in Casablanca."
June 22, 2002 -- The Northern Echo reported that "staff working for beleaguered Consignia have accused managers of heavy handed tactics in their desperate drive to cut costs."
June 21, 2002 -- GovExec.Com has reported that "a compromise plan for reforming the struggling Postal Service failed in the House Government Reform Committee Thursday after Republican leaders failed to assure Democrats that the measure (H.R. 4970) would get time on the House floor. Many Democrats on the panel support the bill, which is sponsored by Republican John McHugh of New York. But ranking member Henry Waxman, D-Calif., said he would not back it without a guarantee of a vote by the full House." See also the report by Direct and DM News.
June 21, 2002 -- Dow Jones has reported that:
Deutsche Post AG became the latest borrower to delay a scheduled bond issue after the European Commission ordered it to repay €572 million ($547.6 million) in state aid. The German postal group will delay the bond issue's roadshow for several weeks, said Uwe Bensien, a Deutsche Post spokesman. The roadshow had been due to start June 24.
June 21, 2002 -- Stuff NZ has reported that "much investigation, debate, and consultation will have to be held before a Kiwibank is established in the Waimakariri District Council's Oxford service centre, says chief executive officer Jane Parfitt. She said that to accommodate the bank the New Zealand Post agency at the centre would have to become a fully fledged PostShop."
June 21, 2002 -- Slides from some of the presentations at this years Direct Marketing Conference in Moscow, Russia have been posted on the PB Insight web site.
June 21, 2002 -- The agenda for the July 1-2, 2002 meeting of the U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors in Anchorage, AK has been posted on the Postal Service's web site.
June 21, 2002 -- According to Hong Kong iMail, "the deadline for resolving the lingering dispute pitting the mainland's postal monopoly China Post against foreign express delivery companies has been extended to mid-August, according to a Federal Express (FedEx) official in Shanghai."
June 21, 2002 -- The Times of India has reported that the major hike in postal rates has begun to affect a large number of people, especially students, the elderly and those in rural areas. The postal department, however, is concerned that the price hike may end up affecting them as well."
June 21, 2002 -- The Direct Marketing Association (The DMA) has released survey results that indicate the upcoming June 30 postage rate increase will accelerate the movement of younger Americans away from First-Class Mail for bill payment, accelerating the United States Postal Service's (USPS) financial crisis. More than half of the survey respondents under age 25, and 42 percent of those between 25 and 34 said the rate increase will lead them to look for bill payment alternatives, such as electronic bill payment. In the meantime, the U.S. Postal Service actually believes there will be great growth in advertising mail during its next fiscal year. Makes you wonder who's smokin' the peyote.
June 21, 2002 -- Taking advantage of its rapidly growing consumer database, Aptimus Inc. has announced AptiPend, its entry into the data append business. This new service enables marketers to identify email addresses for their existing customers and establish a new and efficient method of communication with those customers. AptiPend services will also enable marketers to identify postal addresses for their existing email customer databases for broader communication options. Hmmm. Guess there will be advertising mail growth next year. Only problem...it's be advertising e-mail...not the kind that the U.S. Postal Service needs.
June 21, 2002 -- Pitney Bowes (PBI) has released Finalist(R) 7.4, a USPS-certified software solution designed to significantly improve the quality and deliverability of mailing addresses. Finalist version 7.4 can leverage the Delivery Point Validation database of 145 million USPS-confirmed delivery points in the United States to help businesses increase their mail delivery effectiveness.
June 21, 2002 -- Group 1 Software, a provider of customer relationship management (CRM)- enabling software solutions, today announced the release of the latest version of its CODE-1 Plus address data quality solution.
June 21, 2002 -- According to EU Business, "the European Commission has defined a methodology for evaluating the essential services deemed "of general economic interest", such as transport, energy, post and telecommunications. The Communication will be presented to the Seville European summit, as requested by EU members states. The idea was to find a clear, effective way of comparing the performance of the services everybody in Europe needs. The goal is for better services and better value, through the sharing of good practice. Regular assessments are also expected to lead to decisions and policy that fully serve the social and economic objectives of the EU."
June 21, 2002 -- The Washington Post reported that "Amtrak President David Gunn said yesterday that he will begin shutting down rail passenger service nationwide 'in the middle of next week' and put Amtrak into bankruptcy unless the Bush administration approves a $200 million loan guarantee or Congress nears passage of a direct appropriation or loan guarantee." Could the Postal Service be next?
June 20, 2002 -- The House Committee on Government Reform has defeated a postal legislative reform measure supported by committee chairman Dan Burton (R-IN) and Rep. John McHugh (R-NY). Only six members of the committee voted in favor of the measure. Twenty were opposed and nine took a pass. Committee chairman Burton lashed out against the coercive tactics used by United Parcel Service (UPS) with its own employees to generate a "grass-roots" opposition to the postal reform bill.
June 20, 2002 -- Forbes has reported that "German electronics giant Siemens has said that its Dematic industrial electronics unit had won a $240 million order for a mail forwarding system from the United States Postal Service. Siemens said it would install letter forwarding systems in 53 U.S. Postal Service centres by May 2004 and the contract represented a breakthrough for its 'Smart-Read' technology which automatically forwards mail and reads return addresses." See also the report on MSN.
June 20, 2002 -- For more on the Deutsche Post - EU story, check The Independent, Handelsblatt, and the International Herald Tribune.
June 20, 2002 -- As GovExec.Com has noted, "some call it postal transformation. Others refer to it as postal reform. But more and more, overhaul of the U.S. Postal Service is looking like mission impossible."
June 20, 2002 -- The Federal Times has reported that "the bipartisan group of legislators who fashioned a draft bill circulating in Congress to reform the U.S. Postal Service hoped to ease its passage by leaving the most contentious issues for later study by a national commission. But before the bill has even been introduced, its movement has bogged down."
June 20, 2002 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "United Parcel Service said it has partnered with online payment service PayPal to integrate the company's online payment process with UPS digital shipping management tools. The service, called "PayPal shipping with UPS," enables customers to arrange UPS shipping from the PayPal Web site. The service is available only in the United States for now, but a UPS spokeswoman said the company hopes to open it to international customers at a later date. PayPal mostly serves consumer purchases, with one of its largest customers being eBay, the online auction site."
June 20, 2002 -- The Washington Post has reported that "the Bush administration today will unveil its long-awaited Amtrak plan, which would require states to pay an increasing share of passenger train costs, transfer the Boston-Washington Northeast Corridor to an unspecified "public partnership," and contract out some jobs now held by rail union workers." Hmmm. How 'bout shared local funding to cover the costs of unprofitable retail services maintained by the Postal Service?
June 20, 2002 -- The Scotsman (U.K.) has reported that "Allan Leighton, the chairman of beleaguered postal operator Consignia, said yesterday that he would take on the same role at Woolworths in the event of its takeover by rival Bhs. Leighton, who is also chairman of Bhs, told The Scotsman he had discussed the matter with Gerald Corbett - his counterpart at Woolworths - and saw no difficulty in juggling his multiple directorship positions."
June 20, 2002 -- According to the Glasgow Herald (U.K.), "Allan Leighton, chairman of Consignia, signalled that the company's Scottish operations - which employ 15,500 staff - would be less badly hit than other parts of the UK in the latest round of blood-letting at the embattled former Royal Mail."
June 20, 2002 -- The Edinburgh Evening News (U.K.) has reported that "Allan Leighton, the chairman of Consignia, today began a whistle-stop tour of Scotland to meet staff after telling them in a letter he was "hacked off" with union negotiators and his own management. He is expected to confirm that a third of the group’s senior managers are to be axed."
June 20, 2002 -- China Daily has reported that "China's quarantine authorities are on high alert against bubonic plague after an outbreak of the disease began on April 16 in the district of Nsanje in Malawi. As of May 27, 71 cases had been reported. The State General Administration for Quality Supervision and Inspection and Quarantine sent an urgent circular to quarantine branches urging them to closely check traffic, tools, commodities, luggage and postal parcels coming from the epidemic area, in a bid to stop the virus from entering China."
June 20, 2002 -- According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "United Parcel Service is praising a European Commission ruling that Deutsche Post must repay state aid. Sandy Springs-based UPS has long contended that the aid gives Deutsche Post, the German postal and delivery service, an unfair pricing advantage in competition for package delivery business."
June 20, 2002 -- The Times of India has reported that a "directive to every department to undertake a two per cent cut in manpower every year has not found favour with the Department of Post and Telegraphs. Its Postal Services Board (PSB) (a powerful policy-making body) has sent a detailed report to the ministry of finance explaining why a manpower- cut is not feasible. Calling the government's downsizing formula 'incompatible with the philosophy on which postal establishments are created', the report stated that unlike other government departments, P&T extends services to the public through a wide network. 'Service is rendered in terms of mail delivery right to the doorstep of the customer. Hence any reduction in such manpower, will mean curtailment of existing facilities to the public.'"
June 19, 2002 -- The Chicago Tribune has reported that "loath to accept any postal price increase, publishers, catalog companies and other heavy mailers are swallowing a June 30 price hike by the U.S. Postal Service with surprisingly little fuss. Harsher medicine, they know, may come next." Be sure to check the copy of the printed version of this story as it appeared in the Chicago Tribune, since it features prominently Cosmetique general counsel (and PostCom Postal Policy Committee chairman) Aaron Horowitz.
June 19, 2002 -- IranMania has reported that "the general assembly of the Postal Company agreed on the privatization of Iran's National Postal Company. The decision has been made in accordance with the Third Five-Year Development Plan (2000-2005) of the country." According to the bill, the post office will no longer be responsible for the collection and delivery of postal services and it will only be operating in breaking down and sorting of the mail. The private sector can establish distribution networks to collect the post in every part of the country. Legislation regarding the transfer of services to the private sector has been approved by the Ministry of Communications and will be announced publicly during the next week.
June 19, 2002 --PostCom has been told that the markup of postal reform may proceed tomorrow (Thursday), but it appears the Democrats will not participate. A letter from Reps. Waxman and Davis, released just minutes ago (and posted on this site) encourages Chairman Burton to postpone the markup. Several Republicans on the Committee on Government Reform have serious questions about the bill and have privately expressed their concerns to Burton." In short, there may not be a markup of anything tomorrow.
June 19, 2002 -- According to the Wall Street Journal, "newspaper executives said Tuesday that the worst of the 18-month-long advertising recession appears to be over, but they were noncommittal about prospects for a return to robust growth."
June 19, 2002 -- CEP News (Courier- Express- and Postal-Market News) has reported that:
In Germany the Federal Association of Courier, Express and Postal Services (BdKEP) and the Federal Association of International Express and Courier Services (BIEK) have expressed great regret at the German parliament’s recent decision concerning postal liberalisation. In a joint letter the two associations ask the Prime Ministers of each federal state not to vote in favour of the parliamentary decision when the issue comes before the federal council.
The courier and express service DHL expects to be able to more than double its turnover in Russia to approx. 3.7m euros.
United Parcel Service (UPS) has concluded a co-operation agreement with Shinkai Corp. in Tokyo. The Japanese transport company Shinkai specialises in providing services for manufacturers of semi-conductors and other high-tech enterprises. Shinkai operates a nationwide distribution network, 400 warehouses and employs 1,800 members of staff. Shinkai will co-operate mainly with UPS LG, the logistics subsidiary of the American parcel and courier service. UPS LG expects to benefit from the agreement when it comes to providing better service for leading IT companies.
One of Germany’s leading private letter services, Grüne Post Sachsen-Anhalt, has declared insolvency.
109 members of Österreichische Post staff took early retirement at an average age of 48.21 years during March 2002 alone. Last week this fact became subject to an investigation by the public prosecution in Vienna.
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. PostCom is most grateful for CEP's willingness to share this information.
June 19, 2002 -- Netflix is a Los Gatos, Calif., company lists more than 600,000 subscribers who are charged $20 per month for unlimited DVD rentals. Customers order through the Internet, receive the DVDs in the mail, and return them with postage paid by Netflix. When CEO Reed Hastings was asked about Netflix laying the groundwork for possible digital distribution of movies via high speed Internet services, he said: "Today, 100 percent of U.S. households have postal delivery and very few have broadband. If that ever changed, which might happen in five or 15 years, then we'd look at other cost-effective distribution mechanisms such as broadband, but there will always be a substantial part of the country reachable only by mail." My heavens! A man who GETS it.
June 19, 2002 -- Deutsche Post World Net will file a suit before the European Court of Justice against the decision on state aid released today by the EU Commission. Dr. Klaus Zumwinkel, Chairman of the Board of Management, is very confident about the outcome of the proceedings. "The Commission's decision is so clearly disputable that only a judgement in favour of Deutsche Post is conceivable,” he stated. Zumwinkel again confirmed without reservation that Deutsche Post used neither unauthorized cross-subsidies nor unlawful state aid for its business parcel division.
June 19, 2002 -- AFX (UK) has reported that "Deutsche Post World Net AG said it will appeal against the European Commission's decision to make it pay back to the German government 572 mln eur in 'unlawful' state aid. 'Deutsche Post will file legal proceedings against this decision with the court of first instance as Deutsche Post reiterates its stance that there is no state aid and points out that there are also procedural errors in the decision,' said the company in a statement. Deutsche Post chairman Klaus Zumwinkel said is very confident about the outcome of the appeal." Read more in the report by Dow Jones, the Financial Times, the BBC, and The Wall Street Journal.
June 19, 2002 -- Dow Jones has reported that "United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS) will file the European Commission's decision against Deutsche Post AG with the U.S. Deptartment of Transportation for the agency's ongoing review of the relationship between Deutsche Post and DHL Airways unit. Deutsche Post is the majority shareholder of DHL."
June 19, 2002 -- The Guardian (United Kingdom) has reported that "Consignia chairman Allan Leighton has clashed with the postal unions over an extraordinary letter in which he accuses negotiators of dawdling on the Costa de Sol or watching the World Cup instead of trying to finalise a pay deal."
June 19, 2002 -- According to CBS Marketwatch, "young consumers prone to losing bills and falling behind on payments are warming up to the idea of turning payment responsibility over to the companies that charge them, according to a new survey. About 42 percent of Americans aged 18 to 24 would enroll in a recurring payment service for their monthly expenses compared with one in three of those under 44, the survey said. Overall, one in four indicated interest in having their amounts due automatically debited from their accounts." What? No mail?
June 19, 2002 -- The Bloomberg.com has reported that "United Parcel Service Inc.'s initial contract proposal to workers is unsatisfactory and indicates talks between the world's largest delivery company and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters may not be resolved before a July deadline."
June 19, 2002 -- Dow Jones has reported that "France's La Poste launched its long-awaited 15-year bond deal, while the United Kingdom's Abbey National PLC outlined its plans to tap the markets."
June 19, 2002 -- Direct has reported that "consumers' response to direct marketing and developing trends has uncovered a change in what people look for in direct mail. This year, they are less interested in entertainment-oriented pieces. They respond well to discounted offers because people tend to do less discretionary spending this year."
June 19, 2002 -- DM News has reported that:
According to one DMD New York Marketing Conference luncheon speaker, direct marketers can't live with a 2 percent response rate in the digital age. "While I compliment direct marketers for what you're doing now, I urge you to move further into the Internet," said Peter Sealey, former executive vice president of marketing at Coca-Cola Co.
Strip away half a decade of hype, and the Internet still combines the reach of mass marketing with the accountability of direct marketing, according to John Costello, Yahoo's chief global marketing officer.
June 19, 2002 -- According to Reuters, "China's national postal service could seek to list shares overseas to improve management and raise capital to expand its network."
June 19, 2002 -- Asia Pulse has reported that "Japan's Postal Services Agency is expected to see a profit for its mail-delivery services for the last fiscal year after two years in the red, its director general Hiroshi Matsui announced. He attributed the improved performance for the unit in the year ended March 31, 2002 to cost cuts and profitable advertisement delivery, including direct mailings."
June 19, 2002 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that:
DHL Worldwide Express has promoted Randy T. Clark to senior vice president, sales and marketing for the Americas. He was formerly senior vice president, customer relations, at DHL.
As China rapidly industrializes, it is no surprise that there would be intense interest on the part of everyone from foreign investors to the Chinese government itself in the issue of supply chain management. As much opportunity as there is in China today to manufacture here, to sell here, to invest here, few investments will succeed unless the challenges of effective transportation and distribution can be overcome.
Russia is no longer a "non-market" economy but rather a "market" economy, something the Russians have long wanted.
June 18, 2002 -- SkyNews has reported that "the chairman of postal group Consignia has written a remarkable letter to his workers, saying he is "fed up" with the politics clogging up the business. Allan Leighton took a swipe at union negotiators - and his own managers - claiming he was 'hacked off' with all of them. He insisted a recently-accepted pay deal linked to the introduction of single deliveries should have been agreed months ago."
June 18, 2002 -- DM News has reported that according to U.S. Postmaster General Jack Potter, "mail remains a strong marketing vehicle, even in today's technology-driven society."
June 18, 2002 -- There will be a business meeting of the Committee On Government Reform on Thursday, June 20, 2002 in Room 2154 of the Rayburn House Office Building at 10:00 a.m. Amon the business to be considered: H.R. ___, the "Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act."
June 18, 2002 -- In a letter to every one of his colleagues in the House, Committee on Government Reform chairman Dan Burton (R-IN) said that "if you are a free market conservative, postal reform is for you."
June 18, 2002 -- Ananova (U.K.) has reported that "finance minister Hans Eichel will sell 6 billion euro worth of Deutsche Post World Net AG and Deutche Telekom AG shares next year in order to reduce new government debt to 15.5 billion euro from 21.1 billion."
June 18, 2002 -- According to the International Herald Tribune, "the fanfare for Deutsche Post fizzles....When it comes to the mail, Germany's postal monopoly can deliver - after all, its carriers voted last week not to go on strike. But when it comes to delivering a smile to shareholders - well, investors are still waiting."
June 18, 2002 -- Reuters has reported that "China's largest airline, China Southern, plans to buy 49 percent of a small postal carrier to help grab a bigger share of the flourishing mainland cargo business."
June 18, 2002 -- According to DM News, "the Direct Marketing Association criticized United Parcel Service yesterday, saying UPS was trying to thwart postal reform."
June 18, 2002 -- CNBC has reported that "the deadline for resolving a months-long dispute pitting China's postal monopoly against foreign express delivery giants has been extended to mid-August."
June 18, 2002 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "air express and heavy freight carriers have yet to show any sustainable signs of a recovery. Air volumes for United Parcel Service were down approximately 5% in May, compared with the same month in 2001, according to preliminary data from the Morgan Stanley Air Express Demand Index."
June 17, 2002 -- According to The Scotsman, "a name change won’t be enough to transform troubled Consignia."
June 17, 2002 -- Handlesblatt has reported that:
German Parcel, a unit of British postal service Consignia, and its European holding company General Logistics Systems (GLS) have shelved plans to expand their existing European parcel-delivery network through acquisitions. German Parcel chief executive Rico Back told Handelsblatt that his company, currently the number four in its sector in Germany, will instead use joint ventures and partnerships as a way of closing the gaps in its existing networks.
Deutsche Post AG plans to cut the rates it charges for letter delivery in several stages, a move from which it expects to lose revenue totaling 572 million euros, in a bid to avoid having to repay subsidies running into hundreds of millions of euros.
June 17, 2002 -- The Daily Yomiuri has reported that:
Members of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's private advisory panel have submitted a number of proposals concerning the privatization of the postal services business, according to sources. The panel, which is considering ways in which the three state-run postal businesses--mail, postal savings and insurance--should be operated, may release its final report as early as August.
June 17, 2002 -- The Daytona Beach News-Journal has reported that "to many Britons, the idea of entrusting their letters to a company called Consignia went over like a bad Italian meal. Faced with huge losses and looming competition, Britain's postal service announced Thursday it will adopt the name its letter carriers have used all along -- the Royal Mail. Fifteen months ago, brand consultants hoping to make the government-owned company sound more international changed its name from the mundane Post Office Group to the vaguely Italian-sounding Consignia. However, the switch was met with disbelief and increasing hostility among conservative Britons, some of whom joked that Consignia reminded them of an Italian soccer player. [Editor's note: Momma mia, AGAIN with the Italian thing!] "It was a brand we couldn't fall in love with and came to hate," said Chris Brady, a brands specialist at London's Cass Business School. So as of the start of next year, it will be called the Royal Mail Group PLC."
June 17, 2002 -- As the Economist has noted, the British postal system has a long road back to fiscal and operational health. "Mr Leighton [the new board chairman] concedes, is merely the start of a long march back to health. He has announced a three-year restructuring effort to revive the core domestic postal service. That means, for the moment, an end to the Post Office's headlong rush into international markets. His predecessor's strategy was to become a global logistics group. Now the goal is to be 'world-class, not world-active'."
June 17, 2002 -- According to Les Echos (France) FedEx, the US express postal delivery group, has announced double-figure turnover growth in Europe for the financial year ending May 31, despite the slowdown in the US economy and the events of September 11. It also has a positive view of the year ahead. The group is focusing its efforts in Europe more than ever on its hub at Roissy Charles-de-Gaulle airport outside Paris In France, the group estimates that its alliance with French parcel delivery group Geopost has upped night parcel sorting by 26 per cent."
June 16, 2002 -- The Independent (U.K.) has reported that:
When Archie Norman and Allan Leighton were brought in to rescue Asda in the early 1990s, the wheels had all but fallen off its shopping trolley. All this must sound very familiar to Leighton as he grapples with the herculean task of restoring the Royal Mail's fortunes. The similarities with Asda's problems are plain enough, and he's administering the same medicine to the postal service's potentially terminal condition that he used at the supermarket group. The one big difference for Leighton between Asda and Royal Mail is that his paymasters are now politicians, not professional investors.
A monopoly is supposed to be secure and stable. With no competition to drive down prices, the theory is that it should become a cash-cow. This is why it is a surprise that Consignia, the UK's postal service, is in such a dire mess.
June 16, 2002 -- According to B2B magazine, "While neither rain nor sleet will keep postal carriers from their appointed rounds, they may soon carry significantly less direct mail on those routes. Consider this: 3 billion pieces of standard business mail will vanish in 2002, according to the Direct Marketing Association. Direct marketers, who rely heavily on the U. S. Postal Service, are changing their tactics and finding alternatives to the U.S. mail, largely as a result of frequent rate increases."
June 16, 2002 -- As the Leader Herald has noted, "later this month, the cost of mailing a first-class letter will jump to 37 cents from the present 34 cents. About the only sector where costs are rising faster than stamps is health care, which long has been plagued by out-of-control costs. If one could have confidence that this time the Postal Service really means it when it says a rate increase is necessary and will help it to bring about organizational reforms, then maybe it would be worth it. Unfortunately, the Postal Service has broken too many promises in the past."
June 16, 2002 -- The Associated Press has reported that "mail trucks began carrying letters from war-battered northern Sri Lanka to the rest of the island nation 12 years after deliveries were interrupted by a separatist insurgency. The resumption of the service follows a historic cease-fire agreement reached in February by the Sri Lankan government and rebels fighting to carve out a separate homeland for the country's Tamil minority."
June 16, 2002 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that:
The International Brotherhood of Teamsters offered its initial wage proposals to United Parcel Service on Thursday as the two sides wrapped up another week of contract talks. Negotiations will resume Monday. The present contract, covering 230,000 Teamsters employed by UPS, expires July 31. The Teamsters' proposals also covered health-care benefits for retirees. It will submit its demands regarding pensions and health care for current employees during the week of June 17.
June 15, 2002 -- According to the Budapest Business Journal, "the Hungarian Postal Service and Siemens signed a contract on a project to build a National Parcel and Letter Processing Center."
June 15, 2002 -- The Japan Times has reported that "Deutsche Post and other European postal firms have asked Japan's Postal Services Agency to conclude tieup arrangements on express mail delivery services." See also Japan Today.
June 15, 2002 -- The Financial Times has reported that "Deutsche Post, the German postal and logistics group, reported a 22 per cent drop in net profit for the first quarter, but gathered international strength from last year's acquisition of express postal group, DHL International. The group, which earlier in the month announced that it planned to buy back shares in an attempt to boost its falling share price, said it had been unable to escape the grip of the ongoing economic downturn during the first quarter ended March 31. Net profits dropped from E539m ($485.8m) to E417m for the period, with earnings per share down 23 per cent at E0.37 from E0.48 previously."
June 14, 2002 -- The Daily Yomiuri (Japan) has reported that "Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and top officials of his ruling coalition decided on Friday evening to extend the current Diet session. During the extended Diet session, the three ruling partners' highest priority will be the passage of four bills related to the planned establishment of a public postal corporation and a bill to revise a law related to the reform of the medical system, as well as continuing to deliberate the three bills governing response to a military attack and a bill to protect personal information.
June 14, 2002 -- The U.S. Postal Service has the report for Accounting Period 9 (April 20-May 17, 2002) posted on its web site. For AP 9, the USPS turned in a net loss of $303.7 million or $58.3 million greater than plan. Year to date, the USPS has a cumulative negative net income of $753 million. For Quarter III, First-Class Mail volume was flat; Standard Mail was off 3.5% when compared to the previous year. Overall, mail is off for the quarter by 2.4% Year to date through Quarter III, First-Class has shown no growth, while Standard Mail has declined by 6.0%. The complete revenue, piece, weight report also is available on the USPS web site.
June 14, 2002 -- ePostalNews has reported that:
Jersey Post seems to be finding it difficult to gain traction with its B2C e-billing service. So far, none of the major service providers on the island of Jersey, including utilities, financial service providers and cable operators, has signed up to offer e-bills through the post’s service.
The Nigerian government has approved the setting up of a joint venture that will see the Nigeria Postal Service expand its operations into the electronic commerce arena.
Troy Systems and Municipal Software have gotten together to offer an e-bill payment service with a built-in payment link for bankcards and electronic check payments.
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.
June 14, 2002 -- House government reform committee chairman Dan Burton and Rep. John McHugh are trying to raise their colleagues' awareness of the challenges that are facing the U.S. Postal Service through a "Dear Colleague" letter that's being circulated on the Hill.
June 14, 2002 -- The AFP news service has reported that " Deutsche Post may have to repay more than 500 million euros (470 million dollars) in state aid after European competition regulators concluded the semi-privatised German postal authority unfairly subsidised its loss-making business. Quoting sources close to the case, the Financial Times reported Friday a three-year probe by the European Commission found that Deutsche Post used profits from its mail monopoly to subsidise its loss-making parcel division. That was considered a breach of European state aid rules because the German group funded its commercial activities with money coming from its public service buiness. Brussels was expected to announce its decision next week and the fine is likely to anger Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, who has repeatedly accused the EU Commission of attacking German companies." See also the report by the Financial Times and Dow Jones.
June 14, 2002 -- The Financial Times has reported that:
As he cleared away the Consignia-branded coffee cups from his desk yesterday, Allan Leighton took at least one small step in the restructuring of the Post Office. The chairman's decision to change Consignia's name back to the historic, and popular, Royal Mail is likely to be by far the easiest step. The detritus of the previous rebranding - involving everything from china mugs to corporation chocolates - will cost little more than 1m pounds to replace.
Consignia yesterday warned of more heavy losses to come as it announced the worst results in the postal operator's history and confirmed plans to cut 17,000 jobs from its Royal Mail division.
June 14, 2002 -- La Tribune (France) has reported that "the French post office (La Poste) will see a third of its turnover exposed to competition on January 1 2003 when the dispatch of postal items weighing more than 100g is liberalised within the European Union. Then, when the second stage of the EU postal-sector liberalisation programme begins in 2006 with its extension to items of 50g and over, La Poste will lose its monopoly on Business-to-Customer (B-to-C) postal services - its core activity."
June 14, 2002 -- According to The Guardian (United Kingdom), "Allan Leighton, a man who never knowingly undersells his talents, always ready to dispense crafted nuggets of management wisdom disguised as off-the-cuff quips, was not exaggerating yesterday when he described returning the Post Office to profit as 'the turnaround of all time'. This truly is the job from hell."
June 14, 2002 -- The Associated Press has reported that:
The time is getting near to clean up anthrax from Washington's massive Brentwood postal facility. Cleanup contracts were signed May 8, with a goal of getting the work done in 90 days. Thomas Day, postal vice president for engineering, said Wednesday he hopes to stick to that schedule. He is awaiting approval of permit applications filed with federal and city officials.
To many Britons, the idea of entrusting their letters to a company called Consignia went over like a bad Italian meal. [From the Editor (Del Polito): "Hey! Watch that stuff!"] Faced with huge losses and looming competition, Britain's postal service announced Thursday it will adopt the name its letter carriers have used all along – the Royal Mail.
June 14, 2002 -- The International Herald Tribune has reported that "Consignia PLC, the British postal service, posted the biggest annual loss in its 367-year history Thursday as costs swelled out of control and demand for postal services slowed."
June 14, 2002 -- The Globe and Mail (Canada) has reported that "the post-Sept. 11 security crackdown has become the perfect cover for a new wave of telemarketing scams in which Canadian callers dupe Americans into paying customs fees on bogus sweepstakes winnings 'held up at the border.' The scam has the whiff of plausibility because cross-border mail delivery has slowed since last fall, with U.S. and Canadian postal officials making extra security checks."
June 14, 2002 -- DM News has reported that "a House postal reform draft bill scheduled for markup June 20 is receiving opposition from direct marketers, the United Parcel Service and the Teamsters. The draft consists largely of two previous reform drafts sponsored by Reps. John McHugh, R-NY, and Henry Waxman, D-CA. DMA President Robert Wientzen said that 'the current draft bill turns right around and includes a 'safety valve' provision that would allow the USPS to request, and the Postal Rate Commission to approve, a hike that is above the inflation rate as they see fit, which is kind of like telling a child not to eat candy before dinner, that is, unless he wants to.' He also said that language added to the bill by Waxman could cut into mailers' workshare discounts. He said the language was added to appease the American Postal Workers Union, which reportedly opposes the discounts because they take work away from its members."
June 14, 2002 -- Here's a question to ponder. Does anyone really expect the Senate Government Affairs Committee to devote even a second to postal legislative reform while it still has the issue of Homeland Security on its plate?
June 14, 2002 -- The Washington Post has reported that "President Bush has told technology executives that his administration will work to make high-speed Internet access available in more areas." For postal officials who still don't get this, it means more mail will find its way to electronic alternatives.
June 14, 2002 -- The Independent (U.K.) has reported that "Consignia is poised to axe 4,000 managers' jobs in addition to the 17,000 redundancies it confirmed yesterday along with the scrapping of its much-derided name and the disappearance of the second post. News of the cull among postal managers came as the group, which is to be renamed Royal Mail plc from the end of the year as part of a £1m rebranding, announced a £1.1bn loss the biggest in its 240-year history and the departure of its chief executive, John Roberts."
June 14, 2002 -- Financial Times Deutschland has reported that "Deutsche Post, the German postal service operator, is increasing parcel delivery prices with effect from July 1. Domestic deliveries of parcels weighing up to 4kg are to be increased by 5 per cent, from 5.62 euros to 5.90 euros. The increase in express and parcel delivery prices is designed to balance an increase in staffing, insurance and fuel costs."
June 14, 2002 -- The Envelope Manufacturers Association Foundation has published a paper on "A Study of Presidential Advisory and Congressional Commissions: Guidance to the Formation of a Postal Reform Commission."
June 14, 2002 -- ComputerWeekly has reported that "the public bodies and companies which control address and property data in the UK have set up a secret project to better co-ordinate a raft of e-government projects and improve the quality of online services to the public. Dubbed Project Acacia, after the archetypal street address, the project brings together the Land Registry, Ordnance Survey, Consignia the Registers of Scotland, and Whitehall's Improvement and Development Agency. One option under consideration by the group would be to link land and address data - including the National Land and Property Gazetteer and the Postal Address File - from the five organisations into a more accessible national database.
June 14, 2002 -- SkyNews (U.K.) has reported that "ailing postal group Consignia - which has announced 17,000 job losses - is to be allowed to use £1.8bn of reserves to help stage a recovery. The Government has outlined a package of financial measures to help the company fund its major restructuring programme. The firm announced today it suffered record losses of £1.1bn and would be ditching its much-ridiculed name in favour of Royal Mail Group plc." See also the report by Ananova.
June 14, 2002 -- Do you feel a little lost in following the rough and tumble going on in the U.K. regarding its post? You're not alone. For help, though, you might want to check out the special report published by The Guardian.
June 14, 2002 -- Interested in attending the Post-Expo 2002 conference in Cologne, Germany? Then check out some of the details on this site.
June 14, 2002 -- So who really has the advantage of a less than level playing field? The posts or private couriers? To find one postal maven's take on this, check out Alan Robinson's paper on the PostInsight web site. The paper was delivered at the 10th annual conference on postal regulatory economics held in Potsdam, Germany. In fact, you can find the graphics used in some of the presentations given at the Potsdam conference on the PostInsight web site.
June 14, 2002 -- The Louisville Courier-Journal has reported that "in five days, UPS will launch the third and final phase of its transition to Hub 2000 -- a $1.1 billion, fully automated, state-of-the-art center that promises to revolutionize sorting operations."
June 14, 2002 -- According to the Teamsters:
"The National Negotiating Committee entered the fifth consecutive week of talks with UPS on Monday, June 10. Though the pace of talks has accelerated with the strike authorization vote and the Day of Action, a number of important issues remain to be addressed. The committee is focused on preserving and expanding good Teamster jobs. That includes: Preserving and expanding full-time jobs; Reclaiming inside work lost over the past decade; Restricting subcontracting; Limiting supervisors doing Teamster work; and Limiting excessive mandatory overtime. Economic issues, such as wages, pensions and health care, have not yet been addressed at the table. Supplemental committees that have not reached tentative agreement will reconvene in Washington, D.C. during the week of June 17 to continue negotiations."
June 14, 2002 -- The Intelligencer has reported that "about 400 people took a powder Wednesday when a white substance spilled from a bundle of mail at [Pennsylvania] Commonwealth Corporate Center. It turned out to be Pillsbury Flour."
June 14, 2002 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that:
United Parcel Service has seen its intra-Asia volume rise almost 19% since it opened a regional hub in the Philippines in April. The new network, based at the former Clark Air Force Base, connects nine major Asian markets with overnight delivery service.
June 13, 2002 -- CEP News (Courier- Express- and Postal-Market News) has reported that:
The Chinese Express Mail Service’s market share has apparently dropped from 97% in 1980 to a mere 33% today. Asian media report this week that the decrease is the reason why the Chinese post administration wants to stop private competitors from delivering express consignments under 500 grams.
British publishers of periodicals are fighting new higher prices introduced by Royal Mail. According to the London ‘Times’ (10 June) magazines in A3 format as well as lightweight items are the most severely affected categories. Prices will reportedly go up by up to 50%.
Deutscher Paketdienst, the French La Poste subsidiary, has announced further details concerning the introduction of its planned new express service due to begin on 1 July. DPD will offer both an internal German express service with deliveries by either 10 a.m. or 12 noon and an international express product in co-operation with FedEx.
The French post is currently working on plans for a reorganisation of DPD in France, Mr Claude Beglé, Senior Executive Vice President of La Poste’s GeoPost group, told press representatives on Tuesday. DPD France was liquidated at the beginning of the year as a result of poor quality and unsatisfactory financial results.
On 5 June the German federal court of justice confirmed in principle that the UPS limited liability of 500 DM (now 510 euros) was invalid. Charges against UPS for gross organisational negligence were justified in principle, as the company did not provide complete parcel checking at all points of interchange. UPS was therefore fully liable.
A continued participation in the European parcel network General Parcel no longer made sense to ABX’, Mr Luc D Schrijver, Eurocargo Network Manager and chairman of the Belgian ABX LOGISTICS GmbH management, told the CEP News. ABX had therefore returned its 6% General Parcel participation as well as the franchise licence for Belgium with effect from 1 April 2001. New franchisee in Belgium is the Belgian subsidiary of the French express service Extand, which belongs to the British post Consignia.
The benefits which post companies gain from the universal service are considerably higher than the service costs, participants learnt at the 10th Conference on Postal and Delivery Economics held in Potsdam by the US Rutgers University on 5-8 June. A study carried out on behalf of the consumer organisation Postwatch (‘Benefits of Universal Service Provision to Consignia’, London Economics 2002) shows that the British post Consignia reaps benefits worth up to 747m euros per annum from the universal service, the cost of which has been estimated at approx. 131m euros per annum by the British Regulatory Office.
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. PostCom is most grateful for CEP's willingness to share this information.
June 13, 2002 -- Looking for one of the world's post's annual reports? Did you know you can find the links to each post's report in one neat pile at the PostInsight web site?
June 13, 2002 -- The House Committee on Government Reform has scheduled a markup on its latest version of postal legislative reform for Thursday, June 20, 2002. A section-by-section analysis of this bill has been posted on this site as well as a synopsis of how this proposal would affect the current statute.
June 13, 2002 -- Airborne Express and Motorola have announced completion of the pilot test and initial deployment phase of Airborne's new wireless handheld data system. More than 3,000 Motorola HDT(TM) 500 Series handheld data terminals have been assigned to Airborne drivers in Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles and Seattle. The system eventually may include as many as 20,000 of the handheld data terminals. The system is part of Motorola's extensive portfolio of integrated communications and information solutions to address mission-critical public safety and security requirements worldwide.
June 13, 2002 -- Aftenposten (Norway) has reported that "an Oslo man was fined after pleading guilty to threatening to violate a mailman or anyone else delivering unwanted advertising to his mailbox. The court reduced the fine due to extenuating circumstances." Must be those long winter nights.
June 13, 2002 -- Mailers Council Executive Director Robert McLean has reported that "there have been several recent personnel changes in the Government Relations Department at the USPS that will be of interest to anyone working in either government or media relations:
Tom Edwards has left the Postal Service for a position with the State of New Jersey's DC office.
Kim Weaver fills Edwards' position of manager, government relations liaison. Kim (202-268-3429) joined the department just last year after spending much of her career on Capitol Hill working on postal issues for Sen. David Pryor.
Debbie Kendall has accepted a three-month detail with the Office of Management and Budget (202-395-7765).
Taking Kendall's slot in the pubic policy area is Judy De Torok (202-268-3420), the manager of media relations. She was most recently assigned to work exclusively on the release of the transformation plan.
The acting head of media relations is Irene Lericos (202-268-7650). Irene only recently joined the headquarters staff as head of the field communications network.
June 13, 2002 -- Catalog Age has reported that "United Parcel Service chairman/CEO Mike Eskew says that catalogers shouldn’t worry about the ongoing contract negotiations between UPS and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. 'We’re confident we’ll get it done,' Eskew said yesterday in an exclusive interview with the Catalog Age Show Daily here at the Annual Catalog Conference. The Teamsters contract with the parcel carrier expires July 31."
June 13, 2002 -- SkyNews (U.K.) has reported that "postal group Consignia has unveiled record losses of £1.1bn. It is ditching 17,000 more staff, second deliveries and its own name. The cuts come on top of 13,000 other job losses already announced in parcels and other operations. The Communication Workers Union is expected to ballot more than 200,000 postal workers for industrial action over the cutbacks which include putting support services, including cleaning jobs, out to tender." See also the report by Reuters, The Independent, and CNN.
June 13, 2002 -- AFX (U.K.) has reported that "the Communications Workers Union has criticised UK postal group Consignia PLC's plans to cut 17,000 more jobs, warning that such measures amount to 'knee-jerk reactions that the company would regret later'. It also blamed the government for the former state-owned monopoly's financial woes."
June 13, 2002 -- The Scotsman (U.K.) has reported that "John Roberts, chief executive of Consignia , is widely expected to announce his resignation from the beleaguered postal operator today, as the company reports catastrophic annual results. His anticipated departure represents another move by chairman, Allan Leighton, to tighten his grip on the firm, which is expected to post a loss in 2001 of between £1billion to £1.2 billion. Roberts joined the Post Office in 1967 and has been chief executive since 1995."
June 13, 2002 -- The Independent (U.K.) has reported that "Allan Leighton, the non-executive chairman of Consignia, the former Post Office, yesterday began dropping some of his other duties in preparation for a more hands-on role at the beleaguered state-run operation. There is growing speculation that John Roberts, Consignia's chief executive, may be ousted, taking the blame for an expected annual loss of £1.0bn to £1.2bn to be unveiled by the group today. The company is slashing costs in an effort to return to profitability as it faces the liberalisation of its markets next year."
June 13, 2002 -- The Daily Yomiuri (Japan) has reported that Japanese Prime Minister "Koizumi reiterated his determination to have the bills passed to promote private sector entry into the postal service. However, Keiji Aritomi, the president of Yamato Transport Co. which has abandoned a plan to enter the postal services business, criticized the bills during questioning time in the Diet. He said the bills would create an environment in which private corporations joining the mail delivery business were under the government's thumb."
June 13, 2002 -- Reuters has reported that "Dutch postal, express and logistics company TPG NV has launched a Chinese joint venture with Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation Group (SAIC) but did not say how much it was investing. The venture to provide logistics to China's automotive industry will be owned equally by TPG, one of the world's largest logistics companies, and SAIC, which is a leading Chinese automotive company."
June 13, 2002 -- Federal Computer Week has reported that "an upgraded mail handling and imaging service may help agencies that seek a safe, speedy way to view their postal mail. Affiliated Computer Services Inc., a provider of business process and information technology solutions, last week announced i-mail, an expansion of ACS' imaging and mailroom capabilities for companies, federal agencies, and state and local governments."
June 13, 2002 -- According to InformationWeek, "FedEx and UPS have managed to take advantage of what technology has to offer and combine that with the type of service that customers are demanding. You can call them up and still get someone on the phone."
June 13, 2002 -- Joong Ang Ilbo (Korea) has reported that "Korea Post has said that all post offices will continue to offer financial services on Saturday after July, when commercial banks move to a five-day workweek. The state postal service had been considering discontinuing financial services on weekends, based on the links many of the services have with banks. Deposits and withdrawals on accounts with the postal service will continue as normal and bill payments will also be accepted."
June 12, 2002 -- The Adobe portable document format (pdf) is a fine vehicle for rendering certain pages on the web. For some, however, pdf can be vexing to one's patience. The Postal Service undoubtedly has heard more than its fair share about the DMM rendered in the pdf format, and now has a version of the DMM in the web's lingua franca, html. Check it out at the Postal Service's web site at http://pe.usps.gov.
June 12, 2002 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that "mail-order catalog companies that sell goods over the Internet continue to be the most profitable merchants online, but most online retailers still lost money last year, according to a comprehensive annual survey of the online retail market by an industry trade organization. Despite continued losses last year, the State of Retailing Online report, published annually by Shop.org, an online trade association that is part of the National Retail Federation in Washington, painted a generally positive picture for Internet retailing, which is growing at a much brisker pace than retail as a whole. While Web-only companies such as Amazon.com Inc. once dominated the Internet retail landscape, the bulk of the business has tipped decisively toward "multichannel" retailers -- the catalog-and-store merchants -- which accounted for 67% of total online sales in 2001, up from 54% in 2000. Across all categories, Internet retailers made bottom-line improvements over previous years, in large part by slashing marketing costs."
June 12, 2002 -- The Nikkei News Service (Japan) has reported that:
June 12, 2002 -- According to ATM & Debit News, the U.S. Postal Service "hopes to test later this year acceptance of the so-called online debit cards at its business-mail entry units, where companies typically use checks to pay for the bulk-mail deliveries."
June 12, 2002 -- The Asahi Shimbun has reported that "Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi appeared to make a major concession Tuesday on passage of a package of bills designed to reform the national postal system. He previously had said the reforms would be a 'milepost toward eventual privatization.' But in a Lower House committee deliberating the postal system legislation Tuesday, Koizumi said no limits should be placed on the debate following the shift in status of the Postal Services Agency to a government-owned public corporation from April 2003. The remark apparently was intended to placate a large number of lawmakers within his ruling Liberal Democratic Party who oppose privatization of the postal system."
June 12, 2002 -- CQ magazine has reported that "House Republican leaders are refusing to give Government Reform Committee Chairman Dan Burton, R-Ind., the green light for a deal with Henry A. Waxman, D-Calif., on a proposal to allow the Postal Service to tailor rates for high-volume business customers. House aides of both parties said the deal has been stalled by a cool reception from GOP leaders and by opposition behind the scenes from United Parcel Service of America Inc. and the Teamsters Union, which represents UPS employees. The aides said Democrats were insisting that GOP leaders promise to schedule a floor vote in advance of a planned June 20 markup."
June 12, 2002 -- The APWU News Service has carried a piece in which American Postal Workers Union "President William Burrus is urging all APWU members to boycott the Postal Service’s communication survey scheduled this month. Management notified the union recently that it intends to conduct this survey for the alleged purpose of assessing employee perceptions of postal communication, focusing on the anthrax crisis and the Postal Service’s 'transformation efforts.' The APWU is concerned that the Postal Service will misrepresent the results of this survey in an attempt to show that employees support its recently announced 'Transformation Plan.' President Burrus reminded members that boycotting management’s employee opinion surveys is consistent with APWU policy." You know...you would almost think that APWU actually think they're working for a union instead of the Postal Service.
June 12, 2002 -- El Pais (Spain) has reported that "according to unions [the financially troubled] Via Postal, the Spanish private postal operator, has given compulsory holidays to its 1,200 strong workforce, during which it will look at a voluntary redundancy plan. The company said yesterday that it is still in talks with various international groups which may provide finance."
June 12, 2002 -- The Instant Web Companies has published a white paper regarding the future of the US Postal Service in the 21st century. The paper outlines issues surrounding decline in mail volume and addresses efforts to secure the future of the USPS.
June 12, 2002 -- According to Newsday, "Germany's postal service reached a wage deal with unions representing 160,000 workers Tuesday, putting an end to a series of brief strikes that slowed mail service and averting broader stoppages. Workers at partly privatized Deutsche Post will get a 3.5 percent increase for the year beginning June 1, another 3.2 percent a year later for a period of eleven months, and a one-time payment of 43 euros ($41)." See also the report in the Frankfurter Allgemeine.
June 12, 2002 -- Opt-in News has reported that "Yesmail, an email marketing service provider, plans to debut their email appending service. The service will include the more than 40 million permission-based email recipients. Email appending is the matching of email addresses to postal addresses."
June 12, 2002 -- JiJi Press has reported that "Yamato Transport Co. President Keiji Aritomi has criticized a letter delivery bill for tightening the government's grip on the business. Before a House of Representatives committee, Aritomi said the bill would restrict even the catalog delivery service, which is now open to the private sector."
June 12, 2002 -- The Washington Times has reported that "U.S. Postal Service officials yesterday said the District's central processing center on Brentwood Road NE will be fumigated by Aug. 6, more than seven months after it had been contaminated by anthrax spores."
June 12, 2002 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "FedEx Ground, North America's second-largest small-package ground carrier and a subsidiary of FedEx Corp., opened its fifth automated local terminal. The new terminal, located in Richfield, Ohio, south of Cleveland, is equipped with the latest package-sorting technology, including high-speed, camera-based scanners that read all sides of a package. The plant will process 15,000 packages per hour. FedEx Ground has more than 500 distribution hubs and local pickup-and-delivery terminals throughout the U.S. and Canada."
June 11, 2002 -- Can't find what you need on the Postal Service's web site? You're not alone. You might want to check PostCom's most recent Tech-Notes on "Postal Surfing on the Web."
June 11, 2002 -- According to postal commentator Gene Del Polito, "the Bush Administration will establish a presidential commission on the future of the U.S. Postal Service."
June 11, 2002 -- According to The Business Times, "FedEx Corp said its ground shipping unit will grow for 'a long time to come' as businesses shift to the lower-cost delivery option and the company expands its coverage to all US addresses this year."
June 11, 2002 -- The Financial Times (U.K.) has reported that "Consignia, the renamed Post Office, is expected this week to set out a new programme to move back into profit, at the same time dropping its name in favour of calling itself Royal Mail."
June 11, 2002 -- The U.S. Postal Service is looking to contract for some long haul mail transportation. See Item 1 Item 2 Item 3 and Item 4 form more information.
June 11, 2002 -- Arab News has reported that "the Council of Ministers yesterday approved moves to transfer the state-run postal services to an establishment jointly managed by the public and private sectors."
June 11, 2002 -- American Banker has reported that:
Credit card issuers are riding the crest of the wave in electronic bill payment and presentment. They own a prize that most other industries do not: bills that consumers actually want to view frequently. Card issuers understand that moving from viewing bills online to paying them there is a small step for the bill-paying public.
June 11, 2002 -- The Scotsman has reported that "Consignia has entered the home contents insurance market in a bid to cash in on the millions of pounds in business still untapped in the lower end of the sector. The group, which has 12 per cent of the travel insurance market, has joined up with the broker Aon and the insurer Royal & Sun Alliance to offer the cover through its post office network."
June 11, 2002 -- As the Business Times Online has noted, "when all else fails, lets think up a new name." Or in the USPS' case, a new logo.
June 11, 2002 -- As Preston Online has noted, despite all the bad addressing in the U.K. "somehow the mail DOES get through."
June 11, 2002 -- Air Cargo World has reported that "Emery shut down its Emery Worldwide Airlines subsidiary last year after a safety investigation pushed the carrier to ground its fleet. Emery paid $1 million to settle potential charges related to that probe and the company faces no actual penalties from the NTSB, which is an investigative agency without enforcement authority. But the hearing threw a harsh light on the operator, which now uses only leased-in lift in the United States, as it negotiates a settlement with lessors and with pilots who were thrown out of work when the airline shut down. Emery's restructuring hasn't changed the company's market fortunes: Emery Forwarding reported a $5.7 million operating loss in the first quarter on a 32 percent dive in revenue, to $394.8 million."
June 11, 2002 -- As Traffic World has reported, many believe that "shipper involvement in security systems as vital. Shippers have to take more responsibility over how shipments are moved. At present they tend not to be concerned about how a load is transported as long as it meets its delivery window, but in future shippers need to have a more intimate knowledge of goods movements."
June 11, 2002 -- The Journal of Commerce has noted that "security measures designed to prevent terrorists from placing bombs in the cargo holds of passenger planes have huge loopholes, according to a draft report by the Transportation Department's inspector general. The known-shipper rule prohibits passenger airlines from accepting cargo from customers that have not done business with them on a regular basis in the past unless the carrier visits the shipper's premises to ensure that it is a legitimate operation. The Federal Aviation Administration tightened the rule last fall, and further refinements are expected later this year."
June 11, 2002 -- According to the Asahi Shimbun, "nothing is accomplished as lawmakers dawdle."
June 11, 2002 -- As the Federal Times has noted, "President Bush has laid the groundwork for privatizing federal air traffic control."
June 11, 2002 -- Government Computer News has reported that "after a month of mediation between the Postal Service and Unisys Corp., the company last week agreed to pay USPS $882,483 for an overbilling claim related to year 2000 date code repair work. The service became aware last year from information provided by a Unisys whistle-blower that it had possibly overpaid Unisys, inspector general Karla W. Corcoran said."
June 10, 2002 -- As DM News has noted, "postal software vendors and mailing groups are upset by a last-minute change in international fees by the U.S. Postal Service that they say makes an already hectic time in preparation of the June 30 rate increase even crazier."
June 10, 2002 -- On May 29-30, the 2nd International Conference on "Direct Marketing XXI Century" was held in Moscow, Russia. The event was organized by the National Association of Direct Marketing. It was supported by Universal Postal Union and Ministry for Communications and Informatization of the Russian Federation and sponsored by Postel SpA (Italy), Spring (TPG, Consignia, Singapore Post), Data Holding (Russia). Among the featured speakers was PostCom President Gene Del Polito, who discussed the psychological perceptions of direct mail by mail recipients. A short report of this conference is posted on this site.
June 10, 2002 -- For anyone who didn't attend the first-even Postal Service-Postal Rate Commission summit on postal ratemaking, the Postal Rate Commission web site has a wealth of information you might want to review: (1) the agenda and audio feeds from the summit of May 28, (2) the transcript of the May 28 proceedings, (3) the agenda and issues recommended for discussion at day two of the summit, which has been scheduled for June 27, 2002 at the USPS' Bolger Academy in Potomac, Maryland. For a PostCom member's perspective, you might want to review the comments made by Advo Senior Vice President for Government Affairs Vincent Giuliano.
June 10, 2002 -- The Institute for Research on the Economics of Taxation has posted on its web site two papers that any postal policy maven might want to read. The first is entitled: The Postal Service: A Monopoly That Loses Money. The second is entitled: The Postal Service's "Transformation Plan": One Good Idea for Reducing Losses and Two Bad Ones.
June 10, 2002 -- CargoWeb News has reported that "TPG (TNT Post) and negotiators from the unions reached an agreement on a new collective labor agreement (CAO) for TPG employees in the Netherlands. The new CAO has a term of 12 months and will run from 1 May 2002 to 1 May 2003. Salaries will be increased by 3.5 percent with effect from 1 June 2002."
June 10, 2002 -- The markup of a postal legislative reform bill before the House Committee on Government Reform has been moved from June 13 to June 20. Apparently there was a conflict with the Chairman's schedule.
June 10, 2002 -- European sources have told PostCom that Dutch postal authority, TPG, has been discussing the purchase the GLS (a private European parcel delivery service) from Consignia. GLS is the service that the U.S. Postal Service has used recently for the delivery of European-destinated parcels from the U.S. Various PostCom companies have reported extreme disappointment with the service provided by the Consignia-owned subsidiary.
June 10, 2002 -- The Associated Press has reported that "Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle pledged Sunday to help speed up the process to reopen the New Jersey postal facility that handled four anthrax-tainted letters, including one addressed to him. Joined by New Jersey Sens. Robert Torricelli and Jon Corzine, Daschle listened as town and postal union officials raised concerns about delays in decontaminating the facility, which closed in mid-October."
June 10, 2002 -- The Anchorage Daily News has reported that "the U.S. Senate has approved changes to Alaska's bypass mail system. The Senate late Thursday night added the bypass mail language to a supplemental spending bill for the federal government's current fiscal year. Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, offered the amendment, which was adopted by unanimous consent. Stevens said overhauling the bypass mail system should save the Postal Service $30 million a year. The Senate action comes after more than a year of work on the proposal, which was supported by some air carriers in Alaska but opposed by others."
June 10, 2002 -- According to SkyNews, British "postal operator Consignia will announce an almost £1.2bn full-year loss on Thursday, the biggest deficit in postal service history. Nearly £800m of this will be from exceptional items to cover the huge restructuring programme that involved massive job cuts."
June 10, 2002 -- Frankfurter Allgemeine has reported that "postal workers in Germany are ready to walk off their jobs for as long as necessary to get the 6.5 percent pay increase they are demanding, a union official said on Sunday, a day ahead of new wage talks." See also the reports by BBC News, ABC Newswire, and The Scotsman.
June 10, 2002 -- According to London Business Times, "a row has broken out between the UK’s magazine industry and the Royal Mail over new postal charges which, it is claimed, could lead to the closure of a large number of magazines. The magazine industry says the Royal Mail could lose up to £50 million in revenues, money that its parent company Consignia, which will this week announce huge losses, can ill-afford to forgo."
June 8, 2002 -- The Irish Times hs reported that "the threat of strike action at An Post has been lifted after unions and management agreed terms for a 12.5 per cent pay rise for many clerical staff."
June 8, 2002 -- The Times of India has reported that "the e-post services introduced at three head post offices in the city in August last year have received a poor response from the public." No, really? Maybe the Indian post office should have checked the U.S. Postal Service's Mailing Online venture to see that posts do best when they stick with the knitting instead of chasing bureaucratic e-lusions. Mailing Online, by the way, is still wasting postal ratepayers' money. How much more money needs to be wasted before the the USPS learns it needs to dump this dog?.
June 8, 2002 -- The Jersey Evening Post (U.K.) has reported that "the States-owned service posted a £4.2m surplus last year, increasing its turnover by 6.6 per cent to £23.5m. Having delivered 74.9 million items of mail a 7.2 per cent increase on 2000 Jersey Post increased its contribution to the States coffers by 4.2 per cent to £2.1m."
June 8, 2002 -- As Air Cargo World has noted, "some air freight shippers are saying that the worst may be over for the world's beleaguered high-tech field, but that doesn't mean there will be a recovery in that critical sector anytime soon."
June 8, 2002 -- Traffic World has asked: "As the clean-up crews finally leave New York's World Trade Center site, one of the questions they leave behind is how would the United States cope with another terrorist strike? How prepared are logistics and transportation - frontline industries in the fight against terrorism - to deal with a breach of security on this scale?"
June 8, 2002 -- Dow Jones has reported that "Japan Postal Workers' Union (Zentei) and All Japan Postal Labor Union (Zenyusei) are hammering out the final details of a plan for an equal merger by March. The unions plan to join forces to cope with the growing trend toward management streamlining ahead of next April's launch of the public postal corporation."
June 8, 2002 -- According to the Financial Times (U.K.), "the cost of restructuring Consignia, the renamed Post Office, has doubled from earlier predictions of £400m to at least £800m. This means the company's total losses for the year are likely to top £1.1bn when they are announced next week, despite better-than- expected operating losses thought to be £200m-£300m."
June 8, 2002 -- The Japan Times has reported that "The government may relax a requirement that any messenger service entering the mail-delivery sector deliver express parcels within three hours."
June 8, 2002 -- Universal Express has secured the exclusive North American rights to a new "over the road" bus vehicle designed to carry both passengers and express freight, and also has plans to sell and lease at least 3,000 of such vehicles over the next 10 years. This approximately $400,000 motorcoach captures a second stream of revenue by adding to the already active bus passenger business.
June 8, 2002 -- Financial Times Deutschland has reported that "the management of Deutsche Post, the German postal service operator, criticised the services sector trade union Ver.di at the company's AGM yesterday. Management board chairman Klaus Zumwinkel described the union's demand for a 6.5 per cent pay rise as unrealistic, and said that the strike action threatened by Ver.di would be detrimental to the interests, both of the company and its customers."
June 7, 2002 -- The chairman of Deutsche Post, Klaus Zumwinkel, said on Thursday that he expected a quick solution in the postal service's labor dispute, although he described the union's demand for a 6.5 percent pay increase as excessive. Still, negotiations had been making progress, and the warning strikes which have been held in several German cities since the start of the week were unnecessary
June 7, 2002 -- The U.S. Postal Service has awarded a contract to Spectra Systems Corporation for the development of an invisible label technology for potential use in coding of flat mail for their Automated Flat Sorting Machine - AFSM-100 systems. The USPS's fleet of 537 AFSM-100 systems handle more than 50 billion pieces of flat mail per year. The machines sort magazines, catalogs, circulars, some newspapers, and oversized envelopes (flats). There are several new automation initiatives being considered for flat mail that could provide considerable savings for the USPS. There are also opportunities to make use of a remote data base system to "look-up" and track flat pieces in a similar manner to the Letter mail ID Code Sorting (ICS) system. Both of these systems will require that a barcode or similar ID be applied to flat mail to avoid multiple manual keying."
June 7, 2002 -- According to the Financial Times (U.K.), British "postal workers are set to deliver mail in 20-minute bursts as Royal Mail tries to improve the efficiency of its deliveries. Mail deliveries in towns are set to be done by groups of between three and five staff working from a van in bursts of 15 to 20 minutes. The plan, which is being tested at the moment, reduces the amount of time spent walking on delivery routes and the volume of mail carried. It could be in place across the country by next year. Postal workers typically spend more than two hours walking their routes for the first daily delivery."
June 7, 2002 -- The Birmingham Post (United Kingdom) has reported that "a West Midland MEP has stepped up her campaign against plans to close thousands of post offices across the country. Liz Lynne (Lib Dem) has been collecting signatures on a region-wide 'Hands off our Post' petition as part of her campaign. Consignia, formerly known as the Post Office, plans to close a number of post offices - possibly as many as 3,000.
June 7, 2002 -- The Guardian (U.K.) has reported that "Royal Mail confirmed yesterday that it is to shed about 17,000 jobs over the next two years as it shakes up the way post is delivered in an effort to return to profitability."
June 7, 2002 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "negotiators for United Parcel Service and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters on Thursday reported progress as they wrapped up contract talks for the week."
June 7, 2002 -- The Gulf Daily News has reported that "a new economic strategy adopted by Saudi Arabia's Supreme Economic Council (SEC) will boost the kingdom's privatisation drive and expand the role of the private sector and foreign investors. The strategy outlines the procedures of privatisation, sectors on offer to the domestic private sector and foreign investors and a timetable for transferring certain services to private businesses."
June 6, 2002 -- AllAfrica.Com has reported that "the Nigerian Federal Executive Council has approved the setting up of a joint venture electronic mail (E-mail) and allied services company to be known as NETPOST from the partnership of Nigeria Postal Service (NIPOST), ABG Nigeria Limited and Dev. Ventures Limited of United states. The new company would have an initial share capital of N100 million."
June 6, 2002 -- The U.S. Postal Service has noted in the Federal Register that "pursuant to its authority under 39 U.S.C. 407, the Postal Service is changing fees for international special mail services to become effective simultaneously with changes to domestic rates and fees. These changes will be effective at 12:01 A.M., June 30, 2002.
June 6, 2002 -- Xinhua (China) has reported that "Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Thursday reaffirmed its opposition to a set of postal deregulation bills for full privatization of postal services. The move by the LDP Policy Research Council's Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications Division came two days after a House of Representatives committee on postal services kicked off debate over the bills."
June 6, 2002 -- Ananova (U.K.) has reported that "post offices are reporting a sharp rise in undeliverable post because of addresses which are inaccurate, incomplete or illegible. The Royal Mail is spending £10 million a year on trying to deliver such letters. A special team of postal workers is employed to look for clues."
June 6, 2002 -- Be sure to check the PostInsight.com web site at http://www.postinsight.pb.com/ There you will find posted a presentation by Emílio Rosa, Chairman, CTT Correios de Portugal, a presentation by Thomas E. Leavey, Director General, International Bureau, Universal Postal Union (UPU), a presentation by Luis A. Jimenez, Sr. Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer, Pitney Bowes, and Marc P. Morelli, Director, Postal Strategy Development, Pitney Bowes, and additional presentations from the Rutgers CRRI conference, Potsdam, Germany, will be coming in shortly. Presentations from the Foro Postal Madrid, Spring National Postal Forum, IEA European Postal, UPU GATS Seminar, UK Mail Summit, Mail Express Americas, Oracle Postal Forum, PostEurop Plenary, and Post-Expo conferences can be accessed via the Home Page. Click on the "Presentations" button on the left menu bar and select the name of the conference.
June 6, 2002 -- AFX Europe has reported that "Deutsche Post World Net AG said it will make an offer to postal workers when the third round of negotiations resume on Monday."
June 6, 2002 -- According to the Express (U.K.), British "postal workers have voted overwhelmingly to accept a two-year pay offer, ending the threat of national industrial action." See also the report in The Independent.
June 5, 2002 -- Dow Jones has reported that "TPG NV (the Dutch postal service) plans to cut 5,000 postal delivery jobs over the next five to eight years due to an expected decline in mail volumes. The job cuts are expected to be carried out through natural attrition. The Dutch postal and logistics company employs around 30,000 postal delivery workers, or the full-time equivalent of 25,000. The move is expected to yield cost savings of over EUR300 million a year once the workforce reductions have kicked in."
June 5, 2002 -- As the Florida Times-Union has noted, "Priority Mail isn't delivering well for consumers. The latest post office statistics show that the typical Priority Mail package reaches its destination more than a day and a half longer than first-class items sent for as little as 34 cents. Priority Mail, hyped as the Postal Service's low-cost answer to FedEx and UPS, costs a minimum $3.50. A third of the Priority Mail slated for delivery within three days didn't make the target for the fiscal year, compared to a 19 percent miss record for first-class mail during that period. The delivery cost is to rise by an average of 13.5 percent June 30, based on weight and distance. That increase follows another double-digit increase from last year. The latest statistics add fuel to the idea that it's time to retire a long-standing Postal Service's monopoly."
June 5, 2002 -- The Board of Governors of the Postal Service has announced its support of a bipartisan legislative proposal for postal reform legislation sponsored by members of the House of Representatives' Committee on Government Reform. Board Chairman Robert F. Rider said, 'We commend Chairman Dan Burton and Representatives Henry Waxman, John McHugh and Danny Davis for their effort to fashion a legislative proposal that goes a long way to address the needs of the Postal Service.' In a March 2001 letter to the President and the Postal Service's legislative leadership, the Governors stated that significant statutory reform would be necessary to continue to provide consistent and satisfactory levels of universal service to the American people." Be sure also to check the following on the U.S. Postal Service web site:
June 5, 2002 -- For more information on the Postal Service and Segway, check out the reports by Reuters.
June 5, 2002 -- Die Welt has reported that "Deutsche Post, the German postal service operator, is restructuring its e-business division, but stresses that it does not plan to withdraw from internet activities. The company plans to dispose of any e-business activities not expected to break even within two years, a buyer is sought for the shopping portal Evita, while subsidiaries E-Post and Deutsche Post Com are to be integrated into the group's letter division. Negotiations with potential bidders for Evita are reported to be showing sluggish progress, however."
June 5, 2002 -- The Federal Times has reported that "mailers expressed support for a U.S. Postal Service proposal to make the postage rate-setting process more predictable during a May 28 public forum, but they appeared divided over the best way to do it."
June 5, 2002 -- The Associated Press has reported that "German postal workers have beguan limited strikes in several parts of the country Tuesday to press demands for a 6.5 percent pay raise, following in the footsteps of factory workers who last month staged their first major walkouts in seven years. Some 200 employees of the national postal service Deutsche Post AG walked off the morning shift in Hamburg, disrupting mail distribution, the ver.di service industry union said. Workers at a sorting center in Burg, southeast of Berlin and near the Polish border, joined in the job action."
June 5, 2002 -- The Guardian ( United Kingdom) has reported that "Dutch postal group TPG is still open to discussing co-operation with Britain's former postal monopoly Consignia, although the two have ceased talks, according to reports. TPG said last week it was studying expanding its operations in Britain after the UK postal regulator Postcomm approved competition in bulk mail services from next year."
June 5, 2002 -- The Bahrain Tribune has reported that "Saudi Arabia's highest economic policy-making body yesterday endorsed a privatisation strategy among a series of decisions aimed at boosting the role of the private sector. The council also agreed to transfer the government-run postal services to an establishment run jointly by the private and public sectors as a prelude to its privatisation."
June 5, 2002 -- The Asahi Shimbun (Japan) has reported that "motorcycle couriers are considering offering express mail services in limited areas to take advantage of a bill before the Diet that would allow private companies to offer postal services under certain circumstances. The best chance they have of qualifying, however, is to guarantee that they can deliver mail entrusted to them within three hours-a condition that some in the industry say would be difficult to meet. Currently, motorcycle couriers are barred from handling mail. Instead, they specialize in the rapid pickup and delivery of small parcels and nonmail like catalogs."
June 5, 2002 -- As the Modesto Bee has noted, "for 15 days in August 1997, striking Teamsters shut down worldwide shipper United Parcel Service, forcing businesses and individuals to rethink the way they ship packages. Both UPS and union officials now claim they gleaned important lessons from that strike. By the stroke of midnight July 31, we'll know exactly how much they learned. That is when the current contract expires. If they haven't settled on a new contract, the Teamsters -- including nearly 200 workers at the Ceres UPS facility -- are prepared to strike again."
June 4, 2002 -- Ever on the offensive, the American Postal Workers Union has told its members that "postal management is continuing the implementation of its Transformation Plan in response to the instructions of Congress and the Postal Board of Governors. This effort is a means to mollify major mailers who continue to insist upon postal rates that rise less than inflation and permit continued profits at the expense of universal mail service. At the heart of this plan is the reduction of postal services."
June 4, 2002 -- FedEx Freight, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. has announced a series of new service offerings to meet demand for high service shipping options. This launch is in conjunction with the official kickoff of the FedEx Freight operating company re-branding. The service enhancements include expansion of FedEx Freight's next-day reach, expedited shipping and money-back guarantee programs. The re-branding, announced last February, applies a common branding system to FedEx Freight's two independent operating companies, formerly American Freightways and Viking Freight. With today's re-branding roll out, thousands of tractors and trailers, new driver uniforms and building signs will begin to feature the purple and red FedEx Freight logo. FedEx Freight expects to complete the re-branding process within 36 months.
June 4, 2002 -- The Sacramento Business Journal has reported that while "coupons, pills and milk all sport expiration dates; U.S. mail does not. It might someday. Bob Fredman, a Maryland entrepreneur has a patent pending on his Urgent Reply Mail -- a time-sensitive business-reply envelope. Fredman's envelopes would offer prepaid postage through a certain date, after which the original recipient would have to pay for postage to respond. Fredman expects interest to come from direct marketers, who might encourage consumers to respond quickly to a promotion."
June 4, 2002 -- The Polish News Bulletin has reported that "Poland's incumbent telecom TPSA and the Polish Post were expected to announce on Monday that they have signed an agreement enabling TPSA subscribers to pay their monthly telephone bills at the Polish Post's 8,000 outlets rather than just at TPSA's 900 customer service centres (BOKs), helping reduce the long queues at BOKs that have long irked customers and marred the telecom's image."
June 4, 2002 -- Expansion has reported that "Correos, the Spanish post office, is preparing the public tender which will put an end to the monopoly on the distribution of postage stamps."
June 4, 2002 -- First Data Corp. has announced that its Western Union Financial Services subsidiary has signed a multi-year contract with Australia's national postal service. Australia Post, which currently issues Western Union International Money Orders(R), will begin offering Western Union Money Transfer(R) services in each of its approximately 3000 on-line locations by the end of 2002. In addition to providing general postal services, Australia Post offers its customers a wide variety of financial services, including bill payment, banking and domestic and international money orders. Australia Post locations service more than a million customers each day and reach some of the country's most remote locations. The addition of Western Union Money Transfer to Australia Post's portfolio of financial service offerings will significantly extend availability of Western Union services throughout Australia and the Asia Pacific region.
June 3, 2002 -- The Denver Post has reported that "Congress soon will address a practice that has Alaskans sending groceries - and even bricks and other building supplies - by mail. Under something called "bypass mail," the Postal Service has been obligated since the 1980s to transport shipments of 1,000 pounds or more to rural Alaska - at parcel post rates. For Alaskans, bypass mail is a bargain. It's the way many in the state's remote bush country get their supplies. The parcel rates are well under what commercial air companies would charge to deliver goods to the state's remote areas. The Postal Service acknowledges it has been losing as much as $100 million a year on mail service in Alaska, much of it because of bypass mail."
June 3, 2002 -- IBA (Ion Beam Applications) has announced that it has renewed its contract with the United States Postal Service to continue sanitizing U.S. mail at its Bridgeport X-ray and electron beam facility, specifically dedicated to this purpose and located in New Jersey. A prolonged extension of the initial 3-month contracts signed between IBA and the U.S. Postal Service in November 2001 and February 2002, the renewed mail sanitization contract is now for 6 months and will generate further revenues of nearly $5 million for IBA. For IBA's mail sanitization services in 2002, this means secure revenues totaling $8 million until November 2002. Under the terms of the renewal, the U.S. Postal Service also has the option of extending the contract for a further 6 months after that date.
June 3, 2002 -- AFX (Europe) has reported that German "postal workers are threatening to strike as early as tomorrow after they failed to reach agreement for a wage increase with employer Deutsche Post AG in the first two rounds of negotiations."
June 3, 2002 -- AFX (Asia) has reported that "the Japanese government is considering allowing private entrants into the mail delivery market to share about 180,000 mailboxes currently owned by post offices."
June 3, 2002 -- According to the Warsaw Business Journal (Poland), "the national postal service has embarked on a new and costly strategy as it looks to compete on a liberalized market."
June 3, 2002 -- The Asahi Shimbun has reported that Japanese "Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's long-awaited postal reform drive will get priority in what remains of the current Diet session, sources said, as the government and ruling coalition parties decide how much extra time the Diet should sit. Reforms leading to eventual privatization of the postal system would head the agenda for the session due to end June 19. This legislation is regarded as the least the administration must do to retrieve credibility."
June 2, 2002 -- The Financial Times has reported that:
The chairman of Britain's postal regulatory body has defended its retreat from controversial plans to open the country's postal market to competition. Postcomm's initial prop-osals in January drew the wrath of members of parl-iament, trade unions and Consignia - the new name for the Post Office. Most importantly, the speed of the proposals perturbed Patricia Hewitt, the trade and industry secretary, whose department owns Consignia.
A problem for ministers is that independent regulators can sometimes act more independently than expected. Postcomm, the postal regulator, is the latest to offend its political masters over its plan to phase in competition in the post from April. It has now pushed this back by a year, with Consignia, as the Post Office calls itself, and its unions claiming victory for their argument that the organisation is not yet robust enough to cope.
June 2, 2002 -- Expansion (Spain) has reported that "the Spanish competition tribunal believes that the Spanish legal framework favours Correos, the post office, and Logista, the distribution group. In a report on the transport and logistics sector, the tribunal says that these privileges can distort competition."
June 2, 2002 -- Business Day (South Africa) has reported that the South African Post Office is to become the preferred authentication service provider in terms of the Electronic Communications and Transaction Bill, adopted by Parliament's communications committee. The bill is intended to promote the use of e-commerce by establishing a legislative framework for electronic transactions, as well as for the authentication of electronic signatures. The committee felt the Post Office had the infrastructure and geographic spread to act as a preferred authentication service provider."
June 2, 2002 -- The Guardian (United Kingdom) has reported that "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'. 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."
June 2, 2002 -- The Times of India has announced that "the new postal rates announced in the current budget would be effective from June 1. The rate of post cards have not been increased under the new rates. The new postal rates announced by the Department of Posts (DoP) include Rs 5 for transportation of envelopes weighing 20 grammes instead of the previous rate Rs 4. An inland letter will cost Rs 3 instead of Rs 2 while printed post cards would cost Rs 6 instead of Rs 3. The competition post cards will cost Rs 10 instead of Rs 6. The rate for book packet and sample packet will be Rs 4 for first 50 grammes instead of Rs 3. The additional rate for book packet weighing more than 50 grammes will be Rs 3 instead of Rs 4."
June 2, 2002 -- According to The Guardian (United Kingdom), "nine out of ten first class letters were delivered on time in recent months, slightly below the target set for the Royal Mail, new figures have shown. 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 increased from 86.5% in April last year, when the service was hit by industrial action. Second class mail achieved a reliability rate of 98.9%, beating its target by 0.4 of a point."
June 2, 2002 -- Il Sole 24 Ore ( Italy) has reported that "the Italian antitrust authorities have instructed Poste, the Italian national postal group, to pay a fine of 7.5m euros for intercepting mail entering Italy. The case was initiated by rival International Mail Express, and showed that Poste Italiane, in particular, had made no distinction between ordinary mail from outside the country and remailing."
June 2, 2002 -- The Christchurch Press (New Zealand) has reported that "Maltapost has terminated the contract of its New Zealand chief executive just three months into the job amid continued political ructions over that country's contract with troubled New Zealand Post subsidiary Transend."
June 2, 2002 -- The Daily Yomiuri ( Japan) has reported that "a major motorcycle and bicycle courier firm plans to enter the mail delivery business from April 2003setting it up to come the first private firm to enter the mail delivery service. Sokuhai Co., which is based in Shinagawa Ward, Tokyo, and is Japan's leading motorcycle and bicycle courier company, plans to start mail delivery services in Tokyo and surrounding areas. Sokuhai's plans to enter the mail delivery field are contingent on Diet approval of a bill being deliberated in the current Diet session to allow private companies to enter the mail delivery business."
June 1, 2002 -- The Federal Times has reported that according to a new report "U.S. Postal Service employees accounted for nearly half of all employee discrimination complaints filed governmentwide last year and cost the agency $16.3 million in claims costs."
June 1, 2002 -- InternetNews.com has reported that "The government says that U.S. retail e-commerce sales for the first quarter of this year were an estimated $9.849 billion, up about 19 percent from the first quarter a year ago but down from last year's holiday-packed fourth quarter estimate of $11.2 billion. The figures from the Commerce Department's Census Bureau are based on a survey of about 11,000 retailers."
June 1, 2002 -- According to Traffic World, "the United Parcel Service contract with the Teamsters doesn't expire for another 60 days but shippers and carriers are gearing up now for the unlikely event that the 230,000 UPS Teamsters walk out on their jobs. Because so many shippers and all UPS competitors were caught off guard when the Teamsters struck for 15 days in 1997, contingency plans and planning for the worst are the norm this time around." In the meantime, Bloomberg News has reported that "United Parcel Service Inc. and the Teamsters union reached a tentative agreement clarifying when supervisors can do union members' work under a new contract."
June 1, 2002 -- According to one Heritage Foundation fellow, "postal officials may be blaming massive budget deficits for the increase, but even they acknowledge it will do nothing to improve the system's long-term prospects. Faced with a changing technologies and shrinking business, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is in trouble, and its future in doubt."
June 1, 2002 -- The Mailhandlers union has reported that "in a teleconference with the Local Unions that was held on May 29, 2002, National President Billy Quinn announced his plans to retire at the end of June. With Quinn's retirement, the National Executive Board has announced its plans to appoint John Hegarty to fill the unexpired term of office."
June 1, 2002 -- In comments filed with the U.S. Department of State, the Association for Postal Commerce expressed its concerns regarding the World Customs Organization proposals to amend the CN 22 and CN 23 Customs forms and analagous forms for EMS and parcels. A copy of PostCom's comments have been posted on this site.
June 1, 2002 -- The U.S. Postal Service has alerted mailers that "effective June 30, 2002, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) C050.2.2h is revised to change the nonmachinable criteria for First-Class Mail and Standard Mail letters. Specifically, folded self-mailers with a fold that is perpendicular to the mailing address that are constructed according to the standards for automation rates will not be assessed the nonmachinable surcharge." A copy of the notice that will appear in the June 12 issue of the Postal Bulletin has been posted on this site. As had been originally published in the Federal Register, if a folded self-mailer was tabbed correctly to qualify for automation rates, but then fell to Presorted rates (say, because the mailer couldn't get an address match), it would be surcharged. This revision fixes that inconsistency. A piece with a perpendicular fold that is tabbed correctly would be mailable at auto rates and at Presorted rates and would NOT be surcharged. A piece with a perpendicular fold that is not tabbed would be mailable at the Presorted rates plus the nonmachinable surcharge.
June 1, 2002 -- The U.S. Postal Service is requesting comments from the mailing industry on several proposals to reduce the volume of undeliverable-as-addressed (UAA) mail. The Postal Service intends to extend the Move Update requirement for presorted rate mailings beyond First-Class Mail to also include Periodicals, Standard Mail, and Package Services; to decrease from 180 days to 90 days the window a mailer has to process addresses through a USPS-approved Move Update process prior to the mailing date; and to remove manual notifications from ancillary service endorsements as a stand-alone option to satisfy the Move Update requirement. Also being considered is a requirement for more frequent use of address matching software and a requirement for that software to utilize more current address matching directories. The Postal Service is not proposing any immediate changes to the Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) or the elimination of manual ancillary service endorsements for single- piece rated mail. The Postal Service will give due notice of these changes with an intended implementation date of no sooner than 18 months from the publication of this notice. Comments must be received on or before August 29, 2002. Written comments should be delivered to the Office of Product Management--Addressing, National Customer Support Center, United States Postal Service, 6060 Primacy Pkwy, Ste. 201, Memphis, TN 38188-0001. Comments may be transmitted via facsimile to 901-821-6206 or via e-mail to email@example.com.
June 1, 2002 -- The U.S. Postal Service has just informed mailers that "pursuant to its authority under 39 U.S.C. 407, the Postal Service is changing fees for international special mail services to become effective simultaneously with changes to domestic rates and fees." The official announcement is scheduled for publication in the Federal Register during the week of June 2. Mailers are furious over the lack of any early notification of this rule, given that mailers and the Postal Service have been meeting for the past two months and had agreed to sufficient advance notice of any change affecting mail preparation software should be provided before making any change final. A copy of the draft notice that will be published has been posted on this site.
June 1, 2002 -- According to ZDNet News, "in many cases, businesses that account for the majority of consumer bills have already signed up with such companies to receive electronic payments. What's left are the thousands of smaller businesses--such as plumbers, carpenters and gardeners--that send out relatively few bills and have little incentive to accept online payments."
June 1, 2002 -- SmartMoney.Com has reported that "air-cargo volume grew last month for the first time in more than a year, a sign that the tentative economic recovery is taking hold at more businesses that use planes to replenish their inventories and move finished goods. The Air Transport Association, the main trade group for U.S. carriers, said scheduled air-freight traffic rose 0.4% to 1.87 billion revenue ton miles in April from 1.86 billion a year earlier. A revenue ton mile is one ton of revenue-generating traffic carried one mile. The results reflect world-wide volume at 18 carriers, including FedEx Corp. (FDX) and United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS)."
June 1, 2002 -- The next USPS-PRC-Mailer rate summit is set for June 27. Registration open through June 12. Visit www.prc.gov or www.usps.com to register. The June 27 meeting will focus on negotiated service agreements. Also, USPS officials will report on the suggestions made at today's meeting, commenting on what could be done in next rate case.
June 1, 2002 -- CEP News (Courier- Express- and Postal-Market News) has reported that:
The Danish parliament gave the all all-clear for the post to be transformed into a public limited com company. pany. In an official statement Post Danmark declared that the transformation, which was backdated to 1 January 2002, would smooth the way for privatisation. Legislation now enables the government to sell up to 25% of the share capital.
In an interview last week with the French daily ‘Le Monde’ La Poste Poste’s human ’s resources manager Mr Georges Lefebvre announced th the start of a unique recruitment e campaign. Full-page newspaper adverts as well as a home page for spontaneous job applications are intended to draw job-seekers’ attention to La Poste. Mr Lefebvre explained that the post would lose 140,000 employees through retirement over the next ten years, and the same number would have to be replaced. La Poste’s target this year is to find 8,000 new employees.
The British post Consignia will be renamed Royal Mail plc.
In June the Norwegian parliament will have to decide on Posten Norge BA’s ’s possible change of corporate form to a public limited company.
Mr Luiz Fernandez Somoza, managing director of the Spanish CEP and transport firm Transportes Azkar Azkar, has announced his company’s intention to expand , on the Portuguese market.
ABX Logistics intends to lower the prices for its IC courier service, which is a same same-day service available in Germany and Austria, from 1 July.
Last week the British Securicor Omega Express (SOE) confirmed its involvement in the development of a British B2C network together with JD Williams, a mail order company (around 3,500 employees, 2002 turnover: approx. 710m e euros). uros). The two companies intend to put rapid household deliveries into practice, with transports being arranged via the existing Omega Express network to the SOE distribution warehouse nearest to the customer, from where JD Williams vehicles take over the consignments and deliver them to the customer.
Deutsche Post AG is likely to take over a majority in the Spanish CEP service Guipuzcoana in October.
The Norwegian news agency Norsk Telegrambyraa reports that 1.6 million people in Norway have already tried inte internet shopping. rnet Every month around 600,000 log on for shopping purposes, a 40% increase in one year.
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.
June 1, 2002 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "the FedEx Pilots Association will merge with the Air Line Pilots Association on June 1."
June 1, 2002 -- The New York Times has reported that "more than half of all banks offer online banking today, up from 12 percent only two years ago, according to IDC. J. P. Morgan Chase said that the number of customers using its online banking system had doubled since last year, though it would not provide specific figures."
June 1, 2002 -- Asia Pulse has reported that "German-based logistics company Deutsche Post Global Mail GmbH has announced the appointment of Michael Culme-Seymour as Regional Manager Asia Pacific. He will be based in Singapore and responsible for spearheading Deutsche Post Global Mail's expansion throughout Asia Pacific."
June 1, 2002 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "FedEx Corp. has declared a quarterly dividend of five cents per share of common stock, the first in the company's history. The dividend is payable July 8, 2002 to shareholders of record at the close of business on June 17, 2002."