Postal News from December 2004
December 31, 2004 -- Novosti (Russia) has reported that "The volume of finance to restore communications in Chechnya in 2005 will be increased to 210.003 million roubles ($1 = 27.8 roubles), Minister of Information Technology and Communications Leonid Reiman, says in a report published on Friday on the official government website. Measures of 2005 provide for putting into operation two postal district centers in the town of Argun and the village of Staraya Sunzha, restoring the services building of Grozny's automatic exchange and communications centers in other populated localities, and installation of telephones for more than 2,500 subscribers."
December 31, 2004 -- The Oswego Palladium-Times has told its readers that "Beginning Monday, The Palladium-Times, Oswego County's only daily newspaper, will be delivered by the U.S. Postal Service. By utilizing the USPS, the newspaper is confident that it will guarantee prompt and courteous delivery to its customers. With that comes the assurance that advertisers are guaranteed exposure." Welcome to the mail. Your reward for making this decision will be an outlandish increase in your postal rates...unless the Administration and Congress see fit to do the right thing with the CSRS escrow.
December 31, 2004 -- The Washington Post has reported that "Washington lawmakers are still stalled over how much flexibility to give the Postal Service in setting its own prices and whether the service should have more control over its pension savings and other retirement benefits. But with the Postal Service thinking about another postage increase, Congress probably will address the proposed legislation early in the new session."
December 31, 2004 -- As KSBI-TV has noted, "The Postal Service's version of an ATM for Postal Service customers, the Automated Postal Center (APC), is now available in all 50 states. APCs provide a quick, easy and convenient way for customers to weigh, calculate and apply exact postage, and ship Express Mail and Priority Mail items, packages and First-Class letters right at the kiosks. They also provide easy access to postal products and services the same way ATMs provide access to banking services."
December 31, 2004 -- Hoovers has reported that "SINOTRANS Air Transportation Development (Sinoair) has taken the first steps towards ending its relationship with cargo giant United Parcel Service after agreeing to pay parent company Sinotrans US$12.09m for the transfer of business information to UPS, writes Keith Wallis in Hong Kong. Under the deal, Sinotrans, China's largest transportation group, will shift express services business assets, customer details and other selected business data to UPS by December 2007. In return, Sinotrans will receive the cash from Sinoair, which is 70.36% owned by Sinotrans and listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange."
December 31, 2004 -- Reuters has reported that "Holiday Web sales are running ahead of forecast as online gift certificates helped give Internet retailers a chance to participate in U.S. consumers' last-minute shopping spree, Internet research firm comScore Networks said on Wednesday. During the year, Web retailers have made operational improvements that allowed them to ship later into the season. They also have benefited from strong ties with shippers such as United Parcel Service Inc.. On other fronts, some brick-and-mortar retailers sidestepped the shipping issue by allowing Web buyers to pick up items at local stores, or by offering to deliver those items from local stores."
December 31, 2004 -- Ghanaweb has reported that "Ghana Post will from next year introduce door-to-door postal delivery services on pilot bases."
December 31, 2004 -- From the PR Newswire: "The U.S. Postal Service -- no stranger to measuring itself for performance success and customer satisfaction -- took the lead in four informal parcel delivery tests conducted by postal customers this holiday mailing season. The "New York Times," "Grand Rapids Press" (MI), KSLTV (UT) and KTVI (MO), within days of one another, conducted mailing comparisons among the U.S. Postal Service, DHL, FedEx and United Parcel Service, measuring delivery time, quality and cost. Shipping identical items ranging from coffee mugs and holiday ornaments to pecans within each test and using comparable classes of mail, the competition began.
December 31, 2004 -- Business Mailers Review has reported that:
December 30, 2004 -- The Leelanau Enterprise has reported that "Four of the Leelanau County's 10 seated postmasters are hanging it up—one as soon as next week. All four are taking advantage of an early-out proposal offered by the Postal Service, given to those with 25 or more years of service or who are 50 years of age. The number of retirements will not result in the closure of any postal offices. An "officer-in-charge" will be appointed in each office to serve until a new postmaster is named for each site."
December 30, 2004 -- ShippersNewswire has reported that:
December 30, 2004 -- According to Bank of America's Jody Berenblatt, "Most mailers really do believe their mailing lists are as good and as accurate as anyone can make them. What a mailer believes, however, is not the issue. The actual performance of the list when compared to DPV processing is. Experience suggests that when many mailers run their lists for delivery point validation, they're going to be in for a rude awakening."
December 30, 2004 -- DM News postal commentator Cary Baer said he believes that "With the passage of the homeland security bill, it appears that next year will provide the time for Congress to consider postal reform thoughtfully."
December 30, 2004 -- The Scotsman (U.K.) has reported that "Union leaders are to step up a campaign to ban low-level letter boxes because of the health problems they can cause to postal workers. The Communication Workers Union (CWU) said postmen and women risked backache by having to stoop down to post mail through ankle-high boxes. The union has unearthed information from the 1950s showing that plans were made to outlaw low letter boxes, but they were never written into building regulations. Years of complaints about serious back problems, compensation claims and warnings from safety experts about the danger posed to postal workers had failed to make much difference, the union claimed. The union will press the Government to follow the lead of the Irish authorities, which banned low-level letter boxes four years ago."
December 30, 2004 -- The BBC has reported that "Thousands of bicycles once used by British postmen are being given to people in Liberia who hand over guns. It is hoped the exchange will take weapons used by civilians during the bloody civil war out of circulation. Those who swap their guns for a red and white bike will receive training on how to maintain it, said the Royal Mail."
December 30, 2004 -- The Independent (U.K.) has reported that "TESCO HAS come under fresh pressure to rethink its programme of closing local post offices as it rolls out its convenience store estate. The supermarket giant is shutting one-fifth of the post offices it acquired as part of its pounds 520m acquisition of T&S Stores two years ago."
December 30, 2004 -- Reuters has reported that "JP Morgan analyst Greg Burns said on Tuesday an annual survey of shippers suggests increased demand to outsource transportation services over the next five years, driving growth for logistics providers. Overnight shipments will continue to slip while parcel delivery prices are expected to climb. Most shippers expect an average price increase of 4.3 percent in 2005, up from 3.8 percent in 2004. Burns also said the survey indicated DHL, the delivery and logistics unit of Deutsche Post, may increase its share of U.S. shippers' parcel spending over the next two years --- climbing from 13 percent currently to 18 percent in 2006."
December 29, 2004 -- According to the New York Times, "More Companies Say, 'The DVD Is in the Mail'"
December 29, 2004 -- A new study from the Institute for Postal Studies shows that job losses and tax revenue forgone resulting from the failure to pass postal reform legislation would exceed other budget impacts three to one. It's about mail...and jobs...and economic growth. Or, as James Carville would have put it: "It's the ECONOMY, stupid!"
December 29, 2004 -- And the following, also from the Wall
Street Journal (with a few editorial adjustments): "Good policy comes
from experience, and experience comes from poor policy....We have rational
people making choices based on the rules. The trick is to get the rules
right....Maybe one way to help avoid ad hominem attacks and political labeling
would be to recast the
Social Security [Postal Service]
question from one of reform to one of reconstruction. Let's stop talking about
reforming Social Security [the Postal Service] -- let's rebuild
it....It's one thing to snipe at new proposals, but it takes a plan to beat a
December 29, 2004 -- As the Wall Street Journal has noted:
[Right! And just in case you missed it, we'll post this story again: "The Washington Times has reported that "The Federal Reserve has sided with the financial industry in a dispute about the unsolicited mail that banks and insurance companies send to potential customers — sometimes called junk mail. Without the mail, credit-card and insurance rates would be higher, according to a new report from the Federal Reserve. "Further restrictions on the ability of lenders and insurers to provide written offers of credit or insurance to consumers would on balance result in a less competitive marketplace and thus relatively higher prices and reduced availability," the central bank said in a report to Congress released last week." The full report is available on the Federal Reserve web site.]
December 29, 2004 -- Long recognized for its commitment to supplier diversity, UPS has received three additional honors in 2004.
December 29, 2004 -- You can find the fiscal year 2005 USPS financial and operating statements for October and November 2004 on the Postal Service's web site.
December 29, 2004 -- According to Lillian Vernon writing in the Ventura County Star, "If your business sells any type of tangible goods, you will inevitably have to deal with customer returns. The U.S. Postal Service and most shippers, such as UPS and Federal Express, offer options such as printing postage online and scheduling pickups. Their Web sites explain these procedures."
December 29, 2004 -- According to the Des Moines Register, "The prices paid for the newspapers and other materials in Iowans' recycling bins are at a 10-year high, with buyers as far away as China. That's a boon for communities that get a share of the money from the old cans, junk mail and plastic containers that are recycled in part to cut down on the amount of junk going to landfills. It's also welcome news for Iowans who are dedicated recyclers, but wondered how much good they were doing as prices for used materials plummeted in 1995 and stayed low. The out-of-country markets can be surprising at times. Many old newspapers go to Mexico to be made into U.S. Postal Service envelopes, Barry said. Plastics end up in Alabama, Illinois, Arkansas and Iowa Falls, among other places."
December 29, 2004 -- The Telegraph (U.K.) has noted that "Postal orders, introduced in Victorian times as a safe and easy way of transferring money, are enjoying a boom in popularity especially among the young and internet users."
December 29, 2004 -- The Kansas City Star has noted that "The same problems that forced thousands of airline passengers to wait days for their bags delayed the delivery of thousands of letters and packages, the Postal Service alleged Tuesday. More than 100,000 pounds of mail, enough to fill at least 22 delivery vans, was delayed over the weekend, the post office said. It pointed to the airlines as a reason for the holdup." See also the New York Times.
December 29, 2004 -- According to the Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, "Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat -- nor even the flashing sirens of federal agents chasing a U.S. postal truck -- could stop the mail in Pembroke Pines and Cooper City on Tuesday. Several U.S. postal inspectors driving unmarked cars sped after a letter carrier fleeing arrest in a mail truck about 10:15 a.m., according to Postal Inspector Del Alvarez. The letter carrier, who was not identified by postal officials, wove in and out of traffic for several miles in what was described as a medium-speed chase."
December 29, 2004 -- IPPMedia (Tanzania) has reported that "Privatization of utility and other big companies will start in 2005 according to the 2003/4 Annual Review of Parastatal Sector Reform Commission (PSRC) activities and Action Plan for 2004/5 released recently. The Action Plan indicates that focus in 2004/5 will be in divestiture of utility and infrastructure companies. The report shows there is a consultant to undertake a study on further commercialization of Tanzania Postal Corporation (TPC) was engaged and completed his report."
December 29, 2004 -- From the Business Wire:
December 29, 2004 -- According to Air Cargo World:
December 28, 2004 -- The Daily Mail (U.K.) has reported that "Postwatch spokeswoman Daryl Barrett says: "Royal Mail has had a take-it-or-leave-it monopoly for far too long." Delivery specialists TNT, Parceline, DHL, Business Post and Initial City Link are among those now competing with Royal Mail's offshoot Parcel Force for parcel and urgent mail needs. Their prices vary depending on size, weight and times of postage, as well as the package's pick-up point and ultimate destination. Royal Mail has a monopoly at present over letters and other post lighter than 350 grams that costs up to 1 pound in postage, though this situation comes to an end in April 2006. Other postal providers are then expected to muscle in."
December 28, 2004 -- According to the Cape Cod Times, "Twelve postmasters on Cape Cod will also be leaving by March. Eight are taking advantage of an early retirement offer from the U.S. Postal Service. The remainder are simply retiring. The early-out offer is part of a plan to thin out the higher postal ranks and offer promotions to lower-level employees. It means employment overall will be reduced, but from the bottom up. All positions on Cape Cod will be filled with postmasters or an officer in charge. With 50 postmasters on Cape Cod, the retirements mean one-quarter of the high offices will be empty. And most of the retiring postmasters are from rural stations, where they are the sole employee or supervisor to a small band of clerks."
December 28, 2004 -- The Moscow Times has reported that "Russian Post plans to hike its rates by 12 percent starting from March 2005, general director Igor Syrtsov told Itar-Tass on Friday. The last time postal rates were increased was in May 2004, by 15 percent, he said. However, "hiking the tariffs does not mean revenues increase," Syrtsov said. In 2003, when the rate-hike stood at 12 percent, revenues rose only by 5 percent, he said. Most of the company's transportation is handled by Russian Post itself, which requires considerable expenditures on gasoline and maintenance of the fleet, Syrtsov said."
December 28, 2004 -- The Times (U.K.) has reported that "IN AN ATTEMPT to boost economic growth and free business from the stranglehold of red tape, the European Commission plans to reform competition rules and procedures. Neelie Kroes, the EU Competition Commissioner, has called for unnecessary administrative hurdles to be avoided. She also wants the control system made simpler and more transparent. In particular, she said she would be working to remove obstacles to competition in recently liberalised sectors such as telecoms, postal services, energy and transport."
December 28, 2004 -- The Financial Times (U.K.) has reported that "Royal Mail said its Christmas deliveries had gone smoothly but admitted shortcomings in the quality of the postal service, including the number of first class letters arriving the next day."
December 28, 2004 -- Japan Today has reported that "Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi on Tuesday reiterated his aim to pass the government's bills to privatize the state-backed Japan Post during the next Diet ordinary session beginning in January."
December 28, 2004 -- DM News has reported that "Recycled paper is a problematic issue for the catalog industry, eliciting impassioned appeals for its wider use by some while others declare that environmental efforts are better directed elsewhere. Catalogers used 3.6 million tons of paper in 2003 and produced 17.7 billion catalogs, according to Resource Information Systems Inc., Bedford, MA. The paper research group predicts that for 2004 the catalog industry's paper consumption rose 5.8 percent to 3.8 million tons. That paper was used to produce an estimated 19 billion catalogs, up 7.2 percent from last year. Though no estimates exist regarding how much of this paper was recycled, industry sources have reported that several big-name catalogers rely almost exclusively on virgin paper."
December 27, 2004 -- The U.S. Postal Service has issued a customer support ruling (P.S. 238) "as to whether a mailpiece containing "personal" information is eligible as Standard Mail under current rules as well as revised standards that are effective June 1, 2005. This ruling concerns the classification of a subscription renewal notice for The Boston Post*. In addition to the name and address of the customer (the addressee) and account number (neither of which is generally considered to be "personal information" for mail classification purposes), the mailpiece contains personal information in the form of an expiration date of the current subscription. The notice prominently displays the words "Renewal Notice" and encourages the subscriber to renew before his/her expiration date."
December 27, 2004 -- According to the Memphis Business Journal, "FedEx got some potentially good news Sunday from an unexpected overseas source, when a German news magazine reported that the government will not extend Deutsche Post's monopoly for delivering standard letters beyond 2007." See also Reuters.
December 27, 2004 -- The Daily Yomiuri has reported that "With the government and the Liberal Democratic Party still far apart in their views on postal privatization, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi is facing a dilemma over whether to present privatization bills to the Diet in March as scheduled, given the opposition voiced by members of his party. More than three months have passed since that decision was made, however, and discussions in the LDP on the issue have made little progress as a majority of LDP legislators remain either skeptical or dead set against postal privatization. With the date of government submission of the postal privatization bills to the Diet drawing near, Koizumi is certain to be confronted with a tough choice--whether to leave his Cabinet-first political style unchanged or make concessions in favor of the conventional decision-making pattern based on attaining prior approval from the ruling parties."
December 27, 2004 -- The Jerusalem Post has reported that "The Israel Postal Authority decided that cash can be dispatched in real time from Israel to Israelis in Thailand, India and other countries hit by the disaster via the Postal Bank and Western Union. The money can be picked up at dozens of local banks in these countries."
December 27, 2004 -- The latest issue of the National Association of Postmasters of the U.S. E-NAPUS Legislative Newsletter is available on the NAPUS web site.
December 27, 2004 -- Federal Computer Week has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service's Automated Postal Centers, which USPS officials say are a big hit with customers, have elicited an informal complaint from privacy advocates. Members of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a public advocacy group, say the new computer kiosks contribute to a loss of citizens' rights to anonymous speech. EPIC officials criticized the centers' use of digital photography to capture an image of people when they purchase USPS products at the kiosks. "The overall problem is that USPS is systematically eliminating anonymous avenues for communication," said Chris Hoofnagle, EPIC's associate director. USPS officials said the use of a digital camera is an ordinary security requirement. "This is not an uncommon industry practice when you're using self-service machines to take a photograph of folks as a security precaution," said Zoe Strickland, USPS' chief privacy officer."
December 27, 2004 -- According to Business Week, "Advertising on the Web could top $9 billion this year -- and there are lots of ways investors can profit from the trend Sooner or later, advertisers had to figure out the Internet. Here was a medium that was reaching into nearly every office in America. And at home, it was wresting millions of eyes away from the TV. It could even count mouse clicks. Today, Net advertisers are finally hitting their stride."
December 27, 2004 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that:
December 27, 2004 -- Check out on the PostInsight web site: "Mail Trends," by Fouad H. Nader, Managing Director, Adrenale Corporation. The second background paper prepared as part of the Pitney Bowes research for the manuscript, "Electronic Substitution for Mail: Models and Results; Myth and Reality." The purpose of this paper is to comprehensively examine the evolution of mail and to analyze mail volumes along key variables that seem to determine demand.
December 27, 2004 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that "Part of DHL's work force at its European hub in Brussels struck for a third day Sunday, demanding better employment guarantees until 2008 when the international parcel service will move its European base to Leipzig, Germany."
December 27, 2004 -- According to the Longview News-Journal, "The telemarketer vision of the national do-not-call list's aftermath was apocalyptic: millions out of work and billions in lost sales rippling through the economy. Newspapers, which relied heavily on telemarketing to get new subscribers, have been hit hard."
December 27, 2004 -- According to Leo Raymond (Mailing and Fulfillment Service Association) writing in DM News, "When a rate case is filed, mailers (and the media) instinctively wail that the postal service is again showing the brutal indifference of an unfettered and monopolistic giant disinterested in its customers. Whether such hyperbole was ever accurate, it isn't today."
December 27, 2004 -- The U.S. Postal Service has posted its annual report on the USPS web site.
December 26, 2004 -- According to the Springfield News-Leader, "A winter storm hundreds of miles away will have postal workers in Kansas City putting in some extra hours over the Christmas weekend. Places like Evansville, Ind., and Paducah, Ky., were buried under a year's worth of snow Thursday. Hundreds of motorists were stranded for hours on Midwestern interstate highways, and dozens of flights were delayed ahead of what is expected to be a record weekend for holiday travel. In Cincinnati, where up to 2 feet of snow fell on parts of the city, only emergency vehicles were allowed on the streets from Thursday morning until well into the afternoon. While the storm made for treacherous driving conditions, it also put a crimp in the heavy flow of last-minute holiday mail coming out of the affected areas."
December 26, 2004 -- According to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, "Virtually no politician -- local, state or national -- can escape the reach of e-mail. The Internet-based technology is on the way to surpassing phone calls, faxes and handwritten letters as the preferred way that voters contact their representatives. E-mail also is coming into its own as an effective campaign tool. "The wave of the future has arrived," said G. Terry Madonna, a political scientist at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster County. "A lot of what we learned during this year's election was about the power of the Internet at communicating, organizing and fund-raising." The e-mail function is central to that power, he said. "In a sense, it's sort of replacing direct mail. You can communicate instantaneously with thousands of people. If you are a candidate or a government official, the response time is the difference between night and day."
December 26, 2004 -- The Sunday Times (Malta) has reported that "Maltapost chairman David Stellini said that apart from consolidating its core business, the company is keen to maintain a high quality of service while making the best use of its retail network to introduce new products and services. This year Maltapost pulled off one of its best ever Christmas performances in terms of next-day deliveries with little to no delays either in local or international mail deliveries."
December 25, 2004 -- According to the Financial Express, "Bangladesh Postal Department has a big responsibility to serve its clients to earn their confidence. But doing it half-heartedly or even delivering the parcels with stolen contents, the department is losing confidence of its valuable clients. But this is a service-oriented agency of the government that fails to do its task properly. It is neither able to do its job from the point of view of service, nor from that of commerce."
December 25, 2004 -- As the New York Daily News has noted, "If you didn't get a Christmas present this morning, it doesn't necessarily mean you're on Santa's "naughty" list. A vast blizzard that has paralyzed several states in the South and Midwest has delayed some of Santa's helpers - from UPS, FedEx and the U.S. Postal Service. That means you may have to wait till Monday to get your gift. But the Postal Service - which delivers about 20 billion pieces of mail from Thanksgiving to Christmas - will deliver parcels today with its express service, which runs 365 days a year, spokesman Paul Harrington said."
December 25, 2004 -- Bloomberg has reported that "Airlines and airplane makers are fighting to keep confidential 10-year-old data on the values of U.S. plane purchases, fearing a government plan to disclose the information may make it harder to negotiate for the best price. United Parcel Service, United Airlines, Boeing, Airbus and jet-engine maker General Electric oppose release of the data after 10 years of confidentiality, according to government filings and spokesmen interviews. Appraisers who estimate plane values for banks say disclosure would make investments in the equipment less risky and help stabilize the airline industry."
December 24, 2004 -- Le Figaro has reported that "The French trade unions FO, CGT and SUD have decided to protest against the proposed incorporation into French law of European directives on the liberalisation of the postal services market by urging employees of the French post office, La Poste, to stop work for 24hrs when the legislation comes before the French parliament on January 18."
December 24, 2004 -- According to Hoovers, "American is one of several airlines that have fine-tuned their business plans to find ways of getting more cargo into the bellies of their passenger flights and to wrench more revenue out of those cargo hauls. American, for example, is offering a new service called Expedite FS that guarantees overnight deliveries, mimicking shipping stalwarts like FedEx Corp. and United Parcel Service Inc. Others are carving out deals with foreign airlines that allow cargo to be transferred to their planes for transport to the United States, even if that freight originated in countries where the airline has no passenger service at all. It's easy to understand why airlines are fond of cargo. Passenger airlines attribute most of their operating costs to the people they carry, so nearly all the money they make from cargo shipping goes straight to their bottom lines."
December 24, 2004 -- The Was hington Post has reported that "Snowstorms and freezing rain that hit the Ohio Valley in mid-week have complicated plans for delivering thousands of packages nationwide in time for Christmas. The Federal Aviation Administration said hundreds of flights at several airports in the eastern half of the country were delayed yesterday, including some arrivals into Philadelphia and Newark that were more than an hour late. FedEx Corp. and United Parcel Service Inc. said they were hit by ice and snowstorms at their respective Midwest hubs in Indianapolis and Louisville on Wednesday late at night, the most crucial time of day for moving packages across the country. The two companies and the U.S. Postal Service have been trying to come up with alternative routes so packages can still arrive at their destinations by Christmas. But they said many would probably not make it." What's the problem here? Just go get a bunch of sleighs and flying reindeer.
December 24, 2004 -- AFX has reported that "Deutsche Post World Net AG said its express mail courier DHL has agreed to transport 600,000 packages per year to Germany for the US Postal Service, beginning in January. Deutsche Post (Xetra: 555200.DE - news) said the new contract will create 20 new jobs in its international mail centre at Frankfurt airport and 20 in its package centre in Saulheim in the German state of Rhineland Palatinate. US Postal Service's packages to Germany were previously handled by General Logistics Systems."
December 24, 2004 -- The Daily Item has reported that "U.S. Rep. John F. Tierney put his political weight Thursday behind an effort to eliminate the cost of postage for those mailing letters and packages to members of America's armed forces. Reps. Steven Walsh and Robert Fennell, both Lynn Democrats, introduced the proposal in the state Legislature in Boston last week, co-sponsoring a bill that would assist the families and friends of U.S. troops by allowing them free mail service. Upon receiving support from his legislative colleagues, Walsh vowed to take the initiative to Congress."
December 23, 2004 -- From the PR Newswire: The American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) responded today to the Liberal Democratic Party's (LDP) "Proposal on Postal Reform" by indicating it falls short of ensuring a level playing field for all life insurance market participants in Japan. The LDP, the ruling party in Japan, drafted its position on reform of Japan Post in light of the government's recently issued "Basic Policy on Postal Privatization.
December 23, 2004 -- According to the Bangor Daily News, "Dozens of brown-uniformed United Parcel Service drivers took a few minutes from one of the busiest days of their year to make an unusual, highly appreciated delivery Tuesday. The crowd of drivers watched as U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and UPS officials offered an early Christmas present to Stepping Stones, a Houlton agency that serves at-risk youth and young mothers. It was an oversized $25,000 check from the UPS Foundation."
December 23, 2004 -- AsiaPulse has reported that "South Korea is seeking to conduct the first joint issue of postal stamps with North Korea next year, the national postal agency said Thursday. Korea Post said it has submitted the plan to the Ministry of Unification for cooperation. The year 2005 will mark the fifth anniversary of the 2000 inter-Korean summit and the 60th anniversary of Korea's 1945 liberation from Japanese colonial rule. The unification ministry will discuss the plan with the North early next year, it said."
December 23, 2004 -- Hold TheFrontPage (U.K.) has reported that "A Birmingham Evening Mail investigation has revealed what it calls bullying, racism and a worrying lack of security in the city's postal service. Mail reporter Guy Newey went undercover to work at Birmingham's Newtown centre sorting office for two weeks, and reported how he found staff were untrained, unchecked and at times unable to cope."
December 23, 2004 -- The Scotsman (U.K.) has reported that "Business Post boosted its Christmas workload today by offering to complete deliveries hit by the collapse of a network used by 100 courier firms. The parcels group, which is one of the largest delivery companies in the UK, said it would allow members of the NCN network to deliver consignments into its depots for final delivery by its staff."
December 23, 2004 -- FrontPage Mag has claimed that "The Democratic Party is struggling to redefine itself in the wake of its decisive defeat in the November elections, a drubbing that not only saw the party fail to unseat President George W. Bush but saw it lose seats in both houses of Congress to the Republicans. A similar struggle is going on inside one of the Democrat's core constituencies: organized labor. Radical activists groups like Moveon.org are calling for the party to move to the Left; in fact, MoveOn recently declared it owned the Democratic Party. The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is playing the same role within the AFL-CIO, and the proposed hostile takeover threatens to place all of the nation's unions on the side of the fifth column Left and illegal immigration -- or to split organized labor apart....The American labor movement has looked to the service sector for its growth; recruiting among government workers at all levels, teachers, school administrators, postal workers, police, fire-fighters, and even musicians, writers, actors, and athletes."
December 23, 2004 -- As the Was hington Post has noted, "the population in Loudoun's county seat is growing so fast that there's a shortage of rural letter carriers. "NOW HIRING RURAL CARRIERS," reads a banner outside the red brick building. "UP TO $15.22 PER HOUR." As Northern Virginia grows, so does the number of mail deliveries. Loudoun has the fastest-growing population, by percentage, of any county in the United States."
December 23, 2004 -- UPIhas reported that "Union executives have ordered British postal workers to walk out Christmas Eve to protest longer hours imposed by the Royal Mail." See also the Fina ncial Times.
December 23, 2004 -- According to the Asahi news service, "Opposition within the Liberal Democratic Party is making it difficult for [Japanese] Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and his allies to deliver on the government's postal privatization plan. The LDP wants all three main privatized businesses-mail delivery, postal savings and life insurance-to provide uniform services throughout the nation. In contrast, the government's basic policy adopted in September requires only the new mail delivery entity to offer services in every corner of the nation."
December 22, 2004 -- From the PR Newswire: "Lockheed Martin has been awarded two contracts totaling nearly $24 million to produce additional systems that automatically process mail containers and help achieve cost savings in dispatch operations. Under a $19.8 million contract, Lockheed Martin will produce 90 additional Automatic Tray Sleever (ATS) systems, adding to 125 units already deployed at U.S. Postal Service processing and distribution centers (P&DCs) throughout the nation. An ATS machine automates the manual task of taking managed mail, small managed mail, extended managed mail, and small extended managed mail trays from processing operations and sliding the trays into a collapsible sleeve for protection during transport. The original systems were deployed in 2000."
December 22, 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..
December 22, 2004 -- As one writer for the Ludwig von Mises Institute noted, "Lenin once dismissed the question of how socialism would work by pointing to the workings of the post office. Socialism, he said , means only to "To organize the whole economy on the lines of the postal service." If the government took over the bagel and fruit and vegetable stores many of us would die of hunger waiting to buy our food. Correction, the food would never get there in time. Lenin was right: the postal service pretty well sums up what happens to any institution managed by the state."
December 22, 2004 -- The Canberra Times (Australia) has reported that "More post office outlets in the ACT have reported running out of Christmas stamps this year, after the Hughes Post Office on Monday accused Australia Post of leaving it short. Erindale Post Office licensee Mark Hughes said he, too, ran out of stamps on Monday, but was able to source more from another agent on the same day. Mr Hughes said post offices ordered the Christmas stamps in October and had only the previous years' figures to gauge the likely demand. ''This year's been extraordinary,'' he said. ''We've sold more stamps this year than ever before. It's exceeded all expectations.'' Mr Hughes said he was not critical of Australia Post, saying it had supplied his orders as he made them."
December 22, 2004 -- The Fina ncial Times (U.K.) has reported that "Almost 300 large urban post offices are set to strike between 12.30pm and 4pm on Christmas eve. The action negates the decision by the Post Office to keep them open beyond 12.30pm on December 24 for the first time. More than 250 offices will stay open."
December 21, 2004 -- The Canberra Times noted wryly that "You've heard of the pub with no beer, well how about the post office with no stamps? Hughes Post Office licensee Mike Munday said problems with ordering stamps from Australia Post meant he had to open for business yesterday with no 45c Christmas stamps - in the midst of the yuletide rush. Mr Munday claimed an Australia Post area manager threatened to revoke his licence if he complained to the media. Australia Post has denied the claim and said Mr Munday was ''simply reminded of his obligations under his licence agreement''."
December 21, 2004 -- Dow Jones has reported that "German company Deutsche Post WorldNet AG (DPW.XE) Tuesday said it has taken a majority stake in French postal company Koba. The move was consistent with Deutsche Post's strategy of expanding in national letter delivery markets outside its domestic German market. Deutsche Post said it has taken over 95% in the French company and intends to acquire the outstanding shares as well. It declined to say how much the transaction cost, nor when it plans to take over the remaining shares."
December 21, 2004 -- According to the Kyodo news service, "The ruling Liberal Democratic Party adopted on Tuesday its own version of a basic policy on postal reforms that takes heed of many opponents of the government's policy to privatize the state-backed Japan Post."
December 21, 2004 -- As the San Francisco Chronicle has noted, "E-commerce has changed the way people shop during the holidays, Johnson said, and that, in turn, has changed the means through which they send and receive presents."
December 21, 2004 -- Bloomberg has reported that "Deutsche Post AG, Europe's biggest postal service, plans to sell its 24.8 percent stake in the Trans- o-flex Schnell Lieferdienst GmbH parcel sorting company after a German court blocked the purchase on antitrust concerns. Deutsche Post bought the Trans-o-flex holding in July 1997 and four years later asked Germany's Cartel Office for permission to buy the remainder from Bayerische Landesbank. Deutsche Post went to court after regulators rejected the proposal in 2001. Germany's Federal Court of Justice in Karlsruhe in a ruling today confirmed a lower court decision blocking the takeover."
December 21, 2004 -- In response to an item written by Dan Harper for the Santa Cruz Sentinel, Peter Miller (Mail and Jobs Coalition) writes:
Harper claims that "landfill is too dear to fill it with these expensive advertisements" but fails to explain why every major environmental group uses the mailstream. As Peter Bahouth, a former executive director of Greenpeace once said, worrying about "paper pollution is a bit like saying we need to get the ambulances off the street because they're loud." If Harper wants less mail he needs to tell readers who should mail less: Political candidates? Local businesses? Religious congregations? And which local post offices would Harper close? At a time when the economy faces substantial challenges, nine million jobs nationwide are associated with marketing through the mails. We ask Mr. Harper: Who should lose their job?
December 21, 2004 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that "New Zealand Post has entered into a joint venture with DHL which will see its express business run jointly by the two companies. The postal operator is selling shares in holding company Express Couriers, which owns Courier Post, Pace!, SkyRoad and Contract Logistics, to DHL to establish a 50/50 joint venture. However the move has created severe criticism from private sector competitors. Australian owned Toll Holdings, and local company Freightways both missed out on the chance to tender for the sale. This has provoked outrage that a state asset has been effectively part privatised without a contest. The price which DHL paid for the shares will be released at a later date. The acquisition will strengthen DHL's offering to New Zealand especially now it has an internal air network."
December 21, 2004 -- The Postal Service has issued a new Customer Support Ruling (CSR), PS-317 to assist customers when making decisions concerning what may be mailed as Standard Mail and what must be mailed as First-Class Mail when "personal" information is included in the mailpiece. The specific goal of PS-317 is to clarify that certain "customer markings" included on the outside of advertising matter do not constitute "personal" information within the meaning of Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) E110.1.4.
December 20, 2004 -- Dow Jones has reported that "Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said today it lowered its long-term issuer credit rating on the Italian postal company Poste Italiane Group (Poste) to A from A+. Poste is at the same rating level as other major European postal operators such as The Netherlands's TPG N.V. (A/Stable/A-1) and Germany's Deutsche Post AG (A/Stable/A-1), which clearly leads the pack in Europe. The ratings on these two groups do not include government support."
December 20, 2004 -- According to FedSmith, "As federal agencies increasingly battle private sector companies for work not necessarily deemed inherently governmental, out comes a story about the U.S. Postal Service's initiative to stay "competitive." The question that needs to be answered from a taxpayer perspective is "competitive against whom? Or what?" Or perhaps the obvious – why should any federal agency compete in selling products and services with the private sector? After all, if the private sector can do the work, how does it fit the criteria of being inherently governmental?"
December 20, 2004 -- From the C anada NewsWire, "Group 1 Software, a Pitney Bowes Company, has announced the immediate availability of SortStream Canada version 2.4.1, an advanced presort and barcode recognition solution that is fully recognized by Canada Post Corporation (CPC) through its Software Evaluation and Recognition Program (SERP). The latest version of SortStream Canada will help companies achieve presort discounts, increase mailing efficiencies and expedite delivery of mail through the Canadian postal system."
December 20, 2004 -- From the PR Newswire: "The United States Postal Service has contracted for a very special carrier to deliver through the night of Dec. 24. USPS Vice President of Public Affairs and Communications Azeezaly Jaffer said the ad hoc special carrier has no particular knowledge of ZIP Codes, but has an uncanny ability to recognize chimneys and other features on the homes of worthy children he knows by first names only." Now, they'll try to tell you it's Santa Claus. But, hey, I know Jack Potter in red suit and beard when I see him.
December 20, 2004 -- From the Business Wire: "Universal Express' UniversalPost today began the process of creating a national website that will offer customers shipping information and services through its corporate portal, www.usxp.com. The purpose of the site will be to connect the independent postal stores with customers around the world and directing customers from their specific zip codes to the nearest postal center electronically, with pricing and other backend features unique to each store."
December 20, 2004 -- According to Federal Times, "Virtually all Government Accountability Office employees will get pay raises in 2005 under the agency's new performance-based pay system. Comptroller General David Walker, who heads the GAO, said less than 2 percent of the employees under the new pay system who are considered poor performers won't get the across-the-board pay raise. But some will get more. Besides the 3.5 percent federal pay raise, the top 20 percent of high performers will get a $1,000 bonus, he said. The 2004 GAO Human Capital Reform Act grants GAO flexibility in setting employees' pay raises. That could include awarding larger raises to top performers, or withholding raises from poor performers or employees who are overpaid according to market comparisons. Walker said those who are overpaid will see their pay frozen starting January 2006. The new locality pay rates that are a result of the market study will kick in then as well." See also GovExec.com
December 20, 2004 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that "Some four weeks ago, at a plush hotel on the south-west edge of this city, La Poste chairman Jean-Paul Bailly gathered together more than 300 of his most senior staff. In a speech that lasted more than half an hour, according to those present, Mr. Bailly sketched out a radical new plan for reforming France's massive postal-services operator. What Mr. Bailly said that day, since made public, has turned the whole debate in France over the future of La Poste on its head and arguably opened the way for one of the most significant shake-ups of the French public sector in decades. Industry experts, however, warn the proposed changes may serve only to defer the pain of real reform."
December 19, 2004 -- According to Reuters , "FedEx Corp.'s strong volume growth in the second-quarter bodes well for competitors such as United Parcel Service Inc. but the impact of fuel costs at FedEx's ground division raised concerns that rivals may suffer the same effect, analysts said on Friday. Robust volume growth in FedEx's businesses also supported an optimistic outlook for some truck operators. FedEx, the world's largest air-express shipper, said on Thursday its quarterly net earnings nearly quadrupled amid double-digit volume growth in its freight, ground and international businesses as the economy expanded and global trade surged. But higher fuel costs hit margins in its ground business, causing the results to fall shy of Wall Street's estimates -- a cause for concern for what it may mean for UPS' quarterly results."
December 19, 2004 -- As the Wall Street Journal has noted, "Last-minute Santas are bound to be snowed under by express shipping charges. You can minimize the damage, however, by going online to compare the costs of sending gifts this late in the game. All four major delivery options -- United Parcel Service, FedEx, DHL and the Postal Service -- have online calculators that let you compare estimates of shipping costs to various locales. The estimates depend on destination, package weight and what extra services you order."
December 19, 2004 -- AMEInfo has reported that "Postal services between the UAE and Yemen are being upgraded from today, following a new agreement between Emirates Post and Yemen Post Authority."
December 19, 2004 -- According to one writer for the Santa Cruz Sentinel, "Most catalogs end up scattered on all flat surfaces in our house or piled in corners of various rooms. They are waiting for the bin at the Grey Bears Recycling Center in Soquel. Our house breathes a sigh of relief every time we sweep it clean of Williams-Sonoma, Orion and Coldwater Creek, to name a few. Just think of the costs these companies incur trying to seduce us into buying from them. Their costs must be staggering — printing and salary costs, as well as photographers and modeling fees and mailing costs. Why can't Pottery Barn, Smith & Hawken and Eddie Bauer combine their catalogs or aim them at people who are likely buyers? There are too many catalogs. Landfill is too dear to fill it with these expensive advertisements."
December 18, 2004 -- The Washingto n Times has reported that "The Federal Reserve has sided with the financial industry in a dispute about the unsolicited mail that banks and insurance companies send to potential customers — sometimes called junk mail. Without the mail, credit-card and insurance rates would be higher, according to a new report from the Federal Reserve. "Further restrictions on the ability of lenders and insurers to provide written offers of credit or insurance to consumers would on balance result in a less competitive marketplace and thus relatively higher prices and reduced availability," the central bank said in a report to Congress released last week." The full report is available on the Federal Reserve web site.
December 18, 2004 -- The Irish Independent has reported that "COMMUNICATIONS Minister Noel Dempsey stepped in last night to try to resolve the growing crisis at An Post."
December 18, 2004 -- Strategiy has reported that "Motorists can now pay traffic fines of Sharjah Police at any post office in the UAE. This follows the signing of an agreement between Emirates Post and the Sharjah Traffic Department. The agreement was signed by Mr. Abdullah Al Daboos, Director General of Emirates Post and Colonel Rashid Gharib Al Mahmoud, Director of Licencing and Traffic Department, Sharjah Police. "This agreement forms part of Emirates Post's vision to expand the portfolio of non-postal services at post offices through alliances with different government departments and organizations," said Mr. Al Daboos. "With this particular agreement, we expect to enhance the cooperation between Emirates Post and Sharjah Police, and offer people the convenience of paying traffic fines at any post office in the country."
December 18, 2004 -- The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has reported that "Canada Post workers were on strike briefly in two Saskatchewan cities Friday. And while the walkout didn't cripple mail service, there may have been some delays for people checking the whereabouts of their Christmas parcels."
December 18, 2004 -- As GovExec.com has noted, "The sponsors of legislation to overhaul the U.S. Postal Service have yet to reach an agreement with the Bush administration, as the two sides argue about the cost and accounting procedures. Administration officials recently outlined their position in a memo directed at legislation championed by the House Government Reform and Senate Governmental Affairs committees. The memo expressed concerns that the bills are too expensive and do not do enough to reduce labor costs. Some bill proponents say the memo represents a starting point for negotiations rather than a line in the sand. Yet, the administration has not budged on sticking points that kept the legislation from moving to the floor of either chamber this year -- the handling of the postal services' escrow account and the accounting procedures for the pensions of military veterans working for the service."
December 17, 2004 -- The Postal Rate Commission has issued its recommended decision in the matter of Bank One's request for a negotiated service agreement (Docket No. MC2004-3).
December 17, 2004 -- DHL has filed with the U.S. International Trade Commission a document that "contains the following three parts followed by a brief conclusion: · Part I describes the nature of the international logistic services business and the unique challenges faced by logistics providers, the competitive environment for logistics, and how DHL is positioned in the global market · Part II provides an overview of the barriers faced by logistics providers in many countries as well as what the United States could offer during bilateral and multilateral negotiations in an effort to further liberalize the major logistics markets worldwide." It's worth reading.
December 17, 2004 -- The latest issue of the E-NAPUS Legislative Newsletter has been posted on the website of the National Association of Postmasters of the United States.
You can find on this web site the Smithsonian's National Postal Museum Schedule of Programs January - April 2005. In addition, The Nati onal Postal Museum announced the launch of a new feature on its Web site designed for researchers of philatelic postal history. The State Postal History Registry, http://www.postalmus eum.si.edu/statepostalhistory/, lists contacts, links and other postal history resources by state.
December 17, 2004 -- Traffic World has reported that "DHL announced plans to increase its delivery rates, cut air fuel surcharges and institute a ground surcharge in 2005. The company will raise rates on domestic air and international express deliveries by an average of 3.4 percent and ground deliveries by 2.9 percent. The carrier also said it would also raise the rates for DHL@Home, the company's expedited business-to-residence shipping service, an average of 3.7 percent. Meanwhile, DHL will reduce on Jan. 30 its indexed fuel surcharge for its domestic and international express service by 0.5 percent. On Jan. 2, the company will introduce a fuel surcharge for its ground and DHL@Home shipments. That surcharge, initially set at 2 percent, will be indexed to the National U.S. Average on Highway Diesel Fuel Price as reported by the Department of Energy."
December 17, 2004 -- The Fina ncial Times (U.K.) has reported that "Adam Crozier, chief executive of Royal Mail, says: "The first thing I do every day is check how we performed last night. Any mail centre that failed to meet quality of service targets is on a conference call with me to explain what happened and whether they have a plan to put it right." The introduction of private sector disciplines was one of Mr Crozier's first actions on being appointed to run the UK's state-owned postal company just before Christmas two years ago. Then, Royal Mail was losing £1m ($1.9m) a day. Now, it is making a profit of £1m a day. As Royal Mail tackles its busiest time of the year, with households sending sacks of cards and presents, there is optimism that it is starting to show signs of a turnround."
December 17, 2004 -- Handelsblatt (Germany) has reported that "DHL, the logistics subsidiary of German postal service operator Deutsche Post, has won a contract to carry out logistics services for the teleshopping channel Home Shopping Europe (HSE24)."
December 17, 2004 -- La Tribune has reoprted that "The French post office, La Poste, is to build an industrial platform in Pagny-les-Goin in north-eastern France at a cost of 30m euros. The site of the new facility, which will employ between 400 and 500 people, has been chosen because of its proximity to the A31 motorway, the Metz-Nancy Lorraine airport and the future high-speed railway station."
December 17, 2004 -- The Polish News Bulletin has reported that "Poczta Polska, (PP) Polish Post Office will go public in 2006."
December 17, 2004 -- Canada.com has reported that:
Azure Dynamics Corp., a developer of hybrid electric powertrains for commercial vehicles, has struck a deal to acquire Solectria Corp. for $21.6 million worth of shares. Azure will buy Solectria, a Woburn, Mass., company that supplies hybrid electric powertrain and components to the American military and hybrid vehicles to courier DHL and the U.S. Postal Service, for 25.7 million shares.
Picket lines are up at a number of Canada Post locations across the Atlantic region and western Canada Friday, including the national philatelic centre in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. The pickets are members of the union of postal communications employees, part of the Public Service Alliance of Canada.
December 17, 2004 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that:
US-based global express carrier FedEx has released its results for its second financial quarter. They show a surge in revenues to $7.33 billion, up 24% from $5.92 billion the previous year. The company's operating income grew even faster to $600 million, up from $183 million a year ago. See also the Journal of Commerce.
DHL and mail order company HSE24 (Home Shopping Europe) have signed a co-operation agreement. DHL will take over the complete logistics of HSE24 starting from 2006 and establish a new logistics centre for its client in Greven, Germany. DHL will invest over €35 million in the area and create around 250 new jobs in its existing package centre. The proximity of the new logistics centre in Greven to DHL's existing package hub will allow it to process around 40,000 packages a day as well as undertake a range of value added activities.
Deutsche Post has rejected calls made by the German federal states of Hesse and Lower Saxony for the exclusive letter mail license to be relaxed early. It has stated that License holders in Germany have already been able to extend their operations into the area that is reserved for Deutsche Post. DPWN believes that the German letter mail market is one of the most liberalized postal markets in the EU and moves have already been made for full market liberalization as from January 1st, 2008. The company also states that if market liberalization were to be brought forward, this would put both Deutsche Post and its competitors at a disadvantage. Foreign postal companies would have free access to the German market without having to face competition in their respective domestic markets.
December 17, 2004 -- The 2004 Latin America Logistics Trends, Risks & Opportunities Whitepaper is an exhaustive report on key demand, customer, regulatory, and competitive trends and statistics provided within the framework of a strategic report. The whitepaper is the culmination of lessons learned by our Transportation Practice that has conducted over 40 client specific market intelligence and consulting assignments in Latin America from 1996 to 2004. Over the last 12 months, we have conducted over 1,200 interviews with Latin American customers of logistics and profiled more than 100 3PLs across the 10 largest logistics markets in the region. The most important findings of that research is found in this whitepaper. Consulting Hours Included in the Whitepaper Purchase Reading and absorbing a dense whitepaper can be challenging for upper management. Therefore, we offer 1.5 hours of our Transport Practice Directors time in order to walk your management team through the most important findings of the whitepaper, be it by phone or in-person if arranged in Miami, Florida.
December 17, 2004 -- The Norwich Guardian (U.K.) has reported that "A ROYAL Mail union representative has hit back after a company spokesman criticised Northwich postmen for going on strike. The spokesman said the strike action the postmen took at the start of the month was damaging for the company and said all staff had a chance to get their bonuses. But Steve Gough, the Communication Workers' Union (CWU) branch secretary for Cheshire, said workers were striking for basic pensionable pay rather than their bonuses. He said: "The spokesman obviously has no idea what the problem is locally or nationally. In a roundabout way, he is saying that Northwich postmen were not paid a bonus because they haven't worked hard enough. "Postmen are not lazy; they are part of the lifeblood of any community and they give a service second to none anywhere in the world."
December 17, 2004 -- According to the Irish Times, "The refusal of An Post management to pay cost-of-living pay increases to its staff will be raised by union leaders today with the Minister for Communications, Mr Dempsey. Following a meeting yesterday with the board of An Post, Mr Dempsey will meet the Communications Workers' Union, which disrupted mail deliveries with a 24-hour stoppage last week. His decision to meet the union led to it calling off further industrial action in the run-up to Christmas. The union also announced this week that members had balloted overwhelmingly to reject a company restructuring plan."
December 17, 2004 -- AFX Europe has reported that "The French state-owned post office operator, La Poste, expects sales to rise 3 pct in 2005 on a like-for-like basis, according to the provisional budget approved by the board. It foresees an operating profit margin of 3 pct in 2005, up from the 2 pct margin expected in 2004, and said it will earmark 982 mln eur for internal spending."
December 17, 2004 -- Dow Jones has reported that "Dutch postal and logistics firm TPG (TP) said Friday it welcomed Dutch parliament's approval of the postal vision which calls for the liberalization of the domestic postal market by 2007. The opening up of the market to foreign competition by 2007 is conditional upon full liberalization in Germany and the U.K."
December 17, 2004 -- CBS Marketwatch has reported that Dutch postal service provider "TPG said it may introduce a one-off price increase in 2006 to business customers, as the Dutch parliament agreed on the future of the postal market. The increase will be kept below the 2004 and 2005 rate of inflation. It said full liberalisation of the postal market will occur in 2007, when rates for services provided under the universal service obligation will be regulated using a price cap system linked to inflation."
December 17, 2004 -- From the C anada NewsWire: "On day seven of their strike, more than 700 PSAC members working at Canada Post are targeting the Atlantic and the West today. The members of the Public Service Alliance of Canada will picket the following cities: in the Maritimes: St.John's (Nfld), Antigonish, Halifax, North Sydney, Saint-John (NB), Moncton and Fredericton; in the West: Winnipeg, Regina, Saskatoon, Edmonton, Calgary, Victoria, and Vancouver."
December 17, 2004 -- As KioskMarketplace has noted, "If kiosks are a natural extension of educational CD-ROMs, then handheld devices are a natural extension of kiosks. Allison Wickens is an education specialist at the National Postal Museum, part of the Smithsonian Institution. photo courtesy Smithsonian National Postal Museum The National Postal Museum has been using 15 Hewlett Packard IPAQ handheld devices, each with a stylus and headphones, since July 2004. The devices were originally rolled out as part of a special exhibit of postage stamps from the collection of Queen Elizabeth II."
December 17, 2004 -- From the PR Newswire: "Pitney Bowes Inc. (NYSE: PBI) today announced that it has acquired Groupe MAG, a distributor of finishing equipment used by commercial printers, and production mail equipment, software and service in France, Belgium and Luxembourg. This business will be managed as a separate unit within the company's International operation, which is led by Patrick Keddy, President, Mailstream International."
December 17, 2004 -- The Star (Malaysia) has reported that "POS Malaysia & Services Holdings Bhd intends to expand its courier service business – the most lucrative division in the group – to tap into the US$1.2bil market in Asean and beyond."
December 17, 2004 -- The American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) announced today it has submitted to the government of Japan a ten-point review of issues it sees as critical to the privatization of Japan Post's insurance business.
December 17, 2004 -- The Associated Press has reported that "From teaming up with a rock band to selling restaurant gift cards online, it isn't Ben Franklin's post office any more. The U.S. Postal Service is battling to keep its place in electronic America by going on the Internet."
December 17, 2004 -- The latest legislative update from the National Association of Postal Supervisors has been posted on the association's web site.
December 16, 2004 -- The Scotsman (U.K.) has reported that "The Royal Mail has been stripped of the contract for screening post on its way in to the Houses of Parliament and could lose its job delivering internal mail, it emerged today."
December 16, 2004 -- The N ew York Daily News tells the story of how DHL made "A fir-y tale come true for troops."
December 16, 2004 -- According to Dow Jones, "Fitch Ratings, the international rating agency, has today assigned the Italian postal group Poste Italiane S.p.A. ("Poste Italiane") ratings of Senior Unsecured 'AA-' (AA minus) and Short-term 'F1+'. The rating Outlook is Stable. The group comprises the predominantly regulated domestic mail division, the BancoPosta financial services division, and the unregulated mail and express activities. The bulk of the group's profits are derived from BancoPosta's operations."
December 16, 2004 -- According to the Ottawa Citizen, "Hundreds of striking postal workers are off the job Thursday in Quebec City, Kitchener, Windsor, Hamilton and London."
December 16, 2004 -- From the PR Newswire: "The Board of Directors of Pitney Bowes Inc. (NYSE: PBI) today approved a plan to pursue a sponsored spin-off of its Capital Services external financing business. The new entity would be an independent publicly-traded company consisting of most of the assets in its Capital Services segment, including assets related to Imagistics International, Inc. The company has entered into negotiations with a party interested in investing in the new entity. The decision to move forward with the spin-off will be contingent upon reaching agreement on terms with an investor, prevailing market conditions at the time of the proposed spin-off, regulatory review and the receipt of a favorable ruling from the Internal Revenue Service that the spin-off would be tax free."
December 16, 2004 -- The Edge Daily has reported that "Pos Malaysia & Services Holdings Bhd is setting up strategic alliances with private logistics and postal companies in East Asia to tap into the region's courier market worth an estimated US$1.2 billion (RM4.56 billion) a year, says group managing director Datuk Ikmal Hijaz Hashim. He said the company had identified its potential partners and hoped to seal the alliances and begin transporting packages for them in the first half of 2005. "We are currently looking at Thailand, South Korea, China and Hong Kong," he said after the company's EGM in Kuala Lumpur on Dec 16. He said the alliances would see Pos Malaysia leveraging on it 20.3% stake in air transport firm Transmile Group Bhd, which has landing rights in various spots in Asean and East Asia. Transmile is currently awaiting approval from US authorities, including the Federal Aviation Administration, to fly to Los Angeles — which will enable it tap into the US$30 billion a year US overnight courier market in 2005."
December 16, 2004 -- From e-News: "Rotating strike action by Canada Post workers is rearing concerns about the potential for a postal disruption and the threat of cheques and business payments getting caught up in the mail. Canadians will be relieved to discover that electronic payments can be made to anyone in the country - releasing businesses and individuals from their dependency on mail delivery for their business and personal payments. Electronic payment pioneer TelPay Incorporated, has spent the past 20 years developing a national e-payment infrastructure that enables Canadians to make payments to ANY organization or individual across the country (including government remittances). No longer restricted to a biller list - any biller can be paid."
December 16, 2004 -- According to Internet Retailer, "UPS expects to deliver more than 20 million packages on Dec. 21—that's an average 230 packages per second—and to receive 16 million online tracking requests. That's well above this year's average tracking request rate of about 9.1 million per day, and above the 12 million online tracking requests received on last year's peak day, UPS reports."
December 16, 2004 -- As the Star-Ledger has noted, "The holiday season is a robust time of year for the U.S. Postal Service, but the long-term future for the nation's mail system is not as bright. First-class mail, the financial backbone of the Postal Service, has been steadily declining as Americans turn to the Internet to pay bills and rely on e-mail, cell phones and cheap long-distance calls to keep in touch."
December 16, 2004 -- MENA-FN has reported that "Qatar's General Postal Corporation (Q-Post) yesterday signed a QR22m agreement with Germany's industrial giant Siemens for the installation of a state-of-the-art electronic mail sorting system."
December 16, 2004 -- The Fina ncial Times has reported that "Japan Post, the world's biggest financial institution, has started to enforce a law on the statute books since 1947 that enables it to forcibly convert customers' postal savings into government bonds."
December 16, 2004 -- In its most recent press release, the Postal Rate Commission said that it recognized "the growing speculation regarding the likelihood of a postal rate increase. In addressing these concerns it is important to know that the Postal Rate Commission does not initiate postal rate increases. The process for implementing a postage rate increase formally begins when the United States Postal Service Board of Governors submits a request to the Postal Rate Commission detailing the proposed changes in rates along with the rationale needed to support such an increase. The Postal Service has not yet submitted such a request. It is presently anticipated that the Postal Service may propose a postage rate increase sometime in 2005. Once the request for a rate increase is received, the PRC evaluates the request and holds hearings as needed. As part of its official review, the Postal Rate Commission will welcome public comments during the course of the rate case proceeding. Postal rate proceedings typically require nearly ten-months to conclude. Upon completion of its consideration, the Postal Rate Commission will recommend a rate structure to the Postal Service Board of Governors for adoption and implementation."
December 16, 2004 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "World trade liberalization is moving express competition in China to another level. UPS is eyeing a stake in China's domestic express market after signing an agreement with longtime Chinese partner Sinotrans to take control over much of its international express operations in the country by the end of next year. UPS will pay formerly state-owned Sinotrans $100 million for control of express stations in 23 major cities, a move triggered by China's agreement with standards for private express service under the World Trade Organization directives. UPS is now looking "seriously" at entering into the Chinese domestic express market, said spokesman John Wheeler."
December 15, 2004 -- You can register now for the First Federal Mail Symposium February 8-10, 2005.!! Online registration is fully underway. Visit www.federalmailsymposium.org or call 1-800-315-4333. The attendee registration fee is $395.00 paid in full by January 28, 2005. Exhibit space is $950 per 10 x 10' booth space with 2 registrations. Workshop titles are now posted to the website. There will be 2 pre-conference sessions available. During the conference 25 concurrent workshops, keynote and super sessions are offered. Exhibit Hall hours and networking opportunities are available each day with over 25 Government Vendors.
December 15, 2004 -- The Belfast Telegraph has reported that "Sinn Fein has launched its annual Christmas postal service in Londonderry. The postal service will run until next Monday with stamps available at a reduced cost of 15p."
December 15, 2004 -- From the Business Wire: "Jetson Direct Mail Services, Inc. (JDM) has broken ground on a new facility that will house its high-speed automated mail processing center, dramatically expanding the company's existing commingling and drop-ship operations."
December 15, 2004 -- According to the Irish Independent, "A CALL has been made on the Government to abandon plans to dismantle any part of An Post and to prepare a White Paper on the development of the company,"
December 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..
December 15, 2004 -- The National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) has told its members that "Postal management has notified the NALC of its intent to withdraw unilaterally from USPS-NALC Memorandums that mandated local management and union leaders to work out agreements on route inspections. NALC President William H. Young decried the move and called it a major blow to improved labor-management relations in the Postal Service. He noted that this comes at a time when close cooperation is essential as Congress prepares to resume consideration of postal reform legislation. Young announced that the union will institute a major nationwide training program to insure that mail counts are correct. He also issued a special alert to NALC officers to be on the lookout for management attempts to circumvent requirements in postal manuals and handbooks governing mail counts and inspections."
December 15, 2004 -- According to the Daily Yomiuri, "The government plans to sell by 2017 all the shares in the two companies that will be created in 2007 to take over postal savings and kampo life insurance services with the privatization of Japan Post, according to government sources. The sources said the plan for the postal holding company to sell the shares of the two firms would be specified in a draft bill on postal privatization to be compiled early next year. The government aims to enable the two firms to operate freely and funnel their collected funds into the private sector by completely separating them from the holding company, which likely will remain under the government's influence. The government also has decided not to include in the bill a stipulation requiring the two postal firms to use post offices, a measure that had been requested by Liberal Democratic Party members and others."
December 15, 2004 -- AFX has reported that "The French government said the price of a postal stamp in France will be increased by 6 pct from March 1 next year to 0.53 eur from 0.50 eur currently. French state-owned postal service La Poste said in October it was seeking government approval to raise the price of stamps by 10 pct to 0.55 eur."
December 15, 2004 -- According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "This week and next is the busiest time of year for package delivery companies that are fiercely competitive and growing from a surge in online shopping and a new excursion into the retail market. On Monday alone, a record 3.8 million packages were picked up around the country by FedEx Ground, the Pittsburgh-based truck delivery division of FedEx Corp. Without even including online buying, an estimated 88 percent of all Americans will ship something somewhere this year between Thanksgiving and Christmas, according to a survey by 3M, a maker of packaging materials."
December 15, 2004 -- According to the Comme ntWire, "Although Royal Mail has dismissed reports of privatization, such a move would provide a significant injection of cash to help prepare for deregulation. However, for the company to compete successfully in the future, whether public or private, performance and customer relations will have to continue to improve."
December 15, 2004 -- According to the Internat ional Herald Tribune, "China's "opaque" regulations governing insurance, express delivery, banking and other service industries block the ability of U.S. companies to compete there, the U.S. government said in an annual report. In a separate move, China is considering imposing a weight limit below which only the Chinese national postal service could provide direct delivery, shutting out express delivery companies like FedEx, the United States said."
December 15, 2004 -- Canada.com has reported that "Striking postal workers say they're shutting down Canada Post call centres in Winnipeg, Fredericton and Ottawa on Wednesday. They're predicting customer service will be disrupted during day five of their rotating strikes. The Public Service Alliance of Canada began job action last Thursday. Their strikes earlier targeted Canada Post operations in Vancouver, Toronto (Scarborough), Halifax, St. John's, Edmonton and Antigonish, Nova Scotia."
December 15, 2004 -- RTE (Ireland) has reported that:
The Minister for Communications, Noel Dempsey, has said he has invited the leadership of the Communications Workers' Union to meet him. Mr Dempsey wants to meet the union officials to discuss the future of An Post, but not to negotiate on industrial relations issues. However, speaking in the Dáil, the Minister said he very much regretted that An Post workers had not received a payment that they are due under the national wage agreement, Sustaining Progress.
An Post delivery figures still not satisfactory - ComReg has come up with its latest verdict on our postal service - and it is a case of some work done, a lot more to do. ComReg says An Post's performance in the first nine months of the year leaves a lot to be desired with 73% of what is known as single piece priority mail being delivered within Ireland one working day after it was posted. ComReg says that figure should be 94%. It does acknowledge some improvements in the Dublin postal service. For its part, An Post disputes the figures and says it want its mail performances surveyed differently.
December 15, 2004 -- The DM Bulletin (U.K.) has reported that "Growth in spending in direct mail lagged behind the marketing industry average over the past quarter, up by 2.1% in current prices, compared with 4.6% across the board. According to the Advertising Association, direct mail, which only includes mailouts and not doordrops nor other forms of direct marketing, rose to £569m. But compared with other media, it was lagging in terms of growth."
December 15, 2004 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that "DHL has announced the opening of a new 82,800 square foot Express Logistics Center in San Jose, California. The facility is situated in the Silicon Valley area to facilitate expedited service to DHL's high-tech customers' headquarters, R&D, engineering and manufacturing facilities in particular for spare and critical parts. In addition, the facility is in close proximity to DHL's international gateways in Los Angeles and San Francisco which enables access to its Asia-Pacific network via commercial lift."
December 15, 2004 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "Major package carriers such as UPS and FedEx Corp. are predicting strong peak-holiday volume despite a lackluster start to the season in sales at major retailers such as Wal-Mart, Limited Brands and Federated Department Stores. They attribute their projections to a spurt in online and direct-to-consumer shipping from small, specialty retailers. They also note that many shoppers may be waiting until the last minute to buy their gifts, which could skew the early season numbers."
December 14, 2004 -- According to one writer for Human Events, "The United States prides itself on being a free-market leader - a country where big government famously takes a back-seat to private competition. But amazingly, when it comes to its $900 billion mail industry, the U.S. lags far behind much of the rest of the world. As other nations move rapidly towards postal privatization, the U.S. government simply refuses to let go of its gargantuan, money-losing postal monopoly."
December 14, 2004 -- PostCom Members: The latest copy of PostCom 's Postal Operations Update has been posted on this site. In this issue, more changes in senior staff at the Postal Service; on a new workgroup looking at parcel packaging issues; news on the new USPS Merlin web site; news on revised customer support rulings; recent changes to the Domestic Mail Manual; mail transport equipment news; and the USPS' call for "innovations."
December 14, 2004 -- According to the Grand Rapids Press, "As we enter the home stretch for sending Christmas gifts, the oft-maligned U.S. Postal Service earned top marks in a comparison of the Big Three of shipping."
December 14, 2004 -- Harte-Hanks has named Charles B. Weir II as its managing director, retail market – the top position in the company addressing the retail market. According to recent earnings data, retail revenues account for more than one-fourth of Harte-Hanks Direct Marketing revenues. Harte-Hanks also has named Kyle Kennedy as its managing director, direct marketing, in Austin, TX, where he will manage the company's Austin-based response management and CRM (customer relationship management) services activities. Harte-Hanks currently has four local facilities employing more than 1200 persons. Kennedy will manage the bulk of business operations at these locations.
December 14, 2004 -- Join GSA's Mail Management Policy Team as we "bring together the knowledge of many" at GSA's First Federal Mail Symposium February 8- 10, 2005!!! For more details and to register for this educational event, please visit our website @ www.federalmailsymposium.org. Click on the detailed agenda button to view what particular workshops will be offered as well. For additional information, you may contact Marcerto Barr @ (202) 208-7654 or Derrick Miliner @ (202) 273-3564.
December 14, 2004 -- The U.S. Postal Service has created a "new Pricing & Classification DMM® Advisory message board." The message board is intended to keeps those who have a shared connection in mail updated and informed on issues that affect businesses. The USPS said it will use this message board to keep you informed about various topics, ranging from general to product-specific information. The following are the most recent revisions to the Domestic Mail Manual, organized by topic.
Characteristics and Content C200.1.10 is revised to add a new option for the endorsement location on Periodicals mailpieces with Ride-Along attachments or enclosures. Mailers may now place the words "Ride-Along Enclosed" on the label carrier when including a Ride-Along piece in a Periodicals mailing. This option is added to be consistent with the standards for First-Class Mail and Standard Mail enclosures and attachments.
C850 is revised to clarify and correct various mailing standards for barcoding parcels. In addition, we added exhibits to better define this section and illustrate the barcode formats.
Eligibility E260.1.4 also is revised to add a new option for the endorsement location on Periodicals mailpieces with Ride-Along attachments or enclosures. Mailers may now place the words "Ride-Along Enclosed" on the label carrier when including a Ride-Along piece in a Periodicals mailing. This option is added to be consistent with the standards for First-Class Mail and Standard Mail enclosures and attachments.
General Information Revisions were made throughout the DMM to reflect that the three rates and classification service centers (RCSCs) and the Nonprofit Service Center (NSC) were consolidated into one unit, the Pricing and Classification Service Center (PCSC). The duties and areas covered by the New York RCSC, Chicago RCSC, San Francisco RCSC, and Memphis NSC will be served by the new PCSC. The new PCSC will ensure consistent application of USPS rates and mailing standards by providing one source for mail classification decisions, one staff, and a one-stop-shop for customers and field employees to consult on rate application and mail eligibility questions.
G995 is added to establish the rate, eligibility criteria, mailing standards, and classification information for the new Priority Mail flat-rate box experiment. The Postal Service is conducting this experiment to enhance customer convenience through the introduction of two flat-rate box options for Priority Mail. Much like the Priority Mail flat-rate envelope offered since 1991, the flat-rate box gives customers a single, predetermined rate, regardless of the actual weight or destination of the mailpiece. This experiment is expected to last for two years.
December 14, 2004 -- As the Straits Times has noted, "SINGAPORE Post raised its overseas postal delivery charges with effect from Dec 1. This hefty increase in surface mail rates will badly affect small and medium enterprises, expatriates, foreign students and foreign workers who use low-cost sea-mail delivery to send parcels abroad. This is the second time in less than five years customers have been slapped with a sharp increase in rates."
December 14, 2004 -- As the Irish Times has noted, "Plans by An Post to cut staff numbers and overtime costs drastically in its collection and delivery service have been overwhelmingly rejected by staff."
December 14, 2004 -- From the PR Newswire: "Entrust, Inc., a provider of Identity and Access Management solutions, has expanded its role as a key security provider within the UK public sector with its latest customer win at Land Registry, the government department which records the title to registered land in England and Wales. By enhancing the existing security features of Land Registry Direct through the deployment of the Entrust GetAccess server, it is expected that more conveyancers will have the confidence to abandon the labor-intensive postal system in favour of the online service when applying for Land Registry services."
December 14, 2004 -- The Times Union has reported that "John Botti is leaving the company he founded, AuthentiDate Holding Corp. Botti co-founded AuthentiDate in 1985 as Bitwise Designs Inc., a computer hardware manufacturer. It moved into software, and today its flagship product is software that time- and date-stamps electronic documents. AuthentiDate raised almost $69 million after expenses from the private placement in February. The company said it would use the money to strengthen its balance sheet and to build a back-up data center, as required by a contract it has with the U.S. Postal Service, which uses its technology."
December 14, 2004 -- According to AuctionBytes, "Paid Inc. upgraded its patent-pending AuctionInc (ai) online auction shipping calculation tools. The company said with the addition of both FedEx and DHL carrier rates, its AuctionInc software is one of the first shipping calculation tools to offer both carriers' rate calculations in same-screen comparisons to UPS and the US Postal Service."
December 14, 2004 -- Transp ort Intelligence has reported that "The proposed acquisition of Menlo Worldwide Forwarding Inc. (MWF) by United Parcel Service has been given the go-ahead by the European Commission. According to a statement by the Commission, approval was forthcoming as the deal was not judged to significantly impede effective competition within the EU's Single Market. The deal comprises exclusively the freight forwarding activities of Menlo, with all logistics and express operations undertaken by the division to be transferred back to its parent company, CNF Inc. In Europe Menlo (formerly known as Emery Worldwide) is focused largely on air freight forwarding."
December 14, 2004 -- RTE (Ireland) has reported that "The row over pay and productivity at An Post is to be formally referred to the Labour Court later this week."
December 14, 2004 -- The Scotsman (U.K.) has reported that "The Royal Mail tonight called for a ban on the posting of firearms because of the disruption caused when a sporting or replica gun or other weapon is discovered in sorting offices."
December 13, 2004 -- From the Business Wire: "Newgistics, Inc., the leader in returns management solutions for direct retailers, today announced a list of seven useful tips to help consumers avoid the "holiday hangover" of returning gifts, and ensure that retailers take back what they don't want. According to a brand new survey by Harris Interactive, sponsored by Newgistics, 79 percent of consumers made one or more merchandise return to a retailer in 2004. The following simple tips will help prepare consumers for the returns process in-store and through the mail."
December 13, 2004 -- RTE (Ireland) has reported that "Communications Workers Union members at An Post have overwhelmingly rejected the company's proposals to reform collection and delivery services. Almost 95% of those balloted found the restructuring proposals unacceptable." See also Bu siness World.
December 13, 2004 -- The Turkish Press has reported that "Deutsche Post, the semi-privatised German postal authority, rejected the advances made by Germany's fourth-biggest bank Commerzbank to Deutsche Post's banking unit Postbank. "There aren't and have not been any talks with Commerzbank," a Deutsche Post spokeswoman said Monday, adding that no changes were planned in Postbank's capital structure."
December 13, 2004 -- The Malaysia Star has reported that "A RE-ALIGNMENT of business units and operating systems are on the cards for Pos Malaysia & Services Holdings Bhd (PSH) as it re-shapes itself to become a more vibrant delivery and payment centre. That is necessary if PSH were to realise its long-term goal of being a regional partner in mail, courier and express services, and financial solutions and logistics services."
December 13, 2004 -- The Jamaica Observer has reported that "THE Postal Corporation of Jamaica has introduced reduced rates for the holiday season, a $10 rebate open to persons who opt to mail their letters in unsealed envelopes."
December 12, 2004 -- According to B usiness Week, "As e-tailing heads into its 10th holiday season, it is coming of age. With more households shifting to faster broadband connections and online shopping increasingly friendly, Americans are purchasing ever more stuff on the Web. Big changes are percolating through e-tailing -- and spilling over into the broader world of retailing. The advent of search-related advertising -- the ads that appear next to search results -- has made it more cost-effective for online entrepreneurs to set up shop on their own. In the early days of the late 1990s, pioneer online merchants fruitlessly spent millions of dollars on TV and radio ads aimed at the mass market. Search-linked advertising has changed all of that."
December 12, 2004 -- According to the Nashua Telegraph, "Rain, snow, sleet or hail may not stop the postal worker, but it sure is a hassle for the rest of us. So the U.S. Postal Service is letting customers go online this holiday season to design custom greeting cards with a gift card from a major retailer inside. Gift cards valued from $25 to $200 can be purchased from Bed, Bath & Beyond, Circuit City, Lowe's home improvement stores and restaurants owned by Brinker International Inc., including Chili's Grill & Bar. Other choices should be available by the holidays. The cost is $4.99, plus postage and the price of the gift card. Cards sent without gift cards inside are cheaper, with discounts available for purchases of 10 or more. Users of the NetPost CardStore, which can be accessed through USPS.com, can choose from a variety of images, fonts and types of cards or upload their own pictures and graphics. They also can upload a mailing list to send out holiday cards in bulk. The Postal Service says it will not, however, tolerate unsavory images. It recently canceled a short-lived service from Stamps.com that allowed people to design their own postage stamps."
December 12, 2004 -- The Press-Enterprise has reported that "DHL's plan to build a California hub in the Inland Empire is part of a $1.2 billion investment by Deutsche Post World to challenge the dominance of UPS and FedEx on the U.S. companies' home turf. In addition to the cost of developing a U.S. transportation network, DHL says it expects to lose another $1 billion in the next two years, with hopes that it will reverse the losses in 2006. The magnitude of DHL's challenge has done little to dissuade communities nationwide from courting package-sorting hubs to generate jobs. The cargo hub is expected to generate 250 jobs initially. Experts say such hubs also serve as economic boosters that attract firms that need proximity to logistics support."
December 12, 2004 -- Bloomberg has reported that "The U.K. Department of Trade & Industry said Prime Minister Tony Blair's Labour government isn't considering a sale of the state-run postal carrier as a way to raise cash and improve service. ``The privatization of the Royal Mail is not on the government's agenda,'' the DTI said in a statement. The comment followed a Mail on Sunday story suggesting government officials gave Royal Mail Group Plc Chairman Allan Leighton a pledge to sell part of the group after the next election, which may come as early as May 2005."
December 12, 2004 -- National Association of Postmasters Executive Director Charlie Moser has reported that "NAPUS has received confirmation that nearly 20% of the VER eligible Postmasters will take advantage of the opportunity to retire early next year. Nearly 1,500 Postmasters will voluntarily enter retirement on either January 31, 2005 or March 31, 2005. The Eastern and Western Areas led the way with more than 300 Postmasters taking early outs in each area."
December 12, 2004 -- According to Reuters, "Royal Mail Chairman Allan Leighton has won a private pledge from the government that he can partially privatise the state-owned postal service, the Financial Mail on Sunday has reported. But the Department of Trade and Industry denied there were any such plans. "We have no plans to privatise the Royal Mail," said a department spokeswoman. The paper said the privatisation deal was the price Leighton demanded to stay on for another three years. On Thursday, the government said Leighton will serve a further three years as chairman of the Royal Mail, until March 2008. Leighton has been given the green light to hand 20 percent of the business to postal workers, and sell off 31 percent on the stock market for about 4 billion pounds, but this will put him on a collision course with the Communication Workers' Union, the paper said."
December 12, 2004 -- AMEInfo has reported that "Dr. Mohamed Saleh ben Taher Benten, Chief of Postal Administration, Saudi Post, visited Emirates Post and discussed ways of expanding cooperation in the field of automation and innovative services in the postal field."
December 12, 2004 -- Khaleej Times has reported that "Keeping up with its commitment to serve the public efficiently, Emirates Post has taken action on a complaint made by a 'Bharat Parcel Service' user, assuring full reimbursement of Dh690, against goods declared lost, while in transit to India."
December 12, 2004 -- According to Pakistan Times, "The Post Offices will now be accepting the utility bills from the public also on Sundays in the Federal Capital Territory (ICT). One Post Office in every sector in the Federal Capital will remain open on every Sunday to facilitate the payment of utility bills."
December 12, 2004 -- On PostInsight, be sure to read "Making Mail More Competitive" by Murray D. Martin, President and Chief Operation Office, Pitney Bowes, Inc.
December 12, 2004 -- As one writer noted in the Financial Times (U.K.), "If I want to buy my Christmas stamps, the last place I go to is a post office. That's because my local one nearly always has queues running out of the door. So, what's the Royal Mail's response to this glut of customers? That's right, last month it closed the branch."
December 11, 2004 -- From the PR Newswire: "This week, Postal executives lauded the service of Philadelphia attorney S. David Fineman, as he completed nine years of service on the United States Postal Service Board of Governors. For the past two years, Mr. Fineman served as Chairman of the Board of Governors. "Chairman Fineman set extraordinarily high standards for the Postal Service," said John E. Potter, Postmaster General and Chief Executive Officer, "and then urged us to exceed them. He guided and supported Postal Service achievement, and publicly advocated postal reform." During Governor Fineman's tenure as chairman of the board, the Postal Service moved aggressively to identify and capture opportunities to cut costs, and improve efficiency and customer service. Since implementation of the 2002 Transformation Plan, the Postal Service effected a reduction in career employee complement by 68,000 without any layoffs."
December 11, 2004 -- The APWU Press Association piece noted below apparently struck a raw nerve with some. You can check out some of the posted comments at http://www.postalnews.com/2004/12/postal-reform-your-job-prospects.h tml#comments.
December 11, 2004 -- According to one writer for The Independent (U.K.), "HAVING FAILED to achieve all but one of its 15 quality of service targets in the first half of this year, Royal Mail proposes to increase the cost of a first-class stamp by an inflation-busting 7 per cent to 30p. Bizarrely, Adam Crozier, the chief executive, says he needs the price rise to prepare for the opening up of the UK postal market to full competition in 2006. Competition usually means lower prices, yet in the Alice in Wonderland occupied by Royal Mail, it seems to mean the opposite."
December 11, 2004 -- According to the Kyodo news service, "A governmental panel in charge of monitoring planned postal privatization will be launched in July 2006, well before the privatization process starts in April the following year, a draft of relevant legislation showed Saturday. The draft, which was made available to Kyodo News, also showed postal savings and postal insurance firms to be set up as a result of privatization will need approval from authorities involved when they start new businesses. The early setting up of the watchdog panel would allow it to offer recommendations to the prime minister and ministers concerned even before the privatization process starts, sources familiar with the matter said."
December 11, 2004 -- According to the DM Bulletin (U.K.), "Royal Mail has confirmed that the price of a first-class stamp will go up from 28p to 30p on April 7 2005, but there are concessions and even price decreases for business-mail users. The price of a second-class stamp will remain at 21p, and Royal Mail said that overall the price of postage for 40% of its 83m items handled daily will not change. Franked and Printed Postage Impression mail will get a 1p discount up to 60g, and discounts ranging from 3p to 8p for heavier items, subject to Postcomm's ongoing consultation process. Prices will fall by up to 3.1% in some of the Mailsort service options, while others will remain constant and two will rise by no more than 2.7%." See also The Scotsman.
December 11, 2004 -- According to the Boston Globe, "The existence of the US Postal Services' Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee came as a surprise to its newest member, Henry Louis Gates Jr. "They called me up one day, out of the blue," says Gates, who is W.E.B. DuBois professor of the humanities and chairman of the African and African-American studies department at Harvard. In October, Gates became one of the 14 members of the committee that, since 1957, has helped the postal service decide who and what appear on US postage stamps."
December 11, 2004 -- AllAfrica.com has reported that "Thirteen International firms have applied to partner with Postal Corporation of Kenya (PCK) in the provision of international money transfer services."
December 11, 2004 -- Taip ei Times has reported that "Chunghwa Post has launched its first ever home mortgages, which feature the nation's lowest interest rate of 1.98 percent for the first year. The low interest rate will give Chunghwa Post solid ammunition in its first battle to compete with banks for a share in the nation's home-mortgage borrowers, the state-owned company said."
December 11, 2004 -- One reader of the Irish Examiner writes: "AS an employee of An Post I wonder how the service can suddenly go from €1m profit to a loss of over €40m? Also how come independent research commissioned by the Communications Workers Union (CWU) shows that the SDS operation is actually profitable in stark contrast to An Post management's figures. Is there a hidden agenda here? Namely to run An Post into the ground and to get rid of the so-called loss-making areas so that it can then be flogged off cheaply to the private sector cheaply like eircom - with the resultant decline in the quality of service. Why doesn't the Government recognise that An Post is providing a social service like CIE and that large parts of the postal network are never going to meet the strict criteria of profitability, such as rural post offices and door-to-door deliveries in rural areas."
December 11, 2004 -- AMEInfo has reported that "Emirates Post is hosting a workshop on distance learning and computer-based training (CBT), a program developed by Universal Postal Union (UPU) to develop human resources globally, at the Training and Development Centre, Dubai, from December 12 to 23. The participants have come from Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Morocco, Egypt, Yemen, Mauritania, Tunisia, Algeria, Syria, Palestine, Iraq and Libya."
December 10, 2004 -- AzerTaj (Azerbaijan) has reported that "140 postal offices were constructed and put into operation, 120 new working places, as well as 18 new departments opened since 2004 up to now. Level of postal service in Azerbaijan is lower than that of the world standards, AzerTAj correspondent learnt from press-service of Ministry of Communications and Information Technologies. To develop this field, the Ministry jointly with the World Bank implements project aiming at creation of new infrastructures, banking and financial services in the postal service, conducting of the basic changes, computerization of the departments, and restoration of postal offices in the villages."
December 10, 2004 -- As Bob Levi, Director of Government Relations for the National Association of Postmasters of the U.S. told his members: "For the postal community, the enactment of the intelligence bill frees up the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee and the House Government Reform Committee early next year to focus on postal reform. In addition, President Bush asked postal reform advocate Treasury Secretary John Snow to continue to serve in his cabinet. Snow's extended tenure assures Administration continuity in postal reform, furthering legislative efforts." Better than that. You've got to read Levi's "Candy Store Economics & the USPS."
December 10, 2004 -- The Postal Rate Commission has issued its recommended decision on the repositionable notes case (Docket No. MC2004-5).
December 10, 2004 -- In his latest piece for Direct magazine, postal commentator Gene Del Polito says that "the direct mail industry is about to feel the effects of a bubonic plague of its own. Only in this instance, the plague will take the form of double-digit postal rate increases."
December 10, 2004 -- From the PR Newswire: "Cingular Wireless, the nation's largest wireless provider, now offers customers the opportunity to use their camera phones to create personalized Fujifilm photo postcards and send them to anyone in the country via U.S. mail directly from their compatible Cingular phone."
December 10, 2004 -- The APWU National Postal Press Association told its readers that "The political and public campaign to change the current Postal Reform bills is already high and will get much louder and stronger throughout the winter and spring. They want your wages, retirement, and health benefits reduced through Congressional legislation and they want bigger postage discounts for presorting mail. They also want to have the ability to open mailbox delivery to anyone so that they can establish their own processing and delivery system to completely bypass the USPS. In your corner – fighting for you – is only one group, your Union. And the opposition is large, well financed, and politically connected. Despite all of this, your Union will be fighting the fight of our lives – of YOUR lives - to protect you. ...if you are not a member – join the group that is the ONLY group fighting for you. If our Union loses this fight – we all lose."
December 10, 2004 -- The Fina ncial Times (U.K.) has reported that "Post Office counter staff did not always sell customers the correct products, and did not offer its special delivery service often enough, a survey said yesterday. Postwatch, the consumer watchdog, sent mystery shoppers to 302 post offices and said that only 40 per cent were sold the right postal product."
December 10, 2004 -- From the Business Wire: "American business's ability to strengthen its exporting skills will play a key role in the country's economic future, UPS International President David Abney will say in a keynote address tonight at the National Forum on Trade Policy hosted by Duke University, the University of North Carolina and the state of North Carolina. As he speaks to an audience of 200 national leaders in economic development, public policy and academia, Abney will point out that the tension the United States faces today in a global economy is not unlike that faced by 19th century America. Then, innovative technologies like the railroad and telegraph transformed the United States from a local to a national economy."
December 10, 2004 -- Transp ort Intelligence has reported that "Deutsche Post's bid to acquire KarstadtQuelle's logistics subsidiaries could now be delayed due to difficulties in contract negotiations. Although at one stage it seemed that an agreement was imminent, latest reports suggest that the two parties have not yet been able to agree on the number of employees which will be transferred following the acquisition. This could delay a decision to next year."
December 10, 2004 -- Jap an Times has reported that "Tsutomu Takebe, secretary general of the Liberal Democratic Party, suggested Thursday that Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi should dissolve the House of Representatives if his postal reform initiative hits a snag in the Diet in January. The government plans to submit the postal reform bills to the Diet early next year. The remarks by the Liberal Democratic Party's No. 2 man, made during a lecture in Tokyo, are apparently an attempt to maintain party solidarity on the issue. Many LDP members are opposed to the Cabinet's plan to privatize the massive postal organization, which has effectively served as a solid vote-getting machine for the LDP."
December 9, 2004 -- Dow Jones has reported that:
German logistics and postal company Deutsche Post World AG has said it would sell its McPaper unit to concentrate more on its core business.
Postal and logistics company Deutsche Post AG has extended the contract of Chief Financial Officer Edgar Ernst by five years until the end of 2010.
December 9, 2004 -- According to U.TV (U.K.), "The threat of disruption to the Republic's mail service in the run up to Christmas has been lifted this evening. The Communications Workers Union have agreed to suspend any further industrial action in the An Post dispute." It's amazing what can happen when the government threatens to come down on you like a hammer.
December 9, 2004 -- In his latest article, postal commentator Gene Del Polito offers a few straight-forward statement of principles that he believes should serve as the basis for any future postal measure. The paper itself is NOT a new postal reform measure, but merely a statement of principles that can serve as metrics for true postal reform. An appropriate use of this paper would be to take these principles and determine whether any legislative proposal addresses these point. In addition, it would be helpful to use these principles to make sure there are no provisions in any legislative proposal that would vitiate these key, core reform ideas.
December 9, 2004 -- From the PR Newswire: "The U.S. Postal Service has selected Lockheed Martin to deliver approximately 1,200 Wide Field of View (WFOV) camera systems for Delivery Bar Code Sorter Input and Output Subsystems with Expanded Capability (DIOSS-EC) transports used at postal operations throughout the nation. Two camera systems will be installed on each DIOSS-EC mail transport to fulfill both the bar code reading and the optical character recognition functions. This $26 million project marks the first time Lockheed Martin's WFOV camera system will be used for both bar code reading and optical character recognition by the Postal Service."
December 9, 2004 -- The United States Postal Service advises customers of the following guidelines for mail delivery into Canada, provided by Canada Post Corporation: Canada Post Corporation guidelines Complete name and address of both the sender and the recipient — in English or French — are required on mail sent to Canada containing merchandise or articles subject to Customs control. Failure to comply with this requirement may result in the return of such items to the United States. A company name or a corporation name is acceptable as a sender name as part of a properly completed address. Mailers must provide complete and detailed descriptions of contents on Customs Declaration forms which are to be affixed to the items mailed.
December 9, 2004 -- From the PR Newswire: "Joined by several global industry organizations, the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) today called for "equal footing" for all competitors in Japan's insurance marketplace and a standstill on new Postal insurance products until such a level playing field is achieved."
December 9, 2004 -- The CBC has reported that "Canada Post workers walked out in at least two Maritime communities Thursday morning, staging rotating job action in Antigonish, N.S., and Fredericton, N.B. The workers are among the 2,500 Public Service Alliance of Canada members at the postal corporation who have been in a legal strike position since 12:01 a.m. Wednesday. In a statement, their union said the strike "will soon impact all points of service at Canada Post." Canada Post has promised that mail service will continue even if all the workers eligible to strike leave their jobs in the busy weeks before Christmas."
December 9, 2004 -- The Scotsman (U.K.) has reported that "Royal Mail chairman Allan Leighton has been re-appointed for a further three years, the Government announced today. Mr Leighton's two-day-a-week contract expires next March but he will now continue in the post until 2008."
December 9, 2004 -- The Wash ington Post has reported that "President Bush invited Treasury Secretary John W. Snow yesterday to remain on the job after the White House withheld its endorsement for 10 days while aides hinted that he would be replaced. Snow was kept on only after the White House considered a variety of possible replacements and sounded out at least one top official on Wall Street. That executive turned the White House down, according to financial executives. President Bush ended speculation that Treasury Secretary John W. Snow, right, was on his way out. Bush was looking for a replacement because Republican leaders on Capitol Hill said he needed a more dynamic outsider of stature to sell skeptical lawmakers on his politically risky proposals to rewrite the tax code and allow workers to invest part of their Social Security taxes in stocks and bonds." To the postal world, this IS news, since Treasury seems to be one of the lead agencies in forming Administration thinking on American postal reform.
December 9, 2004 -- American Postal Workers Union President William Burrus recently told his members:
Recent media reports about the price of a first-class stamp going up to 41 cents overlooked a simple truth: the increase could be avoided or mitigated if high-volume mailers – the big advertisers and corporations who send millions of pieces of mail each year – paid their fair share. These mailers receive deep postage discounts for filling America's mailboxes with credit card offers and other solicitations. In fact, while individuals and small businesses currently pay 37 cents to mail a first-class letter, corporate mailers often pay as little as 9 cents. Over the years, the mailing industry has established and expanded so-called "worksharing discounts" for mailers who pre-sort their mail, but the discounts far exceed the costs the USPS would incur if it sorted the mail itself. This corporate welfare drains billions of dollars in revenue from the Postal Service every year, forcing the USPS to raise postage rates and leaving individual mailers and small businesses to make up the difference. If everyone – including the mailing industry – paid their share, postage rates could remain stable.
December 9, 2004 -- Borsen-Zeitung (Germany) has reported that "Deutsche Post, the German postal service operator, and Dutch competitor TPG have expressed an interest in the partial privatisation of Belgium's leading postal service operator. The two companies are also interested in acquiring the 25 per cent holding in Denmark's state-owned postal service operator which is about to be sold. A spokesman for Deutsche Post said yesterday that his group was examining whether to bid for the stake in the Belgian operator. The EU postal sector will be fully deregulated after 2007. Meanwhile, DHL, Deutsche Post's express delivery subsidiary, is to increase its prices as of 1 January 2005."
December 9, 2004 -- The Irish Times has reported that "The Tanaiste insisted postal workers had not fully exhausted the State's industrial relations machinery. Ms Harney said that some 10,000 staff worked in the postal service. "In the past, agreements have been made but productivity has not been forthcoming," she added. The Tanaiste was answering questions in the Dail before the postal workers held a rally outside Leinster House."
December 9, 2004 -- The Irish Independent has reported that "AN POST management was last night preparing to sue the postal workers' union to recover revenue lost through yesterday's one-day official strike."
December 9, 2004 -- The Irish Examiner has reported that "AN POST will cease to exist and the Royal Mail will be handling all Irish postal services within a few years, if the current difficulties are not resolved, Communications Minister Noel Dempsey said yesterday."
December 9, 2004 -- According to Ireland Online, "Communications Minister Noel Dempsey has invited An Post unions and management to meet with him in an effort to resolve their long-running difficulties."
December 9, 2004 -- Geek.co m has reported that "Plastic Logic Ltd. and E Ink Corp. established a non-exclusive agreement to pool their talents in design and fabrication of flexible plastic displays. Plastic Logic develops printed, flexible Thin-Film Transistor (TFT) arrays, and E Ink develops electronic paper display technology; combining the two technologies results in flexible active matrix displays. These displays are valuable to a number of markets, including mobile phones, e-books, e-maps, and e-newspapers."
December 9, 2004 -- According to PC World, "Seiko Epson is developing flexible display technologies that it expects will lead to the commercialization of electronic paper before the end of the decade, and later TVs that can be peeled off walls, a company scientist says. Advertisement The company is developing "e-paper" that can be rolled up and folded as a replacement for paper-based newspapers or magazines, says Tatsuya Shimoda, fellow and director of Epson's technology platform research center. The electronic paper is expected to be on the market in five years, he says."
December 9, 2004 -- Heard it thru the grapevine....One of the Postal Rate Commission's most senior staff members, chief of technical analysis and policy Robert Cohen, will be retiring shortly after the beginning of the new year. And other news....In 2005, Anthony Gallo will be stepping down as vice president of the Association for Postal Commerce; stepping up as vice president will be former Business Mailers Review editor Kate Muth.
December 9, 2004 -- According to the Kyodo news service, "A postal privatization panel of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party on Wednesday called for clarifying the criteria for setting up post offices while accepting the privatization of Japan Post from April 2007."
December 9, 2004 -- AFX (Europe) has reported that "Currently, there are two European countries planning to get involved in this process: Belgium and Denmark, and TPG has expressed interested in buying stakes in the postal operators from both countries."
December 9, 2004 -- Datam onitor (U.K.) has reported that "Dutch postal and logistics group TPG [TPG.AS] has is considering selective acquisitions in the European postal market, according to the Dutch newspaper the Het Financieele Dagblad. The move forms part of a wider contest in the European postal market, with the bigger operators competing to secure stakes in postal companies, as Europe's postal sector opens up to competition. Currently, there are two European countries planning to get involved in this process: Belgium and Denmark, and TPG has expressed interested in buying stakes in the postal operators from both countries."
December 9, 2004 -- The Associated Press has reported that "A union whose truck drivers are contract employees for the U.S. Postal Service has authorized a strike in five cities. Drivers for Mail Contractors of America Inc. are not yet on strike, but said they will consider striking during the holiday season because the company eliminated benefits that had been obtained in past collective bargaining agreements. The strike authorization vote, announced last week, affects about 500 workers in MCA terminals in Kansas City, Kan.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Des Moines, Iowa; Greensboro, N.C.; and Memphis. Mail Contractors, based in Little Rock, Ark., is the largest contract hauler of mail for the postal service, hauling nearly 10 percent of all U.S. mail in city-to-city driving. The company has terminals in 20 cities and drivers in 15 of those cities are not unionized."
December 8, 2004 -- The Associated Press has reported that "President Bush was poised Wednesday to sign a $388 billion legislative package that covers the spending of every federal agency but the Pentagon and Department of Homeland Security. It includes for the Postal Service $507 million for equipment to detect biohazards and to build a postal facility in Washington, D.C., to irradiate mail to destroy possible biological contamination." UPDATE: The bill was signed.
December 8, 2004 -- NZZ Online has reported that "Swiss Post and unions representing postal workers have ended their dispute, lifting the threat of strike action over the Christmas holiday period."
December 8, 2004 -- CEP News (Courier-Express-Postal) has reported that:
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December 8, 2004 -- Traffic World has reported that:
December 8, 2004 -- House government reform committee chairman Tom Davis (R-VA) told his colleagues that "Early next spring, the Postal Service will file for a rate increase, to be implemented in 2006. Unless Congress acts, that rate increase will be one of the largest in history--at least 15 percent, or 6 cents on a First Class stamp. That will cripple an industry already in trouble, and reverberate through our entire economy. It would be irresponsible and reckless for us to sit back and do nothing."
December 8, 2004 -- Ireland Online has reported that "Thousands of postal workers have turned out at a rally in Dublin to highlight their ongoing dispute with An Post management. The workers are engaging in a one-day strike today to protest at what they describe as the company's failure to honour a number of union-management agreements." Ireland Online also has reported that "Postal workers have not ruled out further disruptions before Christmas after a one-day stoppage today, it has emerged."
December 8, 2004 -- From the PR Newswire: "A fraud scheme speeding across the Internet may cost U.S. residents time, money and a not-so-pleasant chat with bank and law enforcement officials for passing counterfeit postal money orders. According to U.S. Postal Inspectors, the scam begins when someone needing help to cash phony postal money orders contacts a victim by e-mail, through an Internet chat room or on-line auction site. Once the bogus money orders are cashed, the victim returns the funds via wire transfer, often unaware they have assisted in a federal crime."
December 8, 2004 -- According to the Wall Street Journal, "There is a host of new options for one of the holiday season's bigger headaches: shipping all those sweaters, dollhouses and video-game machines. In the past 12 months, the shipping industry has changed significantly, with major players stepping up their focus on the consumer side of the business. Since last December, FedExCorp., United Parcel Service Inc. and DHL, a subsidiary of Germany's Deutsche Post World Net, all have made moves that sharply increase their presence in the lucrative niche of charging consumers to both pack and ship their packages."
December 8, 2004 -- As the Fina ncial Times has noted, "TPG, Dutch post and logistics group, yesterday set a new medium-term target for its express delivery business, saying the unit would achieve a 10 per cent operating margin in 2007. TPG would use surplus cash for investments, rather than share buy-backs, he said. It is targeting acquisitions in freight forwarding, to fill gaps in its express network in emerging markets, and for European mail consolidation and Chinese growth. Currently only two European governments have announced moves to unlock parts of former monopoly mail networks: Belgium and Denmark. Austria has withdrawn plans and there is little clarity over Italian postal liberalisation prospects, said Harry Koorstra, managing director for TPG's mail division. TPG has a team investigating the Belgian sale and in October expressed interest in the 25 per cent of Post Danmark being sold by the Danish government."
December 8, 2004 -- The Tyler Morning Telegraph has reported that "Though some area postal customers were upset at learning Tyler post offices no longer allow the familiar Salvation Army bell ringers at three locations around town, a postal service spokesman confirmed Tuesday the decision was a matter of federal law."
December 8, 2004 -- Northern Life has reported that "If there is a postal strike this Christmas, mail services won't be affected. That's the message Canada Post is trying to put out as it faces a possible strike by 2,400 administrative support and clerical workers. The workers belong to the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) component of the Union of Postal Communications Employees (UPCE). There are only four of these UPCE members in the Sudbury area, but they could go on strike as soon as Dec. 9. Seventy-three percent of the union voted in favour of a strike last month. "These people do not collect, process or deliver the mail," says Canada Post spokesperson John Caines. "The message I'd like to put out is that there is no threat of any mail disruption, no matter what happens. We're confident we can negotiate. We just need to get them back to the table."
December 8, 2004 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that "The German competition authorities have announced that Deutsche Post has submitted a request to buy the logistics divisions of struggling German retail and mail order company KarstadtQuelle AG. A request was submitted to the office on December 1st."
December 8, 2004 -- Ireland Online has reported that "Postal services throughout the country have come to a standstill this morning due to a one-day strike by members of the Communications Workers Union (CWU)."
December 8, 2004 -- The U.S. Postal Service has reported it achieved a surplus for a second consecutive fiscal year, but the news was tempered by comments that marketplace forces are changing the character of the mail and could threaten postal financial viability in future years. For the fiscal year that ended September 30, 2004, the Postal Service had a net income of $3.1 billion on revenues of $69 billion. "We achieved our business goals in 2004 to improve service, reduce costs and continue to build our business," said Postmaster General John E. Potter at the Postal Service's Board of Governors year-end meeting. Expenses were $900 million better than forecast and debt was reduced to $1.8 billion, down from a high of $11 billion two years ago. A copy of the Chief Financial Officer's presentation to the Board has been posted on this site.
December 8, 2004 -- Politics.ie (Ireland) has reported that "Sinn Féin Dáil leader Caoimhghn Ó Caoláin has called for direct Government intervention to address the crisis in An Post on the eve of a State-wide stoppage by postal workers. Deputy Ó Caoláin called on the Taoiseach to intervene in the Dáil this afternoon but said Bertie Ahern's response showed the Government "had its head in the sand as a vital State service is downgraded".
December 8, 2004 -- According to the Memphis Business Journal, "The thoroughbreds of the American shipping industry, FedEx Corp. and United Parcel Service, going at it like a horse race that doesn't stop, both broke their trading records on Tuesday for the second time in as many trading days."
December 7, 2004 -- On November 30th, the USPS launched a new, updated version of the MERLIN page on usps.com. MERLIN - an acronym for Mail Evaluation Readability Lookup INstrument - is an acceptance tool used by business mail entry unit (BMEU) personnel to check the preparation of discount rate mailings. "The updated MERLIN site is easy to use and contains more information to help our customers properly prepare their mailings," says Pritha Mehra, Manager, Marketing Technology and Channel Management. "Mailings that are properly prepared prior to acceptance benefit both customers and the Postal Service." Features of the updated MERLIN site include: (1) Help for customers in designing their mailpieces and preparing quality mailings. (2) Details of the MERLIN verification process - what MERLIN does and what it analyzes. (3) Specifics of the MERLIN appeal process - how and where to file. (4) Resources and tools to use, such as how to find a mailpiece design analyst (MDA) or locate a BMEU. (5) Explanation of the MERLIN reports - how to read them and what the data means. Check out the updated MERLIN site at http://www.usps.com/merlin .
December 7, 2004 -- From the Business Wire:
December 7, 2004 -- USAToday has reported that "For the first time, Americans' use of credit cards, debit cards and other electronic bill paying has eclipsed paper checks. The number of electronic payment transactions last year totaled 44.5 billion — exceeding the number of checks paid, 36.7 billion — according to Federal Reserve studies released Monday."
December 7, 2004 -- The Irish Independent has reported that "POSTMEN planning to strike tomorrow are earning over €900 a week, with the average Dublin postman on a package of €39,000 a year, according to An Post. Details of their earnings emerged last night, with many able to double their €23,000 - or €442 a week - basic pay. The breakdown came after their union stated it was taking industrial action over non-payment of Sustaining Progress pay rises. Details secured by theIrish Independent show a postman or woman is on a basic of €23,000 a year, with a €5,000 allowance paid in Dublin and €4,000 around the country. Overtime averages €11,000 in Dublin. Some earn about €1,000 and a few up to €20,000 extra. An Post said it pays €39m in overtime."
December 7, 2004 -- According to the Lincolnshir e Echo (U.K.), "Postal services in Lincolnshire have suffered some of the worst cuts in Britain over the last five years, it emerged today. The county lost 15 per cent of its post offices between October 1999 and April 2004 - a total loss of 30 branches."
December 7, 2004 -- Dow Jones has reported that "Dutch postal and logistics firm TPG NV has said it will meet its operating-margin targets set for full-year 2004. These targets include a margin of around 21.5% at its mail unit, Chief Executive Peter Bakker told a meeting with analysts. Operating margins at the Express division is set at 7.5% to 8%. The logistics units is seen with an operating margin of around 4%, Bakker added. The company sees a total of around EUR200 million-EUR300 million within a three to five year period, said Bakker, adding that the company would continue to explore opportunities in the Chinese mail market."
December 7, 2004 -- The Daily News (Sri Lanka) has reported that "The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) investigating in connection with the tampering of foreign mail bags and the removing of foreign currency sent to Sri Lankans from abroad yesterday informed the Post Master General to take disciplinary action against the 16 employees of the Postal Department who are involved in the alleged fraud."
December 7, 2004 -- High River Times has asked and answered the question: "Is e-mail replacing direct mail? Is direct mail going the way of the dinosaur? Direct mail has suffered some huge blows, namely, higher mailing costs and the anthrax scare in the U.S. has driven up costs further. Now the U.S. Postal Service has integrated new security measures and equipment. What that means for entrepreneurs is pretty devastating: they can no longer rely on direct mail to launch a new business or grow an existing one. It looks like our golden age of direct marketing is coming to an end. E-mail marketing will supplant direct mail. It's becoming more and more expensive to acquire customers the old way -- by mailing catalogues to unsuspecting recipients. It seems likely that postage rates will go up radically in years to come. The anthrax scare just turns up the heat on these rates. Companies and individuals will be seeking one more incentive to get away from mail. And both have started to become more comfortable with the Internet."
December 7, 2004 -- PersonnelToday.com has noted that "London's postal delivery service is being undermined by poorly trained and inexperienced casual workers employed by Royal Mail to plug a staffing crisis, according to an investigation by the London Evening Standard. Morale at delivery offices across London is at an all-time low, with managers and staff facing an unbearable workload even before the Christmas rush, the newspaper claims. An undercover reporter working as a casual said he was sent out on deliveries without any training or proper instruction about unfamiliar routes. His references were never taken up."
December 7, 2004 -- Cyprus-m ail.com has reported that "microchip-fitted mail is part of a quality-control plan undertaken by the Post Office, which hopes to improve efficiency by speeding up delivery. The process roughly works like this: an antenna enables the chip to transmit the identification information to a reader. The reader converts the radio waves into digital information that can be passed on to computers that can make use of it."
December 7, 2004 -- PostalReporter.com has noted that "The USPS has provided the APWU with a deployment schedule dated Nov. 2, 2004, Nov. 2, 2004, (deployment schedule only) and an APPS Methods Guide, dated August 2004. (Deployment schedules dated August 2004, and June 25, 2004, are now obsolete.) The deployment of these machines will affect the staffing levels of SPBS clerks. Each APPS machine can eliminate two or three Small Parcel Bundler Sorter (SPBS) machines, and has a throughput of 18,000 pieces per hour. Staffing in Associate Offices may also be affected, due to the consolidation of parcel distribution, similar to what occurred with flats when FSM 100 machines were introduced. Some SPBS machines may be redeployed into some offices that did not previously have them."
December 7, 2004 -- The Kansas City Star has reported that "Drivers for Mail Contractors of America Inc. said they may conduct a work stoppage after the company unilaterally eliminated benefits previously obtained in collective bargaining. Those withdrawn benefits, according to the workers, include company contributions to health insurance, company disability insurance, paid sick leave, vacation improvements and paid breaks."
December 7, 2004 -- The DM Bulletin (U.K.) has reported that "Postwatch has refused to retract its advice to the public to send Christmas cards by second-class post, after receiving threats of legal action from a 'furious' Royal Mail. Postwatch, the watchdog for postal services, issued advice on November 29 that second-class stamps were better value at Christmas than first-class stamps because cards using them were more likely to arrive within three days than first class-stamped card were to arrive the next day. Postwatch told consumers: "At Christmas time, a first-class stamp does not mean a first-class service."
December 7, 2004 -- According to USA Today, "Advertising spending will grow robustly in 2005 despite the absence of events like the Olympics, media buying agencies Universal McCann and ZenithOptimedia said Monday as they raised their forecasts. Bob Coen, a senior vice president at Universal McCann, predicted that U.S. advertising would rise 6.4% next year to $280.6 billion as national advertisers loosen their purse strings following several years of restraint.the Internet continued to draw more advertising dollars in 2004, with spending jumping 25% over 2003. Spending on direct mail advertising also rose 8%, which Coen attributed in part to restrictions on telemarketing spending from the new "do not call" lists."
December 7, 2004 -- The Kyodo news service has reported that "A committee to monitor four entities to be created by privatizing the state-backed Japan Post will be given various powers including advising Cabinet ministers."
December 6, 2004 -- House Government Reform Committee chairman Tom Davis (R-VA) gave his House colleagues an earful on what will happen to the American postal system if it goes without legislative reform.
December 6, 2004 -- Interfax has reported that "The Czech IT Ministry has granted the national postal service Ceska posta (CP) the sole license to provide basic postal services in 2005, the ministry's press department announced Friday. CP, which lost its monopoly as of January 2004, was the only applicant for the license for this year. Providing basic postal services means guaranteeing delivery of letters and packages of up to 100 grams across the entire country. CP expects to deliver over 600 mln letters and postcards in full-year 2004."
December 6, 2004 -- The Tim es of Oman has reported that "Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Harthy, minister of transport and communications, received in his office here yesterday the heads of Gulf delegations taking part in 15th AGCC postal officials' conference being hosted by the Sultanate over two days. They reviewed relations between the AGCC states, particularly in post and communications spheres. Al Harthy praised the efforts exerted by post officials in the AGCC states to promote posts sector and enhance its performance to keep abreast with modern developments in the telecommunications spheres and to work on finding new means to further improve postal work."
December 5, 2004 -- RTE News (Ireland) has reported that "The housing charity, Focus Ireland, has appealed to management and unions at An Post to avoid a Christmas postal strike at all costs. It said a Christmas strike could cripple fundraising drives by charities."
December 5, 2004 -- The Times (U.K.) has reported that "LAWYERS have been called in to settle a row that has broken out between Royal Mail and Postwatch, the consumer watchdog for postal services."
December 5, 2004 -- PoynterOnline has asked: "Just how deep is the newspaper circulation scandal of 2004? Combined with other substantial circulation losses, how damaging will it be to the bread and butter of advertising revenues for 2004, for 2005 and by extension in years to come? Is it yet another sign of the gradual but inexorable decline of the industry and the medium in which many of us practice journalism? These will be top-of-mind questions as the curtain rises Monday on a pair of annual Media Week conferences in New York. The meeting provides a platform for executives of publicly-traded newspaper companies to present their results and prospects to analysts and investors. This year, the usually polite and deferential Wall Street audience will probably be asking more pointed questions than usual."
December 4, 2004 -- According to GovExec.com, "Over the last three years, the Postal Service has managed to save billions of dollars through a broad range of organizational improvements, and in November, the agency issued an annual report on progress toward the Transformation Plan, a comprehensive strategy put into place in April 2002."
December 4, 2004 -- According to Reuters, "United Parcel Service Inc. , the world's largest package delivery firm, said on Friday that it is evaluating China's domestic express market but is concerned about the country's proposed postal legislation. China's State Postal Bureau (China Post), which regulates the postal market and operates delivery services, has faced rising competition from international rivals such as UPS although it still keeps the domestic part of the business for itself. But overseas delivery companies are lobbying the government to open the domestic market."
December 4, 2004 -- Le Monde (France) has reported that "The French competition authority, Conseil de la Concurrence, has reduced by 90 per cent the fine imposed on the French post office, La Poste, for anti-competitive practices. The regulator has decided that La Poste, which was found guilty of thwarting competition by granting discounts to corporate customers, should pay a smaller fine because it has agreed to change its practices."
December 4, 2004 -- According to Irish Times, "A 24-hour stoppage by postal workers is to go ahead on Wednesday despite the opening of new union-management talks on the future of An Post's parcels division, SDS. Chris Dooley , Industry and Employment Correspondent, reports."
December 4, 2004 -- CRMDaily has reported that "A U.S. Postal Inspection Service's ad advises consumers on how to protect themselves against fraudulent telemarketers and provides a toll-free number to register for the Do Not Call list. Telemarketers are challenging the use of the U.S. Postal Service to endorse the registry."
December 4, 2004 -- Crain's Chicago Business has reported that "Direct marketing can be a thankless business—just ask the telemarketer you hung up on last week. The do-not-call list and rising postal rates mean direct marketers are reaching fewer consumers, leaving the $200-billion industry in search of new tactics. For the first time in its 87-year history, a guy who specializes in television will lead those efforts as chairman of Direct Marketing Assn. Chicagoan Ron Bliwas, president and CEO of A. Eicoff & Co., was recently appointed to a one-year term heading the board of New York-based DMA."
December 3, 2004 -- Hot stuff!! Time Inc. Production seeks a distribution professional to join its regional field operations in our Dallas office. The person in this position will support the magazine production teams in New York, by being responsible for the distribution and logistics of 4 weekly magazine titles. Primary duties involve creating distribution plans for the magazine teams, managing on going distribution initiatives, reporting/resolving issues with the U.S. Postal Office and managing our transportation vendors. Some responsibilities include (but not limited to) resolving shipping discrepancies, identifying cost savings through routing schemes, carrier alternatives and postal entry points and seeking newsstand and subscriber delivery opportunities. Additionally, he/she will serve as the primary contact with the districts of the USPS that service their region, negotiate arrival requirements, monitor delivery performance, and optimize transportation networks. The distribution manager will be responsible for selecting trucking companies, based on price, service and capabilities and working with printers to establish dispatch plans, understand schedules and meet shipping requirements.
December 3, 2004 -- USPS, Transform Thyself....This and other items are available in the latest issue of the NAPUS Legislative Newsletter, which has been posted on the National Association of Postmasters of the U.S. web site.
December 3, 2004 -- According to the North Lake Tahoe Bonanza, the Postal Service's "tracking" system and customer service could use some spiffing up.
December 3, 2004 -- Business Mailers Review has reported that:
December 3, 2004 -- The Irish Independent has reported that "THOUSANDS of rural residents could find their postal service operated by private contractors if controversial proposals set out by An Post are adopted next week. Plans to outsource around 100 rural delivery routes are part of a wider strategy devised by the company to address its continuing financial crisis."
December 3, 2004 -- Federal Times has noted that "The White House says that bills now before the House and Senate that would overhaul the way the U.S. Postal Service operates fall short in several areas and must be toughened."
December 3, 2004 -- Direct has reported that "After peaking in June with nearly 375 million new direct mail offers, mail volume has declined each month since, settling at a year-to-date low of 297 million acquisition pieces in September, according to a recent report by Mintel Comperemedia. "While the overall volume of direct mail offers may have declined, consumer response rates and attitudes have stayed the same since the first of the year," said Rob Cartwright, manager of Comperemedia research."
December 3, 2004 -- Fiber2F ashion has reported that "Express and logistics company DHL announced yesterday that The Talbots Inc., a specialty retailer and e-tailer of women's apparel, shoes and accessories, chose DHL's DHL@home business-to-consumer delivery service for a substantial portion of its U.S. print and online catalog sales. DHL@home is a service DHL offers through a partnership with the U.S. Postal Service. DHL picks up, sorts and delivers parcel shipments via its network to the postal facility nearest the consumer, and the USPS performs the last part of the delivery process. DHL@home offers delivery options of two to four or two to seven days."
December 3, 2004 -- Ireland Online has reported that "The Communications Workers Union is to hold talks with An Post over the weekend in an effort to resolve a dispute over the company's plans to close its SDS parcel delivery service. This weekend's talks are unlikely to avert the strike action, but An Post will be hoping to convince the CWU to refrain from further action in the run-up to Christmas."
December 3, 2004 -- Les Echos (France) has reported that "French postal workers' union Unsa-Postes has welcomed news that La Poste, the national postal services group, is to begin selling rail tickets from next year. The union says that the move will be good for local postal services."
December 3, 2004 -- From the BusinessWire: "George Brooks, formerly the UPS Rocky Mountain District manager, has been promoted to vice president of operations for the UPS Southeast Region. Brooks, a Georgia native, now oversees the package delivery activities of 45,000 UPS employees who work in Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida. Joe Tringale, a 29-year UPS veteran, has been named vice president of Georgia District operations. In this role, Tringale is responsible for the 8,000 workers, 26 package centers and four distribution hubs that make up the Georgia District. He reports to Brooks."
December 3, 2004 -- The Tri angle Business Journal has reported that "ABB, which has about 400 Triangle employees, said Thursday that it has won a $48 million robotics contract from the United States Postal Service. ABB will supply robotics containerization systems to assist USPS mail processing facilities in handling several million items of mail each day. Each of the 67 systems that ABB is providing will contain two robots that automatically sort, move and stack mail trays based on zip code information embedded in bar codes on the containers."
December 3, 2004 -- NewsJax4.com has reported that "Union mail haulers in five cities, including Jacksonville, have voted to authorize a strike against the U.S. Postal Service just as the busy holiday mail season begins. A total of 500 drivers from Jacksonville, Des Moines, Iowa, Greensboro, N.C., Memphis, Tenn., and Kansas City voted to authorize the work stoppage if there is no contract. There's no specific information about how many of these drivers are from Jacksonville. Postal office officials said they have a contingency plan that would keep the mail moving, but the American Postal Workers Union said a work stoppage would disrupt mail service."
December 3, 2004 -- According to BruneiDirect.com, "The Department of Postal Services yesterday launched the "Help Us to Help You" campaign at the Ministry of Communications to encourage the use of letterboxes at homes and buildings in the country. Acting Postmaster General Awg Hj Azahari bin Mohamad Ali said the use of letterboxes will help postmen to deliver mail items such as letters and parcels safely."
December 2, 2004 -- Bu siness World (Ireland) has reported that "Small and medium business lobby group, ISME, today slammed the decision by postal workers to stage a one-day strike next Wednesday. ISME described the announcement of a postal strike next Wednesday as a body blow to small businesses in the build up to the busy Christmas period, particularly in light of the recent announcement of the closure of SDS."
December 2, 2004 -- Ireland Online has reported that "Postal services are set for disruption next Wednesday when An Post workers will stage a national day of protest. The decision for a 24 hour stoppage has been taken by the Communications Workers Union following an all-day meeting."
December 2, 2004 -- Le Figaro (France) has reported that "The French competition authorities have approved a 90 per cent reduction in the financial sanction it would normally have imposed on national postal services group La Poste for abuse of dominant position in its mail and parcel delivery services."
December 2, 2004 -- The Irish Independent has reported that "AN POST employees are planning a pre-Christmas national postal strike next week as the battle over closing the SDS parcels division intensifies. The move is intended to shut down all post offices and stop postal sorting and deliveries from midnight next Tuesday. Last night union activists indicated that the action would initially be restricted to a one-day stoppage."
December 2, 2004 -- Financial Times Deutschland has reported that "According to reports, German publishing groups Axel Springer Verlag and Georg von Holtzbrinck signed contracts last week regarding the acquisition of a majority stake in Pin, a German company that provides postal services. Each of the two publishing companies is to acquire a stake of 30 per cent in Pin, although the groups later hope to increase their combined stake to 75 per cent. The supervisory board of Springer has yet to approve the deal. In acquiring this stake, the two companies are hoping to build up a service to rival that of Deutsche Post, the German postal service operator. The monopoly that this company currently has on the market for the delivery of letters is due to come to an end in 2007."
December 2, 2004 -- CEP News (Courier-Express-Postal) has reported that:
December 2, 2004 -- The DM Bulletin has reported that British postal regulator "Postcomm has begun consulting on the licensing framework that needs to be in place when the postal market is fully open to competition. Postcomm wants the framework to encourage new companies to enter the market, while providing sufficient safeguards to protect the interests of customers. Its favoured date for the introduction of full competition is January 1 2006. It has proposed two codes of practice that should be adopted by licensed operators. One code covers mail integrity and includes rules on security of the mail and lays down procedures to be followed if mail is interfered with. It also provides rules on staff selection and training, and requires the collection of statistics to enable Postcomm and Postwatch, and anyone else who asks, to measure the licensee's performance. The other code would require all mail companies to cooperate on common operational issues such as the forwarding of mail and handling mail that is returned to sender. This is necessary to ensure that customers are not disadvantaged in a multi-operator market."
December 2, 2004 -- The Bu siness Ledger has noted that "The likelihood of a postal rate increase by 2006 has nearly everyone involved with the nearly $1 trillion postal industry wondering. With little argument, most all see the need for reform; it's reaching an agreement that everyone's happy with that is the problem. Postal workers receive certain benefits that no other government employee receives. They have the right to strike, collective bargaining and arbitration. Therefore, an unsuccessful post office has little chance of being closed and workers can continue to expect premium retirement and health benefits. Any legislation that would attempt to change this probably wouldn't have much of a chance of survival. "The postal workers want to keep the post office alive, it's their jobs, but they have made it clear that any bill that changes these ‘sacred rights' would be dead in the water," said Comarow. "They would unleash their myriad members and the Republicans and Democrats would cave in in a heartbeat." It's not a strike that the government would be worried about, Comarow said, noting that, instead, Congress is afraid to act because many members fear they would be voted out of office if they did not agree to the postal workers' requests."
December 2, 2004 -- UsingRFID has reported that "The global rush to adopt RFID technology, which many industry experts agree is at least a decade away from full deployment, is overshadowing existing technology solutions that offer suppliers many of the same benefits including electronic pedigrees, according to Secure Symbology Inc (SSI)."
December 2, 2004 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that:
December 2, 2004 -- eWeek has reported that "Enterprises that haven't gotten the expected results from their CRM implementations may soon get a boost from an unlikely source: Pitney Bowes Inc., a company best known for its office postage meters and other mailing equipment. Pitney Bowes hopes to become a dominant player in a nascent branch of the CRM (customer relationship management) industry known as CCM (customer communications management). With its CCM approach, Pitney Bowes will help companies derive more value out of their customer communications, such as in the billing and call center areas."
December 1, 2004 -- Les Echos (France) has reported that "La Poste, the French postal service operator, is planning to sell train tickets for French rail operator SNCF with effect from 2005. It already has the necessary internet terminals in around 1,000 post offices to enable ticket reservation."
December 1, 2004 -- According to Handelsblatt (Germany), "German postal services provider Deutsche Post has defended itself against accusations by trade union ver.di that separating letter sorting and delivery will lead to a drop in quality. Ver.di says that plans by Deutsche Post to use machines to automatically sort post as of 2007, instead of postal workers doing it themselves, will mean workers being forced to work part-time, which, in turn, would lead to a drop in quality. The union has also told Deutsche Post that its workers are disenchanted and working a mountain of overtime."
December 1, 2004 -- According to The Street, "The holiday season should be full of good cheer for UPS and FedEx. Both shippers are expected to benefit from the growth of online retailing, which is outpacing traditional retail sales. Most Web sites rely on the two big shipping companies to get goods to customer doorsteps. What's more, early indications of retail sales in general are robust -- with the notable exception of Wal-Mart -- which should also boost business, as some consumers send brick-and-mortar purchases via UPS and FedEx.
December 1, 2004 -- Mailing & Fulfillment Service Association postal director Leo Raymond has reported that:
Kudos to those who lent their support to this effort. But where was the Postal Service??
Mailers, printers, and industry suppliers in Washington State banded together earlier this year to fight tax-on-postage legislation scheduled to take effect on January 1. I've just been informed that, as a result of their work with the state Department of Revenue, the effective date of the rules to implement the law will be deferred until July 1. The DOR made the announcement at the conclusion of its rulemaking process, during which the industry group mounted an aggressive education campaign to make the department aware of the consequences of the law on Washington's mailers and industry suppliers. In making its announcement, the DOR acknowledged that the delay would give the industry group the opportunity to pursue a legislative remedy. While it was working with the DOR, the group was also conducting a coordinated lobbying effort with key legislators, both to raise awareness of the underlying issues and the economic impact of the law, and to garner support among those legislators who could be sponsoring or reviewing a legislative relief measure. The state's legislature meets next month, so the group's activity in Olympia will increase even more during that period. The group had also prepared a legal strategy to block implementation of the DOR's rules (on 1/1/2005), but that course of action is on hold for now.
December 1, 2004 -- According to Datamonitor, "German state-owned bank Kreditanstalt fuer Wiederaufbau (KfW) has sold a further E150 million worth of shares in Deutsche Post amid rumors that further share selling could take place in the next few weeks. The transaction speeds up the privatization process of the postal and logistics operator, from which DP stands to gain considerably by finally being free of state ties."
December 1, 2004 -- Federal Computer Week has reported that "U.S. Postal Service officials are seeking bids for postal retail software from a single vendor. USPS officials want software that runs under Microsoft Windows and is flexible enough to handle USPS' diverse business operations. In a bid request issued Nov. 26, USPS officials listed 56 mailing functions that they need the software to perform. In addition to supporting those functions, the software must run on USPS' existing hardware, which includes 78,000 terminals bought in the late 1990s and later. Officials plan to gradually replace USPS' oldest hardware with newer Model HP RP-5000 computers from Hewlett Packard."
December 1, 2004 -- RTE Interactive has reported that "The Executive of the Communication Workers Union is meeting tomorrow to decide whether to take industrial action at An Post and what form that action might take. Among the options being considered is a one-day stoppage on Wednesday, 8 December. The executive will also consider a novel 'no stamps' day where postal staff would accept post from customers without insisting on mail being stamped. Other possible forms of industrial action include a Christmas overtime ban, a general overtime ban, and a total strike."
December 1, 2004 -- Joseph Hurley has been named Activity-Based Costing (ABC) Manager in headquarters Corporate Financial Planning. Hurley joined the Postal Service as a management associate in 1984 and has held a number of Finance positions at the headquarters, division and area levels. His management associate experience includes assignments in mail processing, delivery, support and finance.
December 1, 2004 -- From the PR Newswire:
December 1, 2004 -- News Today (India) has reported that "R Ganesan has taken over as secretary, Department of Posts. Hitherto, he was member (Operations), Postal Services Board. A postgraduate from IIT Madras, Ganesan has held various senior positions in the Postal Department as CPMG, UP Circle and Principal Post Master General of Maharashtra Circle, an official release issued from New Delhi said. He was consultant with the Universal Postal Union for Training in development of postal network in Asia and Pacific regions."
December 1, 2004 -- KCRA-TV has reported that "To help make shipping easier during the holiday season, the U.S. Postal Service has set up automated centers all over the country. But with all the security threats, a former top government inspector says the Postal Service is backpedaling on security in order to make a profit."
December 1, 2004 -- The Des Moines Register has reported that "With the holiday rush of mail about to get into full swing, union truck drivers at terminals in five cities, including Des Moines, have voted to authorize a strike against the largest contract truck hauler of mail for the U.S. Postal Service. A strike deadline hasn't been set, but the American Postal Workers Union said a work stoppage would disrupt mail service. The company, Mail Contractors of America of Little Rock, Ark., disagreed, saying contingency plans have been made to assure that deliveries will continue as usual."
December 1, 2004 -- The Peninsula (Qatar) has reported that "The General Postal Corporation (Q-Post) yesterday opened a specialised training course for postal inspectors who would be assigned to monitor and audit postal business."
December 1, 2004 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that "Deutsche Post World Net (DPWN) hopes to establish a joint venture in New Zealand between DHL, its express subsidiary and the New Zealand post office, according to reports. The company hopes that this will allow it to further penetrate the Australasian market in which it has a turnover of $185m. Growth in the market, in which TNT is particularly strong, has so far proved difficult for the company. The deal is planned to be completed by the end of 2004."
December 1, 2004 -- DMNews has reported that "Thomas A. Quadracci, president/CEO of Quad/Graphics, takes over as chairman/CEO of the company starting Jan. 1, replacing current chairman Richard A. Burke, the firm announced yesterday. Burke will remain on the board of directors as vice chairman. In addition, J. Joel Quadracci will receive a promotion to president and chief operating officer of Quad/Graphics. Thomas A. Quadracci took over as president/CEO upon the death in 2002 of his brother, company founder Harry Quadracci, and has been on the board of directors since 1995."
December 1, 2004 -- Financial Times Deutschland has reported that "Kreditanstalt fur Wiederaufbau (KfW), the German state-owned development bank, sold 1bn euros' worth of shares in Deutsche Post, the German postal service operator, on the stock market yesterday. The bank took advantage of the fact that the value of the shares on the German stock market had reached an annual high. The sale means that the bank now has scope for taking over more Deutsche Post shares that are currently held by the state. Until now, scope for this was limited, as the bank owned almost 43 per cent of Deutsche Post shares and would have needed to consolidate the company on its accounts if its stake had risen to more than 50 per cent."
December 1, 2004 -- Die Welt (Germany) has reported that "German postal services provider Deutsche Post is to expand its operations in New Zealand. A joint venture, which Deutsche Post hopes will be implemented before the end of the year, is to be set up between DHL, Deutsche Post's parcel subsidiary, and NZ Post, the New Zealand postal service. The joint venture will allow DHL to take greater advantage of the Australian/New Zealand express deliveries market. DHL operations in this area have yearly turnover of around $185m. DHL already operates air cargo services between Australia and New Zealand, but growth has so far proven difficult."
December 1, 2004 -- The Canberra Times has reported that "Australia Post has delivered for the people of Gundaroo, slashing its bureaucratic red tape to see the township's threatened post office transferred to a new owner by Christmas. A crisis meeting of 150 Gundaroo residents held at the public school last night gave its stamp of approval to local businessman Paul Carmody taking over the post office as soon as possible. Licence-holders for the past two years, Deborah Colliver and John Donley had announced they could no longer provide the vital service for financial reasons, prompting the public meeting. Mr Donley told the meeting the risk of losing its postal service had galvanised the Gundaroo community ''which was a good thing.'' The last time the post office licence changed hands it had taken a great deal of time due to an absence of interested parties."