Postal News from August 2003
August 31, 2003 -- The Bath Chronicle (U.K.) has reported that "bosses at Bath Postal Museum are expecting to close within six months if plans to reduce their funding go ahead next week. Trustees of the Broad Street museum claim they will be forced to shut down if Bath and North East Somerset Council goes ahead with a proposal to reduce its rent subsidy. The planned cuts mean the museum, which is a charity, would have to raise an extra £20,000 per year or the collection could end up being scattered at various locations across the country.
August 31, 2003 -- According to Business Europe, "Royal Mail bosses and trade unions have been locked in a bitter pay dispute for many weeks with conciliation talks aimed at resolving the disagreement breaking down on Wednesday without agreement. Leaders of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) said they felt 'insulted' by management attitudes and announced that the 160,000 postal workers will now be balloted on industrial action. But the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) cautioned that it was 'very concerned' about the effects of a strike on the UK's small businesses. Matthew Knowles, BCC policy adviser, said: 'A cheque arriving in the mail on time can mean the difference between life and death for a company, especially a small firm.'"
August 31, 2003 -- According to the Sunday Mail (U.K.), "Royal Mail bosses are facing up to the prospect of a long strike by postal workers this winter."
August 31, 2003 -- The Independent (U.K.) has reported that
August 31, 2003 -- Triangle Management Services Limited has interviewed a sample of Royal Mail's leading customers and has found that they all believe any strike action should lead to some period of immediate deregulation. The majority (over 70%) of the top users interviewed, who collectively spend around £400 million a year on post, say that if there is industrial disruption then private carriers should be allowed to collect and deliver indefinitely not just during the period of any strike. All would prefer to pay the current Royal Mail tariffs but over 40% would be prepared to pay more - some up to 50% more than they are currently paying. Almost 90% of those interviewed said that a strike (if it lasted more than a month) would have a significant, major or catastrophic effect on their business."
August 31, 2003 -- And, there's this from the Postal Service's Azeez Jaffer to America Online: "I just viewed the latest AOL commercial on broadband services. To say that the U.S. Postal Service is displeased with this ad would be a considerable understatement. The commercial's portrayal of the Postal Service and its employees is absolutely appalling."
August 31, 2003 -- According to The Guardian (U.K.):
August 31, 2003 -- Sify News has reported that "hoping to experience a world before the age of e-mail and airplanes, an Italian with a beat-up four-wheel-drive car has driven from London to Mumbai to deliver mail as the British did a century and a half ago. Rosario Mascia endured potholes in Pakistan and insults in Iran but, after 40 days on over 10,000 km of road, he has arrived in India, more than 100 envelopes in hand. The bearded, bespectacled 52 year-old journalist began researching the mail route between Mumbai and London in the 1980s and wrote a book on it. Two decades later, he decided to experience it himself by reviving the old postal route -- on his own.
August 31, 2003 -- As the Kansas City Star has noted, "in a drive to restore some of the revenue lost amid the downturn, delivery companies have introduced or increased more than a dozen fees over the last few years, for everything from proof of delivery to a missing account number. This strategy lets package companies boost revenue without having to announce huge rate increases. The latest twist is that carriers are slapping on a surcharge for off-the-beaten-track deliveries -- mostly packages sent to homes that are not off the beaten track at all. But the number of ZIP codes the carriers consider remote is swelling, even as America is growing more urban. UPS added 59 ZIP codes to its list in January, bringing its total to 24,555. Overall, the big-three delivery companies -- UPS, FedEx and Airborne, which control 80 percent of the market -- now impose such fees on at least some shipments to more than 60 percent of all U.S. ZIP codes, according to AFMS Transportation Management Group."
August 30, 2003 -- According to GoMemphis.com, "today, FedEx Ground, three years old, is growing by more than 25 percent a year, the fastest gun in FedEx's arsenal."
August 30, 2003 -- According to Les Echos (France), "French union organisation FO has confirmed that TAT Express, an airmail subsidiary of French national postal services group La Poste, will present plans to cut 500 jobs on September 1 during an extraordinary meeting of the works council. These jobs represent one third of the total workforce. The union says several hundred straight redundancies could take place, and has expressed concern that the plan will jeopardise the company's survival."
August 30, 2003 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "TNT Express announced Thursday that it plans to launch direct air service between its European hub in Liege, Belgium, and the Italian cities of Naples and Florence, effective Sept. 9. TNT plans to upgrade its European network to 67 airports by the end of 2005."
August 30, 2003 -- According to OneWorld.Net, "over the next month, postal workers across Canada will be voting to accept or reject the contract their union negotiated in late July. The tentative agreement with Canada Post includes an 8-year deal that finally acknowledges Rural and Suburban Mail Carriers (RSMCs) as unionized workers. Some CUPW [Canadian Union of Postal Workers] locals are now recommending that their members reject the tentative deal."
August 30, 2003 -- Il Sole 24 Ore (Italy) has reported that "the Italian post office (Le Poste) will launch a new service in September in Rome. The service, which enables people to renew their passports at the post office, will be extended to the rest of the country at a later stage. Le Poste will also launch Postamat, a debit card aimed primarily at young people. Le Poste could list in 2004."
August 30, 2003 -- The Daily Yomiuri (Japan) has reported that among the "policy goals Koizumi plans to include in his pledge for the LDP presidential election are a bill to be submitted to the ordinary Diet session in 2006 to privatize the postal service in April 2007."
August 30, 2003 -- According to the Journal of Commerce, "a Columbia University law professor hired by United Parcel Service and FedEx Corp. told a Department of Transportation judge that the new owners of AStar Air Cargo have scored a sweetheart deal by buying the airline formerly known as DHL Airways."
August 30, 2003 -- On the other hand, Traffic World has reported that "New York University professor and airline industry economist Janusz Ordover also testified the first day as an expert witness on behalf of AStar. He told the court that the contract between AStar and DHL Worldwide Express, its main customer, is structured so that the German-owned company does not exert illegal control over the U.S.-based airline."
August 29, 2003 -- The Jewish World Review has noted that "nestled in a nondescript industrial office park building in suburban Chicago is a team of engineers putting packages through their paces. It's a place where boxes and bags come to be dropped, shaken and squeezed, all in the name of science. While the workers at the UPS Package Lab in Addison, Ill., are supposed to be a little rough with the subjects, the facility is not reminiscent of the famed American Tourister commercials of the 1970s and `80s starring a suitcase-smashing primate."
August 29, 2003 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that "U.S. freight carriers and manufacturers say new transportation-security rules intended to help defend the nation's borders against terrorist activities threaten to slow the movement of cargo and disrupt the supply chains of businesses that rely on just-in-time delivery."
August 29, 2003 -- The Keys News has reported that "local U.S. Postal Service workers and union representatives are continuing their battle against proposed staff reassignments that would reduce their work force by nearly one-third. Acting on recommendations of a survey conducted last August, the USPS has ordered staff at Key West post offices reduced from 44 full-time clerks to 28. The 16 employees would be forced to transfer to offices in Miami or other Florida locations or risk losing their jobs. Union representative Kathryn dePoo said an initiative called Save our Service is aimed at gathering community support for the postal service. DePoo said concerned citizens are collecting signatures on postcards and petitions requesting congressional representatives to help protect the current service. Volunteers will be collecting signatures in front of grocery stores this weekend and postal workers will be manning a support booth at the Labor Day Picnic at Bayview Park Sunday afternoon." The message? No one is going to go quietly.
August 29, 2003 -- The Xinhua news agency has reported that "the China State Postal Bureau, also known as China Post, announced yesterday it will lower charges for its domestic express mail service by an average of 10 per cent. It is the latest effort by the State-owned company to increase its competitiveness against increasing challenges posed by foreign rivals." See also the People's Daily.
August 29, 2003 -- As one writer in the Washington Post has noted, "the U.S. Postal Service has not yet collapsed, but its foundation has some sizable cracks. In 2002 first-class mail volume, the core revenue source for the Postal Service, suffered the largest decline in 30 years. The number of letters sent in individual pieces (as opposed to bulk mail) is dropping at an accelerating rate. Any grade school kid knows why: Nobody sends letters anymore; everybody uses e-mail. Meanwhile, the Postal Service's liabilities skyrocket. Its debts and unfunded obligations now total around $90 billion. In 2001 the General Accounting Office placed the Postal Service on its list of "high-risk" institutions because of its fiscal problems, raising the prospect of a taxpayer bailout."
August 29, 2003 -- The U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors is scheduled to meet September 9, 2003 at 8:30 a.m. at USPS headquarters to discuss the Postal Service's: (1) Fiscal Year 2004 Annual Performance Plan/Five-Year Strategic Plan--Government Performance and Results Act, (2) Fiscal Year 2004 Operating Plan, (3) Fiscal Year 2004 Capital Investment Plan, and (4) Fiscal Year 2004 Financing Plan.
August 29, 2003 -- The Postal Rate Commission has:
August 29, 2003 -- The Sutton Burough Guardian (U.K.) has reported that British " postal workers are this week being urged by the Communications Workers' Union (CWU) to back strike action over pay. Delivery staff, Royal Mail employees and other workers were due to receive ballot papers yesterday (Wednesday) as Tuesday's last ditch talks between the union and mail bosses at conciliation service Acas failed to end the pay deal deadlock."
August 29, 2003 -- According to Sky News (U.K.), "More than 90% of first class letters are being delivered on time, new figures have revealed. But the Royal Mail has been warned that it is still underperforming. With strike action looming, the postal service released statistics showing 93.2% of first class letters were delivered on time in June. This was the highest figure since the summer of 1998." See also The Telegraph
August 29, 2003 -- According to icBirmingham (U.K.), "business leaders have warned that a national postal strike could lead to the collapse of thousands of small companies." See also The Scotsman.
August 29, 2003 -- The Periodical Publishers Association (U.K.) has written to the Secretary of State, Patricia Hewitt MP to express its concerns at the potential impact on members' businesses of the threatened postal strike and urging government intervention to ensure that every possible avenue of discussion and arbitration is exhausted before any disruption to service is contemplated.
August 29, 2003 -- Business Mailers Review has reported that:
August 29, 2003 -- According to the Evening Post (U.K.), "postal workers in Britain are set to vote in favour of strike action in a dispute over pay. Union leaders said yesterday that there was overwhelming support among Royal Mail staff across the city for industrial action. A walkout by postal staff could cripple mail deliveries in the run-up to Christmas."
August 29, 2003 -- Brunei Direct (Brunei) has reported that "the Postal Services Department has announced that effective 5th August 2003, the department is no longer offering parcel delivery via sea to Norway as there is no such service available through Singapore Port. However parcel delivery via air is still being carried out. Meanwhile, the department also announced that EMS/SpeedPost service has been widened to cover Mexico, Portugal and Russia effective 1st September 2003. The weight of the EMS is limited to 30 kg."
August 29, 2003 -- The Nation Online (Malawi) has reported that "the Malawi Posts Corporation (MPC) on Tuesday launched an Expedited Mail Service (EMS), the quickest postal service by physical means, at Mtunthama in Kasungu as one way of being more focused in the corporation's services under its reform programme."
August 29, 2003 -- According to DefenseLink, "the U.S. Postal Service and the Military Postal Service Agency process about 2 million pounds of mail a week for troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, and some items make it to the recipient faster than others, Navy Lt. Cmdr. Brian Lomax, agency chief of plans and policy, said here today. Depending on where it originates, a letter or package spends "a couple of days" in the USPS system before it reaches either San Francisco or New York City, Lomax said. Then it travels another 16 to 19 hours by plane before landing in Kuwait or Bahrain. From there, it's picked up or delivered by motor vehicle. Once in theater, a letter takes seven to 14 days to reach the service member, while a package usually takes 14 to 24 days, Lomax added. Packages make up 90 percent of the mail."
August 29, 2003 -- John Dasburg, Chairman and CEO of ASTAR Air Cargo announced today the promotion of Gary Hammes to Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.
August 29, 2003 -- Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers Executive Director Neal Denton has reported that "the USPS is about to dismantle the Cooperative Mailing Rules, which govern the use of preferred postal rates in fundraising mail. Capitulating to political pressures from commercial fundraising firms, the USPS is expected to issue a decision next week exempting all fundraising solicitations from the Congressionally-imposed ban on cooperative mailings. The anything-goes exemption will open the floodgates to abuse, if past experience is any guide. Unscrupulous commercial fundraisers, acting in the name of unsophisticated or captive nonprofit organizations, will flood the mails with fundraising solicitations designed primarily to line the fundraisers' own pockets. We can expect total volume of nonprofit mail to climb dramatically. And, we fear that two or three years from now, complaints from outraged consumers may trigger a political firestorm that could threaten the very survival of nonprofit rates.
August 28, 2003 -- Siemens Dematic and Firstlogic, Inc. have joined forces to provide the mailing industry with advanced address assignment solutions that postal authorities can use to reduce manual handling of letters, flats, and parcels.
August 28, 2003 -- According to the Nikkei News Service, "Japan Post is trying to enhance its profitability by slashing jobs and reducing administrative costs, but it seems inevitable that the entity will engage in more aggressive restructuring measures like those being carried out by private-sector banks. The discussions about closing unprofitable post offices in rural areas have been put on the back burner. With the idea of privatizing postal operations gaining momentum, however, Japan Post is likely to put no area off-limits in its restructuring effort in order to stabilize its financial standing in the long run. Those who oppose the closing of post offices argue that some areas of the nation could be cut off from postal mail service and that underpopulated regions may be deprived of financial services."
August 28, 2003 -- The Star Tribune has reported that "Arden Hills leaders told a top U.S. Postal Service official Wednesday that they want a mix of housing, businesses and park space -- not a $200 million postal facility -- on the 661-acre site of a former ammunition plant. But Pat Donahoe, chief operating officer of the Postal Service, said the land is a "favorable site" for the consolidation of downtown post offices now in St. Paul and Minneapolis. Those moves would make Mississippi riverfront land available for redevelopment in both cities. The comments came at a meeting at the former Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant, where a political tug of war has been underway for years as the Army prepares to unload what it considers surplus land."
August 28, 2003 -- The Russia Journal has reported that "the Russian government approved a plan for developing the country's postal service Tuesday, Russia's Communications and IT Ministry said. The plan aims to develop the infrastructure of the postal service and promote competition in postal services, which are expected to increase the volume of the postal services market by about 150% by 2010."
August 28, 2003 -- Want an update on the pending postal strike in the U.K.? Then check the BBC news site.
August 28, 2003 -- The Guardian (U.K.) has reported that "Allan Leighton, Royal Mail's combative chairman, yesterday appealed over the heads of leaders of the CWU postal workers' union, urging 160,000 postal staff to accept a final pay offer and warning that a strike could last months."
August 28, 2003 --The Scotsman (U.K.) has reported that:
August 28, 2003 -- News from the DHL-UPS-Fedex conflagration at the Transportation Department: The Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) in the case has ruled that the only evidence that will be deemed relevant in this case is "the current citizenship of ASTAR as it now exists." UPS/FedEx had sought to introduce evidence relating to commercial agreements involving the old DHL Airways that are no longer effective in light of the sale (completed on July 14, 2003) of DHL Airways to the airline's current owners, who renamed the carrier ASTAR. This effort was turned backed when the ALJ ruled that agreements that are no longer in effect are not relevant to determining ASTAR's current citizenship and therefore will not be admitted as evidence at the hearing.
August 28, 2003 -- Reuters has reported that "a witness for Astar Air Cargo told a judge on Wednesday that stripping the company of its U.S. citizenship could hurt consumers and hobble efforts to forge a new aviation treaty with the European Union."
August 28, 2003 -- Les Echos (France) has reported that the "French union organisation FO has confirmed that TAT Express, an airmail subsidiary of French national postal services group La Poste, will present plans to cut 500 jobs on September 1 during an extraordinary meeting of the works council. These jobs represent one third of the total workforce. The union says several hundred straight redundancies could take place, and has expressed concern that the plan will jeopardise the company's survival."
August 28, 2003 -- The U.S. Postal Service has published in the Federal Register "a special interim Advance Notice incorporating mailers' comments from the May 31, 2002 Federal Register (67 FR 38041- 38043), Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Request for Comment. Prior to publishing a final rule, the Postal Service is requesting additional comments from the mailing industry on the proposed changes to current Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) standards that concern Move Update and/or Address Matching requirements. These proposed standards address specific mail preparation requirements that can effectively assist in reducing the negative impact on delivery service and costs associated with Undeliverable-As-Addressed (UAA) Mail. Due to the significant ongoing UAA mail burden noted in omnibus rate case Docket No. R2001-1, changes are deemed necessary to help mitigate the UAA mail impact on the mailing industry and the Postal Service. Comments must be received on or before September 29, 2003."
August 28, 2003 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "The long-awaited public hearing regarding AStar Air Cargo's citizenship began on Tuesday with the airline and its competitors laying out their arguments in the case. John Dasburg, chairman and chief executive of AStar, formerly DHL Airways, took the stand as the first witness, saying he took the helm of the company only after he was assured that he would have no higher-ups to answer to. Dasburg and the AStar legal team sought to quash arguments by FedEx Corp. and United Parcel Service lawyers that foreign interest, namely German postal company Deutsche Post World Net, exert undue control over Miami-based AStar."
August 28, 2003 -- According to CDFreaks.com, "the Dutch PC-Active magazine has done an extensive CD-R quality test. For the test the magazine has taken a look at the readability of discs, thirty different CD-R brands, that were recorded twenty months ago. The results were quite shocking as a lot of the discs simply couldn't be read anymore." Uh-oh! Better keep that paper backup.
August 27, 2003 -- The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin is available online.
August 27, 2003 -- Parcel Direct, a ground-residential parcel expeditor, has opened its 10th sortation facility, in Charlotte, N.C. This sortation facility services Destination Delivery Units (i.e., local post offices) in and around the cities of the Memphis, Tenn.; Charlotte and Greensboro, N.C.; and Atlanta. Operations began in the 90,000-square-foot facility on August 5.
August 27, 2003 -- According to Dow Jones, "crunch time at the U.K. Royal Mail Wednesday as management and unions battle it out at the conciliation service Acas. The possibility of a post strike if these talks fail looms very large - it would be the first fully national strike by postal workers for over seven years. It might be the last one, too - this is a fraught situation neither side can win. If the Royal Mail is to survive, its financial operation and bottom line have to be brought into line with those of any equivalent private or public companies."
August 27, 2003 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that "despite a prolonged global economic downturn, FedEx Express is optimistic about its business prospects as it expects rapid globalization and Asia's growth as a manufacturing hub to boost demand for its delivery services."
August 27, 2003 -- According to Business Week, "for the first time since the tech downturn hit in 2000, the U.S. economy seems to be picking up speed. The combination of low interest rates and big tax cuts means that consumers have the ability and the will to buy. Meanwhile, corporate executives are finally waking up from their long funk and realizing that it's sometimes necessary to spend money to make money." As the saying goes, "From your mouth to God's ear."
August 27, 2003 -- Zawya (UAE) has reported that "A first of its kind parcel service was laun-ched yesterday in the UAE for Pakistani expatriates. Residents in the UAE can now send small express cargo parcels up to five kg to their friends and family anywhere in Pakistan at a very special and competitive rate. The service has been launched by Sonic Express, which has been appointed as general sales agent (GSA) of Pakistan Post, the official postal authority of Pakistan, in the UAE. The service is called Sonic Express Cargo parcel. 'The UAE is the first country to have a GSA of Pakistan Post to introduce a special parcel service for overseas Pakistanis,' Ros-han Akhtar, chief executive officer of Sonic Express, said yesterday at a press conference in Dubai. He said they hoped to uplift at least 200 parcel boxes every day. Under the scheme, anyone can send upto five kg of personal goods to anyone anywhere in Pakistan, including big cities, villages and even the remotest areas, for Dh65. The service is offered through Pakistan Post, which has over 13,000 post offices all over the country."
August 27, 2003 -- Circulation Management has reported that "to the relief of publishers and the marketing community, the new commercial fax rules issued by the Federal Communications Commission in early July and scheduled to go into effect on August 25 have been put on hold, at least temporarily. If implemented, the fax rules could spell disaster for all businesses communicating with prospects and customers via fax, because they render such faxing nearly impossible. Publishers especially those in the business-to-business sector trying to qualify and requalify subscribers rely heavily on faxing for communications with subscribers."
August 27, 2003 -- The Louisville Courier-Journal has reported that "FedEx Ground said yesterday that it will build a distribution hub in Northern Kentucky that will employ hundreds of workers when it opens in 2005. The 335,000-square-foot center will sort up to 45,000 packages per hour for FedEx Ground, the second-largest small-package ground carrier in North America behind UPS. Groundbreaking is planned for September on 96 acres in an industrial park in Boone County."
August 27, 2003 -- The Evening Standard (U.K.) has reported that "Postal workers were today taking part in a strike ballot after the breakdown of pay talks at the conciliation service Acas. More than 160,000 members of the Communication Workers Union are voting nationally. Strikes, described by the lossmaking Royal Mail as 'commercial suicide', could come as early as October." See also the Financial Times and The Guardian.
August 27, 2003 -- The Lincolnshire Echo (U.K.) has reported that "leaders of the Communication Workers Union were meeting Royal Mail managers at the London headquarters of conciliation service Acas to try to resolve a row over pay. The Royal Mail said it was offering a deal worth 14.5 per cent over 18 months, and maintained last night that most of the money would be paid to postal workers by Christmas. But the union has complained there were too many "strings" attached to the 14.5 per cent deal, such as acceptance of job losses and new delivery patterns."
August 27, 2003 -- The Evening Telegraph (U.K.) has reported that "Royal Mail held out an olive branch to postal workers yesterday after peace talks aimed at heading off a damaging strike turned into a one-sided affair. Some of the strings attached to an offer Royal Mail says is worth 14.5pc were loosened as the Communication Workers Union (CWU) gave the go-ahead for the start of a strike ballot today among 160,000 postal workers. The productivity-linked package involves a two-stage basic increase worth 4.5pc payable by April. The balance will be paid when new performance targets have been reached nationally. Yesterday Royal Mail said it was willing to be more flexible and allow the productivity-linked element to be paid on a piecemeal basis as each local office achieves performance improvements."
August 27, 2003 -- The Washington Post has reported that:
August 27, 2003 -- Reuters has reported that "the buyout of DHL Airways by U.S. investors was dependent on a financial guarantee from Germany's Deutsche Post, rivals claimed on Tuesday as the government opened hearings on whether the deal complied with foreign ownership limits. FedEx Corp. and UPS Inc. also said at the start of a Transportation Department hearing on the ownership question that the investor group led by former DHL Chairman John Dasburg assumed no risk when it made the $57 million purchase this July and renamed the airline Astar Air Cargo."
August 27, 2003 -- The Taipei Times (Taiwan)_has reported that "Deutsche Post AG's expansion in the US$50.2 billion US ground and air parcel delivery market may be slowed by a regulatory review sought by United Parcel Service Inc and FedEx Corp, which dominate the US market. A win by UPS, the world's largest package-delivery company, and FedEx, the biggest overnight-delivery company, would slow or raise costs for Deutsche Post's advance in the US, the biggest delivery market, said Brian Clancy, principal at MergeGlobal Inc, a freight-consulting firm in Arlington, Virginia."
August 26, 2003 -- When the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs holds its hearing on September 3 on "U.S. Postal Service: What Can Be Done to Ensure Its Future Viability?" the proceedings will be available via webcast.
August 26, 2003 -- Archer Management Services, an Oce company, has announced the appointment of Dr. Michael Field as Director of Technology. Dr. Field's principal focus will be to develop and drive adoption by Archer clients of new document management technologies and to assist them in migrating to networked, multi-functional devices for improved efficiency and higher return on investment. Dr. Field most recently held the position of Director, Systems Marketing, with Pitney Bowes, Inc. Dr. Field also currently serves as Secretary of the Association for Mail Electronic Enhancement (AMEE), an organization dedicated to setting industry standards for the automated submission, tracking and reporting of mailings with the United States Postal Service."
August 26, 2003 -- The Yomiuri Shimbun has reported that "Japan Post announced this week that the tender for employees' uniforms to be worn from April had been awarded at a price of about 966 million yen, half the estimated amount, thanks to stiff competition among uniform suppliers and a reform of the bidding system."
August 26, 2003 -- UPS has announced a newly enhanced service, called Supplier Management, that coordinates the logistics activity of international vendors and suppliers on a customer's behalf for a seamless supply chain.
August 26, 2003 -- According to the Herald Dispatch, "the 1971 law that reorganized this nation's mail system stated, 'postal services bind the nation together through the personal, educational, literary and business correspondence of the people.' Rural post offices provide these same characteristics to the small towns and rural communities that dot Southern West Virginia's landscape, and the nation as a whole. Yet, a recent recommendation by the President's Commission and the U.S. Postal Service hopes to identify post offices, mainly in rural communities, to be closed in order to be more 'cost effective.'"
August 26, 2003 -- Startups.co.uk has reported that "Royal Mail has insisted it would be forced to raise stamp prices by as much as 35 per cent under new delivery plans proposed by postal regulator Postcomm. Furious at what it sees as an undervaluing of its costs, Royal Mail says it would have no option but to increase the cost of a first class stamp by four pence and a second class stamp by seven pence. Postcomm's proposals, termed 'access services', aim to increase competitiveness in the postal market by forcing Royal Mail to deliver millions of letters for competitors; a suggestion the company is, in theory, not against. However, Royal Mail value the cost of delivering a letter at over 13p while Postcomm believes the service the charge should be no more than 11.5p."
August 26, 2003 -- The Financial Times (U.K.) has reported that "A national strike by postal workers loomed even closer after Royal Mail insisted that it would be offering no more money to staff even if union officials turned up to talks today at Acas, the conciliation service. The company's position reinforced expectations that the first national strike in seven years was set to go ahead."
August 26, 2003 -- Traffic World has reported that "The depressed economy has affected all areas of U.S. life, especially the lives of recent college graduates. Where once there were too many jobs and not enough applicants, the reverse is now true. Which means that logistics graduates, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, had a tough time last year getting jobs. Many didn't have a job awaiting them after graduation. Is there a silver lining in the cloud? Yes. Career counselors say logistics and supply-chain grads have an easier time getting a job than do graduates with other majors. And they see a better year ahead."
August 26, 2003 -- According to the Journal of Commerce:
August 26, 2003 -- Government Computer News has reported that "A Marine Corps unit stationed in Kuwait is testing a free Internet mail service this month. Family members and friends of troops stationed in Kuwait with the Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force Maritime Prepositioning Force can exchange free e-letters with their loved ones. Through Sept. 30, users can send the letters using a service from SuperLetter.com Inc."
August 26, 2003 -- The Deal.com has reported that "Pitney Bowes Inc. continued its lengthy acquisition spree Monday, Aug. 25, buying mail services provider DDD Co. for $49.5 million yet another in a string of deals totaling about $750 million over the past three years. Bruce Nolop, Pitney Bowes' executive vice president and chief financial officer, said Monday that the Stamford, Conn.-based company has roughly a 2% market share now in the highly fragmented mail services provider market, adding that there is still 'considerable room' to grow Pitney Bowes through additional acquisitions."
August 26, 2003 -- In a letter to the editor of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Knight Direct CEO W. Grant Williams wrote that "If the Postal Service is going to survive, much less contribute to our commonwealth, it needs to be agile, responsive and productive - attributes not commonly associated with organized labor, monopolies and government oversight. Postal Service labor costs and conditions are, by any measure, out of control. If its labor leaders don't begin to face reality and embrace change, demand for its service will continue to collapse, to the detriment of the Postal Service, its members and its customers."
August 26, 2003 -- John Dasburg, Chairman and CEO of ASTAR Air Cargo has announced the promotion of Ray Lutz to Senior Vice President -- Business Development, Communications and Information Technology. Ray previously served as Vice President -- Business Development and Communications."
August 26, 2003 -- The South Bay News has reported that "the LI District of the USPS and Long Island Blood Services (LIBS) have joined forces. Both the USPS and LIBS "Collect, Process, and Deliver." But it is not the mail that LIBS delivers; it is life - saving blood. While many have donated during recent blood drives, Long Island is still not independently meetings its need for blood and blood products. Blood recipients are our children with leukemia, our friends who had car accidents and our neighbors who were burned in house fires. Postal workers are stepping up to the plate and donating life saving blood. They are encouraging everyone to roll up their sleeves during this great time of need."
August 26, 2003 -- KUSA-TV has reported that "A deaf mail handler filed a federal lawsuit Monday against the U.S. Postal Service, saying managers did not provide reasonable accommodations for deaf workers. James Gralund worked for the postal service in Denver for almost 22 years. He alleges managers did not provide interpreters during meetings, closed-captioned training videos or other reasonable accommodations."
August 26, 2003 -- The News Journal has reported that "Operation Air Conditioner will resume sending more units to troops in Iraq this week after getting a boost Monday from a cargo firm and conservative talk-show host Rush Limbaugh. After a New Jersey-based company, DHL Danzas Air & Ocean, learned of Mayo's situation, the firm determined that, as a cargo carrier rather than a mail carrier, it was not subject to the same coolant ban and would be able to handle the additional 520 units. And, the officials said, as a military subcontractor, it could deliver the stockpiled units to Baghdad."
August 26, 2003 -- GoMemphis.com has reported that "three express cargo giants square off today to see if Uncle Sam will tell one to stop deliveries here. Usual rivals FedEx and United Parcel Service are asking the U.S. Department of Transportation to deny ASTAR Air Cargo, formerly DHL Airways, the right to fly between U.S. cities." See also Bloomberg News.
August 26, 2003 -- The Evening Standard (U.K.) has reported that "Royal Mail bosses have launched last-ditch talks to prevent a strike they warn will cripple services and could send the cost of postage soaring. They are meeting union chiefs in a final attempt at a deal the day before strike ballot papers are issued to 160,000 Post Office staff. Royal Mail and the Communication Workers Union have failed to agree a pay offer worth up to 14.5 per cent over 18 months, linked to major reforms in working practices aimed at improving productivity and cutting losses running at £750,000 a day."
August 26, 2003 -- According to InternetNews.com, "top Internet service providers blocked 17 percent of legitimate permission-based e-mail in the first half of the year, according to a report issued by Return Path. The company, which helps e-mail marketers make sure their mail gets through, said the so-called false-positive rate at the top dozen ISPs in the first two quarters of the year dropped 2 percent from the fourth quarter of 2002 and 5 percent from the third quarter." Sooooo....Have you ever thought about using the mail?
August 25, 2003 -- The citizenship case involving DHL Airways (now called ASTAR Air Cargo) moves to its hearing phase at noon, Tuesday, August 26 at the U.S. Department of Transportation. The hearings are scheduled to be completed by September 19, with one week's break beginning September 1.
August 25, 2003 -- The Independent (U.K.) has reported that "the Royal Mail, under its chairman Allan Leighton, left, has called in the arbitration service Acas to try to avert a strike. Talks between the company's management and union leaders are planned to take place tomorrow. The Communication Workers Union is set to ballot 160,000 postal workers over industrial action within the next few days. The Royal Mail is offering a 3 per cent pay increase followed by a further 1.5 per cent in April. Another 10 per cent is linked to changes in working practices such as a move to single daily mail deliveries. The union is seeking an immediate 8 per cent rise with no strings attached."
August 24, 2003 -- According to the Hartford Courant, "ADVO Inc. is to the U.S. Postal Service what Coca-Cola is to sugar growers or McDonald's is to potato farmers. It is customer No. 1."
August 24, 2003 -- The Appeal-Democrat has reported that "electronic auction users have long known that shipping fees can be greatly reduced by using the United States Postal Service's media mail service to send books, compact discs and music anywhere across the country. And anything else, if they're not caught. According to the Postal Service's Web site, a 20-pound box of books sent via six-day parcel post from Yuba City to Chicago, Ill., would cost $20.05. Sent as media mail, the same box would cost $7.84, and it would arrive at the same time as the more expensive box. Items eligible for media mail status include books, films, printed music, sound recordings, manuscripts and computer-readable media. A limited number of advertisements may be added as media mail."
August 24, 2003 -- The Austral ian Broadcasting Corportation has reported that Australian "ostal workers say they will continue to protest against policies which discriminate against older and disabled employees. Australia Post has introduced a ban on retail staff sitting on chairs or stools while they serve customers. About 50 postal workers today demonstrated in Melbourne against the move, which they say discriminates against older and disabled staff."
August 24, 2003 -- The Telegraph (U.K.) has reported that "the Royal Mail has made an eleventh hour attempt to avert the first national postal strike in seven years. It has invited union leaders to talks on Tuesday at Acas, the conciliation service."
August 23, 2003 -- According to the Summit Daily News, "It didn't take long to get recycling bins back in the post offices. As signs of discontent began to rapidly swell among Summit County residents in response to a decision to remove recycling bins from local post offices, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) quickly retreated. Citing numerous complaints from residents at local offices, press coverage and attention from Rep. Mark Udall's office, Postal Service spokesman Al DeSarro announced a decision Friday by USPS Colorado District Manager Ellis Burgoyne to allow the bins to stay."
August 23, 2003 -- The Irish Times has reported that "over 100,000 people regularly use post offices to bank with AIB, according to the results of a survey published yesterday. The bank and An Post came together last November to introduce a joint service. AIB customers can lodge or withdraw cash, make a cash payment or pay a credit card bill through the post office."
August 23, 2003 -- As the Financial Times (U.K.) has noted, "With losses reaching £189m a year, a possible postal strike on the horizon and plans under way to close hundreds of branches, the man at the top of the Post Office business is facing some pretty tough decisions. But David Mills, who founded First Direct and has taken over as chief executive at the Post Office, a subsidiary of Royal Mail group, is unfazed. 'I've been brought in by the government to do two things, first to make it break even at the end of five years and second to put in the changes necessary to affect that breakthrough,' says Mills. 'At the moment we're losing millions a year and every working day that we're open we burn a million pounds, so that's a big turnaround we have to do here. But I'm confident we can do it.'"
August 23, 2003 -- Hmmmm. According to CNET News, when Dell "absolutely positively" needed to send a software patch securely to only the people who deserved it...it used plain, ole everyday postal mail. Funny how that works.
August 23, 2003 -- Stars and Stripes has reported that "following a fire in a U.S. military postal facility in Baghdad, postal officials have a message: Please use common sense when shipping to the Operation Iraqi Freedom theater. With surface temperatures climbing as high as 140 degrees, officials there want loved ones to be cognizant of everyday items that might not travel well in such extremes."
August 23, 2003 -- ABM Engineering Services, a wholly-owned subsidiary of ABM Industries Incorporated, has been awarded a multi-year, multi-million dollar contract with the United States Postal Service (USPS). ABM will provide engineering, cleaning, vendor management and maintenance service for the USPS Information Technology and Accounting Service Center, a 350,000-square-foot office building and data center complex located in Eagan, Minnesota.
August 22, 2003 -- According to Dow Jones, "A federal judge ordered a founder of the DHL Worldwide Express delivery network to testify in the ownership dispute over Astar Air Cargo Inc. Mr. Robinson had been ordered at least twice by the Department of Transportation administrative law judge overseeing the ownership dispute to provide testimony. But Mr. Robinson has resisted those instructions, claiming that last month's sale makes him irrelevant to the case because it ended his ownership of DHL Airways, based in Miami."
August 22, 2003 -- The Financial Times (U.K.) has reported that "Postal workers stepped up their conflict with the Royal Mail yesterday, asking for an immediate pay rise of 8 per cent. The Royal Mail has offered postmen and women a 14.5 per cent increase over 18 months, which it says would bring the weekly wage up to £300. But the extra money is linked to changes in working practices, including altered shifts and productivity targets, and the Communication Workers' Union claims the real rise only equates to 3 per cent a year."
August 22, 2003 -- The Arizona Republic has reported that "Congressional auditors have identified 927 vacant, underused or obsolete U.S. Postal Service or other federal properties that would be worth billions of dollars if sold, including courthouses in Phoenix and Tucson and eight other buildings or lots in Arizona. The GAO suggests that many of the properties should be unloaded to generate revenue while also cutting maintenance costs. Holding on to the properties without adequately using them, the report adds, 'can have a negative impact on local economies if the property is occupying a valuable location and is not used for other purposes or sold, or used in a public-private partnership.'"
August 22, 2003 -- WPVI-TV has reported that "After collecting and shipping more than 400 air conditioners to U-S troops sweltering in Iraq's desert heat, a Bear-area mother is being told by the Postal Service to cease the shipments. Frankie Mayo started the mailings last month to help her son and other soldiers in Iraq. She figures that the air conditioners will help the troops sleep, so they'll be alert and safe while on duty. But the Postal Service says the machines contain compressed gas, which is banned on international air shipments."
August 22, 2003 -- The Guardian (U.K.) has reported that "Royal Mail yesterday delivered a renewed warning about its prospects for recovery if it is forced to deliver millions of letters for competitors at a loss."
August 22, 2003 -- Personnel Today (U.K.) has reported that "Royal Mail managers are delivering post to thousands of homes after postal workers voted to continue a strike."
August 22, 2003 -- The Press Herald has reported that:
August 22, 2003 -- MSN (Australia) has reported that "a decision to award a postal worker suffering from skin cancer compensation for his medical expenses did not set a legal precedent, Australia Post said."
August 21, 2003 -- Expansion has reported that "Spanish postal operator Correos has paid French carmaker Renault 1.96m euros for 192 Kangoo vans to renew its fleet, aiming to speed up its services and make its workers' jobs easier. Currently, post office workers who make their deliveries by way of van drive around 2.2 million kilometres a year. The new vehicles will be put into service in November. At present, 24 per cent of Correos' fleet is made up of vehicles that are less than four years old."
August 21, 2003 -- Le Figaro (France)has reported that "the post and telecoms division of French union CGT will launch a campaign to raise awareness about the future of the postal service. CGT is against plans to privatise French post office La Poste and says its competitiveness needs to be increased."
August 21, 2003 -- Dow Jones has reported that "the Slovak government amended its privatization law opening the way for the sale of majority positions in state-owned gas, electric and other monopolies. The law, which must be approved by parliament, eliminates earlier provisions which required that the state retain a majority stake in key industries. Some companies - such as postal services - are totally owned by the state."
August 21, 2003 -- The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin is available online.
August 21, 2003 -- Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) has applauded the Postal Service Board of Governors for retiring Karla W. Corcoran as Inspector General of the United States Postal Service. For four months, CAGW has called for her termination, cataloging the litany of abuses perpetrated during her seven-year tenure. See also the Washington Times.
August 21, 2003 -- The National Governors Association went on record saying that "the local post office is a critical component of the economic and social fabric of communities across America. In many communities, particularly in rural areas, the post office is the economic and social anchor of the downtown area. The nation's Governors are concerned about the impact on communities of post office closings and relocations occurring across the country, particularly in small towns. The Governors believe that the United States Postal Service (USPS) should act as a responsible partner with state and local governments and local communities by considering the impact of its actions on the health of downtowns and the American landscape."
August 21, 2003 -- ArkansasNBC.com has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service could undergo a drastic overhaul if it adopts a series of recommendations designed to keep the service afloat. It's something that has not pleased everyone. Wednesday, the head of the local postal workers union met with Congressman John Boozman to save the quality of service as well as jobs. They've picketed and asked customers to write their congressmen. So far, workers at the Fort Smith Mail Processing Center still have their jobs despite the threat of consolidation, but according to a presidential commission report, the postal service may shut down plants and even close post offices."
August 21, 2003 -- The Statesman has reported that "the Indian postal system, creaky and much vilified, may be getting ready for sweeping changes. The Centre is looking for a new postal policy that could mean the 'corporatisation' of the entire postal sector within a year. In an effort to work out a more modern policy, the Centre is looking to replace the 105-year-old Indian Post Office Act with new legislation that will look at competition from from sectors and the arrival of new technologies."
August 21, 2003 -- Zawya has reported that"the Jordanian development ministerial committee, formed by the Cabinet, endorsed a document outlining the government's general policy in the sector of information and communications technology (ICT) and postal services."
August 21, 2003 -- According to the Summit Daily News, "tecycling bins are being evicted from local post offices because the mass mailing industry believes if people can't recycle at the post office, they will take [unsolicited advertising] mail home and maybe read it. Trash cans will still be available and their contents taken to the Summit County Landfill. Kevin Berg, operations manager for the Summit Recycling Project (SRP), said the mass mailing industry is partially responsible for the edict to help improve advertising mail readership. Longmont-based postal service district operations manager Cheryl Wilson said mass mailing makes up about 85 percent of the postal service's revenue. And officials in that industry don't want people discarding their flyers, solicitations and advertisements. Wilson repeatedly told Berg that the postal service is not in the business of recycling, he said. "
August 21, 2003 -- According to the Associated Press, "the Postal Service's retiring inspector general hired a team-building consultant at $3,000 a day, held "mind-numbing" eight-hour working lunches and erupted in anger at a staff-produced "inspirational" film that she thought would upstage her presentation of accomplishments, a government report says." See also GovExec.com.
August 21, 2003 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that "the new judge assigned to the ownership dispute over Astar Air Cargo Inc. said he will be ready to start a hearing next week as scheduled to decide a high-stakes battle among the world's three largest express-delivery businesses. Burton Kolko, an administrative law judge at the U.S. Department of Transportation, announced in a filing with the agency that the hearing would begin Aug. 26 in Washington and end no later than Sept. 19. The hearing is being held to determine if Astar, a Miami carrier known as DHL Inc. until last month, is in violation of federal laws limiting ownership or control of U.S. airlines by foreign entities."
August 20, 2003 -- CNET News has reported that "the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and PricewaterhouseCoopers said Wednesday that revenue totaled $1.69 billion in the first quarter--a 7 percent jump over the last quarter of 2002 and an 11 percent increase from the year-ago period."
August 20, 2003 -- The Governors of the United States Postal Service have selected David C. Williams to be the second Inspector General of the United States Postal Service. The incumbent Inspector General, Karla W. Corcoran, has expressed her intention to retire immediately and will do so with the thanks of the Governors for her service. Mr. Williams will assume his new duties immediately. The selection of Mr. Williams culminates an extensive, five-month recruitment effort by the Governors who were assisted by the executive search firm, Heidrick & Struggles. Mr. Williams has excellent qualifications for this position. He has served as the Inspector General at four different federal agencies: Internal Revenue Service, Department of Treasury, Social Security Administration and Nuclear Regulatory Commission. He has testified before Congress on more than forty different occasions. As demonstrated by four different presidential appointments and his service on the President's Council on Integrity and Efficiency, he is well known and highly regarded by the Congress and the Inspector General community.
August 20, 2003 -- According to postal commentator Gene Del Polito, "to make postal reform law, all the parties that may be affected by a bill need to be genuinely resolved to make something happen. They then need to focus their energies on identifying those things upon which they can agree, and to use that agreement as the basis for crafting a proposal that reflects the needs (not just the wants) of each constituency."
August 20, 2003 -- The Polish News Bulletin has reported that "providers of courier services facing imminent expiration of their operating licenses may already apply for new permits based on the Postal Law that was passed on 12 June. Although it enters into force on 24 August, its regulations outlining new principles under which courier services are to be guided already took effect on 8 August. According to the Office for the Regulation of Telecommunications and Post (URTiP), over 50 courier service firms are active on the Polish market and licenses for most are up for renewal."
August 20, 2003 -- The Tri-Valley Herald has reported that "a gay United Parcel Service supervisor sued his longtime employer Tuesday, claiming the company discriminated against him by rejecting his request to transfer to the Chicago office so he could follow his partner of 27 years."
August 20, 2003 -- KBIA has reported that "at a meeting in St. Louis last week, the League of Postmasters voiced concern over the report and the fate of rural post offices."
August 20, 2003 -- The Mirror (U.K.) has reported that "A key postworkers' union, which could bring about the first UK postal strike in seven years, has demanded an eight percent pay rise from the country's Royal Mail service. The Communication Workers Union, which has rejected the Royal Mail's offer of a 14.5 percent pay rise over 18 months, also said on Wednesday it would issue ballot papers to 160,000 postal workers next week regarding possible strike action. Any strike could deepen the Royal Mail's financial woes."
August 20, 2003 -- Universal Express, Inc. has announced that its subsidiary, Private Postal Network, Inc., now known as WorldPost, today launched its new website www.WorldPostNetwork.com, one week ahead of schedule. In May the company announced that it was rebranding its Private Postal Network, Inc., subsidiary as WorldPost and that a major part of that undertaking would be the creation of an entirely new "WorldPost" website, due for completion by August 31st.
August 20, 2003 -- American Shipper has reported that:
August 20, 2003 -- CNET News has reported that "a majority of corporate America's chief financial officers view supply chains as crucial to achieving corporate objectives. Yet only 33 percent say business and operational plans are well integrated and 62 percent say their companies seem capable of making only incremental improvements today, according to a survey released by UPS Consulting, the strategic consulting arm of UPS."
August 20, 2003 -- The Financial Times (U.K.) has reported that "Private sector postal companies are lukewarm about providing cover if there is a national postal strike, undermining a central plank of the Royal Mail's bargaining strategy with unions."
August 20, 2003 -- According to the Detroit News, "For $30 million, the nondescript U.S. Postal Service building downtown could be bought for what some say would be an ideal spot for a glitzy hotel to serve convention traffic at the new DeVos Place. But no one has come up with the cash the government wants for its hulking processing center before it moves to a more efficient facility it hopes to build near the Gerald R. Ford International Airport. The combined facility, between 350,000 and 400,000 square feet, would cost $30 million to $35 million. A strict building moratorium is forcing the local office to ask for the money because there is no federal money available for construction. But the old downtown post office has been appraised at about $7 million, making a deal at the much higher price tough to swallow for the private sector."
August 20, 2003 -- CEP News (Courier-Express-Postal) has reported that:
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August 20, 2003 -- The Associated Press has reported that "the U.S. Postal Service's inspector general resigned Tuesday after members of Congress and a government report questioned her personnel practices and her spending for team-building staff retreats."
August 20, 2003 -- In its report on the Corcoran resignation, the Washington Post reported that "The investigation by the President's Council on Integrity and Efficiency found that Corcoran 'followed a pattern and practice of unprofessional conduct in the management of the USPS OIG, used questionable judgment in areas within her discretion, extravagantly expended USPS funds, and engaged in personnel practices which were either questionable or not in accord with USPS policy,' wrote Grant D. Ashley, chairman of the council's integrity committee."
August 20, 2003 -- According to one PC Magazine columnist, "back in the early 1980s, when many of us were using CompuServe or MCI Mail, it was obvious that e-mail would provide a very important contribution to society. The instantaneous aspect of e-mail is what made it so appealing. You could communicate fast, effortlessly, and cheaply. But these advantages ended up handicapping the technology. And in case that wasn't bad enough, snoopware and scammers added more handicaps. Now many people are questioning e-mail's basic usefulness. What went wrong? Perhaps nothing went right."
August 20, 2003 -- Agence France Presse has reported that " Deutsche Post chairman Klaus Zumwinkel said in a magazine interview that he expects the semi-public German postal authority to be fully privatised within the next four years."
August 20, 2003 -- Japan Today has reported that "Japan Post said Tuesday a variant of the Blaster computer worm has intruded into some of the 6,000 computers on the postal services organization's nationwide network for in-house communications."
August 20, 2003 -- The Kettering Evening Telegraph has reported that "the county's postal service will be crippled if workers walk out in the first national strike for seven years. That is the message from the county branch of the Communications Workers' Union, which is preparing to send out ballot papers to thousands of postal workers next week."
August 19, 2003 -- The Prague Business Journal has reported that "companies interested in postal service licences for the entire territory of the Czech Republic must submit their applications to the IT Ministry by September 30. The Ministry has announced there would be only one licence for 2004. This is the first time that the Czech Postal Service must apply for its licence as well. Applicants must prove financial, technical, organisational and staff adequacy necessary to deliver postal services in the entire territory of the country."
August 19, 2003 -- The Financial Times (U.K.) has reported that British "post office staff are preparing for a fight with Royal Mail group after being told individual branches will have to pay to smarten up their image. In an attempt to make the loss-making network profitable, David Mills, chief executive of the Post Office, a subsidiary of Royal Mail group, is planning to rebrand the post offices, including smartening up premises, introducing new uniforms and rolling out personal loans and credit cards. However, sub-postmasters have been told they will need to improve their image at their own cost."
August 19, 2003 -- The VNA Agency (Vietnam) has reported that "Viet Nam's largest telecom business, the Viet Nam Post and Telecommunications Corporation (VNPT), and the United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS) of the United States have signed a contract to form a joint venture. Under the contract, the two sides will jointly deliver information, goods and funds to over 200 countries and territories worldwide covered by the UPS global service network. For the time being, Viet Nam will be included in the UPS global air delivery network."
August 19, 2003 -- As DM News has noted, "the U.S. Senate Governmental Affairs Committee may hold a hearing Sept. 3 to discuss the recommendations of the presidential postal reform commission."
August 19, 2003 -- According to the APWU's Mike Lowry writing in the Juneau Empire, "the Postal Service was never meant to be a business. I would like to encourage all Alaskans to read the Postal Commission's report and think for themselves how it might affect their service. These days, security and screening are big concerns for the Postal Service. I do not think the post office is in near the financial trouble that Mr. Gattuso and the Postal Commission seem to think. We have the biggest and best Postal Service in the world and a majority of Americans agree."
August 19, 2003 -- The Guernsey Press (U.K.) has reported that "Guernsey Post has paid £20,000 to Le Cocq's Airlink after the airline threatened to sue over its failure to secure the Guernsey-Alderney post link."
August 19, 2003 -- Mad.co.uk has reported that "Royal Mail's postal monopoly may suffer a year's suspension if a planned national postal strike goes ahead and private companies are enlisted to deliver mail. The Government's consumer watchdog for mail Postwatch is to call on trade secretary Patricia Hewett to suspend Royal Mail's monopoly as it is concerned the dispute will result in customers 'being ignored'. Postwatch chairman Peter Carr told The Sunday Times it expected Hewitt to pay heed to its demands. If private companies are brought in to deal with mail demands, they will initially deliver mail on behalf of large groups such as banks, utility companies and local authorities. Individual customers would suffer however, because if a strike were to occur, Royal Mail would seal its post boxes but the private companies could be allowed to set up their own collection points in competition. Currently, four private companies including Express Dairies, have limited licences to primarily deliver parcels or mail travelling between businesses."
August 18, 2003 -- UPS just completed a three-month reengineering of the preventive maintenance process for its 70,000 delivery vehicles. The results are notable improved methods for mechanics, the reduction of oil usage and disposal by 330,000 quarts each year and savings of almost US$3 million annually.
August 18, 2003 -- Sub-standard coverage and unconscionably low payout rates currently characterize the U.S. Postal Service's postal insurance business, according to a new report by the Postal Rate Commission's Consumer Advocate. 'the report was released at a policy lunch hosted last month by the Consumer Postal Council. This latest management scandal comes at the financial detriment of postal consumers, who purchased this coverage nearly 60 million times last year.
August 18, 2003 -- According to the New York Daily News, "rain, sleet or snow may not be a problem for the Postal Service, but poor training is, according to a report on several Bronx post offices commissioned by local congressional representatives. Prompted by a chorus of complaints of slow mail service and rude employees at the Morris Park branch, Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-Bronx, Queens) pushed for an investigation of the quality of service at post offices in the 10461 zip code."
August 18, 2003 -- DM News has reported that "A Florida mailer said last week he is still having issues with the U.S. Postal Service's MERLIN automated acceptance and verification system, two years after he first reported problems. However, the USPS said complaints about MERLIN have subsided since the system's launch in 2001 and that the remaining problems often result from mailers pushing the boundaries of postal specifications. MERLIN, which stands for Mail Evaluation, Readability and Look-up Instrument, replaced the Automated Barcode Evaluation, or ABE, system."
August 18, 2003 -- According to the Alliance for Labor Liberty (U.K.), "the Communication Workers Union is now balloting its postal members on industrial action over the Royal Mail pay offer. The pay offer, says the union, threatens thousands of jobs. A postal worker gives an overview of the issues. The tough stance taken by the CWU Postal Executive is welcome. But rank and file postal workers have been left confused as to what the union's strategy is on the 'Major Change' issues attached to the bosses' pay offer, which threaten up to 30,000 jobs."
August 18, 2003 -- Dow Jones has reported that "Japan's point man on deregulation has ambitious plans for reducing the scope of the nation's Y350-trillion postal savings and insurance system, and in doing so help give more business to private financial firms."
August 18, 2003 -- The Haveeru Daily has reported that " Maldives Post Limited said work on formulating a law on postal services has begun. MPL said once the law on postal services is formulated and implemented, work will be constructive than before in all the post related offices. The work on formulating the law on postal services is conducted by the technical assistance from the Universal Postal Union."
August 18, 2003 -- According to BizJournals, "the chairman of the House Small Business Committee declared victory on two fronts in his war against contracts of mass destruction -- federal procurement dollars that should be spent in America or with small businesses but instead are awarded to foreign companies or big businesses. 'Last year,' he said, 'President Bush ordered federal agencies to break down large contracts to give small businesses an opportunity to compete, and I am glad the Postal Service is now following the president's directive in this instance.'"
August 18, 2003 -- According to one commentator for the Washington Times, "The Postal Service's very status as a protected government monopoly should be reconsidered. Among other things, this means privatization, a step already taken by several other nations. The commission, however, quickly dismissed this important reform. It cited the disruption privatization could cause, but more likely the concern was political, not economic, fallout. A second, perhaps even more important step would be to repeal USPS' statutory monopoly on letter mail."
August 18, 2003 -- The Appleton Post Crescent has reported that "with the popularity of catalogs and online shopping, mail just keeps getting bigger. Mailboxes, however, are not, especially at the apartment complexes and condominium buildings on her route. But while the Postal Service wants to do something about the increasingly tight fit for the mail it delivers to multi-family dwellings, those on the receiving end aren't convinced they need bigger, better and more expensive mailboxes."
August 18, 2003 -- The U.S. Postal Service has published in the Federal Register:
August 17, 2003 -- The Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune has reported that the Presidential Commission "proposal to close rural post offices raise hackles."
August 17, 2003 -- A writer for The Oregonian has claimed that "the plan to dismantle the nation's postal system reads like a spoof, but it's real. The recommendations to cut workers' wages and benefits, enrich top executives, close rural post offices, turn more of the mail delivery over to private companies and form an unaccountable, overpaid corporate board are part of a package commissioned by President Bush. It's heading to Congress this fall for likely hearings. The changes would be the first overhaul of the U.S. Postal Service since 1970, and the plan is billed as an 'extraordinary opportunity' to benefit the public. Mostly, it's a horror show -- and a direct hit to the middle class."
August 16, 2003 -- The Guardian (U.K.) has reported that "leaders of the CWU, the main postal workers' union, have postponed their plans for Britain's first national post strike in seven years and asked for more talks with Royal Mail. The left-led CWU, under political pressure to avert a damaging strike by the 160,000 staff, had been due to formally warn RM it was going ahead with the ballot by 5pm. Voting was to begin on August 21."
August 16, 2003 -- GovExec.com has reported that "Congressional champions of Postal Service reform are predicting success for legislation to overhaul the cash-strapped mail system. But postal unions' opposition to some reform proposals could push the effort into next year, some involved sources suggest."
August 16, 2003 -- According to the Sierra Times, "the United States Postal Service is excited about the possibility of 'smart stamps,' but privacy advocates are not. 'Smart stamps,' so-called because special digital codes and information about individual senders is embedded into the stamp - aren't widespread yet - but may be soon. Those with privacy concerns, including the Center for Democracy and Technology, have alerted consumers about a recent government report urging the U.S. Postal Service to create the stamps to track the identity of people who send mail."
August 16, 2003 -- The Jefferson City News Tribune has reported that "more than 800 postmasters have gathered in the city, and plenty of them are sticking up for rural post offices. With declines in the amount of first-class mail being set, government and postal officials have been taking a hard look at the future of small post offices. Postal leaders at the 100th annual League of Postmasters convention in St. Louis Thursday discussed a presidential commission that recently proposed making it easier to close small rural post offices in order to save the agency money."
August 15, 2003 -- The Waterford News and Star (Ireland) has reported that "the announcement that An Post suffered losses of 70 million in 2002 has been described as a disturbing development for consumers in Waterford and other counties."
August 16, 2003 -- Cape Business News (South Africa) has reported that "the [South African] postal service claims to have become a competent and efficient organisation, not stealing from their customers. And the claim goes beyond the theft of money or goods by claiming efficiency, they also purport not to steal their customers' time. Sadly, this does not tally with experience."
August 15, 2003 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "China has formed the first National Committee for Standardization of Logistics Information Management to spur development of its lagging logistics sector."
August 15, 2003 -- The Bangkok Post has reported that "the Communications Authority of Thailand was reborn yesterday as two companies. An executive of Thailand Post said that CAT employees were given a choice between becoming employees of CAT Telecom or Thailand Post. Those who chose to be with Thailand Post generally believed that their jobs would be more secure, as the government would continue to support postal operations as an essential public service."
August 15, 2003 -- According to ClickZ, "Marketers know advertising is just one part of running a thriving business. Product, pricing, positioning and distribution, customer service strategies, and so on must also be in place to achieve overall success. Nearly every business would benefit from implementing a system that provides added value to their customers and strengthens consumer perception of their brands. One tool out there can satisfy this need while fulfilling another -- providing companies with a new interactive arena in which to advertise. The apparatus of the moment is the self-serve interactive kiosk (a.k.a., 'public access terminal' and the product of 'customer-facing technology')."
August 15, 2003 -- The conspiracy mavens at the Greenwood Commonwealth claim that "the FCC is making it unduly cumbersome to use the phone and fax machines for business purposes. E-mail will almost certainly be next, given the public's rising irritation with spam. There is one longstanding nuisance form of communications, however, that has been excluded from the FCC's scrutiny - unsolicited mail. Why has the U.S. Postal Service's bread-and-butter business been exempt for all these years from the restrictions now falling on faster and cheaper means of communication? Can it be that these sweeping regulations on instantaneous communications have an ulterior motive - to drive back to the financially ailing, chronically inefficient Postal Service business it has lost to technological innovation? It sure is starting to seem like it."
August 15, 2003 -- The Financial Times (U.K.) has reported that "the threat of a national postal strike increased yesterday after unions told the Royal Mail it would ballot its members on strike action at the end of next week. The Communication Workers' Union said last night it would ballot 160,000 postal workers, with a result expected early next month. If approved, the industrial action would be the first national postal strike in seven years and would represent a blow to Allan Leighton, the Royal Mail chairman."
August 15, 2003 -- According to The Times (U.K.), "Royal Mail managers will sort and deliver some post in an attempt to reduce the impact of a national strike, the group said yesterday as the Communication Workers Union set about finalising plans for a ballot on industrial action. Up to 15,000 managers in Royal Mail's letters operation are expected to concentrate on special delivery services, the profitable time-guaranteed services."
August 15, 2003 -- The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin is available online.
August 15, 2003 -- The Russia Journal has reported that the "Moscow Postal Service plans to substitute the old iron post boxes with new plastic post boxes containing electronic microchips, an official with the service told ITAR-TASS Wednesday. The boxes will remain blue in color, the source said, adding that the old boxes, installed in the Soviet era, are very rusty and let in water, which damages the letters. Meanwhile, the boxes are too small to accommodate the growing number of letters. As of now, Moscow has about 3,000 post boxes. As a trial, the new ones have already been installed on some streets. The electronic chip would allow inspectors to monitor the time letters are collected."
August 15, 2003 -- The Nation has reported that "Businesses may soon be able to get their monthly bills delivered to customers more quickly by outsourcing their billing back-office operations to Thailand Post Co. The postal unit of the former Communications Authority of Thailand (CAT) is considering several new service offerings, including e-messaging, which would connect companies such as telecoms and credit-card issuers with its computer network. Service providers would forward their billing information online and Thailand Post would zap the data to the post office nearest to the billed party. The local post office would print out the bills and deliver them to the address."
August 15, 2003 -- The Dayton Daily News has reported that "Shareholders of Airborne Inc. today approved the $1.05 billion sale of its ground operations to German postal giant Deutsche Post AG. Under terms of the deal, Deutsche Post will merge Airborne's ground operations with its own express cargo subsidiary, DHL. Airborne's airline operation, meanwhile, which has its main sorting hub in Wilmington, will be spun off into a separate company, ABX Air Inc. Federal regulators are still scrutinizing the deal, and the top two U.S. cargo carriers FedEx Corp. and United Parcel Service Inc. oppose it."
August 15, 2003 -- Femail.co.uk has reported that "postal workers' leaders are to seek further talks with the Royal Mail over a pay dispute which threatens the first national strike in seven years. Leaders of the Communication Workers Union also decided to pull back from announcing a timetable for a ballot of 160,000 workers for industrial action."
August 15, 2003 -- Click10.com has reported that "a Fort Lauderdale woman is angry because her post office branch refuses to post the FBI's most wanted posters and fliers of missing children even though it has them."
August 14, 2003 -- The United Kingdom's National Audit Office has presented a report to Parliament that says that "Postcomm, the new regulator of postal services, face a challenging remit as they seek to bring benefits to users of postal services through the introduction of competition, and pointed to serious risks to Postcomm's strategy of improving services through competition and regulation."
August 14, 2003 -- Stamps.com has announced their support for the recommendations of the Presidential Commission to ensure the long-term viability of the U.S. Postal Service. Several of the Commission's recommendations focused on increasing the value of mail through the use of technology and increasing alternative access to postal products and services. Stamps.com plans to continue working with the Postal Service and mailing industry to advance these goals.
August 14, 2003 -- According to QuadGraphics' Joe Schick, "postal reform is long overdue".
August 14, 2003 -- The Federal Times has reported that "Beginning January 2005, about 80,000 postal managers will be eligible for far bigger and smaller raises than they currently receive. The raises will be calculated based upon how managers perform, how their facilities or post offices perform, and how the U.S. Postal Service overall performs." See also GovExec.com.
August 14, 2003 -- The Jamestown News has reported that "Priority mail items mailed on Aug. 2 from the Jamestown Post Office to the zip code areas of 014-067, 120-123 and 128-129 have been destroyed in an accident."
August 14, 2003 -- DI-VE.com (Malta) has reported that "employees at the Maltapost Head Office in Marsa had to be evacuated after a bomb threat was received by phone on Wednesday at around 1200 CET. The Civil Protection Department and the Armed Forces of Malta's Bomb Disposal Unit were dispatched on site to check the building."
August 14, 2003 -- The Daily Yomiuri (Japan) has reported that "Japan Post plans to begin a 500 yen nationwide delivery service from October for parcels that weigh up to two kilograms, or the equivalent of about 200 sheets of A4 paper, corporation sources said Tuesday. The new service will be an extension of a trial Japan Post has been conducting in three Tokyo wards and two Osaka wards since April."
August 14, 2003 -- Reuters has reported that "The judge who was to have decided whether Astar Air Cargo, formerly DHL Airways, complies with U.S. foreign ownership restrictions removed himself from the case on Wednesday after the airline accused him of being biased and 'xenophobic.'"
August 14, 2003 -- icNewcastle (U.K.) has reported that "Talks aimed at resolving a dispute over postal workers' pay have ended in failure, raising the threat of the first national strike in seven years. Leaders of the Communication Workers Union met Royal Mail managers at the conciliation service Acas in a bid to settle the dispute. But the meeting ended without agreement and the union will now press ahead with a ballot of 160,000 postal workers for strikes. Ballot papers will go out next week and the result will be announced next month."
August 14, 2003 -- Computerworld has reported that "the country's largest transportation, distribution and logistics companies need to treat their online customers with more respect, according to a report released this week by The Customer Respect Group. Overall, the U.S. Postal Service scored highest -- 8.8 on a scale of 1 to 10 -- in customer respect among the group of companies studied."
August 13, 2003 -- If you haven't done so in a while, you might want to take a look at the latest articles posted on the FirstLogic web site.
August 13, 2003 -- According to postal commentator Gene Del Polito, "no sooner had the President's Commission on the Postal Service issued its final report than the voices of the naysayers were heard concerning which of the Commission's recommendations would find its way into law over their dead bodies."
August 13, 2003 -- AMEInfo has reported that "The Department of Economic Development (DED) announced that Empost, the express courier subsidiary of Emirates Post, had opened an office at the DED office complex to facilitate the Department's customers and save valuable time and effort."
August 13, 2003 -- The Mailers Council has strongly endorsed support for postal reform legislation, a topic addressed in the recently released report of the President's Commission on the United States Postal Service.
August 13, 2003 -- The BBC (U.K.) has reported that "talks have resumed between Royal Mail managers and union negotiators in the hope of averting the first national strike by postal staff in seven years."
August 13, 2003 -- Senator Harry Reid has introduced legislation that would prohibit the Postal Service from closing post offices in our nation's small rural communities.
August 13, 2003 -- According to Bloomberg, "Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, in a bid for a second-term in office, will pledge to privatize Japan's postal mail delivery and financial services in April 2007, the Yomiuri newspaper reported. Koizumi will disclose this and other plans before the ruling Liberal Democratic Party holds its presidential election next month, the paper reported, without saying where it obtained the information."
August 13, 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..
August 13, 2003 -- The Postal Rate Commission has published in the Federal Register a document that "adopts, essentially as proposed, a rule that requires the Postal Service to provide overview testimony. The testimony must discuss how other testimony in a case interrelates and identify material changes affecting cost attribution, volume projections and rate design. This additional explanation and detail will assist the Commission and case participants in more readily understanding complex filings without unduly burdening the Postal Service. This rule takes effect October 1, 2003."
August 13, 2003 -- The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin is available online.
August 13, 2003 -- The South Florida Business Journal has reported that "in papers filed Monday with the Department of Transportation, Astar Air Cargo said it urged the DOT to step in and expressly direct a chief administrative law judge to comply with the agency's July 30th order and direct conduct an open hearing with full public and media access." See also the Louisville Courier-Journal.
August 13, 2003 -- Reuters has reported that The cargo company under scrutiny in a government legal review of foreign limits on U.S. airline ownership claimed Tuesday it would probably lose the case unless the judge stepped aside."
August 12, 2003 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that "in a drive to restore some of the revenue lost amid the downturn, delivery companies have introduced or increased more than a dozen fees over the past few years, for everything from proof of delivery to a missing account number. This strategy lets package companies boost revenue without having to announce huge rate increases. The latest twist is that carriers are slapping on a surcharge for off-the-beaten-track deliveries -- mostly packages sent to homes -- that aren't off the beaten track at all."
August 12, 2003 -- Newgistics, Inc., a company specializing in returns management services for direct retailers, has announced that Neiman Marcus Direct, the direct marketing and fulfillment division of The Neiman Marcus Group has successfully completed the pilot phase of Newgistics' SmartLabel(TM) returns service.
August 12, 2003 -- Business Line (India) has reported that "the Indian Department of Posts is contemplating initiatives aimed at expanding the base of its Rural Postal Life Insurance (RPLI) policyholders."
August 12, 2003 -- DHL Holdings (USA), Inc. has issued the following statement in response to recent comments from the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), which represents the pilots employed by ASTAR Air Cargo, Inc., regarding DHL's transaction with Airborne, Inc.
August 12, 2003 -- The Liverpool Echo has reported that Virgin Trains is in talks with Royal Mail to run special mail trains on its west coast mainline route. It follows the breakdown in talks earlier this year between Royal Mail and existing mail train provider EWS, sign alling the end of the service
August 12, 2003 -- Interfax has reported that "the Czech national postal service Ceska posta (CP) delivered 292 mln letters and postcards in the first six months of 2003, a drop of 9 % yr. The firm managed to hike revenues however, by 8.6 % yr/yr to CZK 2.12 bn. CP attributes the decrease in number of letters delivered to greater interest in e-mail and SMS [short messaging service via cell phones].
August 12, 2003 -- According to Monday Morning, "Iraq is working to restore postal services."
August 12, 2003 -- The Bristol Evening Post (U.K.) has reported that "the number of complaints made about the Royal Mail in the South-west region have more than doubled. Postwatch, the watchdog for postal services, received 4,688 complaints in the year to March, compared to 1,786 the previous year."
August 12, 2003 -- According to one DM News commentator, "we need to ask what we are doing individually to promote the medium's use. After all, it is our livelihoods. In what ways are you marketers promoting better and broader use of direct mail? As mail service providers, what are you doing to further your client and prospect interests in greater use of direct mail?"
August 12, 2003 -- NALC President William H. Young assured delegates to the 99th Annual Convention of the National Rural Letter Carriers Association on August 4 that the NALC will not make any further attempt to decertify the NRLCA and emphasized that it was critical that the unions work together to meet the challenges ahead. Appearing at the convention in Chicago at the invitation of NRLCA President Gus Baffa, Young announced that the NALC has made a pre-arbitration decision to withdraw some 350 open grievances against the NRLCA involving Vienna-type jurisdictional disputes.
August 12, 2003 -- According to Hoovers Online, "United Parcel Service (UPS), the largest transportation corporation in the world, achieves the fastest growth in China among its all Asian markets."
August 12, 2003 -- According to The Guardian, "T\the post office and the railways were both triumphs of the Victorian age. But their achievements have been diminished by the forward march of history. The two pieces of living Victoriana have been left standing by technology - email and text messages in the case of the letter, while car travel has outstripped rail use. The Royal Mail was an instrument of social reformers like Sir Rowland Hill, the father of the Penny Black and hence the postage stamp, who wanted an affordable way for people of all classes to be able to communicate with each other. The railways were built for less altruistic reasons, but ended up being run for the national good. Unfortunately such has been their decline that both are now in a sorry state."
August 12, 2003 -- The head of the 305,000-member National Association of Letter Carriers urged his union's members throughout the nation today to take advantage of unique opportunities available under the "HIT HOME" program of the AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust that can help thousands of workers overcome economic obstacles and buy their own homes.
August 12, 2003 -- Parsons has been awarded an indefinite quantity contract to support the United States Postal Service (USPS) on its nationwide Real Property and Facilities Program. The contract has a fixed term of 2 years with four 2-year renewal options for a total contract value of up to $900 million. The project will be funded directly by the USPS with no outside financing. The USPS selected Parsons based on a "best value" determination. Key factors in the decision were Parsons' ability to provide all services in a cost effective manner coupled with its proven track record with the USPS and other customers. This flagship project is the first time the USPS has awarded a program management services contract that encompasses all facilities nationwide, from large distribution centers to small, local post offices. Placing all program management under one company will streamline the process, allowing the USPS to deliver facilities more quickly and at lower cost.
August 12, 2003 -- The Bangkok Post (Thailand) has reported that "an increase in the domestic postal rate to three baht a letter from two has been approved but the timing has yet to be decided, according to Surapong Suebwonglee, the information and communications technology (ICT) minister. The current rate, which has not changed in 18 years, did not reflect the true cost of handling a letter, which was about four baht, the minister said."
August 12, 2003 -- icBirmingham (U.K.) has reported that "crucial talks aimed at averting the first national strike by postal workers in seven years were adjourned and will resume on Wednesday." See also the Daily Express.
August 12, 2003 -- dBusinessNews Triad has reported that "Global Business Services, Inc.'s subsidiary Postal Connections Fran Corp., a rapidly growing network of franchise stores in the retail postal and business services industry, today announced the opening of its newest franchise location. Mr. Taylor and Mr. Roberson have opened the first store in Winston-Salem, N.C. In June of this year the partners were awarded the Area Franchise agreement for Winston-Salem and surrounding areas. The Company now has 50 franchise locations sold and/or waiting to open. Thirty-six are currently open, with 9 locations expected to open within 90 days, and the remaining 5 locations for a December 1st opening to catch the Christmas shipping and packing season."
August 12, 2003 -- The Postal Service proposes to revise organizational names and titles relating to the policies for the release of information and records management, and revises the fee structure relating to the furnishing of documents and records to members of the public under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). We are proposing these changes because organizational names and titles have changed as a result of agency restructuring. The revisions reflect to whom the public should address issues relating to the release of information and records management. In addition, we are proposing a change to fee structure to permit the recovery of current costs incurred in the furnishing of records to the public.
August 12, 2003 -- Reuters has reported that " A government case testing U.S. airline ownership limits that was prompted by complaints from UPS UPS.N and FedEx FDX.N has become so bitter and entangled that a judge is taking the matter behind closed doors."
August 12, 2003 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that:
August 11, 2003 -- The MicroEnterprise Journal has reported that "small business office supply retailers have cause to rejoice, because a potentially lucrative new customer has just arrived on the scene. The U.S. Postmaster General has now authorized Postal Service officers to buy their office supplies from local companies in their area. U.S. Postmaster General John Potter amended the postal supply program after a Government Accounting Office (GAO) investigation found that the bundled contract entered into with Boise Cascade had not lived up to its billing. The Postmaster General has simply instructed Postal Service officers to purchase their office supplies from local vendors at any time that Boise Cascade cannot beat their prices and/or cannot deliver in a timely manner."
August 11, 2003 -- The Customer Respect Group, an international research and consulting firm that focuses on how corporations treat their customers online, today released the results of its Summer 2003 Online Customer Respect Study of the transportation, distribution and logistics firms that rank among the country's largest 1000 companies. One factor that negatively contributed to lackluster scores, according to the report, is that 39 percent of companies don't respond to inquiries made at their Web site. Overall, the US Postal Service scored highest in Customer Respect, while Trinity Industries scored lowest.
August 11, 2003 -- According to the
August 11, 2003 -- The editor of DM News has posted a sampling of the comments he received to his recent editorial on the report of the Presidential Commission.
August 11, 2003 -- NAC Geographic Products Inc. has announced that the integration of NAC Technology and Microsoft MapPoint Web Service Version 3.0 has resulted in two location based services: Mobile Location Based Services Network (http://mlbs.net/demo/) TravelGIS Driving Directions Service (http://www.travelgis.com/direction s/) to provide Universal Addresses, Universal Address powered location based service for 26 countries and all large cities of the world.
August 10, 2003 -- National Association of Postal Supervisors President Vincent Palladino has shared his thoughts on postal reform with the Federal Times.
August 10, 2003 -- Ananova (U.K.) has reported that "crucial talks aimed at averting the first national strike by postal workers in seven years will be held tomorrow. Leaders of the Communications Workers Union will meet Royal Mail managers at the conciliation service Acas in a bid to resolve a row over pay."
August 10, 2003 -- The Evening Standard (U.K.) has reported that British postal "union leaders have attacked Royal Mail chief executive Adam Crozier for describing as 'very small' a £57,000 bonus payment he received for just two months' work."
August 10, 2003 -- The Karachi News (Pakistan) has reported that "Federal Minister for Communication Senator Ahmed Ali handed over 160 motor cycles and mobile phones to the postmen of Karachi Region at a ceremony on Saturday. The motor cycles and the mobile phones have been provided by the Universal Postal Union to help improve the delivery of the mail in the metropolis."
August 10, 2003 -- The Telegraph (U.K.) has reported that ""the Royal Mail is projecting it will bounce back to a profit of £100m this year, unless it is undermined by the looming threat of industrial action."
August 10, 2003 -- The Guardian (U.K.) has reported that British "postal union leaders are demanding an 8 per cent 'no strings attached' pay deal and a 'substantial' cut in Royal Mail's planned 30,000 job losses in the wake of last week's threat of the first national postal strike for seven years."
August 10, 2003 -- As the Olympian has noted, "low-activity post offices could be replaced with automated kiosks that provide postal services or stamp machines in supermarkets."
August 9, 2003 -- The Seattle Post-Intelligencer has reported that "Washington state's two U.S. senators have joined four other members of Congress to protest a U.S. Postal Service decision to cut post office police at six facilities around the country, including Seattle, to beef up security in seven other big city locations. The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is conducting an ongoing nationwide review that examines where postal police should be stationed. The cuts are part of the review's findings." Fine! If Congress wants to deny the Postal Service to trim back on its police force, then Congress should pay the costs of the Postal Inspection Service. Why should postal ratepayers be forced to pony up for congressional whimsy?
August 9, 2003 -- The Guardian (U.K.) has reported that
August 9, 2003 -- As the Washington Post has noted, "Much mail, most of it actually in e-mail form, came in about the U.S. Postal Service's recent proposal to increase the size of the standard apartment mailbox. Most correspondents agreed with the Postal Service that larger mailboxes are needed to cope with the trend toward bigger pieces of mail and to improve security. Within the group supporting larger mailbox sizes, however, are residents who are willing to find a compromise in light of the enormous expense the changeover could cost the apartment industry. (The National Multi Housing Council and its lobbying partner, the National Apartment Association, estimate the total bill would come to $2 billion.)"
August 9, 2003 -- The Economic Times of India has reported that "the Department of Posts (DoP) has come in the way of DHL's ambitions in India. In a spirited attempt to protect its market share in the lucrative market for parcels and express mails, the DoP has opposed the latest proposal by the Netherlands-based DHL Worldwide Express BV (DHL BV) to acquire a further 45.56% equity capital of DHL India from its present shareholders."
August 9, 2003 -- Newsday has reported that "Connecticut lawmakers are protesting a U.S. Postal Service decision to cut post office police at six facilities around the country, including Hartford, Conn., in order to beef up security in seven other big city locations. The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is conducting an ongoing nationwide review that examines where postal police should be stationed. The cuts are part of the review's findings. But U.S. Sens. Christopher J. Dodd and Joseph I. Lieberman, both D-Conn., said the changes should not be made until the survey is finished in October 2004."
August 9, 2003 -- As Federal Computer Week has noted, "the Postal Service wants customer input on plans to automate the delivery of magazines, catalogs and other flat mail. Customers can review the Postal Services' Corporate Flat Strategy initiatives on their Web site and comment using the e-mail address FlatStrategyFeedback@usps.gov. The e-mail address, launched last month, routes the comments to the headquarters for review."
August 8, 2003 -- Traffic World has reported that:
August 8, 2003 -- The Journal of Commerce has noted that "asserting that its competitors 'will stop at nothing to prevent competition,' Astar Air Cargo, formerly DHL Airways, urged the U.S. Department of Transportation to reject a joint request from FedEx Corp. and United Parcel Service to refer the probe of Astar's ownership to the agency's inspector general. Astar charged that its opponents were pulling out all the stops to delay a resolution of the controversial case. FedEx and UPS are acting 'like a punch-drunk bully who flails at anything in his path,' said Ray Lutz, Astar's vice president of business development and strategic planning.
August 8, 2003 -- WIS-TV News has noted that "no one is bigger than United Parcel Service at Columbia Metropolitan Airport with 400 workers and a million dollars in airport fees. Now, UPS is starting to eye Columbia for even more. Many airlines are struggling to keep afloat, but UPS is holding its own. Columbia is one of five US hubs on the east coast for the company. International flights all go to Louisville. UPS says it is possible some overseas flights could start coming to Columbia."
August 8, 2003 -- "Foreign express-delivery firms drooling over the world's fastest-growing delivery market might be fixated on the common Chinese saying: 'To take the initiative is to gain the upper hand.' US-based courier giant FedEx Express, one of the companies in the FedEx Group, plans within five years to expand its services to another 100 Chinese cities, Zhong Guoyi, general manager of FedEx's China operations, recently told China Business Weekly."
August 8, 2003 -- Frankfurter Allgemeine has reported that "ZeitungHermes Logistik Gruppe, Germany's second-largest logistics service provider for deliveries by businesses to consumers, will in future manage incoming transport to its 65 depots in Germany. Until now, this part of the logistics chain has been provided by DHL Freight, a subsidiary of German postal service operator Deutsche Post. The Deutsche Post subsidiary is expected to lose orders worth a total of between 70m euros and 80m euros following the change. Hermes will now control its entire logistics chain."
August 8, 2003 -- A bill has been introduced in the South African Parliament "to provide anew for the application for and the issue of a licence to provide reserved postal services; and to provide anew for the requirements to provide a courier service in respect of unreserved postal services."
August 8, 2003 -- Avery Dennison Corporation has announced that the U.S. Postal Service has issued the first commemorative self-adhesive stamps printed under a new long-term contract awarded to the Company by the Postal Service to produce definitive and commemorative self-adhesive postage stamps.
August 8, 2003 -- The Dayton Daily News has reported that "the union for flight crews of ABX Air Inc. said it reached a tentative contract with the overnight-delivery airline company, averting a possible strike. The deal would leave ABX Air as an independent airline." See also the Journal of Commerce
August 8, 2003 -- The Providence Journal has reported that "packages weighing less than a pound - enough to hold the explosives carried by unsuccessful shoe-bomber Richard Reid - should be screened before they are shipped on passenger planes, Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., said Friday. Transportation Security Administration spokesman Brian Turmail said small U.S. mail packages are not screened because federal studies have concluded that less than a pound of explosives in the cargo area 'is not going to bring an aircraft down or threaten passengers.' He said small packages from other than the U.S. Postal Service are checked to make sure they are from approved shippers. And he said the TSA is trying to develop better electronic screening technology and tighten restrictions on larger air cargo."
August 8, 2003 -- The Associated Press has reported that "coming soon to your mailbox, advertising shaped like a sports car or a stop sign, a hula doll or hamburger. Indeed, almost anything an artist can conceive. Customized MarketMail begins Monday, offering advertisers a chance to think outside the envelope and send material that really shows their products to buyers. The first mailing, to southern California, will be simulated boxes of Krispy Kreme doughnuts."
August 8, 2003 -- The Oakridger has reported that "State Rep. Jim Hackworth, D-Clinton, is spearheading an effort to save 125 jobs at a Clinton (TN) plant. According to Hackworth, U.S. Postal Service officials may be considering closing one of three private contractor-operated, mail-sorting facilities. The plants include ones in Atlanta, Indianapolis, Ind. - and Clinton. The action, Hackworth said, would apparently be done as a cost-cutting move for the Postal Service."
August 8, 2003 -- The AFL-CIO Executive Council has passed a resolution opposing "the recommendations of the President's Commission to change any of the existing laws protecting the collective bargaining rights and economic security of postal employees."
August 8, 2003 -- AllAfrica.com has reported that "the Area Postal Manager (APM), Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST), Kwara Territory, Mrs. Olufunmilayo Sowemimo, has said the 24 shops bordering the Ilorin General Post Office would have to be pulled down to keep the environment clean not withstanding the 15-year lease agreement with an Ilorin-based company. Sowemimo told City Diary in her office that 'the area is not neat and befitting as a General Post Office should look.'"
August 8, 2003 -- CNET News has reported that "traditional newspapers are taking the gloves off in a high-stakes brawl with Web-based competitors over the control of help-wanted classified advertising."
August 8, 2003 -- ABC-CBN News has reported that "FedEx and UPS are exercising seventh freedom although there's no RP-US pact. They are using the Philippines as base for operations, flying to any country without passing through the US. The so-called Seventh Freedom of the Air refers to the privilege or courtesy, in respect of scheduled international air services, granted by one country to a second country of transporting traffic between the territory of the country granting the privilege and any third country with no requirement to include in such operation any point in the second country."
August 8, 2003 -- Zaman (Turkey) has reported that "Turkish Postal Telephone and Telegraph Services (PTT) is expecting to launch its Postbank Project, currently with more than 700 online branches, and hoping to open 400 more, by the end of the year."
August 8, 2003 -- Business News Americas has reported that "Brazil's Banco do Brasil (BB) signed a contract Wednesday with the country's federal postal system ECT to sell export services to small- and mid-sized companies via the Internet, the government-controlled bank said in a statement. The two federally run entities will integrate their databases to speed up shipping of merchandise worth up to US$10,000. BB clients will be able to handle all the orders and bureaucracy over the Internet, the statement said."
August 8, 2003 -- According to the Malta Independent, "today is the last day by which 160 people employed by Maltapost have to decide whether they go back to government employment or face possible downgrading or even worse."
August 8, 2003 -- The Memphis Commercial Appeal has reported that "the packets went out last week, and this week the 14,000 FedEx Express employees here and across the country eligible for either early retirement or buyouts are weighing the benefits against whatever the rest of their lives may hold. Start the clock now. Those planning to retire have until Sept. 30 to decide. If they are taking severance, decision deadline is Nov. 30."
August 8, 2003 -- According to Dow Jones, "Airborne Inc.'s (ABF) Airborne Express unit reached a tentative five-year agreement with its flight deck crewmembers."
August 8, 2003 -- --Polar Air Cargo this week launches a third weekly flight to Atlanta, providing customers with additional shipping options to Asia and Europe. Beginning Aug. 8, a Polar Boeing 747 freighter will stop in Atlanta every Friday on its way from South America to Chicago and on to South Korea and Japan. Flights on Thursdays and Saturdays already provide Atlanta with connections to Asia, Europe and Australia.
August 8, 2003 -- The Postal Rate Commission has published a final rule that "would require the Postal Service to submit testimony of a single witness providing an overview (or roadmap) of its request, which, among other things, would both explain the interrelationship of the testimony submitted in support of the filing and highlight all methodological changes."
August 8, 2003 -- In a move intended to save its clients substantial mailing cost dollars DST Output has commenced discussions with the United States Postal Service to establish a negotiated service agreement (NSA). Negotiated service agreements are targeted pricing initiatives designed to encourage greater efficiencies and to take advantage of the Postal Service's existing pricing flexibility. The Postal Service looks to these types of agreements to enable it to take advantage of special situations that can lead to improving its profitability. DST Output, which is the largest third party First Class mail customer of the USPS, believes it can deliver the efficiencies that will lead to a win-win situation for its customers and the Postal Service.
August 8, 2003 -- The Atlanta Journal- Constitution has reported that:
August 8, 2003 -- Computer Hardware News has reported that "in conjunction with its recently announced Euro 1 billion automation investment project, La Poste, the primary government operated postal entity in France, is evaluating Spectra's proprietary marking and tracking system called Activa for enhancing flat mail sorting productivity. This invisible labeling system has potential use in coding flat mail for improved sorting in automated sorting equipment. The equipment sorts magazines, catalogs, circulars, some newspapers and oversized envelopes (flats) while remaining invisible and preserving advertising value. There are several new automation initiatives being considered for flat mail that could provide considerable savings for the La Poste. Spectra Systems has developed such a system that demonstrates the viability of an invisible label/marking technology (Activa) that may be ideally for La Poste. The scope of work includes the evaluation of non-apparent inks, labels, hardware and bar code symbologies for improvements in sortation rates on automated equipment manufactured by Northrop Grumman (AFSM 100)."
August 8, 2003 -- Australia Business Review Weekly has reported that "in Australia's highly fragmented logistics and freight forwarding market, Gluck Forwarding Systems is among the larger locally owned competitors but has market share of only 1-2%. The company has begun an acquisition program it hopes will take it to a dominant position among Australian-owned providers of the international supply chain services. If successful, the strategy will put Gluck in a strong position for future industry rationalisation."
August 8, 2003 -- The BBC Monitoring Service has reported that Poland's "Deputy Prime Minister and Infrastructure Minister Marek Pol on Thursday recalled general director of the Poczta Polska, Polish Post, Leszek Kwiatek, on his alleged violation of the anti-corruption law."
August 8, 2003 -- As Computerworld has noted, "A presidential commission charged with studying ways to make the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) more efficient has recommended that the agency work with the Department of Homeland Security to develop sender identification technology for all U.S. mail."
August 8, 2003 -- The Washington Post has reported that "A presidential commission proposal to use tracking codes to verify who sends and receives mail through the U.S. Postal Service is getting a chilly reception from privacy advocates who say it could violate civil liberties. The Postal Service began considering the "Intelligent Mail" idea several years ago as a way to help its commercial customers, such as credit card companies and direct marketers, get more information on when and if their mail reaches intended recipients."
August 8, 2003 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that:
August 8, 2003 -- Ananova (U.K.) has reported that:
August 7, 2003 -- You've heard of post offices inside convenience stores? Well, here's a new twist. The Kyodo news service has reported that "Postal Lawson, Japan's first convenience store outlet inside a post office, opened Tuesday at Yoyogi Post Office in Tokyo's Shibuya district. As part of efforts to improve customer service and make more efficient use of post office space, Japan Post has been renting space inside post offices to florists and department stores."
August 7, 2003 -- Asian news sources have reported that "the Korean government is moving to allow 30 trillion won (US$25.3 billion) in post office deposits to be invested in the stock market through the purchase of corporate bonds and securities. The Ministry of Finance and Economy said that the measures being pushed forward by the Ministry of Information and Communication were expected to vitalize the financial sector by allowing a sizeable influx of funds."
August 7, 2003 -- The Financial Times (U.K.) has reported that "the Royal Mail has made an attempt to break its deadlocked pay talks with the postal workers' union by calling for talks at Acas, the conciliation service. The Communication Workers' Union has threatened the first national strike action in seven years over the company's pay offer."
August 7, 2003 -- According to the Irish Independent, "the cost of delivering mail throughout the country five days a week - with 70pc of costs represented by wages and salaries - is a key issue for a postal service facing more financial losses AN Post's incoming chief executive, Donal Curtin, had to hit the groundrunning after taking up his position three weeks ago. Communications Regulator EtainDoyle has been considering the State company's application for an increase in the price of a stamp for domestic mail from 41 cents to 48 cents."
August 7, 2003 -- The president of the Mail Handlers Union has told his members that "President Bush's Commission studying the future of the U.S. Postal Service has now issued its final report and recommendations, and National President John Hegarty has concluded that many of the Commission's recommendations on collective bargaining are 'fundamentally flawed.' Speaking to other members of the National Executive Board and the NPMHU's Committee on the Future - which met in early August to begin its review and analysis of the final Commission report - Hegarty focused his initial reaction on the conclusions reached by the Presidential Commission on collective bargaining: 'the Commission's final report not only recommends a complete overhaul of the collective bargaining process that has successfully governed the Postal Service for thirty-three years, but also contains a wholesale attack on the substantive results of voluntary collective bargaining between the Postal Service and the major postal unions.'"
August 7, 2003 -- The Telegraph (U.K.)has reported that "Postwatch, the consumer postal watchdog funded by the Royal Mail, spent more than 414,000 pounds on networking and travel last year - over 8,000 pounds per member of staff. The watchdog, whose lavish spending has angered the lossmaking mail delivery firm, also spent a further £167,000 on furniture, according to its annual report."
August 7, 2003 -- The Valetta Times (Malta) has reported that "The Union Haddiema Maghqudin yesterday registered an industrial dispute with Maltapost over three issues, one of which is an internal memo warning employees of 'downgrading'. The union has called on the director of labour and industrial relations to hold a conciliation meeting with urgency."
August 7, 2003 -- The Budapest Sun has reported that "Although widely considered to be a British tradition the postcard was in fact invented by a Hungarian (wasn't everything?) by the name of Emanuel Hermann, in 1869. Sadly, as with many other great Hungarian inventions (the Rubik cube and the Hydrogen bomb) the picture postcard is falling from fashion. The demise is due, of course, to technology."
August 7, 2003 -- DM News has reported that "Postmaster general John E. Potter warned mailers yesterday that the reforms recommended by the presidential postal commission would affect everyone in the mail community, including them."
August 7, 2003 -- The Postal Service's Inspector General has been honored by federal women for recruitment, diverse staffing and mentoring accomplishments.
August 7, 2003 -- Postmaster General Jack Potter has named Linda Kingsley as the Postal Service's new Vice President for Strategic Planning.
August 7, 2003 -- The Belfast Telegraph (U.K.) has reported that "POLICE are concerned that members of the public may be falling victim to two postal scams which are currently operating across Ulster. The scams - which have already targeted people in south Belfast - may result in financial loss to residents and businesses."
August 7, 2003 -- According to Business Day (South Africa) the South African "Post Office must curb pilfering and sloth government wants to convince the rest of the world that, despite the ravages of HIV/AIDS, poverty and unemployment, the business sector of SA is a modern one, well equipped to operate in the global marketplace. However, the SA Post Office is hardly helping."
August 7, 2003 -- Congratulations to the U.S. Postal Service's Marshall (Marty) Emery on his recent appointment as the postal co- chair of the Postmaster General's Mailers Technical Advisory Committee.
August 7, 2003 -- The Globe and Mail (Canada) has reported that "TravelGIS will launch websites demonstrating the company's Universal Address system, which is based on the Global Positioning System (GPS) and allows people from any country to travel easily and efficiently in the world without language barriers, and will simplify location-based services. Features include avoiding difficulties in inputting foreign characters, the elimination of errors from address databases that are outdated and incomplete, and extending location-based services to those locations and areas with no addresses. The technology has also integrated and simplified information of addresses, postal codes, area codes, geographic co-ordinates, street signs, maps and GPS receivers."
August 7, 2003 -- The Moscow Times has reported that "many people in Russia might assume that there is little difference between dropping letters into a paper shredder or posting them in a blue box marked pochta on the street corner. But Pascal Clement, president of mail order empire PPE Group, knows better. The 33-year-old Frenchman says the black hole stereotype of the Russian postal service is largely the fault of its unreliable international service. His own solid relationship with the sprawling federal network has boosted him to the top of Russia's $300 million mail order market, which is expected to grow five-fold by 2006. 'Russia is a mail order country,' Clement enthused in a recent interview at PPE's offices in northern Moscow." Kudos to Clement for seeing a good business opportunity and taking it..
August 7, 2003 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that:
August 7, 2003 -- Learn more about 'Navigating the Mail Value Chain' at the fall 2003 National Postal Forum
August 6, 2003 -- Eyefortransport.com has reported that " Koizumi told a press conference that the privatization of public corporations in charge of postal services and highway operations will be the focal of a presidential poll within the ruling Liberal Democratic Party slated for Sept. 20. Privatization of the postal service could open the door for international express companies such as FedEx, United Parcel Service, DHL and TNT to expand their operations in Japan. Noting that if he is re-elected as president of the LDP, he will then have three more years in office, Koizumi said legislation for postal privatization will be ready by the end of his tenure."
August 6, 2003 -- Be sure to check out the latest financial update from the U.S. Postal Service.
August 6, 2003 -- The Journal (U.K.) has reported that "The Royal Mail has offered to take its latest pay offer for postal workers to arbitration in an effort to avoid the first national strike for seven years. Chief Executive Adam Crozier suggested involving the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) after union leaders condemned the proposed deal as having more 'strings' than the Philharmonic Orchestra."
August 6, 2003 -- Cepheid has announced that the United States Postal Service issued the following statement on August 5, 2003 concerning pre-production testing of the Biohazard Detection System (BDS) which uses Cepheid's GeneXpert technology.
August 6, 2003 -- CEP News (Courier-Express-Postal) has reported that:
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August 6, 2003 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "A pre-hearing conference scheduled for Thursday on the controversial probe of the ownership of DHL Airways/Astar Air Cargo has been postponed indefinitely. Ronnie L. Yoder, the chief administrative law judge at the U.S. Department of Transportation, called off the conference until senior DOT officials resolve several pending questions."
August 6, 2003 -- Stars and Stripes has reported that "Military postal workers in Iraq say the troops' much-maligned mail system there is gradually getting better. Responding to gripes from soldiers about how slow the mail is in Iraq, military postal workers are making several changes to deliver packages and letters more quickly and more efficiently."
August 5, 2003 -- Pitney Bowes Inc. has announced that its Distribution Solutions division has been named the market leader in parcel shipping solutions for the second straight year, according to a new transportation management systems (TMS) worldwide outlook study by ARC Advisory Group. ARC lists Pitney Bowes as the number one supplier of parcel shipping solutions, with more than double the worldwide market share of its nearest competitor in 2002. ARC derives market share figures from license, services, maintenance and recurring revenues.
August 5, 2003 -- The Governors of the U.S. Postal Service have applauded the President's Commission on the Postal Service for its seven-months of work which resulted in a detailed report, released last Thursday. Last year the Governors recommended to the President that a Commission be empanelled to explore the Postal Service's future.
August 5, 2003 -- The U.S. Postal Service has reported that it has attained "its highest overnight service score for First-Class Mail delivery for the second consecutive quarter, again breaking all previous records and raising the bar for overnight service performance in the nation's major metropolitan areas."
August 5, 2003 -- The Associated Press has reported that "Two contract employees for the U.S. Postal Service died this weekend in an accident that also destroyed mail headed to New Hampshire. The postal contract truck contained Priority Mail items sent Saturday from ZIP codes with the first three digits of 270, 271, 272, 273, 274 and 286. The mail was destined for the Springfield, Massachusetts, and Nashua, New Hampshire, areas."
August 5, 2003 -- Procycling has reported that "ONCE, the Spanish lottery for the blind, have confirmed that they will pull out of sponsoring the ONCE-Eroski professional cycling team at the end of 2003. The team, home of Joseba Beloki, the Spanish rider who has been one of Lance Armstrong's closest rivals at the Tour de France in recent years, has been sponsored by the organisation for a decade and a half."
August 5, 2003 -- Waterford Today (Ireland) has reported that "the announcement that An Post suffered losses of 70 million Euro in 2002 has been described as a disturbing development for consumers in Waterford and other counties."
August 5, 2003 -- Letsrecycle.com has reported that "the Direct Marketing Association UK has signed an agreement with the government to implement a producer responsibility system for advertising mail. Nearly 550,000 tonnes of paper are used in direct mail and promotions every year in the form of direct mail, door-to-door advertising material and newspaper inserts. It is now proposed that the material will be recycled with used newspapers and magazines. The DMA said that this will be achieved by setting up systems to increase the collection and recycling of discarded mail, publicising the services available to consumers who do not wish to receive direct marketing materials and improving the targeting of promotions material being sent out."
August 5, 2003 -- The News-Journal has reported that "U.S. Sen. Tom Carper, the Delaware Democrat, has been bird-dogging postal reform for a couple years now and in June put forward legislation to modernize the postal service as a 'business with a public purpose,' as he puts it. Apparently it's the kind of big-picture project that's intrigued him since he was in business school."
August 5, 2003 -- According to one Denver Post columnist, "it is more trouble to address an envelope than to hit the 'reply' button. But as e-mail gets more cluttered, traditional snail mail is becoming a more effective way to communicate. It might be slower - but remember that the tortoise beat the hare."
August 5, 2003 -- According to The Times (U.K.), "the row between Royal Mail and the postal workers' union, which is to ballot for a national strike over pay, intensified yesterday after it emerged that the loss-making organisation has paid bonuses of up to œ2,000 to managers."
August 5, 2003 -- The Postal Service Board of Governors has approved the construction of a $289.2 million Processing and Distribution Center (P&DC) in Philadelphia, according to the Board's Chairman, S. David Fineman, who made the announcement at a Board meeting in Portland, ME. See also the Philadelphia Inquirer.
August 5, 2003 -- The Independent (U.K.) has reported that "few businesses are as large as the Post Office, and few face as many challenges. From the internet to the direct transfer of social security payments to bank accounts, the old world that gave postal workers a living is disappearing. There is the prospect of much sharper competition, too, as the old mail monopoly is gradually eroded. The Post Office is running at a loss of about pounds 750,000 a day. The last thing that the organisation and its staff need is a national strike. Yet that is precisely what the Communication Workers Union is threatening, as the union organises a ballot of its 160,000 members on industrial action."
August 5, 2003 -- The Financial Times (U.K.) has reported that:
August 5, 2003 -- Washington Technology has reported that the President's Commission on the Postal Service has "found most citizens have no idea that USPS provides e-commerce services, such as electronic bill payment, Internet tax services, money transfers, certified e-mail and online greeting cards. Additionally, USPS should leave these e-commerce services to the many companies that also offer them. Instead, the Postal Service should focus on smart mail services, the report said." See also Computerworld.
August 5, 2003 -- The Hindu Business Line has reported that "life in rural areas is set to get tougher for life insurance companies with a non-insurance giant slowly waking up in the countryside to take charge of the rural life insurance market."
August 4, 2003 -- The Lexington Institute has said that "the final report by the President's Postal Commission will likely trigger a predictable response. Nonetheless, several significant reforms are recommended by the Commission tht have real potentioal to protect postal consumers and taxpayers from further, and more expensive, postal service meltdown."
August 4, 2003 -- Islamic Republic News Agency has reported that "Pakistan and Afghanistan have expressed resolve to forge economic cooperation, increase bilateral trade and strengthen ties in communications, banking and finance and postal services."
August 4, 2003 -- The Associated Press has reported that "Lockheed Martin Corp. and Affiliated Computer Services Inc. have agreed to sell separate information-technology outsourcing units to each other."
August 4, 2003 -- According to former House post office committee chairman William Clay, "the President's Commission on the U.S. Postal Service has unveiled its recommendations for reforming the Postal Service. Some of the recommendations will pose significant hardships to consumers who rely on affordable, accessible and dependable mail service. The Consumer Alliance for Postal Services (CAPS) believes that the commission may have listened too closely to the disproportionate number of industry witnesses who appeared at its hearings, and not enough to the few consumers who were invited to testify. As a result, its recommendations clearly favor the special-interest groups of bulk mailers, vendors and competing delivery companies at the expense of consumers."
August 4, 2003 -- According to DM News, "everyone knew what the battle lines would be before President Bush formed his commission to look at how the U.S. Postal Service operates. On one side would be those wanting changes to ensure the USPS' viability for the foreseeable future. On the other side would be the unions, complaining about collective bargaining, closing facilities, automation and everything else they've been complaining about for years. And stuck in the middle? Congress. Let's see if the commission's recommendations can ease the political pressures and get some legislation passed this year."
August 4, 2003 -- According to the Boulder News, "Mailboxes are disappearing. The humble box that sits at the end of most suburban driveways is slowly being phased out in favor of large, "cluster boxes" placed at neighborhood entrances. The U.S. Postal Service says they're a necessary adaptation to suburban sprawl and efficient money-savers to boot. But some people who use them aren't so happy."
August 4, 2003 -- The Times of Malta has reported that "the Union Haddiema Maghqudin was dead set against any demotions or redundancies of Maltapost employees even if the 160 ex-government employees, who need to be shed to make the company viable, did not return to government employment by Friday."
August 4, 2003 -- Japan Today has reported that:
August 4, 2003 -- Reuters has reported that "Dutch mail and parcels firm TPG, the world's second-largest logistics group, delivered better-than-expected second-quarter results and stepped up efforts to restructure its logistics operations. Trimming TPG's 2003 outlook, Chief Executive Peter Bakker hailed the performance of the mail and express units but said: 'Logistics continues to produce disappointing results... I am confident that major improvements will be made in the future.'"
August 4, 2003 -- Dow Jones has reported that "Dutch postal and logistics company TPG NV (TP) will exercise "more caution" when making smaller acquisitions after some recent purchases proved both troublesome and time consuming."
August 3, 2003 -- ITV.com (U.K.) has reported that "performance results for the Royal Mail show one million first-class letters are late every day. The statistics also reveal the company failed to meet 80 per cent of its overall targets, including its heavily advertised special delivery service."
August 3, 2003 -- Turkishpress .com has reported that "Turkish Transportation Minister Binali Yildirim and Azerbaijani Minister of Communication Nadir Akhmadov signed on Saturday the protocol foreseeing cooperation in the fields of telecom and postal management between two countries."
August 3, 2003 -- The BBC (U.K.) has reported that British "postal workers are to be balloted on industrial action in a dispute over pay. The move raises the prospect of the first UK postal strike in seven years. About 160,000 members of the Communication Workers' Union (CWU) will vote over the next few weeks on whether to stage a series of walk-outs. The dispute centres on this year's wage offer."
August 3, 2003 -- According to Business Week, "FedEx and Brown are going green, and by buying cleaner and more efficient trucks in bulk, they'll make them cheaper for everybody else. The biggest motivation is cost savings, though. The delivery giants are finding that green machines, while pricey to buy, are cheaper to maintain and operate."
August 3, 2003 -- "Here's to you, Mr. Robinson." According to the Journal of Commerce, "that's the way friends of William Robinson, the former principal owner of DHL Airways, now Astar Air Cargo, must have toasted him on Wednesday after the U.S. Department of Transportation let him off the hook. DOT ruled that the investigation by an administrative law judge must confine itself to the current ownership of Astar."
August 3, 2003 -- Optimize has asked: "Why the ongoing debate over whether IT contributes to productivity growth? While productivity the amount of output per unit input isn't the only thing a business or an economy has to worry about, in the long run, it encompasses just about everything. Ultimately, productivity growth is what determines our living standards, the competitive advantage of companies, and the wealth of nations. It's arguably the single most-important economic statistic."
August 3, 2003 -- The Telegraph (U.K.) has reported that "the postal service in Germany claims to have brought the problem of dogs attacking its staff under control by offering workers courses in canine psychology."
August 3, 2003 -- The New York Post has reported that "it's the convenience, they say. Or maybe the selection. Or it's the absence of late fees that, over and over again, customers cite in explaining why they've stuck with Netflix - the Web-based DVD rental service that announced July 17 that it had cracked the Web's elusive profitability barrier with quarterly earnings of $3.3 million. With modest costs, adept use of the U.S. Postal Service and a cultlike following among customers, the four-year-old company appears to have succeeded where Webvan, Pets.com, Kozmo and any number of other dot-com launches have crashed and burned."
August 3, 2003 -- As the Washington Post noted, "about one of every three civilian employees of the government works for the U.S. Postal Service. We're talking big here. It's no surprise then that the postal workforce emerged as a primary concern of the President's Commission on the U.S. Postal Service."
August 2, 2003 -- According to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Germany), "Deutsche Post has weathered the effects of the postage discount which the German postal and telecommunications regulator had imposed on the German postal monopolist last summer."
August 2, 2003 -- According to the NewsObserver, "when one considers all the dumb things the government has done ... whoa, stop. There are not enough days left in your life to consider all the dumb things the government has done. Besides, your head would explode. So let's put it this way: Turning what was once the highly respected and government-run post office into a semi-private, quasi-company was world-class stupid. But given the mind-set of government, it was probably inevitable. In the holy name of "privatization," what is now known as the U.S. Postal Service became mediocre at what it used to do very well. Now it has to advertise to compete with private companies that charge a lot to do what the post office used to do for loose change."
August 2, 2003 -- As one writer for ExpressIndia has noted, "nothing quite like the written word: so say and believe most. Now, it's a letter we mean here when we talk of the 'written word.' Imagine having the postman knock your door and hand you over a letter your faraway cousin wrote or one your high school hostel room-mate sent reminding you of the late-nights you had. What fun indeed, to read and re-read the letter written and packed with sufficient information about your pastimes, recent interests and life in general. But all this only when somebody actually wrote one. But how many of us receive one in this day and age? Considering the e-mail has wiped out the postal letter system of sending and receiving letters of the hi-and-bye kinds, or in kinder words, lessened the frequency of communication through pen-on-paper words, are things really different? Are things to be shared and written about any lesser? Or is it just that the easier option has been adopted?"
August 2, 2003 -- Media Daily News is wondering: "Is that golden egg-laying goose actually dead yet? According to the lore and exhausted metaphors surrounding email marketing in the past year, spam and overeager permission-based missives were choking inboxes, depressing email CPMs and response rates, and threatening to strangle (or at least ground) said goose, which once seemed to have hatched the most gleaming promotional platforms of the digital era."
August 2, 2003 -- The Governors of the Postal Service have acknowledged that they have "received a number of detailed allegations concerning the conduct of Inspector General Karla Corcoran and the operation of her office. On October 28, 2002, the Governors forwarded these allegations to the President’\'s Council on Integrity & Efficiency, the organization established by law to review such allegations. They have completed their report and have transmitted it to the Governors today. Copies of the report have been provided to Inspector General Corcoran and her counsel. We will afford Ms. Corcoran two weeks to respond to the report, following which the Governors will carefully and thoroughly consider the report and her response. The Governors will then take whatever action is appropriate."
August 2, 2003 -- iWon.com has reported that "Belgium's struggling publicly-owned postal service De Post/La Poste needs a partner quickly to modernise its operations."
August 2, 2003 -- The Financial Times has asked:
August 2, 2003 -- According to the Calgary Herald (Canada), "Canada's mail service has gone through revolutionary change since the early railway postal clerks froze or baked, depending on the season, as they sorted letters and parcels in wooden mail cars that rumbled through the frontier."
August 2, 2003 -- Business Day (South Africa) has reported that "the international credit rating agency Fitch said on Friday it was cutting its rating on the long-term debt of Deutsche Post in the light of the semi-privatised German postal authority's acquisition of the US parcel delivery service Airborne."
August 2, 2003 -- In a move intended to save its clients substantial mailing cost dollars DST Output has commenced discussions with the United States Postal Service to establish a negotiated service agreement (NSA). Negotiated service agreements are targeted pricing initiatives designed to encourage greater efficiencies and to take advantage of the Postal Service's existing pricing flexibility. The Postal Service looks to these types of agreements to enable it to take advantage of special situations that can lead to improving its profitability. DST Output, which is the largest third party First Class mail customer of the USPS, believes it can deliver the efficiencies that will lead to a win-win situation for its customers and the Postal Service.
August 2, 2003 -- The Air Courier Conference of America (ACCA) applauded yesterday's vote by the Senate endorsing the free trade agreements with Singapore and Chile. The House had previously approved the pacts last week. The express industry strongly supports the agreements as a means of promoting trade with Chile and Singapore and of helping to ensure fair competition in the express delivery market. "We are delighted with yesterday's vote, and we look forward to implementation of these agreements," said Selina Jackson of UPS, co-chair of the U.S.-Singapore FTA Business Coalition and the U.S.-Chile FTA Coalition.
August 2, 2003 -- Federal Computer Week has reported that "the President's Commission on the U.S. Postal Service disapproves of the mail service's recent electronic commerce ventures. In a report released Thursday, the commission said the USPS electronic commerce initiatives have been a failure. It said USPS should focus on its traditional job of delivering mail the old-fashioned way. But, the commission added, it should modernize its system and make the best use of technology to do deliver mail." So how much longer must these money-losing dogs last?
August 2, 2003 -- The Center for Research in Regulated Industries-Rutgers University is planning a three-day Conference to be held June 2-5, 2004, at the Jurys Cork Hotel in Cork Ireland. Papers are invited from researchers and practitioners, including academic and research economists, and staff and managers in postal administrations and express carriers working on economic issues. Persons interested in presenting papers that need additional information should contact Michael A. Crew or Jeremy T. Guenter at 973-353-5049. Abstract submissions should be emailed to Jeremy Guenter at email@example.com.
August 1, 2003 -- The Globe and Mail (Canada) has reported that "the recent labour agreement at Canada Post Corp. illustrates two truths. Canada Post is an incredibly efficient organization. And an activist trade union, tough but fair-minded, can bring benefits to all the stakeholders -- not only to its own members, but also to the employer and the consuming public. A good trade union forces its employer to become more efficient."
August 1, 2003 -- ITWeb has reported that "the South Afrcian Department of Communications aims to distribute four million SIM cards to underprivileged people over the next five years is to give everyone access to communications and emergency services facilities as well as a link to the country's economic life-line. Speaking at the Enterprise Development Forum in Sandton, Ngcaba said the SIM cards will provide people with a telephone number where they can be reached, even if they do not have a telephone. 'The majority of us have an e-mail address, although we do not necessarily carry computers around with us all the time. In the same way, these people will be able to check their messages via a public phone, or perhaps borrow a phone from a friend in order to do this,' he says. 'While the department is also working on a way to provide Internet access to the disadvantaged, at present the idea of the SIM cards is uppermost, in order to facilitate access to communications for the needy.'"
August 1, 2003 -- As the National Post (Canada) has noted, "in this era of rampant revisionism, proponents of free-market solutions have to be especially careful to provide convincing evidence of the market's usefulness. When it comes to judging deregulation, a recent study by four economists -- Alberto Alesina, Silvia Ardagna, Giuseppe Nicoletti and Fabio Schiantarelli of, respectively, Harvard, Wellesley College, the OECD and Boston College -- is especially instructive. The four looked at episodes of deregulation in seven industries (airlines, trucking, railways, telecommunications, postal services and electrical and gas utilities) in 21 industrialized countries from 1975 to 1996 to see what effect the worldwide shift toward reduced government control had on investment in these industries."
August 1, 2003 -- According to Reuters , "Dutch mail, express and logistics company TPG NV said on Friday it was not in talks with Belgian postal service De Post/La Poste on a partnership to modernise its operations."
August 1, 2003 --Rep. John M. McHugh (R-NY), chairman of the House Government Reform Committee's Special Panel on Postal Reform and Oversight, went on record saying: "The Special Panel plans to take a very careful look at the Commission's recommendations and findings," Rep. McHugh said. "I plan to invite the Commissioners to formally testify before a Special Panel hearing in September. Understandably, there are some initial concerns raised by the Commission's recommendations to cut the workforce and begin a round of facility closures, and I plan to closely examine those issues during the hearing, which will most likely not be scheduled until after Labor Day."
August 1, 2003 -- The U.S. Postal Service has published in the Federal Register a proposed rule for a "revision to the Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) that would change the preparation requirements for bulk Bound Printed Matter (BPM) by requiring mailers to prepare destination delivery unit (DDU) rate BPM items by 5-digit scheme (optional) and 5-digit sorts. Currently, there is no requirement for mailers to unload and present bulk BPM mail by 5-digit sorts, as is the requirement for Parcel SelectTM mailings prepared for the DDU rate. DMM E752.5.2 inadvertently omitted this requirement from the final ruling."
August 1, 2003 -- Business Mailers Review has reported that:
August 1, 2003 -- The latest ISSUES (30-03 and 31-03) of the PostCom Bulletin are available online.Bulletin 31-03 has the Executive Summary of the report of the President's Commission on the Postal Service.
August 1, 2003 -- The President of the National Association of Postal Supervisors has told his members that "the President's Commission on the United States Postal Service has performed a valuable public service in validating the serious challenges that confront the nation's mail system and the future of mail. The Commission's report correctly affirms the preservation of the fundamental character of the Postal Service as a governmental institution and underscores the need to modernize the Postal Service's capacity to remain financially and technologically competitive. Many of the Commission's recommendations are good and deserve Congressional respect.But there are several Commission proposals that should be left on the doorstep."
August 1, 2003 -- Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., praised the final report of the President's Postal Commission, which was released today, saying its overall recommendations on how to modernize the Postal Service were reflective of his efforts to give the agency more freedom to operate like a private business. But he expressed some concern over recommendations that could lead to lower pay for postal workers and more labor disputes.
August 1, 2003 -- The Associated Press has noted that "a presidential commission called for significant modernization of the Postal Service on Thursday, predicting a dire future without major changes."
August 1, 2003 -- According to Reuters, "the U.S. Postal Service should keep delivering mail to Americans six days a week while slashing costs as it loses more business to the Internet and private carriers, a presidential commission said.
August 1, 2003 -- The Magazine Publishers of America (MPA) has received a copy of the President's Postal Commission Report - a truly outstanding piece of work. While the comprehensive document warrants more careful analysis, it's clear, upon first reading, that many of the Commission's major recommendations are ones that have been strongly advocated by MPA throughout the past several months - including the maintenance of the postal system as a fundamental service for all Americans; the emphasis on cost controls; efficient management of resources; and modernization of pricing for products and services.
August 1, 2003 -- A presidential commission that made major recommendations for modernization of the U.S. Postal Service drew praise from Acxiom(R) Corporation's Company Leader Charles D. Morgan for its "far-reaching strategy to ensure the future of the Postal Service and the mailing industry."
August 1, 2003 -- The President's Commission on the U.S. Postal Service delivered its final report to the White House today, recommending changes to USPS that will help address its long-standing financial problems. In a letter to the commission, the Newspaper Association of America thanked the panel for its tireless work in drafting a report to serve as a blueprint for postal reform.
August 1, 2003 -- ADVO, Inc. has praised the President's Commission on the United States Postal Service for making comprehensive recommendations on the issues that threaten the viability of the nation's postal system. Sheesh! Advo and NAA praising the work of the Commission? Okay...what's the catch?
August 1, 2003 -- Leaders of the nation's $900 billion mailing industry have enthusiastically applauded the report released by the President's Commission on the U.S. Postal Service. The recommendations will ensure the continued viability and growth of the $900 billion mailing industry and its 9 million workers. If implemented, the mailing industry, which now accounts for nearly 9 percent of the US GDP, can be a significant growth engine for the US economy well into the future.
August 1, 2003 -- The President of the American Postal Workers Union has told his members that "the final report of the President’s Commission on the U.S. Postal Service is 'seriously flawed,' APWU President William Burrus promised a vigorous campaign to ensure that its recommendations do not become law. 'The report endorses a drastic overhaul of the nation’s mail system,” Burrus said. “the recommendations are intended to serve only the needs of the big advertising mailers, at the expense of the American people.'” Have I missed something in that report?
August 1, 2003 -- What? You haven't heard of Canada's premiere mailers group, the National Association of Major Mail Users? Get a taste of what NAMMU is all about.
August 1, 2003 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that:
August 1, 2003 -- DM News postal commentator Cary Baer noted that "this month’s Flats Summit was a chance for the mailing industry and the U.S. Postal Service to hear all about flats from a range of panelists. The summit was organized by Postcom and other trade associations to help attendees understand what’s happening with flats and what might be in their future."