Postal News from June 2003
June 30, 2003 -- Canada.com has reported that "Canada's highest-paid public servant could make more than $500,000 this year under a new federal pay scale that has boosted some executive salaries by close to 40 per cent in three years. Canada Post CEO Andr‚ Ouellette, who tops the salary list of Crown corporation executives, will receive up to $408,000 in salary this year, plus an additional 25-per-cent performance bonus."
June 30, 2003 -- U.TV (Ireland) has reported that "bucking the trend of the last 12 months, a significant jobs boost has been provided for east Cork with the announcement that An Post is to create almost 240 jobs."
June 30, 2003 -- AMEInfo has reported that "Emirates Post and Somal Post, the national postal corporation of Somalia, have signed an agreement to handle money transfer, letters and parcels between the UAE and Somalia.."
June 30, 2003 -- The Daily News (Africa) has reported that "Vanuatu has unveiled what it claims to be the world's first underwater post office providing jobs for four dive-accredited postal workers operating in shifts. But it isn't as silly as you might think - provided you buy special waterproof postcards available from shops on terra firma here. Then you scuba dive three metres down to have your postcards embossed with a waterproof stamp, specially created by Vanuatu Post to celebrate the 83-island Pacific archipelago's status as a marine paradise."
June 30, 2003 -- The Atlanta Business Chronicle has reported that "the nation's major Internet service providers have been fighting a war against 'spam' for several years. Now large corporations are joining the battle. United Parcel Service Inc. filed a lawsuit June 11 against several as-yet unnamed defendants who allegedly used UPS' e-mail system to send messages promoting sexual material and adult products to UPS customers. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Atlanta. The spammers used a technique called 'spoofing,' which means the e-mails appeared to come from a UPS employee with a legitimate UPS e-mail address. The Atlanta package delivery giant is suing the spammers under federal and state laws that prohibit computer fraud and racketeering that involves the use of computers."
June 30, 2003 -- As the Federal Times has reported, "no legislator has been as unflagging in pushing postal reform as Rep. John McHugh. The New York Republican has offered legislation to transform the way the U.S. Postal Service operates in every Congress since 1996 and, though none has become law, he is not discouraged. In fact, McHugh hopes this is the year Congress gets serious about postal reform."
June 30, 2003 -- ABX Air, Inc., a subsidiary of Airborne Express, pilots are celebrating a legal victory that upheld the medical privacy of its crewmembers.
June 30, 2003 -- The Bangkok Post has reported that "a global joint venture involving three leading providers of postal services is promoting Thailand as a regional printing and publishing hub. TPG, Royal Mail of Britain and Singapore Post consolidated their direct-mail, logistics and distribution service operations two years ago and formed G3 Worldwide Mail NV under the brand name Spring. TPG, affiliated with TNT (a multinational express delivery service) and Royal PTT Post, is the majority shareholder of the joint venture while the national postal carriers of Great Britain and Singapore each hold a 24.5% stake in the venture. Headquartered in Amsterdam, G3 Worldwide Mail officially launched its local operating unit in Thailand in April. G3 Worldwide Mail Logistics (Thailand) Co is a joint venture between G3 Worldwide Mail and Singapore Post."
June 29, 2003 -- The Associated Press has reported that "Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder on Sunday announced plans for a euro25 billion ($28.5 billion) tax cut next year to send a "signal of revival" to Germans unsettled by cuts to the nation's generous welfare state. Finance Minister Hans Eichel said sales of government assets such as shares in former state monopolies Deutsche Telekom and Deutsche Post would take place 'to the degree that it can be accommodated on the market.'"
June 29, 2003 -- The Russian Information Agency Novosti has reported that "Russia's entry into the World Trade Organisation will have no negative effect on the Russian postal service, Russia's Communications and Information Minister Leonid Reiman told journalists in St Petersburg."
June 29, 2003 -- According to a recent report by the Institute for Research on the Economics of Taxation, "the U.S. Postal Service requires most of the real estate it owns for postal operations, but some is excess. Properties not needed for postal operations should be identified and transformed into revenue. That would simultaneously help the Postal Service financially and assist the economy by putting scarce resources to better uses. In addition, if the tax-exempt Postal Service owned less real estate, that would increase the tax bases of financially strained state and local governments."
June 29, 2003 -- Reuters has reported that "shipping company United Parcel Service Inc. UPS.N expects to broaden its relationship with online auctioneer eBay Inc.EBAY.O even further than the ties they announced earlier this week, UPS' chief executive said on Friday. In an interview with Reuters on the sidelines of eBay Live, a user conference sponsored by UPS in Orlando, Florida, UPS CEO Mike Eskew said the partnership with eBay 'has an awful lot more room to grow.'"
June 29, 2003 -- Gulf News has reported that "Kuwait's parliament which ended its four-year term on June 4 failed to introduce economic reforms. The long-awaited privatisation has remained deadlocked in the parliament. The most notable part of the proposed law is granting each ministry the right to develop its own privatisation strategy. Long on the privatisation list are postal services and ground communications stations as well as laboratories, X-rays and security at public hospitals."
June 28, 2003 -- The Associated Press has reported that "the federal government has sued a property insurer, accusing the company of failing to reimburse it of millions of dollars in damages and losses incurred at a post office in lower Manhattan on Sept. 11, 2001."
June 28, 2003 -- The Edinburgh News (Scotland) has reported that "the Scottish Parliament has scrapped controversial plans to privatise its internal postal system after an outcry from MSPs [Members of the Scottish Parliament]. The service, which is currently operated by the Royal Mail, is instead to be taken over by the parliament itself. The existing Royal Mail employees working at the parliament will be offered the chance to stay on and become part of the parliament's own staff. There were widespread protests earlier this year when it was claimed an English firm, Business Post, based in Slough, was poised to win the œ1 million contract to deliver MSPs' mail."
June 28, 2003 -- The National Association of Major Mail Users (Canada) has reported that "the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) tabled their global offer to Canada Post today, June 27. This is a response to the basis for agreement tabled by Canada Post May 27, just prior to the strike vote. The offer is under study and discussion between the parties, with the assistance of the mediators."
June 28, 2003 -- Chris Mahoney, senior vice president of global transportation services of UPS, spoke to an audience of business leaders at the ING Management Conference. During his speech, Mahoney outlined UPS's formula for creating a sustainable and customer focused culture. He went further to explain the role technology plays in enhancing customer service.
June 27, 2003 -- BusinessWorld (Ireland) has reported that "The board of An Post today announced that it has appointed Donal Curtin to be the new chief executive of the state postal service. He will take up his position on July 14 upon the retirement of John Hynes. Curtin has had a long career at senior management and operational level in the ESB where he held the position of commercial director as well as several high level posts in its subsidiary ESB International (ESBI)."
June 27, 2003 -- Mark Acton, Special Assistant in the Office of the Chairman at the Postal Rate Commission is moving on. As of July 1, he will assume his new post as Deputy to the Chairman of the Committee on Arrangements for the 2004, Republican National Convention, Republican National Committee.
June 27, 2003 -- The Washington Post has reported that "The trucking industry, reaching a mutual lobbying pact with the railroads, agreed yesterday not to seek federal permission to run longer and heavier trucks on the country's highways for at least the next six years. Rather than battle over the issue, the American Trucking Associations and the Association of American Railroads effectively called a truce in one of Washington's longest-running and most expensive lobbying battles. They will instead spend their lobbying time and effort to promote mutually beneficial freight industry issues."
June 27, 2003 -- Word has it that the U.S. Postal Service is finding it particularly challenging to keep to its pledge not to raise postal rates before 2006. Sources have told PostCom that the USPS' financial gnomes have warned that the increases, when they come, will be in the "double-digit" range. Still don't think postal reform is necessary...?
June 27, 2003 -- Traffic World has reported that "FedEx Freight, Roadway Express and ABF Freight System are taking mid-year general rate increases in the 5.9 percent average range."
June 27, 2003 -- The BBC Monitoring Service has reported that "the turnover achieved by "Barid Al-Maghrib", Moroccan post authority, reached in 2002 1.09bn [Moroccan] dirhams (117.6m US dollars), which is a rise of 2 per cent compared to the figures of 2001."
June 27, 2003 -- Quebecor World's Trenton Tennessee Mailing Center has been authorized by the United States Postal Service to participate in the new Periodical Co-palletization Program. Quebecor World is the first company to be granted authorization by the USPS for this new program.
June 27, 2003 -- The Daily Star (Lebanon) has reported that "the head of a well-known online retailer says the Lebanese government's highly publicized e-business drive is doomed unless it does away with notoriously outdated practices. 'Official administrative requirements are costly both in terms of money and time,' said Jihad Gabriel Murr, chairman of getforless.com, an e-commerce and direct mail order company. 'With so many hurdles it is no wonder that potential investors are shying away from Lebanon.' The unreliability of the postal service constitutes yet another discouragement for international orders. Shipments are chronically late and sometimes are not delivered at all, he said."
June 27, 2003 -- Alpine Air Express Inc. with its operating subsidiary, Alpine Air, a leading provider of regional air cargo transport and logistics services, announced on Jan. 2, 2003, that the United States Postal Service had discussed potentially terminating its ASYS-R contract effectively terminating airmail service on routes under a certain distance. Alpine is preparing to file a formal protest with the General Counsel of the USPS and a federal court action seeking a stay of the new award of the contract. Alpine is also preparing to send to its employees a letter explaining the USPS' actions and Alpine's plans to contest them, and asking the employees to write to the USPS and congressional representatives to further protest these developments.
June 27, 2003 -- The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin is available online.
June 27, 2003 -- Last December 18, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) unveiled its do-not-call registry plans. Today, it was the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) turn. According to the FCC, the no-call registry is nationwide in scope, includes all telemarketers with the exception of certain nonprofit organizations and politicians and covers both interstate and intrastate telemarketing calls. The FCC will implement the nationwide do-not-call registry in conjunction with the FTC. The national no-call database will be administered by the FTC and enforcement will be coordinated between the FCC and the FTC. A forthcoming Memorandum of Understanding, signed by both agencies, will detail the enforcement functions. The Federal Trade Commission's National Do Not Call Registry will be launched on Friday, June 27, 2003, at 8:30 a.m. EDT at the White House in a Rose Garden Ceremony.
June 26, 2003 -- The Irish Times has reported that "some 60,000 AIB customers have availed of a link-up allowing them conduct financial transactions at the post office since the scheme's introduction last November. Post offices offered added flexibility for customers, said Mr Peter Sayers, head of executive payment and e-business at AIB."
June 26, 2003 -- Dow Jones has reported that "TNT Express, a unit of Dutch postal and logistics company TPG NV (TP), Thursday said it is the first global carrier to partner up with a local courier company in Iraq. TNT Express has agreed to partner with Baghdad's largest courier company IKE Express to provide door to door delivery services to and from Iraq. TNT Express is the first international express company to link up with an Iraqi national operator since the lifting of UN sanctions and the partnership will provide more reliable services for customers in the region."
June 26, 2003 -- Expansion (Spain) has reported that "Correos, the Spanish post office, is facing a barrage of fines and investigations over alleged unfair competition. On Tuesday, the state postal operator was fined 5.4m euros by the Spanish competition court for having allegedly blocked the entry of the operators Suresa and Mail House into the postal network by imposing unfair conditions on them."
June 26, 2003 -- Eyefortransport.com has reported that "express parcel carrier Parceline, part of the GeoPost UK group, have launched desk-to-desk, a new service delivering urgent parcels directly to a named recipient at a specified location within a company or organization."
June 26, 2003 -- As CNNMoney has noted, "one company created an industry and saw its name become a verb ("Do you need me to FedEx that?"). The other is a brown, boring behemoth that delivers a ton of money to the bottom line and the balance sheet, but little gain in share price to its stockholders."
June 26, 2003 -- FinExtra.com has reported that "China Postal Savings Henan has contracted with Wincor Nixdorf for a further 100 self-service units and six cash recycling systems. The bank has already installed 30 Wincor Nixdorf units purchased from the vendor last year."
June 26, 2003 -- Le Figaro (France) has reported that "the French post office (La Poste) has broadened its consultation of French regional and local authorities concerning new ways of providing rural areas with postal services. The proposed innovations include post offices shared by one or more communes and mini-post offices in corner shops."
June 26, 2003 -- Foresee.com has noted that "using a proprietary technology that reveals what specific online actions bank customers would take if they were satisfied (such as opening up new accounts online), the ForeSee Results' analysis shows that banks are in fact undermining their own efforts to get more people to do more things online by not working harder to understand what customers want and need. The results come from a survey and analysis of current online banking customers who are also visitors to the Forbes.com web site. Forbes.com visitors represent the affluent, highly desirable segment of potential online bankers that most banks covet."
June 25, 2003 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that:
June 25, 2003 -- According to BizInk.com , "Stamps.com has confirmed it has filed a lawsuit against PayPal, Inc. and eBay, Inc. for breach of contract, breach of the implied covenants of good faith and fair dealing, and interference with contract, among other claims, with respect to the license agreement signed between Stamps.com and PayPal in June 2002."
June 25, 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 in Europe. For more information on a subscription to CEP News, contact the publisher.
June 25, 2003 -- ComputerWire has reported that "IBM Global Services is taking over management and operations for the IT and telephony infrastructure at Sweden's national postal service Posten, under a multimillion, multi-year deal. The 220m Euro ($254m), six-year contract will see IBM assume responsibility for three data centers including 600 servers, management of PCs and helpdesks including 180 applications, and a phone system that includes call centers, switchboards, landlines and mobile phones totaling 2,500 access points. IBM said Posten conducted a study into outsourcing and concluded it would lead to continued efficiencies minus the cost of owning systems."
June 25, 2003 -- BizPlus.ie (Ireland) has reported that the "Escher Group, the global provider of e-commerce solutions to the postal industry, is to buy the privately held, Irish postal solutions company, Anshe."
June 25, 2003 -- "Thank goodness Francie Hawkins' package was sent with some urgency," said the Farmington Daily Times. " The box, a Priority Mail parcel, arrived Saturday a mere five years and a month after it was sent. Had the package made its way through the U.S. Postal Service system as regular mail it might not have arrived for several more days. Time was of the essence for this package. Inside was four packages of jerky and sausage. All carried expiration dates in 1998 and 1999."
June 25, 2003 -- BizInk has reported that "six years after the United States Postal Service (USPS) sued the makers of the notorious videogame POSTAL and its ultra-controversial sequel, POSTAL 2, game developer Running With Scissors has been informed by the Trademark Trial and Appeals Board of the U.S. Department of Commerce that the USPS's opposition case had been dismissed with prejudice."
June 25, 2003 -- The Washington Post has reported that the United States has agreed to begin negotiations to relax aviation rules with the European Union, which seeks to form one common U.S.-European aviation market to replace a hodgepodge of treaties between individual countries. The EU's wish list includes several items that Congress, the Defense Department and U.S. labor unions are certain to oppose, such as allowing international mergers of airlines, ending all restrictions on investment and ownership between countries. A major battle is now underway involving cargo airline ownership. The two big U.S. package express carriers, FedEx Corp. and United Parcel Service of America Inc., are fighting a move by DHL Express, owned by Deutsche Post, the German postal service, to expand its U.S. market share through DHL Airways. In a move to eliminate any semblance of foreign ownership, DHL sold all its stock in DHL Airways Inc. to a U.S. group led by DHL Airways' chief executive, John H. Dasburg. Under the EU's proposals for eliminating ownership restrictions, the DHL case would be moot."
June 25, 2003 -- Tumbleweed Communications Corp., a provider of secure communication software for businesses and government agencies using the Internet, and Valicert, Inc., a leading of software that securely connects companies with their customers, suppliers and partners across the financial value chain, jointly announced that Tumbleweed and Valicert have completed their merger.
June 25, 2003 -- The Russia Journal has reported that "DHL's Moscow-based executives say Deutsche Post World Net's plans to bring its different courier-delivery and logistics companies together under the DHL brand name will bode well for their clients in the C.I.S. and Baltic states. The announcement was made last week in Moscow during the official presentation of the rebranding program. The move is part of more expansive plans to boost Deutsche Post World Net's share in the global market for courier- and business-express-delivery services. DHL employs over 700 people delivering shipments to over 500 Russian towns. It has over 130 private and agent-owned offices in the C.I.S., serving over 800 towns and settlements."
June 25, 2003 -- FedEx Corporation has reported that "total average daily package volume at FedEx Express and FedEx Ground grew a combined 5% year over year for the quarter, due to continued strong growth at Ground and in international express shipments. For the fourth quarter, FedEx Ground reported: eevenue of $880 million, up 18% from last year's $743 million Operating income of $150 million, up 17% from $128 million a year ago FedEx Ground average daily package volume grew 13% in the fourth quarter, about 40% of which was attributable to FedEx Home Delivery growth; yield per package increased 5%; and operating margin was 17.0% for the quarter.
FedEx Ground management continues to focus on improving productivity and on closely managing its costs. FedEx Home Delivery was profitable in fiscal 2003, as coverage for this network was expanded to nearly 100% of the U.S. population during the year. There are now approximately 41,000 shippers that use the service, nearly double the number from a year ago." See also the report by the Journal of Commerce and Bloomberg.In short, "thar's gold in them thar homes."
June 24, 2003 -- The Polish News Bulletin has reported that "Poczta Polska national post and Prokom IT company, owners of Bank Pocztowy bank, will increase the company's initial capital by ZL13m. A change in postal regulations will allow Poczta Polska to distribute financial products itself and the bank will focus on creating these products. Bank Pocztowy plans to close all of its 60 branches by the end of 2004 and transfer the network to Poczta Polska."
June 24, 2003 -- Le Monde (France) has reported that "the French government is reportedly preparing to authorise La Poste, the national postal services group, to sell consumer credit as part of agreements with one or several banking groups. The move would allow the public group to face more effectively the deregulation of the courier sector in 2006. The major banks, meanwhile, are against the proposal, which they say would distort competition, and central bank Banque de France also opposes it, on the grounds that it would destabilise the sector."
June 24, 2003 -- As DM News postal commentator Cary Baer has noted, "if the postal service's flats strategy would require the mailing industry to make dramatic changes to its mailing plans, especially mailing formats, the industry may be unwilling to sign on. This would doom the flats automation program. The USPS needs to provide much more than lip service to mailers' concerns. The service must be ready to make meaningful changes."
June 24, 2003 -- Hugin has reported that "Day, a leading provider of enterprise content management software, today announced that the Financial Services business unit of the French La Poste Group, Europe's number two postal group, selected Day's Communiqu‚ to power a new Web site for private customers. The new site, www.lapostefinance.fr, provides customers with financial information, interactive online services and higher levels of service through customized, user-friendly Web offerings."
June 24, 2003 -- According to Business Week, "the USPS started sponsoring cycling in 1996, figuring it was an easy, uncrowded sport to break into. The company signed Armstrong for a base salary of $215,000 plus bonuses based on performance, he writes in his autobiography, It's Not About the Bike. His salary is now $4 million, according to Outside magazine. While the USPS won't reveal how much it spends, top teams often cost over $10 million a year. And we pay the PMG less than $170,000??? Is something wrong here?
June 24, 2003 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that:
June 24, 2003 -- The Business Standard (India) has reported that "even though the rural India continues to beckon the private life insurance companies, it is the postal department that has stolen the thunder."
June 23, 2003 -- According to Sean Turner, a member of the Project 21 Advisory Council of the National Center for Public Policy Research, "the rise of technology, from faxes to email to e-commerce, and the success of competitors like UPS and FedEx, have relegated the Constitutional provision of post offices by the Federal government to antiquity. To allow the existence of the United States Postal Service in its current form is inimical to the principles upon which this nation was founded. The time for eliminating this monopoly is long overdue. The laws that protect the USPS must be repealed, letting free market forces (i.e., the will of the people) determine its fate."
June 23, 2003 -- The Government of Romania and the Universal Postal Union today signed two Agreements formalizing their relationship in the organization of the 23rd UPU Congress in Bucharest, Romania.
June 23, 2003 -- As the New York Times has noted, "at a time when lawmakers are sharply divided on everything from Arctic oil drilling to Medicare drug benefits, spam has emerged as a powerful bipartisan issue."
June 23, 2003 -- Dow Jones has reported that "United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS, news) reached an agreement with eBay Inc. (EBAY, news) to give the Web auctioneer's buyers and sellers online shipping tools that will compare the delivery prices of UPS and the U.S. Postal Service, Monday's Wall Street Journal reported. The deal, expected to be announced today, is an important step in simplifying one of the biggest trouble spots that often stand in the way of smooth transactions between the buyers and sellers that make up the eBay marketplace. Until now, users bidding on items usually had to steer from eBay's auction pages to a package carrier's Web site to figure shipping costs. The arrangement with Atlanta-based UPS will provide eBay sellers with a shipping calculator that can be displayed on their auction Web pages."
June 23, 2003 -- DM News has reported that "Coupons Inc. has developed technology that enables consumer packaged goods marketers, retailers and pharmaceutical companies to deliver Internet-generated coupons to consumers through the U.S. Postal Service."
June 23, 2003 -- According to the New York Post, "neither sleet, nor snow, nor rain, nor a fouled-up ZIP code could keep one postman from making his appointed Harry Potter rounds. The Cartusciello family of Brooklyn was one happy bunch after a kind-hearted postal worker made an unscheduled hand delivery of the coveted book Saturday - a copy that seemed destined for the dead-novel office."
June 23, 2003 -- The Times has reported that "Allan Leighton's restructuring of Royal Mail has seen the postal group spend œ564 million in redundancy and early retirement payments to date just halfway through the process. The payouts have been made as part of a generous redundancy programme, in which managers in the loss-making organisation are being offered sums of between six months' and a year's salary, in addition to a lump sum for taking early retirement. Royal Mail has said that it needs to cut 30,000 jobs from its 220,000 payroll in three years or face bankruptcy."
June 23, 2003 -- The Birmingham News has reported that "U.S. Postal Service will shut down the postal police forces in six major cities, including Birmingham."
June 22, 2003 -- Traffic World has reported that:
June 22, 2003 -- The Irish Times has reported that Irish"Labour MEP Mr Proinsias De Rossa criticised the Government yesterday over its failure to respond to an EU proposal to levy VAT on postal stamps. Mr De Rossa said he had been informed by the European Commission, in written response to a question, that it received 'no formal responses' from the Government on a proposal in 2000 to apply VAT to postal services."
June 22, 2003 -- According to Dow Jones, "Amazon.com shipped out more than a million copies of the new Harry Potter book, making Saturday the largest distribution day of a single item in e-commerce history. Postal Service spokesman Peter Hass in Portland, Ore., said the service was delivering more than 700,000 books for Amazon on Saturday. FedEx delivered 400,000 books ordered through Amazon and bookseller Barnes & Noble."
June 22, 2003 -- According to ContentBiz.com, "tn the battle between push and pull applications, it turned out push-email was the killer app. But, the paid newsletter industry already felt besieged by the raft of no-cost email newsletters competing for the same marketplace and undermining the value of content itself in readers' minds. Was it possible to publish an ezine as a marketing tactic to sell people on buying a print newsletter?"
June 22, 2003 -- The New York Post has reported that "a Kansas City, Mo., mail carrier said her bosses had trouble separating fact from fiction when they fired her for delivering the new Harry Potter book too soon. Kenia Cooper said she was fired after delivering a single copy of 'Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.' She said she had missed the hype so thought nothing about the book being in her mail stash on Friday - although it was marked not to be delivered until June 21."
June 22, 2003 -- Bloomberg has reported that "Deutsche Post AG, Europe's largest postal service, said the credit rating cut by Moody's Investors Service last week won't affect the company's financing costs. 'The rating cut doesn't directly influence our financing costs because the predominant part of our borrowings are hedged by fixed interest payments,' Bonn-based Deutsche Post said in a faxed statement. 'We will stick to our conservative financial policy to retain our above-average rating.' Deutsche Post has spent more than $5 billion on acquisitions since 1998 to reduce dependence on the German domestic mail market, which will open to competition in 2007. The company in March agreed to buy the ground operations of Seattle-based Airborne to gain a truck-delivery network across the U.S."
June 22, 2003 -- Ire land Online has reported that "the business organisation ISME is calling on Communications Minister Dermot Ahern to withdraw the latest An Post price increase application. Price increases of between 17% and 104% are being requested by An Post from August 1. This is on top of the 8% increase granted in March last year. According to ISME, this latest increase request is set against a background where An Post has clearly failed to achieve its promised projected cost reductions. According ISME Chief Executive Mark Fielding, the price increases will have a long-term negative impact."
June 21, 2003 -- According to the U.S. Postal Service's Michael Regan, "the government of the United States, along with European governments, has played a leading role in promoting reform in the UPU and in opening up the UPU to wider participation by the private sector. Private sector organizations representing both customers and private operators will have a significant opportunity, through the new Consultative Committee, to bring their interests and concerns, from service quality and affordability to trade facilitation, to the attention of government representatives in the UPU.
June 21, 2003 -- The Independent (U.K.) has reported that "Adam Crozier, the former football boss who took over as chief executive of Royal Mail earlier this year, stands to collect £3m if he turns the loss-making organisation around, it emerged yesterday. As well as an annual pay and bonus package worth £875,000, he could pick up an additional £1m under Royal Mail's long-term incentive plan if it beats the target of making a £400m operating profit next year." Folks...now those are INCENTIVES!!
June 21, 2003 -- The Times (U.K.) has reported that "the salary of directors at Royal Mail rose by 156 per cent last year, taking their total income to £2.2 million, it emerged yesterday. Directors' pay at the postal group, which reported losses of £197 million in the year just ended, included bonuses worth £619,848."
June 21, 2003 -- Bloomberg has reported that "Deutsche Post AG, Europe's largest postal service, had its credit rating reduced one level to A1 by Moody's Investors Service, which cited concern that a planned U.S. acquisition will increase the German company's debt. Moody's cut the rating from Aa3, the fourth highest investment grade. The ratings company said it expects to lower the rating another level to A2 after Deutsche Post's DHL unit completes its $1.05 billion purchase of Airborne Inc. this year. As part of the acquisition, the air operations of Airborne will be spun off into a separate company and Bonn-based Deutsche Post will be left with most of Airborne's debt, Moody's said.
June 21, 2003 -- According to the latest update from American Postal Workers Union President William Burrus, "a general time line has been established for management to notify eligible employees, for employees to express their interest in early retirement, and for workers to make their final decisions. Postal headquarters will instruct area-level officials to identify eligible employees and send them Letters of Interest for Early Retirement. The letters will require a response by a specific date. Postal headquarters will also instruct managers to review the personnel file of each employee that is considered eligible to ensure they meet the criteria for early retirement. A specific date for the initiation of the process will be determined at the area level, and is mutually expected to begin by the second week of July. It is expected that voluntary early retirements will take effect during October 2003 and February 2004, so they will not adversely affect operations during heavy mailing periods."
June 20, 2003 -- GATS (Global Alliance of Transportation Systems) is awarding the first licence to open and operate an airmail hub to Postal Corporation of Jamaica. Kingston, Jamaica, is strategically located to serve the entire Caribbean region plus Central America and countries in the northern part of South America. GATS will thus be able to offer national postal administrations around the world an effective and efficient network as well as advantageous mailing solutions. In conjunction with the Postal Corporation of Jamaica (PostCorp), GATS (Global Alliance of Transportation Systems) is opening its inaugural licensed hub in Kingston, Jamaica.
June 20, 2003 -- The Orlando Business Journal has reported that "now 7-Eleven shoppers can pay their bills while cashing their paychecks or shopping online at stores featuring Vcom kiosks. The Dallas, Texas-based convenience store chain has inked an exclusive seven-year deal to provide bill payment services with e-Money Systems Inc. through its electronic kiosks."
June 20, 2003 -- According to one interested postal watcher, "it makes sense for the United States Postal Service to deploy smart home delivery boxes en masse. With first-class mail volume declining, huge new revenues will come from the delivering of parcels that such boxes will prompt."
June 20, 2003 -- Dow Jones has reported that "shares in Dutch postal and logistics company TPG NV (TP) rose Friday as hopes mounted that a freeze in postal tariffs to the beginning of 2005 instead of 2007 may ease pressure on its earnings. TPG Friday welcomed Economics Affairs Minister Laurens Jan Brinkhorst's decision to shorten the duration of the freeze on postal tariffs. But the company said it was too early to estimate the decision's effect on TPG's earnings. Brinkhorst decided the government first needs to map out an overall vision on the future of the postal market - which will be ready by next autumn - before further decisions about tariffs can be taken."
June 20, 2003 -- According to Yahoo! News, "early in its effort to build a global delivery network, UPS learned an important lesson: nobody knows more about the business and culture of a country than the people who live there. After recognizing some missteps in sending American managers overseas, UPS adopted a new approach, explained UPS Chief Operating Officer Tom Weidemeyer. 'Today, we have 40,000 international employees, and how many do you think are U.S. nationals?' he asked today in a speech here. "The answer is less than 40, spread out over 200 countries. We've learned that everyone wins when we put international business operations into the hands of the people who know their local cultures."
June 20, 2003 -- The Baltic News Service has reported that "Eesti Post (Estonian Post) intends to invest in 2003-2005 almost 250 million kroons (EUR 15.97) in the development of postal and logistical services according to a new development plan. CEO Alo Streimann said 53 percent of the investments will be channeled into developing logistical services, 19 percent into modernizing the production infrastructure and 10 percent into purchasing and replacing mail handling equipment."
June 20, 2003 -- The Denver Post has reported that "a new mail tracking system will allow Frontier Airlines to keep a lucrative contract to haul U.S. Postal Service freight. Denver-based AccuCode Inc. will build the system and another system component to track passenger baggage. To keep their post office contracts, airlines must have technology in place to scan the mail."
June 20, 2003 -- According to Direct , "the Direct Marketing Association expressed its support for the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2003, a piece of legislation introduced yesterday by Senator Tom Carper (D-DE). Carper's bill calls for giving the U.S. Postal Service wider authority to make business decisions. The bill also calls for the creation of a new oversight agency."
June 20, 2003 -- DM News has reported that "The Senate Commerce Committee yesterday unanimously passed a toughened version of the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing, or CAN-SPAM, Act. Moreover, the bill, co-sponsored by Sens. Conrad Burns, R-MT, and Ron Wyden, D-OR, now calls for the Federal Trade Commission to submit a plan and a timetable to Congress for creating a national do-not-e-mail list, similar to the FTC's national do-not-call list. The legislation would pre-empt state anti-spam laws. The do-not-e-mail provision is seen as a nod to a proposal from Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY, to create a national do-not e-mail list. Schumer's bill has been gaining support lately among anti-spammers and consumer advocates." Guess that means marketers'll be back to lickin' stamps.
June 20, 2003 -- According to CFCN, "It is no secret that the number of accidents or tickets you have will affect your auto insurance rates. But even where you live within the city can make rates jump up. At least three insurance companies in Calgary are using postal codes to help them set rates."
June 20, 2003 -- The Toronto Star has reported that "Canada's postal workers voted today in favour of a strike, to be called when the union judges that the time is right."
June 20, 2003 -- Business Mailers Review has reported that:
June 20, 2003 -- According to the National Times Record, "the man who helped transform the American postal system in the 1960s and became a smiling symbol of efficiency is about to turn 40. If you intend to send a card, be sure to include in the address the nine-digit code that bears his name."
June 20, 2003 -- In a recent issue of Aviation Daily, United Parcel Service public affairs director David Bolger has said that "John Dasburg, new chairman of DHL Airways, complains that someone is questioning his patriotism. What is at issue is not patriotism, but money, the money upon which DHL Airways depends for its existence."
June 20, 2003 -- Window Book, Inc. was joined by Software Marketing Associates, Inc. (SMA) for the unveiling of Window Book's new interfaces to SMA's PRO-MAIL Business Management Solution Version 5 (PRO-MAIL 5) and PRO-MAIL Fulfillment Solution. Postal Package Partner takes the order data from the PRO-MAIL Fulfillment Solution and makes it easy for shippers to fulfill and ship their orders at low Postal rates, thereby avoiding the many surcharges that other carriers tack on. Postal Package Partner also includes support for many of the parcel consolidators that fulfillment houses use to ship Parcel Select."
June 20, 2003 -- NAPUS National President Wally Olihovik has enthusiastically applauded the actions of two key Senate and House committees in unanimously reporting the "Postmaster Equity Act" to the full houses.
June 19, 2003 -- GovExec.Com has reported that "The House Government Reform Committee Thursday approved by unanimous consent a bill (H.R. 2249) granting postmasters and their organizations the same negotiating rights as other supervisors. A similar bill (S. 678) was approved by the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee earlier in the week. Under the legislation, the nation's 26,000 postmasters could use a fact-finding process when negotiating pay and benefits. Such a process already exists for supervisors. Craft employees use fact-finding during collective bargaining and arbitration."
June 19, 2003 -- Florida Keys News has reported that "lawmakers from Key West to Washington have gotten involved in an ongoing debate about staff reductions at Key West post offices. U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen's congressional aide, Henry Pollack, was in town over the weekend; he heard from a lot of concerned postal workers. On a local level, resolutions from the Key West City Commission and Monroe County Commission in support of maintaining current staff levels are in the works. Last week, regional U.S. Postal Service managers visited Key West to talk with union officials about moving eight employees to other locations. The post office based the decision on a survey from August that indicates 13 full-time clerk and craft positions -- five people are gone already -- should be reassigned outside Key West."
June 19, 2003 -- Financial Times Deutschland has reported that "Deutsche Postbank, Germany's largest bank for private customers, is to restrict banking services to the larger post offices of parent Deutsche Post, and will therefore no longer provide these services in the 1,200 small branches of the German postal service operator."
June 19, 2003 -- The Irish Times has reported that "An Post is to proceed with the sale of buildings in Blackrock, Co Dublin, and Limerick city as part of a review of its property portfolio."
June 19, 2003 -- Dow Jones has reported that "the European Union Commission has approved German mail giant Deutsche Post AG's (G.DPW) EUR247 million takeover of Securicor PLC's (U.SCC) express parcels and logistics unit. The deal doesn't trigger concerns of market dominance, the Commission said in a statement. Deutsche Post has been a joint venture partner in Securicor's Omega Holdings Ltd. since December 1998 and held an option on the rest of the company. It is now buying the remaining 50% it doesn't already own."
June 19, 2003 -- Fox News has reported that "At a time when the rest of the country is tightening its belt, members of Congress are trying to encourage the federal government to get rid of some of its own ungainly bloat -- by offloading vacant, underused and dilapidated properties. 'We must take action to stem this tide of deterioration of federal buildings and subsequent waste of taxpayer dollars,' said Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va., chairman of the House Committee on Government Reform. In a hearing earlier this month, the Government Accounting Office (search) released a report indicating that billions of dollars could be saved each year by taking millions of square feet of property -- everything from old soldiers' homes to boarded-up post offices -- off the government rolls."
June 19, 2003 -- The Age (Australia) has reported that "small businesses can send their mail in bulk and receive legitimate discounts from Australia Post under proposed laws introduced into parliament. The practice of giving bulk discounts to small business already exists but is not written into legislation. The new laws also allow document exchanges to carry letters between their members' premises and the exchange, again legitimising an existing practice many small businesses use as a complementary service to Australia Post. Science Minister Peter McGauran said the bill gave the Australian Communications Authority (ACA) the power to monitor and report on Australia Post's supply of postal services. It also extended the responsibilities of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) in relation to Australia Post."
June 19, 2003 -- The President's Commission on the Postal Service has published in the Federal Register a notice specifying that "now that the Commission has concluded the testimonial portion of its work, it will accept final written comments from any party who wishes to submit them for consideration. The Commission has established three methods by which final comments can be submitted for consideration and review:
June 19, 2003 -- The Denver Post has reported that "Western Union has agents in 195 countries. It wants Iraq as the 196th. The Greenwood Village company is in discussions with the Treasury Department to provide money-transfer services in the war-torn country. Western Union, a subsidiary of First Data Corp., typically partners with a bank or postal service when it enters a country, but in some cases the company will turn to independent operators."
June 19, 2003 -- The Fairfield Ledger has reported that "a Fairfield company has postage stamps for sale, but not the 37-cent kind. ArtSelect Inc., founded in 1998, has entered into a licensing agreement with the United States Postal Service to market artwork from postage stamps and sell the custom framed pieces, which range in price from $50 to $400, on a Web site, postalartgallery.com.
June 19, 2003 -- The Federal Times has reported that "the Office of Personnel Management on June 16 approved early retirements for thousands of eligible members of the American Postal Workers Union. About 58,000 of the APWU's 370,000 members will be eligible to take early retirement, which was negotiated in December as part of the union's contract extension. Under the extension, all members who meet the requirements will be allowed to take early retirement by the end of the fiscal year if they wish. Pat Donahoe, chief operating officer for the Postal Service, anticipates that about 3,000 union members will take the early out."
June 19, 2003 -- Sen. Thomas Carper (D-DE) has introduced his postal legislative reform bill. The legislation, the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2003, would force the Postal Service to concentrate solely on what it does best -processing and delivering mail to all Americans. It would begin the process of developing a modern rate system for pricing Postal Service products, while also creating a strong regulatory body to ensure that the Postal Service competes fairly with other national mail carriers. The bill further aims to strengthen existing service standards for the Postal Service's many products.
June 19, 2003 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "DHL Danzas Air & Ocean on Wednesday said it had acquired the remaining shares of Corporacion Cormar Sociedad Anonima, a Central American transport and logistics specialist, in order to build operations across the region and achieve synergies for the DHL Group. DHL Danzas Air & Ocean will acquire the remaining 65 percent of Cormar shares from the longstanding senior management and outside shareholders that are also customers of Cormar."
June 18, 2003 -- The New York Times has reported that advertising industry guru, "Robert J. Coen, who has been tracking ad trends since the Truman administration, revised downward his prediction for American ad spending this year at a presentation in Midtown Manhattan. The change, attributed partly to sluggish interest from local advertisers in certain media outlets, including newspapers, was the second time in six months that Mr. Coen, senior vice president and forecasting director at Universal McCann in New York, had reduced his estimate for 2003."
June 18, 2003 -- Eyefortransport.com has reported that "TNT Express launched a road connection with Berlin, which will allow it to shorten the time of parcel delivery by 24 hours and to offer the so called Next Day service to the clients in most European countries."
June 18, 2003 -- The Fresno Bee has reported that "federal postal inspectors who fanned out across five states in a crackdown on pilfered mail and identity theft announced more than 100 arrests Tues Central and Northern California."
June 18, 2003 -- Japan Today has reported that "Japan Post President Masaharu Ikuta said Tuesday the postal public corporation will launch special services at designated post offices or in selected areas to upgrade its operations. The project will be implemented in the fields of information technology IT services and others under a Japan Post May action plan."
June 18, 2003 -- DM News has reported that "a New York law prohibiting cigarette sales via the Internet or mail order to state residents takes effect today, barring last-minute legal action to delay it. The law was enacted in 2000 but delayed following a lawsuit by the tobacco industry."
June 18, 2003 -- The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner has reported that "Sen. Ted Stevens has once again convinced his U.S. Senate colleagues to allow foreign air carriers to switch their cargo to other companies' planes in Alaska, but the provision still needs House approval. Stevens, speaking with Alaska reporters last week, said he thinks his amendment could save up to 15 percent of the cargo business at his namesake airport in Anchorage. The Senate bill, at Stevens' request, also directs the DOT to ban airlines that are under the "actual or effective" control of foreign owners. The language is designed to block companies such as DHL Airways. The company, while technically owned by American citizens, is effectively controlled by the German postal monopoly Duetsche Post, Stevens argues."
June 18, 2003 -- VNUNet has reported that "the UK's ecommerce minister Stephen Timms has been give the additional responsibilities of energy and postal services, prompting a mixed reaction from business and IT groups. Timms has been ecommerce minister since May last year, and is taking on the extra duties following the retirement of former energy minister Brian Wilson last week. IT and business organisations have given a mixed reaction to the news, some worrying that the adoption of ecommerce in the UK could suffer."
June 18, 2003 -- Online.ie (Ireland) has reported that "a huge backlog of mail remained undelivered in a Cork town yesterday as a dispute between An Post and the Communications Workers Union remained deadlocked Counter services resumed yesterday at strike-hit post offices throughout the country but the CWU warned an impasse in Midleton, Co Cork, was likely to continue. Both sides are in dispute over the conversion of the east Cork town's branch office to a sub-office."
June 18, 2003 -- According to the Financial Times, "the Postal Savings Service Co., an affiliate of the Vietnam Post & Telecommunications Corp. (VNPT), on June 16 launched individual payment and money transfer services through savings accounts opened in its postal offices in 12 cities and provinces, according to an official from VNPT."
June 18, 2003 -- QAS, the international leader in address management software, has released QuickAdd ress Batch 3.0, the latest version of its address data cleansing software. QuickAddress Batch 3.0 validates addresses in a customer or prospect database against the latest official U.S. Postal Service (USPS) records. Invalid, duplicate, or incorrectly formatted addresses are identified, and can be separated for verification while clean addresses remain in use. The product also can perform regular clean-ups, to ensure long-term address data viability.
June 18, 2003 -- The Arizona Republic has reported that "for more than a decade, Phoenix has led the country in mailbox theft. Now the high theft rate is getting special attention from the U.S. Postal Service in its attempts to curb the crime. After two years of work and more than $7 million in equipment and manpower, the Postal Service debuted its new high-security cluster mailbox at a press conference Tuesday in Phoenix. The new boxes look like the old ones on the outside but weigh almost 280 pounds and are reinforced with additional locks and tougher metal. There are fewer places to pry them open."
June 18, 2003 -- Rediff (India) has reported that "courier rates in the country may be hiked by 35-40 per cent within 15 days following imposition of 67 per cent on-board courier rates by domestic airlines, the apex organisation of courier companies said. Addressing a press conference in New Delhi, Tushar Jani, chairman of the Express Industry Council, said that if courier rates were not increased, the industry would suffer huge losses which would retard its growth, leading to closure of operations."
June 18, 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.
June 18, 2003 -- As Traffic World has noted, "a more effective returns solution generates revenue, scores points with customers and provides valuable information Reverse logistics is no longer an afterthought as companies discover gold in the mountains of returned products at the back end of supply chains."
June 18, 2003 -- The National Association of Postmasters of the U.S. has reported that "the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, by a unanimous voice vote, favorably reported to the full Senate S. 678, the “Postmaster Equity Act.” The bill was amended to reflect the language of the House version, H.R. 2249. The House Government Reform Committee is scheduled to consider H.R. 2249 on Thursday."
June 18, 2003 -- The XML Cover Pages has reported that "a communique from Joe Lubenow describes the publication of International Postal Address Components and Templates by the Universal Postal Union (UPU) as Standard S42-1. The specification had been approved by the UPU Standards Board for further testing in November, 2002. As summarized in Lubenow's overview document, the UPU address standard defines elements, address templates, and rendition instructions."
June 18, 2003 -- ABC News has reported that "the U.S. Postal Service wants to make sure your identity isn't stolen. Operation Mail Safe is a multi-state crackdown on mail theft and it's byproduct, identity theft." See also the Sacramento Bee.
June 18, 2003 -- According to Les Echos (France), "CSMP, the French press distribution regulator, has said that newspaper publishers are concerned about their relationship with French post office La Poste. The publishers want the government not to reduce the subsides provided to La Poste for 2004. The rate for the distribution of newspapers is to increase by 3.7 per cent from July 1."
June 18, 2003 -- The Independent (U.K.) has reported that "the Royal Mail is speeding up the closure of 3,000 urban post offices by a year. The programme had been due to end in December 2005 but is now being brought forward 12 months to reduce the uncertainty facing sub- postmasters, said Royal Mail's chairman Allan Leighton. He also announced plans to sell more financial services in post offices, including personal loans and life insurance."
June 18, 2003 -- It is with great sadness that we note that the Contra Costa Timesf has reported that "community activist and longtime U.S. Postal Service spokesman Dan De Miglio has died. His wife, Joan De Miglio, found him dead Monday morning in their Pittsburg home. He was 56. De Miglio was an employee of the postal service for 33 years, and he eventually became spokesman for the service's East Bay region." Danny was one of the finest people you could ever know. He'll be missed.
June 18, 2003 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "DHL Danzas Air & Ocean laid off approximately 50 salespeople, including support personnel, in what a spokeswoman described as 'part of our ongoing effort to align our costs with the level of business.'"
June 17, 2003 -- The Institut D'economie Insustrielle (IDEI), and the University of Toulouse (France) has issued a call for papers for its third conference on "Regulation, Competition And Universal Service In The Postal Sector " Theconference will be held on November 13-14, 2003 and is sponsored by the French postal service, La Poste. The conference will focus on issues pertaining to: industrial economics and econometrics in postal sector; competition policy in a liberalized postal sector; cost of universal service and universal service fund; universal service and competition; and price regulation in the postal sector.
June 17, 2003 -- The USPS has announced in the Federal Register the availability of an In-Person Proofing at Post Offices (IPP) Program to support the activities of U.S. Certificate Authorities and government organizations.
June 17, 2003 -- Le Monde (France) has reported that "he French government is soon expected to address the issue of reform at national energy groups EDF and GDF and national postal services group La Poste, even while the debate over pensions continues to rage at state-owned transport groups SNCF and RATP. The government does not seem to have reached a firm decision over whether it will change the statutes of EDF and GDF; although it has announced the move, it has postponed it on numerous occasions. Neither has it made an announcement on whether the sister energy companies will merge. As for La Poste, Senator Gerard Larcher states in a report made public yesterday that no reform of pensions at the group would be 'fatal'. On the other hand, he does not deal with the question of a change in statute, leading some to think that the government may have decided not to open the group's capital."
June 17, 2003 -- FedEx Freight East received the first place award in the American Trucking Associations (ATA) National Fleet Safety Contest in the line haul carrier category for over 100 million miles of operation. This is the third consecutive year that FedEx Freight East has won this award, which is based on the lowest accident rate per million vehicle miles of operation. FedEx Freight is a subsidiary of FedEx Corp.
June 17, 2003 -- The Irish Independent has reported that "the Irish GPO was shut down yesterday after unofficial action by An Post staff. The industrial action by counter staff left thousands of unemployed people without their dole payments. More than 20 post offices nationwide, including the GPO, were forced toclose. An Post said yesterday that those involved in the action would have their pay docked. But the Communications Workers' Union (CWU) warned of further action if that happened. Most of the strikers are expected to return to their jobs today."
June 17, 2003 -- PostalNews.com has reported that "in a letter dated June 12, 2003, U.S. Postal Service Labor Relations Manager Doug A. Tulino notified the U.S. Postal Police Officer's union of plans to close police operations in the following six cities: Birmingham, AL; Buffalo, NY; Denver, CO; Hartford, CT; Jacksonville, FL; Seattle, WA. Despite increased terrorist threats targeted at government property and employees; and despite the Anthrax attacks of 2001, Tulino said the reason for the closures is that a review has shown the presence of armed postal police is no longer warranted at these facilities."
June 17, 2003 -- Direct has reported that "a reform bill that would also make it easier for the U.S. Postal Service to set prices and close facilities is expected to be introduced later this week by Sen. Thomas Carper, (D-DE)."
June 17, 2003 -- China Business Weekly has reported that:
DHL, one of the four foreign express couriers operating on the Chinese mainland, is offering a brand-new service - overnight delivery for customers in Shanghai. DHL China believes the new service will help DHL obtain larger market share in the enormous and fast-growing market.
Dutch logistics giant TPG Post has cleared the way for closer links with the State Postal Bureau - days after TNT Co Ltd severed links with Sinotrans. Experts predict the move will increase its competitiveness with other overseas firms in the logistics sector.
June 17, 2003 -- The Reading Chronicle (U.K.) has reported that "Reading West MP Martin Salter has delivered a stinging attack on the Royal Mail for its decision to stop using the railways for carrying post. The postal service has declared air and road as cheaper options for the 82 million items it dispatches every day, after it failed to negotiate a deal with freight operator English, Welsh and Scottish Railways (EWS). Royal Mail plans to sell off its network of 49 mail trains, wrapping up the service by the end of March next year."
June 17, 2003 -- Die Welt (Germany) has reported that "Deutsche Post, the German postal service operator, has not ruled out further job cuts abroad. However, management has assured that no redundancies are to take place in Germany, where any staff reductions carried out would take place through natural wastage. The company is also reported to be planning further acquisitions."
June 17, 2003 -- AllAfrica.com has reported that "the Postal Corporation of Kenya has been urged to take its services to the rural areas where the majority of Kenyans live. Transport and Communications Minister John Michuki said many postal organisations in Africa have failed to take services to rural areas, which now seriously lack access to communication. The continent lacks strong organisations to spearhead the development of the communications sector. Michuki said development of the communications sector is key to economic and social wellbeing of the people."
June 17, 2003 -- According to Louisville's Bu siness First, "United Parcel Service Inc. is giving up leased warehouse space at Jefferson Riverport International in a move to consolidate warehousing and accounting functions in its Supply Chain Solutions division." Hey, wait a minute! You mean they're doing this without Congress' blessing? No "base closing" commission? No Postal Rate Commission? Wow! What a concept!
June 17, 2003 -- The Journal Star has reported that "residents have lost another skirmish in the long battle to keep their post office open.The U.S. Postal Service told customers in a letter Thursday that they plan to suspend operation at Carleton's post office at the close of business Aug. 1. Mail will then be delivered to clustered outdoor mailbox in town by a rural carrier from Shickley, nine miles away. The suspension is because of inadequate post office facilities and lack of a current suitable alternative site in this Thayer County community."
June 17, 2003 -- As Federal Times has noted, "the Office of Personnel Management June 13 cleared one of the final barriers to early outs promised to American Postal Workers Union members when it published new early retirement regulations in the Federal Register. OPM now must consider the U.S. Postal Service’s Jan. 23 request to offer early outs. The request had been on hold pending publication of the new regulations. The Office of Management and Budget gave final approval for the regulations before their publication."
June 17, 2003 -- PMG Jack Potter has announced the selection of Jerry Whalen, a former Xerox executive, to serve as Vice President of Sales. In his new position, Whalen has responsibility for all aspects of Sales for the Postal Service. Whalen has nearly 30 years of sales experience. He served in a variety of senior management positions during his 25-year career with Xerox where he started as a sales trainee in 1975 and eventually rose to Vice President for National Sales Operations, Consumable Supplies Business. Throughout his career, Whalen has been responsible for multi-channel distributions including direct and indirect sales and telemarketing.
June 17, 2003 -- SmartMail Services® (www.smartmail.com) is pleased to announce its acquisition of Drop Ship Express (www.dropshipexpress.com), a Minneapolis-based mail and parcel delivery company. The newly formed organization boasts greater than $200 million of revenue and 1,100 employees working from 22 processing centers nationwide. The merger expands SmartMail's Workshare Partnership with the United States Postal Service (USPS) ensuring deliveries travel through a seamless nationwide delivery network. The company's service offering now includes both air expedited and ground delivery services for seven USPS products: Flats, Bound Printed Matter, Parcel Select, Media Mail, Irregular and Machinable parcels.
June 16, 2003 -- The Nation (Nigeria) has reported that "no fewer than eight senior officials of the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) have been elevated to their next rank, as the organisation plans to computerise its services to enhance service delivery."
June 16, 2003 -- The Telegraph (India) has reported that "UPS Jetair Pvt Ltd -- a 60:40 joint venture between United Parcel Service (UPS) and Jetair -- is set to introduce an electronic payment facility that promises to simplify financial transactions in international trade. The trade finance facility called Exchange Collect was developed by UPS — the largest package distribution company in the world. It reduces the risks of dealing with new or unknown customers, and ensures that an exporter receives payment within 10 days of delivery."
June 16, 2003 -- RTE (Ireland) has reported that "An Post has said there is widespread disruption to postal services around the country because of unofficial industrial action by Post Office counter staff. It said most sub-Post Offices are open for business as normal, but a number of Post Offices are closed."
June 16, 2003 -- The Evening Telegraph (U.K.) has reported that "the Telecommunications Council of the EU, mainly postal and telecoms ministers from member countries, is meeting today to agree a Community-wide plan for the liberalisation of delivery services. Walking wounded: The Royal Mail is under pressure from all sides It is expected to restrict the monopoly power of the current state postal organisations in most countries. Sweden has liberalised already and the UK and Finland have started introducing a system of licences; the rest are still tightly controlled."
June 16, 2003 -- The Herald Sun has reported that "Britain's Royal Mail is to make extra vans available to deliver half a million copies of the new Harry Potter novel next weekend, amid fears it could weigh heavily on the country's postmen. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the latest edition of a massively popular series, is to be published on Saturday and weighs in at a hefty one kilogramme. Given that safety regulations allow British postmen to carry a maximum of 16 kilograms, officials are making plans to make sure every book reaches its destination without postal workers suffering damage to their backs." See also Ananova (U.K.) and the BBC.
June 15, 2003 -- The Manila Bulletin (Philippines) has reported that "undeterred by the failure to dispose of the former site of International School, the Department of Finance (DoF) is again trying its luck to place in the auction block Philippine Postal Corporation and Philippine National Construction Corporation (PNCC)."
June 14, 2003 -- The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner has reported that "Secluded Acres is a little too secluded, according to the U.S. Postal Service. Postal records indicate the tiny, landlocked community on the edge of Fort Wainwright doesn't exist. Forty-two residents disagree, however, and they are demanding mail delivery even though Postal Service officials say they cannot cross government-owned military roads."
June 14, 2003 -- The Montreal Gazette has reported that "Canada Post Corp. is offering refunds to 140,000 consumers who bought a $9.95 kit promising free Internet for life through its postal outlets in 2001. The offer, publicized through ads in newspapers across Canada yesterday, comes as a Quebec Superior Court judge is about to set the start date for a class- action suit involving Canada Post and co-defendant CyberSurf Corp. and about 35,000 Quebec plaintiffs."
June 14, 2003 -- The Sioux City Journal has reported that "neither snow, nor sleet nor dark of night shall keep mail carriers from their appointed rounds -- except perhaps for construction trucks hauling chunks of concrete on Jackson Street. At Friday morning's mayor's press conference, city officials announced the U.S. Postal Service said it won't deliver the mail to houses on Jackson Street during the first phase of the water main and street reconstruction project. The city said the post office will start delivering mail Monday to temporary boxes at 34th and 36th streets. 'That's insane,' City Manager Paul Eckert said Friday afternoon. 'We can easily meet the concern about the safety of the mail carriers. To ask 60 residents to go through the same construction area only causes more risks to those people.' Sioux City Postmaster Virginia Rohrback roared back. She said the city is making the post office look like the bad guys. The issue, she said, is safety."
June 14, 2003 -- According to Barron's, "the bullish case on Deutsche Post, which is still nearly 70% controlled by the government, is part restructuring and part a play on businesses that are growing much faster than the letters monopoly, namely, express delivery and logistics, about 50% of the €40 billion in sales.
June 14, 2003 -- Investments & Pensions Europe has reported that "the Swiss post office workers’ pension scheme says it lost 3.1% in its first year – though it says there is no cause for concern at the moment. Established in January last year, the fund is one of Switzerland’s largest, with 53,000 contributing and 20,000 pensioners. The loss of 3.1% or 860 million Swiss francs (557 million euros) is in line with losses of many other pension funds, says a spokesman, and is a 'satisfactory result given the difficult climate.'"
June 14, 2003 -- The Irish Examiner has reported that "a nationwide post office strike is looming after An Post workers in Cork launched an unofficial protest yesterday."
June 14, 2003 -- The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has reported that "until recently, UPS stock had always commanded a premium over its rivals. Ever since the world's largest transportation company went public in 1999, its shares have consistently sold for higher prices -- and at a substantially higher price/earnings ratio -- than industry competitors'. In recent weeks, however, FedEx has moved ahead of UPS in share price and closed the price/earnings gap, a sign that investors believe Memphis-based FedEx will keep taking packages away from UPS in its core domestic ground delivery business."
June 13, 2003 -- CNET News has reported that "in a significant jump from the previous year, UPS has been ranked No. 20 on the 2003 list of "Best Places to Work in IT" by Computerworld magazine. The ranking, up from No. 60 in 2002, cited UPS for increased employee satisfaction, proper training and development and the use of modern technologies that offer employees exciting challenges. The magazine published the results in its June 9 issue."
June 13, 2003 -- Business World (Ireland) has reported that "An Post must manage its business efficiently and not seek price increases in difficult conditions, according to the communications watchdog. 'It is not desirable that An Post should automatically seek price increases in response to adverse market conditions,' ComReg said. The regulator was responding to a proposal from the group to increase in the price of a basic stamp from 41c to 48c."
June 13, 2003 -- Nextel Communications Inc., Motorola, Inc. and Symbol Technologies, Inc. have announced the availability of the first bar code scanner attachment for mobile phones. The Symbol PSM20i allows mobile workers to use their phones to collect information wirelessly and in real time. This solution combines the accuracy and reliability in laser-based bar code scanning with the extensive voice, data and application capabilities of Nextel's Java(TM) technology-enabled phones from Motorola. Transformed by Nextel's wireless data network into a robust tool for mobile connectivity, the Symbol PSM20i bar code scanner attachment provides workers with the information and business support systems they need to operate efficiently.
June 13, 2003 -- Motorola, Inc., Nextel Communications Inc. and Creditel haveannounced they are offering Creditel's PowerSwipe device and its secure end-to-end payment processing solution for use on Nextel's national packet data network. The point-of-sale (POS) device will make it fast, easy and affordable for mobile businesses including retailers, taxi drivers and delivery personnel to securely process credit cards directly from the Java(TM) technology-enabled Motorola i50sx, i55sr, i58sr, i85s and i88s handsets for Nextel.
June 13, 2003 -- Traffic World has reported that "an increase in the limit on foreign ownership in U.S. airlines may be offered as rider to FAA bill For the present, at least, the Department of Defense has muted its long-standing opposition to a change in the limit on foreign ownership in U.S. airlines. Comments opposing the change had been drafted and were ready to be sent to Congress when a DOD deputy undersecretary reportedly squashed the opposition. The foreign ownership limit is now 25 percent. In the all-cargo world, United Parcel Service and FedEx are busy challenging the corporate citizenship of DHL Airways.. But UPS spokesman David Bolger said the foreign ownership limit change to the 49 percent level would not make a difference to his company." No, but it would make a difference to DHL.
June 13, 2003 -- According to Dow Jones, "Public transportation services returned to near normal in most French cities Friday as protests against the governments pension reform plans lost steam. Union leaders, however, pledged that relief would only be temporary, with several calling for a new day of nationwide strikes and demonstrations on Thursday. The government says the plan is needed to compensate for France's growing number of retirees, and has warned that the pension system will collapse without the changes. Workers say the plan is the first step in a process that would eventually destroy the pension system. Transport workers and garbage collectors were joined by teachers, postal workers, air traffic controllers and a long list of other state employees." Vive la poste!
June 13, 2003 -- The Times of Malta has reported that "Maltapost has published a customer care brochure listing procedures how clients may enquire about the company's services, as well as lodge a complaint. The brochure also incorporates a customer enquiry form with a step by step guideline on how it is to be completed. It sets standards for Maltapost in respect of the service being provided and stipulates that the company is committed to acknowledge receipt of any enquiries within two days of receipt of the completed form."
June 13, 2003 -- The Office of Personnel Management has published in the Federal Register interim voluntary early retirement authority (VERA) regulations. These regulations implement the VERA provisions of the Homeland Security Act of 2002, which apply to most executive branch agencies. These interim regulations explain how an agency requests authority from OPM to offer voluntary early retirement to its employees. This provision would pertain to the early-out offer for postal clerks.
June 13, 2003 -- Traffic World has reported that "DHL Worldwide Express officials are circulating a white paper on Capitol Hill that lays out their case for defending DHL Airways' corporate U.S. citizenship. Although the five-page report does not specifically mention DHL Airways and the citizenship review under way at the Department of Transportation by DOT Chief Administrative Law Judge Ronnie Yoder, the paper's late May release coincided with when the case began to receive public attention. The paper paints parcel delivery competitors FedEx and United Parcel Service as protective bullies, while portraying DHL Worldwide Express as a bit player on the U.S. delivery scene. UPS and FedEx officials counter that while DHL may possess only a small share of the U.S. market, the company is far larger and more competitive around the globe than it is here."
June 13, 2003 -- Parcel Direct has strengthened its executive-level management with the appointment of two vice presidents who will help oversee the growth of the burgeoning parcel expediting company. Don Terkel has been named Vice President of Operations, and Jeff Duening has been appointed Vice President of Sales. In these newly created positions, both Mr. Terkel and Mr. Duening will report directly to Dave Riebe, President of Parcel Direct, from Parcel Direct headquarters in New Berlin, Wis. For More Information Contact: Claire Ho, Quad/Graphics 414-566-2955.
June 13, 2003 -- The Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GPRA) mandated, in 1997, that the Postal Service publish a 5- year plan outlining its goals, targets, and strategies, and that the Postal Service update and revise its 5-year plan at intervals of no less than 3 years. In so doing, GPRA states that the Postal Service must, as an aspect of its strategic planning process, solicit and consider the ideas, knowledge, and opinions of those potentially affected by or interested in its 2004-2008 Five-Year Strategic Plan. This notice, therefore, asks for public comment concerning the development and drafting of the Postal Service's 2004-2008 Five-Year Strategic Plan. Comments must be received by July 18, 2003.
June 13, 2003 -- The Financial Times has reported that "The head of the sub-postmasters' union yesterday criticised a £3m pension deal for John Roberts, former chief executive of Royal Mail. Mr Roberts, who retired in December, will get an annual payment of about £150,000, which the Royal Mail will account for as worth about £3m. After a career of 35 years with the postal group, his final years were overshadowed by mounting losses and a failed name change to Consignia. Colin Baker, general secretary of the National Federation of Subpost- masters, said: "Is this a just reward for long service or is it, as we've seen in other industries, a considerable amount of money for somebody who has presided over an industry in decline?" Royal Mail said Mr Roberts was entitled to two-thirds of his final salary.
June 13, 2003 -- Global Business Services Inc., a rapidly growing retail network of franchise and company-owned stores in the retail postal and business services industry, today reported total revenues increased 1 percent, and franchise sales and royalties increased 172 percent during the three and nine months ended March 31, 2003.
June 12, 2003 -- Les Echos (France) has reported that "French post office La Poste has issued a 580m-euro loan which will mature in 20 years. The bond issue was carried out with the help of ABN Amro, Barclays Capital and Natexis Banques Populaires. They will mature on 26 June 2023."
June 12, 2003 -- Silicon Graphics, Inc., the world leader in high-performance computing, visualization and storage solutions, has selected UPS Supply Chain Solutions as its third-party logistics provider for service parts logistics in Asia and Latin America. SGI already relies on UPS Supply Chain Solutions for service parts logistics in North America.
June 12, 2003 -- Africast.com has reported that "the inhabitants of Somalia will once again be able to correspond by mail with the rest of the world as the war-wracked country has rejoined the Pan African Postal Union, officials said on Thursday at a gathering of the body. The Postal Union welcomed a delegation Somalia's Transitional National Government to its 22nd Administration Council meeting, which opened on Wednesday in the Kenyan port city of Mombasa."
June 12, 2003 -- St.Augustine.com has reported that "Cuban-born Father Felix Varela, a reformer, philosopher and scientist who spent his youth in St. Augustine and died there in 1853, moved closer to being declared a saint Wednesday. The Archdiocese of Havana in 1997 sent the results of its investigation to Rome, which requested additional material from the United States, where Varela had worked for 30 years. That same year, the United States Postal Service issued a commemorative stamp with Father Varela's likeness."
June 12, 2003 -- IDG's Computerworld, the newsweekly for information technology (IT) management, is seeking outstanding corporate technology executives and managers for its fifth annual Premier 100 IT Leaders awards program. The distinguished list of executives honored at the 2003 Premier 100 IT Leaders conference includes: Robert Otto, vice president of IT, U.S. Postal Service.
June 12, 2003 -- Bloomberg has reported that "Japanese banks face a rival in the mutual-fund business, less than five years after the government let them sell funds. The newcomer: Japan Post, the state-owned postal agency that holds a sixth of the nation's 1,400 trillion yen ($11.9 trillion) in personal savings. Banks and brokerages may lose business when Japan Post starts selling funds, as it expects to do by March."
June 12, 2003 -- According to postal guru Murray Comarow, "Presidential commissions are usually established when the normative political process fails to deal with a significant public issue. That has certainly been the case with respect to postal reform. Commissions are expected to set aside their political biases and personal preferences and examine the evidence for or against change with scrupulous objectivity. Members' reputations and the fact that they have no stake in the outcome lends credibility, the gold standard in searching for the optimum approach in resolving complex social/political conundrums."
June 12, 2003 -- Be sure to check out and read Rick Geddes' piece in The American Enterprise magazine on "Why We Need Serious Postal Reform." Subscription information can be obtained by calling 1-888-295-9007 or by checking out http://www.TAEmag.com.
June 12, 2003 -- The Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers has made the following predictions about the postal Presidential Commission's recommendations:
We expect the Commission to recommend some modest (and some significant) changes to the collective bargaining process;changes to allow a mediator in contract disputes to assume the role of an arbitrator after mediation attempts have stalled: changes to add another step to the arbitration process that would allow parties an opportunity for final negotiations after the arbitration decision is announced: inclusion of other benefits -- like the costs associated with postal retiree benefits, in the postal labor negotiation process;new approaches to Pay for Performance measures for postal workers and senior postal officials: refinements in the current process used in filing employee grievances.
The Commission is also likely to recommend new processes for introducing and testing new postal products that would not require advance approval by the PRC, but only approval by the USPS Board of Governors with after-the-fact review by the PRC. We also expect recommendations that would create deeper rate differences for standard-shaped vs. nonstandard-shaped pieces. It is likely that the Commission will offer substantial proposals to alter the current ratesetting process. While we can't go so far as to suggest that the Commission propose a version of annual indexed rate increases, we do believe that the panel will alter the role of the PRC to evaluate the validity and fairness of rate increases after the increases are implemented. We also believe that the Commission will support a "bottom-up," activity-based approach to setting rates that will allow rates to be de-averaged and unbundled to better reflect actual costs associated with processing and delivery.
Well...there you have it, folks.. The gospel from "on-high." (
June 12, 2003 -- The U.S. Postal Service has reported that "the USPS Board of Governors has given the nod to S3, Sales Support Solution a software system that replaces and consolidates five older, often incompatible systems into one that will improve USPS's ability to retain customers and generate revenue. S3 will be the one-stop resource for customer information maintenance, forecasting, lead generation, account acquisition and management and more. Also included in S3 will be sales planning, sales analysis and reporting, and sales performance measurement. 'Using Sales Support Solution, the Sales organization will not only improve its ability to develop and deliver business solutions, the system will help us better understand customer needs critical in the development of corporate strategy,' said Chief Marketing Officer Anita Bizzotto. Sales and Information Technology are working together to launch S3 in April 2004."
June 12, 2003 -- The Japan Times has reported that "despite the current volatility of the economic climate, United Parcel Service Inc., the world's largest package delivery company, will actively expand operations in Japan, according to the head of UPS Asia Pacific Region."
June 12, 2003 -- China Southern Airlines, the largest airline in The People's Republic of China, is pleased to announce that China Postal Airlines' revenue has reached record highs -- even during the peak of the SARS crisis in China. Nearly one year ago to date here in Beijing, China Southern Airlines inked a new agreement with the China State Post Bureau which secured China Southern's position as the premier cargo, mail and overnight mail carrier in China as it injected RMB 150 Million ($18M US) in cash and acquired 49% of the entire equity capital of China Postal Airlines.
June 12, 2003 -- IsraelNationalNews.com has reported that "the postal authority will be cutting back on its services in the Jerusalem and surrounding areas, in protest over impending privatization of certain postal services. As a result of the partial strike, local mail deliveries will be made once every two weeks, rather than every day, until further notice."
June 12, 2003 -- The Russia Journal has reported that "The Russian government approved a plan for developing the country's postal service Tuesday, Russia's Communications and IT Ministry said. The government required the Communications and IT Ministry to present a detailed version of the concept as well as a plan for its implementation by September 1."
June 12, 2003 -- The International Herald Tribune has reported that "tens of thousands of workers demonstrated through France on Tuesday to protest a government pension plan that would force them to work longer to qualify for full benefits. Transport workers joined garbage collectors, teachers and postal workers.
June 12, 2003 -- The Gazette (Canada) has reported that "the last of the 48,000 members of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers are to vote this week on giving a strike mandate to their leaders, but both sides say they hope a work stoppage can be avoided. By common accord, contract talks were halted June 1 to allow mail delivery personnel, drivers and inside workers to vote across the country."
June 12, 2003 -- According to Editor & Publisher, "online advertising is starting to grow up and become much more sophisticated. It's now possible for advertisers at some news sites to target their messages finely -- say, serving up an ad only to women. That's not possible in any traditional media (with the possible exception of direct mail)."
June 12, 2003 -- The Times (U.K.) has reported that "John Roberts, former chief executive of Royal Mail, is to receive a pension worth 3 million pounds, the state-owned group will reveal later this month. Mr Roberts, who retired early at the age of 58 from the loss-making group, will be handed an annual payment of more than 150,000 pounds. However, the postal group will account for the pension as worth about 3 million pounds the cost of such a pension on the open market."
June 12, 2003 -- The U.S. Postal Service has published in the Federal Register "a final rule that adopts revisions to the Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) that clarify when it is permissible to use Delivery Confirmation service or Signature Confirmation service with mailpieces claimed at First-Class Mail or Package Services rates. In particular, this final rule specifies that, for First-Class Mail and Package Services mailpieces, Delivery Confirmation service or Signature Confirmation service may be used only with parcels and not with letter- size mail or flat-size mail as defined by the Postal Service."
June 12, 2003 -- According to U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors Chairman David Fineman, the Postal Service is facing "an era of innovation."
June 12, 2003 -- Traffic World has reported that "a three-year "freight recession" has taken approximately 12,000 carriers and $10 billion in capacity out of the $462 billion trucking industry."
June 12, 2003 -- Dow Jones has reported that "Argentina's privatized utilities - already reeling from the recent recession and devaluation - are suddenly facing heightened scrutiny as government agencies move to review their contract agreements. State regulators of the country's mail service, sold off wholesale in 1998 to create the world's first fully privatized postal service, have cited Correo Argentino, the consortium now at its helm, for not fulfilling its contract obligations."
June 12, 2003 -- Brunei Direct has reported that Brunie Postmaster General Pengiran Haji Mohd Yakub said that "the postal services is still relevant despite facing stiff competition from modern day technology like e-mail and the mobile phone. He said however the postal services would continue to enhance the quality of its services. He said the postal services is taking on the challenge in other than improving the quality of services the department will also reduce cost. Although the Internet and other communication technology are providing more convenient ways of communication there are still customers who prefer to communicate by mail."
June 12, 2003 -- The Russia Journal has reported that "It will take no more than six days to deliver mail to any place in Russia by 2010, ITAR-TASS reported quoting a postal service development program to 2010 prepared for the government meeting and obtained by ITAR-TASS Monday. Within the same town, city or village, it will take one business day to deliver mail, according to the plan. Currently most mail is delivered within three weeks. To achieve the plan, developed by Russia's Telecommunications and IT Ministry, envisages introducing automatic mail sorting machines and other improvements and also proposes setting a unified tariff on postal money transfers. The ministry expects the total spending to upgrade postal service by 2010 at U.S. $350 million."
June 12, 2003 -- I.D. Systems, Inc., a provider of wireless asset management solutions, has announced that the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has ordered the company's Wireless Asset Net(TM) fleet tracking and management system for a fleet of industrial vehicles at the USPS Buffalo, New York, Processing and Distribution Center (P&DC). This is the eighth USPS facility to acquire the Wireless Asset Net system. The order for the Buffalo P&DC is valued at approximately $250,000, and system deployment is expected to occur this year.
June 11, 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 in Europe. For more information on a subscription to CEP News, contact the publisher.
June 11, 2003 -- The National Association of Major Mail Users (NAMMU) has provided its members an update on the ongoing talks between Canada Post management and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers.
June 11, 2003 -- European Voice has reported that:
June 11, 2003 -- According to Business Week, "after buying tiny DHL Airways, John Dasburg is out to challenge FedEx and UPS." According to Dasburg, 'FedEx and UPS are monopolists, and they don't want anyone to get a leg up, but I'm going to fight them.' If he wins, he plans to rapidly expand DHL Airways, which would enable him to offer more comprehensive overnight delivery service for DHL Worldwide. He might even acquire Airborne's air service."
June 11, 2003 -- Hoovers has reported that "FedEx Ground introduced a new return service Monday for merchandise bought online or from catalogs. Called FedEx Consolidated Return Service, it's designed to reduce return-shipping costs for merchants of small items such as fashion apparel, footwear, consumer electronics, CDs and DVDs. For consumers, it's supposed to make it faster to receive credit for a return from the merchant. FedEx said the speed depends on the merchant. The new service is the latest addition to return services that FedEx began introducing six years ago to address the logistics needs of merchandise being returned to sender."
June 11, 2003 -- CNET News has reported that "Wal-Mart is taking aim at Netflix's online DVD subscription service with a major public release of its own competitive offering. The retail behemoth said Tuesday that it has modified its online DVD rental service, which has been in consumer testing since October, by lowering prices, increasing the number of available movie titles and adding distribution centers. The service, called Wal-Mart DVD Rentals, lets people sign up at Walmart.com for one of three movie subscription plans, ranging in price from $15.54 a month to $21.94 a month. Members receive DVDs via postal service, and depending on the program, can keep a number of movies for as long as they like, without late fees or postage fees."
June 11, 2003 -- The Postal Rate Commission is soliciting public input on the Postal Service's proposal to create an experimental parcel return service.
June 11, 2003 -- Eyefortransport.com has reported that "the Colography Group, Inc. released findings from the 2002 edition of its National Survey of U.S. Expedited Cargo; the study reveals buying habits and attitudes shaping transportation trends in the United States."
June 11, 2003 -- A joint undercover investigation conducted by the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General and the California Department of Insurance, Fraud Division, resulted in the indictment of a San Diego physician on charges of submitting false insurance claims and perjury.
June 10, 2003 -- According to The Independent (U.K.), "Sir George Bain, the author of a highly controversial report into Fire Service pay, has emerged as the leading candidate to take over as Britain's postal regulator. The former chairman of the Low Pay Commission and now Vice-Chancellor of Queen's University, Belfast, is at the top of a list of contenders drawn up by the headhunters Saxton Bampfylde Hever, to succeed Graham Corbett as chairman of Postcomm."
June 10, 2003 -- Entering into their sixth month, talks between the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) and Canada Post Corporation (CPC) are strained, but negotiations continue.
June 10, 2003 -- The United States Postal Service has recently been honored with receipt of E-Gov 2003 Government Solutions Center Awards. USPS.com was awarded one of ten Explorer Awards.
June 10, 2003 -- Le Figaro (France) has reported that "the French post office (La Poste) has stressed that, apart from the one-day strike on May 13, relatively few of its 320,000 employees have so far participated in the general industrial action taken against the French government's proposed reforms to the pensions system. La Poste, which says that it lost more than FFr1bn as a result of the 1995 pensions strike, is facing the additional challenge of the liberalised postal services market: since January 1, La Poste's customers have been able to opt for other service providers in that area."
June 10, 2003 -- Dow Jones has reported that "France's prime minister on Tuesday gave an impassioned defense of plans to overhaul the retirement system, urging people not to leave the system a disaster for their children. The speech brought center-right backers to their feet, and some burst into the Marseillaise, the French national anthem. The leftist opposition stayed seated, with some singing the communist hymn. Postal workers took the day off."
June 10, 2003 -- According to the Cincinnati Enquirertoday's number is 450 - The number of workers cut by the Swedish postal service, Posten, because of a drop in the number of letters and parcels it sorts; Posten's 40,000 workers handle about 20 million pieces of mail daily."
June 10, 2003 -- La Bourse (France) has reported that "Neopost has announced consolidated sales of E192.8m for the first quarter of its 2003 financial year (three months ending April 30 2003). This represents an increase of 14.8% compared to the first quarter of 2002 and of 27.0% excluding currency effects. On a pro forma basis, i.e. including Ascom Hasler and Stielow sales for the whole of Q1 2002 and Q1 2003, sales fell by 10.2%. Excluding currency effects, sales were slightly down 0.7% on a pro forma basis."
June 10, 2003 -- The President's Commission on the Postal Service has posted the results of its consumer opinion survey on its web site.
June 10, 2003 -- CardWeb.com has reported that:
June 10, 2003 -- The Russia Journal has reported that "new tariffs on universal postal services (i.e. sending postal cards, letters and parcels) take effect in Russia today. From now on, sending a postal card will cost RUR3.15 (about $0.1), an ordinary letter RUR4.25 ($0.14), a registered letter RUR6.3 ($0.21) and a parcel RUR7.4 ($0.24). The tariffs jumped 14.6 percent on average, which is virtually equal to the Russian 2003 Consumer Price Index for industrial goods. Meanwhile, new tariffs will allow for compensating only actual expenses for rendering universal postal services at the federal level, a source in the Russian Anti-Monopoly Ministry reported."
June 9, 2003 -- As Ad Age has noted, "marketing people are not average people. Marketing people are much more likely to elevate their language until, in some cases, the words lose their meaning. A senior marketing person at United Parcel Service asked me what I thought of the company's new trademark. 'I like it,' I said, 'but what UPS really needs is a motivating idea or rallying cry, something like 'UPS delivers more parcels to more people in more places than any other company in the world.'' 'UPS,' he said, 'is not in the parcel delivery business.' 'Huh. That comes as a big surprise to me. We're a customer and I always thought that UPS was in the parcel delivery business.' Logistics business? 'No. UPS is in the logistics business.' He wasn't joking. UPS is in the process of repainting some 88,000 vehicles with its new theme: 'Synchronizing the World of Commerce.' (Sounds like UPS might be thinking of going into the watch business.) This tendency to upgrade or inflate the language is a serious impediment to communications."
June 9, 2003 -- As the Naples Daily News has noted, "anyone who pays bills these days faces dozens of choices for keeping the creditors at bay each month. As convenience-hungry consumers increasingly turn to their computers for handling household payments, merchants, banks and Web-based services offer a dizzying number of plans to accommodate them."
June 9, 2003 -- The Independent (U.K.) has reported that "Allan Leighton, chairman of Royal Mail, is on Wednesday expected to spell out a series of radical reforms to Britain's regulators. In what will be interpreted as a sideswipe at Graham Corbett, the postal regulator, Mr Leighton will tell a House of Lords select committee that the Government needs to keep a tighter rein on the regulators."
June 9, 2003 -- As USA Today has cautioned, "don't look for cappuccino-flavored stamps anytime soon. But the financially struggling United States Postal Service is about to push the envelope on marketing big time. Even as it plans to cut nearly $3 billion in yearly costs from its $69 billion budget, the Postal Service expects to add tens of millions of dollars in licensing revenue by transforming the nation's seventh-most familiar brand and as domestic diva Martha Stewart did bringing it into people's homes. 'We're trying to take licensing way outside the box from where people would expect to see postal imagery,' says Pam York, manager of the licensing group at the Postal Service. In the past six months, the division has increased licensing revenue by 139%, she says."
June 9, 2003 -- Stuff.co.nz (New Zealand) has reported that 'Letter volumes have continued to increase this year, underpinning NZ Post profits, but new chief executive John Allen accepts the tide is running against letters. 'We have seen continued growth in letter volume, but how long that will be the case is the significant question that confronts all postal businesses,' said the baby-faced 42-year-old who took over NZ Post last month. 'We predict that letter volumes will decline over time, particularly financial services letters (bank statements, bills and payments), which is a significant proportion of the total.' Replacing letters as the mainstream source of revenue for the state-owned postal service will be fully owned subsidiary, Kiwibank."
June 9, 2003 -- I.D. Systems, Inc. has announced that the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has ordered the company's Wireless Asset Net(TM) fleet tracking and management system for a fleet of industrial vehicles at the USPS Buffalo, New York, Processing and Distribution Center (P&DC). This is the eighth USPS facility to acquire the Wireless Asset Net system. The order for the Buffalo P&DC is valued at approximately $250,000, and system deployment is expected to occur this year.
June 9, 2003 -- The Standard (U.K.) has reported that "TNT, the express courier and logistics company owned by Dutch postal group TPG, is considering the possibility of using its own freighter aircraft on some regional and transcontinental services following the Sars outbreak."
June 9, 2003 -- According to the Financial Times, "Royal Mail is close to completing a GBP130 mil project to implement its Address Interpretation technology in all of its UK sporting office, with 63 out of 70 sorting offices already equipped with the technology. Lockheed Martin is the prime contractor for the project, with a five-year contract from Royal Mail. The technology will improve automatic address reading on envelopes, enabling Royal Mail to process an additional 10 mil letters/d without the need for human intervention. The Address Interpretation technology improves the accuracy of Royal Mail's OCR systems to 89%, vs 70% previously. The technology is being supplied by a number of companies, including Siemens, IBM and Bell + Howell, all under contract to Lockheed Martin."
June 9, 2003 -- The Federal Times has noted that "in the last two years, the U.S. Postal Service has been at the center of a lot of news. The mail system was used to deliver biological weapons for the first time. The organization's future financial prospects have taken a turn for the worse amid widespread use of the Internet and dropping mail volume. And President Bush has appointed a commission to consider whether the organization is in need of its biggest overhaul since it was created in 1971. As postmaster general since June 2001, John Potter has been overseeing the agency through these tumultuous times."
June 9, 2003 -- The Federal Times also has reported that "eligible members of the American Postal Workers Union are one step closer to being able to take early retirements with the Office of Personnel Management's approval of new early-out regulations."
June 9, 2003 -- The Watertown News has reported that "few issues are as unpopular in Congress as closing military bases. But base closures may come in handy for a new cause: shutting post offices. Some lawmakers are considering creating an independent commission, modeled after a base closure panel, to recommend post offices for closing."
June 9, 2003 -- DM News has reported that "the U.S. Postal Service has received about 60 comments in response to a controversial proposed change in the nonprofit mail rule, the agency said last week. The current rule says that any mail piece sent at the nonprofit rate must be owned and controlled by the nonprofit, though it can contract with a for-profit fundraiser if the nonprofit remains the principal agent. The proposal, filed May 6 in the Federal Register, would allow nonprofits soliciting monetary donations to use professional fundraisers but still mail at the substantially lower nonprofit rate."
June 7, 2003 -- UPS has applauded the signing of the U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement (FTA), predicting it would create jobs and stimulate the economies of both countries. "Removing restrictions to the free flow of goods, information and funds is critical to the world's economic health and certainly to UPS as an enabler of global commerce," said UPS Chairman and CEO Mike Eskew.
June 7, 2003 -- Dow Jones has reported that "the Danish Ministry of Transport said Friday it is going ahead with preparations to reduce the state's 100% holding in the national postal services Post Danmark A/S."
June 7, 2003 -- The Edge Daily (Malaysia) has reported that "Pos Malaysia & Services Holdings Bhd expects the postal services in the country to remain in demand despite the growing popularity of other means of communications such as electronic mail and mobile phones."
June 7, 2003 -- The Globe and Mail (Canada) has noted that "if the Maple Leaf on that stamp you've just stuck to an envelope leaves you feeling warm and fuzzy, get ready for a hit to your national pride. Many Canadian stamps are made across the border — and could soon carry a Made in the U.S.A. label to prove it. The stamps have been printed in Buffalo, N.Y., since a Toronto company that makes them moved its printing subsidiary there two years ago. The Canadian Printing Industries Association claims the practice violates the North American Free Trade Agreement because the country of origin isn't labelled on the stamps."
June 6, 2003 -- According to the Financial Times, "DHL Airways vented its frustration over its case before the US Department of Transportation. It called recent orders by the administrative law judge overseeing the case "misguided" and filed a motion to delay the government review of its structure."
June 6, 2003 -- Dow Jones has reported that "Singapore's Infocomm Development Authority has rejected Singapore Post Ltd.'s (D.SPO) proposal to raise postal rates, saying current rates were sufficient to cover costs. The industry regulator said in a statement Friday the decision was made after 'a detailed review of SingPost's proposal and SingPost's figures.'"
June 6, 2003 -- According to the Journal of Commerce, "DHL is fighting increasingly nasty battles on two continents. In Europe, a top labor leader warned that DHL and its parent, Deutsche Post World Net, are "dangerously close to a worldwide dispute" because of the German mail and logistics provider's refusal to agree to discussions regarding a union employee who was fired on May 26. And in Washington, DHL Airways is attempting an end-run around an administrative law judge appointed by the U.S. Department of Transportation to investigate a complaint by archrivals FedEx Corp. and United Parcel Service that the domestic airline is controlled by Deutsche Post."
June 6, 2003 -- Borsen-Zeitung (Germany) has reported that the "management of Deutsche Post, Germany's postal service operator, has confirmed that it is examining whether to acquire Norisbank, the Nuremberg-based subsidiary of HypoVereinsbank, Germany's second largest bank. The profitable retail loan specialist is up for sale. Postbank, Deutsche Post's banking subsidiary, is currently the only potential German buyer of Norisbank, which operates roughly 100 retail branches and has approximately 500,000 customers."
June 6, 2003 -- Die Welt (Germany) has reported that "the management of Deutsche Post, Germany's postal service operator, has defended cost reduction measures such as the planned closure of up to 800 post offices this year. Chairman Klaus Zumwinkel announced at the annual general meeting that the company would still comply fully with its postal obligations."
June 6, 2003 -- The Norman Transcript has reported that "the U.S. Postal Service has announced an $8 million maintenance training facility will be built on the campus of its National Center for Employee Development. The 60,000-square-foot addition will house three automated package processing system (APPS) machines, each occupying about 7,500 square feet. The building will include classrooms, labs and offices."
June 6, 2003 -- The Washington Post has reported that "the days of the canceled check may be numbered. Under a bill resoundingly approved by the House yesterday in a 405 to 0 vote, banks would be allowed to process all checks electronically, giving back to their customers, at most, a reproduction of the original. The banks and the Federal Reserve Board have pushed for the legislation, arguing that it would result in substantial savings and greater efficiencies. They argue that it could mean faster clearing of customers' checks and, thus, quicker access to the funds they deposit." Kiss that mail good-bye.
June 6, 2003 -- Forbes has reported that "for the second time this week, DHL Airways on Thursday sought to delay a federal review of its ownership structure that requires it to turn over documents on its operations to the government and its rivals. The cargo carrier asked the Transportation Department to defer its proceedings and vacate an order issued on Wednesday by the agency's chief administrative law judge, Ronnie Yoder, that denied a similar appeal."
June 6, 2003 -- The BBC has reported that "the Royal Mail is to stop transporting post by rail - in a move which will cut costs but end 170 years of history. The company said its 49 mail trains will begin to be cancelled from next month and stopped altogether from next March. Royal Mail said the rail network had simply proved too expensive and unreliable, and in future all post would be distributed by road and air. The Rail Maritime and Transport (RMT) union said the move threatened 500 jobs, including posts at dedicated rail terminals across England, Wales and Scotland. It also said the move could be an environmental disaster, and called on the government to intervene."
June 6, 2003 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "European transport ministers on Thursday approved a move to seek an agreement with the United States that eventually could lead to a radical consolidation of the global airline business."
June 5, 2003 -- As DM News postal commentator Cary Baer has noted, "by now most everyone knows of the pressure coming from several quarters, including the U.S. Senate, for postal service inspector general Karla W. Corcoran to resign. The gist of the complaints against her dealt with what were called "bizarre" attempts at management team-building exercises. To me, the questions are: Was she doing the job the governors wanted and expected? And were they monitoring her activities?"
June 5, 2003 -- The Calgary Sun (Canada) has reported that "Postal workers in Calgary will participate in a nation-wide strike vote today -- but it remains unclear how the city will be affected should the union choose to walk off the job. Joanne Miller, local Canadian Union of Postal Workers president, said a strike is a last resort, but members have to send a message that the last offer wasn't good enough. The union recently rejected a five-year pay increase worth 3% over the next three years and 2.5% in years four and five."
June 5, 2003 -- Bloomberg has reported that "Deutsche Post AG, Europe's largest postal service, reiterated that 2003 profit will fall 5.7 percent as the global economy stagnates and the company cuts postage rates in Germany, said Chief Executive Officer Klaus Zumwinkel."
June 5, 2003 -- The Federal Times has a poll posted on its web page. It asks: "Should the U.S. Postal Service retest mail-processing facilities for anthrax contamination as the General Accounting Office recommends?" Check it out.
June 5, 2003 -- Traffic World has reported that:
The House Aviation Subcommittee approved legislation that would allow cargo pilots to join passenger pilots in being allowed to carry guns in the cockpit. Subcommittee Chairman Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., called the bill a logical extension of a law enacted last year that permitted passenger pilots to be armed. Among the bill's components are improving the known-shipper program, standardizing inspections of air cargo facilities and developing a Transportation Security Administration training program for people who handle air cargo.
Supply-chain cost cutters have taken much of the low-hanging fruit available to them in primary operational areas with one possible exception: transportation. The demand for more sophisticated transportation management solutions shows that this is an area where efficiency yields can be substantial.
June 5, 2003 -- Hoovers has reported that "UPS (United Parcel Service) has announced the nomination of Mr. Luis Arriaga as managing director for its operations in Mexico. Mr. Arriaga has 11 years of experience in the company, and says that he is proud to take on the role at a time when the company is growing so much. He replaces Mr. David Ruiz, who is now director of UPS opoerations in South Carolina.
June 5, 2003 -- USA Today has reported that "Belgian authorities were today investigating 10 letters laced with toxic powders that were addressed to Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt, the American, Saudi and British embassies and other offices. The letters, discovered over the past two days, apparently were all sent by the same person or group, said Jaak Raes, an Interior Ministry official. Belgian media reported the envelopes included a card signed in English by the "International Islamic Society," and Raes said a "full investigation" was underway. Two postal workers were hospitalised with a skin irritation after coming in contact with the brown powder, but were expected to be released later today, officials said."
June 5, 2003 -- Forbes has reported that "a judge denied a request by DHL Airways on Wednesday to delay a government review of its ownership structure and suspend a requirement to turn over sensitive corporate documents. Ronnie Yoder, the Transportation Department's chief administrative law judge, said continuing the case would not harm the public interest or the cargo carrier. Attorneys for DHL said in their appeal on Tuesday to delay the case that the ownership question will be irrelevant later this month when a group of U.S. investors led by its chairman will buy the company."
June 5, 2003 -- The Louisville Courier-Journal has reported that "United Parcel Service Inc. has said that it's still on track to increase profits by as much as 15 percent in the quarter that ends this month, even as rival FedEx Corp. moves to cut jobs. UPS, which has its air hub in Louisville and is the area's largest employer, touted the growth of its international businesses. The company said the acceleration of its Asian business should boost revenue in China to $300 million in 2003 from $200 million last year. The addition of 10 countries to its European Union business and the international prospects of its Mail Boxes Etc. unit also will contribute to full-year results."
June 5, 2003 -- The Independent (United Kingdom) has reported that "Allan Leighton, chairman of Royal Mail, yesterday attacked the Government over its handling of the rolling out of the "universal bank" which is intended to reduce the number of people without a bank account and also boost the finances of the Post Office."
June 5, 2003 -- News24 (U.K.) has reported that "Britain's post office is not amused that a hip art gallery in the south of England is selling posters of mock stamps featuring Queen Elizabeth II in a gas mask."
June 5, 2003 -- Defens eLink has reported that "the Military Postal Service Agency has received a number of complaints about the speed of mail deliveries to and from Iraq. The officials are aware of the problems and expect changes to ease some stumbling blocks. The main problem, according to agency officials, was that there was no mail facility in Iraq. 'Now there is one at the Baghdad International Airport and we expect that will improve service,' said an official with the agency."
June 5, 2003 -- The DMA issued guidance to assist catalogers and other direct marketers in establishing charges for shipping, handling, and other fulfillment costs. The document is called "Guidance for Establishing and Substantiating Shipping and Handling Charges."
June 5, 2003 -- The U.S. Postal Service is offering an online solution that can make the change of address experience a little less stressful. The online MoversGuide on usps.com allows customers to file their changes of address directly with the Postal Service electronically and offers move-related information, products, and services essential to planning, moving and settling in to the new residence.
June 4, 2003 -- Hugin has reported that "Posten, Sweden's national postal operator, and Nordea, the largest financial services group in the Nordic region, today announced a strategic alliance to provide electronic bill payment and presentment (EBPP) services. The agreement broadens the EBPP market for both consumer and business customers."
June 4, 2003 -- LaBarge, Inc. has been awarded a contract valued at approximately $9 million to provide Northrop Grumman Corporation with additional equipment for a state-of-the art mail sorting system for the U.S. Postal Service. Under the new contract, LaBarge will manufacture turnkey, enhanced in-feed units as well as upgrade kits for the previous postal sorter in-feed units that the Company built between 1999 and 2002 under a separate, $39 million contract.
June 4, 2003 -- The Associated Press has reported that "the FBI is investigating two packages containing CDs that apparently were mailed from Iran to the Roswell office of U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce, and other members of the House and Senate have received similarly addressed packages, officials said."
June 4, 2003 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that "just as Deutsche Post AG faces regulatory headaches in the U.S., the German mail giant confronts a new challenge in Europe that could hamper its acquisition strategy. U.S. competitor United Parcel Service Inc. is joining with German consumer and express-mail groups to complain that Deutsche Post uses high stamp prices within its letters monopoly to help fund acquisitions such as its recent $1.1 billion (€935.4 million) takeover of Seattle-based Airborne Inc. They want European Union Competition Commissioner Mario Monti to reinvigorate a dormant probe into Deutsche Post and threaten a fine that would force stamp prices lower."
June 4, 2003 -- According to Traffic
World, "German postal giant Deutsche Post World Net reported 5
percent growth in the first quarter, with profit rising to $1.1 billion from
$1 billion a year earlier. The company said the results exceeded expectations
and credited growth in the express corporate division for much of the
June 3, 2003 -- Using Europe as a backdrop for the first time, senior executives of UPS hosted analysts and investors on a tour of facilities used to ease cross-border commerce and reviewed growth opportunities around the world. Among the global opportunities discussed with investors was the rapid acceleration of the company's Asian business, with revenue in China projected to grow from $200 million to $300 million this year alone; the impact of an expanded European Union, with 10 new countries about to be added, and the international prospects of the company's Mail Boxes Etc. unit (now known as The UPS Store in most U.S. locations), which is expected to more than double the number of MBE centers in Europe over the next 10 years to more than 1,400.
June 3, 2003 -- Catalogers generate a four percent response rate when mailing to their house files, according to results of a new study from the Direct Marketing Association (The DMA). Catalog results from The DMA's 2003 Response Rate Study, which includes data on responses from 156 catalogers, were announced today at the 20th Annual Catalog Conference & Exhibition. Catalogs that were mailed to a company's in-house customer file resulted in a 4.08 percent response rate, while catalogs mailed to prospects received a 1.62 percent response rate. Overall, catalogs received a 2.53 percent response. The study also revealed that 37.8 percent of catalogers send promotional e-mail to current customers, generating a response rate of .96 percent.
June 3, 2003 -- The catalog industry is growing more efficient and productive, according to a study released by the Direct Marketing Association (The DMA) at the 20th Annual Catalog Conference & Exhibition in San Francisco. Catalog sales increased an average of 9.24 percent each year between 1998 and 2003, according to The DMA study, Economic Impact: U.S. Direct and Interactive Marketing Today. During the same five-year period, catalog ad spending grew 6.25 percent annually, and industry employment grew only 3.71 percent per year. The DMA projects that catalog sales will reach $132.8 billion in 2003, a 5.6 percent increase over 2002 sales of $125.8 billion.
June 3, 2003 -- China Daily has reported that "TNT International Express, one of the world's leading business-to-business express carriers, vowed Monday to enhance its performance in the lucrative Chinese market, after ending its 15-year joint venture with Sinotrans. Beijing-based Machplus Worldwide Express has been appointed as the main distributor of TNT Express' products and services in China following the end of the joint venture last week."
June 3, 2003 -- According to Direct magazine, "Mailer groups for the most part supported Postmaster General Jack Potter's latest recommendations for maintaining the U.S. Postal Service, which he made before the President's Commission on the USPS Thursday. One area with strong support was Potter's proposal that the USPS be allowed to close post offices and postal processing facilities 'without constraint from outside influences.'"
June 3, 2003 -- Radio Free Europe has reported that "postal workers in the Republic of Karachaevo-Cherkessia "do not want to be the disseminators of negative information and refuse to distribute publications that pump up distrust toward the republic's leadership," according to an open letter to the republican branch of the Antimonopoly Ministry published in the official newspaper of the republican branch of the Federal Postal Service, regions.ru reported on 23 May."
June 3, 2003 -- Die Welt (Germany) has reported that:
June 3, 2003 -- AuthentiDate Holding Corp. (AHC), the provider of the USPS Electronic Postmark(TM)(EPM) service, has announced that the USPS EPM, which enables users to verify authenticity, provide tamper detection, and date and time stamp their electronic documents and files, will be integrated with Microsoft Office Professional Edition 2003 (part of the Microsoft Office System) and Microsoft Office XP as a Microsoft Office Word 2003 Extension.
June 3, 2003 -- The Independent (U.K.) has reported that "leaders of thousands of postal workers are drawing up plans for a "substantial" pay claim backed up by the threat of industrial action, it was revealed yesterday. David Ward, the newly elected deputy general secretary of the Communication Workers Union, pledged to campaign for a new basic salary of pounds 300 a week, compared with the current pounds 261."
June 3, 2003 -- The Globe and Mail (Canada) has reported that "with backing from Microsoft Corp., a Toronto company's dream of a universal addressing system is taking a step closer to reality. The Universal Address System and the Natural Area Coding System have been developed by NAC Geographic president Xinhang Shen and is based on latitude and longitude, the NAC system can represent an area the size of a province using two alphanumeric characters. A "universal address" with six characters will narrow down a search to an area measuring one square kilometre. With 10 characters, it can represent a specific area measuring one square metre. The proposed 10-digit universal address could be used for both homes and businesses."
June 3, 2003 -- The Memphis Commercial Appeal has reported that "FedEx Express is offering voluntary retirement or severance incentives to 14,000 U.S.-based employees, roughly 12 percent of its domestic workforce. The incentives represent a first in the Memphis-based overnight air express delivery service's 30-year history and underscore the company's need to further reduce costs in the face of declining revenue that it has struggled with since before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks." See also the Financial Times and The Street.
June 3, 2003 -- The Edmunton Sun (Canada) has reported that "Canada's 45,000 postal workers will hold a strike vote tomorrow, even though both sides are hoping for a negotiated settlement."
June 3, 2003 -- The Chicago Daily Herald has reported that "transportation Secretary Norman Mineta urged Congress Monday to approve a plan to ease limits on foreign ownership of U.S. carriers to give struggling airlines greater access to capital. Congressional concern with foreign ownership of U.S. airlines was made clear in April, when lawmakers ordered the Transportation Department to reexamine the ownership structure of cargo carrier DHL Airways. Rivals FedEx Corp. and United Parcel Service Inc. contend DHL is controlled by the German postal monopoly Deutsche Post AG . An administrative law judge has ordered DHL to turn over a substantial number of documents on finances, operations and management ahead of an August hearing. There are some foreign ownership limits in other sectors but the scope is most pronounced in the airline sector."
June 3, 2003 -- The Voice of America has reported that "workers in France, Germany, Austria and Italy have staged strikes, disrupting public transportation, services and industry. French commuters struggled to work on crowded buses and trains Tuesday as public sector employees launched further strike action over the government's planned pension reforms. Train and bus service in Paris was cut in half by the strike, and about 80 percent of flights in and out of France were grounded. The action caused 150 kilometers of traffic jams on roads into the capital. Numerous schools were also closed by the tenth walkout in as many months by teachers over a decentralization plan. Postal workers, ambulance drivers, electricians, port workers and tollroad staff were among others on strike."
June 3, 2003 -- GovExec.com has reported that "the Postal Service saw revenues drop by hundreds of millions during its third quarter, the agency announced Monday. From Feb. 22 to May 16, revenues totaled $16 billion, about $483 million below what the agency had estimated for the third quarter. Expenses were $15.8 billion, or $370 million less than the agency anticipated. The savings were not enough to hold off the larger-than-expected revenue shortfall, according to agency Chief Financial Officer Richard Strasser. As a result, net income for the quarter was $224 million, which is $112 million less than expected." See also the press release from the U.S. Postal Service and the report by the Associated Press.
June 3, 2003 -- The Governo rs of the U.S. Postal Service have approved the Capital One negotiated service agreement.
June 2, 2003 -- The San Mateo County Times has reported that "today, 60 percent of the labor force surveyed in the hospitality, health care, retail and manufacturing industries still don't have e-mail at work, according to Emeryville's Sendmail. Mostly because they're not in the information industry and also because they don't have desks and don't use computers on the job. Almost 85 percent of the surveyed employers still use inter-office memos and the U.S. Postal Service to notify staff. The cost entailed in creating, distributing and recording these messages is considerable, the survey suggested." The race is on to end this.
June 2, 2003 -- As Reuters has noted, "after centuries of relying on paper, ink quills, and more recently, rubber stamps to verify people's identities, U.S. notaries public are being dragged kicking and screaming into the modern, high-tech era. A group leading 200,000 of the country's 4.5 million notaries recently unveiled an electronic signature, thumbprint and photograph kit that could make their jobs easier. Notaries, also called trusted witnesses, check the identity of people signing documents such as contracts, loans and wills, then give their stamp of approval and record the event in a paper-based journal. The new kit could record the clients' thumbprint, signature and photograph in an electronic system."
June 2, 2003 -- Le Figaro (France) has reported that "the price of French postage stamps, unchanged since 1996, will increase from 0.46 euros to 0.50 euros, or by 8.7 per cent, on Sunday. The hike will bring France more into line with the European average of 0.65 euros."
June 2, 2003 -- DM News has reported that:
June 2, 2003 -- The Times (U.K.) has reported that "John Hynes, the chief executive of An Post, has begun talks to renegotiate the firm's postal agreement with international carriers in line with demands from Etain Doyle, the postal regulator. Under the current agreement, which An Post has still not signed, other postal services pay 73% of the price of a standard 41c stamp in Ireland to have international mail delivered. An Post pays 73% of the price of the stamp in other countries to have Irish mail delivered there. An Post said it lost €40m on international deliveries last year. In recent months, ComReg, the postal regulator, ordered the company to renegotiate the agreement by the beginning of July."
June 1, 2003 -- MSNBC has reported that "unions, who last week vowed to bring France to a standstill with a general strike, have timed widespread 24-hour stoppages to coincide with Tuesday's examination by the National Assembly of plans to reform France's creaking pension system. Couriers, ambulance and truck drivers, dock workers, the merchant marine, tollroad staff, tax inspectors, and postal and electricity workers are all also expected to take part in Tuesday's strikes."
June 1, 2003 -- The Kyodo news service (Japan) has reported that "feight company Tokai Messenger Bb launched a mail delivery service Sunday, making it the first private-sector firm to take part in services that have been controlled by the state for 130 years, as part of Japan's efforts to privatize postal services. The company, based in Nagoya, has acquired a license to deliver mail within three hours in the central areas of the capital of Aichi Prefecture in central Japan."
June 1, 2003 -- Traffic World has reported that "DHL Airways will change name to AStar Air Cargo after sale to Dasburg but will keep DHL logo. The Miami-based company will be called AStar Air Cargo Inc. after the deal, scheduled to close on or around June 30, said Sanford Litvack, an attorney representing DHL Airways. The change may be mostly in name only as DHL Worldwide Express is expected to remain DHL Airways' largest customer and planes and other company property likely will continue to carry the DHL logo, Litvack said."
June 1, 2003 -- As the New York Times has shown, the contest between Fedex, UPS, and DHL has turned awfully nasty.
June 1, 2003 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "DHL said it had experienced no problems Thursday night at its Brussels hub following a brief strike by air-cargo handlers, but the International Transport Workers Federation accused the express carrier of using coercive tactics against union members. "
June 1, 2003 -- The Financial Times has reported that "Royal Mail is 'at last being dragged, kicking and screaming into the 21st century' with post office customers finally able to use debit cards to pay for stamps, envelopes and other mail services."