Postal News from March 2004
March 31, 2004 -- AFX Europe has reported that "Deutsche Post World Net AG said it has gained access to Royal Mail's delivery network in the UK, after being issued a long-term operating licence by the national postal regulator Postcomm. The Royal Mail board must still formally confirm the agreement at the start of April, Deutsche Post said."
March 31, 2004 -- Dow Jones has reported that "in the latest blow to former postal service Correo Argentino SA, the Argentine government has called in guarantees totaling 50 million pesos ($1=ARS2.8625) against the company. The National Communications Commission published an official resolution Tuesday ordering Correo Argentino SA to pay the state ARS42.735 million within five days. It also ordered Banco de Galicia y Buenos Aires SA (GALI.BA), Correo Argentino's financial guarantor as well as a company shareholder, to pay ARS7.265 million within 15 days."
March 31, 2004 -- The board of directors of NOW Technology Group today announced Ron Friedman, former president and COO of Group 1 Software and a 30-year sales management and training veteran has been named president of NOW Technology Group.
March 31, 2004 -- Does the government have an unfair advantage when it competes with businesses providing the same goods and services? In Competing with the Government (Hoover Institution Press, 2004), edited by R. Richard Geddes, leading economists discuss the unfair advantages of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and how they are harmful.
March 31, 2004 -- Stars and Stripes has reported that "the U.S. Postal Service's unofficial motto reads that it's not stopped by rain, snow, heat or gloom of night. Add on the possibility of mortar or rocket attacks and it’s a more fitting version for the 1st Platoon, 303rd Adjutant General Company (Postal). In November, the reserve postal platoon from Fort Devens, Mass., started sending two-soldier teams with small, portable post offices to outlying firebases such as Orguun-E, Shkin and Salerno once a month."
March 31, 2004 -- AuthentiDate, Inc. has announced that the state of Indiana continues to lead the nation in its use of technology, thanks to a new solution that allows electronic records to be digitally signed, legally certified and delivered from the accessIndiana Web site. The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) is using the United States Postal Service(R) Electronic Postmark(R) (EPM) in conjunction with digital signature technology, to simplify the process of certifying driver records to be admitted as evidence in court proceedings. Indiana is the first state in the nation to offer the USPS EPM(R) service within the state court system.
March 31, 2004 -- Bob Stoffel, who helped lead the development of UPS's global supply chain capabilities, has been promoted to the company's Management Committee to succeed the retiring Joe Pyne as senior vice president for the Supply Chain Group.
March 31, 2004 -- The Connecticut Post has reported that "it seems Connecticut theologian Jonathan Edwards is too hot for the U.S. Postal Service. Postmaster General John Potter apparently quietly killed a plan to honor the religious leader who some historians regard as one of the greatest minds in eighteenth-century America. Members of the Yale Divinity School submitted a request to the Postal Service's Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee seeking a commemorative stamp to honor Edwards on his 300th birthday. The committee approved the stamp, but Potter rejected it. Bill McAllister, a correspondent for Linn's Stamp News, said Potter likely axed the stamp because he feared those who would complain about honoring a politically incorrect, dead white male who also was a theologian. 'Potter was stunned by the reaction to the 34-cent Frida Kahlo stamp in 2001, which was strongly attacked by Sen. Jesse Helms, R-N.C.,' McAllister said. An aide to Potter told me that Potter hadn't been briefed as to the political fallout from such a stamp.'"
March 31, 2004 -- The ShippersNewsWire has reported that "DHL, a provider of express delivery, freight and logistics services, has opened two new express logistics centers in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and in Mexico City, Mexico. The new Latin American centers are the ninth and 10th of DHL's combined warehouse and distribution service facilities worldwide. The company also operates 330 strategic parts warehouse service centers."
March 31, 2004 -- As Catalog Age has noted, "after the President's Commission on the U.S. Postal Service issued its recommendations for reform last July, mailers were optimistic that legislation would be imminent. But while Congress held hearings on postal reform throughout the first three months of this year, it's highly unlikely that a reform bill will be passed before the end of 2004."
March 31, 2004 -- GovExec.com has reported that "now that the House Government Reform Committee has wrapped up its postal overhaul hearings, and with only one more hearing planned in the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, lawmakers already have begun drafting legislation to change the nation's Postal Service."
March 31, 2004 -- In a luncheon at the Capitol Hill Club in Washington, DC, House postal appropriations subcommittee chairman Ernest Istook (R-OK) said that the House leadership is unconvinced there's any urgent need to enact comprehensive postal reform this year. In other words, reform may not happen unless and until the Postal Service's fiscal house is burning.
March 31, 2004 -- Word now has it that the Senate version of a postal reform bill won't see the light of day until sometime in May. That leaves precious few days for Congress to journey the road to enactment. Worse yet, Senate leaders reportedly have told committee chairman that if they haven't got a measure yet scheduled for a House and Senate conference, chances are they won't be able to go to conference before this Congress adjourns. In short, the chances of Congress' passing a comprehensive postal reform bill this year are slipping away.
March 31, 2004 -- PostalReform.com has posted its version of vox populi in its "Reader's Write" section of its web site. PostalReform.com is maintained by Citizen Outreach, 611 Pennsylvania Ave., SE, #439, Washington, DC 20003
March 31, 2004 -- eWeek has reported that "Delivery giant UPS needed a better system to load packages into trucks and plan out daily routes. Its answer: add another label to packages. United Parcel Service expects a 2"x3" label to save $600 million a year. UPS is investing $600 million in software and hardware to analyze historical shipping trends, input actual shipping information, and use mapping software to automatically create daily delivery routes. All this information—the purpose of the new label—promises to improve the efficiency of UPS workers who sort, load and deliver 13.8 million packages each business day."
March 31, 2004 -- According to Ireland Online, "the latest round of talks aimed at resolving the ongoing postal dispute have failed to bridge the gap between An Post and the Communications Workers Union (CWU)."
March 31, 2004 -- The Irish Independent has reported that "a mountain of undelivered credit card bills is piling up at a rate of over 28,000 every working day that the postal strike continues. So far, as the postal strike enters day 12, (its eighth working day), close to 230,000 unsent credit card bills are estimated to be backed up in the system waiting to be posted. And while the post office strike may mean credit card bills are not arriving through the letterbox, the bills have to be repaid as usual, or customers risk hefty interest rates."
March 31, 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..
March 31, 2004 -- The Jersey Evening Post (U.K.) has reported that "the postal service has been incorporated and other postal firms will now be able to operate in the Island, potentially breaking the monopoly enjoyed by Jersey Post. Jersey Post will stay in States ownership, much like Jersey Telecom, which was similarly incorporated this year."
March 31, 2004 -- The Financial Times (U.K.) has reported that "the Post Office is set to offer unsecured personal loans from today as part of its push into financial services. The Post Office, which has a joint venture with Bank of Ireland, plans to offer the products through its 16,500 branches."
March 30, 2004 -- The Nation has reported that "the public has a right to know every aspect of Thailand Post's financial details now that it has increased postal fees and begun its move toward privatisation, a leading consumer rights advocate said yesterday."
March 30, 2004 -- A copy of the presentation given by Shelley Dreifuss, Director of the Office of the Consumer Advocate, Postal Rate Commission before a gathering sponsored by Citizens Against Government Waste has been posted on this site.
March 30, 2004 -- CNET News has reported that "SBC Communications has announced that it will offer Wi-Fi service in thousands of UPS Store locations in the United States. The service, called FreedomLink, is designed to provide wireless Internet access to thousands of mobile workers throughout the country. It will allow business customers, who frequently use UPS Store locations while on the road, to connect laptop computers and personal digital assistants (PDAs) wirelessly to the Internet or corporate networks. The FreedomLink service will be available in more than 1,500 UPS locations by the end of the year, SBC said. These locations will include Mail Boxes Etc. stores, which are owned by the United Parcel Service of America, and additional installations will continue through 2005. Currently, there are approximately 3,300 UPS Store locations, and the U.S. network is projected to reach 5,000 by 2007."
March 30, 2004 -- A presentation by John Nolan, Deputy Postmaster General, USPS, entitled "United States Postal Service - A Race With Change," has been posted on the PostInsight web site.
March 30, 2004 -- PrintingNews.com has noted that "as corporate print buyers choose to do business with fewer and fewer vendors, they expect these vendors to provide more and more complementary services. Mailing services are expanding into fulfillment services. Third-party fulfillment (3PFs) vendors are adding digital printing. General commercial printers are adding both mailing and fulfillment services. Is there room for all these vendors?"
March 30, 2004 -- Kurt Ruppel, marketing services manager at The Instant Web Companies, has shared a few tips with the readers of Direct magazine on how to make a smarter investment in postage.
March 30, 2004 -- Expansion (Spain) has reported that "UPS, the US courier group, plans to open 500 branches of its Mail Boxes subsidiary in Spain in three years. The subsidiary, bought three years ago, specialises in postal services and office and stationery products, and has 4,600 outlets worldwide and 97 in Spain."
March 30, 2004 -- According to Dow Jones, "policy makers are considering transforming the China Postal Savings and Remittance Bureau, a subsidiary of state-owned mail carrier China Post, into a wholesale bank, the China Business Weekly reports. The proposal will limit the restructured China Postal Savings and Remittance Bureau's banking activities to interbank market bond trading, negotiable loans to other commercial lenders and low-risk investments."
March 30, 2004 -- According to CNET News, "a study of file-sharing's effects on music sales says online music trading appears to have had little part in the recent slide in CD sales. Big record labels have seen their sales slide precipitously in the past several years, and have blamed the falling revenue in large part on rampant free music downloads online. Others have pointed to additional factors, such as lower household spending during the recession, and increased competition from other entertainment forms such as DVDs and video games, each of which have grown over the same time period."
March 30, 2004 -- Reuters has reported that "hardware costs will fall sharply within a decade to the point where widespread computing with speech and handwriting won't be limited by expensive technology, Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates said on Monday. 'Ten years out, in terms of actual hardware costs you can almost think of hardware as being free -- I'm not saying it will be absolutely free -- but in terms of the power of the servers, the power of the network will not be a limiting factor,' Gates said, referring to networked computers and advances in the speed of the Internet." So, in ten years, exactly what kind of postal system will the world need?
March 30, 2004 -- The BBC Monitoring Service has reported that "Belarus's Information Ministry on 25 March enacted a regulation that provides more powers to control the distribution of foreign periodicals in Belarus. The regulation requires all distributors of foreign periodicals to submit their catalogues for approval. The clause applies both to entities that deliver periodicals by subscription and retailers. The ministry may ban the distribution of periodicals deemed to be in violation of the country's media law, or periodicals that did not come out during the previous subscription period. Under the previous regulation regarding the distribution of foreign periodicals, which had been in force since 1998, only the state-run postal service, Belposhta, was required to submit its catalogue for approval."
March 30, 2004 -- The Kyodo news service has reported that "Financial Services Agency (FSA) inspectors examining Japan Post's financial operations since last December have warned the public entity that there are some defects in the way it handles data on its customers, government sources said Monday."
March 30, 2004 -- AllAfrica.com has reported that "a few months ago, most postal savings customers and in some cases salary workers have been going without a franc. This pathetic situation which has sometimes pushed customers on the streets, has spurred postal authorities to put in place certain pertinent measures. One of these measures, is the pasting of a security note which reads; "Dear customers, you most have noticed that the Postal Service is witnessing financial problems. We are inviting you not to panic. The Postal Service is the only financial institution with state guarantee. Other financial institutions can be bankrupt, but the Postal Service never."
March 30, 2004 -- NZZ Online has reported that "Switzerland's new cartel law, which comes into force on April 1, gives the authorities increased powers to punish breaches of competition rules. Efforts in Switzerland to liberalise markets have foundered in the past on a lack of political will. According to economiesuisse, the government should also do more to strengthen competition by liberalising sectors still dominated by monopolies or protectionism, such as the electricity market, the postal sector and agricultural production."
March 30, 2004 -- RTE (Ireland) has reported that "talks aimed at resolving the postal dispute are set to resume this afternoon at the Labour Relations Commission. An Post Management and the Communications Workers' Union have accepted an invitation to talks from the Chief Executive of the LRC, Kieran Mulvey."
March 30, 2004 -- Reuters has reported that "FedEx Corp. increased revenues from China by an annual 40 percent in the quarter to end-February, but said again it was battling on an uneven playing field."
March 30, 2004 -- The latest edition of FirstLogic's Mail Automation eNews has been posted on the company's web site.
March 30, 2004 -- GovExec.com has reported that "despite strong bipartisan support for overhauling the Postal Service, congressional leaders are not making legislation enough of a priority, House Government Reform Committee Chairman Tom Davis, R-Va., said Monday. He said leaders in the House and Senate are 'unenthusiastic' about moving a bill. "They're saying, 'Yeah, if the committee reports out a bill, we'll try to take it up,'" Davis told a meeting of the National Association of Postal Supervisors."
March 30, 2004 -- InfoWorld has reported that "U.S. President George W. Bush called for universal and affordable access to broadband Internet service by 2007, saying that the technology would speed the flow of information and spark innovation."
March 29, 2004 -- The U.S. Postal Service has published in the Federal Register a schedule for the withdrawal from the market of postage meters involving technology defined as within "phases III and IV" of the Postal Service's Plan for Secure Postage Meter Technology.
March 29, 2004 -- If you haven't seen it, check out the latest web site on postal reform.
March 29, 2004 -- An ad from the Coalition for a 21st Century Postal Service was published in Roll Call, the daily newspaper on Capitol Hill.
March 29, 2004 -- The Teamsters Union has come out with its own ad on postal reform.
March 29, 2004 -- The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin is available online.
March 29, 2004 -- The Department of State postal affairs website (http://www.state.gov/p/io/ipp/) has been updated to include the following new documents: (1) U.S. proposals to the 2004 Universal Postal Union Congress; (2) Report on the annual meetings of the Council of Administration; (3) Postal Operations Council of the Universal Postal Union, February 2004; and (4) Minutes of the Public Briefing held December 2003.
March 29, 2004 -- The Independent (U.K.) has reported that "the Post Office is planning to launch a new residential phone service to rival BT in a bid to replicate the recent success of alternative operators such as Carphone Warehouse and Tesco. It is also pressing ahead with plans for new financial services products aimed at stealing market share from the big banks and building societies."
March 29, 2004 -- AFX Europe has reported that "the Post Office is to offer financial services products in a joint venture with the Bank of Ireland, starting today with the launch of the new Post Office unsecured personal loan."
March 29, 2004 -- Eircom.net (Ireland) has reported that "Business mail delivery group Hays DX has moved into profit even ahead of the current postal dispute, according to accounts filed recently. Hays DX (Ireland) operates a document exchange, courier service and business mail delivery. Hays estimates it currently handles between 2 and 3 per cent of the Irish business mail."
March 29, 2004 -- According to the Malta Independent, "Labour MP Joe Mizzi said that while the postal service until recently was efficient, now that the government has passed it on to foreigners, everything has deteriorated, even though the chief executive was given Lm300,000 a year. Eventually, government admitted it had failed but instead of removing the chief executive, they renewed his contract for another year."
March 29, 2004 -- The USPS Inspection Service has published in the Federal Register its notice that "under certain conditions, the Postal Service pays rewards for information and services leading to the arrest and conviction of persons for certain types of postal offenses. Poster 296, Notice of Reward, gives detailed information regarding the types of offenses covered, the maximum amounts of rewards, and the conditions under which rewards will be paid. This final rule updates Poster 296 to cover certain additional types of offenses, including the mailing of weapons of mass destruction, the facilitation crimes relating to the sexual exploitation of children, and the use of Postal Money Orders for money laundering purposes."
March 28, 2004 -- The Syracuse Post-Standard has reported that "Senators and representatives tackled the difficult and politically sensitive matter of postal reform this past week, and once again Rep. John McHugh was right in the middle of the debate. He has been working for nearly a decade to enact a top-to-bottom retrenchment of the U.S. Postal Service. McHugh has expressed hope that an overhaul of the Postal Service can happen this year."
March 28, 2004 -- Ireland Online has reported that "as the dispute at An Post enters into its second week, charities say they are being hit hard by the strike."
March 28, 2004 -- According to the Kyodo news service, "Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi will set up a preparatory office to promote the privatization of Japan Post on April 26, the third anniversary of his entering office. The office will be under the premier's direct supervision, as Koizumi wants to show his determination to complete the privatization of the postal services in 2007 ahead of the House of Councillors election in July."
March 28, 2004 -- The Financial Times (U.K.) has reported that "France is bringing Marianne back to the people. Next month, France's state-run postal service will choose a new stamp featuring Marianne - the woman who since the revolution has symbolised the republic - from thousands of designs submitted by the public. This plebiscite reflects a new, deliberately populist approach that last October saw France's mayors abandon convention and elect a 38-year-old, trash-television chat-show host to be the next female to spend four years embodying France's fundamental ideals. A bust of the down-to-earth television presenter will now stand next to the official portrait of President Jacques Chirac and the Tricolore."
March 28, 2004 -- CRMBuyer has reported that "if you're paying an online service to handle your bills electronically, you might want to think twice before you cut the next e-check. Many banks are dropping their fees for making e-payments, and America Online just introduced a free service for its subscribers to both receive and pay bills, with the added bonus of e-mail notification when bills are due. Market researcher Gartner estimates that 35 million people pay their bills online now, a number that will grow to 65 million by 2007. 'What consumers most like about bill pay is not having to buy stamps,' says Avivah Litan, an analyst at Gartner."
March 27, 2004 -- Business Mailers Review has reported that:
March 27, 2004 -- The Postal Rate Commission has agreed to hear a complaint brought by Time Warner and others concerning "fundamental reform of the Periodicals rate structure" in the interest of achieving greater conformity with statutory ratemaking provisions.
March 27, 2004 -- According to DM News postal commentator Cary Baer, "one industry official testifying before Congress on postal reform said, 'Everybody knows what needs to be done.' Really? After reading much of the recent testimony on reform, it seems that a whole range of opinion exists on what needs to be done."
March 27, 2004 -- According to some who have reviewed carefully the U.S. Postal Service's proposal to revise its purchasing of property regulations, the proposal is not so much to revise its procurement rules, but "to abandon them altogether." Completely absent, they say, is any reference that notes the USPS intends to conduct its procurements using the best practices of the commercial sector. The few rules that are set out are either vindictive in nature (when USPS will cease doing business with a contractor) or apply to fringe areas or restating requirements of existing law (debarment process, Contract Disputes Act). One troubling new rule would give USPS the power to blacklist contractors it doesn't want to do business with anymore without going through the debarment process. The grounds for blacklisting are quite subjective and broad, and include "uncooperative practices" during negotiations.
March 27, 2004 -- According to the Reno Gazette-Journal, "the Postal Service can hardly be expected to thrive in this environment when every move must be scrutinized and second-guessed by Congress. Give it the freedom it needs, and, if it still fails, let it go."
March 27, 2004 -- ITWorld has reported that "the Italian government has passed a decree giving a registered e-mail service the same legal status as recorded delivery letters, a measure expected to go into effect within the next two months. The decree, which puts Italy at the digital forefront in Europe, was proposed by Innovation and Technologies Minister Lucio Stanca and approved by the cabinet Thursday. 'The measure is an act of modernity. Electronic-mail is increasingly becoming an instrument of daily communication,' Stanca said in a prepared statement. In 2003, the number of e-mail messages handled by the public administration rose to 31 million from 14.6 million the previous year, the minister said. The cost to the civil service of sending conventional postal mail was estimated at €20 (US$24) per letter, compared to about €2 per e-mail, he said. Replacing traditional telegrams with e-mail correspondence has reduced the Foreign Ministry's paper consumption by more than 17 tons, Stanca said. Italy is also the leading European country in the adoption of digital signatures in online financial transactions and official correspondence over the Internet."
March 27, 2004 -- The Memphis Business Journal has reported that "Atlanta-based shipping giant United Postal Service will launch a new service Web site to help small businesses learn the details of doing business overseas. The shipping company also says that franchisees of The UPS Store locations will have extensive training to provide small business owners with a resource for international shipping."
March 27, 2004 -- According to Internet.com, you actually can get "ship-shape with ebay labeling."
March 27, 2004 -- The Daily News (Sri Lanka) has reported that "the Department of Posts yesterday introduced Sri Lanka's first ever electronic Money Order (eMO) payment facility as a viable and sustainable new user friendly facility which enables users to utilise the new, fast money transfer system."
March 27, 2004 -- According to Politics.ie (Ireland), "the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources, Dermot Ahern, cannot continue to wash his hands of responsibility for the current situation in An Post and must now become directly involved in efforts to find a solution to the current dispute."
March 27, 2004 -- Khaleej Times has reported that "Lucent Technologies Inc., the largest US maker of telephone equipment, won a US Defence Department order worth as much as $75 million over two years to help rebuild communications systems in Iraq. The Lucent contract covers construction, renovation, operation and maintenance of communication systems. It focuses on areas such as the public phone network, postal information-technology systems and wireless fidelity technology for Iraqi Telephone and Post Co."
March 26, 2004 -- According to the Los Angeles Times, "it was a case of 'the dog ate my certified mail receipt.' Lost U.S. Postal Service slips have cost two Hollywood movie studios - Universal Studios, owned by Vivendi Universal Entertainment, and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. - more than $25 million in royalties. Universal and MGM missed a deadline nearly three years ago to submit applications for royalties for the use of their films by cable television and satellite providers. Because the studios couldn't prove they had mailed their applications to the U.S. Copyright Office by July 31, 2001, they weren't entitled to the money, according to a federal judge in Washington."
March 26, 2004 -- As Federal Computer Week has noted, "pure e-commerce does not appear to be a high priority for a revamped U.S. Postal Service, but electronic initiatives can help physical mail delivery. In 2001, USPS was spending $33 million on e-commerce programs that were earning only $2 million, David Fineman, chairman of the Postal Service Board of Governors, testified at the March 23 hearing. Today, Fineman said, the agency spends less than $1 million a year on e-commerce.Instead, USPS is looking for new ways to strengthen its core business -- the physical delivery of mail and packages."
March 26, 2004 -- According to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, "Deutsche Post World Net subsidiary is moving up its planned listing forward to before mid-July from autumn. The parent company reportedly plans to list about half of all Postbank shares and expects proceeds of EUR2.5 billion to EUR3 billion ($3 billion to $3.6 billion), which it will use to pay off debt and invest in its sprawling postal and logistics business."
March 26, 2004 -- Oswego County Business has noted that "e-mail is by far the most widely used Internet application. It is the basis for communication and building that coveted customer relationship. While unsolicited e-mail, or spam, can be infuriating, there is another kind of e-mail people want: they sign up for it and then wait for it to come. It is the almighty e-mail newsletter. Coined as Relationship E-mail Marketing, permission-based newsletters are poised to exceed the more traditional, postal mail direct marketing measures."
March 26, 2004 -- The Irish Examiner has reported that "the Communications Workers Union (CWU) is this morning preparing for legal action in a bid to force An Post to reinstate more than 500 suspended employees. As An Post continues to seal letterboxes in areas affected by the current dispute, union officials were confident that many of the employees taken off the payroll in recent days were illegally suspended."
March 26, 2004 -- DHL has received the prestigious 2004 Quality Award from the Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (SDDC) for Transportation Excellence. Major General Ann E. Dunwoody, Commander, SDDC presented the award, which was accepted by DHL’s chief executive officer of the Americas, John Fellows, at an awards dinner during the SDDC Training Symposium in Denver, Colorado.
March 25, 2004 -- KCBD.com has reported that "of all the excuses you've used in the past to avoid going to the post office-- you've just lost a lot of them. You no longer need a big chunk of time to get that package in the mail. You don't need to find a parking space, you don't even need to get out of your pajamas. Postal authorities have felt your pain and now introduce you to "Click N Ship." It is a web-based program that lets you load your shipping info, print a label, pay for postage with a credit card. It will even arrange for a carrier to pick up your box from your doorstep. The simplicity, in fact, may be the hardest adjustment."
March 25, 2004 -- Online.ie (Ireland) has reported that "the national executive of the Communications Workers Union is meeting in Dublin this afternoon to discuss the next step in its dispute with An Post. The union's members at An Post have already voted overwhelmingly in favour of industrial action because of the dispute over the implementation of pay and reward agreements negotiated in recent years."
March 25, 2004 -- AllAfrica.com has reported that "The World Bank's Board of Directors approved today an IDA Credit of US$45 million to support the implementation of reforms that will improve the investment climate and accelerate private sector growth and employment in Senegal. The Private Sector Adjustment Credit (PSAC) will help restructure the edible oil sector and improve the environment in which it operates. It will also support the implementation of a private enterprise tax regime that stimulates investments and lowers taxes. Despite ongoing reforms, Senegal's- postal sector is- still organized in a monopolistic way. The PSAC will- help introduce- competition in the postal services. It will strengthen corporate governance and restructure the postal corporation- to improve its sustainability and- services quality."
March 25, 2004 -- DMEurope has reported that "computer services firm IBM announced today that it has been awarded a ten-year service contract by Portugal’s main postal operator, CTT (Correios, Telégrafos e Telefones), that will see IBM provide disaster recovery services and take over the management of CTT’s IT infrastructure. The agreement is the result of a strategic decision by CTT to gain flexibility in its investments and costs savings in the area of information technology."
March 25, 2004 -- According to the Los Angeles Times, "Stamps.com has marks of a dot-com survivor."
March 25, 2004 -- The Daily Yomiuri (Japan) has reported that "although the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy is expected to compile an interim report on the government's plan to privatize postal-related services at the end of next month, it is questionable to what extent the government's key panel will be able to spell out the course of action for reform."
March 25, 2004 -- The Miami Herald has reported that "HSN's rebound last year and projected faster growth caught the company with customer service facilities smaller than required. Customer calls were not being answered quickly enough and support facilities were at capacity. Barry Diller, chairman and chief executive of parent InterActiveCorp, ordered an upgrade. The chain shifted from the U.S. Postal Service to UPS, which shaved two days off order delivery. The company also achieved a 20 percent improvement in orders filled the same day."
March 25, 2004 -- The Irish Examiner has reported that the An Post crisis deepens as talks to resolve a labor dispute have failed. "Many now fear a meltdown of the company. Postal services in Dublin, Wicklow, Louth, Monaghan and Meath are now effectively crippled and losses at the company are running at €120,000 per working day. In addition workers at the Dublin mail centre are now preparing for a lockout amid growing fears last night that management would attempt to crash the company." See also the Irish Independent.
March 24, 2004 -- As the Washington Post put it, "Congress and the White House bumped chests yesterday over what needs to be done to revamp the troubled U.S. Postal Service, even before a single bill has been filed. In a joint House-Senate committee hearing, members of both parties pressed Treasury Secretary John W. Snow about the Bush administration's opposition to two measures that many lawmakers believe are necessary to put the Postal Service on a sound financial footing." See also GovExec.com
March 24, 2004 -- And, as the Associated Press noted, "Postmaster General John Potter warned that a postal rate increase planned for 2006 could be 4 cents or more for first class letters unless restrictions on how the agency operates are eased."
March 24, 2004 -- As Direct magazine has noted, Treasury Secretary John Snow maintained that "U.S. Postal Service losses are much higher than generally acknowledged and that underlies the need for reforming postal operations. Snow dismissed statements the Postal Service was nearly breaking even as 'somewhat misleading' since it ignores liabilities the service has that must still be funded."
March 24, 2004 -- DM News has reported that "department store retailer Saks Inc. has selected FedEx Corp., Memphis, TN, as exclusive provider of shipping services for all its divisions. Under the agreement, Saks will use FedEx Express for domestic, international and express freight deliveries and FedEx Ground for ground and FedEx Home Delivery services. The agreement with FedEx Express and FedEx Ground includes shipments from vendors to Saks' distribution centers, from distribution centers to stores, and to individual customers ordering online or directly from stores."
March 24, 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..
March 24, 2004 -- The Associated Press also has reported that "Germany's postal service, Deutsche Post, likely will sell shares in its Postbank banking business by this summer, earlier than originally expected, the unit's chief executive said Wednesday."
March 24, 2004 -- According to BikeBiz.com, "first it was Citizens against Government Waste and its 'pork barrel' jibe. Now it's PostalWatch, a self-appointed consumer group, with talk of boon doggling. This is a quaint North American English reference to "unnecessary or wasteful project." US trade journal Advertising Age has reported the US Postal Service is "poised to abandon its lead sponsorship of Lance Armstrong and the U.S. Pro Cycling Team" when their contract expires in December. The Postal Service began the estimated $10 million-a-year marketing initiative in 1996 and Lance Armstrong has since led the international cycling team to five consecutive Tour de France victories (and acres of newsprint and other media exposure for USPS)."
March 24, 2004 -- Government Computer News has reported that "the Postal Service is testing a knowledge management system that would let employees access personnel information themselves, rather than calling on a human resources official for answers. By implementing the system, the agency hopes to eliminate 800 positions, said Robert Burmester, a USPS program manager."
March 23, 2004 -- From the joint hearing of the House Government Reform Committee and the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee on U.S. Postal Service (USPS) reform.Witnesses:
S. David Fineman, Chairman of the USPS Board of Governors, told the House and Senate committees that the assumption that growth in mail volume will provide sufficient revenues to meet the cost of providing universal service to an ever-growing number of delivery points is flawed. First-Class volume share is dropping, and Standard Mail is too price sensitive to pick up the slack. Salaries and benefits are the USPS' biggest expense. He said the USPS cannot hope to keep total costs within inflation in the face of double-digit increases in the cost of benefit programs which it does not manage or control. The Board, he said, could support the use of a system including a well-constructed price cap model, "as long as the new model included an opportunity to go back to the regulator for special relief in exigent circumstances." While he said the Board wanted the CSRS escrow repealed, the USPS, he said, would have no alternative but to plan as if the escrow were permanent. This, he said, would result in a larger than necessary postal rate increase. Fineman said he disagreed with the Presidential Commission's recommendations regarding the Board of Governors. He said "a Board of Directors as envisioned by the Commission could be less impartial, less knowledgeable, and possibly more political." He said that there should be standards drawing a clear line between what is appropriately a managerial function within the oversight of the Governors or Directors, what is a regulatory function committed to the regulator, and what is a public policy function reserved to the nation's lawmakers. The issues of the monopoly and universal service, he said, should be reserved for Congress, not a regulatory board.
Brian C. Roseboro, Acting Treasury Undersecretary for Domestic Finance insisted that the requirement for the USPS to pick up the military portion of a postal retiree's obligation is consistent with the idea that the Postal Service should be self-sustaining. All the Postal Service's unfunded rate obligations, he said, should be raised in postal rate case, but in a manner that would avoid rate shock.
PMG Potter said there were some opportunities to reduce postal costs further, and the USPS was exploring all opportunities. Being extremely aggressive, he said, the USPS can take out about a billion dollars a year. It would take decades, he said, to mitigate the increases a CSRS escrow would create. He said that without reform and elimination of the escrow, the USPS would probably have to raise rates by about 5.4% on average.
Rep. John McHugh (R-NY) challenged Roseboro to explain why the Administration believes that the level of postal rate attribution needs to be increased significantly. McHugh succeeded in getting the Undersecretary to admit that a more precise system of calculating costs was the desired outcome, and not just an arbitrary increase in attributable costs.
March 23, 2004 -- According the Cato Institute, "it's nearly tin cup time at the Postal Service."
March 23, 2004 -- UTV (Ireland) has reported that "imminent talks to resolve an escalating postal crisis in the Irish Republic are unlikely to succeed, it was claimed."
March 23, 2004 -- Ireland Online has reported that "An Post and the Communications Workers Union have agreed to attend talks under the auspices of the Labour Relations Commission in an effort to resolve an ongoing dispute between both sides. The exploratory talks are due to begin tomorrow." In a later report, Ireland Online noted that "Communications Minister Dermot Ahern has welcomed the decision by both sides in the postal dispute to attend talks tomorrow at the Labour Relations Commission."
March 23, 2004 -- The Scotsman (U.K.) has reported that "hundreds of Royal Mail staff were quarantined for four hours after the discovery of a suspicious powder in a city sorting office."
March 23, 2004 -- As the Washington Post has noted, "there is trouble at the post office. The U.S. Postal Service's financial outlook is bleak and getting bleaker, according to members of Congress, a presidential commission, the General Accounting Office and postal officials themselves. It is bad enough that some federal officials are warning of a huge taxpayer bailout -- or dramatic increases in postal rates -- if Congress does not reorganize the $67 billion-a-year entity soon to help it operate more efficiently."
March 23, 2004 -- Online.ie (Ireland) has reported that "the Tanaiste Mary Harney has called on both sides in the postal dispute to agree to talks to resolve their differences. Postal services in many parts of the country, particularly the eastern region, have been badly affected by the dispute which was sparked by the introduction of new sorting machines. Workers at An Post's Dublin mail centre are refusing to use the new machines and 508 of them have been suspended."
March 23, 2004 -- According to the Irish Examiner, "despite yesterday’s strident escalation of the war of words between unions and management at An Post, hope remains that a full-scale strike can be averted. If it fails, collapse of the State-owned postal service cannot be ruled out." As the Examiner noted, "business organisations have warned that a postal strike would have an 'horrendous' effect on both large and small firms and the economy as a whole. The Dublin Chamber of Commerce said many businesses, particularly smaller ones, were still “heavily dependent” on the postal service." Of course, the same also can be said about the American postal system if Congress and the Administration fail to enact postal reform legislation in the United States.
March 23, 2004 -- Modern Tire Dealer has reported that "the United States Postal Service has picked Oliver Retreading Systems to retread of all its tires nationwide for the next 10 years. Oliver is a subsidiary of Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. Most of the postal servce's mail trucks use LT195/75R14 light truck tires, according to Boarts. A smaller number use 15-inch tires. The postal service has more than 300 vehicle maintenance facilities. Only 20% of its trucks use retreads. The USPS wants to increase that to 70% within two years."
March 23, 2004 -- The Moscow Times has reported that "ordered to Moscow to whip FedEx's Russian staff into shape, Chuck Noland decided to demonstrate how bad things were by sending himself a clock from Tennessee. It took 80 hours. In a snarl-up that has yet to be fully unwound, thousands of FedEx packages became marooned at Domodedovo Airport, calling into question the company's membership in the "Big Four" club of express delivery providers in Russia, while simultaneously opening the door to upstart domestic companies. By most accounts, the industry has grown between 25 percent and 40 percent per year over the last three years, and just four Western companies -- Dutch TNT, Brussels-based DHL and American UPS and FedEx -- account for most of the action. Industry players say that while international deliveries still account for most of the industry's revenues, future growth will hinge on express services within Russia. This, they say, is encouraging Western companies to expand aggressively nationwide while giving domestic upstarts like PonyExpress and Russian Post room to expand -- developments that will eventually lead to lower prices for consumers."
March 23, 2004 -- The Polish News Bulletin has reported that "last week the Sejm amended the postal law and at the same time set the pace of liberalising postal services by 2006. Courier companies however, estimate that the modification of regulations will not break the monopoly of Poczta Polska (PP). Even though there are 65 postal companies on the Polish market only PP can offer exclusive services, such as delivering parcels weighing less than 500g. As far as those services are concerned the remaining operators are forced to establish prices that are much higher than those of the monopolist. The amendment marks a new stage in the liberalisation for 2006, by which time Poland will fully have to harmonise its laws with those of the EU, which in turn will permit a monopoly only in case of parcels lighter than 50g."
March 23, 2004 -- Reuters has reported that "FedEx Corp. has sold $1.6 billion of debt in three parts on Monday, market sources said, in a transaction that will help the global delivery company pay for its first-quarter acquisition of copy-center operator Kinko's. The air express delivery group, based in Memphis, Tennessee, used short-term borrowings to help fund the $2.4 billion acquisition in February, and will pay down those borrowings with the proceeds from these notes, according to a statement from Moody's Investors Service on Monday."
March 23, 2004 -- WDAF-TV has reported that "more than 200 residents in the southern corner of Overland Park (KS) have been victimized by a massive postal theft ring. For more than a week, mailboxes in the area have been vandalized, leaving residents open to possible identity theft."
March 23, 2004 -- According to The Independent (U.K.), "French politics is becoming too heavy, according to the postal workers of Nancy, in Lorraine. They went on partial strike last week, protesting against the regional elections (over two rounds last Sunday and this Sunday). They said that there are so many political parties in France, and so many candidates that each letter-carrier has to lug 40kg of political pamphlets a day."
March 23, 2004 -- Les Echos (France) has reported that "it is thought that an agreement may be reached between the French magazine press and La Poste, the French postal service, by the end of May. Three trade unions for the French magazine press have put forward some general proposals in the hope that an agreement can be reached; negotiations between the two sides have been at a standstill for just over a year."
March 23, 2004 -- Bloomberg has reported that "a government panel discussing the privatization of Japan's postal service will probably propose the end of a state guarantee of savings accounts and insurance products provided by the post office."
March 23, 2004 -- According to the Austin Business Journal, "the U.S. Postal Service is preparing to drop its lead sponsorship of Austin cyclist Lance Armstrong and the U.S. Pro Cycling Team, Ad Age reports."
March 22, 2004 -- Dow Jones has reported that "the U.S. Treasury shouldn't take on any pension responsibilities from the U.S. Postal Service, a senior Treasury official said Monday in a speech on postal reform. Brian Roseboro, Treasury's acting undersecretary for domestic finance, said the administration wants the Postal Service to follow through on reform recommendations. But Congress shouldn't shift any pension responsibilities away from the agency, he said."
March 22, 2004 -- A copy of a letter sent to the House Budget Committee's leadership by Treasury Secretary John Snow and Office of Personnel Management Director Kay James on the Postal Service's retirement obligations has been posted on this site.
March 22, 2004 -- PostalWatch has reported that the Postal Service is "poised to abandon" its support of the Lance Amstrong bicycling team.
March 22, 2004 -- ElectricNews.net has reported that "the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) announced on Friday that 10 proposals had been received for new sponsored top-level domains (sTLDs). This is the first stage before the introduction of generic TLDs (gTLDS). Respondents include the curiously named Universal Postal Union, which is vying for dot-post (.post)."
March 22, 2004 -- UTV (Ireland) has reported that "the Communications Workers' Union says it will be happy to go into mediation with An Post to resolve the escalating dispute at Dublin's main mail centre. An Post`s Director of Corporate Affairs, Larry Donald has urged the CWU to deliver on the deal that staff had already been paid for."
March 22, 2004 -- Politics.ie (Ireland) has reported that "Labour Party Spokesperson on Communications, Deputy Tommy Broughan, has said that the current conflict between An Post and the Communications Workers Union which has resulted in disruption to postal services around the country, is the result of 'bungled management at An Post and the deteriorating state of industrial relations across the semi-state sector.'"
March 22, 2004 -- AMEInfo has reported that "a high-level delegation from Swiss Post, led by Dr. Ulrich Gygi, Chief Executive Officer of Swiss Post, held talks with Emirates Post Director General Mr. Abdullah Al Daboos, to explore areas of further mutual cooperation. The talks centred on boosting the existing business service agreement between Emirates Post and GATS (Global Alliance of Transportation Systems), a wholly owned subsidiary of Swiss Post."
March 22, 2004 -- The Copenhagen Post has reported that "over the next two years, Post Denmark expects to shut down nearly 250 of the 339 post offices the company operated at the end of 2003 Supermarkets and other local businesses are expected to take over many traditional postal customer services. Politicians are already drafting a postal service law that could bring the additional closure of hundreds of service centers. Transport Minister Flemming Hansen, who also oversees the nation's postal service, confirmed the news in a written response to Parliament's Traffic Comimttee."
March 22, 2004 -- DM News has reported that "in a departure from previous campaigns that promoted a specific product or service, the U.S. Postal Service has started an effort to sell businesses on the value of direct mail in customer relationship management. 'We are turning a corner in the way we are going to market with our products these days,' said Susan Dow, manager of sales strategy at the postal service. 'This is our first foray into positioning mail as a CRM tool, and [the mail piece] talks about the attributes of hard-copy communications.' The first drop went to 75,000 mid-tier customers March 12, including 40,000 new accounts nationwide managed by the USPS direct sales force that have been identified as having high growth potential, Dow said. These customers generally have more than 20 employees and spend $200,000 with the USPS yearly. Also targeted was a 20,000-count control group of customers that use direct mail but are not managed by the USPS sales force, she said. A compiled list of 15,000 professionals in the CRM field who subscribe to CRM-intense magazines also was targeted."
March 22, 2004 -- It has been alleged four named postal employees (three active and one retired) that the United States Postal Service (USPS) in recent times has "systematically and purposefully" altered their electronic time slips ... and ... seeped money out of their paychecks. But this is not just about four postal workers. The case is also brought as a class action. As a class action suit, the number of plaintiffs may ultimately increase to over 200,000 nationwide. That is the number of postal workers that may have been affected by the purposeful actions of USPS supervisors in the United States. The crux of the suit is that Plaintiffs and other employees were paid less than the salary they should have been paid for the work they did on behalf of the USPS. The suit alleges that Defendant's supervisors intentionally made deletions on regular and overtime hours, impacting letter carriers, rural route letter carriers, mail handlers, window clerks, drivers and other employees. This has resulted in a reduced salary to the employees.
March 22, 2004 -- The U.S. Postal Service and the American Postal Workers Union have settled one of its arbitration disputes--this one concerning Sunday Premium pay.
March 22, 2004 -- The Financial Times (U.K.) has reported that "Amicus, the union that represents more than 14,000 Royal Mail managers, has accused the postal group of planning to impose longer hours on remaining staff following 3,000 job cuts. Royal Mail is shedding 3,000 non-operational management jobs as part of a three-year plan to reduce the group's headcount by 30,000. About 2,400 staff have accepted voluntary redundancy but up to 600 staff might be laid off. Amicus said it would hold a strike ballot as soon as compulsory job losses are announced."
March 22, 2004 -- Lloyds List has reported that "Dutch mail and logistics group TPG has announced a E 59m ($71m) tax liability 50% higher than estimated last month relating back to an unnamed UK subsidiary in the late 1990s."
March 22, 2004 -- Chandigarh Online has reported that "the Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs has sanctioned Rs 836 crore under the Tenth Five Year Plan for computerisation of postal services across the country. Director General Posts and Chairman Postal Services Board Vijay Bhushan, while interacting with newspersons here, said the thrust of computerisation would be on departmental offices to improve their productivity. Bhushan was here to inaugurate a philatelic exhibition 'Chandipex-2004' organised to mark the Golden Jubilee year of Chandigarh. Further, concerted attempts are being made to bridge the gap between revenue and expenditure of the Department of Posts. Posts offices are being 're-engineered' as a part of the endeavour to make them more 'attractive' to the public."
March 22, 2004 -- ChannelNewsAsia has reported that "the British subsidiary of the German postal service Deutsche Post will this week receive a permanent license to deliver mail, enabling the German parent company to continue international expansion. The British subsidiary, known as Global Mail, has hitherto held a provisional licence from the British regulator Postcomm, limiting annual distribution capacity to 40 million letters and business parcels. The new authorisation will enable Global Mail to distribute letters up to 100 grammes in Britain, as well as penetrating the market for overseas distribution and publicity mail." See also Bloomberg.
March 22, 2004 -- Ireland Online has reported that "postal services are seriously disrupted in Dublin and some other areas this morning due to an ongoing dispute over work practices at An Post's main mail centre in Dublin."
March 22, 2004 -- According to the Irish Examiner, "with chaos looming in the postal service, the troubles besetting An Post are symptomatic of a malaise in a raft of ailing State companies. Losing money at an alarming rate, An Post urgently requires root-and-branch surgery. So deep-seated are its industrial relations problems that an outright postal strike seems unavoidable."
March 21, 2004 -- RTE (Ireland) has reported that "a further 128 postal workers were suspended yesterday evening, bringing the total suspended to date to 194. Following last night's development, An Post issued a statement saying services would be severely disrupted. The company was asking people in Dublin city and county not to post mail until further notice." See also Ireland Online and the Irish Examiner.
March 21, 2004 -- KGUN has reported that "the number of Tucson inspectors assigned to protect your mail-- has just doubled. Their focus is making sure crimes like theft, fraud-- and others-- don't get shuffled into the U.S. mail system. Three inspectors were arresting so many mail thieves-- they had cases that were ready to be prosecuted-- but instead-- sat piling up on their desks."
March 20, 2004 -- The Irish Examiner has reported that "the prospect of a postal strike receded last night after a public appeal by the Communications Workers' Union (CWU) to An Post management 'to reengage with the union immediately in relation to all outstanding issues'."
March 20, 2004 -- RTE (Ireland) has reported that "the Communication Workers Union says 58 postal workers and managers in Dublin's main mail centre have been suspended in an ongoing row over changes to working paractices. A spokeswoman for An Post has confirmed that 64 postal staff have been suspended after refusing to carry out normal working practices."
March 19, 2004 -- According to PC World, "Time Warner has not engaged in any talks with Microsoft about selling its struggling America Online unit to the giant software vendor, a Time Warner spokesperson says, contradicting a New York Post story. 'The New York Post report is inaccurate. It isn't true,' says Tricia Primrose, a Time Warner spokesperson."
March 19, 2004 -- Microsoft Watch has reported that "the New York Post reported in its Friday edition that Time Warner has held discussions in recent months with Microsoft regarding a potential acquisition by the Redmond software company of America Online (AOL). Time Warner is denying the account. And a Microsoft spokeswoman said the company will not comment on rumors or speculation."
March 19, 2004 -- ZDNet has reported that "Swedish technology firm Cypak has been demonstrating what it claims is the world's first disposable paper PC at CeBIT this week. The company has developed a way of using radio-frequency identification (RFID) chips in packaging that also contains printable sensors and other embedded electronic circuits. This creates what Cypak calls a 'disposable paperboard computer', which could see widespread commercial deployment as companies in a range of sectors look to realize the potential of RFID. 'We are adding intelligence to packaging using RFID,' Stina Ehrensvard, founder and marketing director of Cypak, told ZDNet UK on Friday. Although nothing like a modern PC, Cypak says that its creation deserves to be called a paper computer because the product is capable of collecting, processing and exchanging data. The Swedish postal service is already testing Cypak's system, and Deutsche Post is also expressing interest."
March 19, 2004 -- The Economic Times (India) has reported that "the postal department plans to start issuing personalised stamps, probably by November. Almost a dozen postal departments, including those of the UK and the United Nations, issue 'personalised' stamps. All that one needs to do is provide one’s picture to be printed on a set of stamps."
March 19, 2004 -- RTE News (Ireland) has reported that "the Communications Workers' Union (CWU) has issued a stinging rebuke to An Post senior management following a meeting of the union's Executive Council to discuss possible strike action."
March 19, 2004 -- GovExec.com has reported that "for years, the House Government Reform Committee was known for its bitter partisanship. Much of the acrimony stemmed from the panel's high-profile badgering of Clinton administration officials, led by its hard-charging former chairman, Rep. Dan Burton, R-Ind. Compared with back then, relations between the committee's leaders these days seem practically harmonious."
March 19, 2004 -- The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin is available online.
March 19, 2004 -- Internet Retailer has reported that "though the web can do what other sales media like catalogs and magazines don't - actually take an order - the average conversion rate among retail sites is only about 3%, according to Forrester Research Inc. Boosting that number will require e-commerce site to boost both the usefulness and usability of site content, says Forrester analyst John Dalton, who evaluated content at 20 sites for a new report on 'Web content that sells.'"
March 19, 2004 -- The Associated Press has reported that:
March 19, 2004 -- Air Cargo World has reported that "at least one major United States airline has told forwarders it will start random inspections of freight, including opening packages it deems suspicious, as carriers ramp up cargo security under growing pressure from the public, regulators and elected officials. The latest stowaway incident involved three men from the Dominican Republic who were found inside a DHL warehouse near Miami International Airport after apparently tearing their way out of a shrink-wrapped pallet. Authorities believe the men had flown into the U.S. on a Capital Cargo International Airlines 727 freighter chartered to DHL Aero Expresso."
March 19, 2004 -- Click. Print. Ship. Shipping packages from home or office online will be the focus of the U.S. Postal Service's "Click-N-Ship Week," which begins March 22. Two demonstrations are scheduled for Tuesday, March 23, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. The Postal Service is conducting a nationwide awareness campaign targeted to home and small business owners with the message: mailing packages has never been more convenient. Click-N-Ship has been used more than 8 million times so far.
March 19, 2004 -- DM News has reported that "the U.S. Postal Service changed the standards for Customized MarketMail in response to direct marketers' request. CMM is a mail classification approved last year by the USPS that lets direct marketers mail nonrectangular pieces without having to enclose them in a package or envelope. Effective March 4, mailers have the option to use the Standard addressing format with CMM, which is a delivery address containing the name of the intended recipient. Previously, CMM customers had to use the Exceptional address format, where 'Current Resident' or 'Current Occupant' is used alongside the recipient's name."
March 19, 2004 -- Ireland Online has confirmed that "the executive committee of the Communications Workers Union is due to meet today to discuss whether to call a nationwide postal strike. The union's members at An Post have already voted overwhelmingly in favour of industrial action over the company’s failure to implement a number of pay and reward deals and the Government's failure to implement an employee share ownership scheme."
March 19, 2004 -- According to HR Gateway (U.K.), "superunion Amicus has said that the possibility of a postal strike among the 14,000 managers at Royal Mail it represents has got a 'step closer' following the failure of talks over the issue of compulsory redundancies." See also The Scotsman.
March 19, 2004 -- IDEAlliance Address Data Interchange Specification (ADIS) Working Group and other interested parties about recent developments and to announce a meeting to be held Wednesday, April 7 in the Chicago area to review the latest version of the ADIS specification and the Universal Postal Union (UPU) S42 international addressing standard "International Postal Address Components and Templates" to which it is related. For further information, call Georgia Volakis, IDEAlliance at 703-837-1075 for the meeting details.
March 19, 2004 -- Gulfport, MS, Mailing Standards Specialist Jerry Hawk has been selected as the national winner of the 6th annual Benjamin Franklin Community Newspaper and Postal Service Partnership Award of Excellence. The award was presented today by Postmaster General John E. Potter; National Newspaper Association (NNA) President Bob Sweeney and NNA Postal Committee Chair Max Heath during the NNA's 43rd Annual Government Affairs Conference at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.
March 19, 2004 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "FedEx Trade Networks Transportation and Brokerage has joined the growing list of non-vessel-operating common carriers that have petitioned the Federal Maritime Commission to allow them to enter service contracts with customers. The unit of FedEx Corp. joins rivals United Parcel Service, DHL Danzas, BAX Global, BDP International, Ocean World Lines, C.H. Robinson, and the National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America, which have similar petitions before the FMC."
March 18, 2004 -- JupiterResearch, a division of Jupitermedia Corporation, has announced that, according to its latest forecast, spending on e-mail marketing in the U.S. will rise from $2.1 billion in 2003 to $6.1 billion in 2008. The report finds three critical factors driving the market: the dramatic cost reductions of e-mail marketing, the growth of sponsored and acquisition e-mail campaigns and the ever-increasing challenges presented by spam. The report finds customer retention e-mail campaigns accounting for the greatest share of non-spam e-mail marketing spending, and will continue to do so over the near-term. Strong spending on retention is driven by the dramatic cost effectiveness of e-mail as compared to postal direct mail. But marketers must manage their campaigns with skill to obtain the full benefits of online direct marketing.
March 18, 2004 -- Pitney Bowes has unveiled the new Production Package available for the DI875 tabletop inserting system that offers mailers high-speed, versatile inserting for customized mail preparation. The DI875 Production Package's Optical Mark Recognition (OMR) capability and variable page processing coupled with an intelligent sheet feeder, which collates complete sets, enables businesses to better manage the contents of each mail piece, while increasing the document's integrity and reducing overall costs.
March 18, 2004 -- The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin is available online.
March 18, 2004 -- DM News has reported that "more than 1,300 postmasters are expected to travel to Capitol Hill the week of March 22 to urge Congress to support universal postal service. The effort, which is being promoted by the 42,000-member National Association of Postmasters of the United States, will close with a rally March 24 at the Capitol."
March 18, 2004 -- The Polish Bulletin has reported that "URTiP, the Office for Telecom and Postal Regulation, has coined a new strategy which is to make the postal services market in Poland modern and competitive by 2009. The statements included in the new strategy seem to meet the expectations of private operators. The realisation of the strategy has been divided into three stages. One of the main objectives of the strategy is the effective control of the state over the gradual liberalisation and development of the postal services market. The authors of the strategy want to provide customers with access to high quality postal services in accordance with the requirements of Polish and European Union law. URTiP promises to support the Polish Post's participation in the development of a competitive market. Moreover, the office plans to influence state policy in the postal services domain."
March 18, 2004 -- According to This Is Lancashire (U.K.), the Royal Mail has come upon an interesting way to deal with delivery service cutbacks. It said that "people who want their post early can collect it themselves. Customers who want their mail early will be able to collect it themselves from the delivery office at 8.30am. This is a free new service but customers need to apply in advance for security reasons."
March 18, 2004 -- According to the Kyodo News Service (Japan), "The government is considering gradually scrapping preferential tax treatment for Japan Post after its privatization in April 2007, a government source said Thursday. Japan Post, a public corporation set up in April 2003 to take over mail delivery, postal savings and insurance services from the Postal Services Agency, is now free of corporate tax and stamp duty on the three postal services. Banks and other private financial institutions have demanded such tax breaks be abolished to secure competition on an equal footing."
March 18, 2004 -- The Telegraph (U.K.) has reported that "customs officers are to use new technology to scan all mail bags arriving in Britain from Jamaica in a bid to beat cocaine smuggling." See also The Scotsman.
March 18, 2004 -- According to one economics scholar, "government can either deliberately subsidize by giving a service away free, or it may genuinely try to find the true market price, i.e., to 'operate on a business basis.' This is often the cry raised by conservatives—that government enterprise be placed on a 'business footing,' that deficits be ended, etc. Almost always this means raising the price. Is this a solution, however? It is often stated that a single government enterprise, operating within the sphere of a private market, buying from it, etc., can price its services and allocate its resources efficiently. This, however, is incorrect. There is a fatal flaw that permeates every conceivable scheme of government enterprise and ineluctably prevents it from rational pricing and efficient allocation of resources. Because of this flaw, government enterprise can never be operated on a 'business' basis, no matter what the government's intentions."
March 18, 2004 -- Business World (Ireland) has reported that "the prospect of industrial unrest at State-owned An Post is looming as the Communications Workers Union (CWU) prepares to discuss holding a national strike. A decision on whether to hold a national postal strike will be discussed by the biggest union in An Post tomorrow. Members have already voted by a six-to-one majority in favour of industrial action at the State company. Officially, the strike threat centres on union claims that the company has failed to implement a number of pay and reward deals. The union is also unhappy at the Government's failure to implement an agreement to establish an employee share ownership plan (ESOP) for An Post staff." See also Ireland Online and the Irish Examiner.
March 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..
March 18, 2004 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "FedEx Corp. has reported a better-than-expected increase in quarterly earnings, helped by cost savings and jumps in overseas and trucking shipments." See also Reuters and Motley Fool.
March 18, 2004 -- The Albuquerque Tribune has reported that "Z-Coil - the Albuquerque company that makes athletic and work shoes with a spring in the heel - is at odds with the Postal Service, which banned its employees from wearing the shoes to work. The Postal Service evaluated the shoe last year and says the heel is too high and there is a risk of slipping. It says it won't reconsider the decision despite complaints from Z-Coil."
March 18, 2004 -- DI-VE (Malta) has reported that "between 2002 and 2003, employment in the post and telecommunications sector decreased by 6.09 per cent, that is 108, according to the National Statistics Office (NSO). The national post, registered an increase of 8.21 per cent on 'registered parcels and other items received' between 2002 and 2003, from 827,074 and 895,008 respectively. An increase of 2.96 per cent was reported for the item under 'letters, printed paper, newspapers and postcards received' from abroad, having 9.0 million items during 2002 to 9.3 million during 2003. On the other hand, locally posted 'letters, printed paper, newspapers and postcards received' decreased from 57.7 million items during 2002, to 52.78 million items during 2003, a decrease of 8.52 per cent. Locally dispatched 'letters, printed paper, newspapers and postcards' dropped from 60.92 million items to 46.58 million items, a 23.54 per cent decrease."
March 18, 2004 -- The Kyodo news service has reported that "Japan Post is likely to register profits in all of its three major business fields mail delivery, postal savings and postal insurance in fiscal 2003 to March 31 this year, its president said."
March 18, 2004 -- The Peninsula has reported that "Qatar’s General Postal Corporation (Q-Post) has invited suggestions from the large, foreign courier companies operating in Doha about the proposed, new postal laws that are expected to be enacted shortly."
March 18, 2004 -- The Trinidad & Tobago Express has reported that "Independent Senator Prof Kenneth Ramchand said yesterday that nothing in the performance of the management of the Trinidad and Tobago Postal Corporation (TTPost) deserves any special exception such as tax reliefs for the company. Ramchand said when the matter came up in 1998 he had the "honour" to oppose the contract of the management company of the postal services to New Zealand Post. He said people were hardly writing letters these days because they have moved toward electronic correspondence, adding that any move to reform the postal service must include a plan to turn post offices into electronic cafes. Ramchand said the postal service has not improved."
March 18, 2004 -- Dow Jones has reported that "Australian Postal Corp. has launched A$230 million of fixed-rate medium term notes via lead manager National Australia Bank. The issue will be used to refinance Australia Post's A$230 million March 2004 notes, which were issued in 1999."
March 18, 2004 -- The Budapest Sun (Hungary) has reported that "state-owned Magyar Posta Rt has announced a pre-tax profit of Ft3 billion ($14.56 million) for 2003, Ft1 billion ($4.85 million) higher than expected and a huge improvement from a Ft9.08 billion ($44 million) loss suffered in 2002."
March 18, 2004 -- The New Zealand Herald has reported that "new Zealanders are spurning personal letter-writing far more quickly than scribes in other countries - and NZ Post is feeling the pinch as a result. The state-owned enterprise, which has a 95 per cent share of the domestic letter market, said yesterday that volumes of the humble stamped envelope had fallen 3.7 per cent in the second half of last year. Up until then, volumes had fallen at an average of 1 per cent annually for several years as email gained in popularity. NZ Post chief executive John Allen said that all postal companies globally were facing a challenge, but the local experience had been of a sharper decline than in other countries."
March 17, 2004 -- New Zealand Post Group has announced an unaudited net profit after tax of $21.7 million for the six months to December 2003, compared with $19.6 million for the same period last year. New Zealand Post Chief Executive John Allen said the result was ahead of expectation and included a strong performance from the International mail business and Kiwibank.
March 17, 2004 -- As the World Bank Group has noted, "A post office equals a postal code, which means a place on the map, which translates into growth and progress. In many remote areas in the world, the post office also doubles as the only government representation nearby. Historically, an effective postal system has been crucial to a modern country to disseminate information, encourage the growth of small businesses, and unify geographically distant people."
March 17, 2004 -- the BBC has reported that "people living in some of the most inaccessible areas of India are enjoying an improved postal service - thanks to the combining of e-mail with traditional 'snail mail'. Post offices in the northern state of Himachal Pradesh will take a customer's handwritten letter and computer scan it. Then the letter can be e-mailed to remote, high-altitude post-offices in this Himalayan region. From there, the e-mails are printed out and then taken by hand to their destinations - many of which are located in almost inaccessible mountain areas such as the Lahaul, Spiti, Kinnaur and Pangi valleys. At over 3,500 metres above sea level, some of them are the highest inhabited places on earth."
March 17, 2004 -- Dow Jones has reported that "the Argentine government-run postal service formerly known as Correo Argentino SA is on track to return to private ownership in May, keeping with the original decree that had revoked the concession in November, the government-appointed postal administrator said Tuesday. Eduardo Di Cola, a former congressional deputy now running the postal service, said the state is still planning to reprivatize Correo Oficial Argentino - as it is currently known - within the 180-day deadline set when the government revoked private company Correo Argentino SA's concession in November 2003. Di Cola also said he believes a mixed system - in which the state retains a partial stake - would be best."
March 17, 2004 -- According to Reuters, "top U.S. trucking companies are getting around rising diesel prices with relative ease because customers are paying fuel surcharges on top of increasing haulage fees and America's economy is driving more shipping."
March 17, 2004 -- Les Echos (France) has reported that "the SUD-PTT trade union has accused the French post office, La Poste, of having surreptitiously sold one of its subsidiaries, Someposte Logistique, to the French conglomerate Bouygues."
March 17, 2004 -- Firstlogic, Inc., a global provider of data quality and postal automation software, and Proxix Solutions, a Palm Harbor, Fla.-based market intelligence company, have recently inked a partnership agreement to offer advanced geographic solutions that help organizations manage and analyze location-specific business data. The partnership will allow Firstlogic to market and sell the Proxix-developed geo-spatial technology as an integrated component of the Firstlogic Information Quality Suite, a full-featured system for customer and operational data quality management.
March 17, 2004 -- Newsday has reported that "the Hamilton, NJ mail distribution center is now expected to reopen for business early next year, slightly later than previously projected. U.S. Postal Service officials had hoped the 300,000-square-foot building could be open by the fall."
March 16, 2004 -- CNET has reported that "AOL, the online unit owned by Time Warner, plans to unveil a new service called AOL Bill Pay that lets its subscribers pay nearly all their bills directly through its proprietary e-mail service. The company struck a partnership with Yodlee, a technology company that helps aggregate bills from vendors as diverse as Verizon to American Express, to provide the guts of the service."
March 16, 2004 -- Suddeutsche Zeitung (Germany) has reported that "Deutsche Post, the German postal service, has been criticised by the German association for telecommunications and post (DVPT). The association claims that the company's monopoly on postal services for low-weight letters, which is due to continue until the end of 2007, will not allow significant competition on the market."
March 16, 2004 -- According to Le Figaro, "the French trade unions CFDT, FO and SUD-PTT have called on postal workers in Paris to begin an open-ended strike today in protest against job cuts and deteriorating working conditions. The SUD argues that, since the beginning of the year, 400 jobs have either been shed or earmarked to be shed in seven of the French capital's mail distribution centres, while working hours have become more anti-social." Domage de quelle.
March 16, 2004 -- Dow Jones has reported that "Providian Financial Corp. (PVN) received a subpoena from the U.S. Postal Service related to ineligible discounted bulk mailing postage rates, according to the company's annual report filed Monday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The filing said that a claim was made against Providian and one of its vendors alleging that the company or the vendor received discounted bulk mail postage rates on mailings between 1997 and 2001 which weren't eligible for the discounted rates."
March 16, 2004 -- According to Reuters, "the state-owned postal operator Royal Mail may face strike action by thousands of postal managers over possible plans for compulsory job cuts, a union spokeswoman says. "We have seen a top-secret document in which Royal Mail plans to renege on the current job security agreement made with us ... It may lead to compulsory redundancies for managerial staff," said a spokeswoman for the trade union Amicus on Monday. "We have called an emergency meeting of our members and there is a possibility that they will be balloted for industrial action." Plagued by wildcat strikes last year, Royal Mail announced in December that it had offered voluntary redundancy to up to 3,000 non-operational managers as part of a 30,000 job cull designed to help the former monopoly compete with leaner rivals. Royal Mail currently employs over 200,000 people."
March 16, 2004 -- The Financial Times (U.K.) has reported that "In April 2002, Allan Leighton, then newly appointed Royal Mail chairman, launched a three-year plan for the postal group in response to the Consignia debacle, a management rout and losses of as much as £1.7m a day. Through a restructuring of the postal network and 30,000 job cuts, Mr Leighton pledged to make £1.2bn of cost savings and return the group to profit by 2005. Almost two-thirds of the way into the plan, Royal Mail has confirmed that it is expecting to make an operating profit of £200m for the 2003-04 financial year, compared with a loss of £197m in 2002-03. About 12,000 jobs will go in the next few months, bringing the total staff reduction so far to well over 20,000, and more than half of delivery offices have agreed to make fundamental changes to working practices to improve productivity."
March 16, 2004 -- The Canadian Union Postal Workers has told the minister in charge of the postal portfolio that it was concerned "over recent media reports citing statements by Treasury Board President Reg Alcock that your government may be considering privatization of Canada Post."
March 16, 2004 -- GovExec.com has reported that "the Senate last week approved an amendment to the fiscal 2005 budget resolution that will help speed passage of postal overhaul legislation -- once the legislation is written. The amendment sets up a deficit-neutral reserve fund to enact postal changes. Under the amendment passed last week, if the committee reports a fully offset reform bill, Budget Chairman Nickles can allocate the direct spending authority needed to bring the bill to the floor, without the bill being subject to a Budget Act point of order.
March 16, 2004 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that "in more bad news for the French express and logistics industry, 1,200 jobs are likely to be affected by a re-structuring deal agreed between DHL’s management and unions. The re-structuring process is part of the implementation of Deutsche Post’s STAR integration programme which is seeking synergies between the company’s many different networks in the country."
March 15, 2004 -- The BBC (U.K.) has reported that "postal workers have been delivering mail by torch light to one estate in south Wales because of staff sickness. Many are angry because their post is so late and have complained to Royal Mail."
March 15, 2004 -- The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin is available online.
March 15, 2004 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that "Amtrak didn't meet its goal of three-hour train service between Boston and New York because neither the railroad nor the government managed or oversaw the project effectively, congressional auditors said on Monday. Congress in 1992 ordered the Transportation Department to come up with a plan for reducing the train trip between the two cities from four hours to three hours or less. A total of $3.2 billion was spent by Amtrak, state governments and other railroads for the project through March 2003. The trip now takes three hours, 24 minutes." Ah, yes....measurability and accountability.
March 15, 2004 -- The Independent (U.K.) has reported that "the Treasury is to come under pressure to introduce VAT on postage stamps in the run-up to the next general election. Postcomm, the postal regulator, is preparing to recommend that a special 5 per cent rate should be introduced, but this will go against the wishes of Government ministers, who are opposed to any increase in the price of stamps. Royal Mail is VAT exempt. However, The private companies entering the postal market have to charge the tax at the full 17.5 per cent rate. Postcomm is worried that this gives Royal Mail a competitive advantage when bidding to handle mail for companies which are themselves exempt from VAT. Because they are unable to claim back the tax, charities, banks, building societies and the Government tend to use Royal Mail for their deliveries."
March 15, 2004 -- The Times Colonist (Canada) has reported that "if you want to read a weekday issue of the Edmonton Journal at one of the Greater Victoria Public Library's branches, you're out of luck. The library now only carries the Saturday issue after learning annual subscription costs would total $3,600, up from $750. That's due to whopping increases in Canada Post's bulk mailing rate."
March 15, 2004 -- The BBC (U.K.) has reported that "managers at the Royal Mail could strike for the first time in two decades over feared compulsory jobs cuts. The union, Amicus, says it has seen a document prepared last month containing plans for big redundancies." See also The Times and Reuters.
March 15, 2004 -- The E-Commerce Times has noted that "China's postal service was not reliable, and there was no credible nationwide alternative like FedEx. To make sure the packages arrived safely, Dangdang arranged for a fleet of delivery men to zip around China's biggest cities on bicycles."
March 15, 2004 -- The Idaho Statesman has noted that "part of a day's work for an Idaho Falls man includes developing a postal zip code system for the people of Iraq."
March 15, 2004 -- The Journal News has reported that you "come home from work and what's the first thing you do as you pause at the foot of the driveway or climb the stoop? Get the mail. Curse the bevy of credit card offers or mourn the lack of birthday cards, but the "mail moment" is still a part of everyone's day - despite predictions that phone, fax and the Internet would replace mail. And that's a good thing, not just for the U.S. Postal Service, but for another enterprise that helps mail finds its way to your home."
March 15, 2004 -- Magazines continue to reel from a sustained ad downturn, with the industry posting ad page declines in January and February. Providing an inside to view to the beleagured industry is Hearst Magazines President Cathleen Black. Her publishing career spans newspapers (including a stint as publisher of "USA Today") as well asmagazines. "Advertising Age's" Jon Fine discussed the challenges faced by her company as well as magazines in general.
March 15, 2004 -- DM News has taken the Washington Post to task over its publication of a misleading article concerning advertising mail.
March 14, 2004 -- The Independent Pilots Association, the 2,500 member strong UPS pilots union, and United Parcel Service agreed today to extend interest-based bargaining until July 1, 2004. See also the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
March 14, 2004 -- Zawya has reported that "Saudi Aramco Shell Refinery in Jubail (SASREF) has awarded DHL, the world’s leading express and logistics company, an exclusive three year contract for the provision of fully integrated logistics services."
March 13, 2004 -- Senate Governmental Affairs committee chairman Susan Collins (R-ME) and Sen. Thomas Carper (D-DE) jointly sponsored an amendment to the budget resolution that "sets up a deficit-neutral reserve fund to accommodate postal reform. Under the terms of the amendment, if the Governmental Affairs Committee reports out a postal reform bill that is fully offset, then the Budget Committee chairman can allocate to GAC the direct spending authority needed to bring the bill to the floor without it being subject to a Budget Act point of order." The resolution passed a Senate floor vote.
March 13, 2004 -- The New Orleans Times-Picayune has said that "there's nothing wrong with personalized stationery, hand towels or even vanity license plates, but allowing people to put their own stamp on postage stamps is an awful idea. fortunately, a citizen advisory committee was smart enough to realize that, even though a presidential commission thought personalized stamps would be terrific. The citizen panel pointed out the obvious pitfalls. the proliferation of stamps would make it much easier to make counterfeits, and the U.S. Postal Service could find itself embroiled in a number of sticky legal issues, from freedom of speech disputes to copyright infringements."
March 13, 2004 -- From the New York Daily News crime file: "A disgruntled postal worker has put his own stamp on the meaning of junk mail. Letter carrier Kenny Liu, 49, allegedly tossed a bundle of bulk mail into a garbage can in Chinatown. A plainclothes cop in an unmarked car saw the mail drop and confronted Liu, police said. Liu was arrested on a charge of official misconduct about 6:30 p.m. yesterday at the Fifth Precinct stationhouse in Chinatown, cops said."
March 13, 2004 -- As the Lansing State Journal has noted: "Federal Postal Jobs/To $43,000 yr./No experience/Now hiring/Apply Today! Tempting, eh? Especially if you put in 13 years at Lansing's Wohlert Corp., then ended up on the street when the company went belly-up. Especially if you're 61 and in no position to start a life of leisure. Byron Lewis and his wife, Barbara Lewis, who live in Lansing, spotted the "postal jobs" ad in the State Journal and thought that it might be the answer to their unemployment crisis. "We're desperate," said Barbara Lewis, who, at age 60, also is looking for work. She dialed the 800 number in the ad. In the course of the conversation, it became clear to Lewis that the company that placed the ad had no connection to the U.S. Postal Service and no jobs to offer. But by then, the Lewises had revealed enough personal information about themselves - including their debit account number - to get them in trouble."
March 13, 2004 -- The Economic Times (India) has reported that "after Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, West Bengal and other states, the Department of Posts (DoP), as part of its tie-up with Oriental Insurance Company (OIC), is all set to start the marketing of general insurance products of OIC in Gujarat with effect from March 12, 2004.
March 13, 2004 -- Dow Jones has reported that "a New York federal judge Friday vacated a temporary restraining order on two U.S. accounts holding $11 million linked to former Argentine postal service operator Correo Argentino SA. The accounts were frozen on claims by a foreign creditor of the Argentine government that the accounts were actually owned by the federal government and as such, could be used to satisfy an outstanding judgment related to defaulted sovereign bonds."
March 13, 2004 -- The North Korean government has assailed what it called Japan's "ambition" for overseas expansion. The BBC Monitoring Service has reported that Pyongyang said that "the ambition of the Japanese reactionaries for territorial expansion has reached an extreme phase. It has been brought to light lately that the postal service corporation of Japan has recently published stamps on which Tok Islet is printed as part of the territory of Japan though it is an inalienable part of the territory of Korea. This is now touching off bitter resentment among the Koreans."
March 13, 2004 -- Les Echos (France) has reported that "the board of directors of Geopost, the parcel delivery holding of France's national postal service operator La Poste, is holding an extraordinary meeting today in order to decide whether to bid for the entirety of Polish forwarder Masterlink and for the Madrid franchise of the Spanish express delivery service Seur. Geopost already holds a 50 per cent stake in Masterlink, while it is reported that Posten, the Swedish postal service operator, is planning to sell its stake. The Polish company generates turnover of between 10m euros and 12m euros."
March 12, 2004 -- The Heritage Foundation has said that "seemingly arcane and boring issues can sometimes have startling implications. recently, the President's Commission On The United States Postal Service recommended that the service turn over responsibility for the funding of military service credits for some postal employees' pensions to the treasury, rather than continuing to pay those costs itself. this would be a step in the wrong direction that would primarily serve to subsidize mass mailers while making it more difficult to bring federal spending under control."
March 12, 2004 -- The Guardian (u.k.) has reported that "Royal Mail managers were yesterday advised to disobey orders to spy on striking postal workers after lawyers warned clandestine surveillance during industrial disputes may be unlawful."
March 12, 2004 -- The Copenhagen Post has reported that "the Danish postal office, Post Danmark, grossed DKK 466 million in profits in 2003, compared to DKK 52 million the year before. Post Danmark's primary operating result totalled DKK 722 million: the best result in the history of the national postal service. By comparison, Post Danmark posted a primary operating result of DKK 638 million in 2002."
March 12, 2004 -- The Salisbury Daily Times has reported that "the U.S. Postal Service, along with the Maryland Food Bank, will begin "Harvest For the Hungry" on Saturday. For the next week, Maryland post offices will accept food donations, officials said Thursday, while mail carriers will collect non-perishable items on their routes." This is something that deserves public recognition and applause.
March 12, 2004 -- The Business Gazette (U.K.) has reported that "Carlisle firms have been advised by the Royal Mail to collect their own morning post after weeks of costly late deliveries. Mail is being delivered up to three hours late across Carlisle, while residents on one city estate last week became so frustrated with delays that they mobbed a postman, leaving him so shaken he abandoned his round. Several employers are now demanding an explanation from Royal Mail."
March 12, 2004 -- Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Germany) has reported that "Deutsche Post World Net lifted sales in 2003 by 1.9 percent to EUR40 billion from the year before. The company, which is active in letter and express delivery, logistics and banking, said operating profit before goodwill write-downs was up marginally by 0.2 percent to nearly EUR3 billion. Following a lowering of postal charges in early 2003 on orders of the postal regulatory authority, sales in the mail division were down slightly, but with a profit margin of 17.1 percent, that division is still the company's No.1 profit generator."
March 12, 2004 -- According to the National Review, "the Postal Service could easily pay for new security and emergency systems without burdening taxpayers or hiking postal rates. That's because the additional money is already available. The USPS simply needs to streamline — or cut entirely — some inefficient and extraneous operations."
March 12, 2004 -- According to Dow Jones, "New Zealand government-owned Kiwibank Ltd. posted a loss of NZ$1.5 million in the six months to Dec. 31, an improvement from a loss of NZ$6.5 million a year earlier, and said it is on track to be profitable in its next financial year."
March 12, 2004 -- The Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) said in reaction to the sixth in a series of postal reform hearings held today by the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs that "one thing is clear: the first step toward any serious postal reform must be financial transparency. CCAGW has three important words for Congress: audit, audit, audit."
March 11, 2004 -- From the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs hearing on "Postal Reform: Sustaining the 9 Million Jobs in the $900 Billion Mailing Industry (Part Two):
Senator George Voinovich (R-OH) said that there is a bi-partisan agreement that the Postal Service is important and needs reform. The USPS' debt and retirement related obligations need to be addressed.
Michael Eskew, Chairman and CEO, United Parcel Service, told the committee that while UPS has been noted as one of the foremost competitors of the Postal Service, the USPS and UPS have made great strides in bettering the communication and understanding between the two group. UPS, he said, is one of the Postal Service's largest customers. UPS is one of the few of the Fortune 500 that has the federal government competing against their core business. The path to postal reform should focus on: core mail services, effective regulator, cost control and financial transparency, a level playing field between the USPS and its competitors. Among the core: First-Class, Standard, and Periodicals. Competitive products will not be the path out of the USPS' troubles. Continued existence of the monopoly requires effective regulatory oversight. The current rate setting process does need improvement. Cost control and proper cost allocation is essential. The USPS should not be allowed to leverage its monopoly products advantages into the competitive product area. The USPS has many benefits from its governmental status, other than just the statutory monopoly. He admitted, though, that there are burdens as well that fall on the Postal Service.
Fred Smith, Chairman and CEO, FedEx, said FedEx supports the modernization of the Postal Service and supports S. 1285 with some recommended amendments. Further study needs to be given to turning the USPS into a real corporation (government or private), unwinding the monopoly, and harmonizing American postal policy with the changes taking place in Europe. Government and the Postal Service is at a crossroads. Either you need to plan the USPS to wind down as its business evaporates, or you can restructure it to make it compete. The USPS, he said, needs "fundamental transformation." Incremental steps to transformation cannot substitute for a comprehensive overhaul. A regulated government monopoly "cannot become a world-class business." The USPS cannot learn to compete unless it is required to compete. Plans should be made to eliminate the Postal Service's monopoly by 2008, as will be the case in Europe. The USPS needs greater flexibility, elimination of compensation caps, and redefinition of the limits of the monopoly. There should be a separation of USPS accounts for competitive and non-competitive products. The Postal Rate Commission should be allowed to phase in the right for private sector companies to have access to letter-boxes. Bulk First-Class Mail should be free of the constraint of a uniform rate.
In response to questions from the panel, UPS Chairman Michael Eskew said that the package business in the U.S. is well-served by the private sector. The USPS, however, is in the parcel delivery business. As long as it is, the playing field needs to be made level. UPS does not doubt that the USPS is needed for all other classes of mail, but UPS already has the ability to provide universal parcel delivery. unlike the USPS, he said, UPS delivers always to the door. UPS has a very small pilot program in cooperation with the Postal Service in order to effect delivery to mailboxes covered by the Postal Service's monopoly. The markup on competitive products, he said, is more than 50% less than it is on non-competitive products. The cost burden, he said, is pushed more on the First-Class Mail user. More than 60% of postal costs need to be attributed.
FedEx Chairman Fred Smith said that it prefers postal modernization, but it also believes that competitive and non-competitive postal products need to be treated differently. The competitive products need to pick up a larger share of postal overhead costs. With appropriate competitive products pricing, the marketplace will determine who should carry and deliver parcels. A good postal board, he said, must be made up of people with a real knowledge of how business works, and the directors must have independence. To function well, the institution it oversees must have transparency. The U.S., he said, shouldn't go the route taken by some European postal monopolists in taking advantage of their monopoly to compete elsewhere with others.
Gary Mulloy, Chairman and CEO, ADVO, Inc., told the committee that proper accounting of postal retiree benefits will allow the Postal Service to keep its commitment to its employees and retirees: all pension and health benefits can be paid, now and in the future, and the Postal Service will be able to offers its customers an extended period of rate stability that will allow all of us to take advantage of the now-recovering economy to grow volume and revenue for the Postal Service and improve the financial health not only of the USPS but our industry and the overall economy. Extending the current period of rate stability beyond 2006, he said, will allow Advo to be even more aggressive in its expansion plans, because it would have confidence that our largest cost will be contained. "We have the latent ability to create three (3) billion more mail pieces," he said, and "would be able to plan to grow our business in partnership with the USPS. Others in our industry would respond in similar ways." Continued rate stability, he said, would benefit the mailing industry, the Postal Service and the economy as a whole. Stable rates coupled with comprehensive reform, he said, are not a "pipe dream." The committee, he said, can lead the Congress to make them a reality. The Postal Service, he said, can be put on the road to financial health, if Congress fixes the problem of the allocation of benefits earned before 1971, transfers the military benefits back to Treasury and releases a portion of the identified overpayments from the escrow created last year.
Gary Pruitt, Chairman, President and CEO of McClatchy Company, on behalf of the Newspaper Association of America, said that NAA supports many of the recommendations outlined by the Presidential Commission. NAA supports responsible reforms to the ratesetting process that can expedite and streamline the process of changing postal rates. "However," he said, "we also recognize that the Postal Service’s governmental and public service role precludes it from having the same pricing freedoms as private companies." He said NAA supports reforms to make changing rates less burdensome and more predictable, indexed rate increases, strong independent regulation, worksharing that is appropriately costed and discounted, but it opposes negotiated service agreements. Newspapers, he said, compete with direct mailers (principally “saturation” mailers) for both types of advertising, but particularly for pre-printed inserts. This competition with other mailers has served as a source of considerable friction between newspapers and the Postal Service. Experience has led newspapers to believe that the Postal Service has unfaired favored its direct mail advertising competitors through pricing strategies and new initiatives targeting the advertising revenues upon which we depend to support the news and editorial content of our newspapers.
Robert Wientzen, President and CEO, Direct Marketing Association, said that the President’s Commission’s report has noted that the USPS must be empowered to right-size its infrastructure, workforce, and service offerings as future circumstances may dictate. These concepts should be first and foremost among those enacted by the Congress, along with the flexible, incentive-based rate-setting process envisioned by the Commission. The USPS, he said, needs pricing flexibility to meet the demands of the market.The Postal Service’s new business model should authorize customized service and rate agreements that offer an economical benefit to the overall system as well as to the parties to such an agreement. Rate adjustments should mirror the lesser of the rate of inflation. Congress, he said, should avoid calls to impose, in legislation, specific instructions to the Postal Regulatory Board to determine the costs of services offered. Reform ought not to mean that the Postal Service – and its customers – should be placed in a "new, different pricing straightjacket" by requiring that the USPS assign or attribute a specific higher percentage of costs mandated in legislation. Preserving the USPS' ability to deliver parcels, he said, is essential to the direct marketing industry. A way, he said, needs to be found to depoliticize the rationalization of the postal network.
March 11, 2004 -- EUPolitix has reported that "Europe's postage stamps could become more pricey after MEPs voted to slap VAT on postal services on Thursday. After the proposal was rejected in December, European liberals and conservatives formally pushed through amendments to the proposal which lifts the exemption of VAT on all postal services in the EU. These amendments mean national governments would be able to choose to apply a lower VAT rate to letters and parcels weighing under ten kilos in an effort to protect private users of postal services. The original European Commission proposal would have forced normal VAT rates on any post above two kilos. But even the lowest band would mean an increase of around 2-3 euro cents on most European stamps."
March 11, 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.
March 11, 2004 -- Deutsche Welle has reported that "driven by aggressive international expansion, Deutsche Post reported a profit in 2003. In the coming year, the logistics firm's management plans more of the same, casting its eye towards the lucrative American market."
March 11, 2004 -- According to the Las Vegas Sun, "a store name must communicate much more than the location of a business, especially when it's re-branding. That's one of the many lessons United Parcel Services Inc. learned when it acquired Mail Boxes Etc. Inc. in 2001. Sales in the 54 Las Vegas stores doubled and tripled after the brand and pricing changes."
March 11, 2004 -- WHSV-TV has reported that "Friday, just after 8:30 in the morning, Virginia State Police got a call for a single car accident on Frog Pond Road. When Troopers arrived, they found a Mazda Protege abandoned and no one in sight. There were almost 1,000 pieces of mail with various names and addresses. Police believe the mail was taken out of individual mailboxes. And, now police say the car was stolen. The postal service has already sent all of the 1,000 pieces of mail for fingerprint analysis. They're also notifying all the victims in Augusta, Staunton, and Highland Counties."
March 11, 2004 -- The Chicago Tribune has reported that "folks who wanted their grandkids, their pets or even their likeness on postage stamps are out of luck. The Postal Service said Wednesday that it has decided against personalized stamps. The special stamps, which could include a picture of the buyer's children or dog or company logo, had been recommended by a presidential commission on the postal service's future. However, a citizen advisory committee opposed the idea. The advisory panel cited freedom of speech, copyright, counterfeiting and other legal issues for rejecting the suggestion." Then how is it that other nations around the world have found a way of doing this without stumbling over "legal issues?"
March 11, 2004 -- The Postal Service has published in the Federal Register a "final rule that revises Domestic Mail Manual (DMMTM) A020 to standardize when alternative addressing formats may be used and to clarify the differences between the various formats. In addition, postage payment options for use on mailpieces with simplified addresses are specified, prohibiting the use of uncanceled stamps, to enable efficient handling and processing of this mail. Corresponding sections of DMM E050 and F010 also are revised."
March 11, 2004 -- El Pais (Spain) has reported that "Geopost, the courier subsidiary of French post office La Poste, is bidding for the 18 per cent of Spanish courier group Seur being put up for sale."
March 10, 2004 -- The Associated Press has reported that "a large number of counterfeit stamps have surfaced over the past few months. Counterfeits are often sold door-to-door to businesses and collectors and advertised on the Internet. Buyers who suspect they have been sold counterfeits should compare them with stamps they know are legitimate and call their local postal inspector."
March 10, 2004 -- The group, Private Citizen, has called for a "Cut Junk Mail Month" via a web site that is loaded with misinformation about the value and utility of mail and the ostensible impact of mail on the environment.
March 10, 2004 -- The Postal Rate Commission has proposed in the Federal Register an amendment to its "rules to establish certain reporting requirements for the Postal Service's nonpostal services and products. The relatively recent expansion of nonpostal services and products offered by the Postal Service has caused various stakeholders to express concerns that those services and products may be cross-subsidized by jurisdictional services. The proposed rule is designed primarily to provide sufficient information regarding the Postal Service's nonpostal services and products to determine the presence (or absence) of cross-subsidies."
March 10, 2004 -- Dow Jones has reported that "Total System Services Inc. (TSS) has received a subpoena from the Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Postal Service and has produced the requested documents, according to the company's annual report filed Tuesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission."
March 10, 2004 -- According to Bloomberg, "Pitney Bowes Inc., the world's biggest maker of postal meters and mailing equipment, has filed a lawsuit accusing Ricoh of infringing a patent for an accessory that helps computers receive and send faxes."
March 10, 2004 -- The Independent (U.K.) has reported that "Hays, the former conglomerate which is turning itself into a specialist recruitment and personnel company, executed a U-turn yesterday by indicating it might dispose of its unwanted mail-business through a stock market flotation. The group, which has already raised pounds 355m by selling off its commercial and logistics divisions, said that it was examining all options for its private postal business, including a public offering." See also The Guardian.
March 9, 2004 -- From today's hearing before the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee hearing to examine postal reform issues, focusing on sustaining the nine million jobs in the $900 billion mailing industry:
See also GovExec.com.
March 9, 2004 -- The Washington Post has noted that "direct-mail solicitations have shot up since it went into effect, so Private Citizen is promoting 'Cut Junk Mail Month,' a nationwide consumer protest in April to fight unsolicited commercial mail. 'They're turning to junk mail and so are we,' Bulmash says. 'We're asking everyone, starting on April 1, April Fool's Day, to save all of your junk mail,' he says. 'Don't open it, write 'refused' on it, and then on May 1, May Day, we all take it back to the post office."
March 9, 2004 -- Pitney Bowes Inc. has announced that eBay, The World's Online Marketplace, selected Pitney Bowes as the technology provider for a completely browser-based online postage solution that gives both eBay.com and PayPal customers quick and easy access to shipping services. Available today, the new online postage solution simplifies the process of calculating and paying for postage and accessing shipping services offered by the U.S. Postal Service (USPS).
March 9, 2004 -- Bloomberg has reported that " Deutsche Post AG, Europe's largest postal service, said fourth-quarter profit rose 65 percent, helped by cost reductions and the inclusion of U.S.-based Airborne Inc. in the results."
March 9, 2004 -- According to the Carolina Morning News, "terrorism and the threat of terrorism have caused the U.S. Postal Service to rethink how it does business. But postal officials still should make decisions with an eye toward profitability"
March 9, 2004 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that "TNT Logistics has won two major logistics contracts in Italy. The first is a renewal of a contract with Fiat for its spare parts distribution business. The five year deal is estimated to be worth €1bn over its lifetime. The contract will include packaging, storage and delivery of spare parts to dealers in Europe, as well as warehousing activities in Italy, France, UK, Spain, Poland, Austria and Greece."
March 9, 2004 -- The Jamaica Observer has reported that "the Jamaica Postal Corporation (PostCorp) is planning to decentralise the way it sorts and delivers most of the island's mail."
March 9, 2004 -- According to Reuters, "Deutsche Post is considering an entry into the U.S. domestic postal market, its mail chief Klaus Knappik told Germany's Financial Times Deutschland newspaper. 'An internationalisation of our mail business is unthinkable without the U.S. market,' Knappik told the paper in an article to be published in its Tuesday edition. 'The letter-post market in the United States is one of the most liberal in the world.' He added: 'As first steps we could take over collection, addressing or enveloping from our competitors.'"
March 9, 2004 -- The Financial Times has noted that "Deutsche Post has been exploring ways to expand outside its domestic mail business. It has spent more than $5bn over the past five years acquiring smaller companies and plans to increase its presence in Europe. It plans to invest at least €1bn into the European postal market by 2007. Over the past 12 months Deutsche Post has expanded its mail business with small acquisitions in the UK and the Netherlands.
March 9, 2004 -- Hoovers has reported that "Deutsche Post World Net said it will merge its international and domestic parcel delivery, express and logistics operations under the DHL brand in a $785 million restructuring that also aims to boost earnings by 40 percent by 2005."
March 9, 2004 -- The Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) has released letter by CCAGW President Tom Schatz to members of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee relating to scheduled hearings on reforming the United States Postal Service. It said that "as Congress moves forward to reform the USPS, it should act upon another key USPS commission finding: that the USPS is burdened with excess capacity, both in personnel and bricks and mortar infrastructure, and the first step in any postal reform effort must be "right- sizing" the USPS. The USPS must be required to eliminate any non-postal services it currently offers and put a moratorium on the development of any new, non-postal commercial ventures. In so doing, Congress would get postal reform off on the right footing."
March 8, 2004 -- The South Wales Evening Post (U.K.) has reported that "people in Swansea are getting their mail late because postmen and women are being allowed to take undelivered packages home with them, it has been claimed. Question marks have also been raised over the security aspect of postal staff having items of mail in their homes overnight.A Swansea sorting office worker, who did not wish to be named, said mail was often not delivered because no-one was home and the item was too bulky to go through the letterbox. In the past, delivery staff would take it back to a Royal Mail depot where it would be available for collection that same afternoon."
March 8, 2004 -- Robert E. McLean, president of REM Association Services, has announced the selection of LeRoy Pagel as executive vice president of the Arlington, VA association management company (AMC). Pagel will be a principal in the firm and serve as executive vice president for operations. Pagel recently concluded a 33-year career at the United States Postal Service Headquarters in Washington, during which he worked in various positions and departments. He served in the Compensation and Media Relations department for many years, and spent the last decade in Government Relations. At REM, Pagel will oversee all operational and administrative functions, including vendor and contractor relations. Editor's Note: REM Association Services provides association management services to the Mailers Council.
March 8, 2004 -- AllAfrica.com has reported that "Kenya Revenue Authority officials have cracked a major syndicate involving the importation and sale of thousands of pirated DVD movies in Mombasa. Most of the intercepted Digital Versatile Discs reportedly contain Nigerian and pornographic movies from Asia. KRA sources said importers of the DVDs had resorted to using the Expedited Mail Services (EMS) for parcel delivery, which is offered by the Postal Corporation of Kenya, to escape Customs scrutiny."
March 8, 2004 -- In an article published by Gravure magazine, periodicals postal consultant Fred Seymour wrote that "in defining The Art of War, it is often said that the best defense is a good offense. That expression is especially applicable today to the impending crisis in the increase in postal rates. An offense by magazine and catalog publishers and printers is critically necessary over the next two months to preclude a possible postage rate increase in January 2006 of as much as 20 percent. Such an increase in distribution costs of Publication- and Standard-class mail would be near disastrous for the publishers of many printed products and the printers that produce them."
March 8, 2004 -- CNET News has reported that "Adobe Systems is set to expand its electronic forms with new capabilities for adding bar codes to forms based on the company's portable document format. The technology, to be announced Monday, will allow faster processing of forms ultimately intended for printing. Adobe also announced the release of a test version of Adobe Designer, a new product announced last year for creating forms that combine PDF and XML (Extensible Markup Language), the fast-growing standard for exchanging data between disparate computing systems. Electronic forms have become a key strategic focus for Adobe as the company tries to expand PDF, now commonly used to electronically exchange documents, into a flexible container for exchanging business data."
March 8, 2004 -- Dow Jones has reported that "Hungary will increase the price of postal services by an average 10% from March 16, the Ministry of Telecommunications said Monday. The price hike will affect all types of postal services, but not telecom fees, which are regulated separately and don't fall under the authority of post office Magyar Posta. The 10% increase works out at 8.3% on an annual basis because it is taking place in March and not January, and will increase inflation this year by 0.16 percentage point, the ministry said. The weighting for postal services in the consumer price index basket is only 0.14%."
March 8, 2004 -- GovExec.com has reported that "few federal organizations take the hoary old chestnut that 'government should run like a business' more seriously than the U.S. Postal Service. But a recent U.S. Supreme Court case shows that even with the Postal Service, the line between a federal function and a business operation can get fuzzy."
March 8, 2004 -- The Miami Herald has reported that "the United States has expressed strong disappointment with the introduction of a new 'kampo' life insurance product in Japan at bilateral deregulation talks that ended Friday in Washington, a U.S. trade official said. 'We were extremely disappointed' with the Japan Post public corporation's sale of a fixed-term, whole-life insurance policy from Jan. 1 this year, the official told reporters on condition of anonymity after the two-day high-level talks. Despite opposition from the U.S., the Japanese government approved Japan Post's plan to market the product, which has been a mainstay item of private-sector insurers operating in Japan, including U.S. companies."
March 8, 2004 -- DMNews has reported that "The United Kingdom's Direct Marketing Association formed a working party of industry experts responsible for developing efforts to reduce direct mail waste through increased use of suppression files by direct marketers, the association said last week. The announcement came at the International Direct Marketing Fair, held March 2-4 in London."
March 8, 2004 -- The Times (U.K.) has reported that "Royal Mail will come under pressure to abandon its privileged position on VAT when the new postal regulator makes his first public comments today. Nigel Stapleton, who took over as the head of Postcomm last month, will tell a postal conference in Amsterdam that there must be a level playing field for all companies wanting to trade in postal services and that Royal Mail's exemption from charging VAT is unfair. Other postal groups must charge 17.5 per cent VAT on their services. The postal regulator does not have the power to scrap Royal Mail's privilege but Mr Stapleton's comments will put more pressure on the Treasury to take action. Royal Mail's rivals have long complained that the state-owned business should not have such a competitive advantage."
March 8, 2004 -- On March 12, Joyce Carrier, director of public affairs for the U.S. Postal Service, will share her experience and knowledge about crisis management at the South Carolina Public Relations Society of America's "Superlunch in the Lowcountry." The event will run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the South Carolina Aquarium. Tickets are $20 for members, $40 for non-members and $15 for students."
March 7, 2004 -- According to postal commentator Gene Del Polito, "as the march toward reform continues apace, those within our industry will get more than an earful on what should or should not be made part of any new law. To the novice, the issues that underlie the postal reform debate may seem incredibly complex, but they're not. There may be many, but they are interrelated and founded on a few simple principles."
March 7, 2004 -- The Washington Post has reported that "District residents filing an income-tax return have one extra detail to pay attention to this year -- the postage. District and U.S. Postal Service officials said the bigger envelope provided with this year's D.C. tax forms exceeds the size for 37-cent first-class postage -- 12 cents more is required. The new envelope is designed to allow the tax returns to be mailed without folding. Creases in past returns had been fouling the city's automated $120 million tax-processing system, jamming the machines or causing misreading of records. City officials said they hope that eliminating folded forms will speed the handling of returns and even the issuing of refunds. The downside is the confusion over postage."
March 7, 2004 -- The Peninsula has reported that "the new postal tariffs introduced by Qatar's General Postal Corporation (Q-Post) from March 1, will prove more beneficial to people from the subcontinent, said Q-Post spokesman Abdulla Al Hajri. Postal rates in Qatar were revised after a period of nearly nine years, to comply with the various changes in postal rates, implemented by the Universal Postal Union (UPU), he told The Peninsula."
March 7, 2004 -- The Kyodo news service has reported that:
March 7, 2004 -- icStirlingshire (U.K.) has reported that "rural post offices will be the subject of a discussion being hosted by an industry watchdog next week. Postwatch Scotland will be meeting with MPs, MSPs, local authorities and representatives from voluntary organisations to talk about the delivery of required postal services in rural areas after 2006. As part of an ongoing restructuring of its business, Royal Mail has implemented a number of money-saving changes in recent years, including closing down a number of offices."
March 7, 2004 -- The BuryFreePress (U.K.) has reported that "Royal Mail has announced the change as part of a nationwide reform of the postal service, which will see first and second deliveries amalgamated. Customers will now receive all their post in a single delivery by lunchtime at the latest. Royal Mail claims most people will see little or no change."
March 7, 2004 -- The New York Times has reported that "Federal Express and the University of California at Berkeley will jointly finance fellowships for students shut out of competing for Fulbright fellowships because of a missed deadline. The problem occurred last fall when 30 applications from Berkeley to the Fulbright-Hays doctoral program were mailed late. Berkeley officials said the problem was that FedEx had missed the pickup because of a software problem."
March 7, 2004 -- As Federal Times has noted, "the U.S. Postal Service's Office of Inspector General was, by all accounts, a troubled office when David Williams took over in August. Williams was tapped by the Postal Service's nine governors to come from the Treasury Department and take the reins of a 750-person staff that Corcoran left gun-shy."
March 7, 2004 -- The Postal Service has posted online its January 2004 financial statement.
March 7, 2004 -- The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has approved the Postal Service's request to offer voluntary early retirement to eligible APWU-represented employees in those categories that management had excluded from last year's early outs.
March 6, 2004 -- Reuters has reported that "the White House warned lawmakers on Friday against special help for severely ailing pension plans ahead of a meeting of congressional negotiators next week to write a final version of a pension relief bill. Senior advisers to President George W. Bush sent a letter to Capitol Hill saying they supported the heart of legislation providing up to $80 billion in temporary relief over two years to companies with traditional "defined benefit" pension plans. But the Bush administration opposed amendments added in the Senate that would grant up to $16.4 billion in additional help for airlines, steelmakers and other companies with badly underfunded pension plans that may also seek the extra relief."
March 6, 2004 -- As the Durham Herald Sun has noted, "rain, sleet, snow and hail may not daunt the U.S. Postal Service, but on Capitol Hill, trace amounts of ricin have wreaked havoc on mail delivery."
March 6, 2004 -- Hoovers 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, its Asia-Pacific head Ken Torok said yesterday. Just how fast Thailand attains this position will depend on the readiness of its facilities such as those at the new Suvarnabhumi International Airport."
March 6, 2004 -- Dow Jones has reported that "creditors holding nearly $20 million in defaulted Argentine bonds won a legal victory in a New York courthouse Friday when a U.S. judge ruled they have the right to pursue the seizure of overseas assets belonging to the Argentine government. The federal judge, Thomas Griesa, also upheld an earlier ruling that froze two U.S. accounts worth $11 million belonging to former postal service operator Correo Argentino SA. Those accounts were frozen last month at the request of Macrotecnic International Corp., a creditor holding a $540,000 judgment against the Argentine government."
March 6, 2004 -- Japan Times has reported that "Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi went on the defensive Friday after posts minister Taro Aso voiced anger at being bypassed in a decision to appoint a postal privatization minister."
March 5, 2004 -- The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin is available online.
March 5, 2004 -- Research and Markets (U.K.) has announced the release of a new report that covers the UK express parcels market. It looks at the market size and growth, drivers of growth, parcels operators and their performance, customers' needs and buying behaviour and the different strategies that operators can adopt to succeed in the market.
March 5, 2004 -- Writing in the Stanford Daily, Hoover Institute fellow Rick Geddes said that "the U.S. Department of Justice announced last week that Oracle's takeover of PeopleSoft violates antitrust law, stating that "we believe this transaction is anti-competitive pure and simple." Ironically, in the same week the U.S. Supreme Court, in United States Postal Service v. Flamingo Industries, decided that the massive U.S. Postal Service is exempt from all antitrust laws. Yet anticompetitive behavior by the Postal Service is more harmful to consumers, competitors and the overall economy than most private sector mergers."
March 5, 2004 -- The House Committee on Government Reform's report on "Views and Estimates on the Fiscal Year 2005 Budget of the United States" has been posted on this site.
March 5, 2004 -- Triangle Consulting has released its latest report on "Worksharing with the USPS in the mail and package markets."
March 5, 2004 -- The Associated Press has reported that "work at the nation's post offices has been disrupted more than 20-thousand times by fears of possible terror attacks, since the 2001 anthrax attacks that set postal workers on edge. A vast majority of the suspicious powder reports have turned out to be innocent.
March 5, 2004 --Senate Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Susan Collins (R-ME) and Ranking Member Joe Lieberman (D-CT) will hold two hearings next week to discuss the impact of U.S. Postal Service reforms on the mailing community. The hearings, titled "Postal Reform: Sustaining the 9 Million Jobs in the $900 Billion Mailing Industry," will be held on Tuesday, March 9 at 10 a.m. and on Thursday, March 11 at 9:30 a.m. Both hearings will take place in room SD-342 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building.
The following witnesses are expected to testify on Tuesday: Panel I -- Ann Moore, Chairman and CEO, Time, Inc.; Mark Angelson, Chairman, President and CEO, RR Donnelley. Panel II -- Chris Bradley, President and CEO, Cuddledown, Inc.; Max Heath, Vice President of Landmark Community Papers, on behalf of the National Newspaper Association; William Ihle, Sr., Sr. Vice President, Public Relations, Bear Creek Corp.; Shelley Dreifuss, Director, Office of the Consumer Advocate, Postal Rate Commission.
Thursday's witnesses include: Panel I -- Fred Smith, Chairman and CEO, FedEx; Michael Eskew, Chairman and CEO, United Parcel Service. Panel II -- Gary Mulloy, Chairman and CEO, ADVO, Inc.; Gary Pruitt, Chairman, President and CEO of McClatchy Company, on behalf of the Newspaper Association of America; Robert Wientzen, President and CEO, Direct Marketing Association.
March 5, 2004 -- The U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors approved at its most recent meeting expansion of a web-based management tool that develops an optimal workforce schedule to improve efficiencies in mail processing operations. 'In our initial testing, we have seen plant managers use this tool to help them match their workforce to their workload. It matches employee skills in job assignments to ensure the right people are in the right place at the right time,' said Paul Vogel, Vice President, Network Operations Management. The software application, known as the Labor Force Schedule Optimizer System received initial funding last year, when the Governors approved $13.4 million for development and deployment. Today, the board approved additional funding of $1.2 million to expand the program to a total of 90 facilities nationwide."
March 5, 2004 -- Zaman Online (Turkey) has reported that "the Turkish Postal Telephone and Telegraph's (PTT) new project called PTTBANK was implemented yesterday in a ceremony attented by Transportation Minister, Binali Yildirim, and United Postal Union (UPU) President, Thomas E. Leavey. PTTBank will serve 900 residential zones that currently have no bank offices and will provide all sorts of financial transaction services except the collection of money from people. It will also handle correspondence for 12 banks."
March 5, 2004 -- The Bu siness Standard (India) has reported that "the postal department has launched business post and bulk mailing services for corporates in various cities of the state. The department's business post mass mailing centre is providing professional services to corporates, giving a tough competition to private courier agencies. The centre provides collection, packaging, franking, special handling and cutting and pasting of address slip for corporates and organisations that despatch a large number of letters and other articles. These services are provided at nominal charges, in addition to the postage."
March 5, 2004 -- According to the Business Review, "AuthentiDate Holding Corp. Chairman and CEO John Botti sought to reassure shareholders that the company is poised to finally take off during its annual meeting on Friday. 'We don't have any excuses anymore. We've been handed the biggest opportunity. We will not offer any excuses and we will not accept any excuses,' Botti told shareholders during the event at the Desmond Hotel. The company has exclusive deals with the U.S. Postal Service and Microsoft to offer an electronic postmark that authenticates electronic documents. However, the company has continued to be unprofitable, losing $9.5 million in the first six months of its fiscal year that ended Dec. 31, 2003." See also the Times Union.
March 5, 2004 -- The Daily Star (Lebanon) has reported that "LibanPost is getting 'closer to profitability,' according to Khalil Daoud, the postal company's chairman and managing director. The main reason revenues have been rising is because LibanPost has increased the number of non-postal services that it provides. Daoud admitted that regular postal services still generate the majority of revenues, although customers are increasingly taking advantage of the new services on offer. 'The growth rate of the non-postal services is by far higher than that of the postal revenues,' he said. Daoud added that non-postal revenues, which now represent about 20 percent of revenues, are expected to reach 50 percent in two years."
March 5, 2004 -- The Japan Times has reported that "Japan Post said Thursday it "carelessly" issued customized stamp sheets featuring images of Takeshima Island, which is claimed by Japan and South Korea. Japan Post issued 300 sheets, which are used to hold regular stamps, bearing a Takeshima theme as ordered by a retailer of stamps and coins between January and February, the government-backed corporation said. The dispute over the island, known as Tok-do in Korean, flared recently when South Korean postal authorities issued Tok-do stamps on Jan. 16, despite objections from Japan." See also the Korean publication, Dong-A Ilbo.
March 5, 2004 -- According to PHXNews, "the most famous bioterrorist episode of recent times has been the series of anthrax-laced envelopes mailed from Trenton, New Jersey in September and October 2001 to various newspaper and government offices. In spite of enormous media coverage and painstaking investigation by the FBI, aided by hundreds of thousands of tips from the public and by dozens of teams of scientific researchers, thus far neither the Anthrax Mailer himself (or, against all supposition, herself) nor the source of the anthrax has been identified."
March 4, 2004 -- According to Yahoo! Business, "there had to be a better way! You wait on line at the airport and checked your bags. You proceeded to security, x-rayed and wanded, and removed your shoes. Only to be told you have a prohibited item, like your favorite Swiss Army knife. It's too late to put it in your checked-in luggage. It would have been confiscated and gone for good. But now there is a better way. The better way is MailBack 'the airport envelope,' a pre-packaged, pre-stamped, bubble lined envelope made of DuPont(TM) Tyvek brand protective material. When dropped in a mailbox, MailBack containing your property, will travel first-class through the Postal Service, to any US address, whether it catches up with you at your destination or back at your home."
March 4, 2004 -- Newsday (Trinidad Tobago) has reported that "the TT Postal Corporation (TTPost) yesterday said medical tests will be conducted on members of staff who were exposed to a worker in the mail sorting room at its head office at Golden Grove Road, Piarco, who had contracted Tuberculosis (TB). TTPost issued a media release yesterday assuring that management had implemented all the advice provided by medical specialists and continued to monitor the situation closely to minimise the risk to staff. However, it made no comment on the Public Services Association (PSA) demand for workers to be evacuated."
March 4, 2004 -- The Sydney Morning Herald has reported that "NZ Post says it's in discussions with the international courier and logistics company DHL about a possible joint venture. The talks related to New Zealand Post's courier and logistics business, which include Courier Post, SkyRoad, Pace! and Contract Logistics. New Zealand Post chief executive John Allen said the company organisation was looking to strengthen its position in local and global markets."
March 4, 2004 -- The Kyodo news service (Japan) has reported that "two senior vice ministers of posts and telecommunications, Masahiro Tabata and Shunichi Yamaguchi, on Thursday criticized Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi for announcing a plan to appoint a minister in charge of the privatization of postal services without prior consultation with or explanation to the Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications."
March 4, 2004 -- According to the Boston Herald, "yet another piece of City Hall's grand vision for a redeveloped South Boston waterfront is teetering. The U.S. Postal Service said yesterday that it is reconsidering plans to sell its South Station mail sorting plant and move the operation to Southie."
March 4, 2004 -- The DM Bulletin (U.K.) has reported that:
March 4, 2004 -- DMNews has reported that "as this year progresses, one thing is sure: Direct marketers will see more restrictions placed upon them by state and federal regulators. Shifting consumer attitudes toward marketing have led to anti-spam, no-call, ad-blocking and privacy laws and movements. In that sense, the United States is copying Europe. The tried-and-true outbound channels - direct mail, outbound telemarketing and e-mail - will not get the job done. Marketers need to think about alternative methods for contacting and engaging existing and potential customers."
March 4, 2004 -- The Middle East- North Africa Financial Network has reported that "Qatar's General Postal Corporation (Q-Post) plans to regulate the courier facilty offered by various currency exchange houses to deliver demand drafts and other monetary instruments from Qatar to beneficiaries abroad, Saeed Khalaf Al Muraikhi, director of postal operations at the corporation, said here yesterday. Some of these courier companies, he said, were flagrantly violating the local postal laws by offering the service by not obtaining the required clearances from Q-Post and paying the stipulated fees."
March 4, 2004 -- According to Hoovers, "contract talks between UPS and its pilots may still provide the harmonious new model that both sides had hoped for when negotiations began last year. But the goal of reaching a new deal by early 2004 has fallen victim to the same pay, schedule and work-rule disputes that have stalled previous negotiations. And news reports Monday that UPS may cancel dozens of new Airbus aircraft deliveries could complicate the talks as they continue."
March 4, 2004 -- The Deseret News has reported that "a report from Utah Occupational Safety and Health accuses United Parcel Service in West Valley City of tampering with evidence connected to a fatal employee accident, lying to investigators and then trying to hide its actions. The commission has issued a proposed fine to UPS of $71,700 for what it called 'willful' and 'serious' violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1973. UPS will have a chance to challenge the suggested penalty before it is finally imposed."
March 4, 2004 -- According to Trade Arabia, "Bharat Parcel Guaranteed, Emirates Post's value-added parcel service, will be a year-round facility for UAE residents to reach packages to any part of India."
March 4, 2004 -- The Daily Yomiuri (Japan) has reported that "by expressing his intention to set up a new post of special minister in charge of postal service reform, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi demonstrated his aim to carry out the privatization of three postal-related services, a main pillar of his reform policy. The move took Liberal Democratic Party members, who have been cautious about privatizing the three postal services, by surprise. LDP lawmakers lobbying for the interests of postal-related businesses expressed resentment over Koizumi's initiative."
March 3, 2004 --PostCom welcomes its newest members: North American Affinity Club of Minnetonka, MN, which will be represented by Mr. Peter Minear, Marketing Operations Manager and BearingPoint, Inc., which will be represented by Mr. Sean Plunkett, Managing Director.
March 3, 2004 -- Postal authorities around the world have seen their traditional business activities put under pressure, and in many cases decline, not least due to the rise of the Internet. Their response has been to leverage advanced technology, both to create new lines of business and to protect current revenue streams. A striking example of this is the UK Royal Mail's innovative new online postage service - SmartStamp. This will bring a new level of convenience to customers by allowing them to purchase postage at any time from their home or office. Lockheed Martin UK is the prime systems integrator for this contract, working in close partnership with GFT UK, which will provide the customer-facing software for the solution. Royal Mail intends to link the SmartStampTM service to its national mail-processing system."
March 3, 2004 -- PostCom Members.... A copy of the PostCom report on "MTAC Workgroup 86 on Consistency of Mailing Standards & Business Mail Acceptance" has been posted on this site.
March 3, 2004 -- PostCom Members.... A report by PostCom President Gene Del Polito on what's happening in the world of postal reform has been posted on this site.
March 3, 2004 -- Washington Technology has reported that "Northrop Grumman Corp. has established its Chem-Bio Defense Technology Center to develop next-generation technologies that will build on the company's Biohazard Detection System, which is being installed in Postal Service facilities nationwide."
March 3, 2004 -- According toThe Vindicator, "anyone in the Youngstown area with a favorite or particularly convenient roadside postal box may want to call postal service authorities to ensure the box stays where it is."
March 3, 2004 -- The Federal Times has reported that "Congress must soon scuttle a planned escrow account to help the U.S. Postal Service plan for its next rate increase, David Fineman, chairman of the Board of Governors, said March 2."
March 3, 2004 -- The latest report from the Congressional Research Service on "The Postal Revenue Forgone Appropriation: Overview and Current Issues" has been posted on this site.
March 3, 2004 -- The Irish Independent has reported that "the Chamber of Commerce in Drogheda has started to provide a postal service for businesses in the town as a dispute between local postmen and An Post enters its fourth week. The dispute stems from the expansion of the town and what workers say is the consequent increase in their workload."
March 3, 2004 -- The Japan Times has reported that "soft drink makers will take the unprecedented step of selling their products via uniform vending machines in post offices across the country, industry officials said Tuesday. A uniform-style vending machine will be installed at post offices across the country, offering beverages from various manufacturers. The tieup involves nine beverage makers, whose products will initially be available at the Tokyo Central Post Office beginning Wednesday. The drinks will be available at about 5,000 post offices by the summer, and at about 10,000 by the end of March 2005, the officials said. The new vending-machine service is expected to be viewed as an example of diversified services provided by post offices." Oh sure...how 'bout a latte with that stamp?
March 3, 2004 -- According to the Miami Herald, "Electronic Data Systems of Texas is laying off an additional 30 employees in Raleigh as a result of losing a contract to provide computer server support to the U.S. Postal Service. EDS announced in December that it would eliminate the jobs of about 50 of its Raleigh employees early this year as it gradually passed the work on to the new contractor, Hewlett-Packard."
March 3, 2004 -- More on the Digistamp suit against the U.S. Postal Service over its Electronic Postmark can be found in the Albany Times Union.
March 3, 2004 -- The Richmond Times-Dispatch has reported that "cornstarch was the grainy powder whose discovery shut down Staunton's main post office and suspended some mail delivery last week, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service said. A spokeswoman with the Virginia Department of General Services said tests on the powder turned up no hazardous chemicals or toxins."
March 3, 2004 -- As a recent press release from the Office of Personnel Management has noted, "U.S. Office of Personnel Management Deputy Director Dan G. Blair testified before a Senate panel February 24, 2004, on behalf of OPM Director Kay Coles James expressing the Bush Administration's strong opposition to a proposal that would transfer from the Postal Service to taxpayers responsibility for paying the retirement costs of military service performed by some postal employees." Got a long way to go before this puppy gets fixed.
March 3, 2004 -- According to EuroParl, "the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee voted by 16 votes to 12 with 2 abstentions to reject the Commission's proposal to abolish the VAT exemption for public postal services. Postal services were exempted from VAT under the Sixth VAT Directive which dates from the 1970s. The aim of the Commission proposal is to amend the directive by making postal services subject to VAT, although the new directive would allow reduced VAT rates for standard postal services, including the majority of private mail and also some business mail. Parliament now has to decide by a plenary vote whether to follow the committee's recommendation. Subsequently the directive will go to the Council of Ministers, which has the final say on this legislation. If VAT is in the end imposed on postal services, this will mean one VAT rate for the standard service for items below 2kg. This would be either at the standard rate or the reduced rate, depending on which option the Member State had chosen. For postal items heavier than 2kg, the Commission proposes two possible rates. The services would be standard-rated if the item is to be delivered within the Community and exempt with a right to deduct if it is to be delivered to a country outside the Community."
March 3, 2004 -- Expatica has reported that "US cargo shipper United Parcel Service is in talks with Airbus to reschedule a massive order for A300-600 planes, a spokesman for the European manufacturer said Monday."
March 3, 2004 -- According to Startups.co.uk, "Royal Mail has badly let down business customers and is unlikely to meet any of its targets set over the last quarter of 2003, the postal regulator has revealed."
March 3, 2004 -- Expansion (Spain) has reported that "Correos, the Spanish post office, has concluded an agreement with the main unions to make 4,000 employees on fixed term contracts permanent. The company says this culminates the process started in April 2003 to make 6,000 temporary workers permanent."
March 2, 2004 -- It is with sadness that we must note the passing of Steve Owen, who for many years represented the Classroom Publishers Association in Washington. The family has scheduled a viewing for March 4, 7-9PM at the Robert A. Pumphrey Funeral Home, 7557 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20814.
March 2, 2004 -- New Jersey Channel 12 has reported that "now that the Hamilton postal facility has been fumigated for anthrax, there's a chance it may not reopen. Back in 2001, the Hamilton Township facility processed at least four letters containing anthrax. The facility was fumigated in October and given a clean bill of health at a cost of more than $70 million. Before the building can reopen, the U.S. Postal Service plans to install biohazard detection equipment. As of now, the Bush administration has not put aside money in its proposed budget to buy and install equipment to detect biological poisons. A union representative for the Hamilton facility told News 12 New Jersey that its members have been assured by the Postal Service that the building would not reopen without the detection equipment."
March 2, 2004 -- ShippersNewsWire has reported that "international express companies TNT Express and FedEx Express said they'll expand air cargo service in Europe."
March 2, 2004 -- LocatePLUS Holdings Corp., a provider of business-to-business and business-to-government investigative solutions, announced today that the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the primary law enforcement arm of the United States Postal Service, is utilizing LocatePLUS as an investigative tool in child pornography cases brought to the Forensic & Technical Services Division. The U.S. Postal Inspection Service has been a customer of Worldwide Information, Inc., a LocatePLUS wholly-owned subsidiary, since 1996 and recently extended their investigative solutions to include the Company's online investigative database, LocatePLUS.com.
March 2, 2004 -- As NJ.com has noted, "the threat of deadly disease or poison spread through the mails by terrorists is as real as the emptiness of the Route 130 processing center, still idle nearly 2 1/2 years after anthrax-laden letters sickened postal workers there, and as recent as the headlines telling of the discovery of ricin in the U.S. Senate last month. This potential nightmare is not the Postal Service's alone; it's a national concern. That's why it's impossible to understand why the Bush administration isn't budgeting the necessary funds for systems to enable USPS to detect biological poisons in its facilities, as well as ventilation and filtration equipment."
March 2, 2004 -- According to Bloomberg, "Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said he plans to appoint a minister in charge of privatizing the nation's postal service as soon as this summer and already has 'several' candidates.
March 2, 2004 -- Gulf News has reported that "the National Consultative Council (NCC) yesterday reiterated the call for privatisation of Emirates Post."
March 2, 2004 -- The Federal Times has reported that "the administration wants to link senior executives' performance ratings and pay raises to how well their agencies meet performance goals and other objectives."
March 2, 2004 -- Interwoven, Inc. has announced that the United States Postal Service (USPS) was awarded the prestigious Grace Hopper Technology Leadership Award in the category of "improving services to citizens and enterprises" for its outstanding public Website with content management solutions provided by Interwoven. The USPS site, http://www.usps.com, serves as a one-stop shop for citizens to change mail delivery, pay for shipping, and obtain other postal services information.
March 2, 2004 -- Upcoming hearings on postal reform:
March 2, 2004 -- In a filing with the Postal Rate on proposed rulemaking concerning an amendment to the rules of practice and procedure, the Association for Postal Commerce said that in its "view, now is not the appropriate time for the Commission to introduce a definition of the term 'postal service' in its rules. The Commission's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking points to a modicum of precedent where the question of whether a service offered by the Postal Service was a 'postal service' was squarely addressed. The Commission has taken a case-by-case approach for over thirty years, and we see no reason to presently alter that approach absent further Congressional guidance."
March 2, 2004 --The U.S. Postal Service has filed a request with the Postal Rate Commission that will encourage more publishers to stop using costly mail sacks.
March 2, 2004 -- The EMA Foundation's Institute for Postal Studies (IPS) has released a briefing book on postal reform. The briefing book consists of a series of issue papers written by the IPS and should be used as a resource on postal reform.
March 2, 2004 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "United Parcel Service Inc. on Monday denied reports that it was seeking to cancel part of a $10 billion order for 90 passenger jets from European aircraft maker Airbus. A spokesman for the Atlanta-based package delivery company told the Associated Press that UPS planned to abide by the order and the delivery schedule originally agreed to with Airbus."
March 2, 2004 -- The Financial Standard (Kenya) has reported that "despite more deregulation initiatives in other sectors in Kenya key postal services continue to be provided under the protection of a statutory monopoly by state-owned incumbent Posta Corporation. While significant progress in terms of reform has been made in other telecommunication service sectors, the postal service is still in the old order."
March 2, 2004 -- Direct has reported that "direct mail drives customers to retail stores. That's according to a Direct Marketing Association study on response rates that shows 50% of customers responded to direct offers by visiting the retail stores that mailed them out."
March 2, 2004 -- According to Bob Swick writing for DM News, "Merlin, the progeny of ABE, has acquired the persona of its predecessor in its formative years. Some would say, particularly those in the original test areas, that the reputation is well-earned. And yet, Merlin or Mail Evaluation Readability and Lookup Instrument is simply a tool that helps expedite the mail flow by ensuring that consistent, readable mail enters the automated processing system. Why then has Merlin become such a lightning rod in its early life? The root cause of this stigma, which came early and held as Merlin rolled out nationally, was an intense desire to bring a more exacting standard of accuracy to market without adequate preparation, evaluation and dialogue. Exacerbating the situation was the inability (for whatever reasons) of the postal and industry partners to work together in the start-up period."
March 2, 2004 -- According to one DMNews commentator, "how can the U.S. Postal Service say that home equity loans, pre-approved loans and pre-approved credit offers mailed to consumers who have no existing relationship with the soliciting company are personal mail? Does laser toner on paper confer a personal relationship unlike phone and Internet transmissions? When the company is mailing existing customers and particularly if you are referencing their existing account(s), the USPS would have a basis for requiring First-Class rates. When soliciting new business from prospective customers, companies are trying to gain a personal relationship. Claiming that a company has a personal relationship with a prospective customer has no basis in fact and is completely inconsistent with USPS procedures and practices over the past 15 years."
March 1, 2004 -- Personal Computer World (U.K.) has reported that "next day international mail delivery requires big spending on big IT systems, and Royal Mail has spent £150m developing its Heathrow Worldwide Distribution Centre (HWDC), an automated air hub covering 100,000 square metres - the size of six football pitches."
March 1, 2004 -- Die Welt (Germany) has reported that "Klaus Zumwinkel, chairman of German postal service operator Deutsche Post, has said in a newspaper interview that his group is planning no large-scale closures of post offices across Germany this year. He also said that his group would not necessarily go through with its plans of reducing the number of post offices in Germany from 13,000 to 12,000."
March 1, 2004 -- The Louisville Courier-Journal has reported that UPS "Supply Chain Solutions generates $2 billion a year in revenue about 8 percent of UPS' $33.5 billion take. It allows UPS to be a 'single-source provider' for a variety of business services, said Solutions president Bob Stoffel. 'We do much more than small package. We want the general public to think of us as a leader in global commerce.'"
March 1, 2004 -- According to Wall Street Journal, "United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS), hit hard by a shift in consumer preferences toward less-expensive ground-delivery services, is in negotiations with Europe's Airbus to cancel more than $1.6 billion in orders for A300-600 aircraft."
March 1, 2004 -- According to Direct magazine, "Congress has started the process that could lead to the most significant postal reform since 1971" and "postal reform could be one step closer."