Postal News from May 2004
May 31, 2004 -- The Newark Star-Ledger asks you if you're "tired of writing checks, placing stamps on envelopes and making sure you place your bills in the mailbox on time? You may be ready to join the 63 million consumers who pay their bills online to avoid all that tedious paperwork. Increasingly, consumers are embracing the convenience and are taking advantage of clicking mice instead of licking envelopes, according to market researcher Gartner. But relying on cyberspace instead of your postal carrier can be more hassle than you think. An erroneous account number could delay an online payment. A misplaced decimal point could cost you hundreds of dollars."
May 31, 2004 -- Expansion (Spain) has reported that "Indra, the Spanish information technology company, has won a contract to take care of the Iris system of Correos, the Spanish post office. Iris is used for both customer service and internal applications."
May 29, 2004 -- The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin is available online.
May 29, 2004 -- The NewOrleansChannel.com has reported that "the U.S. attorney in New Orleans on Friday announced the indictment of two local postal workers who allegedly stole and threw away mail. After anonymous tips prompted an investigation, post office security caught the men in the act, U.S. Attorney Jim Letten said. 'Postal service security is cracking down,' he said. 'We're saying any type of theft will not be tolerated.'"
May 29, 2004 -- The BigNewsNetwork has reported that "Britain's mail service appears headed for privatization, the Times of London reported Friday. The chairman of the Royal Mail is preparing to sell part of its postal business to employees to ward off what it fears will be a full-scale $9.2 billion privatization by the government. Under Chairman Allan Leighton's plan, Royal Mail would take in billions of dollars in cash and give employees shares that would pay dividends."
May 29, 2004 -- The Union Network has reported that "the workers of Empresa Servicios Postales del Perú S.A. (SERPOST), grouped within the National Union of Postal Services Workers (SINATS), have been subjected to tough labor policies that violate their rights. This has led them to act against these labor policies based on the following grounds: The systematic infringement of legal provisions, non observance of workers? rights and a series of other measures that trample on the dignity of employees and affect their income. Between two and four extra hours of compulsory work a day, without the corresponding compensation. Nepotism on the part of SERPOST officials, and dismissal and replacement of workers who have been in the organization for more than five years by inexperienced or untrained new workers, thus affecting the quality of service."
May 29, 2004 -- The East Anglian Daily Times (U.K.) has reported that "Royal Mail has apologised to customers and promised changes after new figures revealed it had missed all of its first-class delivery targets in East Anglia. It blamed last year's industrial action for the failings, but pressure group Postwatch said the quality of postal services had been in decline for three years and called for urgent improvement."
May 29, 2006 -- Responding to an "opinion" piece in the Levittown Tribune favoring a do-not-mail list for the state of New York, local Postmaster Frank LoCricchio wrote that "Assemblyman David G. McDonough's "Do Not Mail" campaign appears to be a misinformed attack on advertising mail (Opinion May 14). His claims that advertising mail is an annoyance and a threat to the ecological balance are just not so. Advertising mail does not intrude. It does not demand immediate attention or interrupt other activities. The recipient decides whether to pay attention and when to open and read it. It is highly valued by most recipients. Research shows that consumers read 78 percent of advertising mail, almost 10 percent respond to the offers, and 21 percent of all consumers take advertising mail with them when they shop." The letter includes information from the Mail & Jobs Coalition and the EMA Foundation jobs study. An earlier letter to the paper from the Coalition was rejected because the Coalition was said to be insufficiently local. "The LoCricchio letter properly ties mail to jobs," says Coalition Executive Director Peter G. Miller. "Mail equals jobs, more mail equals more jobs, and those who oppose more local employment are surely welcome to explain their views."
May 28, 2004 -- The Financial Times (U.K.) has reported that:
May 28, 2004 -- Reuters has reported that:
Two huge funds related to Japan's postal service will sharply cut back on fresh investments in foreign bonds in the fiscal year that started in April.
United Parcel Service Inc. and a union for 2,500 pilots at the company's airfreight operations have stepped up the pace of bargaining on a revised labor agreement, according to UPS and the union.
May 28, 2004 -- According to the International Herald Tribune, "to public's fury, many things keep Royal Mail from its appointed rounds."
May 28, 2004 -- The Scotsman (U.K.) has reported that "postal workers are refusing to deliver a controversial British National Party election leaflet being sent to homes around Scotland via the Royal Mail. The leaflet, entitled Asylum is Making Britain Explode, has already been delivered to thousands of homes by the Royal Mail, which says the service is legally obliged to deliver the material because it is legitimate electioneering. However, postal workers who refuse to deliver the leaflet are being supported by their union and have also been told they will not face disciplinary action by their employer."
May 28, 2004 -- The Star (Malaysia) has reported that "there are constant complaints of delays in the postal service, resulting in people losing jobs, missing opportunities to enrol into university and suffering other forms of inconvenience. The implementation of key performance indicators (KPIs) may have given a ray of hope that the country's postal service will improve in the future. Postal service is currently provided by Pos Malaysia Bhd, a subsidiary of Pos Malaysia Services Holdings Bhd (PSH). The introduction of KPIs, which is expected to start by year-end, will put the managements of government-linked corporations (GLCs) under pressure to perform. "
May 27, 2004 -- Dow Jones has reported that "the German government has promised to loosen Deutsche Post's monopoly in sorting mail, an E.U. official said Tuesday. German Economy Minister Wolfgang Clement reportedly wrote to European Competition Commissioner Mario Monti making the promise. 'Germany has stated in its formal response that the German law will be changed accordingly,' said E.U. spokesman Tilman Lueder. Until the German government actually changes the law, competitors will not face fines for entering the mail sorting market."
May 27, 2004 -- DM News postal commentator Cary Baer has written that he is "of the opinion that some industry supporters of postal reform are just hoping to get a few years of rate stability until they can move a significant portion of their customer base to online bill presentment and payment. Similarly, some in the advertising mail community support reform because they think it will shelter them from above-average rate increases. Neither group is likely to get the benefits from the current reform package that they seek. When will this charade end?"
May 27, 2004 -- Bloomberg has reported that "Deutsche Post AG, Europe's biggest postal service, can easily afford to meet workers' demand for 4 percent more pay, said the Ver.di union, which represents 160,000 postal employees."
May 27, 2004 -- The Huddersfield Evening Examiner (U.K.) has reported that "bosses at Royal Mail have today pledged to forego bonus payments if the company fails to meet service standards next year."
May 27, 2004 -- The Scotsman (U.K.) has reported that "the Royal Mail today reported its first profit in four years but the news was dampened by a pending investigation into the recent 'collaps'” in its quality of service. The postal group has been criticised after missing all 15 of its delivery targets. But it today announced a profit of £220 million in the last financial year compared with a loss of £197 million in the previous 12 months, a turnaround of more than 200%. Chairman Allan Leighton announced he was deferring his entire bonus for a year. It is worth up to £160,000, which will be lost if targets are not met."
May 27, 2004 -- International Paper has launched and made available to all a new website designed to facilitate contacting Members of Congress in support of S. 2468 and H.R. 4341.
May 27, 2004 -- Unleashing the dogs of war.... KCBD-TV has reported that "on Wednesday, dozens of local postal union members picketed outside Monterey and Singer stations, protesting possible changes to the Postal System. Their goal: to inform the public. They say the senate is about to pass legislation that could change the postal system as we know it. Mike Sturm, President of Lubbock's local American Postal Workers Union says, 'They're considering a major overhaul of the postal service, not only who runs the postal service, but how it's run. They're considering trying to run it more like a private businesses.' Postal workers are concerned because a committee appointed by the President would oversee the postal service instead of Congress. Union members say that committee would be free to make changes at will, changes like eliminating Saturday and rural mail delivery, even changing rates so a 37 cent stamp will no longer get a letter from California to Maine and anywhere in between. Union Vice-President, Deborah Broadstreet, says, 'We're used to our mail service the way it is. A lot of people may not be happy with it, but they certainly won't be happy with what may happen.'"
May 27, 2004 -- The Times (U.K.) has reported that "Royal Mail has been ordered by the postal regulator to pay £80 million to compensate aggrieved customers after missing all of its service targets last year. The charge is equal to nearly half of the Royal Mail’s profits last year. The postal service will reveal today that it returned to the black in 2003 for the first time in three years with a profit of between £175 million and £200 million."
May 27, 2004 -- The Times of Oman has reported that "Majlis Al Shura office yesterday held its 10th regular meeting of the first annual session under the chairmanship of Sheikh Fahd bin Majid Al Ma’amari, deputy president of the Majlis. The office assessed queries from Majlis members addressed to ministries on postal service privatisation."
May 27, 2004 -- The Belfast Telegraph (U.K.) has reported that "Royal Mail has decided to keep four of its closure-threatened post office branches open, but there is no escape for four other outlets."
May 27, 2004 -- GIS User has reported that "NAC Geographic Products Inc. has announced that Brazil has become the first country in South America that has been completely digitized with Universal Addresses and Natural Area Codes, and made the number of the Universal Address digitized countries to 19: Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland (Uusimaa, Häme, and Pirkanmaa regions), France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and United States."
May 26, 2004 -- According to the Associated Press, "legislation being considered by Congress could force postal rates higher than might otherwise be necessary, Postmaster General John Potter said Wednesday. Potter urged major customers of the Postal Service to join the agency in helping it communicate its needs."
May 26, 2004 -- The Scotsman (U.K.) has reported that "the Royal Mail tonight demanded an apology from Channel 4 over a programme alleging theft among postal workers after claiming to have uncovered “serious doubts” over a central theme of the broadcast. The Dispatches programme claimed that two Barclaycard credit cards were stolen by an organised gang working inside Royal Mail. In a letter sent to the TV station tonight, Royal Mail said it had received confirmation from Barclaycard that a courier was used to deliver the cards to customers, not Royal Mail."
May 26, 2004 -- Messrs. Graeme John and Elmar Toime received the Industry Leadership Award at the 2004 World Mail Awards in Berlin on May 25th. The award, which is sponsored by Pitney Bowes (NYSE: PBI), was presented to both gentlemen by Michael J. Critelli, Chairman and CEO of Pitney Bowes. The Industry Leadership Award recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to advancing the postal and mailing industry.
May 26, 2004 -- The Green Party (U.K.) wants the delivery of postal ballots for this year's elections delayed after serious concerns were raised over the delivery of campaign materials to the regions with all-postal voting.
May 26, 2004 -- Hoovers has reported that "United Parcel Service (UPS) has said that reformed Thai customs procedures to allow the freer flow of goods, information and money under the proposed Thailand-US Free Trade Area (FTA) agreement would boost the likelihood of the shipping giant opening a local express delivery business."
May 26, 2004 -- The Herald Sun (Australia) has reported that "a package marked "Warning, bomb!", "Now you'll have it!" and "Look out!" was delivered without a problem by the Swedish postal service despite the clear warning labels."
May 26, 2004 -- CEP News (Courier-Express-Postal) has reported that:
The possible sale of 25% + 1 share ofÖsterreichische Post is growing into a political scandal. ÖIAG chairman and president of Österreichische Post’s supervisory board Peter Michaelis was keen to reassure everybody that the post’s board had been instructed to investigate various alliance schemes over the next six to eight weeks. ÖIAG would then reach a decision based on the evaluation of the board’s findings.
Deutsche Post has been banned from using the advertising slogan that 95 out of 100 letters reach their destination the day after they were posted.
Finland’s Suomen Posti took over the entire logistics operations for the US company Philip Morris in April. Last week, the company announced that both the operation of the central warehouse for Finland and transport to retailers were part of the deal.
DHL’s announcement that it would launch a domestic express service in China has prompted swift reaction from the Chinese regulatory authority. A spokesperson for the regulator – which is a department of the post – told the Chinese news agency Xinhua that DHL had not been granted any such permission. The regulator would henceforth watch DHL and its activities carefully in order to establish if there were any infringements of current legislation.
The Norwegian post has lost three thousand electricity bills worth almost 1m euros, which had been dispatched to customers of the ‘Kvinnherad Energi’ company. Posten received the bills on 12 May and they have not been sighted since.
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..
May 26, 2004 -- Postmaster General John Potter told a listening audience on Postal Customer Council Day that reform bills introduced in both the House and Senate include language that would eliminate these burdens being placed on postal ratepayers. However, he noted his concern about other elements of the bills, which aim to modernize the 34-year-old postal regulatory process. He cited provisions requiring the Postal Service to prefund health benefit retirement obligations, which, based on the pace of implementation, would put upward pressure on prices. A copy of Postmaster General John Potter's address is posted on the USPS web site..
May 26, 2004 -- Senate Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Susan Collins (R-ME) and Ranking Member Joe Lieberman (D-CT) today announced that the Committee will hold a business meeting on Wednesday, June 2 to consider the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2004 (S. 2468) and several bills affecting the federal workforce, as well as nominations and post office naming bills. The meeting will be held at 10 a.m. in room SD-342 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building.
May 26, 2004 -- TMC Net has reported that "Transend Worldwide Limited to offer Escher's award-winning WebRiposte(TM) products for post office counter automation. Escher Group, Ltd., a leading provider of distributed transaction processing and data management solutions, and Transend Worldwide Limited, an internationally recognised postal consultancy and wholly owned subsidiary of New Zealand Post, today announced that they have entered into a distribution agreement to sell and service Escher's products. Transend will be designated as an Escher Preferred Distributor."
May 26, 2004 -- Dr. Haider Al Abadi, Iraq's Minister of Communication, and Ibraheem Hussien Ali, Iraq's Postmaster General, announced the opening of the International Service Center and the introduction of Iraq's new Postal Code system in a ceremony at the Baghdad International Airport air cargo terminal today. The International Service Center (ISC) will play a vital role in rebuilding the economy of Iraq through encouraging international commerce by creating a worldwide gateway for mail entering and exiting the country. In 2004, Iraq's Postmaster General, Mr. Ibraheem Hussien Ali, and CPA/MoC postal advisors initiated an effort to correct and modernize the Iraqi Postal Code system. The Iraqi Post team developed a comprehensive Postal Code numbering system to better serve the Iraqi people. After agreeing to several modifications of the five-digit Postal Code the team met the principal objectives: to expedite the processing, transportation, delivery, and economics of the mail system. A few of the major benefits of using a coding system is the increase in the security of the mail due to the reduction in hand sorting and a quicker more accurate delivery to the customer. Adoption of a comprehensive Postal Code is the first step toward address standardization and automated sortation. Keeping the design simple and flexible will allow for the future growth of mail distribution in Iraq.
May 25, 2004 -- Handelsblatt (Germany) has reported that "Deutsche Post, the German postal service, is expected to face increasing competition in services involving the collection and sorting of letters. Until now, the company has refused to allow competitors to collect and sort letters weighing less than 100g; discounts are granted only to major customers. However, the EU believes that this is an infringement of guidelines on the liberalisation of postal services. Wolfgang Clement, the German minister of economic affairs, has now agreed to amend the law on postal services in Germany in order to open up the market for the collection and sorting of letters."
May 25, 2004 -- The American Enterprise Institute has published on its web site a recent interview with Fred Smith, CEO of Fedex.
May 25, 2004 -- TMCNet has reported that "Mauritius Post selected Escher Group's counter automation solution for its reliability, low cost of ownership, and flexibility to host a wide variety of postal, financial and government services."
May 25, 2004 -- The DM Bulletin (U.K.) has reported that "Experian, the credit services company, could be demerged by its parent retail giant GUS by the end of this year, marking what is being hailed as one of the most significant corporate reorganisations in recent times. Reports that GUS may demerge Experian to focus on its retail operations such as Argos and Homebase, have been circulating for around 18 months."
May 25, 2004 -- As Catalog Age has noted, "the Senate on May 20 introduced a bill to reform the U.S. Postal Service. The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2004 was released as a discussion draft on May 12, the same day the House passed its similar postal reform bill, H.R. 4341. Postal reform 'really may happen this year,' says Gene Del Polito, president of Arlington, VA-based mailers organization the Association for Postal Commerce. 'When you look at the two bills, there are differences but not huge gulfs between them.'"
May 25, 2004 -- Pitney Bowes Inc. has acquired substantially all of the assets of International Mail Express, Inc. (IMEX) for US$29 million. With annual revenue of approximately US$54 million, IMEX consolidates letters and flat-sized mail headed to international addresses to reduce postage costs and expedite delivery. IMEX, founded in 1986, is headquartered in College Point, New York and employs approximately 170 people. Its expertise is in developing the most cost effective route for getting letters, flat-sized mail, publications and literature to their final destination outside of the U.S. That includes using proprietary software to reduce transportation costs. IMEX has processing centres in College Point, New York, San Francisco, California and Ashburn, Virginia.
May 25 2004 -- Traffic World has reported that:
May 24, 2004 -- DM News has reported that "despite the presidential election and other distractions, the House and Senate introduced legislation to reform the U.S. Postal Service this month. More astonishing, the House Government Reform Committee unanimously approved the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2004, and it’s expected to be taken up by the full House in June. That’s the furthest any reform bill has gotten in 30 years. Lawmakers now say support is growing on Capitol Hill to get something passed."
May 24, 2004 -- The Times (U.K.) has reported that the "Bank of Ireland is in talks with the postal firms in Japan and Australia to provide foreign exchange services in both countries through its First Rate Enterprises subsidiary, writes Ciaran Hancock. The bank earned €37.5m in profit last year from a joint venture called First Travel Services, which provides foreign exchange services to the Post Office in the UK and last week announced a similar pilot project with Canada Post to manage its forex requirements."
May 24, 2004 -- The Memphis Business Journal has reported that "Chief Executive magazine has named FedEx chairman, president and CEO Fred Smith chief executive of the year."
May 24, 2004 -- Federal Computer Week has reported that "U.S. Postal Service officials ended an online payment service earlier this month that had been offered since April 2000. The e-commerce service, which lets citizens pay their bills electronically rather than mailing checks, was profitable, USPS officials said. But they decided to pull the plug because the online service appeared unable to meet growth expectations. The decision to drop a profitable e-commerce service comes amid growing pressure on Postal Service officials from business interests to stay out of e-commerce."
May 24, 2004 -- Bloomberg has reported that "Deutsche Post AG workers plan this week to extend strikes pushing their demand for a 4 percent pay increase, the Ver.di union, representing 160,000 postal staff, said on its Web site."
May 24, 2004 -- The Baltimore Sun has reported that "Atlanta-based UPS, the leader in domestic ground delivery, faces tough competition from FedEx Corp. of Memphis, Tenn., the leader in overnight air delivery. Other major players are the U.S. Postal Service and Deutsche Post's DHL International Ltd. of Belgium, already dominant in Europe. UPS is also trying to deliver something other than a package: a message to the public that it is changing."
May 24, 2004 -- The Slovak Spectator has reported that "the State-run postal service, Slovenská pošta, will be transformed into a joint-stock company as of July 1. Its headquarters will remain in Banská Bystrica, Slovak MPs decided when passing the bill. The transformation will include internal restructuring that could result in the reduction of management, the news wire SITA wrote. In addition, a new system of regional postal centres will replace the current post directorates. The approved bill on transformation should create equal conditions for the operation of Slovenská pošta and other private trade companies that provide similar services."
May 23, 2004 -- Hoovers has reported that "United Parcel Service Inc. plans to expand its business in Japan by creating an extensive distribution network, UPS Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Mike Eskew said Thursday."
May 23, 2004 -- The San Mateo County Times has reported that "U.S. Internet purchases in the first quarter rose from the same three months last year to $15.5 billion, a government report showed. Sales transactions online were 28 percent higher in the quarter than they were a year ago, the Commerce Department said in Washington. Total retail sales for the first three months of the year were $834.8 billion, 8.8 percent higher than a year ago. Ease of use and items that can be bought only online are drawing consumers to the Internet."
May 23, 2004 -- The Peninsula (Qatar) has reported that "Qatar’s General Postal Corporation (Q-Post) needs to upgrade some of its mail handling operations to make the service more profitable and attractive, a visiting German postal expert said on Thursday. Q-Post’s existing services, however, are among the most efficient in the world, he added. Speaking to the media, Wolfram Strohmaier, consultant for quality at the Universal Postal Union and a senior expert at the Deutsche Post, said some of the areas in which Q-Post could do better were in its sorting schedules and the delivery of mailbags to airlines. Wolfram had been sent to Doha for a week by the UPU to study the areas in which Q-Post can further upgrade his services."
May 23, 2004 -- The Malta Star has reported that "the Nationalist party’s allies, the European People’s Party (EPP), have voted to introduce VAT on postal services in the 25 EU member states. Up to now the 6th VAT Directive, dating back to the 1970s, has so far exempted postal services from VAT. However, in their proposal to Parliament, the Commission proposed to include postal services under the scope of the VAT regime."
May 23, 2004 -- The Independent (U.K.) has reported that "Royal Mail will unveil operating profits of well over £200m this week, the first time the state-owned company has been in the black for four years. Its chairman, Allan Leighton, and chief executive, Adam Cro-zier, will also reveal that the company made a modest pre-tax profit in the year to the end of March. The pair will use the announcement to claim that their turnaround plan for the troubled group is starting to deliver results. A spokesman for the Communications Workers Union (CWU) said: 'The public aren't terribly interested that we make a couple of million pounds for the Treasury's coffers. So what? They want their letters.'"
May 23, 2004 -- Agenzia Giornalistica Italia has reported that "electronic mail is about to become 'certified mail in the civil service' like a normal recorded delivery, with signed emission and acceptance. So receiving documents with computerised tools, i.e. by e-mail, will have legal status."
May 23, 2004 -- According to the BBC, "Tonga has not received any international mail this week, while about forty bags of Tongan mail are still stranded in Air New Zealand's cargo office in Auckland, following the collapse of Royal Tongan Airlines, which used to share the mail load."
May 22, 2004 -- The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin is available online.
May 22, 2004 -- In a piece published by the Magic City Morning Star, Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs chairman Susan Collins (R-ME) explained the reasoning underlying her sponsorship of postal legislative reform.
May 22, 2004 -- According to the Asbury Park Press, "shipping is up at The UPS Store since the packing franchise's owner, delivery giant United Parcel Service, convinced more than 3,000 franchisees across the United States to change their name from Mail Boxes Etc. about a year ago. But while supportive of the name change and The UPS Store, some local franchisees have concerns: While revenue has increased with the added volume, profit has decreased because UPS lowered the prices that stores must charge for shipping. UPS rates through Mail Boxes Etc. were higher."
May 22, 2004 -- The Newark Star-Ledger has reported that "the Bush administration is wrapping up an agreement with U.S. postal workers to help deliver antibiotics or antidotes within 48 hours of a biological attack to 21 major cities."
May 22, 2004 -- The Financial Express (India) has reported that "Federal Express Corp (FedEx) has announced its technology strategy for India. This includes introduction of technology solutions like the FedEx InSight and FedEx Global Trade Manager in the country. It has also deployed hundreds of handheld pocket computers with the FedEx couriers."
May 22, 2004 -- Public dissatisfaction with the nation’s postal service is running at an all-time high - with a hotline set up to take complaints about wrongly delivered mail receiving more than 6,000 calls in four days, The Scotsman (U.K.) has learned. Postwatch, the consumer watchdog that represents the interests of Royal Mail customers, was overwhelmed with calls after the launch of its "Stamp Out Misdelivered Mail" campaign.
May 22, 2004 -- The Jamaica Observer (Jamaica) has reported that "postal rates will increase by up to 50 per cent next month, and the government will be moving to regulate 'private letter operators' as well as the wider bulk mail industry as it moves to increase the Postal Corporation's earnings. Because of the low cost of mailing items from Jamaica it has become commonplace for some US companies to use the island as a distribution point for bulk mail, such as catalogues and magazines. Commerce, Science and Technology Minister Phillip Paulwell said that 'Jamaica has become a dumping ground for mail. It is cheaper for the US to send bulk mail into Jamaica and remail it, than if it was mailed directly from the US,' he told the Observer yesterday. 'This price increase is to prevent that from happening as well.'"
May 21, 2004 -- Upon introduction of a comprehensive postal reform bill in the Senate, UPS has pledged its support for the measure and expressed optimism that Congress could complete work on the important issue this year.
May 21, 2004 -- Thousands of Postal Service customers from more than 44 states and 140 plus Postal Customer Councils will hear Postmaster General John E. Potter on May 26, National Postal Customer Council (PCC) Day, when he delivers his first-ever national satellite broadcast on the state of the United States Postal Service. Potter will address a range of topics that fall under the organization's Transformation Plan, the Postal blueprint for the future he submitted to Congress two years ago. Since that time, the organization has scored several successes. The Postal Service has pushed service to new levels; used technology to increase efficiency and provide improved access; offered new and enhanced products and services; maintained relevancy and value of the mail as a major communication channel and managed expenses, reducing billions of dollars in costs. He will also discuss the plan for a new PCC network.
May 21, 2004 -- The Mailing Industry CEO Council commended Chairman Susan Collins (R-ME) and Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) for introducing the "Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act."
May 21, 2004 -- Pitney Bowes Inc. expressed its appreciation today to Senator Susan Collins, Chairman of the Senate Government Affairs Committee, and Senator Tom Carper, the Committee Democrat who has taken the lead on postal reform issues, for the introduction of their version of the "Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act."
May 21, 2004 -- NAPUS President Wally Olihovik applauded Senate Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Susan Collins (R-ME) and Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) on their introduction of S. 2468, the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act. Senator Collins and Senator Carper introduced the bill last night. Olihovik remarked, 'S. 2468 would make sure that Postal Service would continue to provide Americans with universal postal service, and afford the Postal Service with much-needed pricing.' Olihovik also noted, 'NAPUS believes that this bill will protect rural postal customers, and customers who conduct commerce in population-sparse or isolated regions of the country.'"
May 21, 2004 -- AFX Europe has reported that "Germany's ver.di union called for a work stoppage by Deutsche Post postal workers tomorrow in the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg in order to pressure the state mail company to meet its wage demands."
May 21, 2004 -- As noted by the PR Newswire, "the U.S. Postal Service's Central Repair Facility in Topeka, Kan., has received international recognition for its quality management and customer service, postal officials announced this week. The facility annually repairs and returns to service more than 135,000 parts that are used to maintain mail processing equipment. Last year the Postal Service processed and delivered more than 202 billion pieces of mail."
May 21, 2004 -- The Rocky Mountain News has reported that "Frontier Airlines plans to cancel a contract with the U.S. Postal Service to carry mail, saying it isn't generating enough profits from the deal to justify the amount of work involved." Helloooo Fedex.
May 21, 2004 -- A summary of the Senate bill (S.2468) introduced by Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs chairman Susan Collins (R-ME) and Sen. Thomas Carper (D-DE) as well as Sen. Carper's introductory statement have been posted on this site. Also listed as cosponsors are: Senators Stevens, Voinovich, Sununu, Lieberman, Akaka and Durbin.
May 21, 2004 -- According to the PR Newswire, "the Direct Marketing Association (The DMA) applauded Senate Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Susan Collins (R-ME) and Sen. Thomas Carper (D-DE), who today introduced a Senate postal reform bill."
May 21, 2004 -- Read more on the controversy surrounding the Postal Service's determination of eligibility of First-Class versus Standard Mail in an article by Pitney Bowes' Robert Swick in DM News.
May 21, 2004 -- The Daily Yomiuri (Japan) has reported that "providing a universal service--consistent and timely mail delivery to every address in Japan--is a mandatory requirement for Japan Post. The Cabinet Office's Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy is now debating whether the same rule should apply not only to mail delivery, but also to postal savings and life insurance services when Japan Post is privatized in 2007."
May 21, 2004 -- Dow Jones has reported that "Argentina's postal service Correo Argentino was still in state hands Thursday, a day after the six month period for reprivatizing the company formally expired. Far from being on the verge of finding a buyer for the company, all indications were that authorities will give themselves another six months to put Correo back in the private sector."
May 21, 2004 -- A U.S. Postal Inspector and a Special Agent from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement received a national award yesterday for uncovering a child sex tourism business that preyed on homeless children in Mexico. The Officer of the Year Award, presented annually by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), recognizes law enforcement agents and officers for their efforts to rescue children from abductors and abusers.
May 21, 2004 -- Dow Jones has reported that "Leeds Morelli & Brown P.C. filed a complaint against United Parcel Services Inc. (UPS) alleging discrimination on behalf of 10 current and former drivers from New York. The plaintiff's legal representative said the complaint alleges a pattern and practice of discrimination based on race, gender and national origin, and further alleges the company retaliated against an employee who complained about the practices."
May 20, 2004 -- Senate Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Susan Collins (R-ME) and Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) today introduced comprehensive legislation to reform the United States Postal Service (USPS). Their legislation, the first major overhaul of the USPS since 1970, would help ensure that the USPS and the millions of businesses and employees whose livelihoods depend on it remain viable into the 21st century. A copy of the bill has been posted on this site.
May 20, 2004 -- A coalition of 156 business and nonprofit organizations have endorsed Senator Collins' postal reform legislation, which will be formally introduced in the U.S. Senate on Thursday, May 20. Senator Collins, who chairs the Governmental Affairs Committee which oversees the U.S. Postal Service, will be joined by Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) in introducing this legislation, which represents the most major overhaul of the Postal Service since 1970. In addition to the coalition of 156 organizations, the National Association of Rural Letter Carriers, the National Association of Letter Carriers, and the National Association of Postmasters of the U.S. have also endorsed the efforts of Senators Collins and Carper.
May 20, 2004 -- Business & Legal Reports has noted that "in fiscal year 2003, federal employees and applicants filed 8 percent fewer complaints alleging employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, religion, age, disability, and reprisal, according to a report by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The U.S. Postal Service had the top performing alternative dispute resolution (ADR) program among all reporting agencies, with a 76 percent participation rate, according to the report. Government-wide, the participation rate in ADR was 42 percent."
May 20, 2004 -- As DM News has noted, "the U.S. Postal Service had net income of $2.56 billion -- $1 billion over budget -- for the first half of its fiscal year, the agency reported this week. Meanwhile, mail volume was up and expenses are under plan. According to the postal service's fiscal and operating statements, revenue from Oct. 1 to March 31 was $35.52 billion, 1.4 percent above the agency's budget plan, while expenses of $32.96 billion were 1.7 percent under budget plan. For the six months, total volume rose 1.1 percent; Standard mail, 3.6 percent; Package Services, 1.2 percent; and International, 7.5 percent. 'Standard mail is virtually the only large growth category that we've had in several recent quarters,' said Malcolm Harris, manager of demand forecasting and economic analysis at the USPS. International growth fluctuates from quarter to quarter but in general can be attributed to resurgence in global trade, Harris said. Several mail classes saw declines. Express Mail fell 4 percent; Periodicals, 3.2 percent; Priority Mail, 1.5 percent; and First-Class, 0.8 percent."
May 20, 2004 -- According to the BBC (U.K.), "threatening phone calls, intimidating figures waiting outside school and women brought to tears at work. Those are just some of the allegations that could bring another mass walk-out to a troubled Royal Mail centre. The Oxford centre has already suffered a 17-day strike over bullying claims which left millions of items of post undelivered throughout April."
May 20, 2004 -- The Richmond & Twickenham Times (U.K.) has reported that "the Royal Mail has apologised for slow, late and erratic deliveries in the borough. Twickenham MP Vincent Cable made strong representations to senior management over the poor service and bosses this week wrote to acknowledge continued dissatisfaction' and promise to do better. Complaints have escalated following the introduction of the single daily delivery and reports that post is now being delivered in the afternoon or not at all."
May 20, 2004 -- The Interfax news agency has reported that "Ceska posta (CP), the Czech postal service, could lose its exclusive position delivering post weighing more than 50 grams as of January 2006, according a proposal sent by the IT Ministry to the government."
May 20, 2004 -- The Canada Newswire has reported that "Montgomery Research and Accenture (NYSE: ACN) today released a groundbreaking book detailing the transformation of national postal organizations and the postal environment worldwide. The book, Pushing the Envelope: Achieving High Performance in a Competitive Postal Environment, describes the innovative solutions that visionary postal executives are implementing to restructure and transform their organizations. The book was developed jointly by Montgomery Research and Accenture. [PostCom President Gene Del Polito was one of the publication's key contributors. He also served as a member of the Postal Project editorial board.]
May 20, 2004 -- The definitive conference for the mailing industry — the National Postal Forum — will be held in the Nation’s Capital from Sept.19-22, 2004, at the Washington Convention Center. All-new symposiums, more than 100 professional workshops and an expanded four-day schedule highlight the “Knowledge is Power” program. Postmaster General John E. Potter will deliver the keynote speech Monday morning, Sept. 20.
May 20, 2004 -- According to the Macomb Daily, "U.S. Rep. Candice Miller is hailing U.S. Postal Service reforms, 10 years in the making, that are headed for House approval with bipartisan support."
May 20, 2004 -- The PR Newswire has reported that "The data transmission backbone that supports the Postal Service's automation and Intelligent Mail programs is about to get an extreme makeover. During the next 15 months, 108 large postal facilities will have existing wiring replaced with high-speed wiring technology. In the last twelve months, 62 plants have been upgraded. This state-of-the-art technology upgrade will increase the Postal Service's ability to get real-time information about mail as it travels through the postal system -- information that can be used to improve operational efficiencies and enhance service to postal customers."
May 20, 2004 -- GovExec.com has reported that "three major financial reform initiatives that the U.S. Postal Service implemented in 2001 have scored mixed results, according to a new General Accounting Office report."
May 20, 2004 -- The Associated Press has reported that "a federal appeals court on Monday reinstated a lawsuit filed by seven Hispanic U.S. Postal Service managers in four states who accused the agency of discrimination. The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overruled a federal district court, which had dismissed the suit in 2002 on grounds the plaintiffs had not exhausted all administrative steps before suing. The plaintiffs, who work in Colorado, Texas, Nebraska and New Mexico, accused the Postal Service of failing to inform them of advancement opportunities, granting merit raises and bonuses unequally and retaliating against them when they complained of alleged discrimination."
May 20, 2004 -- AllAfrica.com has reported that "series of information gathered by The Chronicle, coupled with tons of documentary evidence, indicate that but for the timely intervention of the Volta Regional Minister, Hon. Kwasi Owusu Yeboah, a strange disbursement of some ¢300million worth of Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) funds projects by officials of Ghana Post (GP), contrary to ministerial directives, would have deprived a large number of people in the region access to postal services in their various communities. The 'plot', if it had gone unblocked, would definitely have drawn the region back decades in its drive to fairly expand the communication network throughout the 22 constituencies within the shortest possible time."
May 20, 2004 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that "according to the latest report by Transport Intelligence, Asia Pacific Logistics 2004, the Asia Pacific market is forecast to grow at 15.7% between 2003 and 2007, reaching US$1,336 million (€1,111 million). China is set to take over from Japan as the largest market in the region with annual growth rates of about 25%, compared with the rest of the region’s average of 11.4%. Although Japan still has a much bigger economy, logistics costs in the undeveloped Chinese market are estimated to about four times higher (around 20% of GDP) accounting for its burgeoning transport sector."
May 19, 2004 -- The Financial Times (U.K.) has reported that "Royal Mail said it prosecuted 300 of its staff last year for stealing from the post and other offences and has an 180-strong team dedicated to investigating crime in an effort by management to quash concerns about postal security. Allan Leighton, chairman of the postal group, and Adam Crozier, chief executive, were yesterday grilled by MPs on various aspects of Royal Mail's three-year turnaround plan, from post office closures to the scrapping of the second daily delivery. The executives told MPs that Royal Mail was reviewing its hiring policies and would cut its use of casual staff, who are not always properly vetted or trained."
May 19, 2004 -- According to Circulation Management, "while it is still too early to pop the champagne corks, circulators can at least bring the bottles up from the cellar. Postal reform may finally be on the way."
May 19, 2004 -- CEP News (Courier-Express-Postal) has reported that:
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May 19, 2004 -- The Herald (U.K.) has reported that "Royal Mail yesterday warned it would be another two to three months before consumers see a more efficient postal service because a major revamp of deliveries and transport has yet to be completed."
May 19, 2004 -- ABC Gippsland (Australia) has asked: "What's an airgraph? A forgotten form of communication, the airgraph was only used for a few years during the 1940s.Developed by Kodak in around the 1930s, airgraph wasn't accepted by most people until World War II. Many of our troops were overseas, in the Middle East in particular, and the airgraph proved to be faster than letters. But also for the mail carriers, the airgraph was very lightweight."
May 19, 2004 -- According to postal commentator Gene Del Polito, Postmaster General Potter has "the chance of a lifetime to bring in some new, more creative blood and totally remake the USPS."
May 19, 2004 -- Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Germany) has reported that "Deutsche Post, the German national postal service operator, is seen as the favourite to acquire a blocking minority stake in Osterreichische Post, its Austrian counterpart, when the latter undergoes partial privatisation. Osterreichische Industrieholding (OIAG), the Austrian state privatisation agency which currently owns the country's postal service operator, is expected to give the go-ahead in June for the partial privatisation."
May 19, 2004 -- According to Le Figaro (France), "Deutsche Post World Net, the German-based postal services and logistics group, is reported to be observing the opening up of the French postal market, but is said to have doubts regarding the full deregulation of that market next year."
May 19, 2004 -- The Cyprus Mail has reported that "the Cyprus postal service falls way short of EU standards, failing to reach even half of the EU target in postal delivery time, according to one official. On average, around 40 per cent of standard letters reach their destination the following day in Cyprus, compared to the EU target of 85 per cent for priority letters, said Postal Service General Manager Vassos Vassiliou. Vassiliou said the problem boiled down to a lack of flexibility in decision-making. Cyprus joins San Marino, Jersey, Monaco, and FYROM in being the only countries out of 43 European countries that still have a Postal Service functioning as a government department."
May 19, 2004 -- The BBC (U.K.) has reported that "postal workers in Manchester have taken part in an unofficial strike over proposed changes to working practices. About 40 drivers walked out on Tuesday night, disrupting collections from city centre post boxes and businesses. The Communication Workers' Union (CWU) said it had spoken to the drivers and they had agreed to return to work, but demanded management listen to concerns. The Royal Mail said postal services were not affected by the action, adding strikes would not achieve anything."
May 19, 2004 -- Les Echos (France) has reported that "Geopost, the express parcel service of the French post office, La Poste, is to acquire at least 21 per cent of the leading Spanish courier company, Seur, from that firm's franchisees. It will also buy a 40 per cent stake in Seur's international division and 60 per cent of the Spanish company's franchise, Seur Madrid."
May 19, 2004 -- The Guardian (U.K.) has reported that:
May 19, 2004 -- Federal Computer Week has reported that "the U.S. Postal Service has had some success in reducing costs by adopting supply chain management practices, but savings have been limited because the agency lacks certain automated systems, government auditors reported this week."
May 19, 2004 -- In the United States, address quality deteriorates at a rate of 1.4 percent per month due to people moving. With the potential of almost 17 percent of any given mailing list moving in a year's time, move updating is a process that you simply must pay attention to! Join us on Tuesday, May 25, at 11:30 a.m. Eastern time (10:30 a.m. Central) to learn more about your options in move updating. Stacey Mentzel, Postal Product Line Manager, and Chris Lien, Postal Market Director, will be on hand to educate you regarding your options, and answer any questions you may have. Visit www.firstlogic.com/moveupdate for more details or to register.
May 18, 2004 -- According to Advo CEO Gary Mulloy writing in Progressive Grocer magazine, "a proposal is under way in Washington, D.C. for a comprehensive reform of the U.S. Postal Service, and if it takes effect, the impact it will have on postal operations and postal rates will dramatically influence retail grocery marketing for years to come."
May 18, 2004 -- GovExec.com has reported that "with Senate Governmental Affairs Chairwoman Susan Collins, R-Maine, likely to introduce legislation overhauling the Postal Service Wednesday, mailers and labor representatives will be keeping an eye on a few key provisions not included in the postal bill passed last week by the House Government Reform Committee."
May 18, 2004 -- The Evening Standard (U.K.) has reported that "an emergency inquiry has been launched by MPs into the dramatic deterioration of postal services in much of Britain. The trade and industry select committee has summoned the Royal Mail's three most senior bosses to appear before them today to explain why deliveries have suddenly got so much worse. The trio - chairman Allan Leighton, chief executive Adam Crozier and operations director Tom Melvin - are set for a tough grilling about their implementation of a controversial restructuring plan."
May 18, 2004 -- The PR Newswire has reported that "the definitive conference for the mailing industry -- the National Postal Forum -- will be held in the Nation's Capital from Sept. 19-22, 2004, at the Washington Convention Center. All-new symposiums, more than 100 professional workshops and an expanded four-day schedule highlight the "Knowledge is Power" program. Postmaster General John E. Potter will deliver the keynote speech Monday morning, Sept. 20."
May 18, 2004 -- The latest General Accounting Office report on the Postal Service, "Postal Service: Progress in Implementing Supply Chain Management Initiatives," is available on the GAO web site.
May 18, 2004 -- Bloomberg has reported that "Japan Post may need to pay 533 billion yen ($4.66 billion) a year in national and local taxes if it is privatized, the Kyodo newswire said, citing the postal service's estimate. The taxes are comprised of 211.9 billion yen in corporate income tax, 112.2 billion yen in enterprise tax and 59.1 billion yen in fixed asset tax, Kyodo said. As a public entity, Japan Post doesn't pay taxes, the newswire said. The Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy, a government advisory panel, says Japan Post should be privatized in 5 to 10 years from 2007, the newswire said."
May 18, 2004 -- Gary M. Mulloy, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of ADVO, Inc. (NYSE:AD) today applauded the House Government Reform Committee for its unanimous approval of the "Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act." The proposed legislation transfers responsibility for military retirement benefits from the Postal Service to the Treasury, and eliminates the escrow account established to collect the savings from last year's pension funding legislation. It also delegates responsibility for allocating the cost of benefits earned prior to the 1971 creation of the Postal Service to a neutral party, the Postal Rate Commission.
May 18, 2004 -- American Postal Workers Union President William Burrus applauded the House Government Reform Committee, saying, “The panel took an important step toward giving the Postal Service needed reforms by voting today in favor of the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act. “The APWU urges members of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee to take a similar path when it considers postal reform legislation,” he said.
May 17, 2004 -- Vice President of Finance and Controller Donna Peak has announced that she will retire in January. PMG Jack Potter has named Compensation Manager Lynn Malcolm to Acting Vice President, Finance, Controller.
May 17, 2004 -- A copy of the resolutions adopted by the PostCom Board of Directors at its May 12, 2004 meeting has been posted on this site for PostCom members to review.
May 17, 2004 -- The Victorville Daily Press has reported that "getting pre-approved loan applications, credit cards and checks in the mail can be good opportunity for consumers. But it's also a good opportunity for thieves, officials said Thursday. Some thieves purposely wait until mail has been delivered to take it from mailboxes and sort through it for checks or any other letters that have identifying information, postal inspectors said. Thieves will also attack large mail collection boxes and mail trucks, they said. In the southwestern United States, postal inspectors are finding mail-theft gangs and methamphetamine users stealing from mail receptacles, they said. 'That's probably the biggest problem: meth users stealing mail to support their drug habits,' Postal Inspector Yvonne Guerrero said. In 2003, postal inspectors arrested 6,089 suspects nationwide for connection to mail thefts. It's a significant rise from the 5,175 arrests made the year before."
May 17, 2004 -- The latest U.S. Postal Service report of revenue, pieces, and weights of mail for the first quarter of fiscal 2004 is available on the USPS web site. So also are its financial statements for March 2004.
May 17, 2004 -- DM News has reported that:
May 17, 2004 -- Dutch postal service and logistics company TPG NV is interested in taking a stake in Austria's Oesterreichische Post, TPG spokesman Tanno Massar told Dow Jones Newswires Monday. The Austrian Privatization Agency has reportedly said it is looking for a strategic partner for the state postal service, possibly selling a 25% stake. According to German newspaper Handelsblatt Monday, Deutsche Post AG has emerged as the frontrunner, ahead of TPG, to buy the 25% stake. Massar said TPG generally looks at opportunities in countries where the state is considering privatizing national postal companies.
May 17, 2004 -- The BBC (U.K.) has reported that "rail postal services are close to being reinstated in Cumbria - less than six months after train deliveries were scrapped."
May 16, 2004 -- In an editorial, the Victoria Advocate has noted that "the U.S. House Government Reform Committee did something Wednesday that, while not unprecedented, is very rare for a congressional panel to accomplish: It voted unanimously to send a bill to the full House of Representatives. Few issues garner the kind of bipartisan support that postal reform does, and the committee bill provides for the first major overhaul of the U.S. Postal Service in more than three decades. The measure would continue delivery six days a week and also continue the principle of universal delivery to any address in the nation, something not all private delivery services can guarantee at reasonable cost. The chief goals of the 143-page bill are to make the Postal Service more competitive and more cost-efficient. The two go hand in hand. Improved competitiveness can only come with greater cost-efficiency, yet cost-efficiency cannot be used as a reason to reduce the level of service customers expect because that would reduce competitiveness. The full House and then the Senate should consider this proposal very carefully to ensure that it will achieve those goals." Couldn't have said it any better....
May 16, 2004 -- According to the National Center for Policy Analysis, "a survey of economists specializing in postal services has found that they recommend that the government-supported United States Postal Service (USPS) be de-monopolized or privatized."
May 16, 2004 -- The American Postal Workers Union (APWU) has told its members that "Senate Governmental Affairs Committee released a “discussion draft” of its postal reform bill on May 12 as well. Although the union is withholding judgment on the Senate bill until we have analyzed it further, we have serious concerns about several provisions. We are especially concerned by proposals that would gut OWCP, and those that would continue excessive postage discounts." Yeah...well, we're concerned about uncorrected workers comp abuses.
May 16, 2004 -- WAVY.com has reported that "some Hampton residents say the local postman is ignoring their neighborhood. They claim mail has not been delivered regularly since January. The residents of the John Abbott Apartments say their bills are late, checks aren't arriving on time, and getting clear answers from the U.S. postal service has been difficult."
May 16, 2004 -- SIFY.com (India) has reported that "A group of employees of the Indian postal service is a rather unlikely set to be training for the Association of Mutual Funds of India's certification test for distribution of mutual funds. SBI Mutual Fund officers in Tamil Nadu, training postal employees to help them prepare for the test, say the decision of Tamil Nadu Post to get them trained illustrates the seriousness of many postal circles in setting about implementing the Centre's instruction that Indiapost reposition itself as a giant 'financial mart'."
May 16, 2004 -- The Norwich Evening News (U.K.) has reported that "Post Office bosses are to enter the lion's den when they meet councillors to discuss unpopular plans to close 14 branches later this year in Norwich."
May 16, 2004 -- The Independent (U.K.) has reported that "Royal Mail has given £5m to its workers in a morale-boosting campaign, most of which has been used to buy wide-screen TVs and other perks in the company's offices. The scheme, First Line Fixed, was introduced by Royal Mail's chairman, Allan Leighton, last year. The money has been spent on a range of goods aimed at improving working conditions. It has paid for sandwich makers, kettles and Christmas parties. It has also been spent on more extravagant goods, including several wide-screen TVs for some recreational rooms. One office is believed to have put in a request to buy a greyhound; managers turned this down."
May 14, 2004 -- In a letter addressed to the members of the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs, PostCom President Gene Del Polito wrote:
We have reviewed information available regarding Mr. Tisdale's occupational and educational training and experience. We then compared this information against those criteria specified in the recommendations made by the President's Commission on the Postal Service, the Senate's own draft of a bill for postal reform, and the House measure that recently was reported to the entire House by the Committee on Government Reform.
We regret to say that, when measured against these criteria, we find this nominee lacking. Consequently, we feel compelled to recommend that this candidacy be given no further consideration by the U.S. Senate.
We beg that this request not be interpreted as an aspersion on the personal integrity of the above named individual. It is our belief, however, that one of the goals of postal reform is to ensure that the best qualified persons be selected for consideration for appointments to the Postal Service's governing board and its regulatory commission. Approving the appointment of someone lacking in the basic qualifications that Congress itself intends to set forth would be, in our view, a serious mistake.
May 14, 2004 -- According to the Heritage Foundation, "given the current state of federal spending, shifting Postal pension funds around like this seems plain irresponsible to us." PostCom to the Heritage Foundation: "Get over it."
May 14, 2004 -- According to Traffic World, "Union Pacific Railroad's service crisis forced the railroad to give up its prized UPS cross-country bullet train, opening the door for rival Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway to get the business back."
May 14, 2004 -- In a recent statement in behalf of the Association for Postal Commerce, PostCom chairman Vincent Giuliano said:
"PostCom applauds Chairman Davis and the 39 members of the Government Reform Committee for this latest effort to legislate important reforms of the USPS" said Vince Giuliano, Chairman of the Association for Postal Commerce. "Of particular interest to every mailer, the House Bill goes a long way to redeem and fulfill the promise in last year's CSRS legislation. We support the return of military service pension costs to the Treasury, the release of the escrow and, in particular, the language which requires a fair accounting of the moneys paid into OPM for CSRS benefits by mailers since 1971. We hope the Senate will follow suit. Taken together these actions will go a long way toward putting the USPS on a sound financial footing as a premise to reform".
"PostCom is mindful," said Giuliano, "of the complexity of the issues and the difficulty of finding common ground among business mailers, unions, newspapers, and the like, and we are grateful to the sponsors of this bill for their unified determination and Herculean effort." Of additional interest are the proposed sections which formulate a rational approach to determine fairness and sufficiency of postal rate recognition of mailer worksharing and the sections that promote a forward looking restructuring of the nation's postal system. We look forward to working with the House and the Senate to create legislation that enables transparency, accountability and empowerment to make the USPS commercially viable without burdensome bureaucracy.
Congratulations to all who have made this proposed legislation possible."
May 14, 2004 -- The Tahoe Daily Tribune has reported that "on Saturday, historians clad in 1860s-era clothing will join Douglas County officials in dedicating a granite monument at the Pony Express station site in Stateline, where horses and riders on their way west to San Francisco or east to Missouri, fueled up in Stateline before taking a shortcut over Daggett Pass. The route was first used by the Pony Express exactly 144 years ago on Saturday. The Pony Express began as a private venture on April 3, 1860 operating roughly 2,000 miles between San Francisco and St. Joseph going both east and west. In its 19-month existence, it employed 700 people, about 10 percent being actual riders. Considered a landmark in enterprise for its time, the Pony Express lasted about 14 months of private ownership before it was taken over by the federal government during the Civil War. Each half-ounce letter cost $5 to deliver, which in today's value would be around $85. The government held onto the Pony Express for about five months while it built telegraph lines across the country, thus making express transcontinental mail delivery by horseback obsolete."
May 14, 2004 -- If you're looking for the final mark of the House postal reform bill, look here.
May 14, 2004 -- Le Figaro (France) has reported that "yesterday French unions organised a day of strike action at national rail group SNCF, in protest at the planned restructuring of the group's freight division. However, the strike caused only limited disruption, and services were back to normal this morning."
May 14, 2004 -- The Slovak Spectator has reported that "the State-run postal service Slovenská pošta will be transformed into a joint-stock company as of July 1. Its headquarters will remain in Banská Bystrica, Slovak MPs decided when passing the bill. The transformation will include internal restructuring, which could result in the reduction of management, the news wire SITA wrote. In addition, a new system of regional postal centres will replace the current post directorates. The approved bill on transformation should create equal conditions for the operation of Slovenská pošta and other private trade companies providing similar services."
May 14, 2004 -- Even the Washington Post is amazed: "Hard to believe, but true. After 10 years of effort, the House Government Reform Committee this week approved a bill that would overhaul the U.S. Postal Service. It's the first major bill to head to the House floor in three decades, according to the committee. The bill was steered through the committee by committee Chairman Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.) and approved 40 to 0. Its chief author is Rep. John M. McHugh (R-N.Y.), who has worked to bridge differences among big mailers, unions and the post office."
May 14, 2004 -- DM News has reported that "a judge is expected to order United Parcel Service Inc. next week to offer free shipping vouchers to customers as part of the settlement of a class-action lawsuit that alleged the company overcharged for package insurance. Under the settlement, UPS would offer vouchers to anyone who can prove they bought "excess value" package insurance between August 1994 and October 2003. The attorneys for the plaintiff argued that the Atlanta-based company charged consumers too much for the insurance. The two sides agreed on a tentative settlement in February. The U.S. District Court judge in New York's Southern District scheduled a final hearing on the settlement for May 21, after which class participants are expected to begin applying for vouchers. The vouchers expire 180 days after they are issued."
May 14, 2004 -- According to the Federal Times, "the House Government Reform Committee on May 12 advanced the first major legislation in three decades intended to overhaul the way the U.S. Postal Service operates. The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, HR 4341, would net the Postal Service an additional $27 billion over the next several decades and require it to fully fund its retiree health benefits."
May 14, 2004 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that the "Bush administration Thursday dealt a setback to FedEx Corp. and United Parcel Service, upholding an administrative judge's decision that Astar Air Cargo is a U.S. company and not illegally controlled by overseas interests. The Department of Transportation declined to review the ruling on the international ownership dispute in the hotly contested case involving the former DHL Airways." See also the Louisville Business Journal and Reuters.
May 14, 2004 -- Mark A. Angelson, Chief Executive Officer of R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company has lauded congressional leaders for bipartisan passage out of the U.S. House Committee on Government Reform of congressional legislation that would reform the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) and ensure steady and more predictable postal rates. Postal reform legislation is expected to be introduced in the Senate shortly.
May 14, 2004 -- The Mailing Industry CEO Council commended the work of the House Government Reform Committee in adopting the "Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2004."
May 14, 2004 -- Pitney Bowes Inc. has expressed its appreciation to the leadership and members of the House Government Reform Committee for unanimously approving the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2004.
May 14, 2004 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that "Deutsche Post World Net has released details of its performance in the first quarter of 2004. Overall revenues rose by 7.8% to €10.5bn compared with €9.8bn in the same quarter in 2003. However operating profits fell by 2.2% to €930m from €951m. The company put this down to falling business revenues in its Mail division and costs of integration in its Express division."
May 14, 2004 -- Servihoo (Mauritius) has reported that "Deutsche Post, the semi-privatised German postal authority, said it has no intention of selling its banking arm Postbank to Germany's biggest bank Deutsche Bank and is sticking to its plans to float the unit on the stock exchange."
May 14, 2004 -- AllAfrica.com has reported that "Postmaster General of the federation, Alhaji Abubakar Musa Argungu has pledged the commitment of the Nigerian Postal Service to continue to nurture and motivate the efforts of NIPOST staff as a means of ensuring cooperation and team spirit for the realisation of NIPOST's mission."
May 13, 2004 -- "Yesterday, May 12, 2004, H.R. 4341 the 'Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act,' unanimously passed out of the Government Reform Committee and now will be headed to the floor of the House of Representatives, thanks to the bi-partisan statesmanship of Chairman Tom Davis (R-VA), Ranking Member Henry Waxman (D-CA), Rep. John McHugh (R-NY), and Rep. Danny Davis (R-IL)," said National League of Postmasters President Steve LeNoir. "Seldom in recent years has the American public witnessed such a productive bipartisan effort, and it is one that is most appropriate for postal reform. Everyone involved, including the staff, deserves high praise.
May 13, 2004 -- Following passage of comprehensive postal reform legislation by the House Government Reform Committee, UPS has announced its support of H.R. 4341 and committed to work toward final passage in Congress.
May 13, 2004 -- The USPS has announced that "Pritha Mehra has been appointed as Manager, Marketing Technology and Channel Management. Pritha will be replacing Michele Denny, effective June 1, 2004, and will continue the strategic development and implementation of systems and programs that support the business mail acceptance function."
May 13, 2004 -- In a report to its members, the National Association of Postmasters of the U.S. noted that "on Wednesday, May 12, Congress took a major step forward towards enacting comprehensive postal reform this year. The House Government Reform Committee approved H.R. 4341, the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, by a unanimous 40-0 vote. NAPUS President Wally Olihovik hailed the overwhelming bipartisan support of the measure."
May 13, 2004 -- The DeHavilland Information Service (U.K.) has reported that "the Communication Workers Union (CWU) has called on the Royal Mail to bring back its training scheme. The demand comes in response to Royal Mail chairman Allan Leighton's membership of the Apprenticeships Task Force. CWU assistant secretary, Bob Gibson, argued that given Mr Leighton's backing of the Government's new Apprenticeships scheme, he should re-introduce the Postal Cadets Scheme, which ran successfully for 20 years until it was axed in a cost-cutting measure. 'It provided training in vital skills for Royal Mail employees, ranging from learning to drive to sorting mail and delivery of mail. Teenagers as young as 16 enjoyed a range of vocational learning that not only benefited them as individuals, but also Royal Mail and its customers,' Mr Gibson stated."
May 13, 2004 -- The Age (Australia) has reported that "postal workers in New South Wales threatened further industrial action if Australia Post management does not return to the negotiating table."
May 12, 2004 -- HR 4341 has been favorably reported to the House 40-0. Three amendments were offered, all were withdrawn. Amendment 1 La Tourette (OH) -Would restrict USPS from offering a packing service; Amendment 2 - La Tourette (OH) -Would require all international mail overseas to be carried by US carriers; and Amendment 3 - Murphy (PA) -Would eliminate revenue deficiency in regard to the Cooperative Mailing Rule. Chairman Davis and Ranking Member Waxman both agreed to keep the concerns of these withdrawn amendments in consideration. Among the bill's more significant provisions: (1)The bill preserves universal service, including six-day delivery. (2) It returns to the Department of Treasury responsibility for the retirement cost of postal employees earned through military service. (3) The bill eliminates the escrow account. (4) It modernizes the rate process, in many cases limiting increases to the CPI. (5) The bill limits the postal monopoly. (6) It defines postal products. (7) The bill mandates numerous studies, including one to articulate the scope of services implicit in universal services. A copy of the revised bill has been posted on this site. See also the report by GovExec.com and the Associated Press..
May 12, 2004 -- In a letter sent to the House Government Reform Committee, the Newspaper Association of America expressed support for the bi-partisan postal reform measure approved today by the committee. "While it's not a perfect bill in every respect, the bill is an important first step in restoring public confidence in our nation's postal system," wrote NAA President and CEO John F. Sturm.
May 12, 2004 -- The Board of Governors of the U.S. Postal Service said that it supported "the efforts of the leaders of both the House and Senate who are committed to postal reform. The Postal Service Board of Governors looks forward to working with the House and Senate in these efforts in the hope that the goal of meaningful postal reform can be achieved."
May 12, 2004 -- The Associated Press has reported that "six postal workers were paid bonuses ranging from $500 to $1,000 for their response last year to a package of ricin in a Greenville facility. The bonuses came despite what some have said was an unacceptable delay in the handling and reporting of the poison found at a Greenville mail distribution center."
May 12, 2004 -- According to the PR Newswire, "the U.S. Postal Service scored 95 percent in overnight on-time delivery for the sixth consecutive quarter. The assessment, which is measured independently by IBM Consulting Services, was announced today during the agency's Board of Governors meeting in Dallas. This Quarter II measurement -- Jan. 1 through Mar. 31 -- also cites scores of 91 percent for two-day and 88 percent for three-day delivery, according to U.S. Postal Service Vice President and Consumer Advocate Francia Smith. Residential Customer Satisfaction scores are steady at 93 percent. However, an improvement in the number of customers who rate the service as "excellent" is noted in IBM's report."
May 12, 2004 -- The Direct Marketing Association (The DMA) has voiced its support to Members of the U.S. Senate, and especially Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) and also Sen. Thomas Carper (D-DE), who today released a discussion draft of a postal reform bill. The DMA said that this measure is a positive indication that the push for postal reform legislation is continuing to build momentum in the 108th Congress.
May 12, 2004 -- A draft of the Senate bill on postal legislative reform has been posted on this web site.
May 12, 2004 -- The Belfast Telegraph (U.K.) has reported that "Postcomm launched a campaign today asking Ulster people if they are happy with Royal Mail's proposed charging- by-size pricing structure. Under the plan, it would cost more to send oversize articles by post, but Royal Mail must first win the approval of the postal regulator, Postcomm."
May 12, 2004 -- The Brisbane Courier-Mail has reported that "mail services around the country will be disrupted today after Australia Post workers walk off the job this morning. Postal workers are set to commence a 24-hour strike from 6am (AEST) in Victoria, NSW and Queensland in an action that will affect sorting and delivery operations. The key issue in the dispute is the franchising of Australia Post outlets, and a plan to split workers' jobs into part-time sorting and part-time delivery work."
May 12, 2004 -- The Mansfield News Journal has reported that "the U.S. Postal Service has stopped delivery -- if only temporarily -- on its plan to move first-class mail processing from the city's main post office to Akron. Postal Service headquarters in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday notified Mansfield Postmaster Joe Cinadr it will review the proposed changes at the Mansfield facility, according to the USPS."
May 12, 2004 -- The U.S. Postal Service has announced in the Federal Register that it was "withdrawing the amendment to the Domestic Mail Manual in the final rule published in the Federal Register on May 6, 2004 [69 FR 25321], that announced a new requirement for Package Services parcels."
May 12, 2004 -- According to Bloomberg, "Congress today will begin debate on the first of two bills intended to help the world's largest postal service, which last year delivered 202.2 billion letters and packages, compete with publicly traded rivals including FedEx Corp. and United Parcel Service Inc. Lawmakers will seek to simplify the agency's rate- setting process and loosen restrictions on international mail."
May 12, 2004 -- DeHavilland (U.K.) has reported that "the House of Commons' Trade and Industry Select Committee subjected the Postal Services Commission, Postcomm, to intense questioning on its work, on Tuesday morning. MPs were highly critical of the service standards at Royal Mail, following a recent expose in the Channel 4 programme "Dispatches", which highlighted serious shortcomings in the postal system. Representatives from Postcomm, including chair Nigel Stapleton and chief executive Martin Stanley, stressed that the problems in the postal system revealed by "Dispatches" were isolated, and being dealt with. Enforcement orders could be used if Postcomm judged that Royal Mail is not making enough effort to prevent such occurrences, the committee was told. Nonetheless, Mr Stapleton acknowledged that the programme raised questions about the integrity of the postal system and confirmed that tampering with mail remains a serious office. He also admitted that conduct of the sort shown in the programme was known about in a number of areas in London, and insisted that action had begun to be taken. Postcomm has powers to issue an enforcement order against Royal Mail if it believes that the company is not complying with its statutory duties, Mr Stapleton explained."
May 12, 2004 -- The Belfast Telegraph has reported that "Royal Mail is closing the doors permanently at 12 of the 21 post office branches on its proposed closure list - five of them in Belfast."
May 12, 2004 -- CEP News (Courier-Express-Postal) has reported that:
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May 12, 2004 -- The Daily Telegraph (Australia) has reported that "Australia Post will use non-union staff to limit the impact of a 24-hour strike in three states tomorrow. Postal workers are set to walk off the job from 6am (AEST) in Victoria, NSW and Queensland, disrupting mail services around the country. The strike, the first of its kind in more than 20 years, will affect sorting and delivery operations."
May 11, 2004 -- The PR Newswire has reported that "SmartMail Services, the leading nationwide expeditor of flat-sized mail and lightweight parcels, and QuikPak have reached an agreement to be acquired by Deutsche Post Global Mail USA (DPGM), a leader in international mail services. The deal extends the existing relationship between the companies and will offer U.S. direct mailers and merchants a single source for domestic and international shipping needs."
May 11, 2004 -- Cameroon.info has reported that "customers of the Post Office Saving Bank, now Cameroon Postal Service, CAMPOST, in Yaounde, have accused government of using their savings to buy a new aircraft for President Paul Biya and blocking their money to finance election campaigns."
May 11, 2004 -- UPS Supply Chain Solutions has announced a new service that helps companies properly manage the disposition of used and obsolete electronic goods and components. Through its new Asset Recovery and Recycling Management service, UPS Supply Chain Solutions oversees the final disposition of these electronics through repair, recycling or disposal in an environmentally safe manner, all while controlling logistics-related activities. The new service tackles the growing problem of how to manage used and obsolete electronic goods, such as computers, cell phones, printers as well as their electronic components.
May 11, 2004 -- The Washington Post has reported that "a federal grand jury in Greenbelt yesterday indicted five U.S. Postal Service workers from Maryland on charges of fraudulently receiving more than $200,000 in workers' compensation benefits. All five collected the benefits after claiming they had been injured, federal authorities said. The benefits are supposed to go to people who are disabled because of injuries. But the defendants continued working at other jobs while asserting on workers' compensation forms that they had no other income, according to the indictments."
May 11, 2004 -- The Direct Marketing Association has reported that "a loose coalition of 18 CEOs of some of the Postal Service's largest users this week launched an inside-the-Beltway print advertising campaign to encourage lawmakers to pass a postal change bill, Congress Daily A.M. reports. The ads, which will cost the group about $35,000-$40,000, focus on the 9 million jobs in industries that rely on the Postal Service. The coalition, chaired by Pitney Bowes CEO Mike Critelli, is also planning to run similar ads in Metro stations, and it may increase its advertising efforts after the Memorial Day break, Congress Daily A.M. says. Dave Nassef, Pitney Bowes federal relations vice president, said reaching lawmakers who do not serve on the government operations committees is key to passage. Those large mailers predominantly will be pushing to give the Postal Service greater pricing flexibility and enhance its ability to offer lower rates to high-volume customers, Congress Daily A.M. says."
May 11, 2004 -- Mediaweek (U.K.) has reported that:
May 11, 2004 -- Not long ago, PostCom submitted comments that were critical of the Postal Service's planned changes to its procurement policy. The law firm of Wickwire Gaven has a compilation of public comments on this proposal catalogued on its web site.
May 11, 2004 -- Dow Jones has reported that "as part of Norway Post's efforts to offer its customers a new and better express delivery product, the company has signed an agreement with TNT Express to provide its customers with worldwide delivery services, TPG NV said Tuesday. The agreement between Norway Post and TNT Express means that during May, Norway Post will begin selling Global Express services on behalf of TNT. This will improve Norway Post's offer of express delivery services to its customers, expand area coverage, reduce delivery times and increase flexibility."
May 11, 2004 -- The Wall Street Journal has given the U.S. Postal Service's a work-out, and it's provided some thoughts on its value and usability.
May 11, 2004 -- The DMBulletin (U.K.) has reported that "direct mail now makes up more than half of all items received by the average consumer in a week, according to the Direct Mail Information Service. In its latest study, the DMIS found that 6.2 items out of a possible 12 in the average weekly postbag comes from direct mail campaigns. More than half of consumers, or 56%, have purchased products advertised through a direct mailing although 40% of direct mail is left unopened. The DMIS cited value for money and convenience as the reason why most consumers are most likely to have bought through direct mail."
May 11, 2004 -- Business World (Ireland) has reported that "widespread disruption could erupt when sub-post office owners begin a ballot today on industrial action. The IPU has approximately 1,500 members who work in sub-post offices. If action is approved these offices will not open out of working hours for the sorting of mail."
May 11, 2004 -- The Jordan Times has reported that "the Executive Privatisation Commission (EPC) documented its 2003 achievements in a report that highlighted the successful privatisation of the Arab Potash Company and the Royal Jordanian Air Academy. According to the report, preparations are under way for the privatisation of other projects in the sectors of electricity and postal services besides projects of the former supply ministry."
May 11, 2004 -- Dow Jones has reported that "DHL Worldwide Express Inc. expects its China business to maintain strong double-digit growth rates this year that are comparable to previous years, top executives at the global express and logistics group said Monday. Uwe Doerken, DHL chief executive, said the firm's China business, which includes express parcel, air, ocean and logistics solutions services, has been growing around 30% to 50% in the past few years, depending on the business unit and the month, and that this year should be no different."
May 11, 2004 -- The Jakarta Post (Indonesia) has noted that:
May 10, 2004 -- The Scotsman (U.K.) has reported that "the Royal Mail’s chairman said today the business was on course to be successful and make a profit despite criticism of letters being lost in the post and allegations of theft by staff. Allan Leighton told the annual conference of the National Federation of Sub Postmasters that the move into banking was key to the success of the organisation. The Royal Mail had been running out of products to sell but was now forming joint ventures with banks and had made a big success of selling foreign currency."
May 10, 2004 -- According to the Mansfield News Journal, "the public eye will be on local postal service after June 12, the day first-class mail processing will end in Mansfield and be handled in Akron. But the U.S. Postal Service says it will keep tabs on itself to ensure it can maintain its own delivery standards -- including overnight local first-class delivery -- for the city and the surrounding 62 communities served by the Mansfield facility."
May 10, 2004 --The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin is available online.
May 10, 2004 -- The Mail&Jobs Coalition (of which PostCom, DMA, Mail Fulfillment & Service Association, the Envelope Manufacturers Association, Printing Industries of America, American Forest & Paper Association, and International Paper are members) has reported that "for some time we have been attempting to determine landfill capacity in the U.S., a figure which must be known to offset claims that mail is somehow "clogging" the nation's landfills. In March there was a major conference to discuss solid waste, and one of the presenters in that convention had actual tonnage figures. We can now say with capacity information from a reliable and reputable third party source that nope, a looming national landfill crisis does not exist. We have at least 20 years of landfill nationwide capacity -- and if only MSW goes into landfills, as many people think, we're good for 40 years. These numbers assume that no additional landfills are built, an assumption which is unrealistic."
May 10, 2004 -- NineMSN has reported that "the union representing Australia Post workers has flagged more industrial action following a planned 24-hour stoppage on Thursday. Australia Post workers, members of the Communications Electrical and Plumbing Union (CEPU), will stop work in NSW, ACT, Victoria and Queensland over a pay rise dispute."
May 9, 2004 -- The New Orleans Times Picayune has reported that "if you've been looking for your town of Pearl River water and sewage bill, you're not alone. Pearl River Postmaster Bill Read reports that the bills were not mailed timely, due to a Postal Service systems failure."
May 9, 2004 -- According to the Mansfield News Journal, "the public wasn't informed of U.S. Postal Service plans to consolidate first-class mail processing. Mansfield will lose jobs, which is not easy news to break. But it couldn't have been handled much worse. No matter how it all turns out, the transfer of first-class mail processing from Mansfield to Akron was handled badly." This is why Congress SHOULD have codified some means by which the Postal Service could take steps that otherwise seem justified. If you leave management to itself, it'll screw things up every time.
May 9, 2004 -- The Associated Press has reported that "international editors and publishers warned Friday that nontraditional communications — such as cell phone text messages — are rapidly outflanking radio, television, and print media because of their immediacy and proximity to the public. In a two-day meeting to stimulate newspaper readership among the young, publishers from the Los Angeles Times, USA Today and the New York Post exchanged views with European media leaders on shrinking newspaper circulation and the European and American media scene."
May 9, 2004 -- In a move expected to stir controversy, the government is considering using public funds to maintain post-office networks in unprofitable rural areas after Japan's postal services are privatized, according to government plans, Kyodo News agency reported.
May 9, 2004 -- The Telegraph (U.K.) has reported that:
May 8, 2004 -- According to The Scotsman (U.K.), "Royal Mail chief executive Adam Crozier put his job on the line yesterday as he put himself in direct control of the group’s underperforming letters division."
May 8, 2004 -- The Lexington Herald Leader has reported that "the top executive of a company that operates overnight package delivery flights near here says he hopes another air carrier opts to move similar operations to Wilmington. The consolidation would make sense because the air freight hub near Wilmington run by ABX Air Inc. can handle more packages than DHL's operations at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, said Joseph C. Hete, ABX's president and chief executive."
May 8, 2004 -- The Las Vegas Business Press has reported that "United Parcel Service has seen its profitability rise dramatically in the year since rebranding 3,300 postal and business service retailer Mail Boxes Etc. (MBE) nationwide into UPS Stores, but the same is not true for some outlets, even with the increased shipping volumes. Some UPS Stores are struggling with lower margins brought on by the standardization of lower shipping rates across the board mandated by parent company UPS in the conversion without accounting for the wide discrepancy in rents, insurance rates, and other costs that have to be borne by franchise owners."
May 8, 2004 -- The Mansfield News Journal has reported that "the U.S. Postal Service has signed and sealed its plan to move first-class mail processing out of the city's main post office and into Akron. But local government and union officials are questioning -- and hoping to impede -- its ability to deliver."
May 8, 2004 -- The Asahi Shimbun has reported that "in a bid to keep pace with Western private-sector rivals such as DHL International Ltd. and FedEx Corp., Japan Post on Monday will launch a faster express mail service to Shanghai from selected post offices in Tokyo and Osaka. Working with its Chinese counterpart, Japan Post will get letters and parcels to the Chinese port city as much as 24 hours faster than its ordinary express mail service."
May 8, 2004 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "Deutsche Post World Net plans a multi-billion dollar logistics spending spree beginning next month using the proceeds from the stock offering of its banking unit. Deutsche Post said it will use the expected 3 billion euros ($3.6 billion) in proceeds, the largest in Germany in several years, to improve the group's finances and fund investments, mostly in logistics and mail operations abroad. Deutsche Post Chief Executive Klaus Zumwinkel said the company's goal is to become the number one logistics company in the world in 2005."
May 7, 2004 -- In PostCom Bulletin 21-04, you can find detailed information about the following:
There's this...and more...MUCH MORE in the next issue of the PostCom Bulletin. If mail is a part of the way you do business, you'd be nuts not to subscribe to the PostCom Bulletin. Do yourself a favor. Find out how to become a member of the Association for Postal Commerce and a regular recipient of its world renown postal newsletter. You should know what you're missing.
May 7, 2004 -- DM News postal columnist, Cary Baer, has mused: "would the USPS be better served by relocating to a nearby state? Sen. Robert Byrd, D-WV, has likely obtained more than his share of pork for his state in his long career. It’s unlikely that he’d turn down a postal headquarters." It's time for the Postal Service to get its share.
May 7, 2004 -- The BBC (U.K.) has reported that "Royal Mail chief executive Adam Crozier is to take on the day-to-day running of the group's letters business. The move is part of a shake-up of the postal group following widespread criticism of its deliveries service, including claims of theft by staff. Executive deputy chairman Elmar Toime will concentrate on the performance of the Royal Mail's parcels business."
May 7, 2004 -- ABCNewsOnline has reported that "Australia Post workers in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland will go on strike next Thursday for 24 hours. The workers' union says they are not happy with Australia Post's proposed enterprise bargaining agreement (EBA). The agreement includes an 8 per cent pay rise and the franchising of many Australia Post outlets."
May 7, 2004 -- DM News has reported that "the direct marketing industry does not have enough professionalism, Richard Viguerie, the right-wing guru of direct mail solicitation in the 1970s and '80s, said yesterday at the Direct Marketing Association of Washington's Annual Conference & Expo."
May 7, 2004 -- And for all you propellerheads....According to the Associated Press, "all across the concrete byways of this interstate nation, long-haul truckers are going the extra miles - but it isn't necessarily for heaping plates of hearty fare or hot showers. It's Wi-Fi they're wanting. Wireless Internet is fast becoming as vital a communications tool for drivers as CB radio, truckers say, giving them a way to stay in closer touch with home and to entertain themselves."
May 7, 2004 -- Business Mailers Review has reported that:
May 7, 2004 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that:
May 6, 2004 -- DM News has reported:
May 6, 2004 -- AdWeek has reported that "the National Postal Forum has tapped Draft to create a campaign to boost attendance at this September's educational event and trade show in Washington, D.C., according to the agency. Draft's Chicago office will handle creative for direct mail, print and some online work for the event, which targets mail professionals. Draft also handles work for the U.S. Postal Service, which is the largest participant in the Forum. 'We are really looking forward to working with the National Postal Forum on this project,' said Yvonne Furth, president and chief operating officer of Draft Chicago, in a statement. 'We have been involved with this great event through our client, United States Postal Service, but this will be the first time that we have partnered with the Forum itself to create a top-notch campaign.'"
May 6, 2004 -- HopeStar has reported that "the U. S. Department of Defense and U. S. Postal Service note that while modern communications provide the capability to connect almost anywhere in the world instantly, combat theater mail service and communications, often, are markedly different. The U.S. Postal Service and the Military Postal Service Agency process about two million pounds of mail a week for troops in Iraq and Afghanistan."
May 6, 2004 -- The Associated Press has noted that "letter carriers in more than 10,000 cities and towns will collect food donations along with the regular mail this Saturday in their annual food drive to help the nation's needy. The National Association of Letter Carriers said its 12th annual "Stamp Out Hunger" food drive will include all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, with donations going to local food banks and pantries."
May 6, 2004 -- The U.S. Postal Service has published a notice in the Federal Register that it is "amending the information published in the Federal Register on July 14, 1998 [63 FR 37946], that announced new requirements for Package Services parcels eligible for the barcode discount. The barcode discount was extended to Standard Mail[reg] machinable parcels in the Federal Register on December 15, 2000 [65 FR 78537] that announced the R2000-1 rate case. The standards implementing the new requirements were subsequently published in Postal Bulletin 22122 (2-19-04, pages 6-8). The Postal Bulletin notice allowed for the optional use of the human-readable presentation of the ZIP Code TM. This final rule modifies the standards to now require mailers to include the human-readable equivalent of the ZIP Code with all barcodes. This rule will be effective May 6, 2004. Any comments should be submitted on or before May 20, 2004.
May 6, 2004 -- Bloomberg has reported that "German Economics and Labor Minister Wolfgang Clement said he opposes a European Union demand to amend a law protecting Deutsche Post AG's monopoly on some services. Companies including Federal Express Europe Inc. and United Parcel Deutschland Inc. & Co. say the mail carrier's letter monopoly, protected through 2007, infringes EU competition rules. Mario Monti, the trade bloc's competition commissioner, wants a legal amendment, easing Deutsche Post's domination of so-called mail preparation activities, such as collecting and sorting. Asked in an interview in Berlin if he plans to change the law, Clement replied: 'No, why should I?'' Deutsche Post 'needs a clear framework on which it can plan to conduct business through 2007 and such activities are part of that,'' he said."
May 6, 2004 -- In an opinion piece published in The Hill, Lexington Institute fellow Sam Ryan noted that "Congress is expected shortly to attempt to save the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) from an impending financial meltdown. Today, the Postal Service is in deep financial trouble. It is hemorrhaging money, with long-term projections bordering on catastrophic. The public has little idea of how bad the situation really is, largely due to the murkiness of USPS accounting. Unless postal executives and regulators have a clear picture of what is actually going on, the chances of effective reform are bleak and costs will continue to spin out of control."
May 6, 2004 -- The DM Bulletin (U.K.) has reported that "Royal Mail is cutting its advertising budget by more than 40% to £12m and has postponed marketing activity as part of a major cost-cutting exercise. The drastic reduction in spend is part of Royal Mail’s bid to reach profitability and follows the culling of up to half of its 360-strong marketing department at the end of last year."
May 6, 2004 -- According to Hoovers, "Europe's commodity transport market is expected to grow by almost 25 percent in 2005-2010, to some 2,045 billion kilometre tonnes. Road transport is expected to rise by 37 percent, growing by an annual rate of over 6 percent in the coming years. Next year, the market is expected to be worth some 220 billion euro."
May 6, 2004 -- The Associated Press has reported that "Germany's postal service, Deutsche Post, will start selling shares in its Postbank banking business in June, its chief executive said Thursday. CEO Klaus Zumwinkel said the company would begin to list 50 percent of its equity capital, minus one share, on June 21." See also Reuters.
May 6, 2004 -- The M2 Presswire has reported that "the Ministry of Transport and Communications has today submitted on a public consultation a proposal for a full liberalisation of the postal market in Norway as of 1 January 2007."
May 6, 2004 -- The Businesswire has carried a story that "DHL and Merck Sharp & Dohme have signed an agreement that commits them to work together to expand access to critically-needed HIV medicines throughout sub-Saharan Africa, one of the regions hardest hit by the HIV/AIDS epidemic."
May 6, 2004 -- Businessline has reported that "Federal Express Corporation (FedEx) has launched products targeting two rapidly growing niche markets in India - the gems and jewellery exports and the express service for university students. FedEx has come out with the overnight letter, an express service for students who are applying for admission in foreign universities, a segment that has been growing over the past few years. Mr Ahluwalia said that the envelopes are made from special recycled paper. The packaging is free of cost, he said. Though the majority of the mail goes to the US, the other key areas are France, the UK, Australia and New Zealand."
May 6, 2004 -- According to Federal Computer Week, "the U.S. Postal Service has dropped an online bill payment service that it had offered through CheckFree Corp. until last week. Without explanation, USPS officials said they would end the service May 1. Customers were told they could continue paying their bills online through CheckFree's secure WebPay service for the same fee and level of service. USPS officials were unavailable for comment."
May 6, 2004 -- Business Times has reported that "Singapore Post's core business stayed resilient despite the tough economic conditions it faced in its financial year ended March 31. This resulted in operating revenue dipping a marginal 1.3 per cent to $368.2 million and net profit falling just 4 per cent to $104.3 million."
May 6, 2004 -- According to the Asahi Shimbun, "it is said that neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow stops mail from being delivered. But bureaucracy, entrenched habits and bad morale can sure get in the way."
May 5, 2004 -- CEP News (Courier-Express-Postal) has reported that:
May 5, 2004 -- The Kansas City Business Journal has reported that "the USPS turned a $700 million loss in 2002 into a $3.9 billion profit. Revenue increased 3 percent to $68.8 billion. But no one is celebrating. At the two most postal-reliant Kansas City companies -- Hallmark Cards Inc. and DST Systems Inc. -- top executives are pushing for the first postal reform in 34 years. Their mission: a structure that allows the USPS to operate its monopoly while keeping rates stable. The irreversible trend of dropping mail volumes calls for fewer employees, fewer post offices and more outsourcing if the Postal Service wants to act like a real company, reformers said."
May 5, 2004 -- As GovExec.com has noted, "the House Government Reform Committee began circulating a draft Monday night of the postal overhaul bill it will mark up Thursday, but some commercial mailers say the bill is too weak to save the beleaguered Postal Service. 'This is a horrible, horrible disappointment,' said Association for Postal Commerce President Gene Del Polito, who represents large commercial mailers. 'We have made clear there are two things that have to be done to reform the Postal Service: Give them new methods for cost determination and give them the authority to withdraw excess costs and needless services, such as facility consolidation,' he said. 'There are no such provisions in the draft at all.' Del Polito said one provision in the draft to restrict worksharing agreements would actually drive up postal costs, although it is favored by postal worker unions and postal competitors. 'I see a lot of compromises built in to assuage the concerns of competitors or unions, but I haven't seen anything to suggest the postal service is going to be any better off under this bill,' he said."
May 5, 2004 -- The Board of Governors of the U.S. Postal Service will conduct its monthly meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday, May 11-12, at the Fairmont Hotel, 1717 N. Akard Street, Dallas, Texas.
May 5, 2004 -- The Federal Times has reported that "a White House commission on postal reform last July said Congress should give the Postal Service power to set rates within limits set by a regulatory commission, which would replace the Postal Rate Commission. The current process is widely criticized for taking as long as 18 months to raise rates. The bill also would let the Postal Service keep profits. A House staffer said it is uncertain when the bill will be introduced by its sponsors — led by Reps. John McHugh, R-N.Y., Henry Waxman, D-Calif., Tom Davis, R-Va., and Danny Davis, D-Ill. — but it will be soon: The committee plans to mark up the bill during the week of May 10."
May 5, 2004 -- The Royal Mail is under fire again after a survey found that thousands of letters get delivered to the wrong address every month. As the company struggles to climb out of its financial pit, BBC News Online looks back on the Royal Mail's troubled times.
May 5, 2004 -- According to Handelsblatt, "Deutsche Post, the German state postal service operator, is reported to have bowed to customer demand, and is said therefore to be planning up to 1,500 new branches in residential areas with more than 2,000 inhabitants. It will limit the reduction of mailboxes to 108,000 units, and more customer-friendly opening hours are envisaged. The company had been facing criticism over plans for extensive reductions in the number of mailboxes and limits to be placed on services provided in sparsely populated areas. It still does not rule out closures of some post offices, but has agreed to hold talks with local authorities prior to any cuts."
May 5, 2004 -- The Dayton Daily News has reported that the "Smithsonian's National Postal Museum has decided to save for sale to collectors millions of never issued revenue stamps from the 1950s through 1970s that it planned to destroy. The museum had planned to sell only a portion of its 7.8 million stamp hoard to raise funds to acquire U.S. postage stamps it doesn't own. In part because the museum feared a disruption of the revenue stamp market, it would have destroyed most of the stamps. Instead, the Washington museum now plans to spare 6.3 million stamps, selling them to stamp dealers and auction houses which in turn will make them available to the public, said Ted Wilson, the museum's registrar and manager of the revenue stamp project. Some stamps will be donated to other museums, he said."
May 5, 2004 -- The Daily Star (Bangladesh) has reported that Bengali "postal services are falling into disarray."
May 5, 2004 -- The Mirror (U.K.) has reported that "poorly trained staff were yesterday blamed for millions of letters delivered to the wrong address every year. Unions demanded Royal Mail ends its "excessive" use of agency staff. The Daily Mirror exclusively revealed last week how an investigation by Postwatch showed 14.4million items of mail were lost last year. About 60 per cent were simply put through the wrong letterbox."
May 5, 2004 -- DM News has reported that those attending the DMA Annual Catalog Conference were told:
May 5, 2004 -- According to Traffic World, "with a strong and unexpected boost from fast-growing international business, UPS reported a $759 million net profit in the first quarter, a 24 percent gain from last year. Highlighting the results were a year-over-year doubling of UPS' international segment operating profit to $269 million. UPS' overall first quarter revenue increased 11.3 percent from a year ago to $8.92 billion. On the domestic side, the express operator's average daily U.S. ground and air volume increased by 5 percent, or 600,000 packages."
May 4, 2004 -- DM News has reported that "most consumers surveyed about the U.S. Postal Service's Delivery Point Packaging initiative, which would simultaneously sort letters and flats into delivery order then bundle them into individual delivery packages, prefer no change to the way their mail is packaged, according to results released last month."
May 4, 2004 -- As DM News has noted, "there’s a new group whose mission is to fill the world with good news to offset the bad out there. The Mail & Jobs Coalition “believes that America is best served by a strong and growing mail system, a system [that] today creates jobs in every town, city, district and state nationwide.” And it spreads that message through its Web site, www.mailandjobs.com."
May 4, 2004 -- DM News has reported that "new research conducted for the U.S. Postal Service shows that a business doubles its chances of making an online sale by mailing a catalog."
May 4, 2004 -- The House Committee on Government Reform has postponed its markup of postal reform legislation to an as of yet undetermined date.
May 4, 2004 -- According to PostCom President Gene Del Polito, if the language incorporated by the House Committee on Government Reform retains the provision limiting worksharing discounts without also rectifying the cost anomalies that plague postal ratemaking, as far as business mailers are concerned, legislative reform will remain nothing more than a fond dream.
May 4, 2004 -- Agenzia Giornalistica Italia has reported that "Poste Italiane, the Italian Mail company, quadruplicated their net profits in 2003."
May 4, 2004 -- According to the Daily Post (U.K.), "an adventure holiday firm claims it has lost thousands of pounds of potential business because of Royal Mail's failure to deliver its post."
May 4, 2004 -- MegaStar (U.K.) has reported that "if you got any mail this morning then count yourself lucky, as reports reveal more than 14m items of post are lost every year. By 'lost' we mean that 60 per cent were put through the wrong letterbox, revealed the postal services consumer group, Postwatch."
May 4, 2004 -- A "discussion draft" of a new House bill on postal reform has been posted on this site.
May 4, 2004 -- The Journal of Commerce is conducting an online poll as to whether the U.S. Postal Service should be privatized.
May 4, 2004 -- Business Day has reported that "Deutsche Post, the semi-privatised German postal authority, is not planning to scale down the planned flotation of its banking unit Postbank, contrary to reports, banking sources said on Tuesday. Deutsche Post was sticking to its plans to list a 49-percent stake in Postbank on the stock exchange, the sources said."
May 4, 2004 -- DM News has reported that "an East Haven, CT, woman who is a postal clerk in Stamford, CT, has been charged with identity theft, according to the Associated Press. Gail Worthington was arrested last week, accused of using information obtained at work to get credit cards in other people's names, according to the report. Worthington is charged with identity theft, illegal use of a credit card and third-degree larceny after a joint investigation by U.S. Postal Service inspectors and East Haven police, the report said."
May 4, 2004 -- According to the Washington Post, "between 2001 and 2003, 34,584 mailboxes -- or collection boxes, as they are officially called -- were removed across the country. The nationwide total dropped from 324,970 to 290,386. In the District and the Maryland suburbs, 109 mailboxes were removed over two years. Statistics were unavailable for Virginia. What's going on? U.S. Postal Service spokeswoman Monica Suraci said the main reason collection boxes get harvested is cost. Traffic patterns change, usage changes and suddenly it's no longer cost-efficient for carriers to stop and unlock a possibly empty box. The threshold for a collection box to remain viable is an average of 25 pieces of mail a day."
May 4, 2004 -- Bloomberg has reported that "Royal Mail Group Plc, the U.K.'s state- owned postal operator, loses 14.5 million letters a year, with most of those delivered to the wrong address, Britain's postal consumer watchdog said, citing a survey." See also The Herald.
May 4, 2004 -- Dow Jones has reported that "Singapore Post Ltd. has said full-year net profit fell slightly, hurt by poor economic conditions at the start of the financial year. The postal services company reported net profit of S$104.3 million for the year ended March, down 4% from S$108.7 million the previous year. Revenue for the year fell 1.3% to S$368.2 million as mail volume slipped and demand for retail services weakened during the SARS outbreak from March to May 2003, and during the U.S.-led war in Iraq, Singapore Post said."
May 4, 2004 -- The Kyodo newswire has reported that "Japanese posts minister Taro Aso on Monday held talks with a Deutsche Post AG board member in Germany to learn more about the German postal system before compiling the government's draft this fall for privatizing Japan Post in 2007."
May 4, 2004 -- ComputerWeekly has reported that "delivery firm UPS is planning to roll out to the UK the fourth generation of its Diad (delivery information access device), which, it said, offers improved accuracy and flexibility. UPS is piloting the Diad 4, which can be used by the company's delivery workers to record signatures and delivery times when they drop off packages. Providing the pilot is successful, UPS plans a company-wide roll-out later this year. The latest device, developed by Symbol Technologies, supports wireless standard Bluetooth. It also includes built-in global positioning by satellite and infrared and can be supplied with a GPRS or CDMA 1X radio."
May 3, 2004 -- The Associated Press has reported that "Marvin Runyon, a one-time Ford assembly line worker who brought a repuation for tightfisted corporate policies to his job as postmaster general in the mid-1990s, died Monday. He was 79."
May 3, 2004 -- UPS and Yahoo! Inc. have announced the integration of a suite of online UPS shipping tools into Yahoo! Small Business, a leading provider of services enabling small businesses to be successful online. The tools, now available to Yahoo! Small Business’ more than 30,000 merchants, provide easy access to UPS services that allow them to process and ship orders in a more efficient and cost-effective manner, while improving customer satisfaction by displaying key shipment information at check out.
May 3, 2004 -- According to Inman News, "the U.S. Postal Service, whose services have been called "snail mail" ever since the Internet came along, generally doesn't ignite visions of high-tech innovation. But the Postal Service is trying to change its image in a big way with the Electronic Postmark, which creates a secure and legally binding time-stamped seal on documents that can be transferred electronically. The real estate and mortgage sectors, in which hundreds of papers are signed and passed back and forth in a single transaction, present dozens of opportunities for the Electronic Postmark to be used."
May 3, 2004 -- Global Business Services, Inc.'s subsidiary, Postal Connections of America (PCA), a rapidly growing network of franchise postal, business and communication services stores, reports more than doubling its franchise retail network with 67 stores sold or open compared to 29 in April 2003--a 131% increase. PCA franchise stores provide shipping, packaging, copying, mail receiving and other services needed by small office/home office businesses and busy consumers offering them convenience and an alternative to the Post Office.
May 3, 2004 -- As the Washington Post has noted, "Capitol Hill listens to coalitions."
May 3, 2004 -- According to R.R. Donnelley's Linda Carlisle writing in Catalog Age, "Catalogers are extremely detail-oriented when it comes to analyzing customer demographics, sourcing product, developing eye-catching layouts, writing persuasive copy, and selecting the most appropriate paper on which to print the catalog. But many mailers fail to pay as close attention to planning how to get their catalog into buyers' hands. Surprisingly enough, each year many of America's major mailers let millions of dollars slip through their fingers without even knowing that the money was within their grasp. Their only oversight? Failing to understand the full array of savings made available to mailers by the U.S. Postal Service and treating their mail distribution as a "byproduct" of print production."
May 3, 2004 -- Catalog Age has reported that "heightened paper demand has led at least three major North American mills to announce price hikes."
May 3, 2004 -- According to Sam Ryan of the Lexington Institute, "from any management perspective, the Postal Service's sports sponsorships have been an unnecessary drain, if not a disaster - at least for stamp buyers. Besides cycling, USPS has magnanimously bestowed your postage dollars on other professional teams as well, including the impoverished New York Yankees and New York Giants."
May 2, 2004 -- According to the Evening Standard (U.K.), "thousands of letters are this weekend dropping through the letterboxes of postal workers. Letters from the boss. And they do not make comfortable reading. He is wounded by last week's devastatingly critical Despatches documentary on Channel 4 and lacerated by Press criticism of declining standards. Now Royal Mail chairman Allan Leighton has written to all 200,000 staff in a desperate attempt to keep his modernisation programme on track. He has to keep his huge workforce behind him as he attempts to drive through what he describes as 'probably the biggest transition in British industry for 20 years'."
May 2, 2004 -- Reuters has reported that the British" government has denied a newspaper report that suggests the Royal Mail postal service could be privatised by 2005." See also The Scotsman (U.K.)
May 2, 2004 -- According to The Telegraph (U.K.), "Adam Crozier, the chief executive of the Royal Mail, has started a board-level review of staff recruitment and training policies following damaging revelations broadcast in a television documentary last week. An undercover reporter filmed mail left unsorted while workers were skiving, stealing from and dumping letters. It also showed untrained temporary staff being sent out on delivery and failing to complete their rounds."
May 2, 2004 -- According to the Associated Press, "the rivalry between UPS and FedEx is not as vocal as those in other industries - neither likes to utter the other's name and both insist they are focused on themselves - but it is equally intense. Besides the very different colors of their trucks, the two have chosen contrasting operational structures, labor strategies and business opportunities."
May 2, 2004 -- Eircom.net has reported that "postal workers have criticised the Irish Congress of Trades Unions for its failure to secure trade union recognition rights in the current Sustaining Partnership social partnership' deal. At the Communications Workers' Union conference in Galway, Dublin postal clerks' branch wanted the union to oppose any future agreements which fails to deliver collective bargain ingnegotiating rights. Last year the postal and telecoms union opposed the Sustaining Progress deal partly on the basis that it did not provide for statutory recognition and also because its pay terms were considered inadequate. The CWU has been trying to get negotiating rights in a range of smaller call-centre, courier and parcels companies. The union's tough stance on recognition will be a further complication when the pay talks resume this month."
May 2, 2004 -- The Sunday Business Post (Ireland) has reported that "An Post is to sell its loss-making parcel and light freight delivery subsidiary, SDS, as the semi-state company struggles to return to profitability by 2006."
May 2, 2004 -- Reuters has reported that "some of Britain's top investment banks have approached the government over a possible privatization of the Royal Mail postal service within the next year to 18 months."
May 2, 2004 -- Kentucky.com has reported that "Ford is losing it's ZIP code. The post office in the tiny community near Winchester shut down Friday. Judy Warner, who was Ford's postmaster said 'that means we will even lose our own ZIP code, 40320. Now all mail will have the Winchester ZIP code.'" See the Post-Crescent too. Now you know why Congress gets ticked when the USPS makes noises about closing offices. The Postal Service offers affected communities no alternative to losing their identity. Dumb. Isn't it?
May 2, 2004 -- According to Ghanaweb, "the world is variously described as a global village, probably in terms of politics and economics. However when it comes to communications, it can be described as global hamlet where 'Azalu' could stand at the town centre and relay his morning breaking news to the cottage folks. As distance between one communication point and another becomes reduced and close by the day, so must agents carrying the messages improve their services so as to move with the time."
May 1, 2004 -- The Federal Times has reported that "the U.S. Postal Service has petitioned a federal court to dismiss a class-action lawsuit that accuses postal officials of endangering workers' lives by keeping an anthrax-contaminated facility open. Lawyers for the Postal Service April 29 asked the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to dismiss the $100 million suit, saying that the court has no jurisdiction over the complaint."
May 1, 2004 -- Online.ie has reported that "the Irish Postmaster's Union says it fears the future of the Post Office network is being undermined by An Post and the State. It says the State is refusing to recognise the social dimension of the Post Office Service and claims the pattern of Post Offices passing from one generation to another is ceasing."
May 1, 2004 -- CRM Buyer has reported that "as more people choose to pay bills online rather than shelling out for stamps and envelopes, a quiet battle is taking place behind the scenes: Retail banks are squaring off against companies that bill consumers directly, such as credit-card firms and utility companies. This skirmish for consumer attention is not simply a matter of pride for banks that want to boast about online bill-pay capabilities and user adoption. As it turns out, the most significant trait of online bill payers is loyalty, leading banks to dangle the carrot of 'free services' as often as possible."