Postal News from February 2004
February 29, 2004 -- The Scotsman (U.K.) has reported that "Royal Mail is on course to make operating profits of £200 million this year despite strikes that crippled postal services in October.
February 29, 2004 -- The Kyodo news service has reported that "South Korea has rejected Japan's latest protest over Seoul's issuance of stamps featuring a disputed island in the Sea of Japan that has been claimed by the two countries. The island was occupied by Japan in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905. South Korea has claimed sovereignty to the island since the Korean Peninsula became independent from Japanese colonial rule after the end of World War II."
February 29, 2004 -- According to the Tri-City Herald, "Go Bowl receives delivered packages every week, just like any other Tri-City business. But unlike in Kennewick, Richland or even West Richland, there's an extra fee for each package sent to Pasco businesses and residents. The United Parcel Service and Federal Express charge an extra $1 for commercial deliveries, or an $1.75 extra for residential deliveries."
February 29, 2004 -- The Knoxville News has reported that "not content with mere security guards, FedEx has created its own private police force. The 10 officers don't wear uniforms, but they can carry guns and have full law enforcement powers to protect the world's largest cargo airline from terrorism or other threats." Who knows? Maybe Fedex's next acquisition will be the postal Inspection Service.
February 28, 2004 -- The Bowling Green Daily News has reported that "a Bowling Green employer that once employed about 500 people will soon close its doors. The U.S. Postal Service will shut down the Bowling Green Remote Encoding Center on March 6. The facility has seen various levels of employment since opening in 1997."
February 28, 2004 -- As the Financial Times (U.K.) has noted, "Royal Mail may have to pay compensation to business customers after the reliability of its postal deliveries fell during the last three months of 2003. As well as a one-off fine, Royal Mail would have to compensate its business customers if it missed the targets by more than 1 per cent."
February 28, 2004 -- The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin is available online.
February 28, 2004 -- Dow Jones has reported that:
February 28, 2004 -- According to Hoovers, "airlines and freight forwarders will nibble at the express freight market, currently dominated by FedEx, DHL, UPS and TNT, by offering more value-added, time-definite services, according to an industry analyst. Research director with the US-based outfit Air Cargo Management Group Christopher Reanier said: ``The segments are blending _ mail, parcel, express, freight and logistics.' Increased competition would come from airlines such as Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines and Lufthansa, and freight forwarders like Danzas, Nippon Express and Exel."
February 28, 2004 -- The Neue Zurcher Zeitung has reported that "unions say around 2,000 postal workers in Bern, Zurich, Basel and other Swiss cities and towns staged a protest action on Friday. They were demonstrating against a major cost-cutting programme and plans to scrap their collective labour contract."
February 27, 2004 -- Traffic World has reported that:
February 27, 2004 -- The U.S. Postal Service has published in the Federal Register a proposed rule that "contains minor changes to the Domestic Mail Manual (DMMTM) that would clarify packaging and closure requirements, types of acceptable mailing containers, and standards for certain articles processed on Postal ServiceTM parcel sorting equipment. This proposed rule would also update terminology and reorganize current standards for better reference and presentation. Comments on this rule should be submitted on or before March 29, 2004.
February 27, 2004 -- UPS Supply Chain Solutions, a business unit of UPS, has been named "Company of the Year" by The Traffic Club of New York for its leadership in the logistics and transportation industries.
February 27, 2004 -- In a letter to Congress, a coalition of mailers (including PostCom) said that:
"It is imperative that Congress address the future of the U.S. Postal Service in 2004. The organizations listed below urge your support for reform of this vital part of the U.S. economy. Legislation to reform the Postal Service requires a balance of diverse interests. Consensus exists on the following:
- The Postal Service should focus on its core competency of providing universal service for the delivery of First-Class Mail, newspapers, magazines, catalogs, advertising, and parcels.
- The Postal Service should be permitted to align its human and capital resources to best serve the nation's postal needs.
- Postal services and rates should be structured to permit flexibility, transparency, accountability, and the best use of public and private resources.
- The requirement that USPS overpayments into the federal civil service retirement fund be held in escrow should be repealed; and the obligation to pay for military service retirement should be returned to the Treasury.
The U.S. Postal Service is the linchpin of a $900 billion industry that employs more than nine million people. Failure to enact postal reform this year will inevitably expose a large part of the U.S. economy to serious harm."
February 27, 2004 -- The Federal Times has reported that "the U.S. Postal Service is willing to go further into debt if Congress does not pay for systems that detect biological and chemical weapons, Postmaster General John Potter said Feb. 26."
February 27, 2004 -- Business Mailers Review has reported that:
February 27, 2004 -- In a letter sent to Senate Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Susan Collins (R-ME), the General Accounting Office (GAO) today agreed with her assessment that comprehensive not incremental postal reform is needed now to ensure the U.S. Postal Service 's future viability. Senator Collins' Committee, which has jurisdiction over the U.S. Postal Service, has been leading the drive for postal reform and she plans to introduce bipartisan reform legislation with Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) later this year.
February 27, 2004 -- The U.K. publication, Marketing, has reported that "Royal Mail is embarking on a major campaign to promote its service to customers as the market opens up to competition for the first time. It also aims to encourage employees to have pride in the company. The campaign will introduce the tagline 'With us it's personal'. It will use the line in all marketing activity for the next three years. The ads were scheduled to launch in October 2003, but were put on hold due to strike action within the company. The launch of the work follows Royal Mail's recent agreement to give UK Mail access to its delivery network - the first company to be given such permission. Other market entrants include Deutsche Post and TPG."
February 27, 2004 -- The BBC Monitoring Service (U.K.) has reported that "the Japanese government has sent out a global protest over South Korea's issue of stamps featuring Dokdo, a group of islets claimed by both countries. Tokyo released the protest statement to the 190 member countries of the Universal Postal Union, saying Seoul is guilty of reproachable behaviour in going ahead with the production of the controversial stamps."
February 27, 2004 -- Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Germany) has reported that "Postal workers have not ruled out further work disruptions to protest benefit cuts to 67,000 employees of Deutsche Post who still enjoy full civil servant status. On Monday, post offices in Hamburg were closed for an employee gathering to challenge Deutsche Post's decision to cut the Christmas and vacation bonuses of the civil servants who make up about a quarter of its staff, in line with austerity measures ordered by the German government for its own employees. The civil servants said it was unfair to extend the cuts to them when they are working for a private company - albeit one still majority owned by the German government - that is making a profit."
February 27, 2004 -- The Western Mail (U.K.) has reported that "a radical rethink of the Royal Mail was urgently required to stem huge losses and arrest low staff morale, its chairman Allan Leighton told a meeting of the Institute of Directors in Cardiff yesterday."
February 27, 2004 -- The Tennessean has reported that "it could be coming soon to a mailbox near you: direct-mail ad pieces designed in clever shapes ranging from an open box of doughnuts to a Zamboni machine. Nashville Predators season-ticket holders are getting an oversized pitch from First Tennessee Bank through this new twist in direct marketing. It's made possible by the U.S. Postal Service now allowing irregular-shaped mailings without envelopes."
February 27, 2004 -- Bloomberg has reported that "Royal Mail Group Plc said it missed its target for delivering letters on time in the nine months to December because of strikes by workers. Service disruptions will continue in 2004, the postal operator said." See also The Guardian.
February 27, 2004 -- The Guardian (U.K.) has reported that "Royal Mail may have to pay out up to £80m in compensation payments to business customers as a result of failing to meet service quality targets set by the regulator. Fines on top of this could also be levied by Postcomm after Royal Mail admitted yesterday that it expected to end the year on March 31 well behind its goals."
February 27, 2004 -- Union Network International has reported that "UNI Postal affiliate, Syndicat de la Communication in Switzerland will today hold demonstrations in several large towns throughout Switzerland, post office workers will also observe the protest by stopping work. The Syndicat de la Communication, has condemned the Swiss Postal Service (La Poste Suisse) over the dismantling of the collective agreement (locally known as convention collective de travail) and the outsourcing of post office business." See also Neue Zurcher Zeitung.
February 26, 2004 -- Les Echos (France) has reported that "the French banking federation (FBF) said government plans to extend the financial services of French post office La Poste to property loans without prior savings just shifts a threat to jobs at La Poste to a threat to jobs at the banks."
February 26, 2004 -- The Associated Press has reported that "Postmaster General John Potter appealed to Congress on Thursday to provide anti-terrorism funds the Bush administration failed to include in its budget for next year. Potter asked for $779 million to help the agency buy and install systems to detect biological agents and poisons, and new ventilation and filtration systems, in 282 mail handling centers across the country. The Bush budget did not include any funds for those uses, although Potter pointed out that the mail has been used for both anthrax attacks and, more recently, to send the poison ricin."
February 26, 2004 -- Handelsblatt (Germany) has reported that "Deutsche Post, the German national postal service operator, is reported by management to be planning to reduce remuneration for its employees with the status of official (Beamte), numbering around 67,000. Management has rejected a demand by Ver.di, the services sector union, that the postal operator refrain from cutting holiday pay and Christmas bonuses. In its decision, the company is complying with a government plan to reduce officials' remuneration."
February 26, 2004 -- The testimony presented by Postmaster General John Potter before the Subcommittee on Transportation, Treasury and Independent Agencies, Committee on Appropriations, U.S. House of Representatives, has been posted on the Postal Service's web site."
February 26, 2004 -- For those who are interested, the February issue of the U.K. postal regulator's newsletter has been posted on its web site.
February 26, 2004 -- Following more than a year of negotiations, the National Multi Housing Council (NMHC) and National Apartment Association (NAA) won a huge victory for the apartment industry this week after convincing the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) not to require that all existing apartment mailboxes be retrofitted to comply with new design standards the organization expects to publish next month.
February 26, 2004 -- Federal Computer Week has reported that "the US Postal Service has awarded a $100 million technical support services contract to Orkand Corp. Work under the new contract will be done at the Postal Service's Maintenance Technical Support Center, in Norman, Okla., which provides technical maintenance and help desk support for the service's field offices. The contract is for two years and includes four two-year options."
February 26, 2004 -- According to Thai Press Reports, "the head of Thailand's newly privatized Post Office Company today expressed confidence that the company would begin making profits within the next 3-5 years."
February 26, 2004 -- The U.S. Newswire has reported that DigiStamp has filed a complaint against the U.S. Postal Service for bullying its way into its business. According to DigiStamp, the government agency has illegally introduced a direct competitor to its product, which the Post Office calls the "Electronic Postmark" service. At issue is whether the Postal Service violated the law by introducing a new postal product without the approval of their regulatory body, the Postal Rate Commission (PRC). By law, the Postal Service must first request approval of new mail services and rates from the PRC before implementing them.
February 26, 2004 -- Government Computer News has reported that "the Postal Service's commercial partner in its Electronic-Postmark program is stepping up marketing of the electronic service. AuthentiDate Inc. of New York created a new marketing division late last year to promote the service it developed for USPS. The move followed a decision by Microsoft Corp. to incorporate the postmark into its Office 2003 and XP software, making the service available without custom integration into an application. Microsoft is expected to announce soon that it will support the service on Office 2000 as well. Early adopters of the technology so far have been in the financial services and legal sectors, with some attention coming from government agencies."
February 26, 2004 -- As DMNews has noted, "the U.S. Postal Service has proposed requiring larger-sized mailbox systems in new apartment and business buildings to alleviate rising levels of undeliverable mail. The proposed new standard calls for an improved, tamper-resistant box 3 inches high by 12 inches wide by 15 inches deep. Most Express Mail and Priority Mail packages will be able to use the new boxes."
February 26, 2004 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "FedEx Corp. said its FedEx Express unit expanded its express freight services to include Saturday delivery in 25 U.S. markets. In a press release Wednesday, the Memphis-based company said the added delivery day covers its 1Day Freight, 2Day Freight and International Priority Freight shipments. The move comes after the express unit on Feb. 12 named Cathy Ross as chief financial officer, and as it focuses on its ground business as a result of stalled growth in U.S. air shipments."
February 26, 2004 -- The Seattle Post-Intelligencer has reported that "a federal jury in Harrisburg awarded $3.24 million to a former FedEx tractor-trailer driver who claimed she was sexually harassed and had the brakes on her truck sabotaged five separate times in an attempt to intimidate her."
February 26, 2004 -- FinanceAsia has reported that "China Post, the vast postal network in China, is in discussions with China Merchants Fund Management in Shenzhen about the possibility of using the postal organization as a platform for selling mutual funds."
February 25, 2004 -- In a letter to House postal task force leader John McHugh (R-NY), Grover Norquist, President of the Americans for Tax Reform urged Congress to send back to the Treasury the obligation to pay for the military-service portion of any postal retiree's pension costs.
February 25, 2004 -- Firstlogic, Inc. has announced the general availability of Postalsoft Business Edition version 7.40 - an all-in-one data management, list processing, address correction, and postal presorting software system. Postalsoft Business Edition helps organizations manage and cleanse marketing lists and prepares mail in the necessary order and format to receive postal discounts from the United States Postal Service (USPS).
February 25, 2004 -- The IDEAlliance has announced that it will be holding its 2004 Print Distribution Conference, April 26-28 at the Sheraton Sand Key Resort in Clearwater Beach, Florida. Information on this conference and a copy of the program are available on IDEAlliance web site. PostCom serves as one of the conference co-sponsors.
February 25, 2004 -- Reuters has reported that "internet advertising should grow at a steady pace and begin to compete with television as marketers shift more money online to match consumer habits, the head of Web marketing company DoubleClick, said on Wednesday. DoubleClick expects double-digit revenue growth in 2005, fueled by its tools that help advertisers build online campaigns and track consumer response, as well as its data analysis and direct marketing businesses. "
February 25, 2004 -- Dow Jones has reported that "the U.S. Supreme Court Wednesday unanimously rejected the notion that the U.S. Postal Service, a quasi-governmental entity, is subject to federal antitrust laws. The issue was raised when Flamingo Industries (USA) Ltd., Glendale Heights, Ill., sued the postal service after losing a contract to make mail sacks. The postal service, the company said, had violated antitrust laws through a conspiracy to purchase cheaper sacks made in Mexico."
February 25, 2004 -- The Jerusalem Post has reported that "the Postal Authority will undergo structural changes so it can turn into a government company with a business orientation, director-general Yossi Shelley said on Wednesday. The contracts of deputy directors-general and other senior staffers will be extended for only six months. Management is pleased with the work of most of them, he added, and the majority will be hired by the new company. In 2003, 230 postal workers were dismissed, as were nine senior executives and dozens of middle-grade managers. Authority chairman Ya'acov Edri said he is considering the possibility of hiring an organizational consulting firm with proven international experience in postal services to create the most efficient structure for the new company, which is to be formed in a few months."
February 25, 2004 -- GovExec.com has reported that "a Bush administration official Tuesday challenged some of the changes called for by the President's Commission on the Postal Service, while postal union representatives questioned the need for any large-scale change."
February 25, 2004 -- AllAfrica.com has reported that "the Postmaster General of the United States, Mr. John Potter has reportedly pledged the United Sates Postal Services (USPS) "firm and practical" commitment to providing support in the area of equipment and training for the revitalization of Liberia's Postal network. According to a dispatch from the United States, the US Postmaster General made the commitment over the weekend during an hour-long meeting with his Liberian counterpart Post and Telecommunications Minister Eugene Nagbe in Washington D.C. The dispatch said the United States Postal Service boss comments came after a formal acceptance of a non-monetary Technical Assistance Package presented by Minister Nagba for the revamp of Liberia's damaged postal service network and infrastructure."
February 25, 2004 -- PrimeZone has reported that "Northrop Grumman Corporation has teamed with Siemens Dematic Postal Automation L.P. to compete for the United States Postal Service's Flats Sequencing System/Delivery Point Packaging (FSS/DPP) program. FSS/DPP continues the Postal Service's letter and flat-mail automation program to provide the next generation of postal automation that will sort and merge letter and flat mail in a series of delivery point, walk-sequenced mail bundles. Contracts will be awarded in several phases over the next four years: design and simulation; prototype development and in-plant test; field test; and system production, should the Postal Service decide to install these new technologies. Northrop Grumman and Siemens Dematic are teamed for all phases of the program." See also Washington Technology
February 25, 2004 -- The Edmonton Journal has reported that "Canada Post and one of its unions are in a battle over the corporation's requirement that some new mail carriers be fingerprinted -- at their own expense -- as part of background checks."
February 25, 2004 -- TheEdge has reported that "Federal Express (FedEx) has extended its partnership with Kodak (Hong Kong) Ltd to Hong Kong by setting up FedEx self-delivery service counters in Kodak Express Shops, providing more drop-off points for customers to deliver their shipments."
February 25, 2004 -- 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..
February 25, 2004 -- Apparently, there's quite a bit of controvery up in the Canada over some of the business conducted by Canada Post. The Board of Directors of the corporation have published a decision to abide by a number of the recommendations offered by the Canadian Auditor General. In addition, the Board ordered the suspension with pay of the Hon. Andre Ouellet, P.C.,Q.C. from the position of President and CEO of Canada Post Corporation pending the outcome of inquiries, and has announced the interim President: C. Anne Joynt, (formerly) Executive Vice-President, Business Operations. The Board is permitted to appoint interim executive for a period of up to 90 days." See also the report by 94 0news.com.
February 25, 2004 -- The Guardian (U.K.) has asked: "How do you boost IT skills within the workforce and transform your organisation into a learning culture? Royal Mail's solution is to promote e-learning as a fun activity for workers and their families."
February 25, 2004 -- DM News has reported that "the U.S. Postal Service is in 'financial and systemic distress,' a coalition of mailers said in a letter delivered yesterday to four members of the House of Representatives. 'True postal reform can be achieved only through a comprehensive set of measures … that address the difficult, yet crucial, issues of cost control and regulatory oversight,' said Robert Walker, head of Postal Reform in the Public Interest and one of nine members of the President’s Commission on the U.S. Postal Service last year, in the letter. Postal Reform in the Public Interest represents First Class and small- volume mailers. Organizing members include the Greeting Card Association, the Newspaper Association of America, the McGraw-Hill Companies, American Business Media, and Reed Elsevier Inc. The letter was sent to Tom Davis, R-VA, and Henry Waxman, D-CA, of the House Committee on Government Reform, and John McHugh, R-NY, and Danny Davis, D-IL, of the Special Panel on Postal Reform and Oversight."
February 25, 2004 -- According to Dow Jones, "as the man sitting between Argentina and its more litigious bondholders, New York Judge Thomas Griesa has become a larger-than-life figure in the unfinished saga of the country's $100 billion default. But in the case of Correo Argentino S.A., the privately owned former Argentine postal operator whose accounts he temporarily froze eleven days ago, Griesa's potential influence looms even larger."
February 25, 2004 -- Khaleej Times has reported that "Emirates Post hosted an extraordinary meeting of heads of AGCC postal organisations in Dubai on Sunday to coordinate AGCC's participation in the 23rd Universal Postal Union (UPU) Congress scheduled to take place in Bucharest in September. The meeting, chaired by Fadel Abou Al Hassan, Under-Secretary, Ministry of Telecommunications, Kuwait, was convened at the initiative of Emirates Post to prepare a common agenda focusing on issues of concern to AGCC postal organisations in preparation for the forthcoming congress."
February 25, 2004 -- The Standard (Hong Kong) has reported that "China's air cargo market offers the greatest opportunities in the next few decades as mainland airlines invest in new equipment and networks expand."
February 25, 2004 -- The China Post has reported that "DHL, Federal Express and UPS are expanding their business in Taiwan, building more cargo service centers, signing up more airlines, as well as improving hardware and software facilities so as to provide integrated business solutions."
February 25, 2004 -- According to the Associated Press, "postal Service workers weren't told they had been exposed to deadly ricin found last year in a letter intercepted before reaching the White House, the head of the largest postal union said Tuesday, accusing the government of a double standard that favors politicians. Workers 'will not be treated like a canary in the mining industry,' said William Burrus, president of the American Postal Workers Union, which represents 366,000 clerks, maintenance employees, motor vehicle operators and other workers."
February 25, 2004 -- EUpolitix has reported that European "MEPs have again rejected a proposal to add VAT to postal services across the EU. The law, which would lift a VAT exemption on postal services agreed in the 1970s was rejected in the parliament's economic committee by 16 votes to 12 with two abstentions." See also the European Parliament Report.
February 25, 2004 -- Agenzia Giornalistica Italia has reported that "the Italian government pledges to extend publishing funds to smaller publishers. Cabinet undersecretary Paolo Bonaiuti stressed his thanks to the opposition for their positive contributions: "since we all understand the value of domestic postal discounts we worked behind closed doors [Â…] in an attempt to reconcile the wider interests of the sector. September seems an ideal time to verify actual fund availability. I hope that on that on that occasion we can set forth new legislative proposals which as of next year may well encompass trusts and socials services. We have striven to provide greater coverage for NGO's and other non profit organisations. Fund could not be attributed to publications with a high publicity content. That alone would have cost us an extra 60-70 million euro".
February 25, 2004 -- Louisville-based Kiosk Information Systems has received an additional contract from the U.S. Postal Service to produce and support human resources information kiosks.
February 25, 2004 -- The Accra Daily Mail has reported that "Mr. Nicholas Dery, Deputy Manager Operations and Development of the Ghana Post (GP) has said the Service is undertaking radical re-structuring and re-capitalisation, with a view to modernising service delivery. He said appropriate technology had been procured to automate and network all counters in the country to facilitate easy transactions and efficient services."
February 24, 2004 -- From the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on postal workforce issues:
All generally agreed that the proposals for CSRS and military pension liabilities, pricing flexibility, universal service, and retained earnings were good points of the Commission's recommendations. Hegarty said he also approved of the recommendations regarding negotiated discounts. All also agreed that the "fact finding" portion of the collective bargaining-arbitration process was of little value.
February 24, 2004 -- UPS Supply Chain Solutions has announced that enhancements to its customs brokerage service including new technology tools for better status visibility of shipments; alert systems to monitor the progress of critical shipments before, during and after customs clearance, and greater imaging capabilities for easier retrieval of documentation.
February 24, 2004 -- Siemens Dematic has announced the opening of its new 233,000 square foot facility in Arlington, Texas on the northwest side of the Ballpark in Arlington, and that the United States Postal Service (USPS) has awarded a $370 million contract to Siemens Dematic Postal Automation L.P. to provide systems and upgrades to replace its existing fleet of Multiline Optical Character Reader (MLOCR) systems. This is the single largest contract the USPS has ever awarded the company.
February 24, 2004 -- Graphic Arts Monthly has reported that "Congressman John Kline (R-MN) visited The Instant Web Companies, an integrated direct-mail services company located in Chanhassen, Minn., to demonstrate his support for the company's position on the Postal Civil Service Retirement System Funding Reform Act of 2003. In late November, James N. Andersen, The Instant Web Companies' president and chief executive, met with Minnesota legislators to gain support for changing the law. Andersen points out that the new law transfers $27 billion in postal employee military pension payments from taxpayers to postage ratepayers. Kline and Andersen support legislation that would return responsibility for these payments to the Treasury Department, as is the case for all other government agencies. The printing executive also reports that the law's revised retirement funding formula requires that billions of dollars be held in escrow, which alone will result in an increase of more than 10% in postage rates in 2006, double the anticipated increase without the escrow provision." To Jim Anderson...KUDOS! Well done.
February 24, 2004 -- The Interfax news agency has reported that:
February 24, 2004 -- AMEInfo has reported that "a high-level Iraqi post team from the Coalition Provisional Authority has arrived in Dubai on a two-day visit to study the postal operations of Emirates Post, as part of an overall strategy aimed at the reconstruction of the postal infrastructure in Iraq. The team consisting of Mr. Raymond T. Murphy, Senior Postal Advisor and Operations Support Manager, New York, US Postal Service, and Mr. Steven J. Lucks, Senior Technical Liaison Representative held talks with Mr. Abdulla Al Daboos, Director General of Emirates Post, and were briefed on the advanced postal systems adopted by the UAE."
February 24, 2004 -- The New York Times has reported that "When Deutsche Post, the German postal and package-delivery giant, announced last March it would buy a smaller American service, Airborne, its timing could not have been worse. Deutsche Post's U.S. rivals, UPS and FedEx, were busy painting the company as a predatory arm of the German government, bent on dominating the global delivery business through its state support. But then the winds shifted. A graduate of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a former partner at McKinsey Co., Zumwinkel, 60, needs little tutoring in the ways of American business or politics. Next week, he embarks on a trip to the United States that will include meetings with analysts, bankers, investors, journalists and politicians. It has the unmistakable feel of a victory lap."
February 24, 2004 -- The Daily Yomiuri (Japan) has reported that "Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's plan to reorganize the Cabinet after the House of Councillors election to be held in July is expected to intensify political bargaining between the government and the ruling parties. Koizumi reportedly intends to entrust the promotion of the privatization of postal services, a main tenet of his structural reforms, to Heizo Takenaka."
February 24, 2004 -- The St. Petersburg Times (Russia) has reported that "the Russian Post is now opening a completely new page in its history. These were the words of Igor Syrtsov, general director of the postal service that has traditionally been seen as a weak state system unable to seriously affect how its work is organized and famous for considerably low service quality. Syrtsov spoke of revamping the Russian Post at the unveiling of its CyberMoney project. The project, officially launched late last month, forms a unified federal system of electronic postal money orders and was initiated by the Communications Ministry and the Electronic Russia program."
February 23, 2004 -- NewsToday (India) has reported that "the All India Postal and Telegraph SC/ST Employees' Welfare Association has decided not to participate in the one-day token strike tomorrow called by Central trade unions. In a letter to the Principal Chief Post Master General, Chennai, the association said that as per the resolution passed by their working committee at Bhopal recently it has been decided not to participate in the proposed strike and we have communicated our decision to rank and file our association at grass-root level'. The association expressed confidence that the functioning of post offices could be managed by circle administration as 'membership strength has spread over in all the Divisions', without causing inconvenience to the public."
February 23, 2004 -- According to the Nottingham Evening Post (U.K.), "when post offices are earmarked for closure it is easy to believe their impending doom will be a forgone conclusion. But campaigners in Carlton are proof that people power really can win the day."
February 23, 2004 -- The Federal Times has reported that "the Homeland Security Department has proposed discarding the government's 50-year-old pay and classification system and giving department heads and managers more authority to set and adjust salaries based on the labor market, individual performance and available funds. No longer would most of the department's 180,000 employees be guaranteed across-the-board raises each year or longevity-based increases within their pay grades. Instead, raises would be given only to employees who meet or exceed expectations. And employees with outstanding performance stand to earn raises considerably higher than the norm. The proposed personnel system, released for public comment Feb. 20, will serve as a model of civil service reform for the rest of government."
February 23, 2004 -- Traffic World has reported that "the World Freight Alliance led by Pilot Air Freight wants to stay independent. The idea is that banding together will help these independents compete against the giants like the DHL network with its Danzas AEI forwarding brand.
February 23, 2004 -- IFW-Net has reported that "TPG will make its long-promised move into freight forwarding this year, CEO Peter Bakker has pledged. Announcing the group's results for 2003, he said this could be by acquisition or through a joint venture. Agroup spokesman could not confirm rumours of a proposed t300m acquisition of a European-based forwarder, but told IFWthat funding on this scale would not be a problem if TPG achieved the global capability it seeks."
February 23, 2004 -- The Sunday Telegraph (U.K.) has reported that "the National Pensioners Convention is accusing the Government of mounting a covert plan to stop pensioners from having their pensions paid in at Post Offices. The NPC's allegations, which have sparked a furious row, concern the Government's decision to scrap pension books in favour of automated payments directly into bank, building society or Post Office card accounts.
February 23, 2004 -- Federal Computer Week has reported that:
February 23, 2004 -- According to Bloomberg, "Europe's largest postal service risks losing business from German publishing houses as Axel Springer AG, Gruner & Jahr AG and Hubert Burda Holding GmbH are in talks about using other deliverers to reduce costs, the daily Handelsblatt said."
February 23, 2004 -- GhanaWeb has reported that "Mr Nicholas Dery, Deputy Manager Operations and Development of the Ghana Post (GP), on Saturday said the Service was undertaking radical re-structuring and re-capitalisation, with a view to modernising service delivery. He said appropriate technology had been procured to automate and network all counters in the country to facilitate easy transactions and efficient services."
February 22, 2004 -- The Minneapolis Star-Tribune has reported that "a young St. Louis Park man accused of hacking into a Web server belonging to the U.S. Postal Service has been indicted on computer fraud charges. A grand jury has charged him with transmitting a code in May 2002 that damaged a Web server database table owned by the U.S. Postal Service, Office of Inspector General."
February 21, 2004 -- According to Bloomberg, "Deutsche Post AG, Europe's largest postal service, plans to slow plans to reduce the number of mailboxes in Germany to appease customer criticism, Die Welt reported."
February 21, 2004 -- The Postal Rate Commission will hold a demonstration of its Windows-based CRA/Cost Rollforward Model on February 26 at 10 a.m. in the PRC hearing room in Washington, DC.
February 21, 2004 -- The Financial Times (U.K.) has reported that "Deutsche Post, the German postal and logistics group, plans to benchmark Postbank against eight European banks to value its financial services arm when it is floated later this year."
February 21, 2004 -- Dow Jones has reported that "German services union ver.di is demanding a 4% wage increase for those employed in the postal services and logistics industries, the union said Friday. The union says wage agreements should run for one year. Talks affecting roughly 160,000 employees in Deutsche Post AG will take place in May, the union said in a statement. Other talks over logistics industry employees begin in April."
February 21, 2004 -- Japan Times has reported that "Japan's postal agency has rejected a request to issue postage stamps in packages containing photos of islets claimed by both Tokyo and Seoul over fears it could trigger a dispute with South Korea.
February 21, 2004 -- Japan Today has reported that "Japan Post expects to secure roughly 15 billion yen in net profit from its postal delivery operations for the current fiscal year, taking just half the time to achieve an initial target of 14 billion yen net profit." See also the Kyodo news service.
February 20, 2004 -- From the Federal Register:
February 20, 2004 -- According to a report in the Jonesboro Sun, "the Newspaper Association of America has joined with other organizations to form an advocacy group called Postal Reform in the Public Interest, which is urging Congress to increase financial accountability and strengthen oversight of the U.S. Postal Service. Members are concerned about excessive rates and subsidization of mass mailers by first-class and small-volume mailers....The Postal Service is not and should not be in the direct mail advertising business, and it certainly should not use other mail services to subsidize direct mail advertising costs." All these years...and it's still the same ole same ole.
February 20, 2004 -- Bloomberg has reported that "United Parcel Service Inc. will buy out its Japanese joint venture with Yamato Transport Co."
February 20, 2004 -- Khaleej Times (UAE) has reported that "Emirates Post's "Express Yourself and Win" campaign launched early this year offering customers a chance to win upto 12 cash prizes has received good response, and is beginning to generate anxiety among participants with its first quarterly draw scheduled to be held next month."
February 20, 2004 -- According to The Guardian (U.K.), "TPG, the Dutch postal and logistics group planning to make deep inroads into Royal Mail's monopoly over letters delivery in the UK, has launched an investigation into the tax affairs of a British subsidiary. The UK unit, a holding company that is part of the TNT express delivery business, has been in dispute with the Inland Revenue since the late 1990s over the fiscal treatment of its earnings."
February 20, 2004 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that "TPG, the Dutch mail, express and logistics group, has released its results for the full year 2003. At the same time it also revealed details of a major new strategy initiative which will see its present structure overhauled. Mail revenues fell by 2.2% to €3,915m as a result of lower volumes in the Netherlands, although its European networks continued to see strong growth."
February 20, 2004 -- China View has reported that "Menlo Worldwide Logistics, a fully-service contract logistics company, announced Friday here that they and Guangdong Postal Logistics have signed a letter of intent to cooperate jointly on logistics in southern China and globally."
February 20, 2004 -- The Stratford Star has reported that "Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-3rd District) this week pledged to work to restore mail delivery service to its former level. DeLauro said mail service in Stratford has deteriorated since postal routes were cut in November."
February 20, 2004 -- DM News has reported that "posters began appearing in post offices yesterday promoting eBay's "Dream big, save big" contest and postal products and services. The contest and the U.S. Postal Service products and services target small-business owners."
February 20, 2004 -- According to postal commentator Gene Del Polito, "Abraham Lincoln once was quoted as saying 'you can fool some of the people all of the time,' and P.T. Barnum was known for his 'there's a sucker born every minute.' Given the shabby treatment that mailers have received at the hands of their supposed savior, it looks as if Lincoln and Barnum were talking about the mailing industry."
February 20, 2004 -- The House Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Transportation, Treasury and Independent Agencies, will have its annual hearing on Thursday, February 26, 10 a.m., in Rayburn 2358. PMG Jack Potter and Engineering Vice President Tom Day will testify.
February 19, 2004 -- Dow Jones has reported that "Dutch postal and logistics company TPG N.V. (TP) Thursday said it is probing tax irregularities at one of its U.K. units, The problem dates back to the end of the 1990s and has a maximum impact of EUR40 million for TPG, Chief Executive Peter Bakker said during a press conference detailing the company's fourth-quarter results. TPG expects the investigation to be rounded off in the next couple of weeks."
February 19, 2004 -- Senate Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Susan Collins (R-ME) and Ranking Member Joe Lieberman (D-CT) have announced that the committee will hold a hearing on Tuesday, February 24 to discuss concerns about proposed reforms to the Postal Service's workforce. The hearing will be held at 10 a.m. in room SD-342 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building. The following witnesses are expected to testify: Dan G. Blair, Deputy Director, Office of Personnel Management; William Young, President, National Association of Letter Carriers; Dale Holton, National President, National Rural Letter Carriers of America; William Burrus, President, American Postal Workers Union; John Hegarty, President, National Postal Mail Handlers Union,
February 19, 2004 -- Mailcom will be holding its "really big show" on April 27-30, 2004 at the Atlantic City Convention Center in Atlantic City, NJ. Check the Mailcom web site for registration and program information.
February 19, 2004 -- CNET News has reported that "radio frequency identification has become one of the hottest concepts on the technology landscape, promising to streamline how businesses track and stock inventory. But companies may need to rethink their software infrastructures in order to make RFID work as advertised, said analysts and technology makers. In the rush to launch RFID projects, businesses may be overlooking a crucial element necessary to allow the technology to work smoothly: Making sure back-end databases and business applications can handle the massive amounts of information generated by RFID-enabled systems."
February 19, 2004 -- Forbes has noted that "FedEx chief Frederick W. Smith testified before Congress last week about reforming the U.S. Postal Service. It was quite a balancing act. On one hand, Smith praised 'the professionalism of Postal Service managers and the scale of its operations.' Moments later, however, he berated the 'inefficiencies and disincentives' accompanying monopolies such as the one the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) enjoys on the mailbox. 'The biggest victim of the postal monopoly,' Smith intoned, 'is the Postal Service.' What gives?"
February 19, 2004 -- The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has reported that "with a strong tail wind from Asia, a recovery in manufacturing and shopping over the Internet, air freight shipments have rebounded after several down years."
February 19, 2004 -- Maine Today has reported that " A bill that would give Mainers a safe way to dispose of expired or unused prescription drugs would violate federal postal regulations, according to the state's top drug enforcement officer."
February 19, 2004 -- Japan Times has reported that "post offices throughout the country have been undergoing drastic changes since last April, when Japan Post came into being, inheriting mail delivery as well as the administration of postal savings and postal life insurance from the Postal Service Agency. In tieups with local governments and private enterprises, post offices are diversifying their business and extending their hours of mail delivery. Some offices have even allowed convenience stores and flower shops to open outlets in their lobbies to better serve residents."
February 19, 2004 -- MENA.fn.com has reported that "Qatar's General Postal Corporation (Q-Post), as part of its expansion programme, plans to offer the e-resident services from all the 24 post offices in Qatar before the end of this year, Abdulla Al Hajri, head of public relations and customer services, said here yesterday. Q-Post will also launch the facility of paying electricity and water bills at its branches within the next couple of weeks, he added."
February 19, 2004 -- According to the Columbia Spectator, "in recent weeks, Columbia administrators have noticed several mail problems. The majority of these problems appear to be centered on the USPS rather than Columbia Mail Services, making them difficult for the University to solve. A meeting late last week between Columbia administrators and the U.S. Postal Service attempted to fix some of the problems with Columbia mail delivery. While few of the issues were resolved, those discussed included missing returned mail, inaccurate delivery confirmation reports, and the difficulties of having a campus that spans two zip codes."
February 19, 2004 -- According to the People's Daily (China), "international air mail will soon find it easier to reach China, as a new hub for air mail transfer with the largest handling capacity in the country broke ground Wednesday in Beijing."
February 19, 2004 -- The Associated Press has reported that "the House and the Senate are initiating new mail inspection procedures, including the opening of all mail at an off-site location, after the latest discovery of a deadly substance in the postal system. Under new protocols, all letters will be removed from envelopes and then reinserted and resealed after being found safe, House Sergeant at Arms Bill Livingood and Chief Administrative Office Jay Eagen said in a letter to House members."
February 19, 2004 -- As Graphics IQ has noted, "the new year brought more scary news about mail-borne terrorism: On Feb. 2, the poison Ricin was discovered in a letter sent to a Capitol Hill legislator in Washington, D.C. While no known biological or chemical attacks have been attempted through the U.S. Postal Service since the anthrax scare of 2001--which claimed the lives of several people in Washington, D.C., and elsewhere on the East Coast--the Postal Service reports that people send unidentified white powders through the mail daily. Most turn out to be common household substances such as talc or cornstarch. One possible defense against such attacks, said members of the House Committee on Administration, is PDF. Already in development since the anthrax scare of 2001, the government's "d-mail" program gets mail delivered to legislators electronically via PDF attachments from paper scans made at a Leesburg, Va., site."
February 19, 2004 -- The Jerusalem Post (Israel) has reported that "automatic vending machines that will enable Postal Authority customers to dispatch and receive registered mail will soon be installed at 10 locations around the country as a pilot project. Authority director-general Yossi Shelli said that the machines, which cost NIS 45,000 each, will provide postal services seven days a week, 24 hours a day, without waiting in line. Similar machines are used in the US and are being tested in England, Germany, and France."
February 19, 2004 -- The Daily Yomiuri (Japan) has reported that "a plan to maintain the current nationwide network of post offices by offering new administrative functions and services was stressed Tuesday by the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy as the council resumed debate on the privatization of three postal services. However, the treatment of special post offices, which comprise about three-quarters of the nation's post offices, and their high personnel costs, is another major issue in the debate."
February 19, 2004 -- Reuters has reported that "the U.S. Postal Service could be dispatched to deliver antibiotics to people in their mail in the event of a biological attack under a plan being developed by the service and other government officials. The postal service could use its network of more than 170 million addresses to speed the distribution of medication to residential areas in the event of a catastrophic incident." See also the Associated Press.
February 19, 2004 -- Parcel Direct has acquired PaqFast, Inc. (PFI), a parcel shipper specializing in delivery to Destination Delivery Units (DDUs) – the deepest point possible in the mailstream. Like Parcel Direct, PFI leverages the strengths of the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) to provide final in-home delivery for businessto-consumer packages.
February 19, 2004 -- Mailers Council exec Bob McLean has noted that "the Bush budget for FY 2005 proposes eliminating the $29 million revenue foregone to the USPS. Currently the Postal Service is owed almost $1 billion total for revenue forgone. If Congress fails to appropriate the money for two or more years the postal accountants may require that the entire amount may be booked as a loss."
February 18, 2004 -- According to the Kyodo news service, "governmental economic policy-setting panel started debating Tuesday how to privatize the nation's three postal services by agreeing to pursue their self-reliance and the system's nationwide network."
February 18, 2004 -- Business Day (South Africa) has reported that "Iraq's slow postal service faces a new challenge as the country opens up to the outside world after 13 years of sanctions, with competition from satellite telephones, the Internet and express delivery firms."
February 18, 2004 -- Dow Jones has reported that "lawyers for Argentina's government argued Tuesday that the government doesn't own a private Argentine company whose assets have been restricted at the request of a government creditor. That company, Correo Argentino SA, had its two U.S. accounts worth $11 million restricted Friday by federal Judge Thomas Griesa at the request of plaintiff Macrotecnic International Corp., a creditor holding a $540 million judgment against Argentina related to its December 2001 debt default. Correo ran Argentina's mail service until November, when the government stripped it of its contract and placed the postal system back in state hands. The Argentine government claims Correo owes it 450 million pesos ($1=ARS2.9225)."
February 18, 2004 -- The American Postal Workers Union has told the Postal Rate Commission that it opposes "consideration of the Complaint filed in the above-referenced matter. The Commission should not consider this Complaint on its merits for several reasons."
February 18, 2004 -- DM News has reported that "the U.S. Postal Service said that the first test for its automated package processing system began yesterday at the Twin Cities Metro Hub in Minneapolis. APPS, the next-generation package sorter, will replace more than 100 mechanized small parcel and bundle sorting machines at 70 postal facilities nationwide. The system is expected to boost productivity by reducing manual handling."
February 18, 2004 -- 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..
February 18, 2004 -- Dow Jones has reported that "former postal service operator Correo Argentino SA responded Tuesday to the threat of embargoes on two of the company's U.S.-based accounts as the result of litigation from a creditor of Argentina, asserting that it is a private company and will defend its rights accordingly. On Monday, business daily El Cronista reported that Judge Thomas Griesa in New York has ruled that an embargo be placed on two U.S.-based accounts worth $11 million that are listed under Correo Argentino SA, a company that is in debt to the government. The company ran Argentina's mail service until November, when the government stripped it of its contract and placed the postal system back into state hands."
February 18, 2004 -- The Daily Yomiuri (Japan) has reported that "the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy on Tuesday resumed full-fledged debate on the privatization of the postal services, which Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi considers the "centerpiece" of the structural reform he champions. At the meeting, the council members agreed on the need to have a diverse range of over-the-counter services available at the nationwide network of post offices as a "fourth function," in addition to the three current key services of mail delivery, postal savings and kampo life insurance. Some members of the council called for the physical distribution service of mail delivery to be strengthened and developed into an international business."
February 17, 2004 -- To meet increasing customer demand for expedited mail services, UPS Mail Innovations has opened new facilities in Hartford, Conn., and Chicago to strengthen its nationwide infrastructure.
February 17, 2004 -- Pervasive Software Inc., a global value leader in data infrastructure software, today announced its industry-leading database will be powering applications for Window Book, Inc., a premier Postal mailing and shipping solutions provider. Window Book, located in Cambridge, Mass., has migrated several of its applications to Pervasive.SQL(TM) V8 in a quest to offer its customers a more powerful, embedded data management solution.
February 17, 2004 -- Business Line (India) has reported that "Reliance Infocomm has begun negotiations with India Post for address verification and collection of bills from its mobile subscribers throughout the country. The company, which provides the mobile service on the CDMA (code division multiple access) platform, has a subscriber base in excess of six million across the country. Reliance Infocomm is keen to outsource bill collection to India Post in view of India Post's network of 1.5 lakh offices spread across the most remote regions."
February 17, 2004 -- Stars and Stripes has reported that "somewhere in the postal ether floats Larry Vogan's shiny, aluminum $1,800 Apple PowerBook laptop, Maj. Daren Epstein's $1,800 Nikon D-100 digital camera and David McGill's $365 graphics tablet. Ordered over the Internet, the packages should have been shipped to a U.S. Postal Service substation near San Francisco and eventually loaded on a plane to South Korea. After a 12-hour flight, the packages should have landed at Incheon International Airport, been trucked to Kimpo Airport and sorted at the U.S. military's postal facility there. Then, the packages should have been trucked to Yongsan Garrison's post office where they would be sorted again and picked up by mail officers and distributed. But somewhere along the line, it just didn't happen that way."
February 17, 2004 -- Dow Jones has reported that Japanese "Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's top economic panel will discuss the privatization of the Y350 trillion postal system with key figures Tuesday evening."
February 17, 2004 -- If you mail in Canada or into Canada, and you're not yet a member of the National Association of Major Mail Users (NAMMU) -- you should be! A copy of one of NAMMU's excellent member updates has been posted on this site. To get these sorts of updates regularly, you need to be a member of NAMMU.
February 17, 2004 -- DM News has published an interview with Postmaster General John Potter. It's worth reading.
February 17, 2004 -- El Pais (Spain) has reported that "Correos, the Spanish post office, has acquired 90 mopeds and 1,225 motorcycles from Piaggio, the Italian motorcycle group. The new bikes, which are intended to reinforce the postal operator's services and renew its fleet, were acquired for 2.7m euros."
February 17, 2004 -- Barrons has asked: "Wanna hear the dope on a swell little Bulletin Board stock? You heard right -- an OTC Bulletin Board stock. Normally, it's true, we give wide berth to this Wild West of the investment world, heavily populated as it is by promoters and penny stocks and speculative home to many of the raciest and raunchiest of low-priced issues. Indeed, outfits whose shares change hands there are frequently little more than smoke and hype, unencumbered by even the sketchiest of business plans or the flimsiest of financials. Which is why we were intrigued to come across, in that vast wasteland of has-been and never-were companies, trading under the stock symbol ABXA on Bloomberg or AXBA.OB on Yahoo, shares of a cargo airline called ABX Air."
February 17, 2004 -- According to the Delphos Herald, "thirty minutes online and you'll be mailing like a pro. Unbelievable as it sounds, you can plan your entire mailing, get a mailing list, create a mailing piece, print your advertisement and send it all from the comfort and convenience of your own home. Even trips to the Post Office are unnecessary. All you need is a home computer, an Internet connection, and a desire to grow your business."
February 17, 2004 -- Stuff.co.nz has reported that "postal and telecommunication services in the lower North Island have been severely disrupted by the extreme weather. Flooding in Manawatu and Rangitikei stopped mail deliveries for many people. New Zealand Post said there were none in Wanganui, Feilding, Bulls, Sanson, Taihape, Ohakune and Dannevirke yesterday."
February 17, 2004 -- Reu ters has reported that "a U.S. court has frozen the assets of Correo Argentino S.A., a mail delivery company that owes money to the Argentine government, in an action initiated by an investor trying to recoup money lost in the country's 2002 bond default, a lawyer in the case said."
February 17, 2004 -- DHL has announced that it has reached a major milestone in the integration of DHL and Airborne Express. After only six months, both companies have integrated the majority of their ground and courier networks, and are now launching several new programs for customers. Shipping and logistics customers will benefit from the combination of an expanded domestic portfolio, and a powerful global network. The newly combined DHL offers a seamless customer experience; one combined product offering for new customers; one contact for sales representation; one pricing program for new customers; one integrated ground network; one courier for pickup and delivery; one web-based shipping solution; one world class web site at http://www.DHL-usa.com, and one customer service number (1-800-CALL DHL)."
February 17, 2004 -- ITBusiness.ca has reported that "a European mail equipment manufacturer is turning to Canadian-developed security technology to help comply with changes in Canada Post's requirements for postage meters across the country. France.-based Neopost said it was using the Security Builder Crypto toolkit from Mississauga, Ont.-based Certicom Corp. to generate digital post marks (DPM) in its digital mailing systems."
February 16, 2004 -- According to the Jerusalem Post (Israel), "the Postal Authority has chosen the Geller-Nissim-Darcy ad agency to run its advertising budget of NIS 12m. for 2004. Last year, the authority spent only NIS 7m. on advertising."
February 16, 2004 -- UPS CampusShip, a Web-based solution that has made shipping easier for thousands of businesses across the United States and Puerto Rico, now is available in an additional 22 countries and territories and 16 languages.
February 16, 2004 -- The Irish Independent has reported that "a backlog of thousands of items of mail has prompted An Post to advise customers not to send items to addresses in the postal areas of Drogheda, Co Louth or Tuam, Co Galway, until further notice. The company said that it was taking this step to enable clearance of a sizeable backlog of mail. This has resulted from continued unofficial industrial action over the past fortnight by mailstaff who are members of the Communications Workers Union."
February 16, 2004 -- TamilNet (Sri Lanka) has reported that "two fundamental rights violation petitions have been filed in the Supreme Court against the Postal Corporation Bill gazetted by the Sri Lankan government, state-run radio (SLBC) reported today."
February 16, 2004 -- In a letter to the editor of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, PostCom President Gene Del Polito said that "the United States has a huge and vibrant economy with a variety of advertising channels. There's room for all media. As a country we need our newspapers, we need our mail stream, and we need all other media as well. Based on performance, advertisers will decide which media works best to promote a given product, service or nonprofit cause -- and that's the way it ought to be."
February 15, 2004 -- According to the Jacksonville Times-Union, a man "who spent years driving trucks and now crusades against what he calls a corrupt industry and a complacent government said Saturday he was questioned by FBI agents regarding the first of three incidents in which the toxin ricin was sent in the mail."
February 15, 2004 -- The Evening Standard (U.K.) has reported that "Royal Mail is on course for a dramatic change in its fortunes, with profits for the year to March 31 soaring to nearly £200 million. The £800 million turnround - last year it lost £611 million - will automatically trigger bonuses for the 200,000 workers. The key to the recovery has been better relations with the unions. Last month both sides signed a pay-and-conditions agreement that has allowed a redundancy programme to go ahead smoothly."
February 14, 2004 -- The Telegraph (U.K.) has reported that "Royal Mail yesterday failed in a landmark court case that could have allowed it to charge address providers for use of its database."
February 14, 2004 -- As Information Week has noted, "in the mid-1990s, United Parcel Service Inc. decided it needed a software program to map its entire U.S. operations-every pickup and delivery center and every sorting facility, totaling more than 1,500 locations-to find the best routes to move more than 10 million packages and documents daily. Now, almost a decade later, UPS not only uses that homegrown software to help answer questions such as where to put a new distribution center, but it's planning by 2006 to give its 70,000 drivers unprecedented tools to fine-tune the supply chain. If successful, the plan would change supply-chain optimization from today's top-down, management-driven approach to one that's essentially bottom-up, giving more information to the people closest to the customer." See also Baseline magazine.
February 14, 2004 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "FedEx Corp. named Cathy Ross chief financial officer for FedEx Express, replacing Tracy G. Schmidt."
February 13, 2004 -- The Kyodo news service (Japan) has reported that "post offices throughout the country have been undergoing drastic changes since last April when Japan Post came into being, inheriting mail delivery as well as the administration of postal savings and postal life insurance from the Postal Service Agency. In tie-ups with local governments and private enterprises, post offices are diversifying their business and extending hours of mail delivery. Some offices have even allowed convenience stores and flower shops to open outlets in their lobbies for better service to local residents."
February 13, 2004 -- According to the Associated Press, "shipping giant FedEx Corp. said Thursday it has completed its $2.4 billion acquisition of Kinko's Inc. The purchase puts FedEx operations in Kinko's 1,100 stores across the country and gives the shipper better access to the small office/home office market."
February 13, 2004 -- The San Francisco Chronicle has reported that "fourth and fifth-graders at Stege Elementary School in Richmond have created their own school postal service. Letter carriers, outfitted with special packs, report to Ruth Okubo's third-grade classroom to sort the mail and then deliver to classrooms during lunchtime. This is a literacy exercise where students and teachers are keeping in touch through the written word. Not a bad idea. It should be emulated.
February 13, 2004 -- Reuters has reported that "United Parcel Service Inc. has raised its quarterly dividend 12 percent, its second increase in the last year, citing the company's 2003 performance and "continued positive outlook" for 2004."
February 13, 2004 -- According to Dow Jones, "Dutch postal and logistics company TPG N.V. (TP) Friday said it has acquired the remaining 40% stake in leading direct marketing company Dimar Group, active in the Czech Republic and Slovakia."
February 13, 2004 -- Expatica Belgium has reported that "a lowly worker at the financial services department of the Belgian post office has admitted embezzling a staggering EUR 12.5 million in under two months, Brussels magistrates confirmed on Thursday."
February 13, 2004 -- The Asahi Shimbun (Japan) has reported that "the nation's first 'model post office' mixing modern business management styles with its government-run mail services appears to have dropped the ball-and more than a few letters, too. Seven instructors from Toyota Motor have worked at the Koshigaya Post Office since January 2003 to teach implementation of the Toyota-style kanban (just-in-time) inventory system. The system saves time and raises productivity by using large boards that show employees the progress of assigned tasks. Hopes were high that the system, synonymous with effective management in profitable firms, might help the post office do better, too. But it may be a case of return to sender."
February 13, 2004 -- According to the Evening Standard (U.K.), "postal wars are set to break out this year after German giant Deutsche Post said it is to launch plans to break up Royal Mail's 300-year-old UK monopoly."
February 13, 2004 -- The testimony of all who participated at the February 11, 2004 hearing before the House Government Reform postal task force is now available on the committee's web site.
February 13, 2004 -- Business Mailers Review has reported that:
Business Mailers Review is published biweekly by Sedgwick Publishing Co. This is one of the best postal newsletters you'll find published in this country. There's much more to each issue than the teaser you see here. For subscription information, check the BMR web site.
February 13, 2004 -- As Transport Intelligence has noted, "the UK mail market continued to be a major focus of activity this week with news that the incumbent postal operator, Royal Mail, has opened up its network to one of its major rivals, Business Post. The two companies have signed the first agreement of its kind in Europe which will enable Business Post access to Royal Mail's local sorting and final delivery network."
February 13, 2004 -- On February 11, President George W. Bush announced his intention to nominate NAPUS member Dawn A. Tisdale to be a commissioner of the Postal Rate Commission. Tisdale is a retired postmaster who served from 1989 to 2000 as postmaster of Smithville, Texas. Prior to his tenure as postmaster, he was manager of Employee Relations in Waco, and a letter carrier in Austin. In Austin, he served as Vice President of NALC Branch 181. If confirmed by the Senate, Mr. Tisdale would serve the remainder of a six-year term expiring in November 2006.
February 13, 2004 -- For those who missed the hearing, you can get copies of the testimony that was presented in Chicago before a House postal reform task force on the House Government Reform Committee web site.
February 12, 2004 -- Kerri Houston, Vice President of Policy for Frontiers of Freedom Institute, writes that "the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is a State Owned Enterprise or 'SOE,' a government-run monopoly allowed to impose rate increases to fund its ill-fated extra-Constitutional commercial activities. As an SOE, it also can dip into the well of taxpayer dollars with wild abandon while referring to itself as 'privatized.' The President appoints the Postal Service's ruling Board of Governors as well as the Postal Commission, which has oversight over the rate increases used to pay for extraneous non-core business projects. The USPS has reached annual sales of over $60 billion per year, with nearly 40,000 post offices, a fleet of 200,000 vehicles, and its own police force. But things are changing for the Postal Service. Just as we no longer require entire rooms to house computers, and cell phones are gradually replacing landlines, the constitutionally legitimate mandates of the USPS are being made obsolete. Fax machines, email and competitive telephony pricing have replaced many previous postal functions including bill paying, conveyance of important documents, and sending a note to grandma. With digital cameras and scanners, even sharing photos is now done more efficiently in bytes than in envelopes. But unlike its ancestor the dinosaur, the USPS does not have the grace to die out slowly, naturally and with dignity. Like any bureaucracy struggling for a future, it is instead battling to reinvent itself as something it isn't, and was never meant to be.
February 12, 2004 -- The Irish Independent, "An Post is facing a mounting campaign of postal disruptions because of unofficial industrial action."
February 12, 2004 -- According to Roll Call, "a controversial proposal to retool the Senate's mail processing system to better screen for lethal toxins is being met with some skepticism by top lawmakers concerned about their constituents' privacy. Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Bill Pickle presented Senators with a tentative plan this week that would require all mail addressed to the Senate to be completely opened and examined for the kind of chemical and biological agents responsible for bringing work on Capitol Hill to a virtual halt twice in the past three years."
February 12, 2004 -- According to the New York Daily News, "George W. Bush left his Texas Air National Guard assignment and moved to Alabama in 1972 even though the Air Force denied his request for a transfer, according to his military records. In fact, Bush did not even ask for an official transfer until nine days after he moved to Alabama in May 1972. The Air Force quickly rejected Bush's request, saying the fighter pilot was "ineligible" to move to the Alabama unit Bush wanted - a squadron of postal handlers."
February 12, 2004 -- Information Week has noted that "UPS slashed the time it takes to determine the least-expensive route from months to days to hours and wants to make that information available in real time."
February 12, 2004 -- Today, on the Postal Rate Commission web site:
February 12, 2004 -- The Financial Times (U.K.) has reported that "Deutsche Post, the German postal operator that aims to break into the UK market, said it was "encouraged" by the agreement struck on Tuesday between Royal Mail and its private sector rival Business Post. Tony Allsop, head of Deutsche Post's UK operations, denied it was in talks over a similar deal. Meanwhile TPG, the Dutch postal operator, said it was already in talks with Royal Mail over accessing its network, and negotiations had begun before news of UK Mail's deal."
February 12, 2004 -- Le Monde (France) has reported that "French senator Gerard Larcher (UMP) has said that the question of whether La Poste, the national postal services group, should be allowed to offer credit, has led to a "real debate", which is a measure of the issue's significance."
February 12, 2004 -- According to the Polish News Bulletin, the Polish post office, Poczta Polska (PP), plans to set up its own investment fund and issue an official request to Poland's Securities and Exchange Commission (KPWiG) in the first half of the year."
February 12, 2004 -- The Nation (Thailand) has reported that "United Parcel Service (UPS) plans to promote Thailand as its gateway to Indochina and other Asian countries because of its geography and good infrastructure. Just how fast Thailand attains this position will depend on the readiness of its facilities such as those at the new Suvarnabhumi International Airport."
February 12, 2004 -- The Edge Daily (Singapore) has reported that "DHL Express has opened a new Asia Pacific Regional office in Singapore, which houses its new Asia Pacific Quality Control Centre (APQCC) to strengthen operations in the region and meet the demands of customers. The APQCC was the first of its kind in the DHL network that would act as the nerve centre for all DHL Asia Pacific shipment movement control. The new Singapore regional office would employ about 320 staff from DHL Express and DHL Danzas Air & Ocean, complementing DHL's other regional office in Hong Kong."
February 12, 2004 -- The Age has reported that "Australia Post moved to reassure customers a strike by postal workers would have a minimal effect on deliveries, as the union threatened further action if demands were not met." See also the Daily Telegraph and the Australian.
February 12, 2004 -- According to Union Network International, "Royal Mail has opened up its network to private competition as it signed an agreement with Business Post. The access to local sorting and final delivery is the first of its type in Europe. The Communication Workers Union (CWU-UK) General Secretary Billy Hayes said that the announcement was the inevitable result of the government-appointed regulator's thirst for competition."
February 12, 2004 -- "Congress should establish a rigorous regulatory framework for our nation's postal system so that mailers are protected from excessive rates and cross-subsidization," Newspaper Association of America President and CEO John F. Sturm said in written testimony submitted today before the Government Reform Committee's Special Panel on Postal Reform and Oversight. "Current law," he said, "does not give the Postal Rate Commission "appropriate tools" to regulate the Postal Service effectively. While the newspaper industry supports an appropriate amount of rate flexibility within an indexing regimen, Sturm said, the industry opposes special rates for individual mailers in the form of negotiated service agreements."
February 12, 2004 -- Le Monde (France) has reported that "La Poste, the French postal service, is preparing for the planned launch of its banking subsidiary in 2005. The main difficulty for the company is expected to be the provision of capital for the new bank; it has been estimated that La Poste would be able to provide up to 3bn euros in equity capital for the bank. This is thought to be sufficient to comply with the regulations."
February 12, 2004 -- ABC Online (Australia) has reported that "the union representing postal workers says today's industrial action at Australia Post in Sydney is because of the service's refusal to accept arbitration at the Industrial Relations Commission (IRC)."
February 11, 2004 -- From today's hearing before the House Government Reform Committee Task Force on the Postal Service:
In written testimony to the House postal panel:
February 11, 2004 -- In a letter addressed to every Member of Congress, PostCom President Gene Del Polito said that Congress knows well "the cast of characters who have presented significant obstacles to postal reform. These are those who have enjoyed the luxury of just saying 'no' whenever reform was discussed. These are the ones who spent their time merely shooting down proposals advanced by others without once offering alternatives more to their liking. Well, this baloney has got to end. We're now at a point where Congress should make abundantly clear that this sort of postal nay-saying will be considered unacceptable from anyone that wishes to be considered a responsible party in the postal reform debate."
February 11, 2004 -- According to the Direct Marketing Association's most recent press release, "today's hearing, the most recent in a series of hearings related to the USPS in both the House and Senate, is a further indication that much-needed postal reform legislation has priority status for Congress this year. The DMA and other stakeholders have long held that the viability of the world's largest postal network, and those whose livelihoods depend on it, are in jeopardy unless meaningful postal reform legislation is enacted into law."
February 11, 2004 -- The Fort Worth Star-Telegram has noted that "when some of AmeriCredit Corp.'s more than 1 million customers are late on a car payment, they can expect to get a call from the Fort Worth-based auto lender. But what if a borrower says the check is "in the mail"? AmeriCredit can check it out, thanks to a connection to a U.S. Postal Service database that reads and stores coded numbers on payment envelopes as they pass through high-speed scanners. If an envelope shows up in the Postal Service pipeline, AmeriCredit waits four days for the payment to arrive, calling the customer only if payment isn't received by then."
February 11, 2004 -- RTE News (Ireland) has reported that "postal services in several parts of the country were affected by industrial action by members of the Communications Workers' Union today."
February 11, 2004 -- The Shippers NewsWire has reported that:
February 11, 2004 -- Christopher Cleghorn, President of the Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers, told the House postal panel that it was essential for "Congress to resolve the important issues surrounding the CSRS escrow fund and more fairly resolve the assignment of military service time costs for those USPS retirees covered in the CSRS plan. We also ask for your help in securing the necessary $770 million appropriation for the USPS costs associated with homeland security responsibilities, including mail irradiation and the USPS emergency preparedness plan. Federal agencies are the only mail recipients benefiting from the added protections of mail irradiation - those expenses should be met with appropriations from the Congress."
February 11, 2004 -- The Parcel Shippers Association told the House postal panel that it "strongly supports giving the Postal Service greater flexibility to meet market conditions in the fixing of postal prices and services. USPS should have the ability to establish postal rates without prior approval from the regulatory body for non-competitive products within price caps established by the regulatory body."
February 11, 2004 -- Here's one we missed. Thanks to Bob McLean from the Mailers Council for bringing it to our attention. The Wash ington Post has asked: "If thousands of passionate and insightful letters never make it to the Congress members they were meant to influence, did that passion and insight ever really exist? After ricin was found in the mailroom of a Senate office building last week, hazard response teams searched Capitol offices to collect mail that was quarantined when the buildings were shut down. The fate of those letters at the end of the week was still uncertain, but congressional staffs have been told not to hold their breath -- they shouldn't expect their return. That means thousands of letters, presumably containing millions of words of persuasive advice, could be damned to the realms of the unread. Forever."
February 11, 2004 -- According to the EU Reporter, "in December 2003 the European Parliament rejected the Commission proposal to remove the VAT exemption for public postal services, however the Commission did not withdraw their Proposal and it has therefore been referred back to the European Parliament Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee....Private operators are charged the full standard VAT rate whereas public operators are not."
February 11, 2004 -- The Provo Daily Herald has reported that "when two workers received what the union views as a disciplinary action, other postal employees complained to the regional office of the business agent of the National Association of Letter Carriers. Those complaints yielded an investigation into work conditions at the Provo post office, where some employees perceived going to work was 'hell.' 'We've identified some real issues and concerns,' said Mary Martinez, regional administrative assistant for the business agent of the National Association of Letter Carriers, who completed her interviews of the employees on Tuesday. She later added, 'people feel like they were treated with a lack of dignity and respect.'"
February 11, 2004 -- In an "Executive Viewpoint" written for the Journal of Commerce, Deutsche Post CEO Klaus Zumwinkel has written that "nowadays, logistics involves much more than just the transfer of goods. The challenges facing the modern business world today are called globalization and internationalization. And as a result, trade and industry are increasingly demanding customized, international logistics services. The logistics industry needs a modern political framework. Antiquated rules and mechanisms are a major restraint on free trade. "
February 11, 2004 -- As Business Week has noted, "when the world's largest retailer, Wal-Mart (WMT ), announced last summer that it would require its suppliers to move to a new system called RFID (radio frequency identification) for tagging cases and pallets of goods, it left the retail industry all shook up. Afraid to fall behind, competitors began looking into implementing the technology, which allows stores and their suppliers to track goods -- everything from toothpaste to TVs -- in real time."
February 11, 2004 -- The Guardian (U.K.) has reported that "Royal Mail is in preliminary talks with the Dutch and German postal services, TPG and Deutsche Post, about allowing them access to its delivery network after reaching a ground-breaking deal with a British rival yesterday. UK Mail, a unit of Business Post, became the first commercial operator to break Royal Mail's 300-year-old monopoly on postal services by agreeing to pay the state-owned group about pounds 113m a year to deliver bulk mail. The deal is the first of its kind in Europe and was concluded after two years of talks. It in effect freezes regulator PostComm out of the process of enabling access to Royal Mail's network of 73 mail centres and 1,450 delivery offices."
February 11, 2004 -- Optimize Magazine has reported that "United Parcel Service of America has shown itself to be a master at Skill 2-expanding IT links to customers. The company relied heavily on its IT strengths to launch its UPS Service Parts Logistics subsidiary as a natural outgrowth of its core business."
February 11, 2004 -- Uh oh.... According to the Wall Street Journal, "electronic devices like phones, radios and televisions have already appeared in America's bathrooms. Now, thanks to the popularity of wireless networks, computers are joining -- and sometimes replacing -- magazines and books as preferred material for the toilet and tub."
February 11, 2004 -- The Ass ociated Press has reported that "Canada's chief auditor criticized the national railway, VIA, and the national postal service, Canada Post, for benefiting from improper spending. Both are Crown corporations, or public companies that operate at arm's length from the government."
February 10, 2004 -- G lobes (Israel) has reported that "the Postal Authority is expected to be fully converted into a government company by June, and that the transition cost will be NIS 48 million."
February 10, 2004 -- Traffic World has reported that:
February 10, 2004 -- According to D ow Jones, "Astar Air Cargo Inc. urged the Department of Transportation to throw out a request by rivals FedEx Corp. (FDX) and United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS) to review a ruling that found Astar is owned and controlled by U.S. citizens."
February 10, 2004 -- As Directions Magazine has noted, "few industries have as much to lose due to address errors than mail-order. When you ship large packages that are expensive to ship and contain expensive products, they had better not get lost in the mail. If a package is misrouted and has to be re-sent, you may not reach the customer in time for the special event, such as a birthday or holiday, which may anger customers."
February 10, 2004 -- DM News has reported that "Group 1 Software, Lanham, MD, announced that it entered into a strategic partnership yesterday with GrayHair Software Inc., Moorestown, NJ, a leading provider of Planet Code processing and mail-tracking services. Planet Codes let mailers track their mail electronically through the U.S. Postal Service's Confirm program. Group 1's MailStream Plus software will generate output files in support of GrayHair's Mail*Trak Planet Code technology. With GrayHair's technology, Group 1 said, MailStream Plus users can track mail pieces more easily from postal acceptance through delivery."
February 10, 2004 -- As Fortune has noted, "used to be cash was king. But over the past five decades plastic has taken over. Just since 1995 the amount of stuff American consumers buy in stores using plastic has increased 430%, according to a Dove Consulting study on consumer preferences. In 2003, for the first time, Americans bought more using cards than cash." Used to be mail was king too.
February 10, 2004 -- The Times (U.K.) has reported that "Royal Mail invited proposals for exploiting its sorting and delivery network after, at last, signing a deal which will for the first time see its workers distribute post for a private company. Adam Crozier, the Royal Mail chief executive, said the 'landmark' contract with UK Mail represented a 'new phase in the development of competition and choice' in the postal market. He urged other companies to propose similar deals, provided they did not compromise Royal Mail's obligation to charge the same rate for delivering post throughout Britain." See also The Scotsman, the Evening Standard and ThisIsMoney.
February 10, 2004 -- Direct magazine has reported that "for the second year in a row, the U.S. Postal Service came out on top in a survey of which government agencies consumers trust most with their personal information. The Privacy Trust Survey was conducted by the Ponemon Institute and sponsored by the CIO Institute of Carnegie Mellon University. Sixty government agencies were examined in the survey. Not surprisingly, personal interaction with mail carriers was a major reason for the high ranking."
February 10, 2004 -- Union Network International has reported that "CEPU Members in New South Wales and Victorian have been engaged in Protected Industrial Action over the restructuring of the parcel networks. In effect Australia Post is centralising the operations in NSW and Victoria into new parcel processing facilities embracing the latest technology."
February 10, 2004 -- Quan tum View Manage is a new UPS application designed to let shippers monitor package movements more easily within their supply chains. The application lets shippers view shipment information for multiple accounts without a tracking number. That information, UPS said, can be used to accelerate cash flow and manage inventory better.
February 10, 2004 -- AFX has reported that "Ion Beam Applications SA said it may be able to use its radiation processes to deactivate ricin poision."
February 10, 2004 -- According to the Armed Forces Information Service, "after enduring months of intense heat, long hours, dust and Spartan living conditions since their arrival in May, Army postal units have nearly completed turnover of military postal operations to contractors."
February 10, 2004 -- The Asso ciated Press has reported that "fumigation has eliminated all traces of anthrax from a mail processing center that handled at least four tainted letters more than two years ago. The building should reopen by the end of the year, perhaps as early as this summer, said Thomas G. Day, vice president of engineering for the Postal Service. He estimated the cleanup cost at $80 million."
February 9, 2004 -- The House Government Reform Committee Special Panel on Postal Reform will hold its third postal oversight hearing on the Postal Service and postal reform on Wednesday, February 11, 2004, 1 p.m. in Room 2154, Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC. The witnesses will include: Fred Smith, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, FedEx Corp.; Michael Critelli, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Pitney Bowes Inc.; Ann Moore, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Time Inc.; William Davis, President and Chief Executive Officer, R.R. Donnelly & Sons; Nigel Morris, co-Founder and Vice Chairman, Capital One Financial Corp.; Lester Hess, Chairman, Grand Lodge Advisory Committee Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks; Hamilton Davison, Chief Executive Officer, Paramount Cards Inc.; Rebecca Jewett, President and Chief Executive Officer, Norm Thompson Outfitters Inc.; and Gary Mulloy, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, ADVO Inc.
February 9, 2004 -- A copy of USPS Chief Financial Officer Richard Strasser's presentation on the Postal Service's quarter one results has been posted on this web site.
February 9, 2004 -- "Congress will have short legislative sessions. Therefore," concluded DM News postal commentator Cary Baer, "it's unlikely that major postal legislation will be enacted, particularly when the populace is generally unaware of a problem."
February 9, 2004 -- Ha'aretz (Israel) has reported that "Israel is third is the world in the smuggling of drugs through its postal system, a Knesset committee dealing with the fight against drugs revealed on Sunday."
February 9, 2004 -- According to R euters, "global courier firm DHL Express expects Asia-Pacific revenues to grow more than 10 percent this year led by business in China, despite the bird flu outbreak and fears of SARS returning."
February 9, 2004 -- The Belfast Telegraph (U.K.) has reported that "the Post Office has moved into the unsecured personal loans market in Northern Ireland in conjunction with Bank of Ireland. The loans are the first in a wide range of financial services being developed through a joint venture."
February 9, 2004 -- News10Now has reported that "UPS is cutting jobs in Syracuse. 33 administrative workers were given word they may be out of a job come April. 1,200 employees work out of the Syracuse area. UPS said it doesn't know how many workers will be cut yet. The company said some workers may retire, and other have been offered jobs within the company. UPS said it had to cut 500 jobs nationwide and blames the downsizing on new computer technology."
February 9, 2004 -- Bloomb erg News has reported that "Wal-Mart Stores overtook UPS as the biggest corporate donor to Congress last year, with its political action committee giving $1.2 million in donations to 222 members of Congress and candidates."
February 9, 2004 -- The National Association of Major Mail Users (Canada) has reported that "preliminary reports indicate the Canada Post group of companies met or exceeded corporate goals in all but one Key Performance Indicator (KPI). Declining any 'in depth' analysis of these preliminary, high level results, NAMMU President, Kathleen Rowe, was quick to point out two key factors: The achievement of these results by Canada Post Corporation in a year that called for maturity throughout their entire workforce is remarkable and welcome; and, equally as important, the Canadian mailing industry is and can still be a remarkable lever of success for Canada Post."
February 9, 2004 -- The U.S. Postal Service's decision to reinterpret a rule that will move many Standard mail pieces into the costlier First-Class category is an ethical one and has nothing to do with trying to generate extra revenue, postmaster general John E. Potter told DM News last week. Another postal official said a change to the rule is expected to be placed in the Federal Register in a month or two and that mailers will get a phase-in period to follow the rule. Several mailers -- mainly financial institutions -- have said they are being told by local acceptance clerks at postal business mail entry units that Standard mail they have sent for years now must go at the First-Class rate. First-Class mail is the agency's most profitable product but has been declining in volume in recent years."
February 8, 2004 -- The Manila Bulletin has reported that "about 18,000 postal workers nationwide received recently the remaining P3,500 Christmas gift promised by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. Postmaster General Diomedio P. Villanueva said postal workers earlier got P1,500 as part of their P5,000 bonus last Christmas. Malacanang pledged last year to give P5,000 each to government workers as a special bonus during the holiday season. The Department of Budget and Management released last week some P75 million to cover the remaining bonus of postal workers."
February 8, 2004 -- "The sooner postal reform comes about, the greater will be the Postal Service's ability to focus on its core business of delivering the mail with more flexibility and higher profits," Nat ional Association of Postal Supervisors (NAPS) President Vincent Palladino told the House Government Reform Committee's Special Panel on Postal Reform on Thursday at a hearing in Chicago.
February 7, 2004 -- The Kyodo News Service (Japan) has reported that "Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi is pushing ahead with a plan to create an office under his direct control, possibly in April, to promote his policy of privatizing three postal services."
February 7, 2004 -- Les Echos (France) has reported that:
February 7, 2004 -- Customers will see the world's most efficient Postal Service become even more efficient following "transplant surgery" funding approval Tuesday by the Postal Service's Board of Governors. This approval to enhance select high-tech mail sorters with the ability to read will shorten mail processing times and eliminate the need for many first-generation mail sorters built more than a dozen years ago."
February 7, 2004 -- Japan Today has reported that "Japan Post plans to open liaison offices in Beijing and Shanghai this fall as its first overseas outlets in line with its strategy to promote overseas services." See also Jap an Times.
February 6, 2004 -- The testimony given by National Association of Postal Supervisors President Vincent Palladino before a House postal reform task force that met in Chicago can be found on the NAPS web site.
February 6, 2004 -- The U.S. Postal Service has shared a report on the qualitative market research for the Delivery Point Packaging (DPP) project it conducted from October 2003 through December 2004.
February 6, 2004 -- According to postal commentator Gene Del Polito, Congress should tell the nay-sayers of postal legislative reform that it's time to put up or shut up.
February 6, 2004 -- Hear ye! Hear ye! The General Services Administration (GSA) Mail Policy Team is advertising to fill a GS-13 Program Analyst position. This is a new position, open to all qualified U.S. citizens. The salary range is approximately $72,000 to $93,500. To see the announcement or apply for this position, go to the main gsa website, www.gsa.gov. Near the bottom of that page, under "Key Topics," click on GSA Jobs. On the next page, click on "Visit Now," and on the next page, click on "Public." The announcement number is 040014103DE. This vacancy announcement closes on Tuesday, February 17.
February 6, 2004 -- According to the China Post, "UPS is pushing forward two service integration plans designed to add value to Taiwan businesses this year - integrating services in the Greater China region for cross-strait companies and providing synchronized commerce services to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)."
February 6, 2004 -- UPS annually commissions the UPS Europe Monitor survey to provide the latest insight into changing opinions, attitudes, and habits of European business leaders. The latest edition can be found on the UPS web site.
February 6, 2004 -- The Dallas-Fort Worth Star-Telegram has reported that "the former New York shipping clerk who air-shipped himself from Newark, N.J., to Dallas/Fort Worth Airport to visit his parents in DeSoto was sentenced Wednesday to one year's probation, which includes 120 days of house arrest, and a $1,500 fine."
February 6, 2004 -- According to the Wall Street Journal, "as investigators continued searching for the origins of toxic ricin discovered in a U.S. Senate mailroom Monday, lawmakers began debating whether the U.S. postal system lacks the funds to install sufficient safeguards to cope with terrorist attacks. The Postal Service is expected to start seeking approval in early 2005 for its next rate increase, which would take effect about a year later. Consumers and businesses already have been hit by three rate increases since the start of 2001."
February 6, 2004 -- According to DM News, "mailers have been highly receptive to many new U.S. Postal Service initiatives, Anita Bizzotto, USPS chief marketing officer and senior vice president, said at the Mailers Technical Advisory Committee meeting Feb. 4 at postal headquarters here. Customized Market Mail, a postal classification begun in August that lets direct marketers mail nonrectangular pieces, has resulted in 39 individual mailings totaling 500,000 to 1 million pieces, she said. Response rates for mail pieces using CMM have ranged from 4 percent to 20 percent. Since the pilot launch of Parcel Return Service in October, 'we've already handled close to 1 million packages to the tune of $3 million worth of revenue, with a single participant in that experiment,' said Bizzotto, who noted that a second participant has been added."
February 6, 2004 -- As the Philadelphia Inquirer has noted, "pay-per-message e-mail isn't a new idea; it's how e-mail worked in the early days of online services, before everyone began using the Net. In the 1980s, MCI Mail charged 45 cents or more per message, and was used widely. But since the Internet made mail a free-for-all, pay systems have flopped. The U.S. Postal Service launched Post Electronic Courier Service in 2000, which verified the time, date, origin and receipt of e-mails sent, and tracked the viewing of attached documents - for $1.70 per message. It was halted in 2002 with a shortage of customers. Package carrier United Parcel Service Inc. discontinued a similar service the same year, for the same reason. The Postal Service isn't interested in reviving its e-mail postage dreams, spokesman Jim Quirk said. In fact, the post office still devotes a Web page to dispelling the hoax - spread via e-mail - that a 'Congressman Schnell' was pushing 'Bill 602P' to allow the government to impose a 5-cent surcharge on Internet e-mail messages."
February 6, 2004 -- Kerala Next (India) has reported that "in a bid to bridge the digital divide and allow rapid exchange of communication, the Department of posts is launching the e-post service all over the country, Chief Post Master General (CPMG), Kerala circle, K N K Karthiayani, said."
February 6, 2004 -- Expatica Belgium has reported that "international courier firm DHL could pack up shop and move to the German airport of Liepzig unless plans to expand its operations at Zaventem airport outside of Brussels are approved soon."
February 6, 2004 -- National League of Postmasters President Steve Lenoir told a House panel that "postal Reform is critical to continue the long-term ability of the United States Postal Service to provide affordable, universal mail service to every individual, home, and business in America. There is no doubt that the Postal Service needs fundamental change. We know that our jobs—and those of the people we manage—are ultimately at stake. While we know that the Postal Service’s Transformation Plan takes us in the right direction, we also know that fundamental legislative reform is necessary to finish the process, and to ensure that the Postal Service remains healthy and strong. We pledge to see that that reform is enacted."
February 6, 2004 -- In testimony before a House panel on postal legislative reform, National Association of Letter Carriers President William Young challenged several recommendations for postal reform by the President's Commission on the U.S. Postal Service, including one to significantly alter the existing process for resolving labor-management disputes – a move he said would be both 'unnecessary and counterproductive.'"
February 6, 2004 -- American Postal Workers Union President William Burrus told a House panel on postal legislative reform that "the Postal Service is currently giving away hundreds of millions of dollars every year in form of excessive worksharing discounts. The Postal Service’s own data show that discounts provided to major mailers exceed the costs avoided by the Postal Service These excessive discounts cost the Postal Service hundreds of millions of dollars in lost revenue every year. It is not possible to create a business model for a healthy Postal Service far into the future if the rate-setting process continues to hemorrhage hundreds of millions of dollars. Put simply, you cannot break even if you continue to give away hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue each and every year."
February 6, 2004 -- The American Postal Workers Union has "condemned the Administration and the U.S. Postal Service fortheir failure to notify the American public and the union about a package containing the deadly poison ricin that was mailed to President Bush last November."
February 6, 2004 -- Agenzia Giornalistica Italia has reported that "the managing director of the Italian Post Office, Massimo Sarmi, and the General Commander of the Finance Police, Roberto Speciale, have signed an agreement that plans for Finance Police personnel, both working and retired, to be given favourable terms on financial and insurance offers from the Italian Post Office, together with an dedicated edition of the Mondo BancoPosta catalogue. The assistance particular regards, mortgages for housing, personal loans, current account overdraft and insurance products of the Italian Postal Service. With this convention, the Italian Postal Service has addressed a market of 66 000. The agreement is part of the Post Office's strategy of acquiring new clients via conventions and agreements with big partners."
February 5, 2004 -- On Thursday, February 5, NAPUS President Wally Olihovik testified before the House of Representatives Special Panel on Postal Reform and Oversight, reinforcing his call for postal reform and relief. Representative John McHugh (R-NY) chairs that panel and Representative Danny Davis (D-IL) is the ranking Democrat. The hearing took place in Chicago, Illinois. On the previous day, President Olihovik testified before the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs.
February 5, 2004 -- The Scotsman has reported that "postal workers are threatening to forge closer links with the Scottish Socialists in protest at the expected disaffiliation of the country's biggest railway workers' union from Labour. The move highlights growing dissatisfaction among trade union activists at the policies of the Government, which is straining the historic link between the two wings of the labour movement."
February 5, 2004 -- European sources have reported that "the government has approved a five-year development strategy for the state-owned postal service Lietuvos Pastas. In 2004-08 the sector will be liberalised in line with EU regulations. Lietuvos Pastas is slated to become a joint-stock company."
February 5, 2004 -- Internet Retailer has reported that "gifts retailer GreatArrivals.com is one of nearly 1,000 companies that have signed on to a new web-based Quantum View Manage application from UPS that lets them view shipment status for multiple accounts without a tracking number, UPS reports. The application is designed especially for retailers and other businesses that must simultaneously track multiple time-sensitive shipments to stores or customers."
February 5, 2004 -- The San Francisco Chronicle has reported that "thirty UC Berkeley doctoral students were stunned to learn this week that federal education officials have declared that their applications for prestigious Fulbright fellowships missed the deadline and will not be considered. The scheduled pickup of the applications on the deadline date was missed by FedEx, the company famous for its 'When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight' slogan."
February 5, 2004 -- What? Another French postal strike? Mais oui! Dow Jones has reported that "French postal services were hit by a strike Thursday to protest jobs cuts, the closure of post offices and working conditions. Some 15% of postal workers joined the strike called by all of the mail service's unions, the postal service said. Unions are unhappy with plans to shed several thousand jobs by not replacing retirees, to phase out several thousand post offices in rural areas, the reorganization of mail sorting centers and the liberalization of European postal services."
February 5, 2004 -- DM News has reported that:
February 5, 2004 -- The New Haven Register has reported that "the head of the postal workers local on Wednesday lashed out at U.S. Postal Service management for not following through on an agreement to include the union in meetings with all employees after it was determined that the powder leaking from an envelope Monday was wood ash."
February 5, 2004 -- The Times-Picayune has reported that "the Pearl River Board of Aldermen recently ironed out the details of a proposed ordinance that would regulate in-home businesses. The ordinance would restrict deliveries, allowing deliveries only by postal or messenger trucks."
February 5, 2004 -- The Santa Maria Times has reported that "the investigation into the appearance of the deadly poison ricin on Capitol Hill this week and earlier in two ominous letters is focusing on a mysterious 'Fallen Angel' who threatens to use ricin as a weapon unless new trucking regulations are rolled back." Why doesn't he just threaten to hold his breath until he turns blue?
February 5, 2004 -- Reuters has reported that "FedEx Corp. sees only clear sailing in its $2.4 billion takeover of copy-center chain Kinko's and could complete the deal before March 1, a senior executive of the U.S. transport giant said on Wednesday. Regulatory approval by U.S. antitrust officials may come on Monday, FedEx Vice President James Hudson said."
February 5, 2004 -- The U.S. Postal Service has reported that "all environmental samples taken Tuesday at Washington, DC's V Street postal facility have tested negative for ricin. Tests were conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta and the Maryland Department of Public Health. Test methods included wet swab and bulk samples. The safety of our employees has been our primary concern and, out of an abundance of caution, testing was initiated at V Street following Monday's discovery of ricin in Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist's (R-TN) Capitol Hill office. The Postal Service also has been monitoring the health of V Street employees. None have reported symptoms consistent with ricin exposure."
February 5, 2004 -- As the Wash ington Post has noted, "the U.S. Postal Service initiated the time-consuming and costly irradiation procedure after the anthrax attacks of 2001. But the discovery of ricin in a Dirksen Senate Office Building mailroom illustrates how easily another potentially deadly substance can slip through the safety web designed primarily to protect the nation's sprawling mail system from an anthrax attack. If the ricin had in fact been mailed -- and officials were trying to determine yesterday how it got in an office mailroom of Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) -- the poison escaped the security precautions built around catching anthrax and other bacteria."
February 5, 2004 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that "investigators searching for the source of ricin found Monday in Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist's mailroom said they haven't been able to figure out how the poison got there. Investigators assume the poison, in the form of a white powder, was sent through the mail. But U.S. Postal Inspectors, who police the mail system, reported no success finding suspect packages after spending Wednesday combing Senate buildings and letter-sorting facilities trying to find a letter or a trail that would link the ricin to the mail system."
February 5, 2004 -- According to the Busi ness Report, "the Postal Business Unit, a division of the SA Postal Services (Sapo), yesterday said it was in favour of the 3 percent general tariff increase for this year despite enormous operational challenges it faced in terms of its licence conditions. Sapo's licence conditions prescribe that it provides millions of South Africans, irrespective of their physical location, with a basic postal service that is reliable, affordable and equitable. The tariff increase was announced by communications minister Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri late on Monday. In terms of the law, Sapo is also required to provide an address to all citizens; it is facing a backlog of nearly 4 million at present."
February 5, 2004 -- In recognition of the new spirit of public service throughout the country, the United States Postal Service has authorized the striking of the United We Stand Collection, 25 of the most important and historic U.S. stamps recreated as engraved solid silver ingots, layered with pure gold. This unprecedented collection celebrates the individuals, events, and symbols that capture the essence of American pride and patriotism. This collection of 25 solid silver gold-layered ingots, presented in an elegant wood lacquered cabinet, is distributed under license by the Hallmark Group through their international web site: www.unitedwestandcollection.com< /a>.
February 5, 2004 -- Computerworld has reported that "the U.S. Postal Service has selected Oblix Inc.'s NetPoint to give online customers secure and password-protected Web access via single sign-on to software tools and resources. Once fully deployed, NetPoint will offer business customers and consumers a simple and collaborative interface through Web services."
February 4, 2004 -- From today's Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs hearing on postal reform with a focus on personnel relations and issues:
February 4, 2004 -- You can read another take on the Fedex-Kinko's deal in the latest issue of Air Cargo World.
February 4, 2004 -- According to Air Cargo World, "DHL's use of AStar Air Cargo and ABX Air to carry freight in North America appears to be headed for Department of Transportation approval, clearing the way for the European express giant to compete head-to-head with FedEx and UPS in the United States. DPWN USA President Wolfgang Pordzik says the company will now make a serious push into the U.S. and plans a full-scale marketing campaign to raise DHL's name recognition among Americans."
February 4, 2004 -- Gilat Satellite Networks Ltd. has announced that its subsidiary, Spacenet, has been selected by Posta Kenya to supply a satellite-based communications DialAw@y IP network, linking Kenyan postal offices throughout the country. Gilat's DialAw@y IP platform will be installed in the postal offices, each servicing a LAN connecting three PCs. While one PC will serve the Postal Office manager's mail, the other two will provide Internet, email, fax and printer services. The Internet will be accessed through a JAMBONET connection provided by Telkom Kenya Ltd. using Gilat's unique prepaid Internet system. Installation is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2004. The initiative behind this ambitious project is the Kenyan Ministry of Transportation and Telecommunications. The network is the first of its kind in Africa, in terms of using satellite-communications equipment to modernize a country's postal system.
February 4, 2004 -- USA Today has reported that "although anthrax and ricin are both considered deadly agents, the two cases are very different. That helps explain why the response to ricin in the nation's capital has been calm and measured, wheareas the anthrax attacks produced anxiety and fear."
February 4, 2004 -- It wasn't your father's postal board meeting. Those who attended yesterday's Board of Governors meeting in Florida reported a new spirit and direction to the postal board. They've reported that the Board is showing a new incitefulness and assertiveness. Among the issues discussed (debated) was a proposal to repair and upgrade the New York City Church Street facility which was damaged in the attacks on the World Trade Center. It seems the premise underlying management's request was to put the USPS in a more "competitive" position to lease the building relative to the private sector. Compete? Why, inquiring governors wanted to know. The Postal Service, they maintained, was in the business of delivering the mail, not competing in real estate ventures with the private sector.
February 4, 2004 -- The Printing Industries of America has provided on its GAIN web site a nice primer on needed grassroots action for postal legislative reform. It's worth a look-see.
February 4, 2004 -- The Parcel Shippers Association will be holding its annual workshop on "Ship Smart & Boost Your Savings" on March 24-26, 2004 at the Loews Vanderbilt Hotel in Nashville, TN.
February 4, 2004 -- CEP News (Courier-Express-Postal) has reported that:
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February 4, 2004 -- The Straight Goods has reported that "Canada¹s public postal system is under threat at the WTO by a proposed expansion of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), which is being promoted by the world¹s largest courier companies. Following the setback to planned negotiations on competition policy and investment suffered at last year¹s WTO ministerial meeting in Cancun, these companies are seeking to gain access to new markets through the expanded use of so-called 'pro- competitive' rules in the GATS. 'These rules would undermine Canada¹s public postal system. They would threaten public service monopolies and jeopardize accountable, democratic regulation in whatever service sector they were applied.' said Jim Grieshaber-Otto, one of the study¹s authors."
February 4, 2004 -- The Irish Independent has reported that "An Post's quality of service is to be examined by Communications regulator ComReg. According to the regulator, single mail, ordinary letters posted by businesses and individuals, does not always get priority service despite accounting for over 50pc of AnPost's domestic revenue."
February 4, 2004 -- As the Wall Street Journal has noted, "terror returned in an envelope to Capitol Hill this week, with the discovery of what appears to be the chemical agent ricin. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said yesterday that the white powder found late Monday in a Senate office building tested positive for the deadly toxin. Further tests will determine how potent the poison is, but already it is a reminder of how vulnerable we are to terrorist attack. The White House also apparently received a similar letter in recent weeks."
February 4, 2004 -- The Wall Street Journal also has published its own version of "everything you ever wanted to know about Ricin but were afraid to ask."
February 4, 2004 -- Le Figaro (France) has reported that "according to Jean-Paul Bailly, chairman of La Poste, the French national postal services group is launching one of its new Point Poste outlets every day. Shop owners who choose to set up a Point Poste sign an agreement with La Poste which allows them to act as managing agents for courier services and parcel deliveries, and to offer cash withdrawals of up to 150 euros a week. For this they receive 130 euros a month, as well as commissions on the products sold. About 50 French departments now have about 150 Points Poste between them."
February 4, 2004 -- According to the Associated Press, "a new link is emerging between letters containing the poison ricin found in mail facilities that serve the White House and a South Carolina airport as federal investigators seek to identify the letter or parcel that may have carried ricin into a Senate mailroom. A senior law enforcement official, speaking Tuesday on condition of anonymity, said investigators had established strong links between the South Carolina and White House letters. What remained unclear, the official said, was whether those letters were connected to the substance found in the office of Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn."
February 4, 2004 -- Yonhap News (Korea) has reported that "President Roh Moo-hyun urged the country's postal service Wednesday to serve as an example of how a state-run corporation can perform better than a private firm."
February 4, 2004 -- The Philadelphia Inquirer has reported that "the U.S. Postal Service is installing a costly new biohazard-detection system, but as now configured the system would not have detected the ricin that turned up Monday in a Senate office building. 'Right now we're set up for anthrax,' said Paul Smith, public affairs manager for the Postal Service's Eastern region. 'The system can be configured to stop other [biological] agents; it would require a software adjustment.' The system is being installed in 282 mail-processing plants across the country."
February 4, 2004 -- R
euters has reported that "freight carrier Lufthansa Cargo
February 4, 2004 -- The Associat ed Press has reported that "a congressional pilot project that scans letters, pictures and even drawings by children and delivers them electronically to lawmakers could soon make opening mail on Capitol Hill a thing of the past. The experimental program was started in a dozen House offices after anthrax-tainted powder found in letters sent to two senators in 2001 shut down Capitol Hill office buildings for days. This week, as the Senate faced its second attack involving a deadly toxin, lawmakers focused on the congressional mail system."
February 4, 2004 -- DM News has reported that "Rep. Tom Davis, chairman of the House Committee on Government Reform, told attendees at the National League of Postmasters' 34th League Legislative Forum in Washington this week that he is working on legislation to resolve CSRS and other postal reform issues."
February 4, 2004 -- Some federal agencies have suspended the delivery of mail until the Ricin situation has been clarified.
February 4, 2004 -- The House Government Reform Committee's Special Panel on Postal Reform and Oversight will hold a hearing on "Answering the Administration's Call for Postal Reform - Part II" It will take place on Thursday, February 5, 2004, 1 p.m. (CST) in Room 2525 of the Dirksen Federal Courthouse 219 South Dearborn Street, Chicago, IL. The witnesses will include: William Burrus, President, American Postal Workers Union; William H. Young, President, National Association of Letter Carriers; Dale Holton, President, National Rural Letter Carriers Association; John Hegarty, National President, National Postal Mail Handlers Union; Walter Olihovik, National President, National Association of Postmasters of the United States; Steve LeNoir, President, National League of Postmasters; and Vincent Palladino, President, National Association of Postal Supervisors.
February 4, 2004 -- The Senate Governmental Affairs Committee has rescheduled its Postal Reform Hearing for Wednesday, February 4 to begin at 2 p.m. in Room 2154 Rayburn, Washington, D.C. The hearing was originally scheduled for 9:30 a.m. The following witnesses are expected to testify: Wally Olihovik, National President, National Association of Postmasters of the U.S.; Steve LeNoir, National President, National League of Postmasters; Ted Keating, Executive Vice President, National Association of Postal Supervisors; John Calhoun Wells, Private Consultant, Former Director of Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service; James L. Medoff, Ph.D., Meyer Kestnbaum Professor of Labor and Industry, Harvard University; and Michael L. Wachter, Ph.D., Co-Director, Institute of Law and Economics, University of Pennsylvania Law School. The hearing that was supposed to be held on February 3 will be rescheduled.
February 3, 2004 -- The U.S. Postal Service has posted a net income of $1.8 billion in the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2004, nearly a half billion less compared to a similar period last year. During the same period, expenses increased only 1.7 percent, despite the rising costs of health benefits, fuel and the expanding delivery network. In a report to the Postal Service Board of Governors today, Chief Financial Officer Richard J. Strasser Jr. said revenue for Quarter I was $18.2 billion, down $181 million, and expenses were $16.4 billion, an increase of $272 million over the same period last year.
February 3, 2004 -- The Assoc iated Press has reported that "angry and frightened postal workers awaited test results Tuesday on a mysterious powder found at the same mail distribution center where anthrax was discovered in 2001. The Wallingford center remained open Tuesday while the powder was tested by the state Department of Public Health, and no workers were reported sickened. Some of the powder was sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta."
February 3, 2004 -- The Assoc iated Press has reported that all Senate office buildings have been closed for the day because of the need to screen for Ricin. Consequently, today's Governmental Affairs committee hearing on the Postal Service will need to be rescheduled.
February 3, 2004 -- The Assoc iated Press has reported that "the Senate majority leader's office apparently has suffered its second bioterror attack in three years, with another suspicious white powder delivered through the mail system - this time laced with poisonous ricin."
February 3, 2004 -- The Louisville Courier-Journal has reported that "contract negotiations between UPS and its 2,500 pilots are going well, but expecting a contract by mid-March might be too optimistic, Independent Pilots Association President Tom Nicholson said yesterday."
February 3, 2004 -- The Sunday Times has reported that "South Africa's Minister of Communications, Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri, has accepted a recommendation from the Postal Regulator to increase postal tariffs by 3% with effect from April 1, 2004."
February 3, 2004 -- As CNET has noted, "some Internet experts have long suggested that the rising tide of junk e-mail, or spam, would turn into a trickle if senders had to pay even as little as a penny for each message they sent. Such an amount might be minor for legitimate commerce and communications, but it could destroy businesses that send a million offers in hopes that 10 people will respond. The idea has been dismissed both as impractical and against the free spirit of the Internet. Now, though, the idea of e-mail postage is getting a second look from the owners of the two largest e-mail systems in the world: Microsoft and Yahoo."
February 3, 2004 -- Dow Jones has reported that "the U.S. Postal Service's list of top mail fraud scams features free-prize schemes, foreign lotteries, pyramid schemes, investment fraud scams and work-at-home schemes. The list, released Monday by the Postal Service, ranks the scams on the basis of number of victims and amount of monetary loss. Last year, postal inspectors investigated more than 3,100 fraud cases and Postal Inspection Service analysts processed more than 80,000 mail fraud complaints. The Inspection Service's mail fraud program produced some $2 billion in court-ordered restitution to fraud victims and 780 civil or administrative actions." See also the US PS release on this topic.
February 3, 2004 -- The East African Standard has reported that "liberalisation is the perfect way to increase the efficiency of regulated sectors in order to decrease prices and increase performance to consumers. However, much of market deregulation in Europe has had the opposite effect: higher prices and lower performance. At the same time, the profitability of the privatised utilities, or parastatals, has tended to stay far below the expectations of the new shareholders. Kenya should learn from the pitfalls encountered by the European utilities."
February 2, 2004 -- Stuff.co.nz has reported that "New Zealand Post has bought out W H Smith to take full control of franchise retailer Books and More. NZ Post retail group manager Terence Delaney said the deal to buy the other 50 per cent of the business was consistent with the state-owned postal company's investment plan of having a majority shareholding to create a 'consistent strategy' across the network. The brand was also a good fit with NZ Post's retail businesses."
February 2, 2004 -- Handelsblatt has reported that:
February 2, 2004 -- IAfrica.com has reported that "UPS has created a single trading entity for its package delivery operation and UPS Supply Chain Solutions unit in the country, ending its contract with Unitrans Express Deliveries in the process."
February 1, 2004 -- The Ardmoreite has reported that "Siemens Dematic employees at the Marietta plant began receiving severance pay and benefits last week as the firm concluded a 60-day process to close down local operations. Siemens officials announced the plant closing in December after notifying 65 employees. President and CEO Phasant Ranade termed the closure "a difficult decision" compounded by employee support. Locally, the plant produced material handling equipment for airport handling systems and U.S. Postal Service carts."
February 1, 2004 -- The Clarion Ledger has reported that "Anthony Puckett hopes Congress doesn't let the postal service close the only mail processing plant in Mississippi, the one named after slain civil rights activist Medgar Evers. The plant, which employs 400 to 500 in the Jackson area, has been on a hit list before, said Puckett, head of the American Postal Workers Union Local 1207."