Postal News from July 2003
July 31, 2003 -- The final report of the President's Commission on the Postal Service has been posted on the commission web site.
July 31, 2003 -- The General Accounting Office has released its " Primer on Postal Worksharing."
July 31, 2003 -- The New Zealand Herald 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 turning. Replacing letters as the mainstream source of revenue for the state-owned postal service will be fully owned subsidiary Kiwibank."
July 31, 2003 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that "the economy showed signs of a budding recovery in June and early July, led by broad improvement in the long-ailing manufacturing sector, a Federal Reserve survey found. The central bank said most regions of the country reported an improvement in overall economic activity, with only the Chicago, St. Louis and San Francisco districts showing continued sluggish growth."
July 31, 2003 -- The Irish Independent has reported that:
July 31, 2003 -- The American Postal Workers Union has initiated a national-level grievance protesting management's instructions regarding voluntary early retirements, which indicate that some APWU-represented employees may be excluded from offers for "early outs."
July 31, 2003 -- According to Editor & Publisher, "the D.C. power brokers are at work, and newspaper groups are uneasy. No, it's not another challenge to the FCC on cross-ownership. Trade groups are fretting over possible changes to the United States Postal Service that they believe could threaten a large revenue source for the newspaper industry."
July 31, 2003 -- Japan Today has reported that "Japan Post, a public corporation dealing with postal services, said Thursday that 55 out of 15,866 applicants, mostly college seniors, have passed screening tests for the entity's main career-track jobs starting next April 1. They will be the first career-track employees hired by Japan Post after it was set up April 1 as a public corporation to take over the Postal Services Agency's postal services."
July 31, 2003 -- Malta Business Weekly has reported that "Maltapost has denied allegations made by a foreign company that items despatched to Malta were stolen."
July 31, 2003 -- CEP News (Courier-Express-Postal) has reported that:
Don't be satisfied with a less than complete report on the courier, express, and postal market in Europe. Get your subscription to CEP News, today..
July 31, 2003 -- Deutsche Post/DHL is claiming "an important victory today when the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT): rejected the ALJ's and UPS/FedEx's incorrect interpretation of the ALJ's authority; and effectively ordered the ALJ to put a stop to UPS/FedEx's harassing and irrelevant discovery demands of DP/DHL. DOT rejected the Administrative Law Judge's (ALJ's) and UPS/FedEx's overbroad interpretation of the ALJ's authority and, in a vindication of DP/DHL's arguments, ruled that, in light of the sale of all of the shares of DHL Airways (Old Airways) to BD Air Partners LLC (BDAP), the ownership and citizenship of Old Airways and DP/DHL's relationship with Old Airways are entirely irrelevant to the ALJ proceeding."
July 31, 2003 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that "the Department of Transportation sharply limited the scope of a federal judge's scrutiny of the former DHL Airways Inc., in a ruling that could make it harder for two rivals in the package-delivery industry to prove their allegations that the airline is under the control of German carrier Deutsche Post AG." See also the Journal of Commerce.
July 31, 2003 -- The Asahi Shimbun has reported that "Japan Post is hoping to make itself competitive with private delivery services by raising the upper weight limit on parcels it handles to 30 kilograms from the current 20 kg in October, sources said The government-affiliated postal services entity is aiming the new limit at customers shipping large home appliances such as personal computers and televisions, the sources said. Japan Post is also considering a new service catering to golfers and skiers, for whom it will deliver bulky sports gear. Such services are already common among private delivery firms. Japan Post will also raise its limit on overall package dimensions to a total combined length, width and height of 170 centimeters, from the current 150 cm."
July 31, 2003 -- According to the Deseret News, "it is always so refreshing to see original thinking spring from the federal government. One's first impulse is to champion any new idea, whatever it may be. Fortunately, the President's Commission on the Future of the Postal Service has come up with a plan that is not only fanciful but workable: the vanity postage stamp."
July 31, 2003 -- According to the Meridian Booster (Canada), "after persistent negotiations and four deadline extensions, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers has reached two agreements with Canada Post. Health and safety issues were addressed as more funding will be put into training, study and eliminating workplace hazards. Rural and suburban mail carriers, a sector comprised of about 6,000 employees, are also now entitled to wage and benefit improvements, along with the ability to collectively bargain in a separate union."
July 31, 2003 -- The National League of Postmasters has told its members that "the details of the new National Performance Assessment (NPA) program will be released within the next few weeks. designed a new system and, as with anything new, it will be evaluated after the first year to see if adjustments are needed. Our goal was to develop a fair process that will reward Postmasters for their efforts and drive behavior that will help us be successful as a Postal Service."
July 31, 2003 -- Are you thinking "outside the box" about your mailing needs? Then you'll discover that the best tools available to deliver your messages go "through the box" - the mailbox, that is - at this fall's National Postal Forum (NPF), to be held September 21-23 in Kansas City, MO. For further information about the fall 2003 National Postal Forum / Kansas City, visit the NPF web site (www.npf.org) or call 703-218-5015. For information about USPS products and services, visit www.usps.com.
July 30, 2003 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "cargo volume for U.S. air carriers was down 4.6 percent last month in comparison with June of 2002, according to figures released Tuesday by the Air Transport Association, a Washington-based lobbying group whose members carry more than 95 percent of the passengers and cargo flown on U.S. airplanes."
July 30, 2003 -- Air Cargo World has reported that "the arguments over the legal efficacy of Deutsche Post's "sponsorship" of DHL Airways in the United States may have some way to run yet. But in Europe, the relationship between express operator and client airline is a little clearer. At least it is for TNT Airways, which provides the airborne lift for TNT Express within the continent."
July 30, 2003 -- Look for the final report of the
President's Commission on the Postal Service TOMORROW. It will be available
July 30, 2003 -- Just in case you've missed these goodies on the web site of the President's Commission on the Postal Service:
July 30, 2003 -- One hundred pieces of original stamp art from the past 40 years, including five works honoring Elvis Presley, are on display today through February 24, 2004, at the Smithsonian's National Postal Museum, 2 Massachusetts Ave., Washington, D.C. Artwork owned by the U.S. Postal Service is featured in the "Art of the Stamp," an exhibition organized by the Smithsonian's National Postal Museum in collaboration with the Postal Service through a generous donation from Avery Dennison Corporation. The Postal Museum also marked its 10th Anniversary with "10 Years of Stamps & Stories 1993 - 2003," a celebration that included an afternoon of postal history and philatelic fun enjoyed by visitors of all ages.
July 30, 2003 -- According to Computing magazine (U.K.), "Royal Mail hopes IT overhaul will deliver productivity."
July 30, 2003 -- According to Eyefortransport.com, "DHL continues to expand its operations in Iraq to assist in the country’s revival. DHL is the first express and logistics company to operate in Iraq following the lifting of economic sanctions. Air express services are being offered through DHL Express, and heavy freight and logistics through DHL Danzas Air & Ocean."
July 30, 2003 -- Congratulations to Pitney Bowes' Vice President for Postal Relations John Campo and Envelope Manufacturers Association President Maynard Benjamin on the special recognition awards they recently received from the Smithsonian Institution's National Postal Museum for their extraordinary work in the Museum's behalf. PostCom President Gene Del Polito also has recently been appointed to the Museum's Advisory Council.
July 30, 2003 -- The Associated Press has reported that "delivery giant United Parcel Service Inc. owns and operates 88,000 trucks. So how is UPS speeding up deliveries between the East and West coasts? Trains."
July 30, 2003 -- MSNBC has reported that "FedEx announced July 18 that it plans to open a ground-based cargo sorting facility in Maryland that will bring hundreds of jobs with it. That facility is scheduled to open in 2006, three years ahead of the long-awaited Mid-Atlantic air cargo hub in Greensboro, even though that project was announced in 1998. Analysts say that the July 18 announcement is part of a plan aimed at making FedEx more competitive with United Parcel Service in the more highly contested battle for ground shipping."
July 30, 2003 -- Dow Jones has reported that "Deutsche Post AG reiterated on Wednesday that it expects the expansion plans of its U.S. unit, DHL Worldwide Express, to be completed during the third quarter, despite court action against it by competitors." See also the Financial Times.
July 30, 2003 -- Business World (Ireland) has reported that "An Post said it lost E70m last year as rising costs and a E52.5m restructuring charge related to 1,000 job cuts hit the group's bottom line. It was the biggest ever deficit since An Post was established as a commercial State company in 1984."
July 30, 2003 -- Reuters has reported that "Germany's Deutsche Post DPWGn.DE posted a decline in second-quarter sales and earnings on Wednesday, disappointing investors even though it nudged its full-year outlook higher. Europe's largest publicly listed postal group blamed the decline on a cut in stamp prices and one-off effects that had boosted last year's earnings. For the second half of the year, however, Chief Executive Klaus Zumwinkel told analysts a restructuring programme, combined with a good performance in express delivery services and finance, would boost earnings."
July 30, 2003 -- National Association of Postmasters of the U.S. (NAPUS) President Wally Olihovik praised Senate passage of S. 678, the Postmasters Equity Act. On the evening of July 29, the Senate unanimously approved the measure. The Postmasters Equity Act was introduced by Senator Daniel Akaka (D-HI) and Senate Governmental Affairs Chairman Susan Collins.
July 30, 2003 -- As Time Inc.'s Director of Distribution and Postal Affairs, Jim O'Brien, has noted, "Judging by the representation of numerous publishers, catalogers, printers, lettershops, and equipment manufacturers who attended the recent Flat Summit, it's obvious that there is a great deal of interest and concern regarding the Postal Service's flat strategy. It's up to the Postal Service, mailers, and industry associations, like those who sponsored the conference, to keep the ball rolling. While the Summit was a great first step, it's the follow-up that will yield the most results."
July 30, 2003 -- Emediawire has reported that "at the National Association of Credit Managers (NACM) Southwest Expo, iGneiTe, A Dallas based consulting company, unveiled a tracking service called Planet Confirm to enable companies to track the routing and delivery of regular mail through the US Postal Service (USPS). On the heels of a successful implementation of Planet Confirm at a Competitive Local Exchange Carrier (CLEC), iGneiTe provided information on how the technology works and how companies are using the service to improve collections processes and customer service."
July 30, 2003 -- Bloomberg has reported that "Deutsche Post AG, Europe's largest postal service, said it returned to profit in the second-quarter after it cut costs and a charge resulted in a loss in the year- earlier period. The company raised its 2003 earnings target."
July 30, 2003 -- Japan Today has reported that "Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi denied Wednesday he plans to set up an official panel on privatization of Japan's postal services to boost studies that his private panel conducted in 2001 and 2002." See the Mainichi Daily News.
July 30, 2003 -- According to the Heritage Foundation, "as U.S. cyclist Lance Armstrong won his fifth consecutive Tour de France, he brought widespread attention to the sport of cycling --and, improbably, to the U.S. Postal Service -- whose $40 million sponsorship over the past six years was seen in the blue logo plastered across his jersey and cap. Unfortunately the joy of Armstrong's victory will not carry over to this week's reform report issued by the President's Commission on the United States Postal Service. The report will contain many good and needed changes, but will fall short if -- as the preliminary documents indicate -- it rejects fundamental change to the Postal Services' protected, government status."
July 30, 2003 -- According to Inc., "A presidential commission is examining broad-based reforms to the 736,000-person U.S. Postal Service. Among the proposals: letting the USPS slash prices in the summer, when mail volume drops, and offer discounts to merchants who pick up parcels at the post office rather than wait for delivery. But though the USPS's proposed offerings are designed to appeal to entrepreneurs, small-business lobbyists have so far remained cool to reform, fearing that an unfettered USPS would raise rates rather than lower them."
July 29, 2003 -- According to The Facts.com, "a panel, appointed by President Bush, is recommending that smaller, unprofitable post offices be closed as a way for the Postal Service to reduce costs. Business now handled at those facilities would be moved to more modern, more automated facilities, as well as kiosks, shopping centers, grocery stores and other retail outlets. It is also proposed that the service have more flexibility to set its own stamp prices and other charges; that it offer new services such as personalized postage stamps to add value to sending materials by mail; and that the service's bloated workforce be trimmed through attrition as many longtime employees near retirement. The commission's work is a combination of old-school business sense and forward thinking. The recommendations it is considering are ideas whose time has been long in coming and that are necessary for the long-term viability of the agency."
July 29, 2003 -- The Postal Service has announced that "companies and organizations looking for ways to promote their products and services have a new tool for their marketing kit, an easy-to-understand guide that tells them how to best use the retail, discount and online services of the Postal Service. A Guide to Mailing for Businesses and Organizations — available in hard copy and on the Internet — provides step-by-step information demonstrating ways to effectively send postcards, letters and packages to customers, while saving on postage with discount mail services."
July29, 2003 -- According to the Tallahassee Democrat, "like the mythic postmen of yore who were delayed by "neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow nor gloom of night," Lance Armstrong couldn't be stopped from winning the Tour de France. On Sunday, he crossed the finish line first for his fifth straight victory. But while Lance may embody the spirit attributed to yesteryear's couriers, his competitive nature clashes sharply with that of his bloated, bureaucratic sponsor - the U.S. Postal Service."
July 29, 2003 -- Japan Today has reported that:
July 29, 2003 -- Bloomberg has reported that "Japan's Council for Regulatory Reform wants the government to privatize, scale back or end the postal savings and postal life insurance businesses, Nikkei English News reported, citing draft proposals. The panel, which will propose 20 priority items for deregulation, says the two postal businesses interfere with the operations of private-sector financial institutions and the revitalization of Japan's financial market, Nikkei said."
July 29, 2003 -- Utusan Online (Malaysia) has reported that "a record 1.2 billion mails and parcels was handled by Pos Malaysia Bhd last year despite stiff competition from the electronic mail. And the volume is growing for the country's only postal service provider, its acting chief executive officer S.M. Alawdin Sulaiman told Bernama. 'The overall growth is three percent and electronic mails are not eating into the company's mail volume. E-mails have not affected Pos Malaysia,' he said Monday. Despite the technological advances, the traditional post offices continue to play an important role for the public."
July 29, 2003 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that:
July 28, 2003 -- The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has reported that "contract workers who deliver mail to rural and suburban areas appear to be among the big winners in one of two tentative deals reached over the weekend with Canada Post, their union said Monday. Some 6,000 contract workers - many of them women - will become union members with much improved wages and benefits over the next eight years under a new contract. It's one of two separate pacts that were negotiated with Canada Post to avert a strike by postal workers."
July 28, 2003 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that "R.R. Donnelley & Sons Co. intends to announce it is seeking a new chief executive to succeed its longtime leader, William L. Davis, who turns 60 years old this week and is paving the way for his retirement. In an interview, Mr. Davis confirmed that he plans to retire as chairman, president and CEO of the Chicago-based commercial printer, information-services and logistics concern after the new person is brought in. He took the top jobs in 1997 after 20 years with Emerson Electric Co. At that time, operating earnings were under pressure at Donnelley, then the nation's largest commercial printer."What I'm doing now fits right in with my plan" to run Donnelley no longer than seven years, Mr. Davis said. The search for his successor is expected to take four to six months. Mr. Davis said he will give up his management roles and board seat. Many had expected Mr. Davis to run Donnelley at least until age 62."
July 28, 2003 -- Business Times (Malaysia) has reported that "POS Malaysia Bhd wants to increase its share in the domestic courier market from 30 per cent currently to 40 per cent in the next two years. Its chairman Datuk Annuar Maaruf said the bigger market share will be achieved via its new services, Poslaju On Demand Pick-Up Service and Domestic Time Certain Service (TCS). The On Demand Pick-Up service allows customers to post their packages without having to leave their homes or offices, while the Domestic TCS guarantees delivery of goods before 10am the next day. He said the new services are targeted at non-contract clients, namely small- and medium-sized industry (SMI) companies as well as individuals."
July 28, 2003 -- According to the Wall Street Journal, "most citizens of any country would be happy if the post office could just deliver the mail on time every day. In some parts of Europe, that would be quite an achievement right there; mailmen unions strike so often that looking at the mail box becomes a victory of hope over experience. And yet in Belgium -- where these strikes have not been rare of late -- the government is about to pony up €297.5 million in subsidies to La Poste, so that it can perform a range of functions that have nothing to do with delivering the mail. And the European Commission thinks that's dandy. If the Belgian government were really serious about serving the public, it would privatize La Poste altogether. Here it could take a cue from the Dutch, who privatized their national post office in the 1990s. They quickly saw mail service improve as Dutch postmen became the most efficient in Europe. TGP, the Dutch postal company, became such a financial success that it acquired several other mail companies."
July 28, 2003 -- The Battle Creek Enquirer told its readers that "we don't disagree with those who look fondly on small village post offices as important centers of their communities. But faced with the reality of a high-tech world and growing competition, we understand the reasoning behind a proposal announced earlier this month for the U.S. Postal Service to replace low-activity post offices with kiosks at places such as stores and malls. As unfortunate as it may be, closing post offices that serve a relatively few number of people probably is a necessity if the Postal Service is to survive without becoming dependent on taxpayer subsidies. Do we like the idea? Not particularly, but we are living in an economic era when a lot of tough decisions have to be made, and this appears to be one of them."
July 28, 2003 -- The Globe and Mail has said that, according to analysts, Canada Post no longer is a "heavy hitter."
July 28, 2003 -- The Winnepeg Sun has reported that "Canada Post reached a tentative agreement yesterday with the union representing nearly 50,000 postal workers."
July 28, 2003 -- The China Post has reported that "recipients of mis-delivered mail who fail to return items or forward them to their rightful owners will face fines between NT$2,000 and NT$10,000, said the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) yesterday. In addition, the MOTC stated that private companies who deliver letters, bills, and other mail without the authorization of Chunghwa Post, the government postal service, could be forced to pay from NT$100,000 to NT$500,000 in penalties. The MOTC announced yesterday that it will take action against any parties that violate the Postal Service Law, according to the China Times Express."
July 28, 2003 -- The agenda for the August meeting of the U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors has been published in the Federal Register.
July 27, 2003 -- The Oklahoman has reported that "rural residents fear a recommendation that could lead to closing some post offices would wring the life out of their small towns."
July 27, 2003 -- The Review has noted that "a leaky roof is never a good thing, but with the heavy rains we've seen this summer, it's hard to imagine a worse time. So when a village mail carrier noticed the problem Wood Street resident Lucille Foster was having, he did something about it. When mail carrier Mike Reed noticed the problem Mrs. Foster was having, he organized local postal workers to donate their time and labor to install a new roof on the two-story frame house. 'I didn't know anything about it,' Foster said Friday afternoon. 'They just showed up here and started working.'"
July 26, 2003 -- Since conceiving the notion of establishing their own private postal system 16 years ago called the World Post Network, Universal Express Inc. has expanded their once fledgling network to 9000 private postal stores able to service the needs of Universal Express Inc.'s customers. The company provides an end-to-end, luggage-free travel service to its customers, picking up suitcases from customers' homes, sending the luggage to one of their private postal outlets, transporting it by cargo plane, and sending it to customers' final destination, contacting consumer along the way. Universal Express, Inc. owns and operates several subsidiaries including Universal Express Capital Corp, (including its USXP Cash Express division), Universal Express Logistics, Inc. (including The Virtual Bellhop, LLC and Luggage Express) and the WorldPost(tm) Private Postal Network, Inc. These subsidiaries and divisions provide the private postal industry and customers with value-added services and products, logistical services, equipment leasing, and cost-effective delivery of goods worldwide.
July 26, 2003 -- According to Bloomberg, "Deutsche Post AG, Europe's largest postal service, will raise prices for packages by 8 cents per shipment as it anticipates a European Union decision to charge trucks toll rates, the Handelsblatt said. Deutsche Post increase prices as of Sept. 1 on its Europack National and International, Europremium, Express Paket, Officepack and Express Brief, the paper said in an article to be published tomorrow, citing a company letter to customers."
July 26, 2003 -- The Barrie Advance (Canada) has reported that "the threat of a postal strike has likely evaporated, following a deal struck Wednesday between Canada Post and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW). There is little possibility of a national strike, or lockout, after the two parties agreed to finalize a tentative agreement by the weekend. The union will present Canada Post's proposals to its members for ratification. Details of the framework were not released."
July 26, 2003 -- The International Herald Tribune has reported that "the European Court of Justice ruled Thursday that payments made by governments to companies that provide essential services should not be considered state aid, making it more difficult for regulators to prevent illegal support. . European governments have pumped billions of euros into companies such as Electricite de France to provide services deemed necessary - such as serving remote or low-income communities - that are unlikely to be offered by a private company."
July 26, 2003 -- According to the National Association of Letter Carriers, "the special Presidential Postal Commission appointed by President Bush adopted July 23 recommendations of its Workforce Subcommittee, leveling a broad attack on core values of postal employment that have stood for decades and eviscerating long-held standards for health care, retirement benefits and an unfettered collective bargaining process. Its worst recommendations would: Give a new Postal Regulatory Board power to determine total compensation for all postal employees based on comparability with private sector workers and then impose it as a cap for new employees. Make pension and post-retirement health care plans subject to collective bargaining, thereby allowing flexibility to sever postal retirees from existing federal pension and retiree health care plans. Urge the Postal Service to carefully study a pay-for-performance compensation program for both management and bargaining unit employees."
July 26, 2003 -- Michael J. Critelli, Chairman and CEO of Pitney Bowes Inc. and chairman of the Mailing Industry CEO Council, issued the following statement in response to the recommendations announced today by the President's Commission on the United States Postal Service. The Commission held its final public meeting to receive and consider recommendations before it issues its final report to the President of the United States next week.
July 26, 2003 -- The De nver Business Journal has reported that "Louisville-based Kiosk Information Services (KIS) has received a contract that could be worth as much as $4.1 million from the U.S. Postal Service. KIS will build 310 kiosks for post offices, with an option to build another 300 kiosks that could bring the total contract to $4.1 million. The U.S. Postal Service's "Personnel Central Kiosks" provide human resources information to workers in postal distribution centers."
July 25, 2003 -- According to the Northwest Arkansas Times, "two front counter jobs at the Dickson Street post office were abolished last Friday as part of what a U.S. Postal Service spokesperson called a routine evaluation. But the president of Arkansas’ chapter of American Postal Workers Union said such staff displacements in area post offices are sacrificing efficiency, causing long lines and unhappy customers. 'Public service is basically what we’re all about,' said Dennis Taff, president of the workers union. 'It’s hard to do when your manpower’s cut short.'"
July 25, 2003 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "frustrated by the refusal of the former principal owner of DHL Airways to testify in a Department of Transportation probe into the airline's ownership, FedEx Corp. and United Parcel Service have gone one step further by asking the U.S. District Court in Washington to order the testimony."
July 25, 2003 -- Dow Jones has reported that:
July 25, 2003 -- Imagine a birthday bash attended by dinosaurs, carousel animals, an Olympic speedskater and Abraham Lincoln. Kids can catch these special guests Wednesday at the Nat ional Postal Museum's 10th anniversary gala. The Smithsonian museum in Northeast Washington promises an afternoon of games and storytelling, plus stamp, printing press and art activities. Actress Kathy Foit Sewell will portray an early American postmaster, and a cappella group Passing Notes will sing postal and birthday tunes.
July 25, 2003 -- Garmin International Inc., a unit of Garmin Ltd., has announced a definitive agreement to acquire UPS Aviation Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of United Parcel Service, Inc. (NYSE:UPS) for US$38 million in cash. The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close in the third quarter. Once consummated, UPS Aviation Technologies will change its name to Garmin AT, Inc., and will continue operations as a wholly owned subsidiary of Garmin International.
July 25, 2003 -- The U.S. Postal Service has published in the Federal Register "proposed revisions to the Domestic Mail Manual that would require a Postal routing barcode on all Merchandise Return Service labels. Comments on the proposal are due on or before August 25, 2003.
July 25, 2003 -- Government Computer News has reported that "the Office of Management and Budget has dropped its governmentwide goals for having federal employees compete with the private sector for government work after succumbing to Congressional pressure."
July 25, 2003 -- UPS has applauded passage of the U.S.-Singapore and U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) in the U.S. House of Representatives as key steps to removing trade barriers and creating jobs. Officially signed in May and June, the agreements open the door to expansion of roughly US$47 billion worth of trade annually for the three nations.
July 25, 2003 -- Dow Jones has reported that "Europe's highest court Thursday unveiled new measures aimed at limiting government handouts but disappointed private postal and transport operators and broadcasters who wanted an even tougher ruling."
July 25, 2003 -- According to American Business Media, "the Postal Service could finally have the ability to control costs by trimming its bloated infrastructure and workforce."
July 24, 2003 -- The final recommendations of the President's Commission on the Postal Service have been posted on the Commission's web site.
July 24, 2003 -- "The presidential commission has declared war on American postal workers and on service to the American public," APWU President William Burrus said after the final public meeting of the Presidential Commission on the U.S. Postal Service. See also the Federal Times.
July 24, 2003 -- Stuff.co.nz (New Zealand) has reported that "state-owned New Zealand Post is pumping another $40 million into Kiwibank to help it grow even bigger, after 150,000 customers flocked to the new bank in just over a year."
July 24, 2003 -- In a statement issued today by William H. Young, president of the 305,000-member National Association of Letter Carriers, in response to the adoption by the U.S. Presidential Postal Commission of recommendations by its Work Place Subcommittee: "It is inconceivable to envision a postal reform bill that would allow postal employees to receive differing levels of pay for the same work or a measure that would revoke the promise made to retired letter carriers that they will receive comprehensive retirement and health benefits. We are confident the Senators and Representatives in Congress will understand the adverse impact of these proposals and will refuse to put their stamp of approval on them."
July 24, 2003 -- Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., has criticized the President's Commission on the U.S. Postal Service, saying its recommendations on worker pay and collective bargaining could hurt workers and force more contract disputes into arbitration.
July 24, 2003 -- As the National Associaton of Postmasters has noted, the President's Commission on the Postal Service's recommendations for postal reform "are far-reaching, substantial and controversial."
July 24, 2003 -- Eyefortransport.com has reported that "the Colography Group, an Atlanta-based research and planning firm, said that 2002 was one of the worst years in the history of the U.S. airfreight industry."
July 23, 2003 -- The final recommendations of the President's Commission on the Postal Service, including the recommendations by its technology and personnel subcommittees, have been posted on this site. The final report will be posted on the Commission's web site on July 31. See also the report by the Ass ociated Press and the Was hington Post.
July 23, 2003 -- The Magazine Publishers of America (MPA) has said that it "applauds the effort and foresight of the President's Postal Commission in making strong recommendations for much needed change in the nation's postal system. The Commission has laid the groundwork for the kind of postal reform that would ensure the efficiency, affordability, strength and stability of the system for decades to come. MPA will work closely with the President and the Congress as we enter the next phase of the reform effort."
July 23, 2003 -- According to Dow Jones, the Hungarian post office "will raise the cost of postal services 9.7% on average on Aug. 1."
July 23, 2003 -- CEP News (Courier-Express-Postal) has reported that:
Don't be satisfied with a less than complete report on the courier, express, and postal market in Europe. Get your subscription to CEP News, today..
July 23, 2003 -- Les Echos (France) has reported that "French banking group Credit Agricole has complained publicly about the quality of service offered by national postal services group La Poste, and has threatened to take its business elsewhere. The bank may be trying to renegotiate a more favourable commercial contract with the postal group. It has made enquiries about the prices charged by the Dutch and German postal services."
July 23, 2003 -- Direct marketing operations guru Tom Hoekzema says that "you insure your own health by having a physical examination every year or two. How is the health of your operation? Have you ever wondered if your business processes are helping or hurting sales? In today's business world, companies large and small are faced with many challenges i.e., restructuring, shrinking margins, and higher operating costs. Are you confident that your customers are receiving the service level that your business demands?"
July 23, 2003 -- According to the Baltimore Sun, "as technical challenges go, it's a doozy: With 202 billion pieces of mail posted each year, design a machine that will detect a single letter containing anthrax spores so tiny that thousands could be piled on the period at the end of this sentence. And make sure the contraption isn't triggered by the countless, harmless particles that spew from envelopes as they speed through mail processing machines. After more than a year of tests at Baltimore's main post office, U.S. Postal Service officials believe they have what it takes: a system that will prevent the deaths, illnesses, panic and disruption caused by the anthrax-laced letters mailed in 2001."
July 23, 2003 -- The Globe and Mail (Canada) has reported that "Canada Post and its postal workers union reached a deal early Wednesday on a settlement framework for a contract, avoiding a national strike or lockout of thousands of corporation employees. Canada Post and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers have agreed to finalize a tentative agreement in the next 72 hours. "
July 23, 2003 -- Want to know all that's happening in Canada? Check out the regular information updates provided by the National Association of Major Mail Users.
July 23, 2003 -- Rep. John M. McHugh (R-NY), chairman of the House Government Reform Committee's Special Panel on Postal Reform and Oversight, touted the need for postal overhaul at a meeting of postal and private mail industry employees Tuesday. Congress, he said, should not ignore the storm currently brewing in the U.S. Postal Service, or universal service is nearly certain to be sacrificed. Rep. McHugh also offered hope to the more than 50 postal industry stakeholders attending the speech that an upcoming report from the Presidential Commission on the United States Postal Service may provide an impetus for legislative reform and act as vehicle to prevent a postal crisis. See also the report by GovExec.Com and the Was hington Post.
July 23, 2003 -- Postal Rate Commissioner Ruth Goldway, in a commentary published in the New York Times, said that "as Lance Armstrong races through France with the United States Postal Services logo emblazoned on his jersey, some are questioning why the agency has spent $40 million over the last six years sponsoring him and his team when it has been losing money. Why, critics ask, does the Postal Service need to advertise anyway, when it has a monopoly on letter mail and is a highly recognizable name brand? The debate should not be about the money — the amount spent on Lance Armstrong is a tiny fraction of the agency's $66 billion annual budget. Nor should it be about the need to advertise. The Postal Service must — it faces stiff competition from Federal Express and the United Parcel Service, among others. The problem is that the Postal Service has little oversight. Because it is an independent federal agency with commercial responsibilities, it does not have to report to the Securities and Exchange Commission, comply with the Federal Trade Commission's truth-in-advertising rules or face shareholder scrutiny. Last week a commission appointed by President Bush announced recommendations that include a call for greater financial transparency. This is a good start."
July 23, 2003 -- According to Reuters, "when Sports Illustrated named Lance Armstrong its 'Sportsman of the Year' in 2002, the cyclist took the accolade in stride, but it was his team's main sponsor who took the honor all the way to the bank. Resting gingerly against his bike, the magazine cover photographed the four-time Tour de France winner with his customary royal blue jersey emblazoned with an oversized U.S. Postal Service eagle logo. With Armstrong and his team on course for their fifth consecutive victory in the 100th running of the Tour de France ending in Paris Sunday, numerous newspaper, television and magazine ads that flash the post office logo generate millions of dollars in free advertising for the service."
July 23, 2003 -- The Financial Times has reported that "while details of Armstrong's life are familiar to most, there is one minor mystery surrounding his cycling success: Why is the US Postal Service the title sponsor of his team? What exactly does letter-carrying have to do with pelotons, time trials and saddle-soreness? With the post office haemorrhaging money, a small but vocal group of critics is wondering the same thing. And now that it has emerged that the organisation has spent more than $40m (£24m) on tyre pumps and red, white and blue jerseys and has little to show for it, they are frothing mad."
July 23, 2003 -- The Cincinnati Post has reported that "a presidential commission on the future of the U.S. Postal Service is wrapping upwork, with its recommendations to be presented to President Bush later this month. The commission will recommend that the postal service be able to close excess facilities and get out of expensive prime real estate and into the shopping malls, banks and supermarkets where their customers have presumably gravitated. All this is well and good, but the commission is ignoring an area where the U.S. Postal Service truly excels -- foreign sports."
July 23, 2003 -- According to SmartMoney.com, "United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS) has no immediate plans to increase its stake in China's largest logistics company, China National Foreign Trade Transportation (Group) Co."
July 23, 2003 -- Standard & Poor's Ratings Services revised its outlook on the 100% state-owned French postal company La Poste to negative from stable, reflecting the increasing contribution of competitive activities to the company's revenue. This shift is due to the ongoing opening of the mature French postal market to competition and the expected enlargement of La Poste's financial services business. Standard & Poor's also affirmed its 'AAA' long-term and 'A-1+' short-term issuer credit ratings on La Poste.
July 23, 2003 -- Canada.com has reported that "a looming postal strike won't stop B.C. residents on income assistance from receiving their cheques."
July 23, 2003 -- – UPS has reported strong financial performance for the second quarter, with all segments showing growth despite a lackluster economy in the United States and much of the world. Highlights for the quarter included: Earnings per diluted share increased 13% to $0.61 from $0.54 last year. U.S. package volume increased 1.2%, paced by a 9.1% increase in Next Day Air® volume. International profitability increased more than 150%. Non-package profits climbed 34%.
July 23, 2003 -- Wally Olihovik, president of the National Association of Postmasters of the United States, and Steve LeNoir, president of the National League of Postmasters, hailed the unanimous vote of the House of Representatives in passing H.R. 2249, the Postmasters Equity Act.
July 23, 2003 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that:
Astar Air Cargo, formerly DHL Airways, asked the Department of Transportation Tuesday to dismiss the latter's investigation into the all-cargo airline's ownership. Astar said the airline's July 14 sale rendered the inquiry moot.
July 22, 2003 -- An effort by Rep. John M. McHugh (R-NY) to offer postmasters the same options afforded to postal supervisors when negotiating pay and benefits with the U.S. Postal Service cleared the House Monday. The Postmasters Equity Act of 2003 works to extend to postmasters and other non-union postal employees the fact-finding procedures already established under current law for postal supervisors. The fact-finding process allows for an unbiased review of issues in dispute during negotiations, as well as the ability to issue non-binding recommendations to resolve those issues. Currently, without this right, postmasters lack any form of recourse when pay talks under the consultation process fail. Rep. McHugh is chairman of the Government Reform Committee's Special Panel on Postal Reform & Oversight, which has jurisdiction over the U.S. Postal Service.
July 22, 2003 -- The Portland Press Herald has reported that "recommendations by a federal study panel to cut back on small-town post offices and establish new services in malls, banks and grocery stories will produce an inevitable backlash. After all, if you lose your ZIP code, you're nowhere, right? Though the proposals may require people to use a different location for mail, it doesn't make sense to keep spending millions of dollars to staff and maintain miniscule facilities that do very little business."
July 22, 2003 -- The Winnipeg Sun (Canada) has asked: "Sick of threatened postal strikes? A Winnipeg company says individuals and business owners never have to put a cheque in the mail again. TelPay offers free, PC-based software that allows Canadians to make e-payments to anyone in the country."
June 22, 2003 -- The Globe and Mail (Canada) has reported that "the strike deadline for Canada Post and its postal workers union was extended yet again early Tuesday, giving negotiators another 24 hours to reach a deal. This means talks between the Crown corporation and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers will continue until 12:01 ET Wednesday, averting a strike or a lockout Tuesday."
July 22, 2003 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that:
July 21, 2003 -- The Ass ociated Press has reported that "United Parcel Service will pay $5.8 million and make changes to ensure that deaf employees and job applicants have full access to workplace safety, information and promotion opportunities, under a settlement announced Monday."
July 21, 2003 -- The A tlanta Business Chronicle has reported that "with the domestic package delivery market growing more saturated each year, United Parcel Service Inc. is staking much of its future growth on foreign markets. UPS has spent more than $1.3 billion in international acquisitions in the past five years alone, and the company plans to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in hubs located in Hong Kong, Tokyo, Germany and the Philippines in the coming years."
July 21, 2003 -- Canada.com has reported that "a cross-country postal strike has been averted -- at least for now. With less than two hours to go before a deadline at 12:01 today, the union issued a news release advising that the Canadian Union of Postal Workers and Canada Post had agreed not to declare a strike or lockout, and had extended the strike deadline for 24 hours -- to 12:01 a.m. tomorrow -- in order to continue negotiations."
July 21, 2003 -- The Hindu (India) has reported that "the Standing Committee on Information Technology (2003) on Indian Post Office (Amendment) Bill 2003, has opposed handing over of postal services to private agencies saying such a move would be 'prejudicial to national interest.'"
July 21, 2003 -- The Orlando Sentinel has reported that "from deep in the ranch lands at the southern end of Osceola County to the rolling hills of rural Lake County, cost-cutting moves to close some post offices could change an American icon. A presidential commission studying ways to offer better mail services for less cost has recommended opening kiosks in shopping malls, banks and grocery stores to replace money-losing post offices, many in small towns and rural areas. Ferndale has no city hall and no police force. But the small Lake County community, which sits near the western shore of Lake Apopka, has its tiny, two-room post office.It has been there since the 1950s, locals say."
July 21, 2003 -- As the Atlanta Journal Constitution has noted, "I\it's Tour de France time again and Lance Armstrong is out for his fifth consecutive victory, which has never been done. As exciting as that is, I wonder whether I'm the only one who has a problem with the United States government sponsoring a professional bicycling team. The fact is that Americans are universally aware of the U.S. Postal Service. We know that there are post offices; and we know we can put a stamp on a letter, drop it in our mailbox and expect it to get to any address in the United States. Furthermore, we have all pretty much decided when we'll use the Postal Service, and we figured it out long before they changed the logo and started playing Steve Miller songs in commercials. Therefore, marketing the U.S. Postal Service is a colossal waste of money, especially considering the fact that the visibility of the team does not seem to be accompanied by any strategy designed to increase revenues. Nor is it accompanied by any visible improvement in the services offered."
July 21, 2003 -- According to the Sunday Independent (Ireland), "the introduction of postcodes on Irish mail is getting nearer. Communications Regulator Etain Doyle is initiating a fresh debate on the compulsory inclusion of codes to speed up Irish post. The lack of codes has been a problem for a long time. An Post insists that as many as 40 per cent of addresses in Ireland are not unique. This is because there's a proliferation of places around the country with similar names. Dundrum or Blackrock or Castletown arenames that feature in so many parts of the country that the bulk mail industry including An Post has been agitating for postcodes for a long time."
July 21, 2003 -- The Toronto Star has reported that "Canada Post and the union representing its employees have agreed to extend contract negotiations until Monday morning."
July 21, 2003 -- 365gay.com has reported that "a transgendered woman has lost her battle to be able to use the women's washroom at work. 39-year-old Sarah Croft's had sued her employer, the Royal Mail after her bosses told her she would be fired if she used the woman's bathroom. Croft began work at the Royal Mail as a postal sorter in 1987. At that time she was Nicholas Simpson, the father of three. worked as a driver based at the Leicester sorting office."
July 21, 2003 -- According to the Watertown Daily Times, "Rep. John M. McHugh said Friday that he is conflicted about giving the U.S. Postal Service more freedom to close small post offices."
July 21, 2003 -- The New York Times has reported that "the Grand Canyon may receive letters and packages by pack mule, parts of Alaska by propeller plane. But here in the lake-speckled Adirondack Mountains, a fortunate few have their mail delivered right to their docks."
July 20, 2003 -- According to the USPS' chief technology officer, Robert Otto, "the U.S. Postal Service operates one of the largest computing and information technology infrastructures in the nation. Protecting this infrastructure, information and business operation is a full-time job. Our formal information security program was started in 1980 and has evolved over the past 20 years. In 1999, seeking a comprehensive approach to protect our information assets, the Postal Service decided to significantly increase the investment in security. This approach was also required to address the needs of the Postal Service’s customers, employees and business partners."
July 20, 2003 -- CTV.ca has reported that "efforts to avert a threatened strike at Canada Post are going down to the wire, as contract talks between the company and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers continue leading up to their Sunday midnight deadline. The deadline for reaching a tentative deal had been extended to 12:01 a.m. Monday, after Canada Post issued a counter-proposal late Friday."
July 19, 2003 -- Alpine Air Express Inc., with its operating subsidiary Alpine Air, a leading provider of regional air cargo transport and logistics services, announced that it has received notice from the U.S. Postal Service that its previous decision to not award Alpine Air new contracts under its AMOT transportation plan has been reversed. The U.S. Postal Service has subsequently decided to award the contract to Alpine.
July 19, 2003 -- The Irish Times has reported that "the European Commission has referred Ireland to the European Court of Justice because of the Government's decision to extend An Post's contract for providing social welfare payment services. The Commission argues the Government did not give other companies a proper opportunity to bid for the contract, breaching EU law on the awarding of public contracts."
July 19, 2003 -- As noted by the Ventura County Star, "a presidential commission on the future of the U.S. Postal Service is wrapping up work, with its recommendations to be presented to President Bush later this month. The commission will recommend that the Postal Service be able to close excess facilities and get out of expensive prime real estate and into the shopping malls, banks and supermarkets where their customers have presumably gravitated. All this is well and good, but the commission is ignoring an area where the U.S. Postal Service truly excels -- foreign sports."
July19, 2003 -- The Edmunton Sun (Canada) has reported that "as Canada Post teeters on the brink of a nationwide strike, the Crown corporation is experimenting with a new two-wheeled invention to boost productivity among letter carriers. But the union representing workers at the post office says the idea will never catch on."
July 19, 2003 -- The Winnepeg Sun (Canada) has reported that "Canada Post and the union representing its employees have agreed to extend contract negotiations until Monday morning."
July 19, 2003 -- The Zanesville Times Recorder has reported that "American corporations own far more trucks, buildings, cell phones, aircraft, assembly areas and heavy equipment than state and local governments do. These assets could be called into action in the event of a terrorist attack. Corporations with huge supplies of trucks (perhaps UPS, FedEx or the U.S. Postal Service) would be pre-organized to transport the contents to their destinations."
July 19, 2003 -- According to the Was hington Post, "America's mail has changed since the Roaring '20s, but the tiny mailboxes built into the lobby walls of the nation's apartments, condos and office buildings generally have not. In an age of bulky catalogues, home-delivered DVDs and CDs, and surging Internet purchases, the older "panel" or wall boxes are bursting, says the U.S. Postal Service. So the agency is looking to bring a design that was standardized in 1923 and a size that was mandated in 1975 into the 21st century."
July 18, 2003 -- Stuf f.nz (New Zealand) has reported that "tarnished NZ Post subsidiary Transend has become embroiled in a row over the reorganisation of British postal giant Royal Mail. The international consultancy arm of NZ Post, severely criticised by the Audit Office last year for wasteful and excessive spending by staff, is advising Royal Mail on a revamp of its distribution network. The plan includes scrapping Royal Mail's train distribution system, which has come under fire by British opposition MPs."
July 18, 2003 -- If you
Industry-USPS flats summit, you still can purchase
recordings of the Summit
An order form has been provided on this site for this purpose. Also posted is a copy of the summit agenda as well as copies of the presenters' slides.
July 18, 2003 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that "DHL Airways Inc., part of one of the world's largest air-cargo networks, is in a dogfight over its right to keep doing business in the U.S. This is an awkward time for DHL to be facing scrutiny over its citizenship, because of the Iraq war and Germany's opposition to it. FedEx, based in Memphis, Tenn., and Atlanta-based UPS deny any attempt to tap into anti-German feelings in Washington, but their campaign against DHL has coincided with efforts by some lawmakers to bar German, French and Russian companies from postwar reconstruction contracts financed by the U.S."
July 18, 2003 -- Les Echos (France) has reported that "French industry minister Nicole Fontaine has presented a bill on postal services to the French cabinet. The bill, which will be examined by the senate in the autumn, stipulates that the French post office (La Poste) must guarantee a universal mail service for letters and parcels weighing less than 20kg throughout France six days a week. La Poste will no longer have a monopoly on parcels of less than 100g, however. ART, the French telecoms regulator, will be given more powers and responsibility to monitor the postal sector as well. That body, whose name is to be changed to ARTP, will set the rates for the services which La Poste will continue to monopolise."
July 18, 2003 -- According to the Toronto Star, "a strike by postal workers across the country that was set for midnight was delayed as the union studied the latest offer by Canada Post." See also the C anadian News Wire.
July 18, 2003 -- G reyhound Courier Express (GCX) has said that it is ramping up its services to handle an increased volume of shipments in the event of a strike at Canada Post.
July 18, 2003 -- With the strike deadline looming, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) released survey results today that show the potential strike by Canada Post workers would cause 73 per cent of the small- and medium-sized business community to lose revenue.
July 18, 2003 -- Canada Inc., Canada's leading Web advertising and permission-based email marketing company, a division of 24/7 Real Media, Inc., announced the formation of a special task force to help direct mail marketers quickly and efficiently convert direct mail campaigns to permission-based email, in the event of a strike by the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW).
July 18, 2003 -- Here's more from the News Journal concerning the angst in Delaware over postal closures.
July 18, 2003 -- The recommendations for the report of the President's Commission on the Postal Service have been posted on the Commission web site.
July 18, 2003 -- The Arab News (Saudi Arabia) has reported that "as part of an ongoing project to privatize the postal sector and to provide postal services to remote areas, the Kingdom has opened several post offices and allowed private sector companies to set up more private postal agencies covering some 6,000 towns and villages across the country."
July 17, 2003 -- The Bismarck Tribune has reported that "if money-losing post offices are closed, as recommended by a presidential commission, about 95 percent of the post offices in North Dakota and other states would be affected, said Joyce Fjelstad, 71, who has been Alexander's postmaster for 27 years. 'Some days I only take in $60,' Fjelstad said. That doesn't nearly cover costs. Besides Fjelstad, her post office employs a full-time mail carrier, a part-time carrier who's a contract employee and a clerk to cover the post office when she's not there. But she said the mission of the post office is service, and without it, Alexander residents would have to travel 30 miles to deliver a package."
July 17, 2003 -- The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has reported that "Canadians might have to find alternative ways to send letters and parcels on Friday. The Canadian Union of Postal Workers could go on strike just after midnight on Thursday. The workers' major concerns are job security, benefits, wages, retirement, workload and safety."
July 17, 2003 -- CNews (Canada) has reported that "Stan McGuire remembers some of the bitter confrontations of past strikes at Canada Post, and he's hoping he doesn't have to live through another one."
July 17, 2003 -- The latest Presidential Commission consultant's report has been posted on the Commission's web site.
July 17, 2003 -- The N ews Journal has reported that "the prospect of Delaware losing its own postmark is troubling. About 30 years ago the old U.S. Post Office began phasing out the postmarks at individual towns and shifted all the state's mail processing to the huge new Hare's Corner facility. Even today, a letter mailed across town in say, Georgetown, must first come to Hare's Corner for a postmark before the neighbor receives it."
July 17, 2003 -- Comp uter Network News has reported that "Firstlogic, Inc. has announced the immediate availability of Postalsoft Business Edition 7.32c, a software system that offers powerful new features and flexible options to give organizations a greater level of control in how targeted mailings are created and which customers will receive them. The complete mailing solution helps organizations manage and cleanse marketing lists and prepares mail in the necessary order and format to receive postal discounts from the United States Postal Service (USPS)."
July 17, 2003 -- Japan Today has reported that "an association affiliated with the posts ministry has hidden about 420 million yen in income in the two years to the end of March 2002, sources familiar with the matter."
July 17, 2003 -- The Yorkshire Evening Post has reported that "those commercial firms, many from overseas, now given the right to deliver mail, are hoping this Government will apply a 17.5 per cent VAT to the Royal Mail. If the Labour Government once again gives in to the demands of big business - eg GM crops and fluoride - then VAT will be added on to the cost of stamps."
July 17, 2003 -- The Athens News Agency has reported that the Greek government on Tuesday submitted a bill to parliament to liberalise postal services. Under the communications ministry bill, deregulation will come into force after 2009 in line with EU rules.
July 17, 2003 -- The New York Post has reported that "federal postal investigators put the lick on a stolen stamp racket yesterday, busting eight bodega and newsstand operators who allegedly made thousands of dollars from the scam over the past 10 years. The Pakistani and Indian merchants, working in Manhattan and Brooklyn, obtained the stamps at heavily discounted prices from shady sellers who bounced checks when buying the stamps from post offices, court documents said."
July 17, 2003 -- The Guardian (U.K.) has reported that:
July 17, 2003 -- According to the Wall Street Journal, "wine lovers can now raise a glass to toast their deliveryman. United Parcel Service Inc. and FedEx Corp. are loosening their restrictions on shipping wine directly to consumers. The move by the nation's two largest package shippers is the latest sign that the Prohibition-era hurdles that have damped wine sales are falling by the wayside."
July 17, 2003 -- Dow Jones has reported that "a U.S. judge refused to order the chief executives of FedEx Corp. and United Parcel Service Inc. to testify in the ownership dispute over cargo carrier DHL Airways Inc." See also the report by the Journal of Commerce.
July 17, 2003 -- Reuters has reported that "the former majority shareholder of DHL Airways on Wednesday backed away from plans to appear for a court interview as part of the government's review of the ownership structure of the carrier, rival carriers said. An attorney for William Robinson, who until Monday held a majority stake in DHL Airways, told United Parcel Service Inc. UPS.N and FedEx Corp. FDX.N in a letter that there was no need to go through with the interview because Robinson had sold his shares in the company two days earlier. UPS and FedEx contend Robinson was 'the token American citizen' whose stake allowed German Postal monopoly Deutsche Post DPWGn.DE to control DHL Airways while still complying with U.S. aviation ownership regulations, UPS spokesman David Bolger said."
July 17, 2003 -- The U.S. Postal Service has published in the Federal Register "changes to the Domestic Mail Classification Schedule to be implemented as a result of the Decision of the Governors of the United States Postal Service on the Recommended Decision of the Postal Rate Commission Approving Stipulation and Agreement for Customized Market Mail Minor Classification Changes, Docket No. MC2003-1. These changes are effective August 10, 2003.
July 17, 2003 -- Catalog Age has reported that "the Bush Administration's commission on the U.S. Postal Service on July 16 issued a number of preliminary recommendations on the future of mail service in the U.S. 'There was a genuine effort on the commission's part to make sure its audience understood that its ideas are to help sustain the Postal Service as a self-supporting industry,' said Gene Del Polito, president of the Arlington, VA-based Association For Postal Commerce, who was in attendance at the proceedings."
July 17, 2003 -- Catalog Age has an excellent report summarizing some of the main events from the Industry-USPS Flats Summit held yesterday in Washington, DC. Stories include:
July 17, 2003 -- GovExec.com has reported that "William Burrus, president of the American Postal Workers Union, said he is very concerned about some of the recommendations the President's Commission on the Postal Service voted to include in its report. For instance, the commission’s proposal for consolidating offices does not leave enough room for citizen input, he said. If the citizens want a post office in their town, they should have a forum to voice their opinions, he said. Postal employees also know mailing regulations and procedures, Burrus said. Clerks at convenience stores, or other venues that might begin offering postal services, would not have this expert knowledge of postal procedures, he said. In a separate communique, Burrus told his members that "the APWU will reserve final judgment and analysis of the commission’s work until we have had the opportunity to review the entire document."
July 17, 2003 -- The Wash ington Post has noted that "Bob Brinkmann, a top official with the National League of Postmasters, said in a written statement that the upcoming report raises his group's concern that some small post offices in rural areas could be closed." See also the report by the Asso ciated Press.
July 17, 2003 -- The National League of Postmasters has told its members that "the recommendations made public earlier today from the President’s Commission on the Postal Service seem to indicate that the Commission has done its work,” said Steve LeNoir, President of the National League of Postmasters. “We applaud their efficiency and dedication. 'While we originally had some concerns that the Commission might undercut universal service and six day delivery, its preliminary actions seem to have generally removed those concerns,' LeNoir added. 'It also recommended that the Postal Service retain sole access to customer mailboxes.'"
July 17, 2003 -- DM News has reported that "direct mail print volume is expected to increase, according to a study released this week from CAP Ventures Inc., a strategic consulting firm on business communication technologies and services."
July 17, 2003 -- The Montreal Gazette (Canada) has reported that "as [the Canada Post] strike looms, most of us still pay our bills by post High-Tech delivery slow to catch on. A walkout will hurt small firms because E-commerce isn't an alternative for them."
July 17, 2003 -- Kathleen Rowe, President of the National Association of Major Mail Users (Canada) has provided PostCom with an update on the postal situation in Canada.
July 17, 2003 -- The Postal Rate Commission had proposed a new rule that would require the Postal Service to produce sufficient information to replicate each year's CRA. The Postal Service vigorously opposes these proposed rules. The Office of the Consumer Advocate (OCA) vigorously supported their adoption. "One can smell the fear," the OCA said in its comments to the PRC." The Postal Service fears that shoddy work will be exposed, and that participants in ratemaking proceedings will stand closer to equal footing with the Service. Whether the Commission and intervenors have a legitimate need for the information identified in the proposed rules is not the real issue as far as the Postal Service is concerned. Rather, preserving adversarial advantages and hiding errors motivate the Service’s opposition to the new rules."
July 17, 2003 -- Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) has praised the work of the President's Commission on the U.S. Postal Service, which today recommended ways to give the federal agency more freedom to operate like a private business while refusing to endorse any effort to privatize the agency. Such recommendations are consistent with Sen. Carper's own efforts on postal reform. But Carper warned that efforts to close postal facilities in order to save money and streamline postal operations should be done in conjunction with the development of strong service standards and a national plan to provide Americans with better overall access to postal services.
July 16, 2003 -- Those who attended the Industry-USPS flats summit received a brief update on the recommendations made thus far by the President's Commission on the Postal Service. A copy of the slides used in that briefing have been posted on this site. A copy of the recommendations approved unanimously by the President's Commission on the Postal Service also has been posted on this site. See also the report by the Associated Press.
July 16, 2003 -- The U.S. Postal Service has announced that it "is seeking input from its customers on its plans to automate the delivery of magazines, catalogs, and other flat mail by encouraging them to review its Corporate Flats Strategy on the web and comment through an email address: FlatStrategy@usps.gov.
July 16, 2003 -- American Lawyer has reported that "the federal law barring political activity in government offices also prohibits the display of political posters on designated union bulletin boards, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled. The appellate court's decision Monday reverses Southern District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein's ruling last October that the hanging of such a poster by New York-based U.S. Postal Service employees during the 2000 presidential election campaign did not constitute political activity and was in any case protected speech under the First Amendment."
July 16, 2003 -- CEP News (Courier-Express-Postal) has reported that:
Don't be satisfied with a less than complete report on the courier, express, and postal market in Europe. Get your subscription to CEP News, today..
July 16, 2003 -- AMEInfo has reported that "within the modernization plan currently being implemented by the Egyptian National Post Organisation (ENPO), the Organization signed a L.E 1,000,000 cooperation agreement with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) aiming at providing technical expertise, and the development of work systems focusing on the modernization of monitoring and quality control systems."
July 16, 2003 -- Gulf News has reported that "unlicenced operators cannot transport mail and documents within the UAE, Emirates Post clarified yesterday. The Emirates Post is the only official organisation in the UAE authorised to handle movement of letters, parcels, documents and other postal items, besides registered local and international companies. Federal Law No. 8 (2001), which established the Emirates Post Corporation, states in Clause No. 4 that Emirates Post is the sole authorised organisation to handle postal services mentioned in the law, and it can give this right to other registered companies based on official contracts within the framework of the law. Abdulla Al Daboos, Director General of Emirates Post, said: "Clause No. 8 authorises Emirates Post issues licences to private parties to transport documents and mail, on payment of prescribed fees and after the approval of the Emirates Post board of directors."
July 16, 2003 -- Commentwire has reported that "United Parcel Service [UPS] has announced plans to invest $100 million to link its Hong Kong and Cologne hubs, giving European customers improved access to the Asia-Pacific region. The move would add a major spine to UPS' global network, and boost Hong Kong's status as a key Asian gateway."
July 16, 2003 -- According to the Teamsters, "thanks to language in the current UPS contract and a coordinated organizing effort, the Teamsters have gained bargaining clout at UPS by signing up 6,600 new members. The Parcel and Small Package Division has been working with the Organizing and Government Affairs Departments to sign up non-union UPS workers in the right-to-work states. Also, during negotiations, the Teamsters were able to reach agreement with UPS to convert certain non-union positions into bargaining unit jobs. Additionally, language in the current contract provides for the company to recommend to all new employees that they become members of the union."
July 16, 2003 -- The Guardian (U.K.) has reported that "Royal Mail is heading for a fresh clash with the industry regulator after warning Postcomm that its plans for giving rival operators access to Royal Mail's local delivery network will cost the state-owned organisation pounds 650m in profits over the next three years. Senior executives say the loss-making business could be forced to raise the price of letters and other postal products or curtail the universal service unless Postcomm revises its proposals."
July 15, 2003 -- Pitney Bowes has introduced the DM400(TM) Mailing System, which offers small business mailers access to valuable electronic confirmation and tracking services, various postage payment options and advanced features typically associated with large mailroom systems all in one compact package designed for an office environment. The DM400(TM) enables customers to fully automate their mail processing, including feeding, sealing, applying postage and stacking; take advantage of electronic confirmation and tracking services; track every penny with integrated accounting software; and select a postage payment option that best meets their needs.
July 15, 2003 -- The Manilla Bulletin 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)."
July 15, 2003 -- The Australian Broadcasting Corporation has reported that "New Zealand postal workers are pooh-poohing a campaign by New Zealand farmers who are showing their disgust at a "flatulence tax" by mailing envelopes filled with manure. New Zealand Post spokesman Ian Long says postal workers will contact police if a return address is given, adding it is illegal to post objectionable material."
July 15, 2003 -- According to the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "'privatization' is the in-term, on local, state, and federal levels of government. Even functions that our civic textbooks tell us can only be performed by government, such as prisons, are being accomplished successfully, and far more efficiently, by private enterprise. Anything and everything is fair game for privatization. Socialists used to argue that all they wish to do is to convert the entire economy to function like one huge Post Office. No socialist would dare argue that today, so much of a disgrace is the monopolized governmental Postal Service."
July 15, 2003 -- The New Nation (Bangladesh) has reported that "government auditors have dug out financial irregularities to the tune of Tk 26.09 crore committed by the Postal Department over a period of three years. An audit report by the office of Comptroller and Auditor General said they had brought 16 audit objections while auditing accounts of the Postal Department. The audit report, recently placed in the Parliament, for the fiscal years from 1995 to 1998, found the anomalies in the subsidised government organ. Although Post Office is a state-run commercial institution, its loss and subsidy kept increasing since the post-independence period, the report observed. Besides, the department never preserved any commercial accounts, the report observed."
July 15, 2003 -- Baltimore Technologies, a provider of e-security, in association with TrustedWorld(TM) partner ICZ, today announced that Ceska Posta, the Czech Post, has deployed Baltimore UniCERT(TM) to secure the new trust services which will be delivered by PostSignum, the Czech Post's recently established Commercial Certificate Authority (CA). Using Baltimore UniCERT, PostSignum will issue digital certificates to authenticate the online identity of users, to ensure the integrity of data transmitted over the Internet and the non-repudiation of electronic messages and transactions for businesses and citizens.
July 15, 2003 -- Bloomberg has reported that "Deutsche Post AG lawyers are asking a U.S. Judge to review a decision for a second time on whether Chief Executive Officer Klaus Zumwinkel will have to appear in court to provide testimony as part of a Department of Transport investigation into DHL Airways Inc.'s ownership."
July 15, 2003 -- Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Germany) has reported that "the German state is planning to sell further stakes in former nationalised enterprises, notably postal service operator Deutsche Post."
July 15, 2003 -- Business Line (India) has reported that "making the task of buying stamps very easy, the Department of Posts has introduced an automatic franking machine at the GPO in Abids. The machine, which works round the clock, saves people from spending their precious time standing in queues. Customers intending to frank their envelopes are required to insert them in the allotted slot keeping 'address' face down and insert a five-rupee coin. The franked envelops would be deposited in a built-in letter box."
July 15, 2003 -- The Halifax Daily News (Canada) has reported that "key issues were still unresolved Monday as talks aimed at preventing a postal strike continued, but a Canada Post spokesman said a mediator has brought the two sides closer together."
July 15, 2003 -- AllAfrica.Com has reported that "the newly incorporated NETPOST is to commence financial transactions such as E-banking/Internet banking, money transfers as well as offer basic computer/information technology training at its major centres across the country. NETPOST is a joint venture company between Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST), DVI Nigeria Limited (a subsidiary of Development Ventures International, USA) and ABG Nigeria Limited."
July 15, 2003 -- The Associated Press has reported that "DHL Airways Inc. said Monday an investor group led by its chief executive completed the previously announced purchase of the cargo carrier for $57 million. Chairman and CEO John Dasburg and two other investors will own all shares of the privately held company, which is now called AStar Air Cargo Inc."
July 15, 2003 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "FedEx Freight may look like a long-haul trucking company, but don't say that to Douglas Duncan, the company's president and chief executive. He characterizes the trucking arm of FedEx Corp. as a regional less-than-truckload provider even though its service area blankets the U.S., and even parts of Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe and Asia."
July 15, 2003 -- According to postal commentator Gene Del Polito, "rather than waiting for a sure sign of economic turn-around before doing something bold, the Postal Service now has an excellent opportunity to use boldness as a means for leading the country to greater economic growth."
July 14, 2003 -- The Envelope Manufacturers Association's (EMA) Foundation for Paper-Based Communications is pleased to announce that the proceedings from the Postal Transformation Issues Symposium are now available. The proceedings were provided to all attendees and are available on CD-ROM for $35.00.
July 14, 2003 -- According to Reuters, " U.S. express shipping firm Airborne Inc. ABF.N has scheduled an August 14 shareholder vote on its planned takeover by Germany's Deutsche Post DPWGn.DE , according to a regulatory statement filed on Friday. Deutsche Post, a postal, logistics and banking group, has proposed to acquire the ground operations of Seattle-based Airborne for more than $1 billion. Airborne's air shipping operations would be spun off into a concern called ABX Air."
July 14, 2003 -- The Globe and Mail (Canada) has reported that "facing a Friday-morning deadline, Canada Post and the union representing 48,000 postal workers say they do not want a strike and hope to avoid one, partly out of fear that they will lose many customers forever if service is interrupted at a time of e-mail and cheap long-distance calling."
July 14, 2003 -- The Canada NewsWire has reported that "Canada Post and two Internet Services Providers have agreed to make refunds to everybody who purchased during 2000 and 2001 what was labelled "ABSOLUTELY FREE INTERNET FOR LIFE" for a one-time price of $9.95."
July 13, 2003 -- SmartMoney.com has reported that "a federal judge ordered the top executives of Deutsche Post AG and DHL Worldwide Express BV to testify in the ownership dispute over cargo carrier DHL Airways Inc." See also Reut ers.
July 13, 2003 -- The Free Lance-Star has reported that "One day, the people of rural King George County were picking up their mail from the Rollins Fork Post Office as usual. The next day, the front door was locked, and a note said the U.S. Postal Service had shut the office down. Suddenly, the patrons of Rollins Fork were thrust into a different way of life, one with roadside boxes and stamp-vending machines and trips to unfamiliar post offices to mail packages."
July 13, 2003 -- The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner has reported that "after duking it out for months with the United States Postal Service, residents of the Secluded Acres and Arctic Swan subdivisions will be spared post office box fees for the next three years, the USPS said earlier this week. As late as last month, the Postal Service remained adamant in its refusal to either waive the fees or provide delivery to the subdivision's 50-plus residents, noting that the area did not fall into an approved ZIP code and was located behind government-owned roads, which USPS vehicles will not cross. But after receiving a letter from Secluded Acres resident Stephanie Bradford, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, decided to lend a hand in the situation. She wrote a letter to the Postal Service, asking them to look into Secluded Acres' dilemma."
July 13, 2003 -- The U.S. Postal Service's Chief Operating Officer has told the USPS' area vice presidents that "the U.S. Postal Service has received approval from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to offer voluntary early retirement (VER) to employees in positions covered under the National Agreement between the U.S. Postal Service and the American Postal Workers Union, AFL-CIO. This authority is subject to the limitations of the retirement statutes and OPM's regulations. The Voluntary Early Retirement Authority is one tool available to help support our workforce reshaping and repositioning strategies. Given the declining volumes, assessing the workforce complement needs, and identifying the appropriate mix of skills becomes ever more critical. Many of you have voiced interest in having VER available as an option to help reshape the complement and meet your repositioning needs."
July 12, 2003 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that "Airborne Inc. scheduled a shareholder vote for August 14 on its proposed $1.11 billion takeover by a unit of Deutsche Post AG. The Seattle-based package-delivery concern, the third-largest in the U.S., set the date in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Friday that is being mailed to its shareholders on or about July 16. The deal must be approved by a majority of the 48,852,991 common shares of Airborne outstanding as of the record date of July 8."
July 12, 2003 -- The Belfast Telegraph has reported that big-hearted postal workers in Carrickfergus have been stopped from donating part of their pay packets automatically to local charities because the deductions are too small for Royal Mail's paymaster."
July 12, 2003 -- Irish Times has reported that "An Post chief executive Mr John Hynes retired yesterday, expressing frustration with the regulator, ComReg, and certain trade union factions within the company."
July 12, 2003 -- The National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) says it "has received several inquiries from members about the possibility of early outs for letter carriers in light of workers in other crafts receiving such offers from the Postal Service. Letter carriers are not receiving such offers because the future for them is brighter than those in the other crafts. There is no need to downsize the letter carrier craft. Furthermore, the attraction of these early out offers is not nearly as rosy as it seems, once you examine the proposal. Individuals accepting the early outs will see their annuities reduced by 2 percentage points a year for each year they are short of the normal required years for retirement eligibility. And there is no cash incentive for taking this reduction."
July 12, 2003 -- The Winnepeg Sun has reported that "Canada's postal workers might go on strike next Friday and despite the rise of private couriers and the Internet, experts say the job action could still be devastating to the economy." See also the Toronto Star.
July 11, 2003 -- Pizza-shaped mail? How about donuts or motorcycles? These are just some of the items that will soon make their way to mailboxes near you. Well, replicas of them, that is. On August 10, the United States Postal Service will launch Customized MarketMailTM (CMM), an advertising mail product recognizable from others by their eyecatching, novel shapes.
July 11, 2003 -- The Postal Service has announced the consolidation of five district offices, eliminating an unknown number of administrative positions. The districts being consolidated are as follows: Springfield, MA; Akron, OH: Lancaster, PA; Long Beach, CA; San Jose, CA. The offices will close by November 14. The closings are said to be in response to declining mail volume.
July 11, 2003 -- Building on the success of the Postal Service's first Technology Day, the USPS Information Technology (IT) group has invited chief information officers and other senior officials from all federal agencies to an Aug. 12 technology symposium at postal headquarters.
July 11, 2003 -- The Yomiuri Shimbun has reported that Japanese "Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said in the House of Councillors Budget Committee on Friday that he planned to privatize postal services in April 2007. This is the first time the prime minister has referred to a concrete timetable for privatizing the postal services--mail delivery, postal savings and kampo life insurance--although in a pledge for the Liberal Democratic Party presidential election, set for September, he said he would privatize them within three years."
July 11, 2003 -- Le Figaro (France) has reported that "representatives of the SUD and CGT unions yesterday resigned from the board of directors of the French post office (La Poste) in protest against the organisation's alleged plans to shed between 40,000 and 60,000 jobs over three years. La Poste itself says that the exact number of job cuts, which are part of a restructuring programme, has yet to be decided."
July 11, 2003 -- The Baltimore Business Journal has reported that "Network server maker SteelCloud has won a subcontract from Lockheed Martin worth as much as $6 million to help automate the U.S. Postal Service's automated package processing system."
July 11, 2003 -- Canada.com has reported that "Canada Post is in no danger of becoming redundant, the head of the postal union said Friday as she announced a strike deadline of July 18. Deborah Bourque said 'there's no reason to write off Canada Post' despite the increase of e-mail and heavy competition from the courier industry. 'I don't think it's inevitable that there would be cutbacks or concessions,' the president of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers told a news conference. 'I mean there's always compromises at negotiations. . . There's give and take and we're realistic about that.'"
July 11, 2003 -- The Associated Press has reported that "a 15-city test of a new anthrax detection system at the Postal Service will begin Monday. The test of the newly developed Biohazard Detection System will continue for four weeks, the agency said. The test was originally set to begin May 30, but was postponed after postal officials concluded they needed more time to work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local authorities in the test cities to develop guidelines for responding to test results. The system uses rapid DNA testing to detect germs."
July 11, 2003 -- Reuters has reported that "trucker Yellow Corp. has said it would buy leading rival Roadway Corp. for $966 million in a bid to create one of the world's largest shipping companies."
July 11, 2003 -- The Republican has reported that "U.S. Postal Service executives are expected to tell district administrators and managers today that the Springfield district will be merged with the Middlesex district, eliminating about 100 jobs. The reported restructuring will merge only the administrative functions of the two districts, affecting primarily management jobs, according to a Postal Service official. The restructuring reportedly also would move Vermont out of the Springfield district, putting it under the purview of postal officials in New Hampshire. The Springfield district now embraces Western Massachusetts and Vermont."
July 11, 2003 -- AGI Online has reported that "after 18 months from the expiry of the Post Office's work, they have their contracts. They have a 100 euro increase in wages, one thousand euro to be given in a one off payment, the institution of insurance for for accidents while delivering and meal payments, the new and difficult organisation of personnel and the modernising of procedures are qualifying points in the agreement, according to Mario Petitto General Secretary of CISL Poste, who expressed great satisfaction at the result, which came after difficult negotiations. "The signing of the contract, which came after the tensions leading to the strike of 16 May, will improve the climate in the Italian postal service and will allow us to face with greater calm the other problems that have been there for some time waiting for a solution, especially for the delivery sector."
July 11, 2003 -- The Canadian Marketing Association has called on Canada Post and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers to reach a negotiated settlement and avoid the economic disruption of a national postal strike.
July 11, 2003 -- Canada Post received formal notice yesterday from the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) of its intention to commence strike action as of July 18, 2003. Although the Corporation regrets this tactic by the Union and the effect it could have on business, it remains confident a negotiated settlement can be reached.
July 11, 2003 -- Dow Jones has reported that "Deutsche Post AG (G.DPW) said Friday that Juergen Weber, the former chief executive of Lufthansa AG (G.LHA), has taken up a seat on the company's supervisory board, reflecting the increasing importance of air transport for the postal group. Weber replaces Alfred Schindler."
July 11, 2003 -- PostalNews.com has posted a notice that came from the National Association of Postal Supervisors concerning postal facility consolidations.
July 11, 2003 -- The Star has reported that "POS Malaysia Bhd will invest between RM80mil and RM90mil this year to improve its postal services by upgrading its equipment and revamping its outlets to incorporate a customer-friendly design. Pos Malaysia acting chief executive officer S.M. Haja Alawdin S. Md Sulaiman said a portion of the expenditure would be used to upgrade and maintain its fleet of over 5,000 motorcycles and 1,000 vans and lorries, and mail processing equipment."
July 11, 2003 -- Business Day has reported that:
July 11, 2003 -- Dow Jones has reported that "Argentina's government is considering rescinding the concessions for the country's airports and mail service and then placing them back in private hands, Planning Minister Julio de Vido was reported saying on Wednesday. De Vido was reported by local daily Infobae as saying that the government's "idea is to privatize them again" although he added that there is a 'possibility' that these services will fall into the state's hands."
July 11, 2003 -- As USA Today has quipped, "'on the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog.' The U.S. Postal Service, however, wants to change that it is developing a system to expose online frauds. Companies needing to validate an individual Internet user can now have that person visit the post office for a series of checks."
July 11, 2003 -- Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) has publicized the results of an audit by the United States Postal Service (USPS) Office of Inspector General (IG) on operations at its approximately 1,400 postal retail operations. The report was obtained by CAGW despite being unavailable on the USPS' IG website. A postal retail store operates much like a traditional post office except that it features an open display area so that customers can purchase merchandise and stamps without standing in full service lines.
July 11, 2003 -- The Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) has given notice to the Ministry of Labour and to Canada Post that the union has set a strike deadline for Friday, July 18, 2003 at 12:01 a.m.. The union and the corporation are at an impasse in bargaining on several key issues.
July 10, 2003 -- The Financial Times (U.K.) has reported that "militant London members of the postal union havebeen reined in after leaders rejected their calls for strike action over pay. Leaders at the Communication Workers Union said last night there were no plans for a strike and that negotiations with Royal Mail were "only beginning" after certain London members threatened to call for industrial action. The CWU is hoping to reach a compromise on a pay increase proposed by Royal Mail, tied to controversial productivity demands. These include the protracted drive to introduce a single daily delivery and changes to the transport network that will involve some voluntary redundancies."
July 10, 2003 -- The U.S. Postal Service has published in the Federal Register a "final rule sets forth the Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) standards that the Postal Service adopted to implement the Customized MarketMailTM classification changes, as established by the Decision of the Governors of the United States Postal Service on the Recommended Decision of the Postal Rate Commission on Approving Stipulation and Agreement on Customized Market Mail Minor Classification Changes, Docket No. MC2003-1. In their decision, the Governors approved the Commission's recommendations, adopting recommended classification changes."
July 10, 2003 -- European sources have reported that Royal Mail has started using electronic auctions to cut costs and improve value. The organisation wants to process half of its annual 1.5bn procurement spend through online auctions, but has initially set more modest targets of between30m and 100m this year as it starts to use the technology.
July 10, 2003 -- Applied Digital Solutions, Inc., an advanced technology development company, today announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Government Telecommunications, Inc. (GTI), has been awarded a contract valued at approximately $15 million from the United States Postal Service (USPS) to upgrade telecommunications networks at up to 62 Postal Service facilities.
July 10, 2003 -- According to the Washington Post, "the Ford Motor Co. recently gave $1.5 million to the National Postal Museum for an electronic education center and an exhibit that will include a Ford delivery truck."
July 10, 2003 -- CEP News (Courier-Express-Postal) has reported that:
July 10, 2003 -- The President's Commission on the U.S. Postal Service will hold its last two meetings July 16 and July 23 before submitting its report to President Bush by July 31. The July 16 meeting takes place from 8:30 a.m. to noon Eastern time in Room 216 of the Hart Senate Office Building in Washington. The commission will receive reports from each of its four subcommittees. The July 23 meeting begins at 9 a.m. Eastern at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington. The commission will review and discuss a draft commission report.
July 10, 2003 -- The Associated Press has reported that "companies that need to validate an individual Internet user's digital certificate, a form of electronic signature, can now have that person visit the post office for a series of checks. An individual needing a certificate can sign up online with the company, which checks the individual's postal address and other information against existing commercial databases. The company also mails a letter to that address with a special code. Meanwhile, the individual gets an e-mail back with instructions to download a form, print it and bring it to a post office with two forms of identification. Initially, only 200 post offices will have the proper equipment. Certificate companies will pay a $20,000 setup fee and $13 per customer. The U.S. Postal Service has no customers yet, but it is initially targeting government agencies and contractors and others needing a higher level of trust in e-signatures."
July 10, 2003 -- Vowing to do "whatever it takes" to defeat anti-worker "reforms" likely to be recommended by the presidential commission studying the Postal Service, the APWU National Executive Board at its July 8 meeting authorized a special assessment of union members' dues to fund a media campaign.
July 10, 2003 -- As the law firm of Wickwire Gavin has noted, "the Postal Service, unlike other federal agencies, is not governed by most federal procurement laws. Bedrock government-wide procurement rules, such as the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) and the Competition in Contracting Act (CICA), do not apply to the Postal Service. Instead, the Postal Service conducts its procurements and administers its contracts under its own rules and culture."
July 10, 2003 -- The head of the 305,000-member National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) union has urged Congress to provide millions of dollars in out-of-pocket savings to postal, federal and military retirees by allowing them to pay health insurance premiums on a pretax basis like active postal and federal employees.
July 10, 2003 -- RTE Interactive (Ireland) has reported that "An Post has missed a deadline set by the communications regulator for it to renegotiate the fee it receives from international postal operators for processing their deliveries to Ireland."
July 10, 2003 -- The U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors has approved the implementation of the Customized Market Mail program.
July 10, 2003 -- CNET News has reported that "Wal-Mart Stores has unexpectedly canceled testing for an experimental wireless inventory control system, ending one of the first and most closely watched efforts to bring controversial radio frequency identification technology to store shelves in the United States. Learn more about RFID technology."
July 10, 2003 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "FedEx Express and General Motors on Wednesday launched a year-long test of the first commercial fuel-cell vehicle in Japan. FedEx will operate GM's HydroGen3 fuel cell vehicle on its regular delivery routes in and around metropolitan Tokyo. GM will collect data from FedEx for analysis of how the fuel-cell vehicles perform in daily use."
July 9, 2003 -- The Financial Times (U.K.) has reported that "Royal Mail's 160,000 delivery staff have been offered a record 14.5 per cent pay deal in an attempt to push through controversial productivity improvements. Allan Leighton, chairman of the state-owned postal operator, wrote to staff at the weekend - appealing to them over union negotiators' heads with a promise to raise all salaries to at least œ300 a week."
July 9, 2003 -- The Times (U.K.) has reported that "Royal Mail, under various names and guises, is Britain's oldest public company. It is also a company that appears mired in the worst practices of the old nationalised industries. Despite valiant efforts to reform, restructure and reawaken the sprawling industry, it has come perilously close to collapse in recent years, and has been kept operational only by a huge infusion of public money. Its workforce, however, appears blind to the Post Office's problems."
July 9, 2003 -- The Financial Express (India) has reported that "the German postal group Deutsche Post World Net now intends to make an entry into the Indian domestic express business by making an open offer for Blue Dart Express."
July 9, 2003 -- Business Report (South Africa) has reported that "it might still be technically insolvent, but the beleaguered Post Office sees some light at the end of the tunnel and hopes to be able to report improved efficiencies and a return to profitability in the near future. This is the underlying message of its latest annual report tabled in parliament yesterday, which details some of the tough steps that have been taken to turn the state-owned behemoth around." See also the Sunday Times.
July 9, 2003 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "A threat to the operations of air cargo and express carriers was lifted Tuesday after a landmark court ruling that night flights do not violate the human rights of people living near airports."
July 8, 2003 -- Dow Jones has reported that "Thailand's cabinet Tuesday approved the division of the state Communications Authority of Thailand, or CAT, into two registered companies, probably by next month. One division will operate the country's postal service. The other, to be known as CAT Telecom, will operate CAT's international fixed-line telephone service and hold its share of a joint-venture cellular-phone service with a subsidiary of Hong Kong's Hutchison Whampoa Ltd."
July 8, 2003 -- BizInk has reported that "Pitney Bowes has announced the official launch of Priority, a Pitney Bowes Publication(TM), its bi-monthly magazine that provides valuable information and insight for small businesses. The Magazine reaches more than 700,000 small businesses in the U.S. and covers a variety of topics important to small businesses such as customer service, marketing, technology, competitiveness and financial solutions.
July 8, 2003 -- SwissInfo.com has reported that "the Swiss Post Office says it is considering additional cost-cutting measures in a bid to remain competitive and avoid a massive deficit in the next few years. The Post Office wants to renegotiate working conditions and salaries for its employees, spin off its express delivery service and merge the parcel division with its logistics unit. Management said more jobs would have to go at the postal service, in addition to the 800 already set to be lost by 2008.
July 8, 2003 -- The Association for Postal Commerce has filed its final comments to the President's Commission on the Postal Service. A copy of those comments has been posted on this site.
July 8, 2003 -- Dow Jones has reported that "Francisco Macri, one of Argentina's most important businessmen, will sell all his businesses over the next year, he told local daily La Nacion over the weekend. One of the holding's subsidaries is Correo Argentino, the struggling privatized postal service which has come under fire from state regulators for not fulfilling its contractual obligations."
July 8, 2003 -- Newsday has reported that "Symbol Technologies Inc. announced Monday that Jerome Swartz has resigned as chairman of the board, chief scientist and director of the company he co-founded 28 years ago as investigations of the company's accounting practices reverberate through its upper ranks." Swartz had participated in various USPS activities pertaining to the use of technology and mail.
July 8, 2003 -- The Atlanta Journal Constitution has reported that "in this faster-is-better Internet era, it seems unbelievable that sleek jets capable of whisking goods from coast to coast at more than 500 miles an hour could be outdone by slow-lane trucks. But a modern tortoise-and-hare fable is playing out in the transportation industry, where steady trucks are gaining on speedy jets. Last month, FedEx -- the Memphis firm that invented next-morning small-package deliveries via its own jet fleet 30 years ago -- announced it will eliminate thousands of jobs in its flagship air division while pouring $1.8 billion into expanding its truck fleet."
July 8, 2003 -- Linns Stamps has reported that "Azeezaly S. Jaffer, the top spokesman for the United States Postal Service, acknowledged to Linn's on June 19 that his wife is employed by the Iowa-based company that has a potentially lucrative Postal Service contract to sell framed reproductions of U.S. stamp art. But there's no ethical conflict, according to other Postal Service spokesmen."
July 8, 2003 -- DM News has reported that "R.R. Donnelley Logistics opened a 670,000-square-foot distribution center in York, PA. The facility will process all of the company's customer package volumes originating from and headed to the northeastern United States. Donnelley said it expects that customers will see their home delivery service improve by up to two days within the region and by one day for the rest of the country. Donnelley sorts products for other companies, then ships them to various locations nationwide, using the U.S. Postal Service for final delivery."
July 8, 2003 -- The Washington Times has reported that n response to a crticial Inspector General's report on Postal Service sponsorship of athletic events, "Anita J. Bizzotto, chief marketing officer for the Postal Service, said the agency agrees with many of the inspector's recommendations. She said it has begun tightening record keeping to better track costs associated with the sponsorships, has a system to track sales associated with the teams, and is monitoring use of tickets to events so they can be directed to approved guests. In addition, no new sponsorships will be undertaken without full review, she said."
July 8, 2003 -- The Washington Post has reported that:
July 8, 2003 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "TPG, the Dutch global express, logistics and mail group, has complained to European anti-trust regulators that the French government is distorting competition in the delivery market by favoring state-owned La Poste. TPG charged that its French subsidiary TNT Jet Services has been subjected to a campaign of harassment by French legal officials and labor inspectors who claim it is violating labor law by supplying its 1,250 sub-contractors with its logo and uniforms."
July 7, 2003 -- As the Industry-USPS Flats Summit gets closer, postal observers have taken note of one factor, city delivery carrier costs, which may provide some insight into the Postal Service's eagerness to get a flats automation program underway. Recent data provided by the Postal Rate Commission show that in-office costs have begun to rise again relative to carrier street costs.
July 7, 2003 -- The Postal Service's Office of the Inspector General has reported that the USPS "needs to reconsider sponsorships in light of its monopoly status, financial condition, investment returns, and core mission."
July 7, 2003 -- The President's Commission on the Postal Service has posted its latest report, this dealing with postal grievances, on its web site.
July 7, 2003 -- The Canadian Press has reported that "Canada Post workers are planning a protest for Tuesday in Winnipeg. Union spokesman Virginia Hnytka says union members are outraged the corporation's CEO is getting a 32 per cent wage increase. She says workers were told last month that revenues are stagnant, costs are increasing and layoffs are possible. Hnytka questions why the company's position has not affected the wages of CEO Andre Ouelette. The corporation has yet to comment."
July 7, 2003 -- The Financial Times (U.K.) has reported that "TPG, the Dutch mail and logistics group, has complained to the European Commission that the French government is distorting competition in the postal sector by favouring La Poste, the state-owned French company. TPG alleges that Paris has discriminated against new entrants in the French express delivery market by harassing them for their use of subcontractors while taking no similar action against La Poste." See also the link to this story provided by Yahoo! News
July 7, 2003 -- Die Welt (Germany) has reported that "Jurgen Weber, former chairman of Deutsche Lufthansa, Germany's leading airline group, is rumoured to be about to be appointed as supervisory board member of Deutsche Post, Germany's postal service operator."
July 7, 2003 -- Reuters has reported that "Japan Post, one of the country's biggest investors, is planning to dangle trillions of yen in assets before a wider variety of management firms, hoping increased competition will bring greater returns."
July 7, 2003 -- DM News has reported that:
July 7, 2003 -- The gradual opening of postal markets does not only put pressure on national post companies to perform competitively but also forces them to adapt to an entirely new market structure. The editors and publishers of CEP News have produced a first of its kind survey that provides an up-to-date overview of the world's most important postal and express markets and offers detailed descriptions of different development trends. More than 300 pages are dedicated to analyses of the markets in Belgium, Britain, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland and the USA. These research results have been compiled in a unique report entitled "Key Suppliers and Important Markets in a Globalised Postal System."
July 7, 2003 -- The International Herald Tribune has reported that "Deutsche Post, Europe's largest postal service, and Ver.di, Europe's biggest union, agreed on an employment accord that will help the company trim costs and guarantee 240,000 jobs through 2006."
July 6, 2003 -- The Honolulu Star-Bulletin has reported that "more than 16 tons of mail headed for American Samoa that has piled up at the U.S. postal facility at Honolulu Airport will be flown to Western Samoa tomorrow afternoon, a U.S. Postal Service spokesman said. The postal service will fly the mail to Aipa in Western Samoa, where it will be processed and sent to American Samoa by barge and will finally get to customers by Tuesday, said spokesman Marc Dixon. Hawaiian Airlines, which usually carries USPS mail to American Samoa, temporarily canceled its service to American Samoa on June 24, citing runway problems at the airport in Pago Pago. Torrential rains over the past several weeks caused the poor runway conditions."
July 6, 2003 -- Gulf Daily News (Bahrain) has reported that "Deutsche Post and German services union Verdi said yesterday they had signed an agreement that protected 240,000 jobs for the next five years. Verdi said in a statement the two sides had agreed that until end-2006 Deutsche Post would not outsource services in 95,000 delivery areas. It said the postal group could outsource delivery in only 600 zones as part of a pilot project."
July 5, 2003 -- The Financial Times (U.K.) has reported that "the Royal Mail's commercial rivals will be allowed to provide some services without a licence under new proposals from the postal regulator. Postcomm, which yesterday began consult-ation on the areas that would be exempt from the licences it currently issues to mail operators, will consider whether to allow anyone to distribute election material. Last year it gave newly licensed operators access to such material.Deutsche Post, TPG, UK Mail and Hays are among the companies that have obtained licences in the past year. The proposals come at a time when Postcomm and Royal Mail are at loggerheads over the price rival operators will have to pay to use its delivery network."
July 5, 2003 -- Reuters has reported that "Deutsche Post's finance chief said on Friday he was satisfied with the group's second-quarter performance and that it was on track to complete its takeover of parts of U.S. express firm Airborne."
July 5, 2003 -- Bloomberg has reported that "Japan Post, the state-owned postal agency, will begin lending money to banks and securities companies from August by making funds available through the country's overnight market."
July 4, 2003 -- Business Week has reported that "starting next month, millions of Russians will find a big surprise in their mailboxes. Letters from the State Pension Fund will tell them that they are now the guardians of part of their own financial future, and that money has been deposited for them in new individual retirement accounts. The creation of the accounts -- Russia's answer to 401(k) plans in the U.S. -- is a crucial plank in President Vladimir V. Putin's economic reform agenda." See!! Retirement liabilities aren't just an American or a postal phenomenon.
July 4, 2003 -- The Kyodo news service has reported that "the Japanese Diet has enacted a bill to revise the Japan Post law which will allow diversified fund management at the public entity."
July 4, 2003 -- According Inc. magazine, "Corporate America wants your business -- badly. But who can you trust? Here's how to find the vendors who truly 'get it'."
July 4, 2003 -- the Philadelphia Inquirer has reported that "Fedex claims to be the company to call when a package "absolutely, positively has to be there overnight." But when FedEx needs to fight thousands of parking tickets here, it has to call on a retired Philadelphia cop. James A. Fogarty helped FedEx get nearly 10,000 tickets dismissed over six years - saving the overnight-delivery firm at least $354,656 in unpaid fines, according to records obtained by the Daily News. FedEx is not the only company Fogarty helps. His small firm - known as F&F Consulting Inc. - has carved out a niche fighting parking tickets for a handful of Fortune 500 companies operating in Philadelphia. Fogarty's client list includes Airborne Express Corp., DHL Worldwide Express and United Parcel Service. Including FedEx, the companies combined had close to 30,000 parking tickets dismissed since 1997 by one city bureaucrat, the records show. The dismissed tickets saved the companies at least $858,300 in fines combined, the records show."
July 4, 2003 -- Les Echos (France) "the French parliamentary commission of inquiry into the management of public companies has concluded its report, although it can still be amended. It is especially critical of EDF, the power group. France Telecom, the telecommunications operator also comes in for criticism, as does, to a lesser extent, La Poste, the post office."
July 4, 2003 -- BusinessWeek has reported that "starting next month, millions of Russians will find a big surprise in their mailboxes. Letters from the State Pension Fund will tell them that they are now the guardians of part of their own financial future, and that money has been deposited for them in new individual retirement accounts. The creation of the accounts -- Russia's answer to 401(k) plans in the U.S. -- is a crucial plank in President Vladimir V. Putin's economic reform agenda." See! It's not just an American or a postal phenomenon.
July 4, 2003 -- Hugin has reported that "Swiss WorldCargo and Swiss Post International signed a new agreement on July 1, 2003 covering the handling of mail at Zurich and Geneva airports. The new accord will effect a further substantial enhancement in the already-impressive flow of information between the two partners on the mail handling front."
July 4, 2003 -- Slate has asked: "Why is the Postal Service spending $8 million a year on cycling?" According to a USPS spokesperson, "the bike deal benefits the post office because it 'associates us with a winning team,' raises employee morale, and helps promote USPS's international delivery services. 'Multinationals in Europe do a lot of mailing, and we are interested in them using our products and services.' The European promotion also advertises to 'students, relatives, and other people living overseas.' USPS's total international business is only $1.7 billion annually, less than 3 percent of its revenues. Yet it's spending more than 6 percent of its entire ad budget on this indirect European product placement. It's worth noting that the millions of Europeans who root for Armstrong and his team can't even use USPS. The post office ships mail from the United States to Europe, but unlike FedEx not from Europe to the United States." How about....It's just a deal the USPS can't dump until the current contract expires. In the meantime, USPS officials have no choice but to try and put on a brave face.
July 4, 2003 -- Business Mailers Review has reported that:
July 3, 2003 -- The New York Post has reported that "the Postal Service will not deliver on a 69-year-old promise to cash in $2,500 worth of savings certificates it issued during the Depression."
July 3, 2003 -- The Las Vegas Sun has reported that "state prison inmates should be allowed to receive bulk mailings and catalogs, a federal judge has ruled in a First Amendment case brought by a newspaper specializing in prisoner rights. The ruling by U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnik overturned a long-standing ban by the Washington state Department of Corrections."
July 3, 2003 -- The Guardian (U.K.) has reported that British "Ministers came under pressure to stop Royal Mail's withdrawal from the railways yesterday, after a document emerged which suggested that the organisation could have saved half its postal trains. To the dismay of rail unions and environmentalists, the government-owned company announced last month that it intended to carry all letters, parcels and postcards by lorry or aircraft, in an effort to save œ90m a year. The controversial decision ended a 173-year tradition of 'night mail' trains. However, an Australian company which took part in Royal Mail's review of its distribution network has revealed that the organisation could have reached its target of œ90m cost savings by axing only 50% of its rail services.
July 3, 2003 -- If it's evidence that you're looking for to affirm that the Postal Service is cutting costs, look no further than the report for Accounting Period 10. That report also shows, however, that volume is still in the tank.
July 3, 2003 -- The St. Petersburg Times asks: "Looking to lose some weight? Try delivering mail."
July 3, 2003 -- The National Association of Major Mail Users (Canada) has reported that "Canada Post has gazetted a one cent increase to the domestic stamp price on June 27th, taking the price to 49 cents effective January 12, 2004. Also announced in the Canada Gazette: $0.15 increase to $0.80 for letters, cards and postcards up to 30g destined to the United States; $0.15 increase to $1.40 for letters, cards and postcards up to 30g to other non-Canadian destinations. Canadians have 60 days in which to make representations to the Minister responsible for Canada Post regarding these proposed rate increases."
July 3, 2003 -- A copy of a "Summary of Findings Report from a Consumer Survey about the U.S. Postal Service" has been posted on the President's Commission on the Postal Service web site.
July 3, 2003 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that:
July 3, 2003 -- The U.S. Postal Service has served notice in the Federal Register that it "intends, after an appropriate transition period, to replace the current National Change of Address (NCOA) and FASTforward[reg] Mailing List Correction (MLC) licensed products with NCOA\Link\ licensed products.
July 3, 2003 -- The Daily News (Sri Lanka) has reported that "the Ministry of Mass Communication has made arrangements to implement a "Communication Week" from October 3 to 9 in Matale District to commemorate Universal Postal Day which falls on October 9."
July 3, 2003 -- The Associated Press has reported that " A publisher of magazines for doctors agreed Wednesday to pay $3.7 million to settle government charges it used swollen subscriber numbers to avoid paying more than $2 million in postage. The deal ends litigation claiming that Medical World Communications, of Jamesburg, purposely inflated the amount of people who requested its publications from 1994 to 2000 in order to qualify for lower postage rates."
July 2, 2003 -- Postal commentator Gene Del Polito offers some thoughts on the possibility of double-digit rate increases after 2006.
July 2, 2003 -- Just in case you missed this in the June 12 issue of the USPS' Postal Bulletin:
Effective June 12, 2003, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) E610.2.3 is revised to clarify the eligibility standards for Standard Mail items. The revision codifies longstanding Postal ServiceTM policy in the DMM in response to mailer requests for additional guidance. Currently, computer-prepared material is considered printed matter. Such material is not considered to have the character of actual and personal correspondence, and therefore is not required to be mailed as First-Class Mail items or Express Mail items, merely because it contains (a) specific information about a product offered for sale or lease (e.g., size, color, price) or a service being offered (e.g., the name, address, and telephone number of a company representative); (b) information relating the addressee directly to an advertised product or service; or (c) information such as the amount paid for a previous purchase, pledge, or donation, when associated with a sales promotion or solicitation for donations. The revised standards allow certain advertising matter (i.e., mail offering products or services for purchase) to be sent as Standard Mail items, even if it contains computer- generated information that may be considered actual and personal information. The revisions to E610.2.3a and 2.3b clarify that the goods or services advertised must be offered for sale or lease.
July 2, 2003 -- CEP News (Courier-Express-Postal) has reported that:
July 2, 2003 -- The York Evening Press (U.K.) has reported that "the boss of the National Railway Museum has voiced his concerns about Royal Mail lorries posing a danger to the public."
July 2, 2003 -- Le Monde (France) has reported that "the French banking services protection association (AACAB), which provides assistance to victims of poor banking practices, has began legal proceedings against the French post office (La Poste) for failing to provide modest savings account holders with adequate information on the subject of financial investments."
July 2, 2003 -- The Daily Yomiuri has reported that "competition between Japan Post and private door-to-door delivery firms in the parcel delivery market has intensified in the three months since the new public corporation took over the former state-run postal services in April. However, according to analysts, little progress has been made in the debate over the privatization of the corporation's postal savings and life insurance services, despite calls from the financial industry for reforms in these areas."
July 2, 2003 -- Japan Today has reported that "Bike Kyubin Co. and three other private courier companies on Tuesday began special mail delivery services designating delivery time. The three others are QCargo Co., Q-Post and Pro Support. The moves follow the creation April 1 of Japan Post to take over mail delivery and postal savings from the governmental Postal Services Agency as part of postal service deregulation."
July 2, 2003 -- AMEInfo has reported that "the Egyptian National Postal Organization has announced that it will offer the service of telephone bill settlements through its offices."
July 2, 2003 -- The Associated Press has reported that "the ZIP code, that string of numbers on virtually every piece of mail, is 40 years old. It was July 1, 1963, when the first ZIP codes went into use, a time of 5-cent postage and one-third the amount of mail as today. Postal officials say it's thanks to things like the ZIP code that they can now carry triple the amount of mail to 50 percent more people."
July 2, 2003 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "The trans-Atlantic dispute among the world's package delivery giants over the ownership of DHL Airways has grown even nastier. FedEx Corp. and United Parcel Service have asked the administrative law judge overseeing the case to hold the chief executives of Deutsche Post World Net and DHL International in contempt for refusing to comply with the judge's order to testify about their relationship with DHL Airways, a U.S.-based cargo airline with approximately 34 aircraft."
July 2, 2003 -- DM News has reported that "members of the Manufacturing, Production and Service Workers Union, Local 24 of the AFL-CIO, are striking a Deutsche Postal Global Mail mail terminal in Elk Grove Village, IL. DPGM is in collective bargaining negotiations with the union. Talks began in early February, and bargaining sessions occurred monthly through May. On June 19, a part of the union from the Illinois facility decided to strike over economic issues rather than accept DPGM's invitation to meet again at the bargaining table."
July 1, 2003 -- Selectica, Inc., a leading provider of Interactive Selling Systems (ISS), today announced that Royal Mail is now live on the Selectica Configuration Platform. The new system enhances Royal Mail's ability to market, promote and sell its portfolio of domestic and business services.
July 1, 2003 -- The Memphis Business Journal has reported that "in the quest for both a reinvestment in the environment and the long-standing campaign to gain better fuel savings, package delivery rivals FedEx Corp. and United Parcel Service have almost simultaneously unveiled new vehicle prototypes."
July 1, 2003 -- DM News has reported that "the U.S. Postal Service is expected to announce in the Federal Register today that interested parties may apply for NCOALink licenses. If they are authorized, licenses become available to vendors for NCOALink, its new change-of-address product, on Oct. 1."
July 1, 2003 -- The New York Times has reported that "Americans send about 50 tons of letters and packages every day to the more than 130,000 U.S. soldiers in Iraq. This sensitive cargo is being shipped there by the Deutsche Post (the German Postal Service). Its subsidiary DHL, operating worldwide, has taken on this risky task of delivering the soldiers' mail."
July 1, 2003 -- The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to review a Ninth Circuit decision that the U.S. Postal Service is a "person" amenable to suit under federal antitrust law (United States Postal Service v. Flamingo Industries (U.S.A.) Ltd., U.S., No. 02--1290, cert. granted, 5/27/03). The decision by the court of appeals was based on a determination "that Congress has stripped the Postal Service of its sovereign status by launching it into the commercial world as a sue--and--be sued entity akin to a private corporation." In his petition for review, Solicitor General Theodore B. Olson argued that the Ninth Circuit's ruling conflicts with U.S. v. Cooper, 312 U.S. 600 (1941), and appellate decisions holding that the United States and its agencies and instrumentalities are not persons subject to suit under federal antitrust laws.
July 1, 2003 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "the sale of DHL Airways to an investor group led by the carrier's chief executive will not close today as the airline had previously announced." See also SmartMoney
July 1, 2003 -- According to the Wall Street Journal has reported that "Germany's labor unions, once powerful enough to topple the nation's leaders, have tumbled to their weakest position in the past half-century. In recent years, unions have struggled as the economy slumped and as industry -- the traditional base of union members -- gives way to services. In 1991, shortly after the unification of eastern and western Germany, 35% of blue- and white-collar workers belonged to a trade union. By the end of last year, that figure stood at around 22%. Unions are also merging to keep afloat. Two years ago, five unions representing various corners of the service sector -- from postal workers to bankers -- joined forces under the name ver.di, which calls itself "the largest union in the free world" with about three million workers."
July 1, 2003 -- The Inman News Service has reported that "a proposal by the U.S. Postal Service to increase the minimum size of all apartment mailboxes, including those already in service, would cost the industry more than $2 billion, according to the National Multi Housing Council and its joint legislative partner, the National Apartment Association."
July 1, 2003 -- The Daily Nation (Kenya) has reported that "a new union for 5,000 Postal Corporation of Kenya workers was launched yesterday in Nakuru. But the move was immediately denounced by the Communication Workers Union of Kenya (CWUK) which has been representing the workers."
July 1, 2003 -- And...on the continuing story of the postal bellwether, Amtrak, comes the following from the Wall Street Journal: "Congress's spending is so out of control that now it's trying to hand out money even where it's not wanted. The House Transportation Committee seems determined to give Amtrak a fiscal 2004 budget that is more than twice what President Bush has requested and beyond what the money-losing federal railroad itself says it needs. Of course, the failing rail monopoly has long been an enabler of Congress's addiction. Amtrak blackmailed Washington into a bailout last summer, after threatening a shutdown that would have closed commuter service in the Northeast. This was in keeping with a long history of the service promising to get its caboose in order, only to follow up with demands for more money. Amtrak has racked up a debt to taxpayers of $33 billion over 30 years (in constant 1999 dollars)."