Postal News from August 2004
August 31, 2004 -- The Cambridge News (U.K.) has reported that "several readers have branded the postal service "awful" and "third class" since the single delivery was introduced in the CB1 to CB5 codes in May. Deliveries have been reported late in the afternoon and some letters took up to a week to arrive."
August 31, 2004 -- From the MarketWire: "Firstlogic, Inc., a global provider of commercial mail and information quality software solutions, today announced the general release of the firm's Mover I.D. option to support the NCOALink program from the United States Postal Service (USPS®). The software solution began shipping to Firstlogic's customers on August 17th in order to support their efforts in obtaining certification to gain NCOALink provider or end-user status."
Augusts 31, 2004 -- The Financial Times (U.K.) has reported that:
August 31, 2004 -- The Raw Story (billed as the liberal alternative to Drudge) has reported that "Rep. Ed Schrock, a two-term Republican congressman from Virginia, announced that he would resign abruptly today, citing unspecified allegations. Advertisement Those allegations were that he was gay, and that several voicemail messages he left on a phone sex service came into the possession of gay activists, who posted one on their blog. Schrock said only: “In recent weeks, allegations have surfaced that have called into question my ability to represent the citizens of Virginia’s Second Congressional District.” He would not elaborate on the allegations."
August 31, 2004 -- The New York Times has reported that "a sophisticated imaging machine contaminated a Midtown Manhattan post office with low-level radiation on Sunday and yesterday, exposing a handful of people, forcing the closing of surrounding streets and disrupting mail delivery, city and postal officials said yesterday. The source of the radiation was a radiography camera, a device somewhat like an X-ray machine, that a contractor was using to find out what was behind walls and ceilings as part of a renovation in the building, which houses the Franklin D. Roosevelt Station on Third Avenue near 55th Street." The facility has been declared "safe."
August 31, 2004 -- The Washington Times has reported that "Amtrak plans to stop carrying mail in October as it refocuses on its core business of transporting passengers."
August 31, 2004 -- The Scotsman (U.K.) has reported that "Post Office chiefs have come under fire over their plans to close local branches in the city during a heated public meeting." See also the Evening Standard.
August 31, 2004 -- The BBC has asked: "Is the Royal Mail delivering?" Check out also the BBC's question and answer piece on Royal Mail. See also the BBC piece reporting that "Postal union chiefs in Scotland have criticised the Royal Mail over budget cuts after it failed to hit all 15 of its performance targets." Isn't that a case of the pot calling the kettle black?
August 31, 2004 -- For the latest on "who's on first" over at the Postal Service, check out the latest Federal Register notice on the USPS' top organizational structure.
August 31, 2004 -- The Postal Rate Commission has denied the request by PostCom and others to dismiss the Postal Service's request for a repositionable notes experiment.
August 31, 2004 -- KeralaNext (India) has reported that "Postal dept plans to pick letters at doorstep in the state. The postman will knock the doors of customers in the state, if they have bulk letters to post, with just a telephone call."
August 31, 2004 -- According to Bloomberg, "Most lawmakers on a Japanese ruling party committee that met for the first tome today to discuss a plan to sell off state-run postal services in 2007 said they were opposed to the proposed privatization."
August 31, 2004 -- AMEInfo has reported that "Emirates Post's daily mail volumes break all-time summer record with 1.11 million pieces handled on a single day."
August 31, 2004 -- Join Firstlogic and Lorton Data for a special Web seminar on Tuesday, September 7 at 11:30 a.m. Eastern time (10:30 a.m. Central) to learn how you can access services such as move update via your current Firstlogic solutions. We'll walk you step-by-step through the entire process from file preparation to integrating the changes back into your database. You will also hear from experts at Lorton Data on how they leverage the latest in address cleansing tools, as well as other services, to ensure your mailings receive the responses you need. Visit our Web site at www.firstlogic.com/lorton for more information or to register.
August 30, 2004 -- Responding to a videotaped message from Democratic vice presidential candidate John Edwards, the APWU 17th Biennial Convention closed its proceedings Thursday with a rousing endorsement of the Kerry-Edwards ticket. “We know that the President’s Commission on the Postal Service has tried to reduce your pay, your health-care benefits, and your retirement,” Edwards said. “John Kerry and I will reject these measures, and stand up for your collective bargaining rights and your hard-won no-layoff status.” Following Edwards’ remarks, delegates approved a formal endorsement presented by Assistant Legislative Director Myke Reid. The resolution outlined the dramatic policy differences between Bush-Cheney and Kerry- Edwards. In addition to spotlighting the current administration’s record on postal issues, the APWU endorsement noted the candidates’ positions on other issues important to working families, including taxes, health care and prescription-drug costs, and workplace safety.
August 30, 2004 -- The Daily News (Sri Lanka) has reported that "Sri Lanka and the Middle East are to launch a new postal service for the benefit of Sri Lankan expatriates serving in the Gulf Region. An agreement to establish postal links between the Department of Posts and Telecommunications and the United Arab Emirates Postal Services was signed in Colombo recently. This will help to ease the difficulties faced by Sri Lankans living in the UAE in sending and receiving mail from Sri Lanka and the Emirates."
August 30, 2004 -- Business World (Ireland) has reported that "State postal service An Post is failing consistently to meet targets for next-day deliveries, according to a new study by communications regulator ComReg. The study revealed that only 70pc of letters sent in the first half of the year arrived at their destination the next day, compared with a target of 94pc. An Post is also failing to meet the target set by regulators for delivery within three working days."
August 30, 2004 -- SABC News (South Africa) has reported that "Defying all predictions the SA Post Office (SAPO) made a trading profit of R27 million this year. This was remarkable not only because it was a turnaround from losses of hundreds of millions of rands in the last few years, but also because postal services internationally were in decline. However, although trading operations turned a profit, overall the group incurred a net loss of R74.7 million. This was due to the cost of post-retirement medical benefits." See also Business Day.
August 29, 2004 -- The Sunday Business Post (Ireland) has reported that "Aer Lingus may axe its postal service and courier business as part of its low-fares strategy's faster turnaround, The Sunday Business Post has learned. A spokeswoman for the airline said the postal and courier service was ``currently under review''. Such a move would have serious implications for An Post's international deliveries, although the postal service has received no notification by Aer Lingus of a review of the service.
August 29, 2004 -- The Daily Yomiuri has reported that "Members of the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy held heated discussions in their latest meeting over the management structure of Japan Post when it is privatized in 2007."
August 29, 2004 -- Bloomberg has reported that "Deutsche Post AG, Europe's largest postal service, plans to make an offer for a 25 percent stake in Denmark's national post office, Focus magazine said, without saying where it got the information."
August 28, 2004 -- NZZ Online has reported that "The Swiss Post Office has warned that it faces an uncertain future, even though it has just published the best half-year results in its history. The state-run giant says e-mail and increasing competition are taking their toll on the country’s postal services."
August 28, 2004 -- Yahoo! News has reported that "After seven months of negotiations, workers in Kansas City, Missouri and Ft. Smith, Arkansas ratified agreements with Cintas, the nations' largest uniform company. Members of UNITE HERE in Ft. Smith and Kansas City sew and distribute uniforms under the Brookfield label and distribute the US Uniforms brand to employees of the United States Postal Service."
August 28, 2004 -- The Associated Press has reported that "Repeat testing for anthrax is unnecessary in facilities decontaminated following the 2001 anthrax attacks, a new analysis said Friday. The report came from a group of federal health, safety and security agencies working with the Postal Service."
August 28, 2004 -- PostCom would like to welcome its newest member: Northwestern Mutual, who will be represented by Conrad York Director, Marketing. We would like to acknowledge the support and effort by Joe Schick of Quad Graphics in introducing Northwestern Mutual to PostCom.
August 27, 2004 -- The U.S. Postal Service has filed with the Postal Rate Commission its report on the status of its experience with the experimental parcel return service (Docket No. MC2003-2). In a word, "fuggedabodit." An excellent example of how to red tape a good idea to death.
August 27, 2004 -- According to DM News postal commentator Cary Baer, "We have been misled in the current debate over postal reform."
August 27, 2004 -- "Worried about security at the Republican National Convention? Rest easy," says the Associated Press, "The Environmental Protection Agency is on the job. So are the North American Aerospace Defense Command and the U.S. Postal Service. The Coast Guard too."
August 27, 2004 -- Business Mailers Review has reported that:
Business Mailers Review is published biweekly by Sedgwick Publishing Co. For subscription information, check the BMR web site.
August 27, 2004 -- According to Smartbox.com, "The growth in shopping online is being offset by a decline in conventional mail-order."
August 26, 2004 -- The Federal Times has reported that "Seven organizations are objecting to a nominee to the Postal Rate Commission and are asking President Bush to let the confirmation process run its course rather than make a recess appointment. The nominee, Dawn Tisdale, is a former postmaster, letter carrier and union chapter vice president. The groups contend that Tisdale is too close to the U.S. Postal Service to be an impartial member of the five-person commission, which reviews and decides on the agency’s requests for rate changes."
August 26, 2004 -- In his most recent perspective, postal commentator Gene Del Polito noted that "much must be done before a decision to deploy FSS or DPP is made." What's his recommended prescription for those suffering from flats processing worries? "Eat right, exercise, stay informed, and get a good night's sleep. Things are not yet at the stage where sleeping aids are necessary to get a good night's rest."
August 26, 2004 -- The New York Times has reported that "Deutsche Bank Securities issued a worrisome report on Friday expressing growing concern over newspaper circulation. And it predicted at least one more major circ scandal will hit the industry before October. After analyzing 40 of the largest newspapers in the U.S., the firm found that declines in circulation are more troubling than previously reported. It called the 'headline' figure of less than 1% annual declines shown by the newspaper industry's total circulation 'is misleading and that these underlying trends need to be understood.' One underlying factor: Reported overall numbers are propped up, as low-quality circulation masks a rapid downward spiral in better than 50% paid circulation. Analyst Paul Ginocchio called the trend 'hair-raising.'"
August 26, 2004 -- Buoyed by initial road-test results and significant technological advancements, UPS has announced the U.S. deployment of its first three large package delivery vehicles utilizing hydrogen fuel cells for power.
August 26, 2004 -- The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) is announcing its call for entries of the 2004 – 2005 Federal Mail Best Practice Awards. These awards recognize the Federal Mail Manager of the Year and Federal Mail Center Excellence. All federal employees are eligible to apply. Nominations may be submitted by mail, email, fax or hand carried. Nomination packages must be received or postmarked no later than November 16, 2004.
August 26, 2004 -- The press is replete with stories about the Postal Service's new great idea: photographs on IBIP postage stamps. (See the Grand Forks Herald, Kentucky.com, Kansas.com, Columbus Ledger Enquirer, Kansas City Star, Pioneer Press, Miami Herald, San Luis Obispo Tribune, Biloxi Sun Herald, Philadelphia Inquirer, San Jose Mercury News, Bradenton Herald, Centre Daily Times, Tallahassee.com, and many, many more.
August 26, 2004 -- PostalNews.com has noted that posted on the Postal Rate Commission web site is the latest On Rolls/Paid Emplyees report (ORPES), showing a reduction in career staffing of almost 22,000 employees since the previous year. Almost 16.000 of the reductions came from the clerk craft. Rural carriers were the only employee group showing an increase.
August 26, 2004 -- Here's an interesting comment on the times from DM News: "Coldwater Creek Inc., Sandpoint, ID, reported net income yesterday of $3.4 million for the second quarter compared with a net loss of $1.4 million last year. Net sales were up 15.1 percent. 'In keeping with our strategic shift toward a retail store-based business model, we reduced catalog circulation 32.3 percent in the second quarter, and catalog net sales fell 26 percent compared with the prior year,' chairman/CEO Dennis Pence said in a statement. 'Meanwhile, our e-commerce net sales climbed by 9.8 percent during the period [because of] effective e-mail promotions.'" You can't blame the fellow. The USPS is reducing its own commitment to advertising by direct mail as well. Just wait until you see the next round of 'feel good' ads that will be appearing on TV. Yes, that's right...TV. No paper, no printing, no postage, and...oh yes...no accountability.
August 26, 2004 -- DM News also has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service said yesterday that it has developed a system that allows it to fly the mail on the best-value route. The effort, developed in a partnership between Network Operations Management and Information Technology department, is called Air Optimizer. The process includes identifying backup routes for contingency purposes. New USPS contracts for commercial air transportation took effect in June 2003, and air carriers' performance is now tracked and carriers must provide superior service in order to continue to be assigned mail by the USPS."
August 26, 2004 -- WCAX-TV has reported that "The impending close of the contract post office in Georgia is renewing the debate on whether the town needs its own ZIP code. Depending on where they live Georgia residents might have a Fairfax, Milton or Saint Albans address. Some say that system works just fine, while others say the growing town needs a permanent post office and ZIP code. Georgia's contract post office is slated to close September 18th."
August 26, 2004 -- Brand Republic has reported that "Parcel delivery service TNT Express has revealed it is talking to media agencies about its planning and buying business. Andrew Huestis, the marketing and communications director of TNT Express, said the company was shortlisting agencies for the account and has yet to decide if the work will be on a European or international level. It is not known how much the account will be worth. The news comes as the Netherlands-based business hired Wieden & Kennedy to its international advertising account following a competitive pitch against rivals including Bartle Bogle Hegarty. There was no incumbent on the account, although TNT has worked with J Walter Thompson in the past. Huestis said TNT has concentrated on below-the-line marketing over the past five years."
August 26, 2004 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "Chief FedEx economist Gene Huang, in an interview with Reuters, says FedEx's economic optimism stems from broad-based strength, especially in the industrials sector. On Monday, the Memphis-based company raised its earnings outlook for the quarter and the year, citing more business in the international, ground delivery and less-than truckload services. FedEx expects the economy to stay on a sustainable expansion path, a view that bucks a recent batch of soft economic data and growing concerns about a slowdown."
August 26, 2004 -- New York Newsday has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service has resumed mail service to Iraq."
Better make your plans NOW to attend the National Postal Forum!
August 26, 2004 -- According to The Green Sheet, "direct mail can be used effectively in two ways: to generate a response from a prospect or customer, or to maintain awareness and build brand through "drip marketing." Drip marketing is the process of delivering a connected group of promotional mailings over a defined period of time. Drip marketing was a response to the "Law of 29," the belief among some marketing pros that it takes 29 "hits" for a marketing message to successfully turn a prospect into a client. Mailing a newsletter once every month is a good way to keep your brand in front of your prospects and customers and, with luck, keep customers coming in the door all year long. In addition to newsletters, drip marketing can take the form of postcards, promotional materials, new product announcements, or virtually anything else the U.S. Postal Service will deliver. The trick is to build your brand equity by reinforcing a message, image or theme. That, of course, is the goal of all direct mail."
August 26, 2004 -- MIT Enterprise Technology has reported that "Jamaica's government on Tuesday announced a US$5 million (Jamaican $308 million) plan to provide free Internet access in poor communities across the island. The "e-Jamaica" initiative will establish 60 Internet centers across the country by 2010, mostly in post offices, said Commerce and Technology Minister Phillip Paulwell."
August 26, 2004 -- According to NapaNews.com, "American Canyon residents won't have to go out of town to find a post office after all. After more than a week of being told that the post office would close at the end of the month because of staffing problems, residents were greeted with a sign on the front door Monday, telling them the post office won't be closed. 'I think it was a miscommunication, more than anything else,' said Gus Ruiz, United States Postal Service spokesman. 'We can allay their fears. (Residents) will have a post office to serve their needs.'"
August 25, 2004 -- RAF Technology has released Version 3.0 of its Argosy PostTM address recognition software for Multi-Line Optical Character Recognition (MLOCR) sorting systems used by postal and commercial mail sorting operations. Featuring Adaptive IntelligenceTM Argosy Post 3.0 takes read rates to the highest levels possible. Adaptive Intelligence dynamically tunes the reader to the unique characteristics of each mail piece as it reads it. Complementary ProcessingTM has been extended to incorporate all stages of recognition, assuring prompt, accurate address finalizations. In addition, new noise removal algorithms provide reduced sensitivity to backgrounds and patterns, logos and graphics, while still preserving performance on faint and blurred text. The software even locates address blocks partially obscured by the envelope window.
August 25, 2004 -- The Fort Bend Sun (TX) has reported that "At least one hundred residents attended the town hall meeting to get the confusion cleared about the new facility already under construction at 3701 Glen Lakes. The Missouri City Carrier Annex will house letter carriers to sort mail for delivery. The 18,000 sq. ft. building is designed to meet the operational needs of the postal service. Missouri City Mayor Allen Owen says he was under the impression that Missouri City would get a store front post office, equipped with customer service, not an annex. "If I'd known this was the type of post office you were going to build, I would have never rezoned the area for such an establishment," Owen told U.S. Postal Service officials."
August 25, 2004 -- Kewill Solutions North America and UPS announced Kewill’s ClipperShip® and Javalin™ products support a new UPS shipper release feature. The feature, available with UPS’s integrated portfolio of domestic air and ground services, allows the shipper to request that shipments be delivered on the first attempt without a signature.
August 25, 2004 -- La Opinion has reported that "Four of the main intersections of the center of Los Angeles were paralyzed yesterday, when hundreds of employees of the Postal Service of the United States and of the Caribbean made a march in support to the contractual dispute that, from the past 15 of April, maintains near three thousand workers with the main hotels of Los Angeles in which they toil."
August 25, 2004 -- The Financial Times has reported that "Jean-Paul Bailly, chairman of La Poste, yesterday met Jean-Pierre Raffarin, French prime minister, to seek political backing for the restructuring of France's state-owned post office as trades unions stepped up warnings about heavy job losses and branch closures."
August 25, 2004 -- La Tribune (France) has reported that "The French prime minister, Jean-Pierre Raffarin, yesterday responded to allegations by French postal unions that the French post office, La Poste, is planning to close a number of post offices and sub-post offices by saying that the company must continue to discuss the issue with all relevant parties, particularly local councillors. Earlier in the day, Mr Raffarin had held talks on the issue at his office in Paris with La Poste's chairman, Jean-Paul Bailly."
August 25, 2004 -- Le Figaro (France) has reported that "French prime minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin has indicated to Jean-Paul Bailly, chairman of national postal services group La Poste, that a bill for postal services regulation will be submitted to the French parliament in the autumn."
August 25, 2004 -- GISUser.com has reported that "Toronto, Canada NAC Geographic Products Inc. and Zeitgeist Data Management, Inc. (ZDM) of United States have reached an agreement to license NAC Technology for ZDM's wellActivity.com - a well activity information system for the entire United States. This represents the start of NAC Technology deployed in the petroleum industry. "We originally planned to use longitude/latitude coordinates to represent the locations of wells, but the long character strings of these coordinates are really difficult for people to remember and communicate. The variations in representing longitude and latitude add even more complexities in dealing with the user input," said Mr. Don Cayce - the Chief Technical Officer of ZDM, "The Universal Address System seems to provide a perfect solution to this problem. It makes the long geographic coordinates represented by codes as simple as postal codes. An eight character Universal Address can uniquely specify the location of any well in the world without the needs of country name, state name, and county name." As the licensing agreement is signed, ZDM will use Universal Addresses as well identifiers in its database and as addresses for users to specify locations for driving directions."
August 25, 2004 -- From the Canadian Newswire: "The Ontario Court of Justice, in a decision rendered last week, endorsed Canada Post's interpretation of section 14 of the Canada Post Corporation Act, which provides that Canada Post has the exclusive privilege of collecting, transmitting and delivering letters in Canada. According to the court decision, Canada Post's exclusive privilege extends to all Canadian originating letters weighing up to 500 grams whether destined for delivery within Canada or to places outside Canada. This important court decision comes during the course of a lawsuit brought against Key Mail, one of several remailers who have been collecting large quantities of mail in Canada to induct it into the postal system of a foreign postal administration. The court held that Key Mail's activities in connection with Canadian outbound international letters are a violation of Canada Post's exclusive privilege."
August 25, 2004 -- From PR Web: "HolyBears Inc., the Texas-based company that designs and markets plush bears with inspirational and patriotic messages, today announced they received word from the Louisville, Kentucky Postal headquarters that the U.S. Post Offices in Kentucky will no longer carry their products due to the threat of a complaint to the American Civil Liberties Union. The teddy bears being sold by the U.S. Postal Service, including the God Bless America Bear®, the God Bless Our Postal Workers Bear™, and the God Bless Our Troops Bear™, apparently offended one Kentucky resident who threatened to go to the ACLU. The Louisville Postal headquarters, after conferring with their attorneys, issued a memo ordering the bears to be removed from the shelves and returned to the company, much to the dismay of Kentucky postal employees and their thousands of customers who supported the successful HolyBears program."
August 25, 2004 -- From the PR Newswire: "BEA Systems, Inc., the world's leading application infrastructure software company, today announced that Finland Post will standardize its electronic services development on BEA WebLogic Platform(TM) 8.1. With the unified BEA platform, Finland Post can offer its partners and customers advanced Internet services designed to help reduce the complexity and costs of portal administration, development, and integration."
August 25, 2004 -- The Times of India has reported that "The government of India is not at all keen to salvage the postal department from going into further loss. The department is already in a loss of Rs 1,800 crore on all-India basis mainly because of recurring loss in the post offices in rural areas. But instead of curtailing the number of post offices going in loss, more of them are being opened regularly. Moreover, whereas there has been a blanket ban on creation of any additional post or new appointments, the department has not yet done away with overtime (OT) system. A good amount is being drained out over this old practice."
August 25, 2004 -- CEP News (Courier-Express-Postal) has reported that:
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August 25, 2004 -- According to NewRatings.com, "Analysts at AG Edwards downgrade ADVO from "hold" to "sell." Shares of ADVO, a leading targeted direct mail marketing service company in the US, are currently trading at $32.81. According to AG Edwards' research note published this morning, the weak industry fundamentals and overhang from postal rate reviews are expected to exert pressure on the company’s stock performance in the near term. The US economic conditions and the advertising environment would, to a great extent, determine whether or not ADVO is able to meet its earnings and cash flow guidance, the analysts say."
August 25, 2004 --From the PR Newswire: "Auto-trol Technology Corporation (Auto-trol), the leader in enterprise configuration management solutions, announces that the United States Postal Service (USPS) Engineering Department has selected KONFIG CM as its configuration management solution. KONFIG CM will support the USPS efforts to enhance its configuration management (CM) capabilities and implement its CM processes based upon the CMII(R) methodology."
August 25, 2004 -- According to TheStreet.com, "You'd expect the rising price of oil to hurt shippers like FedEx and UPS, which have massive fleets of planes and vehicles deployed around the globe. But it is not. Even as oil sits at historically high levels, FedEx says business is better than ever, and UPS continues to pay hefty dividends to shareholders. There are various reasons why high energy prices haven't hurt the shippers. First and foremost, surprisingly enough, fuel costs are a minor part of the massive shipping business, far less than what is spent on wages and infrastructure. Also, unlike other industries, shippers pass along the rising costs to customers without sapping demand, and ultimately, companies have found innovative ways to ensure that vehicles sip instead of slurp fuel."
August 25, 2004 -- According to the Ahwatukee Foothills News, "On the surface, the U.S Postal Service's plan to install modern, high-security community mailboxes for the Pointe South Mountain residents made sense. The new boxes would improve security and cut down on theft. The change would also save time and money for the Postal Service by consolidating the four carrier routes into one by eliminating the 51 old stucco mailboxes for 14 large mailbox clusters. But resistance by residents and the Pointe South Mountain Residential Association board of directors have convinced the Postal Service to drop its plans."
August 25, 2004 -- Ireland Online has reported that "Discussions between the Communications Workers Union (CWU) and An Post at the Labour Relations Commission have broken down. The talks relate to an industrial dispute last March during which post boxes in many parts of the country were sealed and postal services disrupted." See also the Irish Examiner.
August 25, 2004 -- Asia Times Online has reported that "Indian post offices have begun to offer new services such as insurance, bill payment, loans and special touches such as the delivery of temple prasad - the edible offerings made to gods - and vibhuti, the sacred ash that millions of Hindus receive after poojas (ritual-filled prayers)."
August 25, 2004 -- The Daily Star (Bangladesh) has reported that "Private courier service sector has been witnessing a boom for the last few years on increasing customer confidence. The courier service, emerged as a major service sector with handsome annual growth, has been complementing and rivalling the government's postal service since 1983."
August 24, 2004 -- According to Business Week, "FedEx -- unlike many U.S. businesses -- is relatively insulated from rising fuel prices. Like rival United Parcel Service (UPS ), FedEx was smart enough several years ago to rewrite its customer contracts in ways that allow it to pass along any increases through surcharges. And at the same time, it's clear that rising fuel prices aren't deterring businesses and consumers from following through with purchases."
August 24, 2004 -- Handelsblatt has reported that "Deutsche Post, the operator of Germany's postal service, may not be able to acquire a stake in Austrian postal service operator Osterreichische Post as planned. At present, the Austrian postal service belongs to Osterreichische Industrieholding, a state-owned industrial holding company; the company had originally intended to find a strategic investor by 2006. Deutsche Post was thought to be the most likely candidate, and was expected to acquire a stake of 25.1 per cent. However, Osterreichische Post now says that it does not believe itself to be under any financial pressure to find a strategic partner, and that it does not expect to have to search for investors before 2007."
August 24, 2004 -- In an opinion piece written for the Federal Times, former USPS postal executive and Lexington Institute adjunct fellow Charles Guy said that "Every year, the U.S. Postal Service spends close to $12 billion on goods and services. With that kind of money in play, entire businesses — from supplies to mail transport to construction — revolve around contracts with the Postal Service. As a government entity, the Postal Service has an obligation to make sure that its contracts are in the best interest of the American people. The current purchasing process continues to be fraught with problems. The Postal Service has enormous leeway — with minimal external control — in deciding who gets a contract. The Postal Service itself decides whether to conduct competitive bidding or to just hand out a contract to a sole bidder. In the business world, and even elsewhere in government, competitive bidding helps determine who can provide the best service at the best price. But the Postal Service is not required to maximize healthy competition for the projects it hands out."
August 24, 2004 -- The Trinidad & Tobago Express has reported that "A major business organisation and a top labour leader yesterday came out in favour of having TTPost returned to local management, providing that whoever replaces Transcend Worldwide Ltd of New Zealand brings added value to the postal services. Their comments follow an exclusive story in yesterday's Express in which Public Utilities Minister Pennelope Beckles confirmed that by the end of this month the New Zealanders will be replaced by a cadre of local managers until a new concessionaire is selected by Government to handle the nation's postal services. Two local conglomerates have expressed interest in taking over the concession, it was learned."
August 24, 2004 -- The Taipei Times (Taiwan) has reported that "Despite UNESCO's decision not to publish Taiwanese student Yang Chih-yuan's painting as a commemorative stamp, postal authorities yesterday said Yang's work could be used on a stamp in Taiwan pending authorization from Lions Club International. While Yang's painting had been selected to be circulated as a commemorative postage stamp, UNESCO disqualified Yang following protests from China. Yang's painting had featured flags from around the world, one of which was Taiwan's flag."
August 24, 2004 -- Business World (Ireland) has reported that "The postal market may not be able to cope with further price increases from An Post, according to a senior official at the Department of Communications. In a letter written in January, Brendan Tuohy, secretary-general of the Department of Communications, said that, following recent price hikes, the ability of the market to bear another increase was in doubt. An Post is seeking to increase stamp prices in an attempt to stem massive losses."
August 24, 2004 -- Japan Today has reported that "Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi expressed strong dissatisfaction Tuesday over continued opposition within his own Liberal Democratic Party to privatizing postal services, saying the privatization is 'a done deal.'"
August 24, 2004 -- People's Daily Online has reported that "Hongkong Post's remittance service will be extended to Indonesia and Nepal from Thursday, Postmaster General Allan Chiang said Tuesday. With the launch of this reciprocal postal remittance service with the postal administrations of Indonesia and Nepal, customers can remit a maximum amount of 2,000 US dollars each time to Nepal and Indonesia, he said. The service will be available in Hong Kong at all 132 post offices including the two mobile post offices. Through the continuous expansion of its network, Hongkong Post's postal remittance service is now available to the Chinese mainland, Canada, Japan, the Philippines, Indonesia and Nepal."
August 24, 2004 -- AMEInfo has reported that "The state-of-the-art Training and Development Centre of Emirates Post recently hosted a visit by top training institutes and consultancies from the UAE to acquaint them with the Centre's facilities, methodologies and strategies."
August 24, 2004 -- DM News has reported that "Findings from the Mailing Industry Task Force's recent two-day brainstorming session will be discussed at next month's National Postal Forum, the U.S. Postal Service said yesterday."
August 23, 2004 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that "FedEx, the US based parcels delivery company, has released an upbeat message on its trading performance ahead of its first quarter results out next month. Despite the possible detrimental impact of high oil prices on the global economy, management believes that strong profitable growth will continue. To meet this forecast demand the company intends to increase its capital investments to between $2.0 and $2.1 billion over the next year in order to expand the capacity of its international express, ground and freight networks."
August 23, 2004 -- CNET has reported that "Enterprise applications specialist SAP said Monday that it won a deal to provide the U.S. Postal Service with a new human resources management system. The Germany-based software maker said it will completely replace the Postal Service's 25-year-old homegrown human resources system with its MySAP Business Suite package. Financial terms of the deal were not reported, but the government agency ranks among the largest public-sector entities in the world, with an estimated 700,000 workers. SAP said that its professional services division was also hired to oversee the project."
August 23, 2004 -- Business World (Ireland) has reported that "Business lobby group ISME, today slammed proposals before the communication watchdog, ComReg, for an increase in postal charges. ISME, described the 14.5pc proposed increase in postal services as, "yet another body blow to small business, if approved". Commenting on the application, ISME Chief Executive Mark Fielding said, "this latest application is outrageous and if approved will give a 45pc increase in the last two years, six times the corresponding rate of inflation"."
August 23, 2004 -- According to Politics.ie, "Fine Gael Spokesperson on Communications, Marine and Natural Resources Simon Coveney TD MEP, responding to the request by An Post to increase the cost of a stamp said, "This is yet another example of a State company relying on the consumer to bail them out"."
August 23, 2004 -- The Postal Service is readying a "fall advertising campaign, "Working for You." In this campaign, letter carriers portray themselves in upcoming print, radio and television advertising. Its theme is about what Postal Service employees are doing for their customers every day." And will any of this show up in direct mail?
August 23, 2004 -- The following from the Postal Rate Commission's Docket on functionally equivalent NSAs is of some interest: "The Postal Service, as settlement coordinator, and Discover have continued to discuss some of the issues presented in this proceeding with other parties outside the context of formal discovery, namely the Office of the Consumer Advocate and Valpak. At this time, no further settlement conferences are scheduled. The next report of the settlement coordinator will be filed on September 2, 2004."
August 23, 2004 -- According to PostalReporter.com, "Delegates to the American Postal Workers Union National Convention will be voting on proposed changes to their constitution which would downsize union democracy and consolidate power in the hands of fewer national officers. Some of the proposals under consideration would eliminate regional coordinators, clerk and maintenance craft assistant directors and directors of 3 departments: research and education, human relations and organization. Other resolutions would reduce the number of division meetings between conventions, lengthen the time between conventions from 2 to 3 years and increase terms of elected office from 3 to 4 years. Perhaps the most controversial proposal would authorize the union’s executive board to eliminate or consolidate any national officer position or department that becomes vacant during an incumbent’s term of office if membership in the union drops below 210,000. That resolution would also authorize the e-board to eliminate consolidate any department or position without waiting for a vacancy to occur if membership stayed below 210,000 for 60 consecutive days. Proponents of the resolution cite declining union membership and a need to control costs as reasons to support the changes. Opponents say the constitutional changes would weaken union democracy."
August 23, 2004 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that:
August 23, 2004 -- ZDNet (U.K.) has reported that "Sweden's Cypak, which has developed a throwaway radio-frequency identification tag, announced that the Swedish Industrial Development Fund has invested 30m kronor (£2.2m) into the company. Cypak's RFID tags are designed to be incorporated into paper and other disposable items to enhance security and deter fraud. The technology has already been licensed to the North American packaging company MeadWestvaco for medical packages. The German and Swedish postal services have also tested it out."
August 23, 2004 -- As Air Cargo World has noted, "DHL is not entering the U.S. market lightly. From sponsoring the United States Olympic team to launching a full-scale advertising blitz on American television, the logistics giant is putting out the word that it is a viable third alternative to FedEx and UPS in the world's largest express market. Perhaps most significantly, DHL is investing $1.2 billion to consolidate its two air hubs to one site, add seven new regional sort centers across the country and generally upgrade North American facilities. Consolidating its air operations from Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport to a primary facility in Wilmington, Ohio was a necessary investment that DHL says will allow it to operate more hours with greater efficiency. DHL owns the airport in Wilmington, which is 50 miles from Cincinnati, having inherited it as part of last year's Airborne Express acquisition."
August 23, 2004 -- The Guardian (U.K.) has reported that "The Royal Mail will report next week that its ability to deliver first-class letters the following day has been getting worse, despite its decision to drop the second post. The company - increasingly the subject of privatisation talk - will admit that in the first three months of its financial year it has missed all 15 of its service quality targets. The most important one - next day delivery for first class post - will show its success rate falling from 90.1% in 2003-2004 to 88.2%, way short of its 92.5% goal. The deteriorating service will be blamed on unprecedented upheaval as private sector directors of the organisation seek to change service, staff and transport arrangements at the same time."
August 23, 2004 -- According to AFX, "La Poste chairman Jean-Paul Bailly said the French state-owned company plans to keep its 17,000 outlets for postal services. Asked in an interview with French daily Le Figaro if La Poste will get rid of 6,000 post offices as part of restructuring plans to modernise the service and cut 10,000 jobs as unions expect, Bailly said: "I've read the figures ... I refute them categorically." "There are 17,000 postal outlets in France, there will be 17,000 tomorrow," he added." See also Les Echos.
August 23, 2004 -- The Asahi Shimbun has noted that "Midnight revelers will be able to take care of postal business when a new service gets under way by the end of this year Japan Post plans to offer 24-hour counter service at some post offices in Tokyo entertainment districts, sources said The services will include postal savings and postal insurance transactions that cannot be made at automatic teller machines." A similar role-out of postal kiosks also is underway here in the U.S.
August 23, 2004 -- The Trinidad & Tobago Express has reported that "The management of postal services in Trinidad and Tobago will be taken over by locals, come August 31. The change will bring to an end a five-year contract between the Trinidad and Tobago Government, and Transcend Worldwide Limited, a New Zealand Consortium. The change to local management ends a five-year contract, signed in February 1999, between the T&T Government and Transcend Worldwide Limited to run the postal services in the country."
August 23, 2004 -- According to Bloomberg, "Deutsche Post AG, the German postal and logistics supplier's plan to buy a stake in Oesterreichische Post AG, Austria's post office, from OIAG, the Austrian state holding group, may collapse due to a lack of political support, the Financial Times reported, citing Gunter Stummvoll, the Austrian government spokesman for political party OVP." See also Dow Jones and Financial Times.
August 23, 2004 -- HoldTheFrontPage.co.uk has reported that "An investigation by the Oxford Mail has revealed that 20 per cent of first class post in Oxfordshire is delivered late."
August 23, 2004 -- Just as a reminder, the Senate is on recess until September 7, the House until September 3. Lots of Congressional Record entries on lots of topics. None have to do with postal reform.
August 23, 2004 -- According to the Seattle Times, "As United Parcel Service's army of 74,000 domestic drivers make their daily rounds, they share a marching order from headquarters: Shut your engines. "You will never see a UPS truck idling" at a drop-off point, "even if it's going to be in your driveway for only 30 seconds," spokesman Norman Black said. The driver, he added, "is taught to turn it off." That is one of several ways the Atlanta-based shipping giant tries to save fuel and corral its soaring energy costs. But they haven't been enough."
August 23, 2004 -- One writer for the Sunday Mail (U.K.) reported that "Those unfamiliar with this Government's penchant for saying one thing in public then doing exactly the opposite behind closed doors might start to wonder what on earth the Department of Trade and Industry is playing at over the future structure of Royal Mail. Leaders of Royal Mail's still powerful unions think the answer is already clear. They believe the Government has given them cast-iron guarantees that it will remain in public ownership in return for a £1 million bung into the Labour Party's coffers and support at the next election. But now I learn that the DTI, the department responsible for this huge national asset, has officials deployed full-time looking at alternative forms of ownership."
August 22, 2004 -- Traffic World has reported that "The differences distinguishing independent contractors from employees came under scrutiny in California when a Los Angeles Superior Court found that FedEx Ground misclassified workers as employees rather than independents. That decision stirred a beehive of interest even though the company, independent attorneys specializing in transport law and one Wall Street analyst belittled any repercussions and said the decision sets no precedent. On its face, the case appears to affect less than half of 1 percent of all FedEx Ground's 16,600 workers, although lawyers for the California workers who filed the suit claim the class action suit could affect many more."
August 22, 2004 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "United Parcel Service has asked the Department of Transportation for approval for 12 cargo flights between mainland China and the United States."
August 22, 2004 -- Check out what's new on the Mail & Jobs web site.
August 22, 2004 -- According to The Guardian (U.K.), "Royal Mail is set to fail all 15 of its service quality targets for the first three months of the financial year - following a similar failure for the previous 12 months."
August 22, 2004 -- The Kyodo News Service has reported that Japanese "economic and fiscal policy minister Heizo Takenaka on Sunday indicated he understands the need for a possible delay in dividing postal services into several entities by 2007 when the privatization process starts."
August 22, 2004 -- The Scotsman (U.K.) has noted that "a fanfare of publicity accompanied the relaunch of savings stamps from the Post Office this week. However, savings providers and market watchers have been quick to attack the the rebirth. The Post Office has reintroduced the stamps in an effort to help millions on low incomes to budget for bills. Its research found that over 20 million people struggle to meet regular household bills. It calculates that saving GBP 10 a week in saving stamps for three months would be enough to meet half the cost of the average household's quarterly GBP 290 bill for utilities."
August 22, 2004 -- According to the Green Left Weekly, "Australia Post has all sorts of time-and-motion procedures whereby the posties have to sort 18 small letters a minute and 13 large letters a minute. Now you might think that's pretty easy, but what you have to remember is that posties have a frame that represents 1200 letterboxes and you've got approximately three seconds to get your letter and stick it in the right spot. And you do that hour after hour, and then you go outside and you've got a computer on you the whole time. It's real pressure cooker stuff. They tie workers to performance management and the disciplinary code. People have gone from having one of the best jobs in the world to something where people are under pressure from the minute they start work. They start work early. They don't have their breaks and they speed. People have been clocked on the footpath in every state in Australia doing 60 kilometres an hour. They're supposed to do 7km/h on the footpath."
August 22, 2004
-- According to the
Norwich EveningNews (U.K.), "Political
heavy-weight Charles Clarke today slammed the Post Office after bosses
a desperately needed branch in the heart of his Norwich South constituency.
His fury came as two communities in Norwich were told the news that branches
at West Earlham and Clancy Road, Heartsease, were closed for good, despite
3,500 names and letters from customers, councillors and MPs, begging postal
chiefs to keep them open. The two had been given a temporary reprieve while
the company wielded the axe on 12 other branches in the city — but the stay
execution lasted a matter of weeks. In addition, cost-cutting bosses at the
Post Office have axed the Shrublands branch in Almond Road, Gorleston —
despite scores of pleas to keep it open." August 21, 2004 -- The
Herald Review (IL) has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service
general is investigating how personal information about 16 current employees
and one retired employee from the Decatur Post Office got onto the World
Web. Postal officials are saying little about the situation, but the
are contacting attorneys and considering the possibility of filing a
August 21, 2004 -- The
Fort Wayne Journal Gazette has noted that "The U.S. Postal Service
month gave the go-ahead for a Los Angeles technology company to test
customized postage made from people’s pictures. A Nebraska bank, also this
month, debuted a credit card with a photo of the customer as its main image
meant more for the sake of individuality than security. You can also get
checks with your picture on them. “It adds a nice touch and makes the mail a
little more exciting,” said Ken McBride, president and chief executive
of Stamps.com Inc. It launched www.PhotoStamps.com last week, a Web site
people can order personalized stamps. The company anticipates its use on
greeting cards, birth announcements and wedding invitations. In a report
called “Embracing the Future,” the President’s Commission on the United
Postal Service last year recommended letting people “design their own
perhaps adding a family photo or a small business logo” as part of a
effort to save snail mail from going the way of the typewriter. “There were
many discussions,” said Monica Surachi, a U.S. Postal Service spokeswoman,
stressing that the personalized stamp offer is a trial run and that postal
officials could revoke approval. “This is a test,” she said."
Just try to stick THIS genie back in the bottle. August 21,
2004 -- The latest issue of
the PostCom Bulletin is available online. Hey! You've not been getting the weekly PostCom
best postal newsletter anywhere...bar none?
Send us by
email your name, company,
company title, postal and email address.
Get a chance to see what you've been missing. August 21, 2004 --
(Philadelphia) has reported that "A postal inspector who used his
steal credit cards is now facing up to 20 years in prison."
August 21, 2004 -- The
Las Vegas Sun has reported that "Homeowner associations and home
won't be in charge of maintenance of key distribution for
under a plan struck between the Southern Nevada Home Builders Association
the U.S. Postal Service in Las Vegas. The deal comes after almost two years
disagreements between the two groups regarding cluster mailboxes --
called gang boxes or collective box units -- and who was in charge of their
installation, maintenance and key distribution. Under the new plan, home
builders will now install cluster mailboxes and the Postal Service will
in charge of maintenance and key distribution at new home communities. Prior
to the agreement, the Postal Service installed cluster mailboxes and
distributed keys." August 21,
-- According to one writer for
Guardian (U.K.), "This week the Post Office surprised the financial
by announcing it is to reintroduce savings stamps after a 40-year absence.
those of you too young to remember, savers buy stamps (now valued at pounds
as and when they can afford them and take them home and put in a book. When
they need to pay a utility bill, they take the book to the Post Office and
it using the stamps. But critics say it is bizarre that in the 21st century
anyone would want to do this. Users will receive no interest on the money
in stamps and have to bear the risk of losing or having the stamps stolen.
They can't even turn the stamps back into cash if they need to. There must
better ways for those on low incomes to budget for big
August 21, 2004 --
(France) has reported that "French postal service provider La Poste
commence a restructure of its 11,500 multi-purpose branches in January of
year. It has been reported in the French press that plans for the La Poste
postal service network include the closure of 6,000 of the company's 11,500
multi-purpose offices over three years. While La Poste has denied such
all parties concerned - local representatives, trade unions and postal
- have been left dumbfounded by the reports. La Poste representatives have
stated that as part of its business plan for 2003-2007, the company will
retain its 17,000 points of sale in their current form."
August 21, 2004 -- The
news service has reported that "The United States on Friday threw
behind Japan's draft guideline in privatizing the nation's postal services,
but repeated its request for a "level playing field" between a
postal insurance entity and private insurers, Japanese government officials
said." August 20, 2004 -- According to
Dow Jones, "Before Japan's postal insurance can offer new products
of its privatization in 2007, the government must do away with special
privileges given to the over Y120 trillion entity, a U.S. trade official
reiterated Friday. The official said Washington presented what it meant by
establishing a "level playing field" for competition between
insurance and private-sector firms. The Japanese government, however,
internally has been at odds with itself over exactly what this means,
calling for it too." August
Transform has reported that "In a $300 million, three-year
U.S. Postal Service is buying 12,000 hand-held scanning devices from
that will enable business customers to see, via the Web, exactly when their
customers receive bills and direct mail. This intelligence will help mailers
staff call centers, process orders and payments, and improve customer
times." August 20, 2004 --
are some excellent publications of studies done by the
Commission on the European postal sector: August 20, 2004 -- The Financial
Times (U.K.) has reported that: August 20, 2004 -- The Periodical
Press Association (U.K.) has reported that: August 20, 2004 --
Dow Jones has reported that "Japanese and U.S. officials Friday
talks focusing on life insurance products to be offered by the country's
postal service when it is privatized in 2007, a Japanese official said.
Washington has urged Japan's Public Management Ministry to reject a request
from the nation's sprawling postal service to sell new insurance policies.
U.S. officials say the postal office's mammoth sales network, through
individual branch offices, give it an unfair advantage over private sector
competitors." August 20,
The Telegraph (U.K.) has reported that "Plans to close more than
France's post offices as part of a reform of the state-owned postal service
provoked fury yesterday. Postal workers, unions and provincial mayors
protested as it emerged that 6,000 of the 11,500 offices, mostly in rural
areas, are to be closed. Their business will be transferred to local shops
an estimated cost of 10,000 jobs, Le Parisien newspaper reported. The plans
reform La Poste, renowned as the most generously resourced postal service in
Europe, were discreetly drawn up by managers over the
August 20, 2004 --
Daily Nation (Kenya) has reported that "Postal Corporation of Kenya
executive Dan Ameyo will remain in office, after all. Information and
Communications minister Raphael Tuju said he had agreed with the Head of
Service Francis Muthaura that Mr Ameyo should not be suspended. "There
been consultations between my office and that of the Head of Public Service
and we have reached a mutual agreement that Mr Ameyo will be continuing with
his job," Mr Tuju told a news conference at the Communications
Kenya offices, Nairobi. The announcement clears doubts over the fate of Mr
Ameyo, whose stay at the parastatal had remained unsettled since it was
reported by the Nation that he had been suspended."
August 20, 2004 -- According to the
Weekly Post News
From Japan, "It is not publicly known, however, that 80 percent of
national public service personnel who received disciplinary dismissals were
employees of the postal service. There are 27,000 postal service officials
across the country and the number of those officials who were dismissed in
disgrace is the highest among all government bodies – ten times more than
those at the Education and Science Ministry. Three years have passed since
Junichiro Koizumi became prime minister. Mr. Koizumi has been promoting a
policy for privatizing postal service businesses as one of his flagship
policies, but his efforts have stalled. During the last three years, the
number of disciplinary dismissal cases at post offices continued to
August 20, 2004 --
(Nigeria) has reported that "The Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) has
total of N1.471 Billion in the first six months of this year, with the post
office boxes generating N311.6 million, bulk post, N150 million, Speedpost
N263 million, and international mail service, N87.1 million. Briefing
on the half-year activities of the organization in Ikeja yesterday, the Post
Master General of the federation, Alhaji Abubakar Musa Argungu said the
revenue recorded in the half-year compare favourably with the figure for the
same period last year, which stood of N1.149 Billion. The performance shows
increase of N323 Million. Argungu disclosed that during the period under
review, NIPOST handled a total of 33, 949 pieces of mail items. These
items posted and delivered within Nigeria, those posted abroad and those
received from outside Nigeria for delivery within Nigeria. NIPOST which has
not received money for capital expenditure from government since 2001,
committed N198 million to the completion and renovation of post offices
the country in the period. On the advertised target of delivering national
mail within 72 hours since the introduction of the National Mail Route
in June 2000, Argungu said that in 2001, the organization achieved 75
success; in 2002, 80 percent success and in 2003, 82.5 percent
August 19, 2004 -- The
Standard (Hong Kong) has reported that "Foreign express freight
on the mainland have voiced fair-play concerns over a new service launched
China Post to try to regain lost market share."
August 19, 2004 -- The
has reported that "Japan Post has decided to begin in October
delivery service for golf bags, skis, suitcases and other items whose size
exceeds that stipulated by supplemental rules on postal packages attached to
the Postal Law." August 19,
2004 -- According to
Reading.com, "Less than a week after Stamps.com began printing out
personalized postage stamps, 2,000 orders filtered in, exceeding
Stamps.com chief Ken McBride's
expectations. Of those, pictures of puppies and cuddly children dominated,
well as shots of family vacations, really big fish and new homes. Stamps.com
bars fan shots of celebrities - unless, of course, the celebrity himself is
requesting the stamps (it has happened, but McBride is not naming names).
Political advertising is also verboten, and the company works to prevent
backbench politicians from adorning postage. "We spend a lot of time
the Web," McBride said. Also a no-no: stamps containing nudity,
August 19, 2004 -- According to its
2004 National Postal
Forum is attracting attendees at a record pace. “I’m amazed at the level
of interest and excitement,” said National Postal Forum, Inc. executive
director Michael Genick. “Clearly this is a response to the new format, with
more workshops, new symposiums, and outside speakers like NBC’s Tim Russert.
It’s really unprecedented.” The Forum, with a full four-day format, will
feature three general sessions, five all-day symposiums, and over 100
workshops. Sixty percent of the workshops are brand new." August
19, 2004 -- In a filing before the Postal Rate Commission in
the matter of the USPS
proposal on Repositionable Notes, "the Association for Postal
("PostCom"), Mailing & Fulfillment Service Association
("MFSA"), and The
Direct Marketing Association ("DMA") (collectively, the
have jointly moved to summarily dismiss the MC2004-5 proceeding."
August 21, 2004 -- The Herald Review (IL) has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service inspector general is investigating how personal information about 16 current employees and one retired employee from the Decatur Post Office got onto the World Wide Web. Postal officials are saying little about the situation, but the employees are contacting attorneys and considering the possibility of filing a lawsuit."
August 21, 2004 -- The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette has noted that "The U.S. Postal Service this month gave the go-ahead for a Los Angeles technology company to test customized postage made from people’s pictures. A Nebraska bank, also this month, debuted a credit card with a photo of the customer as its main image – meant more for the sake of individuality than security. You can also get checks with your picture on them. “It adds a nice touch and makes the mail a little more exciting,” said Ken McBride, president and chief executive officer of Stamps.com Inc. It launched www.PhotoStamps.com last week, a Web site where people can order personalized stamps. The company anticipates its use on greeting cards, birth announcements and wedding invitations. In a report called “Embracing the Future,” the President’s Commission on the United States Postal Service last year recommended letting people “design their own stamps, perhaps adding a family photo or a small business logo” as part of a concerted effort to save snail mail from going the way of the typewriter. “There were many discussions,” said Monica Surachi, a U.S. Postal Service spokeswoman, stressing that the personalized stamp offer is a trial run and that postal officials could revoke approval. “This is a test,” she said." Riiiight! Just try to stick THIS genie back in the bottle.
2004 -- The latest issue of
the PostCom Bulletin is available online. Hey! You've not been getting the weekly PostCom
best postal newsletter anywhere...bar none?
Send us by
email your name, company,
company title, postal and email address.
Get a chance to see what you've been missing.
August 21, 2004 -- KYW-TV (Philadelphia) has reported that "A postal inspector who used his position to steal credit cards is now facing up to 20 years in prison."
August 21, 2004 -- The Las Vegas Sun has reported that "Homeowner associations and home builders won't be in charge of maintenance of key distribution for "cluster" mailboxes under a plan struck between the Southern Nevada Home Builders Association and the U.S. Postal Service in Las Vegas. The deal comes after almost two years of disagreements between the two groups regarding cluster mailboxes -- sometimes called gang boxes or collective box units -- and who was in charge of their installation, maintenance and key distribution. Under the new plan, home builders will now install cluster mailboxes and the Postal Service will remain in charge of maintenance and key distribution at new home communities. Prior to the agreement, the Postal Service installed cluster mailboxes and distributed keys."
August 21, 2004 -- According to one writer for The Guardian (U.K.), "This week the Post Office surprised the financial world by announcing it is to reintroduce savings stamps after a 40-year absence. For those of you too young to remember, savers buy stamps (now valued at pounds 5) as and when they can afford them and take them home and put in a book. When they need to pay a utility bill, they take the book to the Post Office and pay it using the stamps. But critics say it is bizarre that in the 21st century anyone would want to do this. Users will receive no interest on the money held in stamps and have to bear the risk of losing or having the stamps stolen. They can't even turn the stamps back into cash if they need to. There must be better ways for those on low incomes to budget for big bills."
August 21, 2004 -- Les Echos (France) has reported that "French postal service provider La Poste plans to commence a restructure of its 11,500 multi-purpose branches in January of next year. It has been reported in the French press that plans for the La Poste postal service network include the closure of 6,000 of the company's 11,500 multi-purpose offices over three years. While La Poste has denied such plans, all parties concerned - local representatives, trade unions and postal workers - have been left dumbfounded by the reports. La Poste representatives have stated that as part of its business plan for 2003-2007, the company will retain its 17,000 points of sale in their current form."
August 21, 2004 -- The Kyodo news service has reported that "The United States on Friday threw support behind Japan's draft guideline in privatizing the nation's postal services, but repeated its request for a "level playing field" between a privatized postal insurance entity and private insurers, Japanese government officials said."
August 20, 2004 -- According to Dow Jones, "Before Japan's postal insurance can offer new products ahead of its privatization in 2007, the government must do away with special privileges given to the over Y120 trillion entity, a U.S. trade official reiterated Friday. The official said Washington presented what it meant by establishing a "level playing field" for competition between Japan's kampo insurance and private-sector firms. The Japanese government, however, internally has been at odds with itself over exactly what this means, despite calling for it too."
August 20, 2004 -- Transform has reported that "In a $300 million, three-year contract, the U.S. Postal Service is buying 12,000 hand-held scanning devices from Motorola that will enable business customers to see, via the Web, exactly when their customers receive bills and direct mail. This intelligence will help mailers staff call centers, process orders and payments, and improve customer response times."
August 20, 2004 -- Here are some excellent publications of studies done by the European Commission on the European postal sector:
August 20, 2004 -- The Financial Times (U.K.) has reported that:
August 20, 2004 -- The Periodical Press Association (U.K.) has reported that:
August 20, 2004 -- Dow Jones has reported that "Japanese and U.S. officials Friday held trade talks focusing on life insurance products to be offered by the country's postal service when it is privatized in 2007, a Japanese official said. Washington has urged Japan's Public Management Ministry to reject a request from the nation's sprawling postal service to sell new insurance policies. U.S. officials say the postal office's mammoth sales network, through individual branch offices, give it an unfair advantage over private sector competitors."
August 20, 2004 -- The Telegraph (U.K.) has reported that "Plans to close more than half of France's post offices as part of a reform of the state-owned postal service provoked fury yesterday. Postal workers, unions and provincial mayors protested as it emerged that 6,000 of the 11,500 offices, mostly in rural areas, are to be closed. Their business will be transferred to local shops at an estimated cost of 10,000 jobs, Le Parisien newspaper reported. The plans to reform La Poste, renowned as the most generously resourced postal service in Europe, were discreetly drawn up by managers over the summer."
August 20, 2004 -- Daily Nation (Kenya) has reported that "Postal Corporation of Kenya chief executive Dan Ameyo will remain in office, after all. Information and Communications minister Raphael Tuju said he had agreed with the Head of Civil Service Francis Muthaura that Mr Ameyo should not be suspended. "There has been consultations between my office and that of the Head of Public Service and we have reached a mutual agreement that Mr Ameyo will be continuing with his job," Mr Tuju told a news conference at the Communications Commission of Kenya offices, Nairobi. The announcement clears doubts over the fate of Mr Ameyo, whose stay at the parastatal had remained unsettled since it was reported by the Nation that he had been suspended."
August 20, 2004 -- According to the Weekly Post News From Japan, "It is not publicly known, however, that 80 percent of national public service personnel who received disciplinary dismissals were employees of the postal service. There are 27,000 postal service officials across the country and the number of those officials who were dismissed in disgrace is the highest among all government bodies – ten times more than those at the Education and Science Ministry. Three years have passed since Junichiro Koizumi became prime minister. Mr. Koizumi has been promoting a policy for privatizing postal service businesses as one of his flagship policies, but his efforts have stalled. During the last three years, the number of disciplinary dismissal cases at post offices continued to increase."
August 20, 2004 -- ThisDay (Nigeria) has reported that "The Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) has earned a total of N1.471 Billion in the first six months of this year, with the post office boxes generating N311.6 million, bulk post, N150 million, Speedpost N263 million, and international mail service, N87.1 million. Briefing newsmen on the half-year activities of the organization in Ikeja yesterday, the Post Master General of the federation, Alhaji Abubakar Musa Argungu said the revenue recorded in the half-year compare favourably with the figure for the same period last year, which stood of N1.149 Billion. The performance shows an increase of N323 Million. Argungu disclosed that during the period under review, NIPOST handled a total of 33, 949 pieces of mail items. These include items posted and delivered within Nigeria, those posted abroad and those received from outside Nigeria for delivery within Nigeria. NIPOST which has not received money for capital expenditure from government since 2001, committed N198 million to the completion and renovation of post offices across the country in the period. On the advertised target of delivering national mail within 72 hours since the introduction of the National Mail Route Network in June 2000, Argungu said that in 2001, the organization achieved 75 percent success; in 2002, 80 percent success and in 2003, 82.5 percent success."
August 19, 2004 -- The Standard (Hong Kong) has reported that "Foreign express freight operators on the mainland have voiced fair-play concerns over a new service launched by China Post to try to regain lost market share."
August 19, 2004 -- The Daily Yomiuri has reported that "Japan Post has decided to begin in October door-to-door delivery service for golf bags, skis, suitcases and other items whose size exceeds that stipulated by supplemental rules on postal packages attached to the Postal Law."
August 19, 2004 -- According to Reading.com, "Less than a week after Stamps.com began printing out personalized postage stamps, 2,000 orders filtered in, exceeding Stamps.com chief Ken McBride's expectations. Of those, pictures of puppies and cuddly children dominated, as well as shots of family vacations, really big fish and new homes. Stamps.com bars fan shots of celebrities - unless, of course, the celebrity himself is requesting the stamps (it has happened, but McBride is not naming names). Political advertising is also verboten, and the company works to prevent even backbench politicians from adorning postage. "We spend a lot of time surfing the Web," McBride said. Also a no-no: stamps containing nudity, violence or illegal activities."
August 19, 2004 -- According to its organizers, the 2004 National Postal Forum is attracting attendees at a record pace. “I’m amazed at the level of interest and excitement,” said National Postal Forum, Inc. executive director Michael Genick. “Clearly this is a response to the new format, with more workshops, new symposiums, and outside speakers like NBC’s Tim Russert. It’s really unprecedented.” The Forum, with a full four-day format, will feature three general sessions, five all-day symposiums, and over 100 workshops. Sixty percent of the workshops are brand new."
19, 2004 -- In a filing before the Postal Rate Commission in
the matter of the USPS
proposal on Repositionable Notes, "the Association for Postal
("PostCom"), Mailing & Fulfillment Service Association
("MFSA"), and The
Direct Marketing Association ("DMA") (collectively, the
have jointly moved to summarily dismiss the MC2004-5 proceeding."
August 19, 2004 -- According to Reuters, "More than half of all U.S. residential Internet users reached the Web via fast broadband connections in July, outpacing use of slower, dial-up connections for the first time."
August 19, 2004 -- Portland Press Herald has reported that "The Maine Human Rights Commission has sided with two postal carriers who say a Christian-themed column in a union newsletter amounts to religious discrimination. The pair targeted a monthly column entitled "Directions From God´s Handbook" in a monthly newsletter distributed to more than 100,000 members of the National Rural Letter Carriers´ Association. One recent column urged readers to bring the "good news of Christ´s salvation to non-Christians," and another said God´s people are those who accept Jesus."
August 19, 2004 -- The Billings Gazette (MT) has reported that "A twin-engine airplane contracted to carry mail from Billings to Kalispell crashed Tuesday night in the Little Belt Mountains, killing both men on board, state transportation officials said Wednesday. The victims were identified as Larry Baier, the pilot, and his friend Scott Kiral, both of Kalispell. Baier had been flying the mail route for 12 years for Alpine Air Express, a U.S. Postal Service contractor based in Provo, Utah, said Alpine CEO Gene Mallette."
August 19, 2004 -- PostCom members: Check the latest from that's been heard through the postal grapevine on the PostCom blog.
August 19, 2004 -- The Newark Star-Ledger has reported that "NUI, the parent of Elizabethtown Gas, has disclosed that one of its former divisions is under investigation by postal inspectors for false claims involving sales commissions. The subsidiary, TIC Enterprises, specialized in hiring out its sales force to other companies and providing other forms of marketing support. Five years ago, the unit struck a deal with the United States Postal Service to promote the carrier's expedited delivery services, including Priority Mail and Express Mail. The Postal Service's Office of the Inspector General launched a probe of TIC's commissions over a year ago, and the unit has since cooperated by turning over "documents, data and technical assistance," according to a filing NUI made Monday with the Securities and Exchange Commission."
August 19, 2004 -- The Examiner (NJ) has reported that "If you are going to mail something to someone in Roosevelt, don’t put the post office box number in the ZIP code, or you will get it back. Officials announced at the Aug. 2 Borough Council meeting that many residents are unhappy with the Roosevelt postal service. According to Councilman Michael Hamilton, mail is being returned to the sender if the post office box is provided but is in the wrong place. Councilwoman Pat Moser observed that the sender must then pay twice to mail the item. Postmaster Lorraine Hirtelen later confirmed that any mail sent to a street address will be returned, since the post office has no way of knowing what street address corresponds with which post office box number."
August 19, 2004 -- UPS' financials for the period ending June 30, 2004 is available on the web.
August 19, 2004 -- The Times Record (AR) has reported that "Fort Smith Mayor Ray Baker said Tuesday he had received assurances from U.S. Postal Service officials they have no plans “at this time” to move a local mail processing operation from Fort Smith to northwest Arkansas. Baker told city directors the statement was made during a meeting with postal officials and U.S. Rep. John Boozman, R-Rogers, in Fort Smith on Monday. The mayor has been at the forefront of a local push for retaining the mail processing facility since its possible relocation was announced in 2001. Postal officials said then that consolidating the operations could cost Fort Smith jobs, as about 150 postal workers perform processing services in Fort Smith, handling about 2.9 million pieces of mail daily. The move would also cost Fort Smith its postmark, with all mail processed through the facility identified as originating from “Northwest Arkansas.” Baker has criticized the proposed move as “a slap in the face” to Fort Smith and action that would hinder the efficient delivery of local mail."
August 19, 2004 -- WKMG MyCFNow.com has reported that "Postal officials are asking Florida residents and businesses to avoid stacking storm debris in the path of their U.S. Postal Service letter carrier. In some Central Florida neighborhoods, storm debris near mail boxes is forcing letter carriers to leave their vehicle to make each delivery."
August 19, 2004 -- The Daily Nation has reported that "The fate of "suspended" Postal Corporation of Kenya chief executive Dan Ameyo remained unclear yesterday as Cabinet minister Raphael Tuju failed to hold the Press conference he had promised."
August 19, 2004 -- The Asahi Shimbun has reported that "In an intensifying battle over parcel delivery services, Japan Post has lured major convenience store operator Lawson Inc. away from archrival Yamato Transport Co."
August 18, 2004 -- CEP News (Courier-Express-Postal) has reported that:
Don't be satisfied with a less than complete report on the courier, express, and postal market in Europe. Get your subscription to CEP News, today..
August 18, 2004 -- eWeek has noted that "The Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act, which goes into effect Oct. 28, encourages the banking industry's use of image technology to make the check-payment system more efficient and to lower check-processing costs. The law, which will change the way checks are processed and returned to the originator, covers commercial, retail, Treasury and traveler's checks. Known as Check 21, the act authorizes the creation of a new instrument, an IRD (image replacement document). An IRD is a substitute check that has been imaged from the original paper version presented to the clearing bank. It has the same legal status for proof of payment as an original check."
August 18, 2004 -- CNET News has reported that "One of the basic forms of personal identification, the passport, is on the verge of taking on a new, high-tech identity. A number of countries are about to launch trials of passports and visas that incorporate basic biometric information about the document holder alongside the traditional photo and passport number--data such as a digital image of the citizen's face that will be compared to a facial scan taken at the airport."
August 18, 2004 -- In his latest perspective for Direct magazine, postal commentator Gene Del Polito said that "there is something that really needs to be said that many of us on the industry side of the fence fail to say. And that is "thanks" to the many postal people we've worked with over the years who have helped us get our points across to the powers that be, who have helped us negotiate the thickets of postal classification and mail presentment challenges, who have worked especially hard to show that "service" is more than just the USPS' last name."
August 18, 2004 -- The Lakeland Ledger has reported that "Add another line to the old saying about snow, rain, heat nor gloom of night not stopping the delivery of the U.S. Mail. Letter carriers, some operating out of post offices in Polk County that had no electricity because of Hurricane Charley, still got the mail out Monday, said Dean Switzer, plant manager for the U.S. Postal Service ZIP sorting station in Lakeland. Most post offices in Polk survived with minor damage except for power outages and no mail was lost at any of the locations. "And anyplace (Monday) where mail was undeliverable, the carrier took it back to the post office for safekeeping," Switzer said."
August 18, 2004 -- The New York Daily News has reported that "After dozens of complaints from residents, the U.S. Postal Service has reinstalled mailboxes removed from sidewalks in Douglaston. Many elderly residents said the removal of the frequently used boxes created a tremendous inconvenience and hardship for them, according to Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-Queens/L.I.), who asked Flushing Postmaster William Rogers to reinstall the boxes at Van Zandt Ave. and 244th St., and between the corners of 244th and 242nd Sts. "They wanted their mailboxes back," Ackerman said. "The post office has a responsibility to serve constituents of postal offices all over the country. They build post offices and post roads; that's a federal responsibility, that's for everybody, not just where it's convenient. "This isn't rural America, it's a borough of 2 million people, people that are disabled, elderly people, people who don't drive."
August 18, 2004 -- The Fort Worth Star-Telegram has reported that "Millions of Americans watching the Olympics on television are getting their first glimpse of a shipping company called DHL. A division of the privatized German postal service, DHL is the top shipping company overseas, owning about 50 percent of the market. In the United States, DHL is a distant third behind FedEx and UPS. DHL knows that to be a world leader, it needs to have a big chunk of the U.S. market. So a year ago this week, it spent more than $1 billion to buy rival Airborne Express. Now it's investing more to broaden its network and get its name out. DHL paid to be the exclusive shipping company of the U.S. Olympic Committee. As such, it ships everything for the USOC from documents to uniforms, and its logo appears regularly on the NBC telecasts and in commercials during the broadcasts."
August 18, 2004 -- The Kyodo news service has reported that "A Liberal Democratic Party panel on postal services held its first regional public hearing on Wednesday in Soka, Saitama Prefecture, to hear the concerns of rural residents who fear that the government-led privatization may erode the quality of postal services."
August 18, 2004 -- Expansion has reported that "The Spanish government has been warned by its legal department that the monopoly enjoyed by state-owned postal operator Correos, for contracts to provide postal and telegraphy services to governmental departments, may be illegal. Correos has been allocated a number of these contracts without having to bid against other companies, despite the fact that its legal monopoly only applies to national and international letters and cards weighing 350 grammes or less. The entire postal sector in Spain, along with the rest of the EU, is due to be liberalised in 2009 in any case, although recent steps taken by the government seem to suggest that it wants to preserve Correos' monopoly."
August 18, 2004 -- According to AFX Asia, "Retailer Lawson Inc has agreed to let Japan Post customers drop off packages at all 7,800 of its convenience stores, starting in November. Lawson now has a similar deal with Yamato Transport Co, but is expected to switch partners ahead of Japan Post's privatization starting in 2007, the report said. To this end, the convenience store operator on Tuesday reportedly notified Yamato of its plans to terminate the tieup."
August 18, 2004 -- According to Japan Times:
August 17, 2004 -- Seven organizations have written to the President urging him NOT to appoint Dawn Tisdale to the Postal Rate Commission.
August 17, 2004 -- CNET News has reported that "FedEx Kinko's has unveiled Web-based software that helps print documents at remote locations. The tool, dubbed "File, Print FedEx Kinko's," is lets customers control the printing process. Consumers can select options such as single- or double-sided printing and have the results printed at one of the chain's 1,100 centers across the United States, or shipped via FedEx. The Web-based software is aimed at mobile professionals and small businesses." My goodness! Going after small businesses! Who'd a thunk?
August 17, 2004 -- The 2004 National Postal Forum is attracting attendees at a record pace. Will you be there?
August 17, 2004 -- The Association for Postal Commerce (PostCom) has filed with the U.S. Postal Service comments concerning:
August 17, 2004 - NZZ Online (Switzerland) has reported that "The government has launched its campaign against a people’s initiative aimed at preventing the closure of 800 rural post offices. It has guaranteed to maintain a decent level of service, but says the costs of maintaining the current network are too high. The people’s initiative, which is due to go to a vote on September 26, has been put forward by an alliance made up of a trade union, a consumer group and rural organisations." See also SwissInfo.
August 17, 2004 -- According to the New York Times, "It was just a little country post office in the panhandle in the back of a 1907 general store where shelves still held World War II meat-ration coupons. The mail for 52 people was sorted into 18 old paymaster's boxes from the Union Pacific Railroad, and the combination to the antique post office safe was scrawled on the wall. Advertisement Until, that is, Nov. 27, 2002, when United States postal inspectors swooped down on this quiet rural crossroads between Amarillo and Lubbock and busted the quaint operation - acquired only months before by an Austin couple through thoroughly modern eBay."
August 17, 2004 -- The Toronto Star has reported that "Glenn Rice, a 27-year veteran of United Parcel Service and a native of Cleveland who started out as a package car driver, has been promoted to president of UPS Canada."
August 16, 2004 -- From the PR Newswire:
August 16, 2004 -- According to the Economist, "when the Chicago Sun-Times disclosed in June that it had overstated its circulation, nobody was all that shocked; the paper was, after all, controlled by Conrad Black, a disgraced newspaper proprietor. But soon afterwards two of the Tribune Company's papers, Newsday and Hoy, confessed to having done the same. Last week a third American firm, Belo Corporation, said that the Dallas Morning News had exaggerated circulation. Advertisers now worry that a big slice of America's print industry may be faking its numbers."
August 16, 2004 -- The Postal Service's chief communications officer has told Federal Computer Week that the Postal Service's track record shows that it is far from "discouraging people from using electronic transactions."
August 16, 2004 -- The News-Press (FL) has reported that "Postal service will resume today, with the exception of Fort Myers Beach and the barrier islands, postal service spokeswoman Debra Mitchell said. Residents who have post office boxes at the downtown Fort Myers office should remove their mail, which was not damaged during the storm."
August 16, 2004 -- The Scotsman (U.K.) has reported that "hundreds of Scottish rural post offices face a more certain future after the government agreed to extend a £150 million annual subsidy to 2008, it was reported yesterday. The payment was due to run to 2006, but ministers are expected to announce next month that it will be extended by a further two years."
August 16, 2004 -- The news service, AFX, has reported that "The government is seeking to continue giving preferential tax treatment to postal operations even after the privatization process begins in April 2007."
August 16, 2004 -- Small Business (U.K.) has reported that according to Royal Mail CEO Adam Crozier, "Royal Mail's stamp prices are among the very lowest in Europe. But this is only achieved by cross-subsidy by the customers of bulk and franked mail. Competition is rapidly entering the postal market. If – as is likely – competitors take profitable volume from Royal Mail, then our ability to maintain the one-price-goes-anywhere mail service is going to be severely weakened." Royal Mail's overall prices are currently capped under an RPI-1% formula agreed with the postal regulator, Postcomm, with the next annual adjustment due in April 2005. It means that the basket of Royal Mail’s prices will again fall in real terms next financial year if RPI stays at or near its current level of 3%. Mr Crozier said: "Royal Mail can't keep sustaining heavy losses on stamped mail as competition intensifies. We are determined to charge a fair price – and that means having prices much more related to the actual cost to Royal Mail of providing the service."
August 15, 2004 -- Canada.com has reported that "Canada Post has quietly told the federal government it should not be subject to the access-to-information law because the requirement to be more open would put the Crown corporation at a competitive disadvantage."
August 15, 2004 -- The National Association of Major Mail Users (Canada) has reported "Good news for mailers: The “tapping” of mail apparently continues, however, there will be no more “rating up” at the RVU for the time being. Canada Post advised this following the NAMMU report of mailers who complained about their mail being held up at induction while this “tapping” goes on. NAMMU advised at least the costly 50 per cent is being eliminated, however, members consulted, failed to see the need to continue the practice. Canada Post advised it would look at each case individually in terms of refunding past “rate ups”. Please contact your Canada Post representative to see if your mail is eligible for rebate."
August 14, 2004 -- The Detroit News has reported that "A Wayne County postal equipment center will stay open at least two more years under a new contract with the U.S. Postal Service, Michigan lawmakers announced Friday."
August 14, 2004 --MENA-FN has reported that "Qatar's General Postal Corporation (Q-Post), which was granted autonomy in 2001, is expected to launch an Initial Public Offering (IPO) and get listed on the Doha Securities Market within the next three years, Ali Mohammad Al Ali, the Q-Post chairman, said on Thursday."
August 14, 2004 -- As the Federal Times has noted, "The U.S. Postal Service’s financial problems are well known — declining mail volume in recent years is sapping its revenue. But William Young’s concern is the growth end of the Postal Service. As president of the National Association of Letter Carriers, he’s watching the ever-increasing number of addresses mail must be delivered to each year and its impact on the city letter carriers he represents."
August 14, 2004 -- Dow Jones has reported that "The Argentine government formalized its control of the postal service Friday, publishing a resolution that also forsees future capitalization of the company from the state. The legislation appears to be another indication that Correo Oficial de la Republica Argentina SA is moving closer to long-term state control rather than new private ownership."
August 14, 2004 -- The Scotsman (U.K.) has reported that "The Royal Mail is losing 5p for every first class letter posted by members of the public, new figures revealed today. The figure, which also covers small businesses, is even higher for second class mail at 9p per letter. The £247 million losses incurred on personal letters, greetings cards and stamped mail posted by small firms last year were covered by profits generated by bulk business mail, the organisation reported." See also The Telegraph and The Guardian.
August 14, 2004 -- According to the Globe and Mail, "Mr. Ouellet, though, was no dilettante during his years at Canada Post, which ended yesterday when he resigned as president, the latest victim of the Liberal sponsorship scandal. But he was also a highly divisive figure within the Crown corporation -- for the manner of his arrival as a Liberal political appointee and his apparent willingness to return political calculations to post office business, for his authoritarian streak at the boardroom table and, ultimately, for the fact that he put into question the post office's improved reputation by racking up expenses that now are under serious challenge. As board chairman from 1996 to 1999, he spent 10 times as much annually on hospitality and travel as his successor; as president, beginning in 1999, he spent four times as much as his predecessor. Most of Canada Post's executive ranks will be pleased to see him go, a Liberal official said. Some had quietly made their concern clear to Deloitte and Touche, the accounting firm whose audit of Canada Post activities eventually led to Mr. Ouellet's departure."
August 13, 2004 -- Reuters has reported that "A U.S. appeals court ruled on Thursday against three homeless men who complained that the U.S. Postal Service did not make sufficient arrangements for them to receive mail. The Seattle men maintained that general delivery services for mail recipients without a physical address limited to the main post office denied them proper access to their letters. However the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco backed a lower court in finding the postal system had acted properly."
August 13, 2004 -- Business Mailers Review has reported that:
August 13, 2004 -- Bloomberg has reported that "Canada Post President Andre Ouellet quit after a 'troubling'' audit of his expenses and the company's spending on advertising, the minister in charge of the government-owned postal service said." See also the report by AFP.
August 13, 2004 -- The Financial Times has reported that "The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit is widely seen as a bastion of liberal jurisprudence. So it was perhaps a little surprising that the San Francisco-based court this week upheld the sentencing of a man to stand outside a post office for a day, wearing a sign reading: "I stole mail. This is my punishment." In a 2-1 ruling, judges rejected the argument that the punishment was aimed purely at humiliating Shawn Gementera, a 24-year old petty thief, saying it sought instead to make him aware of the gravity of the crime."
August 13, 2004 -- ABX Air has announced that its subsidiary, ABX Cargo Services, has been awarded the contract to manage the U.S. Postal Service's terminal handling activities at the Indianapolis Hub and Spoke Program ("HASP") in Indiana. The contract calls for ABX to be compensated at a firm price for its fixed costs plus an additional amount based on the volume of mail handled, with projected volumes resulting in $6.5 million in revenues during the two-year term of the contract.
August 13, 2004 -- The Kyodo News Service has reported that "The Japanese government plans to appoint top management of private postal services companies in spring 2006 to smooth the way for privatization of the services due to begin in 2007
August 13, 2004 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that "As trade barriers vanish, product cycles shorten and more components are outsourced, logistics companies are facing pressure to consolidate to meet their customers' widening needs. The highly fragmented logistics business provides services that range from sourcing raw materials and warehousing parts to assembly and transport. But only a handful of companies are capable of delivering the scale and range required by globalizing industries."
August 13, 2004 -- The National Association of Major Mail Users (Canada) is urging its members to contact the Minister Responsible for Canada Post Corporation, the Honourable John McCallum, as well as the President of Canada Post, Anne Joynt, of the mailing industry’s objections to both the basic stamp and business incentive rate increases on the Exclusive Privilege products: Lettermail, Addressed Admail.
August 13, 2004 -- According to Dow Jones, "Argentine President Nestor Kirchner has suggested what many analysts have long suspected - that the government would not go ahead with plans to reprivatize the postal service."
August 13, 2004 -- The East African Standard has reported that "Three more companies, including Postal Corporation of Kenya, have applied to the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) for Internet gateway licenses. Oluoch of Postal Corporation said the license would the firm improve its efficiency in providing Internet access in rural areas."
August 12, 2004 -- Dow Jones has reported that "The U.S. Postal service is likely to resume long-term borrowing from the Treasury after this year, as a recent freeze on capital investment in facilities ends. The USPS slashed its debt to the Treasury's Federal Financing Bank, the Postal Service's sole long-term lender, to zero at the end of June from $7.3 billion a year earlier and a record high of $11.1 billion at the end of fiscal 2002. "We break even next year, and we can't postpone as much on the facilities side as we have in the past few years," USPS Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President Richard Strasser told Dow Jones Newswires on Wednesday."
August 12, 2004 -- New York Newday has reported that "Blockbuster Inc. yesterday launched its online movie rental service, months ahead of schedule. The program follows on the heels of the national launch of its in-store subscription rental program, Movie Pass, in May. Like that of the online rental giant Netflix Inc., the Blockbuster program will allow subscribers unlimited rentals, three DVDs at a time, from the company's Web site for a flat monthly fee. The movies are to be delivered via the U.S. Postal Service and include return envelopes and, as with rival Netflix, shipping charges are included in the flat fee."
August 12, 2004 -- The U.S. Postal Service's financial and operating statements for June 2004 have been posted on the USPS web site.
August 12, 2004 -- CEP News (Courier-Express-Postal) has reported that:
Don't be satisfied with a less than complete report on the courier, express, and postal market in Europe. Get your subscription to CEP News, today..
August 12, 2004 -- Managing Information has reported that "The United States Postal Service, an EOS International client since 1989, has upgraded to EOS.Web Enterprise, enabling postal library and information center employees to access, index, and catalog information from anywhere in the world."
August 12, 2004 -- According to CBSMarketWatch, "Fuel surcharges have driven up the cost of sending a package about 7 percent to 8 percent this summer, but few delivery companies are complaining. That's because in an improving economy, the need to ship goods is soaring and therefore boosting profits. At the same time, truckers and delivery services are able to pass along the higher cost of fuel through surcharges much easier than airlines, for example, which are locked in vicious fare wars. The surcharges have been a fact of life in shipping since 2001."
August 12, 2004 -- The Guardian (U.K.) has reported that "TPG, the Dutch postal operator which has embarked on a big expansion programme in Britain, is considering a bid for the DX mail business of Hays, the services group. The richly profitable Dutch group, which trades as TNT Mail in the UK, plans to challenge Deutsche Post to be Royal Mail's biggest competitor."
August 12, 2004 -- The Sydney Morning Herald has reported that "The Australian federal government introduced 11 new bills to the House of Representatives, as speculation increased it was clearing the decks for an election. Among the new bills was the Postal Industry Ombudsman Bill 2004 which parliamentary secretary Warren Entsch said was an election promise from 2001. 'The (bill) implements a government election commitment to establish a dedicated Postal Industry Ombudsman,' he said."
August 12, 2004 -- According to CommentWire (U.K.), "FedEx's acquisition reflects the battle for supremacy between UPS and FedEx in the lucrative US package delivery business, as both are looking to expand by diversifying their product portfolio. On recent evidence, Parcel Direct is unlikely to be the last small scale player to be subsumed by one of the big two." See also the perspective by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
August 12, 2004 -- The Independent (NJ) has reported that Sea Bright "Mayor Jo-Ann Kalaka-Adams wants to know what’s happening to the mail — both that come into the borough and that go out. In a letter to U.S. Postmaster Gen. John E. Potter, written on her behalf by borough clerk Maryann M. Smeltzer, Kalaka-Adams proposed that Sea Bright be given its own ZIP code in order to get better service."
August 12, 2004 -- ClickZ has reported that the "FTC is seeking comments on a 'Primary Purpose' test of E-Mail." A fascinating item given the current discussion underway within the USPS over what constitutes First versus Standard Mail.
August 12, 2004 -- A comment on the times by the Medill News Service: "Here in the seat of U.S. government, participants spell out the language of the political process on the tiny keys of BlackBerries. Many lawmakers, staffers, lobbyists, and other political players don't leave home or office without the wireless handheld devices from Research in Motion (RIM). Certain lobbyists and other influential types have even been known to e-mail BlackBerry-toting congressmembers when legislation is being "marked up" in committee."
August 10, 2004 -- NBC4.com has reported that "The postal service has partnered with a private company (Stamps.com) to offer personalized postage stamps. Instead of the traditional flags or flowers, you can put anything from your children to a corporate logo on the stamp using your home computer. While cute, they are a little costly. A sheet of 20 first class stamps costs more than twice as much as traditional 37-cent stamps. More information on custom stamps is available online." See also CNN.com.
August 10, 2004 -- According to Haaretz (Israel), the reorganization of the Israeli state post is hoped to lead to a more efficient provision of services.
August 10, 2004 -- The Asahi Shimbun has reported that:
August 10, 2004 -- The Duluth News Tribune has reported that "Hoping to reduce its costs, the U.S. Postal Service is asking Gary-New Duluth residents to consider a change to their mail delivery. If customers agree, the Postal Service will install a free mailbox and post so that carriers can make curbside deliveries instead of bringing mail to a house-mounted box."
August 10, 2004 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that "TNT Logistics and DSV (owner of the DFDS brand) have announced that its joint venture in the Nordics logistics market, TNT DFDS Transport Group, has come to an end. DSV has acquired all of TNT’s stake in the company and is now once more the sole owner. The company will change its name to DFDS Transport Solutions. The move comes directly as a result of TNT’s recent acquisition of Wilson Group which already has significant operational capacity in the region. As DSV is a direct competitor with Wilson Logistics, continuation of the joint venture would have led to a clash of interests."
August 9, 2004 -- The National Postal Forum's Small Business Day, featuring speakers and workshops developed just for the small business owner and manager, will be a centerpiece of the final day of the mailing industry's premier annual customer conference. Attendees of the Small Business Day at the Forum will have an opportunity to network with other small business leaders and discover new marketing and fulfillment strategies as well as solutions for growing and strengthening customer relationships and bottom lines. A special vendor exhibit will showcase products and services that are geared for companies that operate on a smaller scale.
August 9, 2004 -- FedEx Corp. has announced an agreement to acquire Parcel Direct, a division of Quad/Graphics, for $120 million in cash. Parcel Direct is a leading parcel consolidator and will add a new dimension to the FedEx portfolio of services.
August 9, 2004 -- According to one writer for Vanguard (Nigeria), there is still a role for a postal service in nation building.
August 9, 2004 -- The Age (Australia) has reported that "About 35,000 postal workers will get a four per cent pay rise from Monday, in an Australia Post bid to sideline the militant communications union. The automatic rise has been granted despite the failure of six months of talks between the parties to reach a formal enterprise agreement. Australia Post spokesman Matt Pollard said it was hoped the payment would break the resolve of union members to take further industrial action."
August 8, 2004 -- AFX-ASIA has reported that "The government is considering allowing Japan Post to engage in the real estate rental business, prior to its scheduled privatization in April 2007."
August 8, 2004 -- AMEInfo (UAE) has reported that "The Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED) today announced a strategic tie-up with Emirates Post that will enable investors to conduct their trade licence registration procedures through the post offices in Dubai."
August 7, 2004 -- According to the Daily Yomiuri, "The basic policy on postal privatization outlined Friday by the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy is a setback for Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi in his battle with those who wish to scale back plans for the sell-off. That was the verdict after the plan proposed continued operation of all postal services as a single entity--contrary to the wishes of Koizumi and Heizo Takenaka, state minister in charge of economic, fiscal and financial policy, both of whom have sought to separate postal savings and life insurance services from the privatized mail delivery operations."
August 6, 2004 -- The Daily Yomiuri has reported that "The Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy agreed Friday to privatize postal services as four independent businesses and eventually place them under a holding company by 2017, Heizo Takenaka, state minister in charge of economic, fiscal and financial policy, and Public Management Minister Taro Aso said. At a press conference Friday, Takenaka and Aso outlined the postal privatization policy that was agreed by the panel earlier in the day, saying the privatization would take place in stages beginning in April 2007. They announced that the new postal delivery company would be required by law to offer uniform services throughout the nation, while the postal savings and kampo life insurance services will be bound by company rules to maintain current services. The panel plans to draw up a basic policy on postal privatization by the end of this month based on the outline." See also Bloomberg.
August 6, 2004 -- According to the Ft. Wayne News Sentinel, "Soldiers say some mail is not making it to Iraq. Slow delivery, missing packages trouble troops and postal officials alike."
August 6, 2004 -- Copies of the PowerPoint presentations given at the August 4-5, 2004 MTAC meeting have been posted on this site.
August 6, 2004 -- The Associated Press has reported that "A doctor whose homes were searched by FBI agents investigating the 2001 anthrax attacks was charged with assault for allegedly fighting with four family members at a motel just hours after the raids."
August 6, 2004 -- DM News has reported that:
August 6, 2004 -- As Hoovers has noted, "The $33.5 billion United Parcel Services' (UPS) biggest capital project is based in Louisville. UPS runs the 11th largest airline in the world. The company, on a growth path, is chalking out its game plan for India. The company's scale of operations can be judged by the fact that its delivery volume in 2003 was 3.4 billion packages and documents. The company is undergoing a change from a parcel services corporation to a global logistics major. Its entry into India was delayed because whereas FedEx and DHL focused on the Asian market, UPS concentrated on the European market. But now it realises that one billion people isn't a small market. UPS has 13 offices and 400 staff in India. While making efforts to corner a larger share of the Indian parcel services market, it has also declared its presence in the supply chain management market with a separate office. UPS does not look at pricing as a key factor, but lays stress on its technology. An example is its tracking facility. The company recorded 50 percent growth in exports out of India and plans offices at 11 more locations by end 2004."
August 6, 2004 -- A report of UPS' revenue, volume and piece traffic can be found online.
August 6, 2004 -- The National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) has told its members that "NALC and USPS at the national level have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) extending the national task force on evaluating and adjusting routes through FY2005."
August 6, 2004 -- Globes Online has reported that "The Israel Postal Authority has applied to the Ministry of Communications for permission to enter a range of new activities, now that the Knesset yesterday passed in its second and third readings an amendment to the Budget Arrangements Law to open the postal market to competition in 2006. Postal Authority chairman Jacob Edery believes that most of the services will be authorized soon."
August 6, 2004 -- The Calgary Sun has reported that "Suspended Canada Post boss Andre Ouellet is on the defensive and pleading to keep his job in the wake of a scathing audit of his spending and hiring practices. In a rebuttal letter to Revenue Minister John McCallum, the nation's highest-paid bureaucrat called for "fairness and objectivity" as the feds decide his fate." See also the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail.
August 6, 2004 -- The Staines Guardian (U.K.) has reported that "Councillors have voiced their disgust over proposals to close four Post Offices, in Spelthorne. Post Office Ltd announced its plan to close the branches last month, claiming that there are too many branches in the borough, which is causing insufficient business for all 17 to survive. But the proposals provoked an angry backlash from county councillors, who deplored any move to further restrict postal services."
August 6, 2004 -- The Nikkei news service has reported that "Japanese post offices nationwide are encouraging customers to use their postal savings accounts to make all types of payments, including those for daily milk deliveries, school tuition and fees paid to the operators of cemeteries containing their family plots as well as utility charges. Although the post office only earns 100 yen for such transfers, Japan Post hopes an increase in the service will help establish the postal savings operations as what President Masaharu Ikuta calls a 'family bank.'"
August 6, 2004 -- The Daily Yomiuri (Japan) has reported that "Transformation into a public corporation run by the private sector is an option that should be considered for the three postal services, according to the Liberal Democratic Party's special committee on postal reform. Some of the options, among which is keeping intact the public corporation that has unified management of mail delivery, postal savings and kampo postal insurance in public hands, clearly contradict Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's policy of dividing the three services and then selling them off. Among the options is the suggestion that the privatization of the postal services does not mean that the companies taking over the services have to become incorporated, adding that a public corporation run by the private sector is one possibility."
August 6, 2004 -- The Associated Press has reported that "After producing stamps made of lace or smelling of chocolate, Switzerland's postal service has turned to the Alpine country's forests for inspiration. From Our Advertiser Swiss Post on Thursday launched its latest unusual commemorative stamp, a square of pinewood with a face value of 5 Swiss francs (US$4). The stamps, which celebrate Switzerland's lumber industry, are roughly the thickness of a credit card."
August 5, 2004 -- DM News has reported that:
August 5, 2004 -- From the Business Wire: "Two-thirds of U.S. consumers are willing to pay more for select services in exchange for better service despite lower prices being a primary reason for switching service providers, according to survey findings released today by Accenture. However, a relatively small percent of consumers are willing to pay more for any individual service. The research also generated a customer service industry ranking, based on the percentage of consumers who said they are generally satisfied with the service they receive from industries. Postal services, banks and utilities ranked the highest, with 44 percent, 42 percent and 41 percent of respondents, respectively, stating that they are generally satisfied with the level of service they receive from organizations in these industries."
August 5, 2004 -- According to the Asahi Shimbun, "Policy debates over the privatization of postal services are growing louder in Tokyo's political circles. Worryingly, however, these debates have lost sight of the most fundamental problems, focusing instead on such specifics as the formula for separating the three services of mail, postal savings and postal insurance - whether they should be managed under a holding company or as three separate entities; and how new contracts should differ from the current government-guaranteed ones."
August 5, 2004 -- According to the Nikkei news service, postal services in Japan suffer an inflated demand artificially created to save jobs.
August 5, 2004 -- The BBC (U.K.) has reported that "Postal workers who don't take any sick leave for the next six months will be entered into a prize draw for a new car. The Royal Mail is giving away 34 Ford Focus cars, 68 holiday vouchers worth £2,000, and 12 weekend breaks. The company say that 10,000 people are off work at any one time in the organisation, costing hundreds of millions of pounds every year."
August 5, 2004 -- The Air Courier Conference of America (ACCA) has praised the recent agreement by World Trade Organization (WTO) members on a framework for completing the Doha Round of negotiations. "The agreement should reinvigorate the Doha negotiating process and, most important for our industry, give impetus to the ongoing services negotiations and initiate negotiations on trade facilitation. The express delivery services industry will continue to seek important liberalizations through the WTO negotiations to help us provide faster and better service to our customers worldwide," said David Spence, chairman of ACCA's International Trade Subcommittee and Managing Director, FedEx Express Regulatory and Legal Affairs. The express delivery services industry has the following objectives for the Doha Round of WTO negotiations: it is seeking an appropriate definition of express delivery services to ensure that commitments apply to both private and public providers of express services; commitments on market access; provisions to facilitate customs clearance to allow express carriers the ability to provide fast, reliable service that businesses and consumers demand; and disciplines on cross-subsidization and other unfair competitive practices by postal administrations.
August 5, 2004 -- The Journal Inquirer has reported that "developers of San Bernardino International Airport and March Air Reserve Base want to land a DHL air cargo hub and the thousands of jobs it will bring in and around their airports. DHL is considering sites at both airports for an air cargo processing facility similar to the UPS West Coast Air Hub at Ontario International Airport. UPS employs about 3,000 workers at its processing center in Ontario."
August 4, 2004 -- According to postal commentator Gene Del Polito, "There are thousands of small businesses who have never learned of the value of mail as a medium for business development. This is a market that is more than ripe for the taking. Others have figured this out. The only sleep-walker here appears to be the Postal Service."
August 4, 2004 -- CEP News (Courier-Express-Postal) has reported that:
For subscription information, contact CEP News.
August 4, 2004 -- MENA-FN has reported that "Qatar's General Postal Corporation (Q-Post) plans to offer service to banks in which they will print bank statements which will then be mailed directly to bank customers."
August 4, 2004 -- The Seattle Times has reported that "Across Britain, shops, post offices, banks, and even pubs are shutting at alarming rates. Transport links are becoming fitful. Local farms, squeezed by bulk-purchasing supermarkets, are on their knees. And wealthy second-home buyers are driving up home prices beyond the reach of locals. The money-losing national postal service has shut thousands of costly post offices — vital centers that dispense an array of administrative services from mail to social welfare benefits."
August 4, 2004 -- The DM Bulletin has reported that "Royal Mail is launching a promotion offering consumer publishers a 25% discount in order to help the weekly magazine market boost its marketing activity and sales. Royal Mail claims that the reduced distribution costs will potentially allow weeklies to increase their marketing activity, using the money saved from the discount programme to increase their overall subscription circulations."
August 4, 2004 -- Bloomberg has reported that "Japan Post, which operates more branches than all of Japan's banks, should be allowed to compete freely against lenders and insurers after the state-run service is sold off in 2007, Home Affairs Minister Taro Aso said."
August 4, 2004 -- The First Federal Mail Symposium will be held February 8-10, 2005 at the New Washington, DC Convention Center. Registration fees haven't been determined yet, but the fee will be reasonable. Be watching the web site for registration to open soon: www.federalmailsymposium.org The 2005 Federal Mail Best Practice Awards will be announced at the Symposium. These awards recognize and publicize those federal mail centers and federal mail centers managers who share creative, cost-effective or timesaving practices or policies that have improved federal mail operations. The First Federal Mail Symposium is specifically geared to: Those federal mail professionals who manage mail operations. Those who establish mail management policy. Those mail professionals who process mail in federal mail centers. The attendance is also extended to include those federal executives whose responsibilities include: Mail, freight, transportation, and or printing. For more information, contact: Tracey Noll A-S-K Associates, Inc. Conference Management Group 1505 Kasold Drive Lawrence, KS 66047 Toll Free: 800-315-4333 or by email at email@example.com.
August 3, 2004 -- The Daily Yomiuri (Japan) has reported that "Although the Liberal Democratic Party has started drawing up its own reform plan of postal services, an intensifying tug-of-war is expected within the party as some members with vested interests in postal services remain stubbornly opposed to Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's privatization initiatives."
August 3, 2004 -- According to FederalNewsRadio.com, "In the beginning (of the Democratic presidential nomination process) it was the firefighters union that went with Sen. John Kerry (D-MA). Other unions, including federal and postal groups mostly favored Rep. Richard Gephardt (D-MO) or front runner (for a short while) Howard Dean of Vermont. Gephardt was the sentimental favorite of some labor leaders and many rank-and-file employees who can identify with his humble working-class beginnings. But now that Kerry is the nominee most federal and postal unions have, or will, give him their full support. Most postal workers, roughly 80 percent of the clerk-carrier craft, belong to a union. Either the American Postal Workers Union (generally speaking, "inside" employees) or the National Association of Letter Carriers, generally speaking the "outside" workers."
August 3, 2004 -- From the PR Newswire: "U.S. Postal Service's Vice President and Treasurer Robert J. Pedersen has been named to the Association for Financial Professionals (AFP) 300 list of the highest-ranking professionals in the fields of treasury and corporate finance."
August 3, 2004 -- R.R. Donnelley & Sons will sell its package logistics business to Heritage Partners Inc. by the end of the third quarter, but will maintain its print logistics, fulfillment and distribution business, Donnelley said yesterday. Financial details were not disclosed, though Donnelley said it would receive cash in the exchange. Heritage Partners is a private equity firm that owns American Package Express. The deal is subject to regulatory approval. Donnelley's package logistics business includes the subsidiary CTC Direct Inc. Donnelley will continue to provide third-party logistics management services. See also the announcement by the Heritage Partners.
August 3 2004 -- The 2003 Household Diary study has been posted on the USPS web site.
August 3, 2004 -- According to Direct magazine, "Spending on traditional direct mail is forecast to grow by 5.5% annually between 2003 and 2008, according to the Veronis Suhler Stevenson. This growth would boost spending from the $49.1 billion s in 2003 to $64.1 billion in 2008. If these predictions hold, the medium’s growth would outstrip the 4.4% annual growth it saw between 1998 and 2003. Despite this increase, the channel would slip from ninth-highest, in terms of spending, to 12th-highest in 2008, surpassed by Yellow Pages advertising, broadcast television and professional, educational and training media. Within the past year, direct mail’s spending growth rate was 6.5%. Consumer direct marketing expenses increased by 8.7%, to 19.1 billion, while business-to-business expenditures rose by 5.1%, to $29.4 billion."
August 3, 2004 -- Business Insurance has reported that "United Parcel Service Inc. has agreed to provide vouchers to its customers to settle a consolidated class action lawsuit that alleged UPS overcharged shippers for excess-value package insurance written by a Bermuda-based company owned by UPS employee-shareholders. Atlanta-based UPS was hit with 27 such lawsuits across the country after a U.S. Tax Court judge ruled in 1999 that Bermuda-based Overseas Partners Ltd. was a “sham” intended to divert taxable UPS income from the excess-value program. A panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals later overturned the ruling, finding that OPL served a legitimate business purpose."
August 3, 2004 -- Dow Jones has reported that "The European Union Commission Tuesday approved the acquisition by Dutch postal and logistics firm TPG NV (TP) of Swedish freight services company Wilson Logistics Holding AB."
August 3, 2004 -- The Financial Times has reported that:
August 3, 2004 -- The Polish Bulletin has an interview with Tadeusz Bartkowiak, general director of Poczta Polska, the state-owned legacy post operator, who says that his post has developed "a new strategy that calls for a strong position in logistics, new technologies, and financial services."
August 3, 2004 -- The Jamaica Observer has reported that "postal rates will be hiked by up to 50 per cent today, an increase that should allow the Postal Corporation of Jamaica to break even by 2006."
August 3, 2004 -- Japan Today has reported that "The government's key policy-setting panel agreed Monday on a plan to privatize the nation's postal services as four independent businesses of mail delivery, postal savings, "kampo" life insurance and management of network of over-the-counter services at post offices, panel members said. Members of the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy were divided over a proposal for creating a holding company to oversee the services, but a majority was in favor of a plan to run the four businesses under a holding company, they said."
August 3, 2004 -- From the Business Wire: "Quebecor World Logistics (QWL) is investing in the latest co-mail technology to reduce costs for short- and medium-run magazine publishers. With this investment, QWL will offer its enhanced co-mail process, the Express Collation Mailing System, which will reduce gross postage by up to 30 percent and improve overall postal distribution service. "
August 2, 2004 -- The San Jose Mercury News has reported that "Dog attacks have halted mail delivery to residents of nearly 100 homes in Scottsdale Estates. "Animals are attacking our carriers - Rottweilers and pit bulls. We are concerned for their safety," Postal Service station manager Steve DeRossi said. The gated Scottsdale community already had a reputation for violence and drugs. Postal officials and Scottsdale Homeowners Association leaders are working on a compromise that would put new mailboxes at a safer location within the complex, but it could take six months before home delivery resumes."
August 2, 2004 -- TMCnet has reported that "Wincor Nixdorf, the global leader in open ATM hardware and multi-vendor software solutions that improve branch efficiencies, today announced that the United States Postal Service has selected self-service devices from Wincor Nixdorf and its U.S. alliance partner, IBM, for installation at 2,506 postal branches throughout the United States. The initial installations of the Automated Postal Center (APC) units occurred in May 2004 and will continue through November 2004."
August 2, 2004 -- The Kyodo news service (Japan) has reported that "A key policy-setting panel of the Japanese government basically agreed Monday to privatize the public postal services as four independent businesses according to functions such as mail delivery, postal savings and "kampo" life insurance."
August 2, 2004 -- Dow Jones has reported that "Singapore Post Ltd. (S08.SG) Monday reported a 10.5% rise in first quarter net profit to S$26.1 million, as revenue from its mail services remained steady amid a reduction in taxes and costs."
August 2, 2004 -- As Air Cargo World has noted, "Mail was an oasis of stability for U.S. airlines for decades, as constant in volume as it was in price. But the U.S. Postal Service's change last year to a new system for allocating traffic has turned mail into a shifty lover that is always ready to abandon one carrier for another if performance or price fails to please. Airlines are still adjusting to the new set-up on the domestic front, and there are signs that international letters will move toward a similar course adjustment."
August 2, 2004 -- According to the PostalReporter, "On July 12,2004, National Arbitrator Shyan Das issued an award rejecting the Postal Service’s argument that Line J’s (PS Form 4852) only purpose is to determine whether facility cleaning can be contracted out and Line J ceased to have any purpose because the parties adopted a new methodology to govern contracting out. In his award, Arbitrator Das ruled that “the Postal Service’s obligation in a properly staffed facility is to abide by the criteria or standards established in [Handbook] MS-47 for both unit performance as well as frequencies,” and “[t]he specific frequencies to be followed at a particular location are those specifically on the PS [Form] 4852.” Das concluded that “[t]he average weekly hours total shown on Line J of PS [Form] 4852 is an approximate yardstick against which to measure management’s compliance [with the MS-47 Handbook and frequencies set out on the PS Form 4852], but does not constitute a rigid obligation which cannot be deviated from.”
August 2, 2004 -- Socialist Worker Online has reported that:
August 2, 2004 -- Some PostCom members who have never been through a postal rate case before have been asking how one is conducted. For those who are interested, we have reposted the PostCom piece on "Anatomy of a Postal Rate Case."
August 2, 2004 -- Some time ago, a number of mail-related organizations banded together to form the Mail and Jobs Coalition to handle our common concerns regarding efforts to lessen the viability and value of mail as a means for business communication and commerce. The Coalition authorized the creation of a web site, MailandJobs.com, which an activity that has been largely supported by a grant from the Association for Postal Commerce. The Mail and Jobs Coalition has created a grassroots action kit to address local concerns pertaining to mail and the environment, privacy and the mail, and the taxation of postage. The Coalition also has provided PostCom members with an update on some of its more recent activities. You can find this update on the PostCom web site. The kit itself is also available on the PostCom web site.
August 2, 2004 -- Dow Jones has reported that:
August 2, 2004 -- Stuff.co.nz has reported that "NZ Post is reviewing the future of the country's postcode system, used to help with the computer-assisted sorting of mail. It is evaluating "two or three options" for the future of the addressing system NZ Post has recently updated the population's postcodes to ensure every delivery address registered as of July 1 has a valid code. Steve Chritchlow, managing director of Wellington business mapping company Chritchlow Associates, says New Zealand's postcode system is "a bit flaky". Businesses overseas sometimes use postcode boundaries to display market penetration in different regions, but New Zealand's postcode zones aren't suitable for that because the areas they cover are too large, he says. Overseas firms sometimes approach Chritchlow Associates seeking to buy a database of New Zealand postcodes. That's a product no one is currently able to supply."
August 2, 2004 -- The Washington Post has reported that "Bio-Defense Research Group Inc., a Columbia start-up, is betting that memories of the anthrax scare that focused so much attention on air-circulation systems in big buildings will help sell its sole product, a device that it says not only kills anthrax but also disables a variety of germs and even radiation. The company is testing prototypes of the device, which zaps airborne threats with ultraviolet light as they pass through heating and cooling ducts, but executives said they expect to begin selling it by the end of the year. The device would have saved millions of dollars in cleanup costs at the Brentwood postal facility in Washington, which processed two letters containing anthrax spores in the fall of 2001."
August 2, 2004 -- According to the New York Times, "the idea was to mail 10 letters to addresses in Manhattan and see whether they were delivered. They were ordinary letters, addressed with ordinary printing and ordinary stamps. Exactly one thing was not ordinary. The addresses. Over the years, the city has given honorary alternate names to dozens of streets. And then there is the Postal Service. It says it recognizes the city's alternate street names, just as it recognizes streets that New Yorkers still call by their older, snappier names, like Sixth Avenue, which became Avenue of the Americas in 1945. 'If you address it to Josh Rosenthal Way, it's going to get delivered,' said Anthony Musso, a spokesman for the service's New York district, which includes Manhattan. The evidence, though, suggests it is not. "
August 2, 2004 -- According to the editor of DM News, reform isn't going anywhere in the Senate because of "Politics. Budget Committee chairman Don Nickles, R-OK, is unhappy with Sen. Susan Collins, R-ME, for failing to support his effort to have a budget that includes tax cuts approved. Therefore, Nickles is holding her reform bill hostage." He also wanted to know what's up with the Postal Service. "What exactly are they trying to do by wanting to charge for mail using sticky notes? Their reason: It boosts response rates. In testimony to the Postal Rate Commission, the USPS admitted "the addition of [repositionable notes] to flats appeared to cause no additional processing or handling costs." So far, the feature has been free, but now they want to expand the use to other mail categories - and are eyeing a way to bring in more money. I know the USPS is in trouble, but this is not the way to run a business. Well, actually, it is the way to run a business, but that's not the postal service's function. Or is it?"
August 2, 2004 -- The Borneo Bulletin has reported that "The Postal Services Department will move a step further in its effort to improve the quality of services to the public by introducing two main projects. It will implement a new mechanism for mail processing and introduce an automatic counter to replace the manual procedure at the post office. The new mechanism involves the use of a machine created especially for mail processing, whereby mails will be sorted-out according to size. A data will also be provided to postmen for the sorting-out process, in accordance to the address."
August 1, 2004 -- According to the Associated Press, the sign might just as well say: "Welcome to Nalcrest, population 800 and ZIP code 33856, where the nation's letter carriers come to retire when they've set down the bag for the last time. It's a small town with plenty of mail bonding. Once potential residents get a look at the place, they're signed, sealed and delivered."
August 1, 2004 -- The Toronto Star has reported that "André Ouellet, the suspended head of Canada Post, says he deserved the $2 million he spent on travel and hospitality over the past eight years. The day after Revenue Minister John McCallum ordered him to justify his spending and management practices, Ouellet told the Ottawa Citizen he turned the crown corporation around, paving the way for a $235-million profit last year. He said he followed all the rules then in place."
August 1, 2004 -- Brunei Direct has reported that "A new mechanism for mail processing and an automatic counter are now replacing the manual procedure at the post office."