Postal News from January 2003
January 31, 2003 -- The Associated Press has reported that "Airborne Inc., parent of the third-largest U.S. express-delivery company, Friday said fourth-quarter earnings soared on growth in ground-delivery shipments and the return to profitability of its international operations."
January 31, 2003 -- The Rocky Mountain News has reported that "TeleTech Holdings Inc., a maker of software used to manage customer relations, will cut 1,200 jobs after losing a U.S. Postal Service contract."
January 31, 2003 -- In a teleconference with members of the press, U.S. Postal Service Chief Financial Office Richard Strasser said that:
January 31, 2003 -- Comme ntWire has reported that "Hays is on the look out for potential bidders for the logistics sector that was once central to its operations. Speculation into potential buyers for Hays Logistics has begun and the operations must be tempting to groups looking specifically to expand their presence in the UK and European markets. Hays' core operations consist of personnel recruitment and logistics."
January 31, 2003 -- The U.S. General Accounting Office has issued its report on its review of the findings and recommendations of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) concerning the Postal Service's funding of its Civil Service Retirement System obligation.
January 31, 2003 -- From other sources around the web:
January 31, 2003 -- The Associated Press has reported that Japanese "Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi insisted Friday there would be no financial crisis in the world's second-largest economy, promising tax cuts and pleading for time for reforms to work. Beginning in April, Japan will open its postal services to competition and convert the agency into a public corporation, which Koizumi eventually wants to privatize. He has yet to say if he will try to scale back government control of Japan's postal savings system, the world's biggest savings bank with more than US$2 trillion in deposits."
January 31, 2003 -- DM News has reported that "Convergys has won a four-year contract to provide call center services for the U.S. Postal Service, apparently wresting the USPS from rival firm TeleTech."
January 31, 2003 -- Ha'aretz (Israel) has reported that "some 5,000 Postal Authority employees are going on strike Friday in protest of the authority's plan to lay off 270 workers as part of a cost-cutting drive, ahead of its privatization mid-year. As a result of the strike, 230 post office branches are closed to the public as of Friday. However, some 400 private post offices operating as franchises of the Postal Authority will remain open. These offices offer the same services as regular post offices with the exception of foreign currency transactions."
January 31, 2003 -- Dow Jones has reported that "a draft bill prepared by the Office of Personnel Management to allow the U.S. Postal Service to reduce its annual payments to the Civil Service Retirement System would improve the Postal Service's fiscal position but could increase budget deficits by as much as $41 billion over the next decade, the Congressional Budget Office said."
January 31, 2003 -- Die Welt (Germany) has reported that "Germany's post office association, PAGD, is thought to be unhappy with the new deals being offered to its members by Deutsche Post (DP), which runs the postal service in the country. The association has complained that its members are being forced to sign contracts 25-35 per cent down on their last ones, with cancellation the cost of failing to sign. The company defended the move, saying the business needed to become more economically efficient. DP announced a strict cost-cutting plan when it was forced to cut its carriage charges by the regulator."
January 30, 2003 -- The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin is available on this site. If you're not getting the PostCom Bulletin on a regular basis, why not ask how you can have the Bulletin delivered to you every week. You should know what you've been missing. Want a sample of our Bulletin? Just ask for it.
January 30, 2003 -- In response to the General Accounting Office's recently released report, U.S. Postal Service (USPS) Chief Financial Officer Richard Strasser said that the Postal Service "will continue our focused efforts to implement the Plan, both today and over the coming years. We are also working closely with the President's Commission on the U.S. Postal Service as it identifies the operational, structural, and financial challenges facing the Postal Service; examines potential solutions; and recommends legislative and administrative steps to ensure the long-term viability of postal service in the United States."
January 30, 2003 -- The Congressional Budget Office has posted its report House Budget Committee chairman Nussle on its web site. It said in part:
Although reducing the Postal Service's payments to the retirement fund would improve the agency's internal fiscal position, it could increase deficits or reduce surpluses in the unified budget by as much as $10 billion to $15 billion over the 2003-2007 period and by as much as $36 billion to $41 billion over the 2003-2013 period. The impact would depend on whether the Postal Service responded to its improved fiscal position by delaying increases in postage rates, by increasing spending, by repaying debt owed to the Treasury, or by some combination thereof.This isn't good.
A more-complete accounting for retirement costs, however, involves more than how pensions are funded. It takes into account all retirement costs, including health benefits. The Postal Service accounts for pension obligations as they are earned by its employees, but it does not do the same for retiree health benefits. Those benefits are paid for when its workers become retirees. Although that is true for all federal agencies, it is particularly important for the Postal Service, which is required to set postal rates to cover its full costs. Failure to recognize retiree health insurance benefits as workers accrue them will only push those costs into the future. If the Postal Service accounted for and funded both retiree pensions and health benefits as they were earned by its employees, its operating costs would be higher, and some combination of increased postal rates or cost savings would be required. Those changes would reduce overall budget deficits or increase surpluses.
January 30, 2003 -- BruneiDirect.com has reported that "the [Brunei] Postal Services Department handled more than 13,041,000 mails on year 2002, which was a record. That was one reason that led some of the mail not delivered on time. The Permanent Secretary at the Communications Ministry Dato Haji Abdullah said it is undeniable that among the causes of some of the mail delivered late was due to the staff of the Postal Services Department itself. Others include less public cooperation in assisting postmen to do their job. Often mail was posted without complete or incorrect addresses, houses of buildings not having any post boxes, dogs without leash, occupants changing addresses and other problems, which are beyond the department's control.
January 30, 2003 -- In its most recent report on the U.S. Postal Service, the U.S. General Accounting Office said that "the Service has made progress in addressing its challenges and has developed a Transformation Plan (the Plan) that contains steps to guide it in the future. Challenges remain, however, and leadership and sustained attention by the Service will be critical to carrying out its transformation." GAO's report on the Office of Personnel Management's review of the Postal Service's funding of its Civil Service Retirement liabilities will be issued tomorrow.
January 30, 2003 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that "the European Union Commission is planning to take legal action against Italy, the Netherlands and Denmark over laws allowing government influence in former state-owned companies. The Commission is concerned about Dutch laws regarding TPG NV (TP) and Royal KPN NV as well."
January 30, 2003 -- The Institut D'Economie Industrielle will be holding its third conference on "Regulation, Competition and Universal Service in the Postal Sector" in Toulouse, France on November 13-14, 2003. The purpose of the conference is to discuss recent theoretical and applied research dealing with competition regulation and universal service in the postal sector, and to provide a forum of discussion and dialogue between practionners and academic researchers. Among the topics discussed: Industrial economics and econometrics in postal sector; Competition policy in a liberalized postal sector; Cost of universal service and universal service fund; and Universal service and competition Price regulation in the postal sector. More information for those interested in submitting papers has been posted on this site.
January 30, 2003 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that:
January 30, 2003 -- AFP Asia has reported that "the [Japanese] Postal Services Agency is considering adopting a system that allows officials to apply for promotions, in a move to shift its seniority-based system to a merit-based one The plan is expected to become the personnel system for a public postal corporation to be established April 1 to take over the currently state-run postal services of mail delivery, postal savings and 'kampo' life insurance"
January 30, 2003 -- Reuters has reported that "Dutch mail, express and logistics company TPG on Thursday declined to comment on a report in the Financial Times it was interested in buying the logistics unit of UK business services group Hays"
January 30, 2003 -- XtraMSN has reported that "New Zealand state-owned Kiwibank said that 100,000 customers had signed up in inside its first year of operation, ahead of forecasts Kiwibank, owned by state-owned postal services company New Zealand Post, began operation in February 2002 and expects to lose money until its third year of operation"
January 30, 2003 -- Canada Post and Borderfree Ltd have announced a partnership that will provide Canadian catalogue and Internet shoppers with broader product selection and a seamless, hassle-free cross- border shopping experience, while supporting US merchants with an integrated technology, marketing and logistics solution for accessing the Canadian marketplace Currently 40 per cent of all Canadian online purchases are from US web sites and Canadian catalogue and Internet shoppers are experiencing a number of frustrations including limited choice and access to US merchants Higher domestic pricing, hidden charges, high shipping costs, long delivery times and difficulties involved in returning items and getting duties and taxes reimbursed are among the concerns expressed by Canadian consumers The Canada Post/Borderfree Partnership will solve many of the problems created by the complexities involved in cross-border transactions"
January 30, 2003 -- SinoCast has noted that "as China is getting its state-owned Parcel Service Company of China Post ready for public listing, Deutsche Post intends to purchase some of its stock, noted spokesman of Deutsche Post lately in Bonn Deutsche Post has started various effective collaborations with China since 1986 Chinese market for postal service expands very fast and is very promising Business of Deutsche Post in China has been growing very rapidly Therefore, Deutsche Post has the intention to expand its business in China"
January 30, 2003 -- The Globe and Mail (Canada) has reported that "the Opposition called yesterday for an investigation into Canada Post's purchase of a half-stake in a messenger service owned by a Liberal fundraiser and into the postal service's backing of the company's controversial expansion"
January 30, 2003 -- The Wa ll Street Journal has reported that "the US Postal Service, continuing to trim its enormous work force as first-class mail volume shrinks and mail-handling technology improves, is seeking approval to offer early retirement to about 58,000 workers In a letter to the federal Office of Personnel Management, the Postal Service said it wants to offer early retirement to certain clerks, maintenance employees, motor-vehicle operators and other workers who are members of the American Postal Workers Union because there will be about 16,000 more union employees than are needed by Sept 30" See also the Washin gton Post
January 30, 2003 -- The Denve r Business Journal has reported that "Denver-based TeleTech Holdings Inc has lost its $56 million annual contract with the United States Postal Service (USPS) The contract represented 55 percent of TeleTech's 2002 revenues TeleTech provides call-center services to the USPS from two US-based customer management centers"
January 30, 2003 -- Onlineie (Ireland) has reported that "the Communications Regulator says An Post will not be introducing gate boxes until final consultations are agreed between herself and the postal service Etain Doyle was questioned about An Post's plans by the joint Oireachtas committee on communications today Ms Doyle says she will have the final say on the proposals based upon her findings"
January 30, 2003 -- Gha na Web has reported that "the management of the Ghana Postal Services Corporation (Ghana Post) spent last week brainstorming on how it can efficiently serve its customers in the wake of the 904 per cent rise in fuel prices"
January 29, 2003 -- The Mailers Council's Robert McLean has reported that "House Appropriations Chairman Young says he may merge Transportation and Treasury-Postal Service panels to make room for subcommittee on Homeland Security Rep Istook would remain chairman
January 29, 2003 -- The Speaker of the US House of Representatives has appointed the following conferees on HJR 2, omnibus appropriations bill: Young (FL), Regula, Rogers (KY), Wolf, Kolbe, Walsh, Taylor (NC), Hobson, Istook, Bonilla, Knollenberg, Kingston, Obey, Murtha, Dicks, Sabo, Mollohan, Kaptur, Visclosky, Lowey, Serrano, and Moran (VA) Let the conferencing begin!
January 29, 2003 -- According to Operations & Fulfillment, "online retailers fared better than their land-based counterparts this past holiday season, and here's some quantitative evidence why According to a recent study by the e-tailing group inc, paying more attention to customer service and order fulfillment yielded substantial payoffs for e-merchants"
January 29, 2003 -- CEP News (Courier-Express-Postal) has reported that:
CEP News is without a doubt one of the best newsletters you can find that focuses on the courier, express, and postal market If you don't get it, when it comes to the CEP business worldwide, you REALLY won't "get it" For more information on a subscription to CEP News, contact the publisher
January 29, 2003 -- Traffic World has reported that:
January 29, 2003 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "transportation conglomerate CNF Inc said net income totaled $22 million in the fourth quarter, compared to a net loss of $2171 million for the same period a year ago Revenue totaled $128 billion, up from $114 billion the previous year, while operating income was $54 million, compared to a loss of $337 million a year ago The turnaround was spurred by a dramatic improvement at Emery Forwarding, which had an operating profit of $46 million on revenue of $4974 million"
January 29, 2003 -- The Charlotte Observer has reported that "a legal defense foundation filed charges with a labor board on Tuesday challenging a contract signed by United Parcel Service and the Teamsters union The contract, which was negotiated last July, covers more than 200,000 employees of the package delivery company and gives them a 22 percent pay raise over the next six years Attorneys from the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation say the contract also illegally requires company officials to pressure workers to join the union"
January 29, 2003 -- "Would you open the box?" That, said the Sun-Herald, was "the question posed by a commercial for international delivery service Federal Express on Sunday's Super Bowl"
January 29, 2003 -- The President's Commission on the Postal Service has noted in the Federal Register that it "is committed to ensuring that every affected and interested party has an opportunity to share its views and concerns with us Any party that wishes to submit a written statement on any issue or issues that fall within the established scope of the Commission's mission is strongly encouraged to do so The Commission has established three methods by which statements can be submitted for consideration and review"
January 29, 2003 -- The Federal Times has reported that "thousands of postal workers could take early retirement this year if the Office of Personnel Management approves a US Postal Service plan to reduce the work force Early retirement would be offered to American Postal Workers Union members from April 1 through Sept 30 under the Postal Service’s plan"
January 29, 2003 -- As DM News has noted, "an amendment addressing the US Postal Service's funding of a retirement plan has been added to a report accompanying the Senate version of the omnibus fiscal 2003 appropriations bill Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-TN, added the amendment last week The appropriations bill, HJ Res 2, could be passed as early as today Sen Susan Collins, R-ME, who heads the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, reportedly has prepared a bill to change the funding but is waiting to see whether the GAO report contradicts the OPM before she introduces it"
January 29, 2003 -- According to YLEOnline (Finland), "people in Finland are generally more content than other EU citizens with infrastructure services such as transport, information technology and energy deliveries The Finnish Post earned the highest rating"
January 29, 2003 -- Aft enposten (Norway) has reported that its "English Web Desk has received many letters from readers upset over new fees and delays involved in receiving packages from the US" It provided a sample of their responses
January 29, 2003 -- According to the Arab News (Saudi Arabia), "the Postal Department has readied 30 motorcycles for service during Haj, Salim Al-Silmy, director of posts in Makkah, told Al-Madinah newspaper The main purpose of this is to provide fast service for pilgrims He encouraged postal workers to work hard to provide good services this season"
January 29, 2003 -- Xinhua Financial News has reported that "China's State Postal Bureau (China Post) is aiming to double its profit to 240 million yuan (US$2892 million) and increase its revenue by 78 percent to 55 billion yuan in 2003, the first year of the end of the government's subsidies to China Post, Postmaster General Liu Liqing said The China Business Times said the target is quite a formidable one, as China Post only recorded 120 million yuan in profit in 2002, helped by one billion yuan worth of subsidies from the government The newspaper said China Post started to receive government subsidies in 1999, when the state post bureau spun off its telecommunications businesses China Post received eight billion yuan in subsidies in 1999, decreasing to five billion yuan in 2000, three billion yuan in 2001 and one billion yuan in 2002"
January 29, 2003 -- According to the Moscow Times, "the number of Internet outlets at post offices has risen to 6,600 from about 1,000 a year ago, a representative of the Communication Ministry's postal department said Ilya Genkin said the postal service has been implementing the project, named Cyberpost, using its own funds as well as some unspecified loans He added that public access Internet outlets served more than 200,000 people in December The project, which was launched on Aug 1, 2001, envisages Internet outlets in all of Russia's 40,000 post offices" See also the report by the BBC Monitoring Service
January 29, 2003 -- According to the Irish Times, "the European Commission has sought yet more information from the Government about the terms of An Post's contract to deliver social welfare payments"
January 29, 2003 -- "The issue," claimed the Nortwest Indiana Times is "cutting back on customer service Our opinion: It is unfortunate that the US Postal Service has to risk further damage to its reputation, but most customers have other options besides visiting the post office"
January 29, 2003 -- The Atlanta Journal Constitution has reported that "Atlanta-based United Parcel Service reported a 133 percent increase in fourth-quarter net income, helped in large part by the final settlement of a tax dispute with the Internal Revenue Service The company's international business operations also helped boost the bottom line The package-delivery service, however, said it continues to be hurt by the struggling US economy, with a 13 percent volume decline during the quarter, although that was an improvement over the two previous quarters"
January 29, 2003 -- Alan Robinson and Krisshawn Stanley, in a paper entitled "Who Has The Advantage?" note that "the current parcel delivery industry includes firms that operate under different legislative and regulatory frameworks These differences are a legacy of the different origins of the various carriers and the type of services that the competitor provided under their original charter The differences are currently of interest because competitors now seek to make changes in the framework under which they operate or challenge the authority of existing operators to provide service"
January 28, 2003 -- In his most recent perspective for Direct magazine, postal commentator Gene Del Polito said that "despite what happens within the telemarketing and Internet marketing arena, mail most likely will remain the communication alternative that will remain most unencumbered by state and federal regulation And, despite all that's been done to electrify and digitize America, mail will remain for the foreseeable future as the only medium that makes it possible to communicate with every business and individual in the nation"
January 28, 2003 -- Escher Group Limited, a leading provider of peer-to-peer messaging and data management solutions, today announced that it has signed an agreement with Fujitsu Services to extend the service term of its counter automation installation at the UK's Post Office Limited The contract will now run until March 2010 and extends several existing agreements between Fujitsu Services and Escher It covers the full range of Escher products that are currently in use by Post Office Ltd, including Riposte(R), WebRiposte(TM), and Mails(TM)"
January 28, 2003 -- East Bay Newspapers has reported that "for 14 years, she was the help behind of the counter Now, she needs a bit of her own Barrington native Jane McNally-Bowness, 41, a window clerk at the Barrington post office since 1988, is battling advanced breast and bone cancer, illnesses she found out about early last year after giving birth to her second daughter, Lorreen The 1980 Barrington High School graduate has been out of work since November and, with most of her disability leave exhausted and medical bills mounting, her friends and co-workers are planning a fundraiser for her this coming Valentine’s Day, Feb 14 For more information, contact Mr Bisbano at 401-474-0084 or write to him at Post Office Box 335, Barrington, RI 02806"
January 28, 2003 -- As the W all Street Journal has noted, "free shipping has become the online-shopping equivalent of frequent-flier miles for travelers Take it away, and you're likely to have customer rebellion, analysts say Keep it, and you could be eating millions in costs But like it or not -- and customers love it -- online companies are having to offer and keep free-shipping promotions to lure more mainstream buyers onto the Internet"
January 28, 2003 -- In his latest communication to his membership, American Postal Workers Union (APWU) President William Burrus reported that "the union has received a copy of the Postal Service’s request to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) for authority to offer employees represented by the APWU Voluntary Early Retirement The USPS seeks to offer “early outs” to APWU-represented employees from April 1 through Sept 30, 2003 The request is in accordance with the terms of the contract extension ratified by APWU members last month In a letter to OPM dated Jan 23, Chief Operating Officer Patrick F Donahoe wrote, 'At this time, there are approximately 16,000 positions represented by the APWU excess to the needs of the service nationwide by September 30 We anticipate that approximately 50 percent of these positions will be vacated through normal attrition' Voluntary Early Retirement Authority will help the Postal Service reduce a portion of the balance of that number, he wrote"
January 28, 2003 -- Onlineie(Ireland) has reported that "the European Commission has asked the Government for more information about the awarding of the social welfare payments contract to An Post The Commission has been probing the contract on foot of complaints from the US company Transaction National Services (TNS) An Post was awarded the contract to deliver social welfare payments back in 1999 and it is worth around E45m a year to the loss-making postal services company The contract, however, was not put out to tender and this lies at the centre of the complaint made by TNS"
January 28, 2003 -- The Board of Governors of the US Postal Service will conduct its monthly meeting in Las Vegas, NV, at the Four Seasons Hotel located at 3960 Las Vegas Boulevard South, on Monday and Tuesday, Feb 3-4, 2003 Among the topics discussed will be a presentation on the Corporate Flats Strategy by Senior Vice President, Operations, John Rapp
January 28, 2003 -- The Cleveland Plain-Dealer has reported that "a US Postal Service manager was forced to disrobe and walk naked in front of about a dozen employees yesterday morning by a colleague who threatened to kill her unless she complied" Talk about nuts
January 28, 2003 -- Traffic World has reported that "a recent federal appeals court decision is being heralded as a big win for shippers The court ordered a trucking company to pay a greeting card manufacturer the full invoice value of a shipment of Christmas cards that was lost and arrived four months behind schedule"
January 28, 2003 -- Commuter/Regional Airline News has reported that "the US Postal Service has laid out its new program for moving the mail to and from rural areas It has developed a 'matrix' of routes that will enable regional carriers to know which routes and under what conditions the mail will be offered for air transport The Postal Service will also operate under a different contract philosophy than the one currently in use with the US regional carriers Although still allowing regionals to carry the mail, the new system will be "a significant departure from the current process of negotiated set rate contracting," according to the Postal Service It will also include provisions for recognition of code share partners and subcontracting The terms of the new contract proposal and how it will impact the regional cargo carriers that fly the mail was the subject of a pre-bidding conference held in Washington, DC, on Jan 13 The new contract will replace the Air Systems-Regional (ASYS-R) contract that will expire on May 30"
January 28, 2003 -- Klaus Zumwinkel, chief executive of Deutsche Post AG, talks with Bloomberg's Andreas Scholz about the impact of a war against Iraq on the company, the possibility of increasing its market share in the US and the outlook for 2003 They speak at the World Economic Forum There's a catch, though The interview is in German
January 28, 2003 -- The East African Standard (Kenya) has reported that the "employees of the Postal Corporation of Kenya, Western region are up in arms against the management over alleged harassment and infringement of human rights"
January 27, 2003 -- Expansion (Spain) has reported that "the management board of Correos y Telegrafos, the Spanish post office, yesterday approved the appointment of Victor Calvo-Sotelo as new chairman"
January 27, 2003 -- South American Business Information has reported that "the international courier company DHL Worldwide Express has announced the entry into operation of the first aircraft of the 34 plane fleet which it intends to develop DHL, owned by the German postal service (Deutsche Post Euro Express) and the Danzas company, plans to have the most advanced fleet of planes in this sector"
January 27, 2003 -- AGI Online has reported that " Massimo Sarmi, the managing director of the Italian postal System, became a member of the board of directors of the International Post Corporation, elected by a shareholder assembly held on January 24 in Brussels This is the first time that a director of the Italian postal system has joined this important international organization In their first meeting, the board nominated Helge Israelen, CEO of Post Denmark, as chairman and Klaus Zumwinkel, chairman of Deutsche Post, as deputy chairman The board of IPC holds three-year terms International Post was created in 1989 by the main European postal systems, the US and Canada, in order to study, develop and supply products and services for their members in the hopes of improving their performance and strengthening their positions in an ever-more competitive market
January 27, 2003 -- Smiths Detections has been selected as part of the Northrop Grumman team to fulfill a pre-production contract for 19 bio-agent detection systems (BDS) for the US Postal Service (USPS) This follows further development of a system already piloted by the USPS and is expected to lead to a multi-million dollar production contract in the near future Nearly 300 sorting offices nationwide are expected to install the detection system that is designed to help protect postal employees from the threat of bioterrorism
January 27, 2003 -- The Associated Press has reported that "people who want their mail held or need to schedule a package delivery can now arrange for the service online The Postal Service said Monday it has added those services to its web page at wwwuspscom"
January 27, 2003 -- According to the New York Times, "newspapers and political organizations are engaged in technological one-upmanship over 'AstroTurf' — letters to the editor that look like authentic grass-roots responses from readers but are not"
January 27, 2003 -- At its regularly scheduled winter meeting the Board of Directors of the Association for Postal Commerce the following were elected as new directors of the association: Paul Imbeierowicz (Abacus), Jose M Pariente (International Masters Publishers), the Honorable Wayne A Schley (United Parcel Service) Schley, as many will recall, served for many years as the staff director of the Senate Rules Committee, as chief postal aide to Sen Ted Stevens of Alaska, and as a Commissioner on the Postal Rate Commission
January 27, 2003 -- Do w Jones has reported that "In their desperation to get a decent, uninterrupted kip each night, residents living near some European airports are starting to give executives like Thomas Weidemeyer a few restless nights of their own Weidemeyer is the chief operating officer of United Parcel Service (UPS), the US company with a firm footprint in Europe Companies like his and European businesses which rely heavily on next-day deliveries - particularly manufacturers - are threatened by a clampdown on nightflying at some of Europe's major airports, like Brussels, Lisbon, Frankfurt and Paris' Charles de Gaulle Nightflying is an important factor in enabling express parcel services like UPS to get customers' packages to their destination by the following morning"
January 27, 2003 -- The Telegraph (UK) has reported that "Royal Mail's rivals are considering making a formal complaint to the competition authority in Brussels which could lead to VAT being put on bulk business mail and parcel delivery Hays' tact: post office competitor Hays DX wants stamps to remain VAT-free Representatives from Business Post, Dutch postal operator TPG and Hays DX held a meeting in Brussels earlier this month to argue that the current legislation, which exempts Royal Mail from charging VAT, gives it an unfair advantage"
January 27, 2003 -- The Citizen Times has reported that "on Sunday, the 18 soldiers of the 2nd Platoon of the 449 Adjutant General Company had the chance to publicly say goodbye to their own families as the Army Reserve postal unit was called to active duty With the US military buildup in the Persian Gulf for a possible war against Iraq, these soldiers will make sure the mail from home gets to the troops"
January 26, 2003 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "Danzas, the logistics subsidiary of Deutsche Post World Net, said it has signed with Lemuir Group of India to form a joint logistics venture, Danzas Lemuir Pvt Ltd"
January 26, 2003 -- An Airborne Express courier was sentenced today by US District Judge Stephen M Orlofsky to five months in federal prison and five months house arrest for sending threats to injure others in connection with an anthrax and smallpox hoax he perpetrated in October 2001
January 26, 2003 -- The Independent (United Kingdom) has reported that "Martin O'Neill, the Labour chairman of the powerful Commons Trade and Industry Select Committee, is leading a backbench revolt over the Government's decision to phase out benefit payments through post offices Mr O'Neill has put down an early day motion calling on ministers to ensure that there is a level playing field when claimants come to decide whether to continue drawing their benefits using a Post Office card account or have them paid direct into bank accounts"
January 26, 2003 -- The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette has reported that "a House committee on Friday endorsed a resolution urging the US postmaster general not to move a mail processing center from Fort Smith to Fayetteville The House State Agencies and Governmental Affairs Committee sent House Resolution 1002, by Rep Jim Medley, R-Fort Smith, to the House over the objections of state Rep Bill Pritchard, who represents Fayetteville 'This is not a Fayetteville versus Fort Smith [issue],' Medley told the committee 'To my knowledge, Fayetteville has not requested this, and I believe they currently have a processing service center that serves Northwest Arkansas' Medley said his constituents fear they will lose 'a quick, daily, next-day service' if the mail processing center in Fort Smith is transferred to Fayetteville The transfer would mean the loss of 50 to 60 jobs in Fort Smith, but these people won't be able to work at the Fayetteville center because it is overstaffed, he said
January 26, 2003 -- The Postal Service will hold the first meeting of a Consensus Committee to develop recommendations for revision of USPS STD 4B, which governs the design of apartment house mailboxes The committee will develop and adopt its recommendations through a consensus process The committee will consist of persons who represent the interests affected by the proposed rule, including apartment house type mailbox manufacturers, mailbox distributors, mailbox installers and servicers, postal customers, and apartment house builders, owners and managers
January 26, 2003 -- The Edmunton Sun (Canada) has reported that "a World Vision fund-raising mailout asking people to rush donations in to avoid a possible Canada Post strike is misleading advertising, postal officials say The mailout - sent this month and last - says, 'Possible Canada Post strike this month' The Crown corporation is in negotiations with the union, but to claim that a strike is looming i 'totally unfounded,' Canada Post spokesman Teresa Williams told The Sun yesterday 'It certainly puts fear in people when fear is not warranted,' Williams said 'It is inappropriate and unfair to cause that kind of fear and panic in individuals'" See also the Ottawa Sun News
January 25, 2003 -- The US Postal Service is publishing an interim rule to provide "standards for a Postal Service experiment testing whether additional rate incentives would encourage the co-palletization and drop-shipment of currently sacked bundles of individual Periodicals publications"
January 24, 2003 -- Expansion (Spain) has reported that "following his appointment as the new head of Correos, the Spanish post office, Victor Calvo-Sotelo has two challenges to face in his new role: first, the deregulation of the market and the arrival of many new companies in the sector; second, the process of diversification that was started by his predecessor, Alberto Nunez Feijoo Around 200 companies, grouped under the employers' association Asempre, have already filed a complaint against Correos for abuse of dominant position Specifically, Asempre claims that the state-controlled operator has committed fraudulent practices in order to destroy competition The Spanish professional press association (APP) has also filed a complaint against Correos for discriminating in favour of the association of daily publishers"
January 24, 2003 -- The Mani lla Bulletin (Philippines) has reported that "President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo yesterday reassigned retired Gen Diomedio P Villanueva, former Armed Forces chief of staff, from the Public Estates Authority (PEA) to the Philippine Postal Corp (PhilPost) as postmaster general and chief executive officer"
January 24, 2003 -- Daniel R Moll, Deputy Staff Director to the House Government Reform Committee, has joined Bergner, Bockorny, Castagnetti, Hawkins and Brain, one of Washington's foremost government relations consulting firms Moll will serve as Vice President of the firm For the past six years Moll has served as the Deputy Staff Director of the House Government Reform Committee
January 24, 2003 -- As a part of the US Postal Service's continuing effort to serve America's small business community, the Chicago District is offering training for preferred customers (small to medium sized businesses) via a live Webcast on wwwuspspreferredcom, January 30, 2003, from 10 am until Noon at the City Colleges of Chicago, 226 W Jackson Street, in Chicago
January 24, 2003 -- House Government Reform Committee Chairman Tom Davis (R-VA) told a National Press Club audience that he will not create a subcommittee that focuses exclusively on the Postal Service Instead, he said that postal matters would be addressed by a "task force" that will serve under the leadership of former postal subcommittee chairman John McHugh (R-NY)
January 24, 2003 -- The US Postal Service has asked participants in past rate cases to determine whether they support or oppose the idea of "phasing" the next round of postal rate increases, if a postal rate case must be filed in 2003 This must is contingent on whether Congress does or does not approve a proposal advanced by the Office of Personnel Management to change the manner in which the Postal Service funds its Civil Service Retirement System obligations
January 24, 2003 -- The Senate has appointed the following conferees to HJRes 2, the Omnibus Appropriations bill: Stevens; Cochran; Specter; Domenici; Bond; McConnell; Burns; Shelby; Gregg; Bennett; Campbell; Craig; Hutchison; DeWine; Brownback; Byrd; Inouye; Hollings; Leahy; Harkin; Mikulski; Reid; Kohl; Murray; Dorgan; Feinstein; Durbin; Johnson; Landrieu This is the group that will be considering with their House counterparts a proposal to change the manner in which the Postal Service funds its Civil Service Retirement System obligations Let's hope they "do the right thing"
January 24, 2003 -- The Financial Times has reported that "frustrated customers who arrive at post offices without cash or cheques have long cursed the service's inability to take cards for payment Today, the Post Office will announce that from April it will accept debit cards"
January 24, 2003 -- Do w Jones has reported that "Dutch postal and logistics company TPG NV has acquired German unaddressed mail company Werbeagentur Fischer for an undisclosed sum The company, based in Bergen in Bavaria, has a route-based delivery network covering 300,000 households in south-eastern Germany Werbeagentur is market leader in its field, TPG said, delivering 132 million leaflets in 2002"
January 24, 2003 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that "when Karla Corcoran became the US Postal Service's first inspector general in 1997, she set out to create a workplace that wasn't typical of federal bureaucracies "We really wanted an IG shop that was different," Ms Corcoran says She certainly has succeeded In an agency charged with combating waste to keep stamp prices down, employees sometimes play elaborate games to encourage teamwork and innovation, once building tents out of newspapers and another time barking a Christmas carol A conference room is littered with toys, especially stuffed pigs (for "postal inspector general"), including one with wings suspended overhead (as in, "when pigs fly," a slap at naysayers who fought the office's creation) Cubicle assignments are random, scattering workers throughout their Arlington, Va, headquarters to combat interoffice balkanization, but employees say communication suffers"
January 24, 2003 -- The Malta Independent has reported that "early yesterday morning, the UHM ordered Maltapost workers at the Central Mail Room in Valletta to work to rule The UHM also ordered a 'one-postman-one-delivery' system and ordered Gozitan employees to stick to the old routes rather than the newly-introduced ones The industrial dispute reached boiling point when the union was informed that the company’s management threatened to suspend workers following the union’s directives"
January 24, 2003 -- The Baltic News Service has reported that "a total of 5467 million paid ordinary letters and postcards were sent via Eesti Post (Estonian Post) in December 2002, which marks an increase of 25 percent over the same month a year ago"
January 24, 2003 -- The Financial Times has reported that:
January 24, 2003 -- Asian news sources have reported that China Post and the Mail-order Company of China Post co-founded the Chain Post Logistics Co, Ltd in Beijing This is the first subsidiary founded by China Post since 1998 that the company separated from the Ministry of Post and Telecom The new company's businesses range from cargo shipment, delivery, storage, load and unload, to mail-order of home appliances, stationery and sports commodities, to e-commerce, real estate, and information consulting Also from Asia, the vice-director of China Post expressed that China Post gained total gross sales of RMB 500 million in 2002, the net profits were RMB 10 million In 2001, China Post kept balance of profit and loss
January 24, 2003 -- The Flint Journal has reported that "the US Postal Service's Flint processing and distribution center almost surely will close, in six months in the worst case and four years in the best, a top postal official said Wednesday The closing would displace about 300 workers, a huge loss of income tax for the city"
January 24, 2003 -- GovExecCom has reported that "a federal appeals court has ruled that the Merit Systems Protection Board must reconsider a decision that allowed the Postal Service to fire an employee who was allegedly involved in an illegal scheme to help a co-worker obtain a mortgage"
January 24, 2003 -- Reuters has reported that "Japan's biggest computer maker, Fujitsu Ltd has won a seven-year deal worth 650 million pounds ($105 billion) to manage and maintain Britain's post office computer systems run by Royal Mail"
January 24, 2003 -- The Stevens Point Journal has reported that "operating post offices the size of Amherst Junction or Custer costs around $135,000 a year, according to the postal service Nationally, the average postmaster earns $45,000 to $51,000 a year, according to Pam Meehan-Smith, a postal service spokeswoman in Madison Meehan-Smith said 60 to 70 percent of the nation's post offices don't make enough money to break even As long as other post offices make up the loss, there isn't a problem, she said"
January 24, 2003 -- DM News has reported that "AmeriComm LLC, which offers direct marketing agency and production services, bought Fastlistcom from ChoicePoint Asset Co, an Atlanta provider of risk and marketing information to the insurance industry Fastlist brings a database of 52 million residential households"
January 24, 2003 -- The Washin gton Post has reported that "the new chairman of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, Sen Susan Collins (R-Maine), signaled yesterday that she is open to revamping the federal pay system if it will help the government build a higher-quality workforce" Good! Let's start with the Postal Service Continuing to pay the CEO of a $70 billion postal enterprise no more than $167,000 a year is a scandal, if not a joke
January 24, 2003 -- The National Association of Major Mail Users (Canada) has reported that:
January 24, 2003 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported:
January 24, 2003 -- Stampscom has filed a patent counterclaim against Pitney Bowes (NYSE: PBI) alleging that Pitney Bowes' DM Series Mailing Systems infringe three Stampscom patents
January 24, 2003 -- Counterpounch wants to know: "Is It Time to Move to Canada?" Maybe not, it said, since "an entirely new model of post-liberal governance seems to be emerging; political scientists, as usual, are behind the curve in anticipating and describing its contours Even the venerable postal service, long operating according to the principles of universal access and uniform rates, is in danger of being privatized"
January 24, 2003 -- Yesma il, Inc, an online relationship marketing company, has announced the availability of Yesmail’s Email-Postal Network, one of the first targeted lists that enables marketers to obtain opt-in email and postal address for the same contact to support multi-channel marketing efforts Yesmail’s new offering can help marketers increase business-to-consumer direct marketing campaign results and their return on investment
January 24, 2003 -- The US Commission on the Postal Service has published its schedule for public hearings
January 24, 2003 -- The Age has reported that "Australia Post has become a major sponsor at the tennis championships to unsettle its competitors, something which on the face of it might seem unlikely for a government-owned domestic monopoly"
January 23, 2003 -- The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has reported that "they had teams of five agents following her around in separate cars They had a time-lapse camera hidden 15 feet up in a tree behind her Verona house They had a global positioning satellite tracking device attached to the bottom of her Chevy conversion van For years, US Postal Inspectors spied on Elaine Borghini, 55, because they suspected her of faking a wrist injury to collect workers' compensation benefits she didn't deserve Yesterday in US District Court, a jury deciding her fate saw the videotaped evidence that surveillance produced
January 23, 2003 -- According to DM News, "the US Postal Service's redesigned Web site debuts today The redesign lets visitors to uspscom find information faster and conduct transactions more easily, the USPS said The site also will have a fresh look and new content
January 23, 2003 -- In the recently released Cato Handbook for Congress, "Director of Fiscal Policy Studies Chris Edwards argues that 'the government is so large that the activities of hundreds of federal agencies are beyond the knowledge and understanding of most citizens' The book suggests that spending can be curbed through privatization of all government-operated businesses, such as the US Postal Service, reductions in discretionary spending from 71 percent of gross domestic product to 5 percent with program terminations, and the establishment on a 'sunset' commission to review all federal programs on a rotating basis and propose major reforms"
January 22, 2003 -- The President's Commission on the United States Postal Service today announced the members of its four subcommittees, which were established during the Commission's Jan 8, 2003 public meeting in Washington, DC The subcommittees are comprised of members of the Commission Commission Co-Chairs James Johnson and Harry Pearce are ex-officio members of each subcommittee
January 22, 2003 -- SearchCRMCom has noted that "online bill payment and presentment (OBPP) is gaining steam as a customer strategy For companies, the benefits are clear -- reduced cycle time for bill generation, elimination of printing and mailing costs and immediate credit from the customer's bank account, cutting out a payment time delay Leading organizations from such wide-ranging industries as travel and entertainment, telecom and financial services have aggressively embraced OBPP And the financial rewards are great -- some firms are seeing savings in the millions annually For customers, the primary benefits are convenience, timeliness and saving on checks and postage"
January 22, 2003 -- The Mailers Council has reported that "Tony Viglianti, the USPS' vice president of labor relations, was recently injured in a very serious auto accident His recuperation will be a long one; therefore, PMG Jack Potter has named Doug Tulino as acting VP (202-268-7447)"
January 22, 2003 -- Independent audits and investigations of the US Postal Service by the Office of Inspector General have identified more than $2366 million in potential savings and benefits in the last six month reporting period (April 1 to September 30, 2002), according to the September 2002 Semiannual Report to Congress, just posted on its website at wwwuspsoiggov
January 22, 2003 -- Logistics Management has noted that "on January 6, United Parcel Service (UPS) implemented a general rate increase that is expected to remain in effect for a year, barring any unforeseen circumstances This year's increases are slightly higher than last year's, largely because they follow the signing of a new, six-year contract with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters that provides for higher wages and retirement benefits than are now in effect For example, rates for UPS Commercial Ground Service, which includes domestic shipments to points in the continental United States, rose by an average of 39 percent Last year, the average increase was 35 percent"
January 22, 2003 -- As Traffic World has noted, "the check may no longer be in the mail for some of the United States' regional air cargo carriers In a sharp blow to a bedrock part of the domestic overnight express business, the country's banks are moving toward a phase-out of the long-standing requirement that paper checks must be physically transferred and cleared by a receiving bank before funds can be transferred from the check writer to the recipient More and more banks are making digital images of checks which they can transfer electronically As a result, express carriers that depend on a steady flow of paper checks to fill planes' bellies are likely to lose that cargo and have to find new sources of revenue"
January 22, 2003 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "United Parcel Service named Bob Stoffel, a 28-year company veteran, as president of UPS Supply Chain Solutions Stoffel will oversee global operation for the Supply Chain Solutions unit, which includes UPS Logistics Group and UPS Freight Services Supply Chain Solutions operates in 120 countries and offers logistics, freight forwarding, brokerage and related services"
January 22, 2003 -- The Louisville Courier-Journal has reported that "the Big Brown Truck is getting some help DaimlerChrysler Corp is bringing its Sprinter commercial van to the United States, and one of its primary targets is delivery fleets like the one at United Parcel Service"
January 22, 2003 -- The Asahi Shimbun Competition to manage part of the Postal Public Corp's 26 trillion yen worth of funds is expected to intensify now that the postal ministry plans to expand the service to include investment advisory firms Currently, only trust banks can invest the funds, which are pooled through postal savings and postal life insurance services The Postal Services Agency is in charge of entrusting the funds with the banks
January 22, 2003 -- According to the Jerusalem Post (Israel), "the Postal Authority demanded this week that Cellcom, Pelephone, Leumi Card and Golden Lines stop sending regular bulk-mail letters illegally through the 'New Israeli Mail Entrepreneur' Authority chairman and acting director-general Yossi Shelli said that only the authority is allowed to deliver regular letters"
January 22, 2003 -- Gulf News (UAE) has reported that "a proposal will be put to the board of directors next year to expand Emirates Post's shareholder base, according to a top official 'There is a definite move towards privatisation in the country And Emirates Post now has the financial strength and the back up from its current owners to follow the same direction,' said Abdullah Ibrahim Al Daboos, director general"
January 22, 2003 -- The Peninsula has reported that "Qatar's General Postal Corporation (Q-Posts) recorded an increase of about 20 per cent in the revenues generated by its Express Mail Service-Mumtaz Post during the nine months of the year 2002 while Q-Posts income itself rose by some 10 per cent, the Q-Posts chairman, Ali Mohammad Al Ali, said here yesterday"
January 22, 2003 -- AFX Asia has reported that "courier firm Sokuhai Co has abandoned plans to launch an express mail service due to tight rules put in place by the government under its plan to open the sector to private firms The firm's decision will likely prompt questions about the effectiveness of the effort to open the market to the private sector, the newspaper said Reform of the Post Office is a key policy of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi"
January 22, 2003 -- The Daily Trust (Nigeria) has reported that "the New NIPOST Territorial Headquarters building in Abuja will soon be handed over to the management for commissioning within the first quarter of this year According to a press statement signed by the acting public relations manager of the organisation Taiye Olaniyi, the management renovated 33 post offices across the country through internally generated revenue while more than 15 newly completed ones were commissione Management, he said, was working to intensify efforts to ensure that all major postal establishments are given a face lift this year"
January 22, 2003 -- The Boston Globe has reported that "the US Postal Service building at 390 Stuart St, a Back Bay fixture since 1926, is up for sale Taking advantage of both a red-hot real estate market and the expected sale of three adjacent parcels owned by John Hancock Financial Services, the Postal Service has enlisted the brokerage firm CB Richard Ellis to market the building - possibly in conjunction with the other parcels"
January 22, 2003 -- The Teamsters National Freight Industry Negotiating Committee (TNFINC) unanimously called for a strike-authorization vote after talks broke off early this morning Though negotiators had made significant progress on non-economic issues in the previous days, keeping negotiators working through the holiday weekend, talks broke down when the employers refused to take proposals for health-care co-payments and reductions in health care coverage off the table, at the same time as they proposed a wage package below what was negotiated in 1998
January 22, 2003 -- Reuters has reported that "Although the search to fill the important shoes of New York Federal Reserve Bank President William McDonough has only just begun, Treasury's Peter Fisher has emerged as a clear front-runner" Fisher is the Undersecretary at Treasury who helped make the President's Commission on the Postal Service possible
January 21, 2003 -- Pitney Bowes Distribution Solutions (PBDS), a division of Pitney Bowes Inc has announced a reseller agreement with Hazmat Software LLC of Longwood, Fla The agreement brings together PB TMS Enterprise web-based transportation management system with Hazmat Software's best-in-class hazardous materials documentation software, EasyShip Platinum Web(tm)
January 21, 2003 -- SinoCast has reported that "Yangtze Air Express Services Co Ltd, the first courier service company in China obtained Air Carrier Application Certificate from CAAC Eastern China in Shanghai yesterday Granting of the certificate shows that Yangtze Air Express is authorized to operate half year after its registration of company It will also activate its plan of building a Chinese UPS (the largest courier service company in China)"
January 21, 2003 -- "First came the layoffs," reported the Washin gton Post "Then the pay cuts Finally, a slashing of health benefits If times weren't tough enough for airline workers, now some employees at the major carriers face the prospect of a poorer retirement" Looks like the Postal Service isn't the only one facing retirement-related challenges The only difference is the Feds have no intention of going out of business
January 21, 2003 -- The Peninsula (Qatar) has reported that "the General Postal Corporation (Q-Posts) will replace a large portion of its existing post boxes and replace them with the latest, electronic-type ones this year, under a massive expansion programme that the corporation intends to implement this year"
January 21, 2003 -- Campbell-Ewald has been named Adweek Agency of the Year, Midwest for the second consecutive year In 2002 agency wins included the United States Postal Service and National City
January 21, 2003 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "United Parcel Service has signed an agreement with a new Chinese all-cargo carrier to handle packages for UPS within China The first route, expected to begin service on Thursday, will connect Shanghai with Xiamen and Guangzhou The aircraft, a 737-300 aircraft formerly owned by Lufthansa, will then return to Shanghai"
January 21, 2003 -- E-Commerce Times has reported that "e-commerce, once the domain of 'geek types' or consumers with high disposable incomes, has hit the mainstream The US Census Bureau says e-commerce spending increased by more than 34 percent year-over-year to US$111 billion from the third quarter of 2001 to the same period in 2002 And sales jumped 24 percent year-over-year, to $137 billion, in the 2002 holiday season"
January 21, 2003 -- Ha'aretz (Israel) has reported that "all Israeli Postal Authority branches are to go on strike Tuesday at 2:30 PM until further notice in protest over a decision to turn the authority into a government-owned company"
January 20, 2003 -- The Times has reported that "the postal regulator is to hold a series of talks with Royal Mail during the next few days, raising hopes that the group will be allowed to raise prices on a range of items. Postcomm has already said that it is prepared to meet Royal Mail’s request to raise first and second-class stamps by 1p. However, in a move that angered Allan Leighton, chairman of Royal Mail, the regulator also set out plans to curb prices on a range of “secondary” items, including airmail and heavy packages. Mr Leighton has said that the move would cost £460 million and that unless they were dropped he would appeal to the Competition Commission."
January 20, 2003 -- The Times of India has reported that "the Postal department would soon sign a memorandum of understanding with cellphone companies for selling pre-paid cards, Tamil Nadu Chief Post Master General U Srinivasa Raghavan on Monday said. He told reporters here that that Bharti Airtel, a cellular service provider, was being provided e.billing facility by the post offices at 38 places through computers. Similar facilities would be extended to other cell phone companies also, he said. The department would also ensure that the Speed Post articles booked at various places were delivered the very next day through all the post offices located in the circle."
January 20, 2003 -- EuropeMe dia.Net has reported that "postal services are under pressure worldwide. With the rise of information technologies, national postal services are increasingly finding themselves having to adapt to new ways of providing service while at the same time balancing budgets. Moreover, a growing number of private companies have entered the postal marketplace, offering similar services, including regular daily mail and parcel delivery."
January 20, 2003 -- Newsday has reported that "City residents could soon find pizza coupons tucked among their property tax bills as lawmakers look for new ways to raise money for the cash-starved city. Some believe selling advertising in such things as garbage bills and employee paychecks could generate millions of dollars in revenue over several years. Council member Joseph Golombek Jr. said discussions with the state attorney general's office have not identified any legal impediments. In the longer term, he said, the direct mail promotions might lead to even more lucrative opportunities, such as selling ad space on city-issued garbage totes or selling naming rights for some public buildings."
January 20, 2003 -- FedEx Express, a FedEx Corp. operating company (NYSE:FDX), expects to receive the first of eight ATR 42-320 aircraft acquired under a definitive purchase agreement with Continental Airlines. FedEx Express will use the ATR 42s within its U.S. domestic feeder operations to support, supplement and enhance the FedEx Express trunk aircraft system. The FedEx Express feeder network helps serve customers in geographic areas where surface transportation is not expedient enough to provide the service level desired. In addition, feeder aircraft are also utilized internationally on scheduled routes and to fulfill various other special aircraft lift requirements."
January 20, 2003 -- The Minneapolis Star Tribune has reported that "Wall Street's main trade group is campaigning to do away with paper stock certificates and instead keep track of all investor holdings electronically. The Securities Industry Association (SIA) is launching a publicity blitz this year to convince publicly traded companies and their shareholders that a paperless world will save money and time. Its effort is aided by a New York Stock Exchange rule adopted this summer that allows listed companies to eschew paper certificates." Good bye mail...?
January 20, 2003 -- The Wash ington Post has reported that "Treasury officials readily acknowledge that the savings-bond program is expensive to administer. But they want to continue it for investors who are seeking a secure investment but who may have only the minimum $25 to buy a single bond, or a few hundred dollars, but not the $1,000 minimum for a Treasury bill or note. The Treasury's goal, one official said, is to reduce the program's cost by eliminating the sale of paper bonds -- now available through about 40,000 financial institutions -- and going entirely electronic, perhaps in two to three years. Within a few weeks, Treasury plans to make it easier to buy bonds using the Internet." Good bye mail...?
January 20, 2003 -- Federal Times has reported that "standardizing bar codes on envelopes and improving mail tracking will be the biggest job of the U.S. Postal Service’s new Intelligent Mail and Address Quality division."
January 20, 2003 -- According to Knox News, "trucking companies, delivery services, taxi drivers, florists and others who earn their money on the road are facing tough decisions about fuel prices that are expected to rise a dime a gallon by this spring - and that's assuming there's no war with Iraq."
January 20, 2003 -- Traffic World has reported that:
January 20, 2003 -- The European Intelligence Wire has reported that "the Royal Mail is to force its new board directors, including some of the biggest names in the City, to become postmen so that they learn about the business 'from the ground up'. Non-executive directors such as Richard Handover, the chief executive of W H Smith, Mike Hodgkinson, the chief executive of BAA, and John Neill, the chief executive of Unipart, will join postmen on their 5am rounds, perform a stint in sorting offices and drive delivery vans. A postman based in the West End of London, criticised the move as 'patronising' for the people who have to do the jobs every day. 'If they really want to know what it is like, they should do it for two months and then try to live on the wages as well,' he said."
January 20, 2003 -- The Guardian has reported that "struggling Royal Mail is facing a new crisis after more than 30,000 postal workers in the capital launched an unofficial campaign - backed by threatened strikes - for a big increase in London weighting."
January 20, 2003 -- According to Dow Jones, China Post, the country's state-run postal service, has spun off its logistics business into a wholly-owned unit. China Postal Logistics Co. has been set up to tackle growing competition from foreign couriers such as FedEx Corp., United Parcel Service Inc., DHL Worldwide Express Inc. and TPG N.V. that have been making inroads into the country's former monopoly. China is committed to gradually lifting ownership restrictions on foreign express-delivery companies as part of agreements that led to the country's entry into the World Trade Organization in December 2001."
January 20, 2003 -- This Day News (Nigeria) has reported that "The Nigerian Postal Services (NIPOST) has reiterated its commitment to ensure complete revitalisation of Nigeria's postal system this year. A statement from its territorial headquarters said at the weekend in Abuja that the plan would be achieved through human resource development and the empowerment of its workforce."
January 20, 2003 -- The Evening Star (U.K.) has reported that "new post watchdog Charles Winstanley has branded the Royal Mail a 'Victorian structure' and warned that post offices in East Anglia face a bleak future. Dr Winstanley, chairman of Postwatch East of England, believes the outlook for tens of thousands of staff is bleak as the Royal Mail Group falls behind competitors from leaner firms. He wants to see other firms move in and offer postal services, and argues that Royal Mail services are shrinking."
January 20, 2003 -- Today, the Was hington Post has printed a story that echoes about a hundred others published in newspapers across America for the past month. It concerns the U.S. Postal Service's white plastic tubs mostly used to deliver bulk mail to businesses. These are the containers that make great storage bins, planters and footrests at the office. Enough already! Folks, please return these darn tubs!
January 20, 2003 -- According to the U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO), "the Postal Service has not been successful in implementing its national-level contract to purchase most office supplies from Boise. Although the national contract was intended to be a mandatory source of office supplies, the Postal Service purchased less than 40 percent of its office supplies from Boise in 2001. GAO found that the Postal Service did not perform as planned under the contract because it did not take sufficient actions to ensure that the contract would be used. As a result, the Postal Service has not been able to realize its estimated annual savings of $28 million. In fact, it was only able to provide documentation for $1 million in savings for 2001. Boise and the Postal Service have not paid sufficient attention to the subcontracting plan.
January 19, 2003 -- The Dover News Journal has reported that "every post office gets mail it simply cannot deliver, and in Dover it's a lot: about 600 pounds a day. Now such bulk mail will be put to use: it will be recycled into paper towels, napkins, bathroom tissue and other household paper products in a partnership between the local post office and the Delaware Solid Waste Authority."
January 19, 2003 -- Les Echos (France) has reported that "Jean-Paul Bailly, chairman of French national postal services group La Poste, has said that his group plans to focus on remaining competitive and has welcomed the government's approval of an increase in the price of stamps."
January 19, 2003 -- Newsday asks: "What's the bill for that bill? As much as $3 a month. For several years, companies have lured customers to pay bills online by dangling a carrot, such as statement credits or gift certificates. But recently a small but growing number of businesses began wielding a stick: charging customers for the privilege of receiving a paper statement. As more consumers go online, telephone companies such as MetroPCS, banks and other businesses hope to switch consumers to online statements and eliminate costs as high as $1.50 per paper statement."
January 18, 2003 -- Moldova Azi has reported that "in conformity with the agreement achieved last November with Greek colleagues, the Posta Moldovei state enterprise has commenced the sending and receipt of monetary transfers to/from Greece. The maximum sum of transfers has been set at $1,000, and of general delivery for guests staying in hotels - $200, in accordance with National Bank regulations. The commission is 5% of the sum transferred. Posta Moldovei practices such transfers with the postal services of 18 countries - 11 CIS republics, Baltic states, France, Spain, and now Greece. The transfer operation duration is 6 to 20 days."
January 18, 2003 -- The Evening Standard (U.K.) has reported that "would-be Royal Mail rival Business Post took a swipe at the postal regulator today after a decision on a landmark arbitration case to open up competition was put back yet again."
January 18, 2003 -- The Daily Yomiuri has reported that "the first major reform of the postal system in 132 years reached another milestone Thursday with the approval by a government council of a midterm management plan for the postal services public corporation to be established April 1. The proposed corporation will take over the operations of three postal businesses--mail delivery, postal savings and kampo insurance--from the Postal Services Agency."
January 18, 2003 -- Xinhua has reported that:
January 18, 2003 -- The Asso ciated Press has reported that "two letters from President Bush to Sweden's king and prime minister arrived more than a year late after they were held up in Washington because of the anthrax scare."
January 17, 2003 -- UPS has named Bob Stoffel, a 28-year company veteran, as president of UPS Supply Chain Solutions. The unit provides integrated logistics, transportation and trade services around the world.
January 17, 2003 -- Canada.com has reported that the "Vancouver city police have conducted searches and seized computers, hard drives and photographs linked to a massive international child pornography investigation that has identified 406 potential suspects in British Columbia. The Vancouver investigation is part of the largest child-pornography probe in Canadian history. Police have arrested about five per cent of the 2,329 Canadian names on a U.S. Postal Investigative Service list of people suspected of accessing child pornography."
January 17, 2003 -- BBC News has reported that "the Royal Mail is to be investigated by the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) over allegations of sexual harassment."
January 17, 2003 -- ZDNet News has reported that "Prentice Hall, a technical and academic book publisher, has embraced the open-source philosophy for a new series of books, the content of which may be freely distributed. The publisher is giving access to electronic books will potentially spur sales of printed editions."
January 17, 2003 -- Business News Americas has reported that "Brazil's largest private bank Bradesco (NYSE: BBD) plans to add 3,000 alternative points of sale in post offices and retail chains during 2003, bringing the total to 5,500, local online news service PanoramaBrasil reported on Thursday. Bradesco won a public tender in 2001 to team up with the country's postal service to provide financial services in post offices. The joint venture, called Banco Postal, opened its first point of sale in March last year. By the end of the year it had 2,500 points of sale in post offices nationwide and about 350,000 new clients were incorporated into Bradesco's client base through Banco Postal in 2002."
January 17, 2003 -- "We liked 'em. We stole 'em. Soon we can buy 'em," reported the Detroit Free Press. " Those white Postal Service tubs had disappeared by the millions. They were in countless offices, basements and garages, storing junk, old files, even the medical records at one hospital. This week, the U.S. Postal Service decided they're popular enough to sell, starting in about a year."
January 17, 2003 -- The Polish News Bulletin has reported that "in a scandal that could cost the Polish post office up to ZL10m, the state-owned organisation has rejected an offer from Japanese company Mitsui in a tender for mail sorting machines, pointing to inaccurate price calculations. The offer was cheaper than those made by the Italian Elsag and Germany's Siemens concerns by 70 and 87 percent respectively. This would allow the post office to save about ZL8-10m, which could be spent on sorting machines for larger packages."
January 17, 2003 -- AFX (U.K.) has reported that "Business Post Group PLC said the determination from industry regulator, the Postal Services Commission (Postcomm), on pricing to be set for access by Business Post's UK Mail to Royal Mail's network will be later than originally anticipated. Business Post said that, at this stage, it is difficult to predict when the determination process will be finalised. The establishment and operating costs of UK Mail, Business Post's business mail subsidiary, are being kept to a minimum and are being expensed to the profit and loss account. The board said the long-term attractions of this market, estimated at over 5 bln stg per annum, remain "considerable".
January 17, 2003 -- The Financial Times (U.K.) has reported that "Royal Mail, the cash-strapped postal operator, will be receiving more than £1bn of debt from the government, the Department of Trade and Industry confirmed yesterday. The cash, drawn from the £1.8bn of gilts - the accumulated cash generated by the business - on the balance sheet of the company would "enable the mails business to implement its renewal plan, and to support the nationwide network of post offices", the DTI told parliament. More than half the money will be drawn from the National Loans Fund, secured on cash deposits from Royal Mail, and will be leant to the company on commercial terms, repayable between 2007 and 2009."
January 17, 2003 -- Governmental Affairs Committee member Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., Wednesday released a letter from the postmaster general in which the postmaster admits error in the handling of a suspicious letter at a Hartford postal facility on November 19, 2002. Postmaster General John Potter told Lieberman that postal service procedures for "a suspicious powder incident" were violated and the supervisor involved has been disciplined. "I recognize the seriousness of this occurrence, and I am grateful no employees were actually placed at risk,” Potter wrote. "Safety of postal employees will always be our foremost concern and we have moved quickly to ensure future adherence to proper procedures."
January 17, 2003 -- The Postal Rate Commission has published in the Federal Register a proposal to update "periodic reporting rules affecting certain Postal Service data submissions. This update entails deleting certain outdated requirements and adding new requirements, including an electronic filing requirement. These changes should improve the ability of the Commission and others to analyze postal finances and operating results. Initial comments are due by February 10, 2003; reply comments are due by February 25, 2003. Submit comments electronically via the Comission's Filing Online system, which may be accessed at http://www.prc.gov.
January 17, 2003 -- The Irish Examiner has reported that "An Post is inviting expressions of interest from suppliers and manufacturers to provide 500,000 roadside post boxes."
January 17, 2003 -- The Bangkok Post has reported that "TNT Express Worldwide (Thailand) is set to compete with the state postal operator with the launch of around-the-clock domestic and international express document delivery services at 7-Eleven convenience stores."
January 17, 2003 -- The Canadian Passport Office and Canada Post have entered a partnership to provide better access to Canadians applying for passports. This project encourages the public to submit their passport applications to participating postal outlets for review before they are processed by the Passport Office. Canada Post employees have received training to review passport applications to ensure the documentation is in order. Canada Post employees then forward the application to the Passport Office and once the passport is ready it is sent to the applicant by courier.
January 16, 2003 -- Dow Jones has reported that:
January 16, 2003 -- According to The Guardian (U.K.), "buying goods from websites based outside the UK still requires a leap of faith that many of you are evidently not yet prepared to make. Beyond the valid security concerns of giving a faceless site your credit card details, there's also the additional worry of guaranteeing that you will ever see the goods you have paid for."
January 16, 2003 -- According to the Canberra Times "Australia Post outlets were well stocked with 50c stamps to accommodate the new basic postal rate which came into effect on Monday, but many outlets in the ACT had run out of 5c stamps. Australia Post said the increase was the first in 11 years. Canada's basic rate is the equivalent of 53c, France's 62c, Germany's 76c, Italy's 66c, Japan's 71c and the UK's 56c."
January 16, 2003 -- Deutsche Post AG reached its core profit and sales targets in 2002 and will probably surpass a cost-cutting goal set for 2003, Chief Executive Klaus Zumwinkel said Wednesday. But the German mail company, which is also active in the parcels, logistics and financial services markets, won't likely get a boost from the economy this year, Zumwinkel said in an interview with Dow Jones Newswires.
January 16, 2003 -- The Jamaica Observer has reported that "the Postal Corporation of Jamaica on Tuesday took one step closer to becoming computerised when Paymaster Jamaica Limited, a private bill payment agency, handed over 132 computer units to be installed in post office counters across the island."
January 16, 2003 -- The Norwich Bulletin has reported that "some 40 people gathered outside the New London post office Wednesday to demonstrate against a war with Iraq. The group of religious leaders who called themselves "Reclaiming the Prophetic Voice" then tried to mail humanitarian aid to Iraq. The U.S. Postal Service will not mail any package that weighs more than 12 ounces to Iraq, according to Christine Dugas, a spokeswoman for the service -- part of an executive order issued during the Persian Gulf War. The packages thus were rejected. The group soon peacefully dispersed."
January 16, 2003 -- Mail Boxes Etc. (MBE) has teamed up with Hope Enterprises Inc. for Operation: S.W.A.K. (Sealed With A Kiss) 2003. From January 20 through February 14, participating MBE locations will provide free commemorative Bob Hope stationery and free first-class postage (37 cents) for one-ounce valentines and letters to U.S. military personnel stationed overseas or to veterans in VA hospitals.
January 16, 2003 -- The Was hington Post has reported that "fears of anthrax contamination in a package sent to the Federal Reserve Board in Washington were defused yesterday by officials who said additional tests on samples taken from the item and extensive tests of the postal facility it passed through turned up negative. The Northeast Washington facility, where U.S. government mail is sorted, reopened."
January 16, 2003 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "the Transportation Security Administration should develop a comprehensive, risk-based plan for air cargo security, according to a new government assessment. In a report released Wednesday, the General Accounting Office says that without a comprehensive plan, TSA and other federal agencies will have no way of knowing if resources against terrorist attack are being deployed effectively."
January 15, 2003 -- ABC News has reported that "a facility that handles government mail is undergoing precautionary testing for anthrax after a test on mail at the Federal Reserve indicated the potential presence of the bacteria. The suspect sample is being sent to the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta for further testing, officials said Wednesday."
January 15, 2003 -- Arab News has reported that "the privatization of [Saudi] postal services has been running successfully, with some 100 agencies set up by the private sector, according to a senior official in the Ministry of Posts, Telephones and Telegraphs. Dr. Khaled Al-Otaibi, director general of posts, said the number of inhabitants served by each postal employee increased from 2,200 to 2,244 since the launch of the privatization program. The percentage of delivery mails within 48 hours also went up from 74 to 78 percent."
January 15, 2003 -- The Was hington Post has reported that "a Postal Service facility for sorting U.S. government mail in Northeast Washington was shut last night as a precaution after a letter sent to the Federal Reserve Board showed the possible presence of anthrax spores."
January 15, 2003 -- Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption and abuse, announced today that it will take legal measures to protect postal workers at the V Street postal facility to ensure that the government negligence that resulted in the deaths of 8 postal workers will not occur again. Judicial Watch represents hundreds of United States Postal Service (USPS) workers and a USPS workers' support group, 'Brentwood Exposed,' concerning all matters related to the October 2001 anthrax attacks."
January 15, 2003 -- CEP News (Courier-Express-Postal) has reported that:
CEP News is without a doubt one of the best newsletters you can find that focuses on the courier, express, and postal market. If you don't get it, when it comes to the CEP business worldwide, you REALLY won't "get it." For more information on a subscription to CEP News, contact the publisher.
January 15, 2003 -- The Jerusalem Post has reported that the Israeli "Postal Authority is planning to dismiss guards at post offices around the country because the Treasury and Communications Ministry have refused to help cover its security costs, authority chairman and acting director-general Yossi Shelli said on Wednesday. The annual cost of armed guards and special security measures, which have been necessitated by terrorist threats, totals NIS 13 million."
January 15, 2003 -- Dow Jones has reported that "Deutsche Post AG confirmed Wednesday its interest in buying a stake in logistics firm China National Foreign Trade Transportation (Group) Co., better known as Sinotrans."
January 15, 2003 -- According to the Pittsb urgh Post Gazette, "FedEx Chairman and founder Frederick W. Smith built the air express company on a fleet of jets that deliver packages and documents overnight. But lately he's had reason to be thankful for the lowly truck. The Memphis-based company's Moon-based FedEx Ground unit is on a roll, contributing an increasing percentage of profits to the corporate bottom line as the traditional air express business is in a bit of a slump. "It has more than exceeded our expectations," Smith said yesterday of FedEx Ground as he left a board meeting held at the division's recently expanded headquarters. "It has been a very very good thing for FedEx Corp."
January 15, 2003 -- Asia Pulse has reported that "Deutsche Post Global Mail and DHL Worldwide Express have joined forces to create an international mail service in Australia and New Zealand. Their new international mail product for corporate accounts will be known as Global Mail Business. Global Mail Business will be introduced in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan, with other markets in the Asia Pacific region and the Middle East to follow shortly."
January 14, 2003 -- Le Monde (France) has reported that "French finance minister Francis Mer said in a TV interview on Sunday that an increase to the price of stamps was planned. Mr. Mer pointed out that postal prices had not gone up for six years and that an increase was therefore likely. Jean-Paul Bailly, chairman of French national postal group La Poste, recently called for a price increase."
January 14, 2003 -- The Carolina Morning News has reported that "it's no secret that the U.S. Postal Service has long been the butt of jokes. Viewers laughed when Seinfeld's neighbor and nemesis, a mailman named Newman, dumped most of his mail rather than going to the trouble of delivering it all. "No mailman's ever broken the 50 percent mark," he once quipped. They laughed because the idea of mail carriers trashing mail they were supposed to deliver was simply too preposterous to take seriously. Until now."
January 14, 2003 -- According to Borsen-Zeitung (Germany), "Deutsche Post, the German postal operator, is optimistic that German and EU antitrust authorities will end their opposition to the company's integration of the domestic and foreign activities of Trans-o-flex Schnell-Lieferdienst, the German-based logistics group."
January 14, 2003 -- The Chicago District Postal Service, Illinois Small Business Development Center Network, DCCA (Department of Commerce and Community Affairs) and the SBA (Small Business Administration) are teaming up to launch the very first consultation center in a local postal facility. The Preferred Customer Consultation Center will have the latest technology and link directly to the Chicago USPS' new website targeted for small/medium size business, www.uspspreferred.com. It will also link directly to PTAC (Procurement Technical Assistance Center). Customers can have one on one consultation with Debbie Miller, Small Business Specialist."
January 14, 2003 -- ChannelNewsAsia has reported that "Singapore Post is reportedly looking to raise a syndicated loan of up to S$250 million to improve its capital structure ahead of its possible listing."
January 14, 2003 -- The Herald has reported that "the unbundling of the former Posts and Telecommunications Corporation has helped lower the deficit incurred by the Zimbabwe Posts from $1,2 billion in 2000 to about $578 million by the end of 2001."
January 14, 2003 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "FedEx Custom Critical , Inc., a subsidiary of FedEx Corp., is changing the name of its CharterAir division to Air Expedite, to reflect its range of expedited air services."
January 14, 2003 -- AFX Europe has reported that "the Swiss Post said its international unit SPI has aquired the Washington DC-based Priority Post to strengthen its US position. The purchase price for Priority Post is a low single-digit figure, it said. Priority Post is one of the largest non-postal providers of international mailings and specialises in the pre-sorting and processing of bulk mailings. It is also a partner of the US Postal Service."
January 14, 2003 -- As DM News has noted, "while the U.S. market is split between the U.S. Postal Service and delivery companies like United Parcel Service, FedEx and Airborne Express, Royal Mail's hold in Britain is stronger against private competition. The government service delivers letters daily to 27 million addresses across the British Isles. It delivers 30 percent of all domestic home-shopped items. More importantly, Royal Mail fulfills 60 percent of local online orders."
January 14, 2003 -- Datam onitor (U.K.) has reported that "The cross-border parcel market between the UK and continental Europe currently has a 15% annual growth rate, compared with the UK's internal market, which has a growth rate of just 5%. Deutsche Post is keen to lead this market single handedly. Over the last decade, Deutsche Post has been paramount in shaping the way the European logistics, postal and express markets have evolved. Its strategy of acquisitive growth supported by organic development has proven to be a successful one, even in the most difficult of economic climates. The recent announcement that all express and logistics subsidiaries will be re-branded under the DHL umbrella highlights Deutsche Post's commitment to dominating the European logistics, parcels and express markets. This is clearly a feat that Deutsche Post believes cannot be achieved through organic growth alone."
January 13, 2003 -- Die Welt (Germany) has reported that "Deutsche Post, the German postal services group, is to offer the operators of around 7,500 sub post-offices new contracts with which it aims to make savings. By introducing the new contracts it is aiming to cut costs. The post offices involved are smaller sales points, for example in supermarkets, travel agents or lottery sales points, and account for 7,500 of the around 13,000 total number of offices operated by the group."
January 13, 2003 -- Reuters has reported that "United Parcel Service Inc., which is trying to find extra revenue and trim costs wherever it can amid a slump in deliveries, imposed a new penalty on customers who pay their bills late."
January 13, 2003 -- Dow Jones has reported that "China's government has issued new regulations which for the first time allow foreign freight forwarding and express delivery companies to own a majority stake, of as much as 75%, in their local joint ventures. The measure could allow foreign couriers - such as express delivery leaders FedEx Corp. (FDX), United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS), DHL Worldwide Express Inc. (X.DHL) and TPG N.V. (TP) - to take home a greater share of their ventures' profits from the fast-growing China market."
January 13, 2003 -- The Postal Rate Commission will be hosting a session at 10:30 Wednesday morning January 15th in the Postal Rate Commission Hearing Room at 1333 H Street NW, 3rd floor on "The Future of Paper - Making Paper More Intelligent." The presenters will be Maynard H. Benjamin, President of the Envelope Manufacturers Association, and Jay Freitas, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Oles Envelope Company."
January 13, 2003 -- Dow Jones has reported that "The European Union Commission warned Monday that the region is falling behind with crucial economic reforms needed to speed growth. At a summit in Lisbon two years ago, leaders endorsed proposals to increase competition in the energy-, postal-, and financial-services sectors, among others. They also pledged to cut state aid and increase research investment."
January 13, 2003 -- The Financial Times has reported that "Deutsche Post is close to acquiring the remaining 50 per cent stake in Securicor's UK parcels distribution business. The German postal operator is seeking to streamline its express, freight and logistics services under one roof and to close remaining gaps in its pan-European delivery network."
January 13, 2003 -- DM News has reported that "when one organization faced USPS rate increases at the start of 2002 and international delivery times of several weeks or more, it didn't take a computer engineer to realize it should explore new mailing options. The computer society settled on Deutsche Post Global Mail, a Herndon, VA-based division of Deutsche Post World Net that provides direct mail, publication distribution and other services to U.S. businesses sending mail internationally. DPGM handles more than 70 million pieces of mail daily worldwide, and it has more than 7,000 business customers in the United States."
January 13, 2003 -- The Jordan Times has reported that "the Jordan Post Company (JPC) has rescinded its decision to increase the annual mailbox subscription fees for residents in Amman and governorate centres. JPC General Manager Ali Qudah said the company's board of directors also decided to go back on a decision to slash by half the subscription fees for residents located outside governorate centres."
January 13, 2003 -- The Daily Mail (U.K.) has reported that "hundreds of post offices have been shut in the past two years, despite Government pledges of help. Now bosses are unveiling plans to axe thousands more."
January 13, 2003 -- Business Line (India) has reported that "Singapore Post Pte Ltd has been permitted by the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) to set up a joint venture subsidiary in India along with Consignia, the national postal administration of the UK under the UK Government, and the Netherlands-based TPG Group."
January 13, 2003 -- The Minneapolis Star Tribune has reported that "hit by falling demand and aging equipment, Blandin Paper Co., the largest private employer in Grand Rapids, Minn., said Wednesday that it has permanently shut down two of its four paper-making machines and laid off 298 of the plant's 800 workers. "Obviously this is a very, very sad day for Blandin," company spokesperson Rebecca Theim said. "The company agonized over making this decision," but the machines were kept running for several years longer than planned, she said. The Blandin plant produces glossy paper used for magazines, catalogs and some direct-mail ads -- all markets that have been hurt by the economic downturn. "Prices for lightweight coated paper are at a historic low," Theim said. "Look at how small magazines have gotten. Advertising is down because of the economy . . . and fewer catalogs are going out."
January 13, 2003 -- Cen tral Michigan Life has reported that "paper billing will become part of the past as the Office of Receivable Accounting is preparing the CMU community for electronic billing. Through electronic billing, university account holders receive their billing statements at their global ID. Electronic billing will save the university a considerable amount of money because it eliminates printing and mailing costs, said Ryan Buckley, Office of Information Technology marketing associate."
January 12, 2003 -- Traffic World has reported that "the Air Transport Association opted to look beyond the beleaguered airline industry for the newest head of the trade association. James C. May, executive vice president of the National Association of Broadcasters, will replace the retiring Carol B. Hallett as president and chief executive officer on Feb. 3, well ahead of Hallett's planned April 30 exit. May takes the reins at one of the most turbulent times in aviation history. Two of ATA's member carriers are in bankruptcy with the balance of member airlines, with the exception of Southwest Airlines, FedEx and United Parcel Service, in financial turmoil."
January 12, 2003 -- The Irish Times has reported that "the private contractor responsible for delivering airmail parcels from the United States last night rejected suggestions it was engaged in profiteering amid a public outcry over its controversial charge-on-delivery policy. General Logistics Systems (Ireland), a Dublin-based subsidiary of Britain's Royal Mail, insisted it did not turn a profit on the tariffs, saying they represented customs and excise tolls."
January 12, 2003 -- Reuters has reported that "Deutsche Post plans to take over Italian parcel service Casa di Spedizioni Ascoli S.p.A from January 15 to expand into southern Europe. The Italian company, which is to be integrated into express unit DHL, has 400 workers and 80 million euros ($84.30 million) in annual sales."
January 11, 2003 -- The New York Times has reported that "the nation continued to bleed tens of thousands of jobs in December, the Labor Department reported yesterday, jolting forecasters who had expected a modest upturn in employment and suggesting that American business remains highly pessimistic about the economic future." So how can we sit idly by and watch the bleeding of thousands more private sector jobs by allowing the Postal Service to prepare another round of postal rate increases?
January 11, 2003 -- The Belfast Telegraph (U.K.) has reported that "the days of the friendly postman dropping mail through the letterbox are numbered for many homes in the Republic. An Post has invited tenders for the supply and installation of 500,000 secure outdoor letterboxes, following a proposal by the south's Director of Telecommunications. The plan, for mailboxes in the American style, is still being considered but it is likely to get the go-ahead."
January 11, 2003 -- Financial Times Deutschland has reported that "Deutsche Post, the German postal service operator, stands accused of having reduced margins at the 7,500 branches which it span off at the end of last year."
January 11, 2003 -- The Irish Times has reported that "this Christmas's mail delivery problems, where over a million Irish Christmas cards went undelivered until after Christmas Day, should have been avoided. An Post's statement that it is contractually bound to deliver foreign mail before Irish domestic mail, its proposal to move to kerbside boxes and its unwillingness to introduce a postcode system must all be questioned. And An Post should be currently making significant profits and not losses. These are the issues that customers of An Post would like addressed by An Post, Minister Dermot Ahern and ComReg, the Irish postal regulator."
January 10, 2003 -- S. David Fineman, the Managing Partner at Fineman & Bach, P.C., a lawyer firm in Philadelphia, was elected as Chairman of the Postal Service’s Board of Governors. He succeeds Robert F. Rider. John F. Walsh, a Connecticut businessman and a City of New Haven official for more than 35 years, was elected as Vice Chairman of the Postal Service’s Board of Governors. He succeeds S. David Fineman who was elected Chairman.
January 10, 2003 -- The Baltimore Sun has reported that "a lawsuit filed this week on behalf of Leroy "Rich" Richmond, a Virginia postal worker who contracted inhalation anthrax while working at Washington's central postal plant in 2001, might be the first of several such suits brought by anthrax survivors, his attorney said yesterday."
January 10, 2003 -- The Centre Daily News has noted that a "trend toward more mail delivery in the dark draws complaints. Some postal watchdogs and carriers' union officials, however, say more Americans are getting their mail later. It's a phenomenon that is fraying the relationship between the Postal Service and its workers and customers."
January 10, 2003 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that:
January 10, 2003 -- Yahoo has reported that "J.P. Morgan Chase on Wednesday after the close said that analyst Gregory Burns had cut his earnings forecast for United Parcel Service Inc., the world's number one package carrier, reflecting 'a slow volume recovery at the domestic package unit.'"
January 10, 2003 -- From the White House: James C. Miller, III, of Virginia, to be a Governor of the United States Postal Service for the term expiring December 8, 2010, vice Einar V. Dyhrkopp, term expired; and Albert Casey, of Texas, to be a Governor of the United States Postal Service for a term expiring December 8, 2009, vice Tirso del Junco, term expired.
January 10, 2003 -- The Asso ciated Press has reported that "the post office is beginning the process of seeking a rate increase even as it awaits congressional action that would make the step unnecessary. The internal process of preparing for a new rate case has started, postal vice president Azeezaly Jaffer confirmed Thursday. The amount of any increase won't be determined until that analysis is completed."
January 10, 2003 -- The Malta Independent has reported that the General Workers' Union is arguing that "redundant Maltapost workers should be taken back by the government."
January 10, 2003 -- The Arab News (Saudi Arabia) has reported that "the privatization of the postal services has been running successfully, with some 100 agencies set up by the private sector, according to a senior official in the Saudi Ministry of Posts, Telephones and Telegraphs.
January 9, 2003 -- Bloomberg.com has reported that "United Parcel Service Inc. asked the California Supreme Court not to expand the number of investors who can bring securities suits in a case involving its Fritz Cos. unit. Fritz shareholders saw their stock fall by half after the company said merger costs in 1996 were higher than expected. Investors sued, saying they would have sold shares if they'd known about the problems. Under current securities laws, only shareholders who bought or sold stock can sue."
January 9, 2003 -- As the Journal of Commerce has noted, "despite a $1 billion profit in the first quarter of its fiscal year, the U.S Postal Service may have to request authority for another rate increase if Congress does not pass legislation reforming its pension payments. Postmaster General John Potter told the new Presidential Commission on the U.S. Postal Service Wednesday that legislation is needed to change the amount the Postal Service pays into the Civil Service Retirement System or ratepayers would be overpaying into the fund by $71 billion. With legislative change, rates could remain stable through 2006."
January 9, 2003 -- According to the Waterford News & Star (Ireland), "the Labour Party Spokesperson on Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Deputy Brian O’Shea, has called on the [Irish] Government to prevent the end of door-to-door postal delivery by putting the resources in place to maintain this essential service. Deputy O’Shea said elderly and housebound people in rural areas would be worst hit by such a development."
January 9, 2003 -- EuropeMedia.net has reported that "tens of thousands of Christmas well-wishers made use of a somewhat unique service offered by TPG Post, the Dutch postal service. Customers were able to create their own electronic cards (often containing photographs) on their PC and send them to an internet address. The postal service subsequently printed out the cards and delivered them manually. Volumes are still tiny when compared to the 200m conventional Christmas and New Year cards TPG Post delivers every year."
January 9, 2003 -- The Wash ington Post has reported that "Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.) was named chairman of the House Government Reform Committee last night, succeeding term-limited Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.) as head of the panel that oversees civil servants, federal contractor and governmental operations and investigations." In addition, Congressman Ernest Istook (R-OK) was reappointed as chairman of the U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on Treasury, Postal, and General Government."
January 9, 2003 -- As Reuter s has noted, "plenty of companies might be eager to deliver the mail on Wall Street or the Loop in Chicago, but few would fancy making deliveries to places off the beaten path, the head of the U.S. Postal Service told a presidential panel on Wednesday. Postmaster General John Potter told the nine-member commission charged with modernizing the 228-year-old agency that it had recently considered privatization and concluded that no business would covet delivering just a few pieces of mail each day to each American household."
January 9, 2003 -- As the Asso ciated Press has noted, "two centuries ago mail was the national communication system. That's no longer the case, and the President's Commission on the Postal Service is trying to chart an effective future for the post office."
January 9, 2003 -- According to the Irish Examiner, "An Post will have to get a major price rise if it does not secure the go-ahead for the controversial roadside letter boxes, their spokesman claimed yesterday."
January 9, 2003 -- Business Line (India) has reported that "the Business Post service, introduced in 1996 to offer pre-mailing activities (inserting the letter in the envelope, gumming, franking, sorting and forwarding) of large companies, has attracted good business."
January 8, 2003 -- How do you submit comments to the Presidential Commission on the Postal Service? That's simple. Just follow the rules.
January 8, 2003 -- Postmaster General Jack Potter "told the Commission that legislation was needed to change the amount the Postal Service pays into the Civil Service Retirement System or ratepayers would be overpaying into the fund by $71 billion. With legislative change, rates could remain stable through 2006. Potter praised the wide range of business experience the members of the Commission have, which will enable them to bring an unbiased perspective. He said he welcomed the opportunity to work with them in making a thorough and objective assessment of the public policy issues facing the Postal Service."
January 8, 2003 -- The U.S. Department of Treasury has created a web site that will be used by the President's Commission on the Postal Service. There you will find links to Pre ss Releases, Commi ssion Documents, Public Meetings Notices and Minutes, Provisions for Public Comments/Feedback, and Other Important Links. There you will find the remarks of Treasury Undersecretary Peter Fisher presented at the first public meeting of the Commission. Go to the Postal Service's web site for copies of the remarks by Postmaster General Jack Potter and for copies of the EXCELLENT PowerPoint presentation by USPS chief financial officer Richard Strasser on the financial realities facing the Postal Service.
The Commission has invited interested parties to submit written comment, which are due by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, February 12. Comments may be sent by email (email@example.com) or by mail/messenger (1120 Vermont Avenue, NW, Suite 971, Washington, DC 20005). Anyone with questions, should direct inquiries to to Randall Lewis of the commission staff (202-622-6075).
January 8, 2003 -- According to the National Post (Canada), "some independent postal operators say they will close or scale back services because they cannot afford the expensive renovations demanded by Canada Post to achieve national consistency in its image."
January 8, 2003 -- Workplace.ca has reported that "negotiations between Canada Post and its postal workers’ union are hitting a 'high gear,' the union says. Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) has made 109 demands addressing issues such as improved wages, benefits, job security, job creation measures, health and safety protections, pensions, and the contracting in of rural route and suburban mail couriers’ work. CUPW wants benefits to extend to temporary employees and part-timers (except for being paid overtime). It also wants its pension fund to have joint trusteeship. The union is also seeking changes to the Child Care Fund, including projects for adult children with special needs, addition of elder care, and increased funding to expand its current programs. The union says this is the first round of bargaining with Canada Post where it is legal to negotiate the employees' pension. It is also the first time that it is bargaining for the rural and suburban mail couriers."
January 8, 2003 -- The Irish Postmasters Union is supporting controversial plans to replace the traditional door to door domestic mail deliveries.
January 8, 2003 -- icCoventry has reported that "late-night post collection has been axed by Royal Mail bosses."
January 8, 2003 -- CEP News (Courier-Express-Postal) has reported that:
CEP News is without a doubt one of the best newsletters you can find that focuses on the courier, express, and postal market. If you don't get it, when it comes to the CEP business worldwide, you REALLY won't "get it." For more information on a subscription to CEP News, contact the publisher.
January 8, 2003 -- According to Expansion, "the Spanish postal sector is once again the scene of a fierce battle, with around 200 companies, under the umbrella of Asempre, the Spanish association of correspondence delivery companies, demanding that the government deregulate the postal activities of its various ministries. The association has sent letters to all the ministries demanding that Correos, the Spanish post office, loose its monopoly on delivering adverts, publicity and mail for the government departments."
January 8, 2003 -- The Irish Examiner has reported that "An Post insisted yesterday that the elderly and disabled will continue to get mail delivered to their door — even if the outdoor letter boxes are introduced."
January 8, 2003 -- Vang uard (Nigeria) has reported that "all over NIPOST locations in the country, the palpable fear amongst workers today is the harm which the Internet poses to their means of livelihood. Every day workers are inundated with tales of how the Internet would replace the Post Office as Nigerians would soon no longer find it dignifying any longer to go to the Post Office to post letters. Instead, they are told, Nigerians would now resort to the use of e-mail, SMS, GRPS etc as their means of sending their mails."
January 8, 2003 -- The Wash ington Post has reported that "a Washington postal worker who was stricken by anthrax sued Postmaster General John E. Potter and two other postal managers yesterday, alleging that they put his life in danger by failing to close his workplace swiftly after anthrax spores were discovered and by misleading employees about the dangers of infection."
January 7, 2003 -- According to the Postal Service's Inspector General Karla Corcoran, "the U.S. Postal Service pays too much for delivery vehicle gasoline." An audit found that the Postal Service could recover $4 million dollars, in taxes, and that its Southeast Area could reduce budgeted labor costs in excess of $6 million annually. "This overpayment resulted," she said, "in large part, because the Postal Service has yet to fully implement recommendations made in our previous bulk fuel report, issued July 2001."
January 7, 2003 -- The Louisville Business Journal has noted that "in the business that involves moving a product from one place to another — the current all-encompassing buzzword is logistics — the difference between then and now comes down in many ways to July 1, 1980. That is the day that then-President Jimmy Carter signed the Motor Carrier Act, deregulating the trucking industry and limiting the Interstate Commerce Commission's control. It certainly hasn't been the only major change in shipping. The founder of what is now United Parcel Service Inc. revolutionized the industry when he convinced Seattle department stores in the early part of the century that they could trust him to keep a fleet of horse-drawn buggies that would deliver their goods to customers in a timely fashion, said Norman Black, UPS spokesman."
January 7, 2003 -- The Star (Malaysia) has reported that "Logistics firm United Parcel Service (M) Sdn Bhd (UPS) has introduced its SMS (short message service) tracking services in Asian countries, including Malaysia. The service allows customers to track their package delivery status anytime and anywhere with a mobile phone."
January 7, 2003 -- RTE Interactive (Ireland) has reported that "An Post management are to be asked to appear before an Oireachtas Committee to explain their proposal to end door-to-door postal delivery. The Chairman of the Oireachtas Communications Committee, Noel O'Flynn, said he wanted assurances from the company that those who could not collect their post from outside their homes would be catered for. Deputy O'Flynn said the Committee was also concerned about the security of the proposed outdoor letter boxes, which will be installed outside homes. advertisement advertisement An Post has said that the scheme would speed up deliveries and could eventually save the company €35m a year."
January 7, 2003 -- The Associated Press has reported that "the Postal Service recorded a $1 billion profit in the first quarter of the fiscal year, topping expectations by $200 million. The busy three-month period before Christmas meant a heavy mail volume for the post office, producing income to help balance slower periods. Richard J. Strasser Jr., the agency's chief financial officer, said the post office had revenue of $16.1 billion during the period covering Sept. 7 to Nov. 29. That was $300 million less than had been expected, but cost cutting and staff reductions lowered expenses by $500 million, Strasser said.
January 7, 2003 -- At the January meeting of the USPS Board of Governors, Postmaster General John Potter announced the following appointments:
January 7, 2003 -- Aftenposten (Norway) has reported that "frustration is reaching the boiling point among residents of Norway who receive packages from the US. The private firms that took over the job from the local postal service and an earlier contractor are fielding a flood of complaints from angry customers. The trouble actually began more than a year ago, when the Norwegian postal service (Posten Norge) lost its contract with the US Postal Service for parcel post. The US Postal Service started using General Cargo, which in turn used Nor-Cargo in Norway. Delays began. By November, Nor-Cargo was out of the picture and the contract was being handled by General Logistics Systems (GLS), which joined forces with Nordisk Express and Ekspressgods. Customers also have complained of poor service, long waits on the telephone and a general lack of responsiveness. Norway's consumer protection agency (Forbrukerraadet) has received several complaints from angry Norwegians who simply want to get their packages. "
January 7, 2003 -- In his remarks at the January meeting of the U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors, Postmaster General John Potter said that "we are continuing to transform the Postal Service. Tomorrow, the Presidential Commission will have its first meeting. Dick Strasser and I will testify. The Postal Service will actively support the Commission as it develops recommendations for the future. As part of our Transformation efforts, we said we would pursue moderate legislative and regulatory changes that would have a significant positive impact. We are pleased that legislation which addresses the potential overfunding of the Postal Service's portion of the Civil Service Retirement System is under consideration. The proposed legislation is needed to ensure stable rates through 2006."
January 7, 2003 -- The Postal Service reported that it continues to provide record on-time delivery performance as it reduces costs through aggressive belt-tightening. Since Spring 1997, First-Class Mail designated for next-day delivery has been delivered on-time at least 93% of the time.
January 7, 2003 -- The U.S. Postal Service has reported that it continues to achieve record breaking delivery scores for First-Class Mail in the nation’s major metropolitan areas. Francia G. Smith, vice president and consumer advocate, told the Postal Service Board of Governors that local First-Class Mail achieved a 94 percent on time delivery service performance score during the period of September 7 through November 29, 2002. This is the third consecutive quarter First-Class Mail delivery hit the 94 percent benchmark.
January 7, 2003 -- The Jerusalem Post has reported that "The dismissal of five senior Postal Authority employees on personal contracts and 80 workers on union contracts to increase efficiency and cut costs has been approved by Haifa Regional Labor Court Judge Avital Rimon-Kaplan. The court's backing for the authority's dismissals, said authority chairman and acting director-general Yossi Shelli, contribute to its plans to reduce the number of employees from 4,885 to an eventual 4,650 before the authority becomes a government company in August."
January 7, 2003 -- U.TV (Ireland) has reported that a "proposal to end door-to-door deliveries and instead place mail in new outdoor boxes is part of a bid by postal company An Post to cut costs and speed up services." See also Ireland Online and the Irish Examiner.
January 7, 2003 -- How'd the Postal Service do in 2002? You can find that out by checking the audited report of its 2002 financials, which is posted on the USPS web site.
January 7, 2003 -- Dow Jones has reported that "Treasury Undersecretary for Domestic Finance Peter Fisher will be among the officials testifying Wednesday at the first meeting of the President's Commission on the Postal Service, Treasury said Monday. The meeting, which is open to the public and media, will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 12 noon EST at the Hotel Washington. Postmaster General John E. Potter and Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of the Postal Service Richard Strasser also will testify. President George W. Bush created the nine-member bipartisan commission in early December. The commission's task is to identify the challenges facing the Postal Service and recommend legislative and administrative steps to ensure its long-term viability. The Postal Service has not been profitable since 1999. The commission is to be housed within Treasury's Office of Domestic Finance. Its recommendations are due by July 31, 2003."
January 7, 2003 -- The U.S. Postal Service has published in the Federal Register a notice that it "intends to establish a Consensus Committee to develop recommendations for revision of USPS STD 4B, which governs the design of apartment house mailboxes. The committee will develop and adopt its recommendations through a consensus process. The committee will consist of persons who represent the interests affected by the proposed rule, including apartment house type mailbox manufacturers, mailbox distributors, mailbox installers and servicers, postal customers, and apartment house builders, owners and managers."
January 7, 2003 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "DHL Worldwide Express will raise rates by 3.5 percent on Feb. 2 on most of its U.S. domestic and U.S. outbound services. The increase is the same as the price increases announced by FedEx Corp. that took effect Monday and similar to those of Airborne Express and United Parcel Service."
January 7, 2003 -- According to postal commentator Gene Del Polito, there are many policy questions that must be a part of the Commission on the Postal Service's deliberation.
January 6, 2003 -- According to DM News, "It doesn’t sound like people have set too many wild, unattainable expectations for 2003. With postal rates holding steady at least a year (and maybe three or more!), the mailing world is set to see some growth."
January 6, 2003 -- The Guardian (U.K.) has reported that "the number of days lost through industrial action at the traditionally strike-happy Post Office last year sank to its lowest for 10 years, despite the loss of more than 13,000 jobs."
January 6, 2003 -- The Federal Times has noted, "the newly appointed presidential commission on the U.S. Postal Service faces a powerful opportunity to steer the service through perhaps its most critical period. But its success may depend upon its ability to quickly focus beyond the rhetoric of some prominent stakeholders, including the Postal Service itself. The most popular refrain is that the Postal Service’s business model is out of date and too restrictive. While there surely are benefits to some changes in the Postal Reorganization Act of 1970, the true source of the Postal Service’s woes lies elsewhere."
January 6, 2003 -- The Financial Times has reported that "Royal Mail may be allowed to increase the price of postage by more than the rate of inflation after the government admitted that the troubled state-owned company risked going into administration in the face of increasing competition. Postcomm, the postal regulator, is expected to approve a 1p increase in the price of both first and second class stamps by the end of January. But insiders hinted on Sunday that could drop controversial plans to cap future rises at 2.5 per cent, the forecast level of retail price inflation."
January 6, 2003 -- According to Variety, "video rental giant Blockbuster Inc.'s woes are clearly Netflix's gain. The online mail order DVD rental shop reported that it will exceed its own subscriber targets for 2002, with subs expected to end the year up 88% in the fourth quarter to reach 857,000. Some 93% of those customers pay the regular $20 per month membership fee, which gives them the right to rent an unlimited number of DVDs from Netflix's catalog of 13,500 titles. Users can request up to three titles in any order and keep them for as long as they like before mailing them back with no late fees. The Los Gatos, Calif.-based company says it can reach more than half of its subs with next-day delivery service."
January 6, 2003 -- CRMDaily has reported that "in the wake of the holiday shopping crush, The Conference Board (news - web sites) has released some significant findings for online retailers. U.S. consumers are more trusting when conducting online transactions than they were a year ago, according to the Board's Consumer Internet Barometer, a new quarterly measure of who is doing what on the Internet."
January 5, 2003 -- Reuters< /a> has reported that "the head of Nordic papermaker Stora Enso (STERV.HE) said he is more optimistic about key North American markets than he has been for years thanks to signs of recovery in the advertising market. Paper makers around the globe have been hard hit by the economic slowdown, which has led to a sharp downturn in the advertising market, with paper prices also depressed."
January 5, 2003 -- In November 2002, AuctionBytesconducted a survey about shipping habits. 470 U.S. online sellers participated. The results showed some unanimity in preferred shipping methods, but disparity in the way respondents handled insurance claims. In the last issue, I revealed how survey participants handle the problem of damaged goods and returns and their preferred method of shipping. Now the author examines how respondents handle insurance claims with shipping carriers. I also explain how claims should be handled to help straighten out some of the confusion over damaged goods and returns.
January 5, 2003 -- Fiji Live has reported that Figi's "postal rates will be increased soon after the approval by the Prices and Incomes Board. The rates, which are VAT inclusive, will come into effect from Monday, January 6, 2003. The effect will see an increase in local postage by certain fractions on letters and parcels."
January 5, 2003 -- According to The Scotsman (U.K.), "Adam Crozier, the new chief executive of the Royal Mail, one of the UK’s few remaining heavyweight monopolies, will face some serious challenges over the next few months as the postal sector reacts to growing competition. From last week, a third of the postal market was fully opened up when the regulator Postcomm granted seven-year licences to distribution firm Hays and Dutch company TPG. Both can now compete with Royal Mail, which is losing about £1.2m every day, for bulk deliveries of 4,000 items or more."
January 5, 2003 -- The Budapest Business Journal (Hungary) has reported that "in the latest developments on Hungary’s insurance market, the sixth largest player, AXA Insurance Rt, is set to be bought by leading Austrian insurer Uniqa, while two new companies part-owned by state postal services company Magyar Posta Rt will soon start operations."
January 5, 2003 -- The Independent has reported that "Royal Mail may be forced into administration unless it is allowed to raise stamp prices. The stark warning is contained in a Department of Trade and Industry report sent to the postal regulator Postcomm late in December. The DTI, which is the sole shareholder in Royal Mail, warns that if Postcomm rejects requests for an increase in prices then Royal Mail won't be able to pay back three government loans worth more than £1bn."
January 5, 2003 -- The Evening Advertiser (U.K.) has reported that "Swindon's South Marston Royal Mail sorting depot will close tomorrow with the loss of 60 jobs. The depot, which employs about 250 staff, has been axed as part of a dramatic restructuring of Royal Mail's postal service in an effort to reduce daily losses of £1.5m. The remaining 190 workers have been found alternative employment at the Royal Mail leaflet distribution centre in Wheatstone Road, Swindon. Royal Mail spokesman Don Veale confirmed that the plant, which has been in operation for more than 10 years, was one of four distribution centres being closed under the overhaul."
January 4, 2003 -- The Hindu has reported that "Even as the [Indian] Postal Department is trying to recover from the shock given by the private courier operators, the use of Short Messaging Service (SMS) by the cellular phones has given a deathblow to the department's revenue."
January 4, 2003 -- Direct magazine has reported that "the contest for chairmanship of the House Government Reform Committee, which oversees the U.S. Postal Service, is down to two candidates: Rep. Tom Davis (R-VA) and Rep. Christopher Cox (R-CA), according to mail industry watchers."
January 4, 2003 -- Kudos to Azeez Jaffer, the Postal Service's Vice President for Public Affairs and Communication for his defense of the Postal Service's advertising mail product. He told the Honolulu Star-Bulletin that it: "should admit that its tirade against direct mailing advertising stems from the fact that advertising mail competes with newspaper advertising. Your paper is just making a thinly disguised attempt to limit competition against it. This ignores the reality that newspaper advertising still faces competition for ad dollars from broadcast and other print media as well. It is disingenuous hyperbole for the editorial to claim that postage rates threaten the continued distribution of magazines and other publications. It is the depression in the advertising market that has adversely impacted periodical revenue. The decline in advertising revenue has affected all media, including print, broadcast and direct mail." My heavens! The Postal Service has found its voice.
January 4, 2003 -- Le Figaro (France) has reported that "French national postal service La Poste is readying itself for increased competition this January, when mail weighing more than 100g, or three times the standard letter weight, will be deregulated within the EU. This is a further step towards deregulation for mail weighing more than 50g, which will come into effect in January 2006."
January 4, 2003 -- NEPA News has noted that "President Bush has appointed a commission to figure out how to make the post office swim through the rising tide of competition from private mail and package companies. You could lay part of the blame for the service's economic distress on e-mails and electronic commerce, including automatic withdrawals from banks by creditors as well as telephone and Internet bill payments. But Bush has an overhaul in mind, and that gives me the willies because the postal service is a piece of Americana. You just don't give up on something this basic, especially when more people can afford a stamp than the price of a private delivery system."
January 4, 2003 -- GovExec.com has reported that "the Labor Department needs to find a better way to track whether it pays benefits to injured federal workers on time, according to a new General Accounting Office report. GAO recommended that the secretary of Labor and the postmaster general take steps to monitor the preparation and processing of postal workers’ forms. The Postal Service agreed with the report, and has taken actions to improve its method of submitting and tracking claims."
January 3, 2003 -- El Pais has reported that "Correos, the Spanish post office, yesterday announced a profit in 2002 of 30m euros. Alberto Nunez Feijoo, chairman, also said that the group would create 6,000 fixed jobs in 2003."
January 3, 2003 -- Traffic World has reported that:
January 3, 2003 -- The Hamilton Advertiser (U.K.) has reported that "Hamilton residents have rubbished claims in a national survey that their postal service is the second worst in Britain. A league table of results published last week by ‘Postwatch Scotland’, highlighted Lanarkshire — which covers almost 165,000 addresses — as Scotland’s poorest served Royal Mail area. Only Romford in Essex is worse off when it comes to getting first class mail delivered on time. But this week, the Advertiser conducted its own mini-survey, and discovered that people in Hamilton are more than happy with the service, and have encountered few problems over the hectic Christmas period."
January 3, 2003 -- The Korea Times has reported that "The Office for Government Policy Coordination yesterday handed down manuals to local administrative organizations to show how to deal with mail bombs and explosives. With privately-made explosives posing a growing threat, as was shown in recent cases of mail bombs threatening a local theater and film company, the authorities classified several types of mail as dangerous. Mail with an unusual number of stamps and mail stipulating a specific recipient are classified as potentially dangerous. Also, mail with postal stamps inconsistent with the sender’s address and mail smelling of shoe polish or almonds should be treated with special caution, according to the manual."
January 3, 2003 -- According to Forbes, "it was a scene not often seen in the history of labor-management relations. About 150 truck drivers, dockworkers and mechanics, most of them Teamsters members, piled into a conference hall to hear the president of Roadway Express tell them they had to work more efficiently."
January 3, 2003 -- According to the Wall Street Journal, "a resilient economic expansion may be in the making, starting in the same place that the slump began: corporate boardrooms. The U.S. economy of 2002 may be remembered for its resemblance to the economy of 1992: stuck in a rut, depressed about its prospects, damned by Democrats -- yet poised for an impressive takeoff. A business-spending bust drove the economy into recession in March 2001 and has hobbled the recovery ever since. But now, the pieces required for a rebound are falling into place: Profits are recovering. Balance sheets are stronger. Investor panic is subsiding. And perhaps most important, businesses are finding it harder to keep postponing new investment."
January 3, 2003 -- As the Associated Press has noted, "shipping wine across state lines entails navigating a Byzantine maze of alcoholic beverage laws liable to make sober heads spin. Each state has its own regulations dating to the repeal of Prohibition 69 years ago. Some even prohibit trucking wine through 'dry' counties."
January 3, 2003 -- The Federal Times has reported that "with the growth of first-class mail volume slowing, and with the prospect of more mailers using the Internet, the U.S. Postal Service is looking for growth in an area it has not been dominant in — packages and parcels."
January 3, 2003 -- Ireland Online has reported that "An Post's chief executive John Hynes has apologised to the thousands of customers who fell victim to a hefty backlog of post over the Christmas period. Following the introduction of a new internal processing capacity, over one million cards and letters failed to make it to households around the country before Christmas. An Post says most of the backlog has now been dealt with."
January 3, 2003 -- The Financial Times has reported that "the Confederation of British Industry said pre-Christmas retail sales appeared to have been static for the first time in 10 years. Its December distributive sales survey, which includes internet and postal sales, was the first for nearly four years in which more retailers said sales were down than said they were up."
January 3, 2003 -- U.TV (Ireland) has reported that:
January 2, 2003 -- According to postal commentator Gene Del Polito, the PR campaign the Newspaper Association of America is running in opposition to the Postal Service's proposed negotiated service agreement with Capital One is downright "silly."
January 2, 2003 --eTaiwan News has reported that "Taiwan's Directorate General of Posts under the Ministry of Transportation and Communications was yesterday formally transformed into a state-owned firm, Chunghwa Post Corporation Limited. This was done in line with the government's efforts to privatize public enterprises in order to upgrade operational efficiency."
January 2, 2003 --The Budapest Business Journal has reported that "in the latest developments on Hungary’s insurance market, the sixth largest player, AXA Insurance Rt, is set to be bought by leading Austrian insurer Uniqa, while two new companies part-owned by state postal services company Magyar Posta Rt will soon start operations."
January 2, 2003 -- As DM News has noted, "licenses allowing a postal operator and a mailing company to carry bulk mail throughout the United Kingdom took effect yesterday in the first of a three-stage effort to open the UK's postal service to competition."
January 2, 2003 -- Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Germany) has reported that "Deutsche Post, Germany's postal service operator, has revealed that it will bid for Austria's postal service operator if the latter is privatised. Chairman Klaus Zumwinkel has announced that he does not intend to close any of Deutsche Post's current 5,000 post offices across Germany. He has not ruled out, however, that the group will close down some of its outlets at supermarkets and other retail businesses."
January 2, 2003 -- The Anchorage Daily News has reported that "because most of the appropriations bills are still pending, Sen. Ted Stevens wasn't able to bring home his usual megabatch of federal projects. But don't think Congress didn't do anything for you in 2002. Stevens passed changes to the bypass mail program, which he said should keep the postal subsidy going. Bypass mail is an only-in-Alaska program that gives shippers parcel-post rates for groceries and other cargo that never sees the inside of a post office. The Postal Service has been losing about $100 million a year because of it. To prevent the Postal Service from pulling the plug, Stevens pushed through changes that, among other things, bar new airlines on the mainline routes unless they provide at least as many passenger seats as the largest passenger carrier serving the route. He says the changes should save the Postal Service about $30 million a year. "It was very important to settle that issue," Stevens said. "It will assure that we have service in Alaska that addresses the needs for transportation of cargo as well as assuring the transportation of passengers to rural areas."
January 1, 2003 -- Information Week has reported that "with its peak delivery season behind it, United Parcel Service Inc. is investing in wireless technology for its new $1 billion Worldport air transportation hub at Louisville International Airport. Each of the 304,000 packages sorted per hour at the 4-million-square-foot facility must be scanned so that UPS can provide customers with accurate tracking data."
January 1, 2003 -- PC World has predicted that "by this time next year, 23.3 million households will have broadband connections, according to an EMarketer report. That's a 38 percent jump from the 16.8 million broadband-equipped households in the United States today. Give it another year, and broadband users will overtake the number of dial-up customers in 2004."
January 1, 2003 -- "Putting aside the hype coming from companies that track e-commerce industry growth," PC World said, "government statistics reveal that the online shopping industry barely reaches beyond 1 percent of total retail sales. In 2001, the last full year where numbers are available, the Department of Commerce broke out e-commerce sales versus total U.S retail sales which revealed the $3.16 trillion retail industry saw a total of $37.7 billion in sales take place online--comprising 1.2 percent of the total. This year e-commerce is tracking about the same. Through the third quarter, the last full quarter where numbers are available, total retail sales were $856 billion versus $11 billion in e-commerce, about a 1.3 percent share. There is no doubt that online shopping is growing, but even if it grew 10 percent per year and the rest of retail remained stagnant it would take until 2013 before e-commerce garnered just more than 10 percent of total sales. With traditional retailers claiming that no sales tax gives e-tailers an unfair advantage and state legislators face huge budget deficits, the free sales tax ride may soon be history."
January 1, 2003 -- Suddeutsche Zeitung has reported that "carriage charges for Deutsche Post, the German postal service operator, are set to fall in the new year, after its regulator, RegTP, ordered a 7.2 per cent cut for 2003. The move comes hot on the heels of an announcement that DP must repay 850m euros to the country's government. Deutsche Post reckons that the carriage price reduction could cost it up to 300m euros per year, between now and the end of its monopoly in 2007."
January 1, 2003 -- La Tribune (France) has reported that "Pitney Bowes has decided not to pursue legal action against the sector number two, French group Neopost. Pitney Bowes accused Neopost, early in November, of making fraudulent use of several of its patents, saying that it would file suits in the US and Canada. Reports that it has decided against such action have not yet been confirmed. In recent weeks, the two groups have apparently been working on a solution to the problem which includes a financial element."
January 1, 2003 -- Die Welt has reported that "Deutsche Post World Net, the German postal service operator, has brought together a number of business areas under the banner of Business Consulting, which will be managed by Clemens Beckmann, who takes over from Klaus Appel in a business development role. Mr Beckmann has been working as chairman of E-Business GmbH."
January 1, 2003 -- According to the USPS' NewsLink, "the Postal Service will have its own affinity credit card. It's only for postal employees, and it becomes available in 2003."