Postal News from September 2004
September 30, 2004 -- If you have been awarded a PhD in economics, managerial sciences or related disciplines within less than 5 years, the Belgian Post is offering you the opportunity to win a post-doctoral grant for a one year research fellowship in Postal Economics (50.000 €). Learn more.
September 30, 2004 -- The Guernsey Press and Star (U.K.) has reported that "continuing losses at Guernsey Post have prompted Treasury and Resources to react."
September 30, 2004 -- From the PR Newswire: "Knowledge and innovation in using the mail to effectively market to -- and communicate with -- customers drew a record number of mailing industry professionals interested in learning about the value of mail as a business tool to the Nation's Capital Sept. 19-22 for this year's National Postal Forum."
September 30, 2004 -- The Universal Postal Union (UPU) has announced that "Edouard Dayan, director of European and international affairs for France's La Poste, was elected director general of the Universal Postal Union yesterday by the postal representatives of member countries attending the Universal Postal Congress in Bucharest, Romania. He received 102 votes against 63 for Carlos Silva, who is inspector-general of posts and telecommunications with the Portuguese postal service and outgoing chairman of the UPU Postal Operations Council. Dayan succeeds Thomas E. Leavey of the United States, who completes a second five-year term as head of the United Nations agency at the end of this year. The official handover occurs Jan. 1."
September 30, 2004 -- AMEInfo has reported that "Emirates Post has made a bid to host the 24th postal congress in 2008, part of an ongoing campaign to boost the national image by the UAE Government. The only other contender is Kenya."
September 30, 2004 -- Investor's Business Daily has reported that "Shares of Japanese parcel delivery company Yamato Transport fell Thursday in Tokyo after Japan Post undercut basic charges for its parcel services, raising concerns that private companies like Yamato will lose business to the government-backed postal service."
September 30, 2004 -- From the PR Newswire: "Stamps.com was asked today by the U.S. Postal Service to conclude its market test and to cease taking customer orders for PhotoStamps(TM) as of October 1, 2004, to allow the Postal Service to conduct a review of the program. The USPS stated that it expects to make a decision on the future of the PhotoStamps program within 90 days. Customer response to the market test of the new PhotoStamps(TM) product has been overwhelmingly positive with an estimated 100,000 sheets, or 2,000,000 individual PhotoStamps, ordered during the approximately seven weeks of the market test which began with the public launch on August 10. Stamps.com recently submitted a formal request to the U.S. Postal Service to extend the PhotoStamps market test for a definite period of time, or to start a new market test of the service. That request is expected to be considered during the Postal Service's evaluation period. Stamps.com also made a request that it be allowed to continue taking PhotoStamps orders while the program was evaluated, and that request was effectively denied." This story has a subtitle: "Postal Service shoots self in foot." How much intelligence does it take to appreciate the USPS could have made oodles more bucks by extending the 'experiment' until December 31.
September 30, 2004 -- Reuters has reported that "Pitney Bowes Inc., the No. 1 maker of postal equipment, on Wednesday said it would consolidate the reporting structure of its operational segments and named Murray Martin as president and chief operating officer. The company said the consolidation and appointment of Martin, a company veteran who was previously an executive vice president, is part of its ongoing organizational realignment to support its growth strategy."
September 30, 2004 -- eWeek has reported that "United Parcel Service of America Inc. is embarking on a worldwide wireless strategy that will streamline operations by keeping better track of packages and employees."
September 30, 2004 -- Dow Jones has reported that:
September 30, 2004 -- Die Welt has reported that "Deutsche Post, the German postal service operator, is introducing an Ebay auction service in Berlin with effect from this Friday, which will be accessible even for those without computers. In the first phase it will be limited to 12 post offices, and, if successful, 50 post offices will be participating by the end of this year."
September 30, 2004 -- The Hindu Business Line has reported that Indian "Post offices in your neighbourhood may never be the same. In a complete revamp of its operations, the postal department is now looking at foraying into the retail sector through strategic tie-ups with large FMCG companies to sell anything from groceries to mobile connections. The move is aimed at reducing the postal deficit, which stands at Rs 1,300 crore."
September 30, 2004 -- The Asahi Shimbun (Japan) has reported that:
September 30, 2004 -- The Jap an Times has reported that "Ideas from business leaders should be invited when crafting plans to privatize Japan Post to ensure it is profitable from the get-go, according to Taro Aso, minister of internal affairs and communications."
September 30, 2004 -- The Daily Yomiuri (Japan) has reported that "The newly reshuffled Cabinet of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi now faces a number of tasks, including the privatization of postal-related services. Koizumi, who has two more years before his term as president of the Liberal Democratic Party expires, will be tested on whether he can complete his stated aim of 'structural reform without sacred cows.'" Based on the American experience, Mr. Prime Minister, all I can tell you is get ready to hear "moooo."
September 30, 2004 -- The Straits Times tries to answer the question: Why is Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi pushing for postal reform?
September 29, 2004 -- Xinhua has reported that "Three new top executives of Japan'sruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) vowed Wednesday to work on steering their party toward privatizing the country's postal services, the centerpiece of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's structural reform drive. The three, who made the pledge during an interview with Japanese and foreign media, are Tsutomu Takebe, the new secretary general, Fumio Kyuma, General Council chairman, and Kaoru Yosano, chairman of the Policy Research Council."
September 29, 2004 -- According to allAfrica.com, "the overlapping directorships of some Nam-Post (Namibia) board members also serving on the boards of commercial banks have raised fears of a conflict of interest."
September 29, 2004 -- The Linton Daily Citizen has reported that "Some Greene County mail carriers will help other U.S. Postal Service mail carriers throughout Indiana deliver the gift of sight and sound to thousands of people in need. On Saturday, participating carriers will collect used eyeglasses and hearing aids from customers who no longer have a need for the items. Customers are asked to place their donations in a plastic bag and hang them from their mailboxes so the carriers can pick them up while on their regular routes."
September 29, 2004 -- The Financial Times has reported that "The Netherlands sold almost half its stake in TPG on Wednesday in a deal worth about $1.6bn, and the Dutch postal company bought back around a third of the shares, hoping to remove a share-price overhang. But the state retained its “golden share” in the mail and logistics group, which owns the TNT brand name, and the European Commission said it was still concerned about the government’s influence on TPG and its deterrent to foreign investment."
September 29, 2004 -- Decrying elevation of the issue of free trade into a political football, the chairman and CEO of UPS today called on small and large business alike to better explain to Americans the benefits of globalization and the disastrous effects of “economic isolationism.”
September 29, 2004 -- The latest issue
of the PostCom Bulletin is available online.
September 29, 2004 -- From the Federal Register: "On September 14, 2004, the Board of Governors of the United States Postal Service adopted a number of amendments to its Bylaws. These amendments changed the quorum of Governors required to vote on a recommended decision of the Postal Rate Commission, reserved the election of the Board's Vice Chairman to the Governors, and altered the rules for scheduling meetings. Consequently, the Postal Service hereby publishes this final rule."
September 29, 2004 -- According to postal commentator Gene Del Polito, "To thousands of businesses across America, the U.S. Postal Service serves as a very important vehicle for conducting business communication and commerce. Consequently, it's important for those who businesses are tied to the postal system to understand why it does what it does. There are times it's hard to discern the Postal Service's wisdom without also suspecting some nefarious plan."
September 29, 2004 -- Waiting for postal reform? You may be waiting for Gidot. Word has it that the Administration has told the House government reform committee chairman that it would strongly oppose his postal reform bill -- that it does not provide enough reform to justify the budget cost. Or, as PostCom Director Emeritus Lee Epstein would have put it: "Your baby's ugly."
September 29, 2004 -- According to Direct, "The U.S. Postal Service is asking catalog mailers not to forsake paper mailings." Well, if a double digit increase comes out of the next rate case, the USPS will really be facing 'High Noon.'
September 29, 2004 -- According to American Daily, "The rise of technology, from faxes to email to e-commerce, and the success of competitors like UPS and FedEx, have relegated the Constitutional provision of post offices by the Federal government to antiquity. To allow the existence of the United States Postal Service in its current form is inimical to the principles upon which this nation was founded. The time for eliminating this monopoly is long overdue. The laws that protect the USPS must be repealed, letting free market forces (i.e., the will of the people) determine its fate."
September 29, 2004 -- The Associated Press has reported that "Germany's Deutsche Post said Wednesday its North American express mail unit will break even a year later than originally planned, citing increased spending on marketing and infrastructure." See also CBS MarketWatch, Bloomberg, and Reuters.
September 29, 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..
September 29, 2004 -- BBC News has reported that "Postal workers in Peterborough are to vote on further strike action after claiming management owes them money. Earlier this month, unofficial action at Werrington sorting office caused disruption to thousands of customers across Cambridgeshire and Norfolk. Workers at the Royal Mail depot say they are still not satisfied because their employers are holding back pay. On Wednesday, the Communication Workers Union will start balloting about 1,000 postal staff over further strikes. The last unofficial strike, which ended on 13 September, lasted six days." Does this ever end?
September 29, 2004 -- The Asahi Shimbun (Japan) has reported that "Voter support for Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's pet project to privatize postal services stood at around 45 percent, while about 33 percent said they were opposed to such a plan, according to an Asahi Shimbun poll taken this week. But more importantly, perhaps, those polled showed almost no interest in the postal project itself-it came in dead last in importance in a ranking of five issues. Instead, voters wanted the government to concentrate on pension and welfare problems." See also Reuters.
September 29, 2004 -- The Financial Times has reported that "Yamato Transport, the Japanese parcel delivery company, has filed an injunction against Japan Post in a dispute that foreshadows the fierce turf battles that are likely to develop as the country’s huge postal system is privatised."
September 29, 2004 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that "DPWN and TPG, two of Europe’s largest post offices, continue to drive consolidation in the European mail, express and logistics sectors."
September 28, 2004 -- According to the Jonesboro Sun, "Using new ways to attract business and compete in an ever-changing market, the United States Postal Service is making up ground on its private sector counterparts."
September 28, 2004 -- On October 12th, PostCom's Postal Operations Committee will address technical postal issues such as the pending USPS' proposed rules for flats bundle preparation on the Automated Package Processing System (APPS) equipment, developments with the 4-state barcode, address quality issues, BMC pallet issues, and MERLIN issues. In the afternoon of October 12, PostCom will hold an informal discussion of issues critical to the mailing industry, including postal reform/CSRS and the next rate case. On October 13, at PostCom's formal Board meeting, the association will further discuss postal reform/CSRS, rate case issues, other rates and classification initiatives, as well as parcel issues, small business development, and other key issues. PostCom members are always welcome as guests on a space available basis. Those interested in attending should contact email@example.com.
September 28, 2004 -- Hey business mailers! Do any of you use live stamps (single-piece or bulk precancelled) on your promotional or response pieces? If you do, we'd like you to tell us why. We've got a good reason, so please feel free to share your rationale. Just contact firstname.lastname@example.org
September 28, 2004 -- The Financial Post (Canada) has reported that "Deutsche Post AG, Europe's largest postal service, plans to buy a 38% stake in the Spanish mail company Unipost at the start of 2005. German newspaper Die Welt yesterday cited unidentified people within the company as saying Deutsche Post would buy the stake from an undisclosed Spanish investment company, with an option to buy further stakes in Unipost, which is Spain's biggest private letter-delivery company." See also the Associated Press.
September 28, 2004 -- As DM News has noted, "A proposal that items sent from ETOEs, or extraterritorial offices of exchange, should be treated as commercial items not subject to the UPU Acts was adopted at the Universal Postal Union’s 23rd Congress meeting in Bucharest, Romania. The proposal was approved because ETOEs do not fulfill the universal service obligations set out in the UPU Acts, according to the Congress. ETOEs are offices set up by countries outside their national territories for the international exchange of mail. The offices allow international direct mailers to mail through an international postal administration without leaving their host country. There are about 100 registered ETOEs worldwide." See also below.
September 28, 2004 -- And this from one Stamps.com user about says it all.
September 28, 2004 -- SourceWire (U.K.) has reported that "If the creators of a new system have their way L-Mail will soon become the common term used to describe sending physical letters via a web site using any Internet Service Provider (ISP). L-Mail.com, to be launched on 28 September 2004, will be offering consumers and businesses the ability to send postal letters via any Internet enabled computer through a simple web based interface. Users of the service will simply type and format their letter in a browser, click submit before it’s printed and put in traditional postal mail systems from one of an initial 7 locations around the world. The developers of L-Mail claim their service will save users time and money over using traditional post. Letters will frequently be cheaper through L-Mail than traditional mail. For example, a three-page letter to the United States will cost 64p fully inclusive. Postage alone for a 20g letter from the UK to the USA is 68p."
September 28, 2004 -- Japan Today has reported that "Newly appointed postal reform minister Heizo Takenaka pledged Monday to push through the planned privatization of state-run Japan Post under the leadership of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi."
September 28, 2004 -- According to the Journal of Commerce, "FedEx plans to enlarge its delivery network in China -- which now covers 223 cities with Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen as the hubs -- by adding 100 more cities in the next five years."
September 27, 2004 -- A copy of PostCom's response to the Postal Rate Commission on the issue of repositionable notes has been posted on this site.
September 27, 2004 -- Harte-Hanks Names Matthew P. Leonard as its Information Policy Director: Harte-Hanks has named Matthew P. Leonard to the newly created post of information policy director in the direct marketing and targeted media company. Leonard joins Harte-Hanks from IBM where he managed IBM's Customer Facing Privacy and Information Policy activities worldwide.
September 27, 2004 -- UPS Mail Innovations, the business mail services unit of UPS, has announced its international mail services to help U.S. businesses more quickly and efficiently move mail destined for international locations. Through relationships with a portfolio of global postal authorities, UPS Mail Innovations processes U.S.-outbound business mail and transports it to postal authorities for final delivery to addresses in more than 200 countries. UPS Mail Innovations now offers international mail services thanks in large part to its April 2004 acquisition of the assets of OMNIsort International Inc. (OSI). Through the addition of OSI's operations in New York and California, UPS Mail Innovations can process and transport U.S.-outbound international mail within 24 hours of receipt from customers."
September 27, 2004 -- According to Reuters, "Dutch postal and logistics company TPG NV is interested in expanding into the Danish postal market but will not comment specifically on buying a stake in Post Danmark, a spokesman said on Monday. "We look with interest at Denmark and we have always said we would look at whatever happened in Europe," said TPG spokesman Tanno Massar."
September 27, 2004 -- According to Direct magazine, "Spending on political direct mail and public relations/promotions is estimated to hit $808 million in 2004, up 74.7% from $463 million in 2002, an increase of 138.2% over 2000's $339 million."
September 27, 2004 -- DMNews has reported that:
September 27, 2004 -- Bloomberg has reported that "Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi today is set to pick ministers and party leaders who support the sale of Japan Post, the world's largest savings bank, as he seeks to quell opposition from within his party." See also Japan Today.
September 26, 2004 -- The Washington Post has reported that "Last year, people sitting at home watching television spent $91 billion on products they saw on infomercials, more than the gross domestic product of New Zealand. They lapped up products that claimed to make them look prettier, get skinnier, cook tastier, grow richer, remember better and love longer. Like everyone, infomercial customers have needs and desires. Unlike everyone, they act on them. You can find them on the Internet, which, for infomercial patrons, is a megaphone, complaint desk and Father Confessor."
September 26, 2004 -- As the Indianapolis Star has noted, "While the holidays might seem far away, catalogers want to get on consumers' radar early. They believe that shoppers have started thinking about gift-giving, if they aren't buying yet. A recent study by the U.S. Postal Service and online market research firm comScore shows catalogs, in addition to generating their own sales, are a key driver of traffic for merchants' Web sites. The study found that consumers who got catalogs made 15 percent more online transactions and spent 16 percent more with the merchant than those who did not receive catalogs."
September 25, 2004 -- Traffic World has reported that "DHL's ground network is taking shape and with it the strategy the express carrier will use to take on FedEx and UPS for a bigger share of the U.S. expedited delivery market. The express carrier this month began rolling out seven regional sort centers that will connect to the company's larger network, but more importantly, provide the foundation for ground-based services that are the real focus of domestic express services these days."
September 25, 2004 -- Newsday has reported that "direct mail is generating a windfall for the industry's biggest company. Advo Inc., the largest direct-mail marketer in the United States, sends out half a billion pieces of mail a week, 27 billion a year. Like them or not, the ads work, said Chris Hutter, vice president for investor relations at the Windsor-based company. Founded in Hartford in 1929 by a salesman who peddled Sears catalogs door-to-door, Advo now hopes to get bigger still as it expands in southern California, western Pennsylvania and Raleigh-Durham, N.C."
September 25, 2004 -- OpinionEditorials.com has noted that "The bad news, according to Postmaster General John Potter (no relation to Harry, unfortunately - the post office could use some magic), is that if Congress doesn’t pass significant postal reform legislation this year you and I are looking at a new hike in postal rates in 2006. The good news is, if Congress DOES pass significant postal reform legislation this year...Potter says we’ll STILL need a postal rate hike in 2006. Thus is the nature of the government-enforced monopoly over mail delivery in these United States: Taxpayers just can’t win no matter what they do. While President Bush did create a commission to study the problem, the commission didn’t recommend privatization and the president sure hasn’t pushed for it. And the Edwards side of the dynamic Democrat duo assured postal unionistas at their convention in August that he and John Kerry “will never privatize the United States Postal Service.” In return, the APWU delivered something promptly for a change: It’s endorsement of the Kerry-Edwards ticket."
September 25, 2004 -- The Washington Post has reported that "It seemed like a clever idea. This summer, a small Web company, Stamps.com, partnered with the U.S. Postal Service to let people put their own photos on 37-cent first-class stamps. Cute babies. Precious pets. Proud papas. The plan was to give regular folks a novel way to send their party invitations, letters, and thank-you notes. Stamps.com chief executive Ken McBride thought family photos would be used to personalize postage stamps. Except this is the online world, where good intentions are forever being hijacked."
September 25, 2004 -- The Universal Postal Union (UPU) has reported that "In the afternoon, proposal 048 on extraterritorial offices of exchange (ETOEs) was adopted. Delegates effectively recognized that ETOEs do not fulfil the universal service obligations set out in the UPU Acts, and that items sent from ETOEs should be treated as commercial items not subject to the UPU Acts, unless the destination Post has announced that it agrees to apply the Acts to items received from ETOEs. In addition, any country or operator wishing to set up an extraterritorial office of exchange on the territory of a UPU member country must obtain the agreement of the host country in accordance with its national legislation.
September 25, 2004 -- An update on the Direct Marketing Association's take on postal legislative reform has been posted on the DMA web site.
September 25, 2004 -- According to the Duluth Budgeteer News, "The Northland District of the Postal Service is sponsoring a campaign called “Phone Cards for Troops” that allows customers to purchase a phone card and donate it back to the postal service. The Northland District gathers all phone cards each week and donates them to commanders of area military units, asking them to distribute the phone cards to local troops deployed overseas. Over 200 post offices in the Northland — which covers most of Minnesota and the western third of Wisconsin — are participating in the promotion. Customers may buy phone cards for $10 (100 minutes), $20 (250 minutes) or $30 (450 minutes)."
September 24, 2004 -- As Mail and Jobs Coalition executive director Peter Miller has noted in an article for MediaDailyNews, "Rather than dissipating, the use of mail as an advertising and marketing medium in the Internet era will continue. Why? Because paper-based mail is a tactile medium in a digitized era -- you can touch mail, it's real, and it has dimension. Envelopes create a powerful sense of privacy. And mail can be targeted and segmented to reach the right audience - the very reason, for example, that Republicans (Voter Vault) and Democrats (Datamart) each have more than 165 million voters listed in their databases."
September 24, 2004 -- The Federal Times has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service’s inspector general has questioned witnesses about whether an agency vice president improperly aided a company bidding on a $635 million contract to manage seven call centers. The IG’s questions concerned whether Francia Smith, USPS vice president and consumer advocate, passed along confidential pricing and other information about four bidders to the incumbent contractor, TeleTech. TeleTech had run the call centers since 1996. A spokesman for the Office of Inspector General declined to say whether it was investigating Smith, but said there had been some “interest” in her. The Postal Service and Smith declined to comment on the investigation."
September 24, 2004 -- Business Mailers Review has reported that:
September 24, 2004 -- Hoovers has reported that "UPS, a world-leading messenger company in the US, has been permitted to launch six more flights to China per week for its growing business."
September 24, 2004 -- The Polish Bulletin has reported that "In preparation for a fiercer battle with the competition due to the liberalisation of the postal market, Polska Poczta (PP) Polish Post will begin changing its structure next year. 100 additional services that PP currently offers on over a dozen markets will be grouped into three main departments - a postal one, a financial one and a logistics one."
September 24, 2004 -- From the Business Wire: "Escher Group, Ltd., a leading provider of counter automation and business applications to the postal industry, today announced that Postkantoren BV in the Netherlands has selected Escher Group's WebRiposte(TM) Essential postal counter automation system for implementation on their 2100 post office counters across the country. Postkantoren joins a customer base of 21 postal authorities across 4 continents. Built on WebRiposte, the WebRiposte Essential retail product includes a set of application components supporting a range of transactions, from postal to retail. WebRiposte Essential provides a standard and open environment for application development and easily integrates with existing enterprise applications."
September 24, 2004 -- AP Worldstream has reported that "Two pillars of Swiss nationhood are being tested Sunday _ citizenship and the post office. Voting in referendums, the cornerstone of their system of direct democracy, the Swiss will decide whether to loosen the Alpine country's tough rules on naturalizing foreigners, and whether to block their government's cost-cutting campaign to shut post offices."
September 24, 2004 -- The Holman Courier has noted that "It used to be to get your face on a postage stamp you had to be somebody famous or semi-famous but important. Plus, you had to be dead, which deprived people of the chance to enjoy their elite postal status in person. Advertisement Advertise Info. Directory But for at least another week, a lot more people have a chance to push the envelope and go first class. Starting last month, Stamps.com has offered people the chance to put pictures of their own choosing on their postage stamps. It's being offered on a trial basis - pending U.S. Postal Service approval - and Stamps.com is only taking orders through Sept. 30, the end of the trial period. If the Postal Service bases its final approval on sales, chances are good the photo stamps will become a permanent fixture."
September 23, 2004 -- According to NewsMax.com, "In an effort to win the support of America's postal workers, John Edwards recently announced that if elected, he would "never privatize the U.S. Postal Service." He further declared that he and John Kerry would defend the current "no-layoff status" of America's postal employees. Although the Kerry-Edwards stance may score points with the Postal Service's entrenched unions, it completely ignores the reality of USPS ledgers. Any serious assessment of the organization's finances shows that it is in desperate need of an overhaul."
September 23, 2004 -- As the Mail and Jobs Coalition noted in its latest response to an irresponsible newspaper diatribe on advertising mail:
The Beacon Journal certainly tells less than the whole story when it offers "tips help keep amount of junk mail to minimum," (September 23, 2004) For instance, should readers dump advertising mail from your corporate owner, Knight Ridder? As Knight Ridder says in its latest quarterly filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, "for the full year, we expect that our circulation revenue will be down between 1% and 2% versus the prior year. Our plans for the balance of the year include telemarketing and selective discounting, along with increased use of crew sales, kiosks, single-copy insert coupons and direct mail promotions."
September 23, 2004 -- Dow Jones has reported that "Shares of Stamps.com Inc. are down 12.5% Thursday, a day after the company said it would not allow pictures of adults and teenagers to be published on stamps as part of its PhotoStamps venture. Stamps.com, of Santa Monica, Calif., said Wednesday it will now only print images of babies, preteens, pets, landscapes, wildlife, vehicles and graphics representing businesses or charities on valid postage." See also Investors Business Daily and the Los Angeles Times.
September 23, 2004 -- The Manila Times has reported that "It is sad to know that the Philippine Postal Corp., or Philpost, long ailing from the ill effects of corrupt administrations, has not shown any sign of recovery. Like the cash-strapped government, it is up to its neck in debt but has not demonstrated any resolve to pull itself up from the doldrums. It has been missing out on golden opportunities for making money in a field where it has a strong competitive edge, as in the money transfer industry. Unfortunately, it has established a record of being always beaten to the draw by more active and enterprising business operators."
September 23, 2004 -- From the PR Newswire: "Stamps.com has announced that owing to a change of plans it has cancelled its appearance today at the ThinkEquity San Francisco conference. CEO Ken McBride was unable to attend the conference as he was scheduled to be in other meetings for the duration of the week. Stamps.com also announced today that it is in active discussions with the US Postal Service regarding next steps on the market test of PhotoStamps(TM). The current market test is expected to end on September 30. Possible outcomes following the current market test include a suspension of the PhotoStamps service while the data from the market test is evaluated, a continuation of the PhotoStamps service while the data from the market test is evaluated, an entirely new market test commencing immediately following the current market test, or a new market test commencing at some future date. Stamps.com expects to announce the next steps for the PhotoStamps service as soon as it is available."
September 23, 2004 -- NZZ Online (Switzerland) has reported that "Consumer groups and trade unions have forced a nationwide vote aimed at blocking plans to close loss-making post offices. They argue postal services are crucial for the public, particularly in rural areas. But opponents say the state-owned Post Office has to make cuts to stay competitive. Voters will decide on September 16 whether to support the people’s initiative, launched by a trade union and the country’s main consumer organisation." See also SwissInfo.
September 23, 2004 -- Dow Jones has reported that "France's state-owned postal service La Poste (PST.YY) said Thursday its net profit more than doubled in the first half compared to a year-earlier period it called exceptionally weak. La Poste's net profit was EUR383 million in the first half, up from EUR187 million last year when the company blamed increasing competition from electronic mail and a weak stock market for a plunge in its bottom line. Revenue for mail delivery, which accounted for 60% of La Poste's EUR9.4 billion first-half revenue, rose 6.7% during the period thanks to higher prices for stamps, La Poste said. Financial services, a business on which La Poste increasingly depends to offset the cost of running its network of more than 17,000 outlets across France, posted net banking income-the equivalent of revenue-of EUR2.1 billion, up 4.5% from a year earlier, La Poste said."
September 23, 2004 -- The Hartlepool Mail (U.K.) has reported that "Yesterday the Mail revealed how a shake up at the Royal Mail had left the service in a "scandalous"state. Within hours of publication we were flooded with calls from customers with their tales of postal woe. A spokesman for the Royal Mail today said some of the problems were down to human error. But the post workers union, the Communication Workers Union (CWU), said the service's failing were due to management incompetence - and asked the public not to blame the postie." As former U.S. Senator Russell Long might have put it: "Don't blame you. Don't blame me. Blame the man behind the tree."
September 23, 2004 -- From the PR Newswire: "Parascript, LLC, an industry leader in recognition software, today announced the release of AddressScript Parcel, furthering its commitment to automate processing of the complete mail stream. Building on Parascript's flagship AddressScript software, which currently processes 67 billion letters and flats a year, AddressScript Parcel addresses the most difficult mail stream-parcels. Parcels, unlike letters and flats, pose additional recognition challenges including marker and other thick inks and "noise" that make readability of critical fields more difficult. Using neural net technologies, AddressScript Parcel identifies addresses, removes background noise and recognizes relationships between critical fields on a mail piece. Parascript overcomes the challenge of deciphering destination address blocks, barcodes, and other critical fields on packages."
September 23, 2004 -- The Chicago Sun-Times has reported that "In a market test that started in early August but is ending at the end of the month, Stamps.com made it possible for do-it-yourself stamp makers for the first time to put their favorite photos -- with certain restrictions -- online at photo.stamps.com. Those images are transferred to sheets of postage stamps that are as genuine as anything you could buy at the post office. The future of PhotoStamps is uncertain. Gerry McKiernan, spokesman for the U.S. Postal Service, said Wednesday that the service "won't be available after Sept. 30. That's when the evaluation begins. We can't say when, or if, it will be available again," he said."
September 23, 2004 -- Postmaster General Jack Potter has announced the selection of Bill Galligan Vice President, Delivery and Retail. Galligan has been acting vice president of Delivery and Retail since November 2003.
September 23, 2004 -- As the Irish Examiner has noted, "one has to wonder how, on the one hand, An Post can be a commercial semi-state company while being obligated to provide a social service on the other."
September 23, 2004 -- According to the Motley Fool, "FedEx shares have generated tons of excitement over recent months, given the company has served up increased earnings guidance several times over the course of recent months. Some investors seem a little spooked today, though it might have been a case of buyer's remorse for some. After all, FedEx shares have continually trekked upward over the last year, powered by excitement over continued upward guidance, international adventures, and FedEx Kinko's."
September 23, 2004 -- The DM Bulletin (U.K.) has reported that "Door-drop specialist Circular Distributors has promoted Charles Neilson to managing director to ensure the firm continues its aggressive growth strategy in the door-to-door market. CD is the leading door-drop company in the UK. CD, along with TNT Mail, is a division of Dutch postal operator TPG Post."
September 22, 2004 -- Business Week has noted that "Since being acquired in 2002 by Deutsche Post, DHL Worldwide Networks has upped its business: It has become more visible in the U.S. -- and was the official express delivery service of the U.S. Olympic team in Athens. One outfit profiting from DHL's newfound energy: ABX Air (ABXA), an air-cargo carrier with a fleet of 116 planes that provides DHL with airlift and sorting services. With about 95% of ABX's revenues coming from DHL, recent Deutsche Post outlays to promote DHL in the U.S. assure ABX of steady sales."
September 22, 2004 -- From the Business Wire: "FedEx Corporation reported earnings of $1.08 per diluted share for the first quarter ended August 31, compared to $0.42 per diluted share a year ago, an increase of 157%. Excluding business realignment costs and a one-time tax benefit, last year's earnings per diluted share were $0.61."
September 22, 2004 -- From the PR Newswire: "Package insurance is now available online for individuals and small businesses using the Postal Service's premier shipping services at http://www.usps.com. Now customers who use Click-N-Ship(R) to buy postage can also purchase up to $200 worth of insurance online for domestic Express Mail and Priority Mail packages."
September 22, 2004 -- The Belfast Telegraph (U.K.) has reported that "A major review of the workings of Londonderry's postal headquarters has been undertaken, Royal Mail revealed today. The move came to light after residents from the Prehen area complained that they appeared to have received no mail on several occasions over the past week. Royal Mail said that there did not appear to be any particular problem in the Waterside estate. "It would appear to have been a light mail week," spokesman Brian McCalden said. It is now understood the local sorting office has received numerous complaints. The complaints follow the introduction of a wave of new measures which have included the scrapping of a second post throughout the UK. Royal Mail today admitted that there had been teething difficulties in Derry with the new services."
September 22, 2004 -- Seen the latest USPS Click 'N Ship ad? It goes: "If you click it, we will come." The double entendre was the buzz of the Forum show. Who vets this stuff? Austin Powers?
September 22, 2004 -- CNET News has reported that "Warner Bros. has agreed to license some films to Netflix as part of a test run of the Internet company's upcoming movie-download service, according to sources familiar with the plan. The service would allow people to rent and download films via Netflix, whose Internet site now only delivers DVDs via the U.S. Postal Service. The downloaded film would then be accessible on TiVo's personal video recorders for viewing on a TV set."Here's another piece of postal business that's slip-slidin' away. Look for more to go the way of the gooney bird as telcos and cable companies intensify the deployment of broadband.
September 22, 2004 -- "New Partnerships and New Practices For An Efficient World Postal Sector" was presented by Mr. Michael J. Critelli, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Pitney Bowes Inc. at the World Postal Strategy Forum, 23rd Universal Postal Congress in Bucharest, Romania on September 17th, 2004.
September 22, 2004 -- The slides used during the National Postal Forum report on the Mailing Industry Task Force, Phase 2 are posted on the PostInsight web site.
September 22, 2004 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "FedEx Express, the world’s largest express transportation company, is donating and transporting relief supplies to the victims of Hurricane Ivan in Grenada, Grand Cayman, and Kingston and Montego Bay, Jamaica. In Grenada alone, more than 15,000 pounds of generators, tarps, flashlights, batteries, ice, water and food stuffs have arrived on FedEx flights – among the first to land on the island since the hurricane. Another 10,000 pounds are scheduled to arrive there this week. In addition, FedEx is transporting relief supplies to Freeport, Bahamas for victims of Hurricane Frances. FedEx is working with the Red Cross and Heart to Heart organizations for distribution of additional supplies this week to the hardest hit areas."
September 22, 2004 -- The Was hington Post has reported that "The federal government said yesterday that it will order airlines to turn over millions of passenger records by November so it can begin testing a vast computer program that will hunt for suspected terrorists seeking to board commercial aircraft." A sign of "database" things to come?
September 22, 2004 -- According to the Wall Street Journal:
September 22, 2004 -- As the Washington Times has noted, "When it comes to pay and glamour, workers in the largest federal agency — the U.S. Postal Service — often take a back seat to their colleagues with the U.S. Secret Service, Foreign Service officers or air traffic controllers. But when it comes time to pick and pay for their all-important health insurance, postal workers laugh all the way to the bank. Thanks to their contract with the USPS, postal clerks, letter carriers, mail handlers and other craft and maintenance employees of their mail-moving corporation pay less for the same coverage."
September 22, 2004 -- According to the Taipei Times, "On International Day of Peace yesterday, the Chunghwa Post Co issued stamps featuring a young boy's painting that was at the center of a heart-wrenching tale of international intrigue and postal services. The painting was disqualified from becoming a commemorative peace stamp issued by the UN because, it is thought, of China's objections. But like a philatelical phoenix, rising from the ashes of the young boy's shattered dreams, the painting has been resurrected in a series of 1 million NT$15 stamps, available at your local post office. It is the first design by a student to be published as a stamp in Taiwan."
September 22, 2004 -- CEP News (Courier-Express-Postal) has reported that:
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September 22, 2004 -- DM News has reported that:
September 22, 2004 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that "Hays Logistics has announced that it will in future be known as ACR Logistics. The re-branding of the company had been expected for some time following the acquisition from its parent company Hays Plc by US private equity firm Platinum. Xavier Urbain, who formerly headed up Hays Logistics, will remain as Chief Executive."
September 21, 2004 -- The Financial Times has reported that:
September 21, 2004 -- Computerworld has reported that "United Parcel Service Inc. is not only piloting radio frequency identification technology for internal use, but it also plans to provide consulting and services to help its customers comply with RFID mandates issued by Wal-Mart Stores Inc., other retailers and the U.S. Department of Defense. In an interview last week, David Barnes, a vice president of information services at UPS, spoke about some of the lessons the Atlanta-based company has learned about RFID."
September 21, 2004 -- Expatica has reported that "Many of France's 320,000 postal workers went on strike Tuesday to protest reorganisation plans they fear will lead to nearly half of the country's 14,000 post offices being closed with massive lay-offs. Management of the state-owned La Poste said seven to nine percent of the personnel observed the nationwide stoppage, while one of the three main unions behind it said 15 to 20 percent stopped work. La Poste added that it had taken steps to ensure mail and courier deliveries would not be halted."
September 21, 2004 -- Reuters has reported that "Israel's labor unions staged a nationwide general strike on Tuesday, grounding all international air traffic, paralyzing financial markets and public services and even preventing burial of the dead. The strike by 400,000 public-sector employees over a pay dispute was the latest in a battle between a right-wing government determined to push forward with free-market reforms and unions trying to prevent job losses due to spending cuts."
September 21, 2004 -- From the MarketWire: "Siemens Dematic Postal Automation L.P. and Firstlogic Inc, a global provider of advanced information quality and postal automation solutions announced an agreement to license and integrate Firstlogic's Presort technology into Siemens' Commercial Mail Solutions product offerings. The solution is a simplified library of Firstlogic's high performance presorting technology designed specifically for integration into solutions for the mailing industry. Firstlogic's Presort technology enables commercial and non-profit organizations to properly prepare mail for entry into the USPS® (United States Postal Service®) mail stream according to USPS DMM™ (Domestic Mail Manual) guidelines, and maximize postage discounts."
September 21, 2004 -- The International Herald Tribune has asked: "How's this for downsizing: One of the world's largest employers has shed one million jobs over the past decade, and layoffs are likely to continue. The employer is the global network of national post offices, which last year counted five million workers, about the size of the population of Denmark. And while postal employees are not actually part of one monolithic company, they face similar challenges in transforming what were once huge government departments into leaner and more profitable businesses."
September 21, 2004 -- A copy of the Postal Service's integrated financial plan for FY 2005 can be found on the USPS web site. This is the presentation that was given at the National Postal Forum.
September 21, 2004 -- A copy of the Republican Study Committee report on H.R. 4341 is available online.
September 21, 2004 -- As noted below, Draft Worldwide chairman Howard Draft gave an excellent presentation at the National Postal Forum on the power of mail. You can find on the Draft Worldwide web site a copy of (1) the powerpoints used in this presentation and (2) the text of the presentation.
September 21, 2004 -- WebIndia has reported that "India has reaffirmed its commitment to accomplishment of mission of the Universal Postal Union (UPU) to provide universal postal service."
September 21, 2004 -- Traffic World has reported that "Perishables shippers live on the sharp edge of logistics. Whether they're shipping pharmaceuticals or food, a delay of only a few hours can turn a valuable shipment into a truckload of very expensive trash. Rising fuel costs and tight trucking capacity are narrowing perishables shippers' already slim margin for error and they are pursuing all available means to avoid costly shipping mistakes, from double-checking routes and avoiding reshipping goods to taking control of their customers' inventories."
September 21, 2004 -- As DM News has noted:
September 21, 2004 -- The American Postal Workers Union (APWU) will be one of the sponsors of the "Anti-War for the Million Worker March" scheduled for October 17 in Washington, DC.
September 21, 2004 -- The Kyodo news service is carrying an excellent two part story (Part One) (Part Two) on what privatization of Japan Post will mean to small villages in thinly populated areas of Japan.
September 21, 2004 -- Reuters has reported that "Israeli unions began a nationwide strike on Tuesday expected to affect about 400,000 public sector workers and severely hamper international travel. The general strike was called by Israel's Histadrut labour federation and applied to government offices, banks, public hospitals, ports, postal services, trains, courts and financial markets."
September 21, 2004 -- According to the Glasgow Daily Record, "Mail users are to get a choice of postal firms as the £20billion-a-year industry is opened to competition in 2006. Industry regulator Ofcom said yesterday the Royal Mail would lose their 300-year-old monopoly. It is likely to mean pillar boxes in different colours alongside the traditional red."
September 21, 2004 -- GovExec.com has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service will be forced to seek a double-digit rate increase if overhaul legislation is not passed soon."
September 21, 2004 -- As the Washington Times has noted, "Postal service in the United Kingdom might be open to full competition as early as 2006, 15 months sooner than planned." See also the BBC News and the DM Bulletin.
September 21, 2004 -- The Guardian (U.K.) has reported that "Royal Mail yesterday called for change to its universal service obligation - the requirement to charge one price for deliveries throughout the country - after being told to face outright competition 15 months earlier than expected. Adam Crozier, the company's chief executive, said he was happy to accept the challenge of complete deregulation from January 2006 but insisted that "the handcuffs have got to come off"."
September 21, 2004 -- The Independent (U.K.) has reported that "Postal operators warned yesterday that the decision to end Royal Mail's letters monopoly 15 months earlier than planned could result in a "cowboys' charter" and damage attempts to introduce more competition into the market."
September 21, 2004 -- The DM Bulletin (U.K.) has reported that "Size-based pricing is unlikely to be introduced before April 2006, according to postal watchdog Postcomm. Up until now, it was thought that the new pricing system could be introduced as early as September 2005."
September 21, 2004 -- The Times (U.K.) has reported that "Unions last night condemned as “vandalism” moves by the postal regulator to bring forward the complete opening of the postal market by 15 months. The move threatens the service under which customers pay one price to send a letter anywhere in Britain, the Communication Workers Union said. Under the proposal, licensed operators could deliver to residential and business addresses from January 2006, rather than from April 2007 as originally planned. Billy Hayes, general secretary of the CWU, said that the Postcomm proposal amounted to “vandalism” and that it was in breach of the Postal Services Act and called on the Government to step in."
September 20, 2004 -- The text of Postmaster General Jack Potter's remarks before the 2004 National Postal Forum is posted on the Postal Service's web site. He also told convention goers that he will maintain the pledge made in 2002 that postage rates will remain stable until 2006. Potter also said that the postal reform legislation currently pending on Capitol Hill could determine the size of future rate increases. "The time for talking to one another is over," said Potter, who suggested that the attendees express their concerns to members of Congress while they are here. The three-day, annual event is being held this week at the Washington D.C. Convention Center and offers the $900 billion mail industry access to postal experts, the latest mail innovations to help improve profitability, security and efficiency. Potter called on the mailing industry to join in the effort to grow mail volume by not only making it easier to process and distribute the mail, but by spreading the word about the value of mail to small and medium-sized business owners. Potter said his overriding message is "think bold, take bold action and let's build the business together."
September 20, 2004 -- Speaking to the country's leading mail professionals at the National Postal Forum in Washington D.C. today, marketing icon Howard Draft challenged attendees to accept and capitalize on three universal truths about Direct Mail -- truths he says build businesses. Howard Draft is CEO of Draft, the global marketing services agency whose clients include some of the country's largest users of direct mail, such as Verizon, Bank of America, and the United States Postal Service.
September 20, 2004 -- Federal Computer Week has reported that "Automation and information technology have helped U.S. Postal Service officials trim $8.3 billion from the organization's operating expenses, and Postmaster General John Potter expects that trend to continue."
September 20, 2004 -- As the International Herald Tribune has marveled: "At a time when multilateralism is being declared dead or deeply wounded, there is an international organization where Israelis and Arabs don't harangue each other, where no one mentions the axis of good or evil and where the United States gets one vote just like the rest of the nations. Ask delegates at the Universal Postal Union meeting here why this organization is an oasis from the world's polarized politics, and they seem to have the same answer. In the end, everybody wants to get his mail."
September 20, 2004 -- According to Datamonitor, "Liberalization of the UK postal market is set to be brought forward by a year, with industry regulator Postcomm expected to announce shortly that competition to Royal Mail will begin in 2006, and not 2007. Postcomm believes that Royal Mail is ready for the step, and that customers need a choice - and it may well be right."
September 20, 2004 -- As DM News has noted, "Exhibitors on the trade show floor were optimistic about the 2004 National Postal Forum. The forum, an educational conference and trade show, traditionally is held twice a year, in the spring and fall. This year only one forum is taking place, at the Washington Convention Center here Sept. 19-22. Many exhibitors said that this seemed to be a good move. The exhibit floor, which opened at 3 p.m. yesterday, was crowded immediately and still going strong by last night."
September 20, 2004 -- The Nation has reported that "Thailand Post Co will pilot an in-house automatic postal-service kiosk early next year."
September 20, 2004 -- The Press Information Bureau (India) has reported that "The Minister of Communications & Information Technology, Shri Dayanidhi Maran reaffirmed India’s commitment to the accomplishment of mission of the Universal Postal Union (UPU), including the present charter of five objectives. Shri Maran said this while he was speaking today at the 23rd Congress of the UPU being held in Bucharest, Romania from 15th September to 5th October, 2004. Shri Maran further said that the UPU since its inception, for the last about 130 years, has played a stellar role in achieving its fundamental objective of regulation of mails between member countries and in ensuring effective international cooperation in all postal matters. Even in the digital age, the Post remains the choice of millions of people in terms of most accessible means of communication, he added. The Minister is presently leading a High Level Delegation from India to take part in the various deliberations of the Congress."
September 20, 2004 -- Pitney Bowes Inc. has been named the top supplier of transportation management systems, according to a Transportation Management Systems Worldwide Outlook study by ARC Advisory Group. Pitney Bowes moved from its top five ranking in 2002 to its position as the market leader in 2003, based on software license revenue, services, maintenance and recurring fees. Pitney Bowes also retained its position as the top ranked provider of parcel shipping solutions in the United States.
September 20, 2004 -- The Times has reported that "Royal Mail is to lose its grip further on the UK market earlier than expected under a ruling to be announced by the industry regulator today. An early arrival of competition across all postal services will be a fresh blow for an organisation that has recently faced a wave of controversy over poor service." See also The Independent and The Telegraph.
September 20, 2004 -- Direct magazine has reported that:
September 20, 2004 -- According to the Kyodo news service, "many Japanese postmasters are in a state of agitation because Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's Cabinet recently approved a basic policy on postal privatization despite opposition by LDP members. Government leaders say postal privatization will make post offices more convenient. But postmasters in underpopulated regions are apprehensive about whether their business is doomed to extinction."
September 19, 2004 -- Despite slight decreases in worldwide letter-post and parcel volumes from 2002 to 2003, public postal operators remain optimistic that their strategies will result in mail volume growth over the next five years, according to a report released today by the Universal Postal Union, during its 23rd Congress in Bucharest, Romania. While electronic substitution continues to have an impact on worldwide letter-post volumes, e-commerce development is expected to generate increased parcel volumes in future. As a result, many postal public operators are implementing logistics and online services to respond to customers' needs. The report, called Postal Market 2004: review and outlook, shows developments in the postal sector from 1998 to 2003. It also includes public postal operators' predictions for the period up to 2008.
September 19, 2004 -- Firstlogic, Inc. has announced the general availability of a new technology in its industry-leading Postalsoft® suite of mail automation software. The release of Postsort.dat Manager(tm) allows organizations to utilize the Mail.dat standard to improve mail acceptance, gain access to electronic postage payment options, and offer agents, owners, and others a greater ability to analyze their mailings.
September 19, 2004 -- The Electric New Paper has reported that "with young Norwegians more likely to send a handphone text message than a postcard, the Finnish postal service has launched text message theme stamps in a bid to draw them back to letter writing. One button on that stamp carries the text message code 'GID', which stands for 'Glad i deg' or, in English, 'Fond of You'."
September 19, 2004 -- As Bill McAllister has pointed at in a recent piece published in The Washington Post, "despite his own commission's report, President Bush has actually performed some budgetary sleight of hand this year to force stamp prices higher. His latest budget includes an accounting change that requires the Postal Service (meaning stamp buyers) to pick up the entire retirement costs for postal workers' military service -- about $27 billion. Although all other federal agencies must also give their workers credit for time in uniform, none of them have to pay for it through retirement costs. Postal officials say making rate payers shoulder the burden of this benefit puts the Postal Service at a competitive disadvantage with private companies like FedEx and UPS, which already have lower personnel costs. Worse still, the rule is retroactive to 1971, when Congress made the Postal Service independent; this provision alone will cost customers $17 billion."
September 19, 2004 -- As the Post-Crescent has noted, "There is a major effort under way at the federal level to reform the U.S. Postal Service — and that is a good thing for Wisconsin’s papermakers. What does postal reform have to do with the paper industry? Think about what arrives in your mailbox each day. For the most part, it’s paper. The mailing industry is a huge market for paper mills. Postal rates directly affect the economics of the mailing industry and, in turn, the paper industry. As rates go up, companies might shift their advertising away from mailing to save costs. Or the contents of a mailing might be scaled back to reduce weight and keep the mailing at a lower rate. Or publishers might reduce the size of a magazine page for the same reason. The result is that paper mills in Wisconsin and elsewhere sell less paper. On a personal level, you might do just fine without the additional mailings. But on a broader economic level, those mailings add up to jobs."
September 19, 2004 -- The Greeley Tribune has reported that "Forgery Investigator Otto Hubbard has seen the number of mail-theft cases escalate in the last year. His caseload has become staggering, and Hubbard predicts that the dollar loss from mail theft will soon outweigh most other thefts."
September 19, 2004 -- The Yomiuri Shimbun (Japan) has reported that "Heizo Takenaka, state minister in charge of economic, fiscal and financial policy, says he cannot grade the basic policy for the privatization of the postal services, which recently was approved by the Cabinet, because the technical details of the system had yet to be worked out."
September 19, 2004 -- The Independent (U.K.) has reported that "Managers at Royal Mail are warning that the postal service could descend into chaos over Christmas, as the state-owned company gets to grips with its radical overhaul. A series of changes have been introduced at Royal Mail over the past year as management, led by chairman Allan Leighton and chief executive Adam Crozier, strive to turn the ailing service around. The most controversial change has been the removal of second deliveries in favour of just one a day. Other measures include cutting back on overtime, reducing night-time postal sorting and axing casual staff. But insiders are concerned that the changes could lead to upheaval during the hectic festive season. Traditionally, the Royal Mail has relied on strong demand for overtime to help fill the breach during Christmas."
September 19, 2004 -- The Calgary Herald has reported that "Canada Post has said it will investigate a Vancouver-based marijuana mail-order business that provides "fast, discreet" service to those declaring they suffer from one of a host of medical ailments. Canada Post spokesman John Caines said it would be up to police to say whether the postal pot operation, called Bud Buddy, was breaking the law. But the Crown corporation will probe its use of the national mail service."
September 19, 2004 -- As the Columbus Telegram has noted, 'The Post Office delivers much more than bills and Good Housekeeping. Chickens, peacocks, and even their eggs are sent via the U.S. Postal Service. There are exercise machines, kitchen wares and countless, nondescript parcels wrapped in brown paper, giving no clue as to their contents."
September 19, 2004 -- AMEInfo has reported that "Empost, the UAE's leading courier company recently opened a new Empost-authorized store, Al Raqem Typing Services, dedicated to providing the general public with superior postal and courier services. The new Empost/Al Raqem Typing Services has become part of Empost's ever-expanding courier services. The store will provide the general public with various new Empost services. Amongst other renowned Empost services now on offer, the new store will be charged with the selling of stamps, Also included in the Al Raqem Typing Service are the acceptance and processing of parcels, individually registered mail, as well as the dispensation of the Mumtaz Post (E.M.S), and other postal services associated with Empost."
September 18, 2004 -- The Telegraph (India) has reported that "Union minister of communications and information technology Dayanidhi Maran will seek to get higher terminal dues at the ongoing Congress of the Universal Postal Union (UPU) at Bucharest, Romania. Terminal dues are the payments for delivery of letter/mail exchanges between postal administrations. These are to be paid on imbalance of the mails exchanged. Since the mail flow between the developed and developing countries is tilted in favour of the latter at present, the developing countries tend to benefit from the existing practice. The issue assumes crucial interest as it is expected that the criteria payment of dues will be reviewed by the UPU."
September 18, 2004 -- The Guernsey Press and Star (U.K.) has reported that "Postwatch Guernsey met the postal operator this week to discuss future options and potential solutions."
September 17, 2004 -- According to Les Echos, "The postal and telecommunications branch of French union CFTC has decided that it will not call its members out on a postal strike on Tuesday. The three majority unions represented at French national postal services group La Poste - CGT-PTT, SUD-PTT and FO-Com - have called out their members."
September 17, 2004 -- The Postal Service has made available its 2004 Holiday Season recommended mailing dates for delivery to military overseas APO/FPO addresses and international destinations by Saturday, Dec. 25, based on economical air and surface transportation.
September 17, 2004 -- DCMilitary.com has reported that "In a country which feels impossibly far away, a letter or package can deliver a little piece of home to the field. This year, these special deliveries come to Iraq faster."
September 17, 2004 -- PostCom Members: Check out the latest on the PostCom Weblog on postal reform and efforts to win a release of two years' worth of CSRS escrowed funds.
September 17, 2004 -- VNUNet has reported that "The Royal Mail has delivered 22,000 home PCs to postal workers as part of a joint initiative with e-learning specialist Futuremedia."
September 17, 2004 -- Word from the UPU Congress in Bucharest is that one of the only issues raised regarding the Consultative Committee came from China, which, of course, was a concern regarding Taiwan. Later in the meeting, an election is scheduled to select the first chairman of the new CC. PostCom has urged its UPU colleagues to vote for Charles Prescott, DMA's vice president for international direct marketing. The other election biggie--the selection of the new Director General--another election fraught with international politics. The two candidates under consideration include one from France and one from Portugal.
September 17, 2004 -- The Periodical Publishers Association (U.K.) has reported that British postal regulator "Postcomm is examining the possibility of introducing full liberalisation into the UK postal market much earlier than the original date of April 2007. This announcement came as the postal regulator released its Annual Report for 2003. Postcomm chairman Nigel Stapleton, reiterated his belief that a competitive market would best serve the interests of customers but expressed his frustration and disappointment at the lack of inroads made Royal Mail’s competitors into the UK market. The first phase of market liberalisation was introduced by Postcomm in January 2003, when 30 per cent of the letters market by revenue was opened up to competition, focusing on large volume bulk mailings. However, despite Royal Mail’s own predictions that by now its share of the market would have fallen to below 90 per cent, its share remains more than 99 per cent."
September 17, 2004 -- The Western Morning News (U.K.) has reported that "Fresh doubt was cast over the future of the Westcountry's network of rural post offices yesterday after the Trade and Industry Secretary Patricia Hewitt warned that many village post offices were "unsustainable commercially"."
September 17, 2004 -- Le Monde (France) has reported that "According to France's postal unions, the proposed overhaul of the French post office network could result in the closure of up to 6,000 post offices. The French postal services operator, La Poste, is carrying out the review on the orders of the French government, which wants the state-owned operator to reduce its running costs. At present, La Poste has a total of 17,000 post offices and sub-post offices."
September 17, 2004 -- According to one DM News postal commentator, "Delivery Point Packaging was of keen interest to the U.S. Postal Service and those attending the spring Mailers Technical Advisory Committee meeting. Since then, the silence on the subject has been deafening." For those interested, check out FSS and DPP: One Year Later.
September 17, 2004 -- ThisDayNews (Nigeria) has reported that "Nigeria Postal Service said yesterday it has achieved the 72-hour target for delivering all categories of mails to any part of the country. Area Post Manager in charge of Abuja territory, Alhaji Yahaya Rufai, who disclosed this at NIPOST Customers Forum in Abuja, said the organisation was now working on the new delivery target time of 48-hours. Chairman of the occasion and General Manager of Nigeria Television Authority Channel 5, Abuja, Mr Richard Azoro said in spite of the revolution in the telecom industry, NIPOST services are still relevant as only a few Nigerians have access to the Global system for Mobile Communications (GSM) services. "Can we fax JAMB and WAEC forms to my village with no electricity or e-mail? What I am saying is that NIPOST given our level of development in rural areas remains very relevant to the nation's service delivery," Azoro said."
September 17, 2004 -- The Asahi Shimbun has reported that "LDP opponents of Koizumi's pet plan to split Japan Post into 4 private companies head for a showdown in the Diet. `We now have to take on the inner sanctum. The battles of winter and summer also await us.' Prime minister Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi might have won round one of his postal privatization battle against his ruling Liberal Democratic Party, but the final outcome of what is sure to be a knock-down, drag-out fight is far from certain. While Koizumi's Cabinet on Sept. 10 approved a basic policy plan for privatization of the national postal system, the LDP refused to give its endorsement."
September 17, 2004 -- Dow Jones has reported that "Dutch postal and logistics company TPG NV (TP) said Thursday three business units in the Netherlands will be merged into one single unit and as a result between 700 and 800 jobs will be cut before 2008. The company said plans won't have an impact on TPG's Mail margin outlook for 2004, as announced Aug. 2. The three business units, including Sorting, Distribution and Transport, will be merged into one single unit, Operations. The changes will take place at head-office level, as well as in the network throughout the country. TPG Post has developed specific measures to deal with the social effects in a responsible way."
September 17, 2004 -- The New Zealand Herald has reported that "New Zealand Post is talking up its prospects of selling half of its Courier Post and other express freight businesses to Deutsche Post-owned DHL. The sale would give the Government a financial windfall and link NZ Post to a global player that has been expanding in Asia. It would also put Deutsche Post in the box seat in any future privatisation of NZ Post."
September 16, 2004 -- From the Business Wire: "Alpine Aviation Inc., a subsidiary of Alpine Air Express Inc. (OTCBB: ALPE), and the third-largest regional cargo airline and transportation logistics company in the United States, with a fleet of 29 airplanes and, based on the three months ended July 31, 2004, projected annual sales of $19M+, with its majority-owned operating subsidiary, Alpine Air Chile, S.A., for the three months ended July 31, 2004 posted gross revenues of $4,965,758 as compared to $1,874,495 for the three months ended July 31, 2003. Since the company was awarded the multi-year U.S. Postal Service ("USPS") contract in April 2004 for the Hawaiian Islands, Alpine's cargo volumes have grown to be their highest in recent years."
September 16, 2004 -- According to Bloomberg, "Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said opponents of his plan to privatize Japan's postal service system won't be welcome in the new Japanese cabinet to be announced later this month."
September 16, 2004 -- LinuxElectrons has reported that "The Federal Trade Commission and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will co-host a two-day “summit” November 9-10 to explore the development and deployment of technology that could reduce spam. The E-mail Authentication Summit will focus on challenges in the development, testing, evaluation, and deployment of domain-level authentication systems." Of course, you COULD use an Electronic Postmark....
September 16, 2004 -- According to GovExec.com, "The first sweeping restructuring of the U.S. postal system in a generation took another step closer to approval in the House Wednesday. The House Judiciary Committee approved the legislation (H.R. 4341) on a voice vote. That committee was sent the legislation for review of legal aspects by the House Government Reform Committee that gave the bill its basic approval on May 12. Similar legislation (S. 2468) is pending on the Senate calendar for floor action. An amendment by Sensenbrenner and Ranking Democrat John Conyers of Michigan, was approved by voice vote. It struck a provision of the bill that provided that the Postal Service to the extent it engages in competitive activities be considered a "person" for purpose of the bankruptcy laws. Sensenbrenner cited "problems" with the provision, but did not elaborate. Another amendment by Rep. Howard Coble,. R-N.C., was approved by voice vote. It added language to the bill spelling out powers of arrest and other law enforcement functions for postal police officers."
September 16, 2004 -- The member states of the Universal Postal Union have voted overwhelmingly in favor of a proposal to create a new, customer-based "Consultative Committee" to function as the third official council of the UPU. PostCom is one of the founding members of this new committee, and previously had represented the international interests of its members within the former UPU Advisory Group. Consultatitive Committee membership is only open to non-governmental organizations. For more information on how PostCom members can play an active role within the UPU's Consultative Committee, contact email@example.com.
September 16, 2004 -- Posted on this site is the latest update from the UPU's Direct Mail Advisory Board (DMAB). PostCom is a member of the DMAB, and its president serves on the DMAB Steering Committee. DMAB membership is open to non-governmental organizations (such as PostCom) and other private sector businesses. For information on membership in the DMAB, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
September 16, 2004 -- According to the Daily Yomiuri (Japan), "Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi has won formal Cabinet approval of a blueprint for privatization of the nation's postal system. This means the initial step has been taken in a thorough reform designed to redirect to the private sector the colossal amounts of cash that currently flow from postal savings into the public sector. Postal privatization raises new concerns, however, with some fearing the birth of a "fourth megabank" that might put the squeeze on existing lenders."
September 16, 2004 -- Dow Jones has reported that "The European Union Commission Thursday cleared Dutch postal giant TPG NV (TP) and energy company Essent NV's (ESS.YY) customer services joint venture. The new company - dubbed Cendris BSC Customer Contact NV - will provide customer services and sales and promotion activities. TPG will control 51% of the new company via its unit Cendris. Essent's Business Support Center unit will own the remaining 49%."
September 16, 2004 -- Reuters has reported that "New Zealand's state-owned postal service operator reported a 35 percent rise in annual net profit on the back of growth in its international mail, parcels and express courier businesses." See also the New Zealand Herald.
September 16, 2004 -- The Rocky Mountain News has reported that "The Post Office Annex site in lower downtown traded hands twice this week, paving the way for a new, $65 million headquarters for the regional office of the Environmental Protection Agency. Houston-based Hines, which has had an option on the land for about two years, paid the U.S. Postal Service $7.972 million for the entire block at 16th and Wynkoop streets."
September 16, 2004 -- AMEInfo has reported that "The Jordanian Ministry of Information and Communications Technology has announced that privatization of the post company will commence beginning of next year." See also MENAFN.
September 16, 2004 -- Ananova has reported that "The world's first crystal-coated stamp goes on sale in Austria next week. The stamps, created by Swarovski crystal producers, costs 7.50 euros and there'll be a run of 800,000 copies. They are being produced in conjunction with the Austrian postal service. The stamp is made out of paper like any ordinary stamp and the crystals are stuck on with a specially created glue."
September 16, 2004 -- Japan Today has reported that "Toshiba Corp said Thursday it has won a contract to provide French postal service La Poste with an advanced mail-processing system that will enable increased efficiency and reliability in mail delivery. Under the terms of the 3.5 billion yen contract, Toshiba's German subsidiary, Toshiba Europe GmbH, will deliver at least 40 units of culler facer cancellers in the model TSC-1000 series over three years starting May next year, the company said."
September 16, 2004 -- The Baltimore Sun has reported that "Stamps.com has made some changes since introducing its service that lets you put Mom's picture on a real U.S. postage stamp. Unless Mom is Mae West, or Imelda Marcos, or Bonnie Parker. The company added restrictions after The Smoking Gun Web site, co-owned by Time Warner and Liberty Media, decided to test the boundaries."
September 16, 2004 -- The Scotsman (U.K.) has reported that "Trade and Industry Secretary Patricia Hewitt has announced a new Government support package to help rural post offices. Up to £300 million will be made available from 2006 to 2008, extending the current three year financial support package which runs until 2006. The current three year package – worth £450million – was intended as a transitional measure, designed to help rural post offices through the changes in the network’s business between 2003 and 2006. The Government has decided to extend the funding to 2008 to allow sufficient time for lessons to be learned from the pilots’ activities testing new ways of delivering services in rural areas."
September 16, 2004 -- The DM Bulletin (U.K.) has reported that:
September 16, 2004 -- DM News has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service is implementing a fall mailing season campaign aimed at mailers and postal facilities and designed to create awareness of key drop-shipment policies and improved holiday hours. Posters will appear at bulk mailing centers, processing and distribution facilities and post offices the week of Sept. 20. They will include a message to employees from John Rapp, senior operations vice president at the USPS. It will feature tips such as planning for increased drop shipments, being accommodating for late or unscheduled arrivals and enforcing security requirements."
September 16, 2004 -- The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) has announced the appointment of Richard "Kirt" West as Inspector General. Mr. West, a graduate of Northwestern University School of Law (J.D., 1984) and Lawrence University (B.A., 1969), comes to LSC from the United States Postal Service where he has served in various capacities and is currently Executive Director of the Inspector General Management Institute. Before joining the Postal Service Kirt was Assistant Counsel to the Inspector General of the Central Intelligence Agency, Assistant Counsel to the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Labor and a staff attorney in the office of the Solicitor of Labor.
September 16, 2004 -- Forbes has reported that:
September 16, 2004 -- Air Cargo World has reported that "the state of major U.S. combination carriers appears even worse than at the end of 2003. With United Airlines struggling through bankruptcy protection and Delta Air Lines and US Airways weighed down by persistent losses, airline executives themselves are adding "liquidation" to their vernacular and talking openly of a dramatic consolidation." And, yes, there is an angle in this regarding postal legislative reform--particularly to those provisions that would allow the USPS to take some of the mail transport business away from the airline majors.
September 16, 2004 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "DHL Worldwide will open a sort center in Memphis, hometown of rival FedEx Corp. The Memphis center joins recent DHL openings in Salt Lake City and Denver as the carrier, a unit of Germany's Deutsche Post, mounts a challenge to FedEx and United Parcel Service. The company says it picked Memphis because it is a central location that will connect well with the company's other sort hubs and expand its reach in parts of Mississippi, Kentucky, Arkansas and Tennessee. DHL is investing $3 million in the Memphis facility and expects to hire about 29 employees."
September 16, 2004 -- The National Postal Museum will be presenting the third annual Maynard Sundman Lecture featuring Michael Sefi, keeper of the Royal Philatelic Collection, Oct. 16 from 2 to 3 p.m. The collection was begun by Queen Elizabeth II’s grandfather King George V and is now considered the finest and most comprehensive holding of British and Commonwealth stamps in the world. Materials from the collection, including the world’s very first postage stamps, are currently on view through Jan. 11, 2005 in the National Postal Museum’s exhibit “The Queen’s Own: Stamps That Changed the World.”
September 15, 2004 -- PostCom Members: Check out the latest from Todd Butler on the PostCom Forum. He takes the Postal Service to task for not having "a clue about what it is like to be a small business." Join in.
September 15, 2004 -- CBS5.com has reported that "Postal inspectors today said that the substance that sent five Los Gatos post office employees to the hospital with throat irritations and skin discolorations Tuesday morning may never be found."
September 15, 2004 -- Be sure to check out the materials the Universal Postal Union has posted on its site regarding the Universal Postal Congress being held in Bucharest, Romania. Check out the press release from the opening ceremonies.
September 15, 2004 -- The Communications Workers Union (U.K.) has said that "Billy Hayes [the union's leader] warmly welcomed yesterday's announcement that the Liberal Democrats had dropped privatising postal services from its election manifesto."
September 15, 2004 -- Le Figaro has reported that "Jean-Paul Bailly, the chairman of the French post office, La Poste, yesterday opened the organisation's new mail-sorting office in northern Paris. The new facility is the biggest of its kind in Europe, capable of processing 5 million items a day from eight of the French capital's 20 arrondissements."
September 15, 2004 -- PostCom Members: "It's time for the mailing industry councils to get on the right page." The latest on the PostCom Weblog.
September 15, 2004 -- According to Stephen Moore writing in the National Review, "Now is the time for the Bush administration to lighten the enforcement burden of antitrust law and for Congress to do what it should have done long ago: repeal the Sherman antitrust laws. These laws were meant to protect consumers from higher prices, paid as a kind of ransom to monopolies that gain enormous market share. There are few if any such industries where this concern still exists. There are no longer discreet geographical or product markets. One technology competes with scores of others for consumer and business dollars. For example, satellite dishes keep cable TV prices in check even when the cable market is technically a monopoly. These competitive forces explain why prices are stable or falling in virtually every industry except where the government has created its own legal monopoly. The U.S. Postal Service and public education are examples of this."
September 15, 2004 -- PhillyBurbs.com has reported that "Three years after it opened, the giant Medco Health Solutions Inc. automated pharmacy here has dispensed 100 million prescriptions and hired 50 percent more workers than originally anticipated, company officials said yesterday. The percentage of prescriptions processed by mail has increased tremendously in the last five years."
September 15, 2004 -- Don't miss your chance to have your work get the recognition it so rightfully deserves at the NAMMU Mailing Industry Awards. Enter your piece(s) by September 30, 2004 no later than 5:00 pm. All entries must be accompanied with an entry fee. You are welcome to enter your work in more than one category. Questions? Email us at email@example.com.
September 15, 2004 -- According the Mailers Council executive director Robert McLean, "The Postal Service is continuing to consider plant consolidations and closing to downsize it's processing and distribution network. You may have seen a postal news report online this morning that the USPS Pacific Area plans to sell the Marina Dely Ray, CA, P&DC, with an expected closure date of January 2005. I have learned that plans are to relocate mail processing equipment, and mail transportation and more than 800 employess, with most going to the Los Angeles GMF. Voluntary early retirements (VERAs) will be offered--and many employees who have 30 or more years in that facility, are expected to accept them. Although official notices have not been released, sources indicate the USPS could earn $50 million from the sale of the property. The area has recently been redeveloped with million-dollar condominiums that ring the postal property. If the sale goes through the Postal Service would divide mail between the LA P&DC, a very large facility in South Central, and Long Beach."
September 15, 2004 -- PostCom Members: "What can the USPS be thinking?" -- The subject of the latest posting in the PostCom Weblog.
September 15, 2004 -- PostCom Members: Check out the latest scuttlebutt on the never ending saga of postal reform on the PostCom Weblog.
September 15, 2004 -- According to the Financial Times, "It was always going to be hard for Alitalia chief executive Giancarlo Cimoli to win consent from Italy's trade unions for 5,000 job cuts. But according to some politicians with connections to Italy's transport sector, there may be a way out. What if some of the unlucky 5,000 were to be found employment in other state-run industries - such as Ferrovie dello Stato, the railway system, or Poste Italiene, the post office? "The Italian Jobs", as this idea has inevitably been dubbed, may not go down too well with post office chief Massimo Sarmi. Only on Monday he was stressing how his leaner, fitter company would be ready by the end of this year for possible privatisation - not something that squares with serving as a dumping ground for laid-off airline workers."
September 15, 2004 -- ElectricNews.net has reported that "Experian, a credit reference and direct mail company, has agreed to buy Ireland Direct Communications to boost its international direct mail business. Ireland Direct Communications provides services for the direct mail industry, such as using database technology to improve the focus and accuracy of direct mail campaigns. It buys and sells data, builds databases, and helps firms manage their databases in order to reduce wastage by their marketing departments."
September 15, 2004 -- The Register-Pajaronian (CA) has reported that "An Aptos family that reportedly received a container of meningitis in the mail during a shipping mix-up more than three years ago is suing the U.S. Postal Service. The civil complaint, filed last week by the Lonna, Jerry, Serena and Troy Lewis, alleges negligence on the part of the postal service for allowing a cylinder of the devastating disease to be shipped without the proper packaging. It further claims that postal service employees "mishandled the compromised contents" and instead of mailing it to its intended destination - the Microbial Diseases Lab in Berkeley - allowed the container labeled "biohazard" to end up in a box of personal belongings mailed by daughter Serena Lewis to the family's Aptos home."
September 15, 2004 -- Business Day (South Africa) has reported that "Communications Minister Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri has been urged to launch an independent forensic audit into the Post Office's reported R27 million operating profit. At a press briefing in Johannesburg earlier today, Communication Workers Union (CWU) postal negotiator Macvicar Dyasopu said the Post Office has achieved "the so-called profit" by withholding salary increases to workers in 2003."
September 15, 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..
September 15, 2004 -- According to the DM Bulletin (U.K.), "Direct mail was the only medium to show a fall in the latest Advertising Association adspend figures, down by 2.5% in real terms during the second quarter of the year to £539m. The medium appeared to suffer as marketers diverted budgets back to traditional media such as television and national newspapers. It is a rare fall for direct mail, which has proved to be resilient even when other media were suffering from the downturn."
September 15, 2004 -- The Postal Service has informed NALC President William H. Young that city letter carriers are not eligible for "early out" retirement because they do not meet the necessary requirements set down by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) for such an option.
September 15, 2004 -- Bellacio.org (France) has reported that "The growing antiwar movement within the AFL-CIO took another leap forward in the past two weeks when three major unions passed strong resolutions at their recent conventions, opposing the U.S. war in Iraq and calling for an end to the American occupation. They are Communications Workers of America (650,000 members), American Postal Workers Union (270,000) and Mail Handlers of the Laborers’ International Union (50,000). They join the Service Employees International Union (1,6 million) American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (1.2 million) and the International Longshore and Warehouse Workers (60,000), who have also denounced President Bush for his pre-emptive invasion of Iraq."
September 15, 2004 -- The Mercury News (CA) has reported that "Fifteen Los Gatos postal workers, complaining of white blotches on their skin, shortness of breath and a metallic taste in their mouths are being treated for some sort of chemical exposure today, and the mail facility on Santa Cruz Avenue has been evacuated. All of the workers are recovering."
September 15, 2004 -- From the PR Newswire: "American Council of Life Insurers' President and CEO, Frank Keating, praised Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's postal privatization initiative and the basic principles set forth in a newly-released plan by the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy (CEFP) for the privatization of Japan's postal businesses."
September 15, 2004 -- As Handelsblatt has noted, "DHL, the express subsidiary of German postal service operator Deutsche Post, is no longer expected to break even in the US in 2005."
September 15, 2004 -- The Washington Post has reported that "Health insurance premiums for 8 million federal employees and retirees will rise an average of 7.9 percent next year, a lower increase after four years of double-digit hikes, the government announced."
September 15, 2004 -- The American Postal Workers Union has announced that "the Postal Service has agreed to end a pilot program with Hallmark that permitted the card and gift store corporation to perform retail postal services."
September 14, 2004 -- The
Inverness Courier (U.K.) has reported that "First class postal deliveries in
the Inverness area are among the most unreliable in Scotland, a new survey has
revealed. Figures published by the watchdog Postwatch Scotland show that the
number of first class letters to IV postcodes which failed to be delivered the
next working day rose sharply between April and June.
September 14, 2004 -- El Pais (Spain) has reported that "Correos, the Spanish post office, has been fined 30,000 euros by the government of the autonomous region of Catalonia for failing to provide Catalan-language versions of signs and documents in a number of its facilities in the autonomous region."
September 14, 2004 -- The Associated Press has reported that "With young Norwegians more likely to send a mobile phone text message than a post card, the postal service Tuesday revealed text message theme stamps in a bid to draw them back to letter writing."
September 14, 2004 -- The Age has reported that "Australia Post is going into the mail and logistics business in China in a joint venture expected to grow into a $1 billion business within a decade. In the first significant move to spread Australia Post's revenue base overseas, the government-owned postal operator has formed a company with China Post to become a major operator in the China logistics business. The new joint venture company, called Sai Cheng - which means "exceed, surpass; honest and sincere" - will begin building a transport and logistics hub near Shanghai to deliver goods around the world from China's expanding manufacturing base." See also the Sydney Morning Herald.
September 14, 2004 -- Postmaster General John E. Potter said today that aggressive cost cutting has resulted in $11 billion in expense savings over the last three years, enabling him to reiterate his commitment to maintain current postage rates until 2006.
September 14, 2004 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that "Amtrak is about to try to shorten the amount of time it takes many of its long-distance trains to get from here to there. The nationwide passenger railroad plans to stop carrying mail for the U.S. Postal Service next month, a move that will free Amtrak to focus entirely on passengers for the first time since it began operations in 1971."
September 14, 2004 -- KIMT.com has reported that "Across the nation, the U.S. Postal Service is running a "Phone Cards for Soldiers" program. Customers buy the cards, hand the phone cards back to the post office, and the postal service gives them to the military to give to soldiers."
September 14, 2004 -- From the PR Newswire: "Stamps.com has announced that it will focus on the top categories of its popular PhotoStamps product. The top two categories-babies and children, and pets and animals-will continue to be accepted on the PhotoStamps website. The PhotoStamps website will also continue to accept other popular categories of images including landscapes, nature, wildlife, business logos, and charity logos. Images that include adults or teens will no longer be accepted via the PhotoStamps website, but will continue to be accepted through trusted channels such as approved photographers or portrait studios."
September 14, 2004 -- The Atlanta Journal and Constitution has reported that "UPS employees filed a class-action lawsuit against the company, the world's largest package-delivery concern, alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act, plaintiffs' lawyers said. The suit could cost the company "millions of dollars" and affect "tens of thousands of employees" if successful, said Scott & Scott. The law firm based in Connecticut filed the suit on behalf of employees at UPS between March 2000 and now."
September 14, 2004 -- The Royal Oak Daily Tribune (MI) has reported that "Almost 200 postal workers in Royal Oak and Madison Heights have signed a petition saying they don't have all the tools they need to do their jobs because of cost cuts, yet a district manager got a new office."
September 14, 2004 -- According KLAS-TV, "Two more rigged letters have been sent to U.S. governors from a Nevada prison. It's the second time in the last two days. Letters were sent to West Virginia Governor Bob Wise and Virginia Governor Mark Warner. Warner's letter was intercepted at a Virginia postal facility today. On Saturday a letter was sent to Alaska Governor Frank Murkowski. About 15 letters were sent last week to governors around the United States from the Ely state prison. They were rigged to catch fire when opened. Three of them did but no one was hurt."
September 14, 2004 -- The Bangkok Post has reported that "Thailand Post will increase rates for domestic special postal services next Monday to generate more revenue for major business expansion to compete with global leading transport companies when the industry is open for full competition in three years."
September 14, 2004 -- The Asahi Shimbun has reported that "The bill to privatize Japan Post will not pass the Diet if the LDP refuses to play ball. During the process of drafting the bills, the government will come under heavy pressure from the party to modify it and make it acceptable to opponents in the party. There are encouraging signs that Koizumi is much more determined to push through this reform plan than he was when dealing with the privatization of the four public toll road operators."
September 14, 2004 -- The Evening Standard (U.K.) has reported that "Royal Mail could lose its monopoly on delivering letters years early after a damning report found it beset by 'abysmal failures'. Rival companies may be allowed to run competing postal services sooner than planned because of the 'dramatic decline' in standards. The market was not due to be opened for three years, but regulators are considering introducing competition much earlier to give long-suffering customers a choice."
September 14, 2004 -- Peterborough Today (U.K.) has reported that "A threat of more damaging strike action is hanging over the Royal Mail in Peterborough today. It comes as post workers are still battling to clear a backlog of mail from last week's two-day walk-out. Hopes that a deal could be struck when postal workers returned to work yesterday after the unofficial action, were soon dashed. Now post workers will be balloted on support for official industrial action, including a strike, which could have a devastating effect on city businesses."
September 14, 2004 -- The Valetta Times has reported that "Mail went unprocessed and undistributed yesterday after Maltapost told employees not to report for work in reaction to industrial action ordered by the Union Haddiema Maghqudin. However, the postal service is now expected to return to normal after agreement was reached over manning levels at the company during marathon talks held yesterday. Postmen will be back on their beat this morning, a Maltapost spokesman said."
September 14, 2004 -- UNI Postal has told its members that "UNI Postal - the global union that represents two and a half million postal workers worldwide - is expected to win observer status at the Universal Postal Union during the UPU Congress in Bucharest later this week. The Bern-based UPU is the 130-year-old international organisation that brings together governments and national postal operators in 190 countries and ensures the world's postal systems work together. The UPU - which is also a UN agency - plans to broaden its structure to involve stakeholders that include unions, customer and consumer groups and private postal companies. "Both UNI Postal and the UPU are committed to defending - and improving - a universal postal service that ensures all people have an affordable and reliable access to postal services," said UNI Postal's John Pedersen. "This service is under threat in many developed countries from privatisation and de-regulation - and in many developing countries it is still only a dream."
September 14, 2004 -- The Guernsey Post (U.K.) has reported that "Guernsey Post is continuing to lose money. Managing director Mike Hall said that the commercialised utility expected to record another loss this year. And postal charges are likely to increase again within 18 months."
September 14, 2004 -- The Nation has reported that "Executives at Thailand Post Co are eyeing a Stock Exchange of Thailand listing by 2007, due to a positive revenue outlook."
September 14, 2004 -- Expatica has reported that "The volume of mail sent in Belgium has dropped by 200 million units over the last two years, it emerged on Monday. The drastic fall in mail delivery is a result of the recent economic situation and the rise in emails and text messages, reported De Standaard and Het Volk. Classical mail delivery accounts for 81 percent of postal service business. The financial blow to the postal service has been softened by a rise in prices."
September 13, 2004 -- From the Business Wire:
September 13, 2004 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "FedEx Corp. announced Monday that the company has completed its $120 million purchase of Parcel Direct. Parcel Direct, based in New Berlin, Wis., coordinates package shipping for companies selling their products over the Internet or through catalogs. It is a subsidiary of FedEx Ground. The acquisition is part of FedEx's move to increase its handling of low-weight, non-express shipments and home deliveries."
September 13, 2004 -- Traffic World has reported that:
September 13, 2004 -- Be sure to take a look at the story by New York Newday on the "anatomy of a circulation fabrication." It's ugly.
September 13, 2004 -- Hoovers has reported that "UPS, a world-leading messenger company in the US, has been permitted to launch six more flights to China per week for its growing business. It means that UPS will outpace FedEx, UPS's largest rival, in expanding in China."
September 13, 2004 -- La Nueva Cuba has reported that "Angel Mariscal, an Ecuadorian national, was convicted in U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Florida on April 13, 2004, for producing child pornography videotapes and DVDs and selling them through the mail. In producing the tapes, Mariscal sexually abused more than 150 females between the ages of 6 and 14 from Ecuador and Cuba. Postal Inspector Elizabeth Bendel received an award from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in May 2003, and was also named the Center's 2003 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year for her relentless pursuit of Mariscal."
September 13, 2004 -- According to the Associated Press, "Federal and state authorities have narrowed their investigation to a person of interest in the case involving at least 16 governors who were sent letters rigged to catch fire from a Nevada prison. The FBI was working with the U.S. Postal Service, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on the case. Letters were sent to governors in Nevada, Montana, Hawaii, Nebraska, Colorado, New York, Texas, Massachusetts, Idaho, Wyoming, Washington, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, Arizona and Alaska. Of the 16 governors who received the rigged envelopes, 12 are Republicans and four are Democrats."
September 13, 2004 -- According to a report by Digital Silence, "Stamps.com has tightened restrictions on PhotoStamps."
September 13, 2004 -- Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Germany) has reported that "Deutsche Post, the German postal service operator, has reached an agreement with German trade union Verdi regarding the integration of its domestic logistics and express delivery activities. The group has not ruled out redundancies, but is determined to find alternative employment for staff who lose their jobs as a result of the integration, says a spokesman."
September 13, 2004 -- The Evening Telegraph (U.K.) has reported that "Postal delivery staff began sorting through a backlog of one million letters when they returned to work this morning after unofficial strikes."
September 13, 2004 -- Seven.com.au has reported that "Labor promised that Australia Post would remain in full public ownership, while guaranteeing the price of a 50 cent stamp would not rise in its first term of office." See also the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.
September 13, 2004 -- The Financial Director (U.K.) has reported that "Five private mail companies are preparing to take the Treasury to court over its plans to allow the Royal Mail to keep its VAT-free status." See also Accountancy Age.
September 13, 2004 -- According to one commentator writing in The Scotsman (U.K.), "In July, the House of Commons had a full debate on post office closures on a motion from the Conservatives. A few days ago, in the hope of picking up some local votes, the Liberal Democrats sponsored a motion on closures in Edinburgh. What was their solution? Their post office spokesperson Dr Vincent Cable wants to follow the lead of Holland by privatising the Post Office, even though the Dutch are now closing post offices at a faster rate than the UK. The Lib Dems ignore the fact that the number of post offices is falling in every country as millions more of us use cash machines, buy stamps in ordinary shops, order online and rely on e-mail and mobile phone texting."
September 13, 2004 -- AFX Europe has reported that "Deutsche Post AG director Peter Kruse said his company could be interested in taking a stake in Italy's postal operator Le Poste in any privatisation by the government. In comments cited by Il Sole 24 Ore Saturday, Kruse said that first there will have to be a political consensus on privatising the postal operator, like there has been in Germany." Imagine that. Tedeschi Poste d'Italia.
September 13, 2004 -- The Malta Independent has reported that "Maltapost yesterday informed its employees that due to industrial action there is insufficient work to carry out as regards processing, delivery and administrative duties. It has advised them not to report to work as from tomorrow until further notice. The company said in a statement that industrial action at Maltapost included the non-collection of mail from street post boxes, non-acceptance and delivery of bulk mail and non-delivery of unaddressed mail. There have also been constraints on the use of telephones and computers. As a result, postal services in Malta have been severely disrupted."
September 13, 2004 -- According to icBirmingham (U.K.), "Angry posties say the Royal Mail has become the Porno Post - after bosses ordered them to deliver flyers for a hard-core erotica firm. Workers at one Midland depot say they have been forced to slip the saucy mailshots through letterboxes across the region. Each racy flyer includes an envelope with a busty blonde on the cover, while inside an order form invites customers to send off for hardcore videos, sizzling DVDs or sex toys."
September 12, 2004 -- Marines.com has reported that "In a country which feels impossibly far away, a letter or package can deliver a little piece of home to the field. This year, these special deliveries come to Iraq faster. During the first year of operations in Iraq, mail could take more than two months to finally reach a Marine in the field. Now, it takes two weeks or less."
September 12, 2004 -- The Independent (U.K.) has reported that "Five private mail companies are preparing to take the Treasury to court over its pledge to preserve Royal Mail's special VAT-free status. TNT, the Dutch courier company, will front the challenge, which could end up in the European Court of Justice. TNT is supported by Hays, Deutsche Post, UK Mail and Express Dairies, which is also looking to expand into post deliveries. The companies believe they are unable to compete with the state-owned Royal Mail on equal terms because they must charge 17.5 per cent VAT on deliveries."
September 12, 2004 -- The Business Post (Ireland) has reported that "Aer Lingus is to axe its postal and courier service to Britain and Europe from January as part of its ongoing drive to compete with other low-cost carriers. Chief executive Willie Walsh told An Post management late last week that he had decided to drop its mail and courier deliveries from European flights in addition to cargo services from January 1. Aer Lingus carries about four million items of mail for An Post to Britain and Europe each week, both commercial and domestic. An Post's director of corporate and regulatory affairs, Larry Donald, warned that the decision could impact on its own cost base."
September 12, 2004 -- The Kyodo new service has reported that "The ruling Liberal Democratic Party may ask the government to make revisions to the Cabinet-approved basic plan on privatizing Japan's postal system, a senior LDP lawmaker said Sunday."
September 12, 2004 -- Di-ve (Malta) has reported that "Industrial actions taken by the Union Haddiema Maghqudin were described as a success since all on-duty workers followed the directives ordered by the union. Meanwhile, General Workers Union (GWU) said that a number of workers contacted the secretary of the Public Sector Section of the union Josephine Attard Sultana and shop steward Jeremy J. Camilleri, after they found a letter stating that next Monday, and until further notice, they should not report to their workplace. The letter was signed by Maltapost's Chief Executive Robert Lake, where he blamed this action by the management on UHM's industrial actions."
September 11, 2004 -- The Kyodo news service has reported that "People supporting postal privatization outnumbered opponents by 18 percentage points in a Kyodo News poll Saturday, giving Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi grounds to continue pushing for the reform policy many lawmakers oppose. Of the 1,024 respondents to the nationwide telephone poll, 53.4 percent said they support the policy while 35.4 percent said they opposed."
September 11, 2004 -- According to GovExec.com, "The Postal Service no longer relies as heavily on direction from other agencies. When the poison ricin was discovered in the Senate mailroom last February, for example, the Postal Service closed one of its facilities, monitored workers' health and conducted environmental tests. The Postal Service now irradiates mail headed for federal agencies and has begun testing biohazard detectors in 15 facilities. The Postal Inspection Service has developed an intensive program to train 200 inspectors in biohazard detection, forensic sampling, hazardous material crime-scene processing, and the isolation, control and tracking of mail. "We're taking a very aggressive approach," says Zane Hill, the postal inspector in charge of dangerous mail and homeland security."
September 11, 2004 -- The National Association of Postal Supervisors Legislative Counsel has told his members that "Congress returned to Washington earlier this week after taking time off for its August recess and the Democratic and Republican conventions. The Senate and House remain officially scheduled to adjourn by October 1, although that date may slip by a week or so before lawmakers return home for one final month of campaigning. Prospects also appear good for a lame-duck session of Congress in November. A lame-duck session would require Members of Congress to return to Washington soon after the elections, primarily to continue work on unfinished fiscal year 2005 government funding legislation. The alternative scenario involves pulling the curtain when Congress leaves town in early October, continuing government funding at the fiscal year 2004 level and postponing final budget decisions until the 109th Congress begins early next year."
September 11, 2004 -- The Palm Beach Post (FL) has reported that "With its power and phones restored late Thursday night, the West Palm Beach postal headquarters was back to full service Friday morning and already experiencing its busiest day since Hurricane Frances roared through last weekend. For customers fretting over looming Hurricane Ivan and bill due dates, it was an essential stop on their day's errand list. More than 31,600 delivery sites in this district — from Fort Pierce to Deerfield Beach — are inaccessible due to building damage, power outages or flooding, according to the U.S. Postal Service."
September 11, 2004 -- The Financial Times has reported that "Anyone who has had an important document lost or seriously delayed in the post might find it hard to believe there can be such a thing as “intelligent mail”. But for Michael Critelli, chairman and chief executive of Pitney Bowes, the 84-year-old US-based company that invented the postage franking machine, the concept is a reality."
September 11, 2004 -- Business World (Ireland) has reported that "The Communication Workers' Union (CWU) today slammed plans by An Post to spend up to E0.5m on consultants to tell An Post why it fell so far short of the 94pc mail delivery target set by ComReg. An Post management yesterday said it would hire the consultants to undertake an "in-depth analysis of measures, operational and commercial, that will need to be taken to achieve the 94pc next-day delivery target which has been set" by ComReg."
September 11, 2004 -- According to the Daily Yomiuri (Japan), "The post office of the future will be similar to a convenience store, according to the basic policy on privatization of postal services the Cabinet approved Friday. In addition to those original services, post offices will be allowed to sell mutual funds, probably by autumn of 2005. Also in the process of privatization, they will become able to provide services unrelated to postal business, including sales of daily necessities, tickets for concerts and other events, airline reservations and package tours."
September 10, 2004 -- Dow Jones has reported that "Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi began arranging Friday for economic and fiscal policy minister Heizo Takenaka to assume the planned new post of postal reform minister in a Cabinet reshuffle later this month."
September 10, 2004 -- From the PR Newswire: "The International Express Carriers Conference (IECC), the international trade association of the express delivery industry, will become the Global Express Association (GEA)."
September 10, 2004 -- As part of its anniversary celebration, BusinessWeek is presenting a series of weekly profiles of the greatest innovators of the past 75 years. Some made their mark in science or technology; others in management, finance, marketing, or government. One is on Fred Smith, CEO of Fedex.
September 10, 2004 -- The Age (Australia) has reported that "Traditional posties who sort, bag and deliver the mail with a whistle are cycling into oblivion. And the people who line up for their work have been dubbed "DODOs" — not after the flightless, extinct bird but as an acronym of their job description: Dedicated Outdoor Delivery Only staff. Local posties are angry at a proposed agreement by Australia Post to allow the service to split the jobs of 800 posties in Melbourne and Sydney. The deal gives postal staff a 10 per cent pay rise plus a $400 bonus over 2½ years."
September 10, 2004 -- The San Diego Union-Tribune has reported that "At least five Western and Midwestern governors received envelopes in the mail Thursday that were rigged to ignite when opened. A sixth was received in the East on Friday, and a seventh intercepted in Oregon. In Montana, the envelope prompted the evacuation of part of the state Capitol. The envelopes, rigged with matches set to ignite when opened, were sent to the governors of Montana, Idaho, Nebraska, Washington, Utah and Massachusetts. A seventh letter was sent to the governor of Oregon, but was intercepted by postal authorities before it arrived."
September 10, 2004 -- Dow Jones has reported that "Express mail companies United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS) and FedEx Corp. (FDX) are backing a campaign for looser customs-and-delivery rules in developing-world countries including China. The logistics companies' demands will be presented next week at a meeting in Romania of the industry's rule-making body, the Universal Postal Union. Countries such as China should offer the same terms to foreign express operators as to state-backed competitors, said John Simpson, director general of the Brussels-based Global Express Association. His organization wants customs authorities to accept information electronically and ahead of delivery, 24 hours a day. Many customs authorities only will review documents once goods have arrived, creating lengthy delays."
September 10, 2004 -- Business Week has reported that "FedEx' ongoing expansion into ground deliveries is still in its early stages. That business generally has higher margins and is growing at a faster clip than overnight services."
September 10, 2004 -- Bloomberg has reported that "Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi won Cabinet approval to split up and sell the state-run postal service amid disputes within the ruling party over the future of its $3 trillion in financial assets and 400,000 workers." See also Forbes and the Kyodo news service.
September 10, 2004 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that "Two events this week have demonstrated that the focus of the world’s largest express and logistics companies remains very much on China, although they also indicate the contradictory nature of the market. The entire board of TPG (owner of the TNT Express and TNT Logistics brands) attended a ceremony to mark the opening of the new TNT China head office in Shanghai in order to show the company’s commitment to the fast growing market. However the Chief Executive of one of the other largest foreign operators in China, UPS, hit a more discordant note. In a speech to a trade fair in Xiamen, he told the audience that China is using unfair barriers to block foreign competition."
September 10, 2004 -- Japan Today has reported that "The government decided Thursday to formalize at a Cabinet meeting Friday its basic policy of splitting and privatizing the state-run Japan Post into four units in 2007."
September 10, 2004 -- According to the latest report from the General Accountability Office (GAO), "public health officials underestimated the health risks when letters containing anthrax spores were handled in five U.S. Postal Service facilities in 2001."
September 10, 2004 -- The Guardian (U.K.) has reported that "This week's Japanese papers were lukewarm in their response to government plans to privatise the country's unwieldy postal service from April 2007. Privatisation would see Japan Post split into four initially state-run corporations, each responsible for running a different service but under a single holding company."
September 9, 2004 -- The Queens Chronicle has a nice piece on Ray Murphy, the USPS employee who helped Iraq rebuild its postal system.
September 9, 2004 -- PostCom and MFSA have asked the Postal Service regarding the anticipated USPS rule governing the distinctions between First-Class and Standard Mail (i) to request the Postal Service to issue a further notice of proposed rule and subject the revised proposal to further comment prior to issuing a final rule, and (ii) to ask that the Postal Service revise its implementation timetable with respect to the effective date of any final rule."
September 9, 2004 -- La Tribune has reported that "The three biggest unions of La Poste, the French post office - the postal and telecoms branches of FO, CGT and SUD - have urged its employees to join in a day of action on September 21 in support of jobs and against La Poste's dismantling and post office closures." See also Les Echos.
September 9, 2004 -- According to Datamonitor, "Deutsche Post has made an offer for a 25% stake in the national Danish postal operator, which is also expecting similar offers from other postal companies. The move reaffirms Deutsche Post's ambitious expansion strategy and also highlights the trend among large European operators to expand beyond their core markets as they face the end of domestic postal monopolies by 2007. Although it is only bidding for a minor stake in the Danish postal operator, the move epitomizes DP's fundamental strategy for the past seven years: aggressive spending to expand into other countries and into other sectors. This is partly motivated by declining mail volumes in its home market and the impending liberalization of the postal sector."
September 9, 2004 -- The Japan Times has posted a nice piece on "Why is Japan Post going to be privatized? "
September 9, 2004 -- The agenda for the next meeting of the USPS Board of Governors has been posted on the USPS web site.
September 9, 2004 -- The PostalReporter has posted on its site a copy of a communication with the American Postal Workers Union on the impact automation has had on the postal complement.
September 9, 2004 -- The Albany Times-Union has reported that "The financial picture worsened substantially at AuthentiDate Holding Corp. during fiscal 2004, the company announced Wednesday. AuthentiDate missed certain revenue targets in its agreement with the U.S. Postal Service for the Electronic Postmark, which adds auditable time stamps and digital signatures to electronic documents. The company is in negotiations to amend the deal."
September 9, 2004 -- Mediapost has reported that "Postmaster General and CEO Jack Potter will address top-level executives from the magazine industry at the American Magazine Conference 2004, hosted by Magazine Publishers of America on October 24 through 27 at the Boca Raton Resort & Club in Florida. Potter, who was appointed the 72nd Postmaster General in 2001, will speak Tuesday afternoon, October 26, providing an update on the current state of the Postal Service and postal reform legislation."
September 9, 2004 -- Space.com wants to know: "Does ET use snail mail." Scientists involved in the search for extraterrestrial life are beginning to believe that "snail mail beats hail mail by a large margin."
September 9, 2004 -- As The Economist has noted, "Last month, Wolfgang Schüssel, the chancellor of Austria, shelved plans to sell a quarter of the state-owned postal service to Germany's Deutsche Post. All this leaves privatisation, nominally a government priority, in tatters. There is not enough domestic capital to produce “hard-core” shareholders for all companies. Selling shares only on the tiny Vienna bourse would mean low prices, which would be bad for the budget and still leave privatised companies vulnerable to unwanted takeover bids. The state may be stuck with its shareholdings for years to come—and with Brussels competition authorities watching for hints of illegal state aids."
September 9, 2004 -- BreakingNews (Ireland) has reported that "Fine Gael has expressed concern at the long-term implications of an EU plan to impose 21% VAT on postal services. The European Commission has planned to impose the tax on all items over ten kilos in weight, in a move that would affect postal services in all Member States." See also Ireland Online.
September 9, 2004 -- Firstlogic, Inc., a global provider of enterprise information quality solutions, today announced the schedule for iSummit 2004, the company's third annual online conference series. iSummit 2004 offers over a dozen interactive sessions with leading authorities on the subjects of business intelligence, customer relationship management (CRM) and data warehousing.
September 9, 2004 -- DM News has reported that "Postmaster general John E. Potter has urged the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee to include funding for postal appropriations in the Fiscal Year 2005 Transportation, Treasury, and Independent Agencies Appropriation bill. Potter seeks a total of $883.88 million. The bill currently provides for $61.71 million. In his letter to the chairman dated Aug. 31, Potter expressed the U.S. Postal Service's concern regarding the level of funding provided in the bill."
September 9, 2004 -- The U.S. Department of Justice has reported that "Cushman & Wakefield, Inc. (C&W), Interior Systems, Inc. (ISI), and William Marcellino, Vice-President of ISI, have agreed to pay the United States and the U.S. Postal Service $8,400,000 to settle a civil action filed by the United States which alleged the defendants violated the False Claims Act by failing to pay the U.S. Postal Service for postage owed on mailings. The United States’ suit claimed that the defendants underpaid the postage due in connection with a mail presort business they operated in Dallas from 1997 through 2000. According to the complaint, the presort business was run at various times by C&W and a joint venture between ISI and Cushman & Wakefield of Michigan, Inc., an affiliate of C&W."
September 9, 2004 -- The Polish Bulletin has reported that "The Poczta Polska (PP) state-owned postal service may soon face bankruptcy, warned the company's officials in the Sejm yesterday. PP is in desperate need of a development plan, state subsidies of ZL500m and new regulations that would tone down the liberalisation of the postal deliveries market. The crucial year for PP is 2006, when Poland complies with the EU's postal services liberalisation. With regards to letters, PP has been a monopoly, but it is now expected to lose one-third to two-thirds of that market."
September 9, 2004 -- Taipei Times has reported that "United Parcel Service Inc chief executive Michael Eskew said China is using unfair barriers to block foreign competition and has failed to do enough to combat product piracy since joining the WTO."
September 9, 2004 -- Ireland Online has reported that "An Post is reportedly planning to hire outside consultants to examine its failure to meet next-day delivery targets. Reports this morning said the company wanted to assess whether it was possible to achieve the 94% target for next-day deliveries and how much it would cost to do so. A study by the communications regulator earlier this year found that only 70% of letters posted in Ireland arrived at their destination the following day."
September 9, 2004 -- The DM Bulletin (U.K.) has reported that "Direct mail spend fell for the fifth consecutive quarter in Q2 this year, according to Thomson Intermedia figures."
September 9, 2004 -- The Japan Times has reported that "Dozens of lawmakers of the Liberal Democratic Party announced Wednesday they will try to block legislation aimed at privatizing Japan Post, despite the Cabinet's plan to approve a bill to this end on Friday."
September 8, 2004 -- United Nations snail mail sprinted into the black in the first six months of 2004 after years of wallowing in red ink as the world body's Postal Administration (UNPA) registered its first net profit since 1994 thanks to lowered operating costs and new marketing initiatives such as personalized stamps.
September 8, 2004 -- The American Shipper has reported that "The Business Roundtable, representing the nation’s top chief executive officers, has named Fred Smith, chairman and president of FedEx Corp., as chairman of its Security Task Force. The task force was created after the 2001 terrorist attacks to help the private sector partner with government to protect the United States’ critical infrastructure against threats of terrorism. Smith replaces Michael Armstrong, former chairman of cable industry giant Comcast Corp."
September 8, 2004 -- CEP News (Courier-Express-Postal) has reported that:
September 8, 2004 -- The Financial Times has reported that:
September 8, 2004 -- Zawya has reported that "After the telecommunications and power sectors, postal and water supply services will be privatised in Oman, according to Ahmad Bin Abdul Nabi Macki, Oman's Minister of National Economy and deputy chairman of the financial affairs and energy resources council."
September 8, 2004 -- Here's an interesting fact from AdWeek: "The USPS spent more than $40 million on ads in 2003 and $5 million through May 2004."
September 8, 2004 -- Bloomberg has reported that "The German government can place its remaining stakes in Deutsche Telekom AG and Deutsche Post AG with state-owned bank Kreditanstalt fuer Wiederaufbau without forcing KfW to sell shares, Finance Minister Hans Eichel said."
September 8, 2004 -- According to Government Computer News, "Until recently, many of the largest U.S. Postal Service facilities were choking on their own data. Address directories used to make sure mail was delivered to the right place took three to four days to update. IT managers could transfer address data only to a limited number of mail processing machines at a time, and it took about two hours per machine. And the local area network could only handle a specific number of computers at a time. The limitations were costly and slowed the processing of the mail, USPS officials said. But in May, IT workers installed a new 1-Gbps Gigabit Ethernet LAN backbone at 62 Postal Service facilities, giving the system a Heimlich maneuver of sorts."
September 8, 2004 -- The Boston Globe has reported that "A government panel agreed to split Japan's postal system into four businesses in 2007, backing a politically sensitive privatization plan pushed by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi. Japan Post's four areas of service -- mail delivery, management of some 25,000 post offices, savings deposits and life insurance sections -- will become separate businesses under a single holding company. The Cabinet is expected to endorse the plan Friday." See also the Asahi Shimbun.
September 8, 2004 -- From the BusinessWire: "Neopost, the European leader and number two world-wide supplier of mailing solutions, today announced consolidated sales of EUR 187.5m for the second quarter of its 2004 financial year (three months ending 31 July 2004). On a like-for-like basis(1) and at constant exchange rates, sales expanded by 4.9%. Neopost's aggregate sales over the first six months of 2004 totalled EUR 371.0m, a rise of 3.7% on a like-for-like basis(1) and excluding currency effects."
September 7, 2004 -- The U.S. Postal Service has published in the Federal Register a final rule that "adopts an amendment to Domestic Mail Manual standards governing insurance advertising in Nonprofit Standard Mail. The amendment sets forth guidelines for determining whether the coverage provided by an insurance policy offered by an authorized nonprofit organization to its members is not generally otherwise commercially available."
September 7, 2004 -- Dow Jones has reported that "A Japanese government panel has agreed in principle on the guidelines for the privatization of postal services that will begin in April 2007, Economy and Banking Minister Heizo Takenaka said Tuesday. Koizumi has repeatedly said he wanted to have Japan Post split into four entities under one general holding company and that the split-up should occur when the privatization phase begins in April 2007. The panel, he said, had agreed that it is clearer to have one general holding company and four separate entities to demonstrate that risks between each business is isolated. Takenaka also said the panel agreed that the government aims to sell the shares of postal savings and postal insurance to the market during the 10-year privatization to become "companies that are owned and run by the private sector." However, he said any sales of shares would have to be done according to market conditions, indicating the government won't force the shares to be sold if it runs the risk of disrupting the market."
September 7, 2004 -- The Federal Times has reported that "USPS shortchanged by $800 million, Potter says Congress is shortchanging the U.S. Postal Service under planned fiscal 2005 appropriations and should restore more than $800 million in funding, Postmaster General John Potter said Aug. 31. In a letter to Rep. Ernest Istook, R-Okla., chairman of the House Appropriations subcommittee on Transportation, Treasury and independent agencies, Potter said programs to provide free mail for the blind and overseas voters and to secure postal facilities against future bioterror attacks are jeopardized by the lack of appropriations. The Postal Service wants nearly $76 million to subsidize free mail services; the House spending bill would provide almost $62 million. Potter said that Congress' refusal to provide $779 million to pay for machines to detect biological weapons sent through the mail and filter biohazards from the air at postal facilities makes the Postal Service "very concerned that payment for the equipment to [make mail safer is] not considered a priority." Congress also has not budgeted for a $29 million debt repayment, which would be the 12th of 42 payments on a more than $1.2 billion dollar debt owed to the Postal Service. Nearly $900 million remains, and the Postal Service could be forced to write the whole debt off if Congress reneges on this payment."
September 7, 2004 -- The latest update on activities undertaken by the Mail and Jobs Coalition has been posted on this site.
September 6, 2004 -- AFX Europe has reported that "Deutsche Post World Net AG has made a non-binding offer for a 25 pct stake in Danish postal service Post Danmark ahead of today's deadline to table bids. The two postal services have been working closely together in parcel distribution for the last two years."
September 6, 2004 -- According to CRM Daily, "Customer e-mail is routine, and routinely trashed, studies show. Disappearing as though swallowed by a black hole, ignored e-mails are costing companies millions as disgruntled consumers take their business elsewhere."
September 6, 2004 -- Expansion has reported that "In Spain, the public works minister, Magdalena Alvarez, has undertaken a major management restructure at postal services operator Correos. In July and August, more than a dozen executives and middle management staff left the company, including financial director Diego Valle and head of communications Emma Marin. Sources close to the company have indicated that the management restructure is not yet complete, and that more departures could occur in the next few days."
September 6, 2004 -- The Japan Times has reported that "Democratic Party of Japan leader Katsuya Okada has expressed support for privatizing Japan Post's savings and life insurance businesses but indicated caution over privatizing mail delivery."
September 6, 2004 -- AFX Europe has reported that "TNT Post Group (TPG), the largest private post group in the Netherlands, will invest 200 mln eur in China over three years to integrate its business in the country."
September 6, 2004 -- As the Wall Street Journal has noted new campaign-finance laws have barred unlimited corporate contributions to political party coffers, and this has changed the pattern of giving for several corporations, including those with postal interests.
September 6, 2004 -- As the Seattle Post-Intelligencer has noted, "In the current system, billions of paper checks, nearly 43 billion in 2001, according to the Federal Reserve, are physically carried by mail and courier between banks for processing. The cashing bank does not get credited until the paying bank receives the paper check. Sometimes this process can take up to a week. But because of a new banking law, nicknamed Check 21, most of that float time will disappear. Check 21 takes effect Oct. 28, when banks will be allowed to conduct check processing electronically. A scanned image of a check transmitted over a network can be accepted for payment within seconds, and banks will no longer have to send traditional paper checks to collect on them."
September 6, 2004 -- Bloomberg has reported that "Deutsche Post AG, Europe's largest postal service, reiterated that it expects profit to grow as much as 13 percent as the express division's earnings rise."
September 6, 2004 -- As the Associated Press has noted, "Thanks to a new test program by a firm called Stamps.com, any picture uploaded from your computer -- well, almost any picture -- can, for $16.99, become a sheet of made-to-order postage stamps that can be used on any envelope. Initial reports indicate success: In the first three weeks since the test program debuted Aug. 10, the company has taken orders for 40,000 sheets -- 800,000 new stamps. "It's created a new way for people to express themselves," says Ken McBride, Stamps.com's CEO. That's 21st-Century Modern Marketing Principle No. 1: In today's buyer-driven, niche-marketed-to-the-nth-degree world, customization reigns. And technology is giving consumers new relationships with their products by effectively putting the means of production into their hands."
September 6, 2004 -- The Times (U.K.) has reported that "A major clash between post users and Royal Mail over compensation would be the first big test of the man at the top of the industry regulator Postcomm. Soon Postcomm's chairman could deal Royal Mail a fresh blow if he decides to accelerate competition. He has said that he will decide soon whether plans for the full deregulation of the market which had been set for 2007 should be brought forward to next year. That would coincide with the end of Royal Mail's three-year renewal programme, which was designed to haul the organisation back into profitability."
September 6, 2004 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that "Polar Air Cargo Inc. will be allowed to offer cargo service between the U.S. and China, U.S. government officials said Friday. The cargo carrier, a wholly owned subsidiary of Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings Inc., was granted nine weekly flights to China under an expanded air-services agreement reached this summer between the U.S. and China. United Parcel Service Inc. and FedEx Corp. each received 12 new weekly flights under the agreement, and Northwest Airlines received six additional flights. Half of the new flights granted to UPS, FedEx and Northwest are available immediately, and the rest begin in March."
September 6, 2004 -- New York Newsday has reported that "Now that the GOP bash is over, the fate of the turn-of-the-century landmark James Farley Post Office that was headquarters to 15,000 journalists covering the convention is expected to be the subject of behind-the-scenes negotiations. Despite a recent threat by the House Appropriations Committee to withdraw $40 million in federal dollars for the long-awaited transformation of the post office into a grand rail terminal, officials say plans for the project are proceeding "on target." Chief among the negotiations is whether Congress will restore the funding, secured by the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan but pulled from the project earlier this year. Those funds, part of an earlier $800-million allocation to move the rail tracks across the street, could be shifted to the East Side Access project - linking the Long Island Rail Road tracks to Grand Central Station. Also needed is approval from Amtrak, a seal requiring federal approval."
September 6, 2004 -- The Times of India has reported that "There was a time when the humble sky-blue inland letter carried four faces alongside the inverted pyramid, propagating the message of family planning. The campaign failed to bust the population boom, but that space is today marketing top consumer brands which has sent postal revenues soaring."
September 6, 2004 -- The PakTribune (Pakistan) has reported that "President Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) Zubair Ahmed Malik has said that Express Mail Track & Trace System (EMTTS) had the potential to boost trade and business links within the country and aboard due to efficient and reliable delivery system."
September 5, 2004 -- From the PR Newswire: "The Postal Service is taking on a new look. Its own Letter Carriers are the stars of this fall's new advertising campaign. It all begins Tuesday with a series of television and print advertising and in-store promotions. Capitalizing on the popularity of reality television, the new campaign focuses on actual postal employees who will explain the many ways customers can access postal services without having to visit a Post Office or stand in a line."
September 5, 2004 -- As The Economist has noted, "If it is done properly, the privatisation of Japan Post could boost competition in the country's financial markets. Trouble is, it might not be."
September 5, 2004 -- The Boston Globe has reported that "Millions of Americans who are already trying to fight off unwanted electronic mail from direct marketers are about to get deluged by another source: politicians and lobbying groups. For the first time, a nationwide list of registered voters has been cross-referenced with multiple lists of e-mail addresses collected from magazine subscribers, catalogue shoppers, online poll participants, and the like. Now legislators, candidates, and interest groups can buy more than 25 million e-mail addresses of registered voters and contact them at will. 'It costs a lot less to send e-mails versus postal mail or TV advertising,' said a spokeswoman."
September 5, 2004 -- The Sunday Mirror (U.K.) has reported that "A teenage postgirl is facing the sack after she was caught enjoying a secret sex session on her delivery round. Rosemary Cotton, 19, was caught romping in her uniform in an empty garage by an outraged elderly resident. The shocked pensioner then complained to the Royal Mail and bosses have now suspended Cotton, who admitted meeting her lover for sex when she should have been delivering letters in Solihull, West Midlands."
September 5, 2004 -- As The Telegraph (U.K.) has noted, "last week was not a good one for the Royal Mail. It admitted that it had flunked all 15 of its latest performance targets, and had been forced to pay out a record sum of Pounds50 million in compensation to disgruntled customers."
September 5, 2004 -- "A Royal Mail fiasco which is plunging the postal system into crisis has been exposed by the Sunday Mercury. The under-fire company is losing a potential fortune because letters can be delivered first class - without payment. One simple scam involves writing the word 'Freepost' below the address on an unstamped letter. The second requires just sticking two 1p stamps on the corner of an envelope instead of the usual 28p cost. A Sunday Mercury investigation last week discovered that BOTH methods have a 100 per cent success rate."
September 5, 2004 -- The Evening Standard (U.K.) has reported that "Royal Mail is scrapping its controversial bonus scheme for executives following massive criticism after it failed to meet all of its service quality targets. But they have a replacement scheme lined up that is likely to net big rewards." Gee. A post abandoning a discredited bonus scheme with another in the wings. Does this have a ring of familiarity or what?
September 5, 2004 -- The Kyodo news service has reported that "Democratic Party of Japan leader Katsuya Okada expressed support Sunday for privatizing the savings and life insurance businesses of Japan Post but showed a cautious view over privatizing the mail delivery business."
September 4, 2004 -- The Manila Bulletin has reported that "Modern technology, including text messaging and electronic mail, has made life easier, but the Philippine Postal Corp. (PhilPost) is not so happy about it. Modern technology and the establishment of other delivery companies have caused the decrease in the volume of mails delivered this year compared to last year. Records from the Philippine Postal Office showed a decrease from 8,652,689 letters and parcels from January to June last year to 5,518,683 for the same period this year or a decrease of 36.22 percent."
September 4, 2004 -- CBC News (Canada) has reported that "Canada Post has started to warn some dog owners that they won't receive any mail unless letter carriers can make their rounds safely."
September 4, 2004 -- The Chicago Tribune has reported that "A longtime Oak Brook postal worker who stole tens of thousands of mailed advertisements as research for his planned mail order business was sentenced to 3 years' probation in federal court Friday."
September 4, 2004 -- The Evening News (U.K.) has reported that "A drive to improve postal services in Norwich will see 200 more staff taken on to handle the Christmas rush. The recruitment comes on top of an additional 100 staff the under-fire company announced two months ago they were to looking to take on to try to improve performance to customers. Performance figures released this week showed the percentage of first class letters delivered within a day had slipped. Royal Mail insisted the worst was over.
September 4, 2004 -- The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has tentatively authorized UPS (UPS) to significantly expand its air operations in China. The decision, tripling UPS's access to China over the next year, will provide significant opportunity for UPS to continue growing its business within the region while providing customers with service in all segments of the market from general freight to express delivery."
September 3, 2004 -- According to Real Estate News, "When Kevin Patterson receives calls from people who actually thank him for the promotion he sent them, he knows that his EXCEED direct mail program is working. The simple but exceptionally effective secret to Patterson's direct mail campaign lies in the value it offers."
September 3, 2004 -- According to Marshall Loeb at CBS Market Watch, "Junk mail is annoying, and it can also be damaging. The Federal Trade Commission reports that many identity thieves steal mail to search for financial information. Sometimes they even take advantage of those preapproved credit-card offers." And, oh yes. From that perspective, your water bill is "damaging," your gas and electric bills are "damaging," and just about anything that ever appears in your mail box that might tell some thief about you. And if it's thieves you're worrying about, leave your wallet at home. Thieves are known to love wallets for their contents and their information. What an idiot!.
September 3, 2004 -- And...from the Mail and Jobs Coalition to the New York Daily News:
"Junk your junk mail" (September 3rd) is an affront to intelligent readers.The Daily News says that "when you open your mailbox, there's a good chance much of the contents will be junk mail, including a credit-card offer -- or three." But, oops, don't newspapers carry ads from banks?
And that's the point. There's no difference between an ad sent through the mails and a newspaper insert with the very same ad, on the very same paper.
The Daily News does not explain why advertisers will spend more than $51 billion marketing through the mails this year -- more than will be spent on newspapers. You don't say why newspaper circulation is declining nationwide while ad mail volume is at record levels. You don't provide a number so that newspapers can be ordered without advertising inserts.
Why not tell readers how the term "junk mail" originated? According to The Washington Post, "magazines and newspapers have been at war with advertising mailers for a long time -- ever since the mailers began siphoning ad dollars away from publications. Indeed, newspaper editorialists invented the term 'junk mail' in the early 1950s."
The Daily News needs to modernize its style manual. The term "junk mail" and all that it represents is as outdated as "fish wrapping." Why not recognize that both newspapers and the mailstream each represent an important advertising channel and that there's plenty of room for both -- just ask readers and advertisers.
September 3, 2004 -- According to postal commentator Gene Del Polito, "You don't need a crystal ball or the ability to read entrails to figure out what may be lying ahead for those who use mail for marketing and advertising purposes. A quick gander at the Postal Service's most recent financial accounting statements will be enough to do the trick. Mail volume overall is not growing. In fact, the only category that has consistently shown a pattern of growth is Standard Mail, i.e., the one category most widely used for business development. From a postal rate perspective, this is not good."
September 3, 2004 -- The Washington Post has reported that "Workers' productivity increased at an annual rate of 2.5 percent in the spring, the smallest gain since late 2002. Gross domestic product, which measures the value of all goods and services produced in a country, rose at an annual rate of 2.8 percent in the second quarter, compared with a 4.5 percent rate in the first quarter."
September 3, 2004 -- Die Welt (Germany) has reported that "Deutsche Post, the German postal service operator, is planning to reduce the number of drivers at DHL, its express forwarding subsidiary, through an increase in the use of subcontractors. The changes are expected to take place at the beginning of next year. Services sector union Ver.di fears that Deutsche Post may cease to use its own staff for DHL deliveries altogether. Currently, most of the 8,000 delivery staff are Deutsche Post employees."
September 3, 2004 -- The U.S. Postal Service has posted on its web site its financial and operating statement for July 2004.
September 3, 2004 -- USA Today has reported that "After a $20 million renovation half the funds from Iraqi oil proceeds and the rest from the U.S. Treasury mail service in Iraq now is creeping into the modern world. On Aug. 21, the U.S. Postal Service resumed mail service with Iraq for the first time since the war started more than a year ago."
September 3, 2004 -- DMNews has reported that "As of Sept. 16, customers who print labels and pay for postage online using Click-N-Ship also will be able to buy insurance of up to $200 to cover lost, rifled or damaged packages."
September 3, 2004 -- From the MarketWire: Global Business Services, Inc.'s subsidiary, Postal Connections of America (PCA), a rapidly growing network of franchise postal, business and communication services stores, reports adding four more stores to its eBay listing and support service in Arizona, California and Oregon expanding beyond its original test stores in Texas and Michigan. Postal Connections offers customers a free seven-day listing on eBay, that includes taking digital pictures, writing online sales copy, storing the item, collecting payment from the buyer, paying the seller and packing, shipping and insuring the item when it is sold. For this, Postal Connections earns a sales commission on each transaction ranging from 20% to 38% depending on the sales price. Currently, the PCA retail network consists of 71 franchisee stores open or sold in 22 states."
September 3, 2004 -- Dow Jones has reported that "Shares of Stamps.com rose to a 52-week high Thursday after the company announced initial sales results for its PhotoStamps venture. The Santa Monica, Calif., company said customers as of Thursday ordered 40,000 sheets, or 800,000 individual PhotoStamps, since the venture launched Aug. 10."
September 3, 2004 -- Bloomberg has reported that "Japan's Cabinet wants to approve a government plan to privatize the state-run postal service on Sept. 10, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi told reporters at his office in Tokyo."
September 3, 2004 -- The Japan Times has reported that "The priority in privatizing Japan's gigantic postal system is to quickly split its financial and postal service operations despite strong opposition, according to high-profile economist Hiroshi Kato."
September 3, 2004 -- The Columbus Telegram has reported that "Organizers are promising to deliver a hit during the Blue vs. Brown softball game this weekend. Local employees of the U.S. Postal Service and UPS will be pitted against each other at 2 p.m. Sunday at Bradshaw Park, 19th Street and 48th Avenue. Admission is free, but freewill donations will be accepted for the Muscular Dystrophy Association."
September 3, 2004 -- According to the China Post, "Synchronized commerce, as coined by UPS, is designed to meeting all the needs within the supply and demand chains, particular in a global context. The needs can be of different natures: cash, logistics, information, and even post-sales services."
September 2, 2004 -- The New York Times has reported that "According to new calculations being published by a physicist and an electrical engineer today in the journal Nature, it is enormously more efficient to send a long message as a physical package, a cosmic FedEx, than as radio wave or laser pulse. As a result, say the authors, Dr. Christopher Rose, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at Rutgers, and Dr. Gregory Wright, a physicist at Antipodes Associates in Fair Haven, N.J., searchers for extraterrestrial intelligence should pay more attention to how messages could be inscribed and delivered and where they might be found."
September 2, 2004 -- In today's Federal Register you will find the following from the U.S. Postal Service:
September 2, 2004 -- From the PR Newswire: "Stamps.com today announced that customer response to its new PhotoStamps(TM) product has been overwhelmingly positive -- with 40,000 sheets, or 800,000 individual PhotoStamps, ordered since the August 10th public launch.
September 2, 2004 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that "DHL is presently in negotiations with labour organizations in Germany over the future structure of its work force, and in particular the number of sub-contractors it is able to use as couriers."
September 2, 2004 -- Now here's an interesting twist. The DM Bulletin (U.K.) has reported that " EBay is preparing its first direct mail campaign to encourage retailers and businesses to use its auction service to market and sell their products. The company is keen to promote itself to third parties as an "online shopfront" enabling them to capitalise on the high levels of traffic it attracts. It has hired integrated agency Joshua to develop a direct marketing strategy. An initial campaign will be aimed at independent retailers across a number of sectors. To get people online, what is eBay using? Why, direct mail, of course.
September 2, 2004 -- According to the Christian Science Monitor, "In an electronic age, the letter endures."
September 2, 2004 -- MMH.com has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service, for instance, is working on a single bar code that can carry all of the information about a parcel or letter."
September 2, 2004 -- On this site you can find:
September 2, 2004 -- DMNews has reported that "The Home Depot has signed on to become the home improvement retail advertiser in the MoverSource program, bumping out rival Lowe's from a coupon offering through an alliance between the U.S. Postal Service and marketing services company Imagitas Inc. The three-year agreement, which was signed last month, takes effect in January."
September 2, 2004 -- Business World (Ireland) has reported that "Beleaguered postal service An Post has been slammed by some of its largest clients over its bulk mail performance."
September 2, 2004 -- Bloomberg has reported that "Japan's banks urged the government to reorganize the country's postal service into four independent entities when it is privatized rather than under a single holding company to ensure fair competition."
September 2, 2004 -- The Asahi Shimbun has reported that "Two camps remain locked in debate over when to split the corporation into four entities. Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi wants his Cabinet to endorse a blueprint for postal privatization next week, but his policy council remains at odds over key issues, particularly the proposed organizational setup. Private-sector members of the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy want the four postal functions-mail delivery, postal savings, kampo life insurance and the network of over-the-counter services-to be turned into separate firms under a single holding company when privatization begins in April 2007. The scholars and corporate executives say such a breakup at the outset of the privatization process, to be completed in 10 years, is the best way to capture the spirit of Koizumi's pet project."
September 2, 2004 -- The Daily Yomiuri has reported that "The Osaka High Court has ordered a retrial of a case in which a man unsuccessfully sought compensation from the government for damages incurred by the misdelivery of mail, citing a related ruling by the Supreme Court that said the provisions of the Postal Law were unconstitutional, The Yomiuri Shimbun learned Wednesday. The high court said the Supreme Court ruling on unconstitutionality had set a precedent that affected other court decisions in which plaintiffs had lost their cases. Japan Post, which took over the role of defendant during the retrial after the Postal Services Agency was transformed into the new entity in April 2003, has filed a complaint with the Supreme Court against the high court decision."
September 2, 2004 -- Reuters has reported that "United Parcel Service Inc., the world's largest package delivery company, expects business to keep growing even as it passes higher fuel costs on to customers, its chief executive told a newspaper. "So far we have detected no signs that business is declining," Michael Eskew said in a interview to be published in Thursday's Financial Times Deutschland. Sales volume has not dipped, he said, even though UPS is passing on higher fuel costs directly to clients and airmail packages have become 7.5 percent more expensive to send. Rival Fedex told Reuters in an interview earlier this week that escalating fuel costs are no threat to its business as they are being offset by higher productivity and efficiency. When you think about it. If UPS and Fedex can offset higher fuel costs with improvements in productivity and efficiency, shouldn't the Postal Service be able to do the same?
September 2, 2004 -- The BBC Monitoring Service (U.K.) has reported that "The Universal Postal Union [UPU] has issued a statement to protest against the circulation of stamps aimed at having the self-proclaimed Nagornyy Karabakh Republic recognized as an independent state. The statement that has been circulated to 200 countries says that the move is a rude violation of norms and regulations stipulated in the UPU Convention, as well as of regulations of interstate mail communication. The document signed by the director-general of the union, Thomas Leavey, calls on the member countries not to accept these stamps."
September 2, 2004 -- According to Industrial Distribution, "For industrial distributors, outbound freight costs usually rank toward the highest among budget categories. Even so, no one will argue the overall cost effectiveness of parcel carriers. After all, what distributor can deliver a 10-pound case of material 500 miles away for $4.39? UPS, FedEx and DHL have empowered distributors to break down all geographic barriers."
September 1, 2004 -- The San Antonio Business Journal has reported that "Bills.com, a subsidiary San Antonio-based Payment Data Systems Inc., is now offering the ability for people to pay anyone with an e-mail address, transfer money between multiple checking and savings accounts and receive eBill summaries in their e-mail accounts. With these new features, Bills.com is going head-to-head against competitor PayPal in the electronic billing and payment arena. The enhanced services is intended to provide consumers with a simpler way of managing their finances. Ken Keller, general manager of Bills.com says "We are committed to providing a fast, reliable and low-cost alternative in the face of ever-increasing postal rates."
September 1, 2004 -- According to Die Welt (Germany), "Deutsche Post may yet gain entry on to the Austrian market, as a press source has indicated that Osterreichische Post, the Austrian postal service operator, may be planning to co-operate with the German group's logistics subsidiary DHL in parcel forwarding. Osterreichische Post head Anton Wais had favoured Deutsche Post as an investor, but had faced political opposition. At present, Osterreichische Post co-operates with DPD Austria in parcel forwarding, and an extensive agreement exists between the two companies, which, it is feared, could present difficulties if the national postal operator were to switch to DHL. A termination of the contract could lead to compensation demands, and it is thought that write-downs would be necessary."
September 1, 2004 -- According to Dow Jones, "A senior member of Japan's ruling party said Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi has Economy Minister Heizo Takenaka in mind for the newly created position of Postal Minister, the daily Yomiuri Shimbun reported on its Web site Wednesday."
September 1, 2004 -- Fairrington Transportation announced today that it has completed contractual negotiations with several major clients to begin providing copalletization services for their client’s Periodical sacked mail. Early projections estimate an annual copalletization volume in excess of 60,000,000 pieces and an elimination of over 2,000,000 sacks. Copal pools will be run daily and the automated process has the capability to process double the estimated annual volume. Start up is estimated to be in December 2004 or January 2005.
September 1, 2004 -- ABC7News (D.C.) has reported that "Postal Service will unveil Automated Postal Centers Wednesday at 28 different post offices across Maryland. The ATM style devices will let the customers use a credit or debit card to buy stamps, weigh packages, look up zip codes and send items by Express Mail."
September 1, 2004 -- The Financial Times (U.K.) has reported that:
September 1, 2004 -- According to The Times (U.K.), "Don't write off Royal Mail just yet."
September 1, 2004 -- The Herald (U.K.) has reported that:
September 1, 2004 -- DM News has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service may give consumers the option of providing change of address information by telephone this fall."
September 1, 2004 -- According to the Boston Herald, "The U. S. Postal Service has given its stamp of approval to photos of convicted racketeer Jimmy Hoffa, accused war criminal Slobodan Milosevic and infamous intern Monica Lewinsky's DNA-stained dress on official U. S. postage - well, sort of. Under a new U. S. P. S. pilot program, for about twice the regular price, consumers can have any photo they want placed on stamps through Stamps.com - unless the photo is deemed objectionable."
September 1, 2004 -- Bytestart (U.K.) has reported that "A small business lobby group is 'deeply dismayed' by reports that Royal Mail failed to hit any of its 15 performance targets during the three months to June. The Forum of Private Business, which sits on Postwatch's small business group, Chief Executive Nick Goulding said Royal Mail's failure to get its act together is undermining small business." See also The Independent.
September 1, 2004 -- icNorthWales (U.K.) has reported that "MORE shocking figures from the Royal Mail will further erode people's faith in, and affection for, our postal service. The public were angered greatly by the reduction in collections and they will be horrified to learn that this "efficiency drive" is not manifesting itself in improved delivery mechanisms. If ever there was a time for e-mail providers to launch major marketing initiatives then surely this is it."
September 1, 2004 -- According to the Washington Post, if you want to use a computer terminal to have your package accepted at a UPS office, you'll have to be prepared to disclose personal information.
September 1, 2004 -- CEP News (Courier-Express-Postal) has reported that:
September 1, 2004 -- Arab News has reported that "Postal articles such as letters and parcels will be delivered at the doorsteps of houses and companies shortly as the Saudi Postal Corporation has given final touches to the project in a major move to modernize the service. It requires all institutions and housing units in the country to provide their full addresses to help postal officials deliver the letters without difficulty."
September 1, 2004 -- The Daily Yomiuri (Japan) has reported that "A basic government postal privatization plan calls for the creation of a task force comprising all Cabinet members to be headed by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to make headway on the issue, government officials said Tuesday. The draft, which was submitted to the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy late Tuesday afternoon, also suggests setting up a watchdog under the task force to ensure the entities that result from the privatization compete under the same conditions as other private-sector corporations."
September 1, 2004 -- According to NorthLondon Online, "The Royal Mail is facing the prospect of a multi-million pound fine after missing all of its delivery targets in the three months to June. The industry's regulator Postcomm warned that the figures, described as "appalling" by the postal watchdog, could result in a financial penalty." See also The Scotsman.