Postal News from April 2005
April 30, 2005 -- The latest issue of
the PostCom Bulletin is available online. Hey! You've not been getting the weekly PostCom Bulletin--the
best postal newsletter anywhere...bar none?
Send us by
email your name, company,
company title, postal and email address.
Get a chance to see what you've been missing.
April 30, 2005 -- From the Business Wire: "FedEx Freight, the less-than-truckload (LTL) subsidiary of FedEx Corp., will implement a 5.6 percent general rate increase effective May 16, 2005. The increase will apply to interstate and intrastate traffic, and selected shipments between the United States and Mexico and Canada. FedEx Freight is a leading U.S. provider of regional and inter-regional LTL freight services. This general rate increase applies only to the LTL companies within the FedEx Freight Segment. Rates for other subsidiaries of FedEx Corp., including FedEx Express, FedEx Ground, and FedEx Kinko's, are not affected."
April 30, 2005 -- The Guardian (U.K.) has reported that "How to reward staff. How to support them. How to retain them when the pool of young talent is declining all the time. These are just some of the issues faced by human resources departments every day. Royal Mail, one of Britain's largest employers, confronts all these issues and more in its struggle to fight off increasing competition for postal services. This week, the state-owned organisation found itself in controversial territory after directors reintroduced a scheme rewarding good attendance by postal workers with prizes of cars and holiday vouchers. Unions said the scheme was a gimmick. Royal Mail, on the other hand, argued it was a genuine effort to boost staff commitment and morale."
April 30, 2005 -- Le Figaro has reported that "The French post office, La Poste, yesterday entered into a framework agreement to provide financial support for the 1,800 post offices in France which are operated by local authorities. The deal, which has been concluded after more than a decade of talks, doubles the amount paid to municipalities (900 euros) to run post offices in what are termed sensitive rural or urban areas and offices under the control of more than one local authority. In return, the post office in question must be open for 60hrs a month."
April 29, 2005 -- Traffic World has reported that "Cost cutting proved to be a key strategic move for UPS to offset weakness in the U.S. market as the company rebounded from a disappointing fourth quarter to post double-digit profit growth so far this year."
April 29, 2005 -- The latest copy of the National Association of Postmasters of the U.S. electronic governmental affairs newsletter is available on the NAPUS web site.
April 29, 2005 -- As Direct has noted, "Industry watchers are hoping Congress can get postal reform bills moving even as the Bush administration seems to be hardening its position in at least one key area."
April 29, 2005 -- The Washington Post has reported that "Congress passed a five-year, $14 trillion budget last night that will pave the way for oil drilling in parts of an Alaskan wildlife refuge, a new round of tax cuts and the first curbs on entitlements for the poor in nearly a decade. The House approved the plan by a vote of 214 to 211, and the Senate voted 52 to 47. Under the hard-fought agreement, the federal deficit, which reached a record $412 billion in 2004, would fall to $383 billion in 2006 and $211 billion by 2010. Congress would be expected to shave $35 billion off the growth of entitlement programs through 2010, the first such savings since the 1997 balanced budget agreement."
April 29, 2005 -- The Aspen Daily News has reported that "Local residents are facing extra delays to their mail; staff morale is at an all-time low at the Aspen post office; and some letters are being left in piles on the floor instead of being placed in their correct post office boxes, two postal workers claimed Thursday. "They are deliberately delaying the mail to avoid paying too much overtime," said one of Aspen's postal employees. "They refuse to work people to the maximum to ensure delivery." The U.S. Postal Service denies the allegations and says some employees are simply disgruntled at recently implemented changes. A new postmaster started at the post office in January."
April 29, 2005 -- According to DM News postal commentator Cary Baer, "The biggest problem that the USPS and mailing community have with Congress is its oft-repeated propensity to put its hand into the postal service’s wallet and extract huge sums of cash, usually with the administration’s (both Democratic and Republican) approval. It has done so with a variety of rationales, usually provided with a straight-faced explanation, of why the postal service really owes the money to the Treasury."
April 29, 2005 -- Asia Pulse has reported that "The postal privatization bills that have been submitted to the Japanese Diet sticks to the basic reform framework hammered out last autumn, Heizo Takenaka, minister in charge of postal privatization, said Wednesday. The government "repeatedly discussed the matter with the ruling coalition based on the framework drawn up last September, and it came up with the legislation's final version that is still within the framework's scope," Takenaka told reporters. "My understanding is that the bills are not watered down."
April 29, 2005 -- Dow Jones has noted that "Germany's regulator for telecommunications and postal services, RegTP, Friday said it has cut last-mile rental charges for fixed-line connections leased by Deutsche Telekom AG (DT) to competitors by 9.75% to EUR10.65 a month." Hmmm....Could changes for the "last mile" of the postal network be far behind?
April 29, 2005 -- NewIndPress (India) has reported that "Adapting itself to meet the demands of a changed scenario, the Department of Posts on Thursday launched Logistics Post, a customer-friendly endeavour for transporting high-volume cargo. ‘‘This service is a natural extension of the 150 years of experience we have in small cargo transportation. Logistics Post takes care of the complete supply chain from pick-up to transportation to delivery,’’ Postal Services director Shibu M.Job said. There are five Logistics Post booking centres in Kerala at Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Kozhikode and Kannur. Other centres will be opened subsequently, he said."
April 29, 2005 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that "A survey undertaken by Harris Interactive on behalf of UPS has provided an insight into the views of senior corporate leaders regarding their companies’ supply chains. According to the findings, an increasing number of senior corporate leaders surveyed in Europe and the United States recognize the success of their businesses is tied very closely to the effective management of their supply chains. Overwhelmingly, by a margin of 79% to 21%, the business leaders agreed that effective management of their supply chains would have "a large impact" on the ability of their companies to achieve their strategic objectives in the future. 70% of those surveyed stated their CEO now views supply chain management as either "very" or "extremely" important. Furthermore 80% of the executives surveyed stated that China would be playing an important role in their company's growth objectives within the next three years, even though few think their supply chains in China are effective right now."
April 29, 2005 -- The Kodiak Daily Mirror has reported that "In an open community meeting Wednesday, U.S. Postal Service officials from Colorado answered questions about their search for a new post office in Kodiak (AK), gave the preferred area of the new post office and outlined how they will proceed to select a new site. The community meeting was the second step in a rigid federal process for finding a solution to the current space problem at the Kodiak Post Office."
April 29, 2005 -- The Daily Yomiuri (Japan) wants to know: "The Cabinet's endorsement of the postal privatization bills Wednesday provides the opportunity to ask a few questions about the proposed reforms. How will the nation's postal services change under the reforms? Can we expect better service at post offices?"
April 29, 2005 -- Japan Today has reported that "Senior members of the governing Liberal Democratic Party decided Thursday to seek an extension of the ongoing regular Diet session beyond its scheduled end June 19 to enable the passage of a postal privatization package."
April 29, 2005 -- Be sure to check out on PostInsight "The Effects of EU Accession on the Polish Postal Market and the Resulting Political Consequences," a paper presented by Mr. Wojciech Halka, Undersecretary of State for Telecommunications, Ministry of Infrastructure at the April, 2005 BvDP conference titled "Going East - Coming West - Internal Postal Markets in Europe?"
April 29, 2005 -- As the New Zealand Herald has noted, "New Zealand Post still makes its bread and butter from the 45c stamp - it says it processes a stack of mail as high as Mt Cook every day. But the company, which in March reported a much-improved profit of $40.4 million for the second half of last year, is making more money from packages these days. In fact, it put the profit down to growth in its Express Couriers operation, which runs packages all over the country to tight delivery deadlines. The trend is the same worldwide. Postal services are sending more packages, which means more airfreight and couriers. It's a boon for the likes of FedEx and DHL. The internet is partly responsible for this parcel explosion."
April 29, 2005 -- The UN News Centre has reported that "Migrant workers around the world will soon be able to send money back home by efficient and reliable electronic transfers, eliminating the paper and manual work now involved with traditional postal money orders, under a joint project announced today by the United Nations postal agency."
April 29, 2005 -- From the PR Newswire: "Pitney Bowes Inc. has reported first quarter performance that exceeded previous revenue and earnings guidance."
April 28, 2005 -- POSTCOM MEMBERS: A summary of the transactions from today's PostCom Postal Policy Committee teleconference has been posted on this site.
April 28, 2005 -- Handelsblatt has reported that "Reg TP, the regulatory body for the telecommunications and postal services market in Germany, has said that the postal market is gradually becoming more competitive, with many new companies waiting in the wings. Deutsche Post, the German postal services group, loses its state monopoly in 2008. Matthias Kurth, chairman of Reg TP, said that Deutsche Post was coming under more pressure, but that the many smaller competitors together accounted for just 5 per cent of the market."
April 28, 2005 -- NonProfit Times has reported that "Six nonprofit umbrella organizations with members that fundraise via the mail have banded together in an attempt to blunt new United States Postal Service (USPS) rules that could force charities to mail at the more expensive first class rate as of June 1. The groups are trying to stall the implementation of the new personalized mail rules by using the USPS’s own poison, the mail. They want nonprofit mailers to send a personalized package to the USPS for approval, thus swamping the system. The next step would be litigation against the USPS, according to emails being passed between the leaders of the organizations and obtained by The NonProfit Times."
April 28, 2005 -- As The Guardian (U.K.) has warned, "Firms who attempt to copy a Royal Mail scheme rewarding employees for attending work could face compensation claims, employment advisers warned today. The postal group's scheme rewards workers who have good attendance records by entering them into prize draws. Royal Mail first ran the scheme six months ago, rewarding staff with prizes of 37 Ford Focus cars, 75 £2,000 holiday vouchers and 90,000 £150 vouchers. The firm claimed attendance soared by 10%, and this week reintroduced the scheme for a year with more than 800 prizes of cars and holiday vouchers up for grabs."
April 28, 2005 -- Letter carriers from more than 1,300 NALC branches—assisted in many areas by their rural carrier counterparts and other postal employees— will gladly lift extra loads on Saturday, May 14. That’s when they will collect food donations from families along their postal routes to help feed the less fortunate in their communities. Kudos! NALC. "Carriers care."
April 28, 2005 -- As the Associated Press has noted, "After an initial test marred by computer pranksters, Stamps.com Inc. and the U.S. Postal Service are again offering people a chance to put their personal photos on postage stamps. A new one-year test period will begin on May 17, the Santa Monica-based company said Tuesday. Stamps have also been redesigned to provide more room for images, with a sheet of 20 first-class stamps selling for $16.99."
April 28, 2005 -- From the PR Newswire: "Futuremedia plc (Nasdaq: FMDAY), a leading European e-learning content and benefits services provider, today announced it has signed an agreement with Royal Mail Group plc, the UK's postal authority, to make bicycles available to all of Royal Mail Group plc's 190,000 eligible employees under the UK government's expanded Green Travel Plan program."
April 28, 2005 -- The Board of Governors of the U.S. Postal Service will meet in Atlanta, GA, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, 265 Peachtree St., N.E. The Tuesday meeting is in closed session. The public is welcome to observe the Wednesday session in the Hong Kong/Cairo rooms of the hotel.
April 28, 2005 -- According to UPS, "An increasing number of senior corporate leaders surveyed in Europe and the United States recognize the success of their businesses is tied very closely to the effective management of their supply chains, a new poll shows. Moreover, a remarkable 80% of the executives surveyed say that China will be playing an important role in their company's growth objectives within the next three years, even though few think their supply chains in China are effective right now."
April 28, 2005 -- The Community NewWire has reported that "The Institute of Fundraising has today hit out at Royal Mail proposals to introduce a size-based pricing structure on postage claiming charities will be hardest hit. The national representative body believes the new structure could cost charities millions of pounds in lost income and force many organisations to choose between paying out on increased postage costs or reducing their direct mail and donor marketing activities." See also The Scotsman.
April 28, 2005 -- President George W. Bush today announced his intention to nominate Donald E. Booth, of Virginia, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Liberia. A career member of the Senior Foreign Service, Mr. Booth currently serves as Director of the Office of Technical and Specialized Agencies at the Department of State's Bureau of International Organization Affairs. He previously served as Director of the Office of West African Affairs. Prior to this position, Mr. Booth served as Deputy Director of the Office of Southern African Affairs. He earned his bachelor's degree from Georgetown University and his master's degrees from Boston University and the National War College. Don is the person at State who has been in charge of its international postal responsibilities. Congratulations Don!
April 28, 2005 -- AllAfrica.com has reported that "NAMPOST (Namibia) Courier workers, mainly long-distance drivers and cargo handlers, are preparing for industrial action in protest against the new employment contracts they have signed."
April 28, 2005 -- CEP News (Courier-Express-Postal) has reported that:
The Swiss "KEP & Mail" association demands that all obstructions to competition be removed and that private service providers be given access to the post's network. The association's president Peter Sutterluti criticised that the post was still benefiting from numerous privileges.
German postage rates are still much too high. During Tuesday's round-table discussion at this week's 11th European CEP Congress in Bonn, Dr Ralf Wojtek, chairman of the German Association of International Express and Courier Services (BIEK e.V.) said that "prices are too high as long as the post continues to make a 17% profit in the mail segment".
The Swedish regulatory authority Post- och telestyrelsen (PTS) does not see Posten AB's leading position on the mail market as threatened within a foreseeable future. In its most recent report ("Service och konkurrens 2005"), the authority states that there is only one serious rival among 36 licensees (in 1977 there were over 100 licensees): CityMail holds a 7.5% market share (6.6%). All other licensees together hold 0.5% of the market (0.44%).
A spokesman for Deutsche Post denied press reports, according to which the post had stopped its programme of closing small post office branches. The post was still aiming to optimise the running of the branch network on profitable principles. By the end of the year, the number of Deutsche Post branches and private agencies should have settled down at the legally stipulated number of "over 12,000".
Businesses competing with Deutsche Post intend to gain as comprehensive an access to the postal delivery network as possible by litigation. Their declared aim is to be able to drop consignments straight into the postman's bag in order to be able to expand their own business. Competitors base their claim on the partial access decreed by the Cartel Office and argue that the postal delivery network was set up with public funds. In a similar way to the energy supply industry and telecoms industry, competitors are now seeking direct access to the last mile.
Slovakia seems prepared to open its postal market to competition sooner than originally planned.
The Irish republican party Sinn Fein has urged An Post to remove around 1,000 post boxes, which bear the insignia of the British crown. The post has apparently rejected the suggestion and pointed out that the post boxes were part of Irish culture.
Red Parcel Post (RPP) intends to break open the German parcel market next year with a completely new transport and handling concept. RPP points out that all the logistics and information systems currently in use on the market are structurally more than ten years old. RPP intends to achieve better quality and cost advantages by implementing transponder labels, modular transport box systems and satellite supported delivery.
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. CEP News is a product of Manner-Romberg Unternehmensberatung, one of Europe's foremost consultancies dealing with courier-, express-, logistics- and post-related issues.
April 28, 2005 -- The NorthWest (Indiana) Times has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service is confident that it can detect any attempts at insurance fraud. But it would speak with more authority if it would change its procedures. The postal service doesn't scan packages sent through its much-ballyhooed Click-N-Ship service that allows customers to purchase postage online and print their own labels."
April 28, 2005 -- According to the Deseret News, "Meth addiction and mail theft fit neatly together. Meth addiction has reached epidemic proportions in Utah. It is the fastest growing illicit drug in the state, outpacing marijuana. More than a quarter of men and nearly 40 percent of women in treatment programs are meth abusers. The Postal Inspection Service financial crimes database lists 96 mailbox "attacks" in Utah in the past two years. Postal inspectors estimate the thieves are meth addicts 80 percent to 90 percent of the time."
April 28, 2005 -- Here's the latest from the Universal Postal Union Direct Mail Advisory Board:
Australia Post now offers a new service called Impact Mail, allowing Direct Marketers to send mail items of virtually any shape or design, ranging from shaped postcards, form-cut brochures, die-cut booklets, or multi-dimensional folds, and all without the need for an envelope. The news was highly acclaimed in Australia, and more information about the new service can be found at http://www.auspost.com.au/IXP/0,1083,CH4063%257EMO19,00.html.
La Poste (France) is also offering new DM products through its subsidiary Maileva (http://www.maileva.com). One of its new products, Mastrea, offers all the resources necessary to launch a DM campaign: address rental, creative assistance, personalization and delivery – not only by mail, but also e-mail, fax or multi-channel. Mastrea allows mailings of up to 30,000 items, and is therefore mainly for the use of SMEs, and is available 24 hours a day on Maileva's website.
La Poste de Côte d’Ivoire is also planning to launch a Direct Mail product as soon as possible. With ideas born during the workshop held by the DMAB in Abidjan in 2002, La Poste is building a database which will serve as the basis for the first campaigns. There are plans for a publication aimed at raising the awareness and teaching how to use the mail to grow the business of its customers, and plans for the creation of the Ivorian Direct Marketing Association, bringing together professionals of the industry.
One successful technique for marketers in many countries is the use of unaddressed mail, also called "door-drop". This technique has had exponential growth especially in countries where the list industry is not yet well developed – the distribution of advertising items to every mailbox in a given area may be an effective tool to collect information and start building mailing lists, from the responses received to the offers. However, unaddressed mail is also widely used in highly industrialized countries, such as in Western Europe. Here, there are a number of organizations who collect and keep valuable geo-demographic information for marketing purposes, and make it available in clusters according to postal codes or even according to the postman's route. Among current members of the DMAB offering unaddressed mail services are France, Tunisia and Brazil.
The UPU International Bureau recently conducted a survey with all member countries to describe their national legislation or policy that makes the operation of extraterritorial offices of exchange (ETOEs) on their territories legitimate or authorized. Not all countries have replied so far, but a summary of the received answers, as well as the UPU documents on the issue can be found at http://www.upu.int/etoe/en/index.shtml. This page is regularly updated.
A new section, “UPU News Centre”, now available on the UPU website, accessible from our homepage (http://www.upu.int). It features short news items about the UPU that are of interest to external stakeholders. It also includes an agenda of UPU and other postal sector events, information for the media, papers on the postal sector, as well as information on the Director General and the Deputy Director General.
The Direct Mail Advisory Board (DMAB) is a group of postal and industry organizations, and its mission is to "foster the growth of Direct Mail as a factor of economic and market expansion by increasing market knowledge and by developing the expertise of stakeholders at all levels". The UPU Direct Mail Advisory Board is open for new members. Companies and associations from the industry who have an interest in the development of Direct Mail markets worldwide can become members. Members of the DMAB can participate in a number of activities programmed for the next four years, such as our development workshops, conferences and seminars, access to important information and research, and methods and tools we are going to develop to help posts measure their DM volume growth and quality of service. If you would like more information, please do not hesitate to email email@example.com. PostCom President Gene Del Polito serves as one of the DMAB's three vice chairmen along with colleagues from Russian Post and Saudi Post.
April 28, 2005 -- As Catalog Age has noted, "Now that postal rates are likely to be going up next year (see cover story), it's more important than ever to negotiate or renegotiatiate your parcel-carrier contract."
April 28, 2005 -- Business Week has reported that "Advo Inc. shares dropped as much as 22 percent Wednesday as investors fled from the direct marketing company. Analysts also listed a possible 5.4 percent increase in postal rates in January 2006 as a reason enthusiasm might be tempered for Advo's business going forward." Soooo, postal rate increases don't hurt businesses...right? Think again.
April 28, 2005 -- TMCnet.com has reported that "In conjunction with Arbor Day 2005, Unmailme.com today announced the beta availability of its new Internet service that seeks to significantly reduce the 100 billion pieces of unsolicited -- and ignored -- advertising mail sent to U.S. homes and businesses each year." See also the Portland Business Journal.
April 28, 2005 -- AMEInfo has reported that "Emirates Post has won the first International Stevie Award for an Arab country, in the second annual International Business Awards."
April 28, 2005 -- Gulf Times has reported that "THE General Postal Corporation (Q-Post) is improving its services to help meet the goals set by the government for the complete implementation of e-government services, its chairman and chief executive Ali Mohamed al-Ali said."
April 28, 2005 -- The Nikkei
News Service has reported that "Japan Post President Masaharu Ikuta
said Wednesday that he welcomed the fact that the postal privatization
legislation suggests it may be possible for the privatized postal firms and
their holding company to maintain capital relationships with one another.
"Existing businesses in the private sector have partnerships and
cross-shareholdings with firms in different sectors," Ikuta told reporters,
adding: "Then, why not for Japan Post?" The legislation seems to have
reflected most of Japan Post's demands, he said." One wonders if and
when U.S. mailers will ever hear similar words of approval for any particular
postal reform measure out of the mouths of the USPS' leadership.
April 28, 2005 -- According to Japan Times:
The Cabinet of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi finalized a package of postal privatization bills Wednesday night after executives of his Liberal Democratic Party rammed the bills through a series of internal meetings. See also Japan Today.
Almost 60 percent of respondents to a recent poll want Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to stay in power until his term as Liberal Democratic Party president expires in September 2006. According to the survey, the public appreciates Koizumi's structural reform policies and the achievements of his Cabinet.
April 27, 2005 -- The Nikkei News Service has reported that:
The Japanese government on Wednesday night approved and submitted to the Diet a package of six bills to privatize the country's postal services, setting the stage for deliberations from early May. But whether the bills will be smoothly endorsed remains uncertain as Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's ruling Liberal Democratic Party is divided over whether its lawmakers are allowed to vote independently on the legislation. See also Kyodo News.
Japanese business leaders on Wednesday welcomed the government's submission of legislation to the current Diet session to privatize postal services, saying that the move will add fuel to Japan's structural reform.
April 27, 2005 -- Suffolk Life has reported that "On Saturday, May 14, Long Islanders are asked to participate in the 13th Annual National Association Letter Carriers and United States Postal Service Food Drive."
April 27, 2005 -- As noted in the San Francisco Chronicle, "the Center for a New American Dream is lobbying Congress for the creation of a national "do not junk" list that would allow people to block all unsolicited mail to their addresses. The concept is based on the wildly successful Do Not Call Registry, which has largely deprived households across the land of dinnertime interruptions of ringing telephones. The center reports that more than a quarter million people have gotten involved in efforts to reduce junk mail."
April 27, 2005 -- Forbes wanted to know, "What's in a ZIP? In this case, some of the priciest real estate in the country. From Beverly Hills to TriBeCa, from notorious enclaves of mansions and lush lawns to little-known niches of wealth, we looked at ZIP codes around the country to find the ones where home prices were the highest last year."
April 27, 2005 -- The Business Standard (India) has reported that "Andhra Pradesh Postal Circle of the Postal Department has achieved a turnover of Rs 96.84 crore for the year 2004-05, registering a whopping 60 per cent growth as compared to the previous year. The Andhra Pradesh Circle has also surpassed the revenue target of Rs 94 crore for the year, according to T S Govindarajan, chief postmaster-general of Andhra Pradesh Circle. The Department of Posts had set up a separate business development directorate in 1996 to design, monitor, develop and market value-added premium products of the department such as EMS Speed Post and Express Parcel Post."
April 27, 2005 -- Computerworld has noted that "When ponies delivered mail, fleet management meant keeping everyone in line at the hitching post. Today, the ponies are gone, and the U.S. Postal Service uses wireless technology to manage industrial vehicles that sort the mail. New security applications can now monitor and lock down vehicles. In January, the Postal Service contracted with I.D. Systems Inc. and Unisys Corp. to develop an enterprisewide wireless asset tracking system dubbed PIVMS, or Powered Industrial Vehicle Management System. The tracking technology will help the service manage industrial vehicles such as forklifts and secure 460 postal facilities nationwide."
April 27, 2005 -- Traffic World has reported that "On April 21, FedEx Express put two hybrid diesel electric trucks to work in Washington, D.C. The company-wide total of hybrid trucks is now 18. The company plans to add as many as 75 of the clean air vehicles to its fleet within the next 12 months, depending on pricing and availability."
April 27, 2005 -- The Akron Beacon Journal has reported that "Are 420 U.S. Postal Service jobs leaving Akron or not? U.S. Rep. Timothy J. Ryan, D-Niles, is drafting a letter to the postmaster general asking him to reconsider closing the remote-encoding center on Exeter Road. However, the USPS spokesman for Northern Ohio said he is unaware of any closing and said there is no indication the USPS will close the facility near Akron Fulton International Airport. But if such a closing is in the works, Ryan's office is trying to stop it."
April 27, 2005 -- As the Nikkei News Service (Japan) has reported that:
The government's postal privatization plan is problematic in that the government will likely continue to exercise significant control over the entity even after the privatization; the split among the mail service, postal savings and insurance operations will not be thorough enough; and the pace at which privatization proceeds will be too slow. So should the plan be abandoned for another one that would more thoroughly privatize the postal operations? That may not necessarily be a wise thing. It would be probably better to make constant efforts to improve upon the measures called for by the government plan during parliamentary deliberations and after passage of the legislation.
Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi on Tuesday entered his fifth year since taking the national helm in 2001. Koizumi has persistently committed himself to privatizing the postal services, underscoring that the initiative remains on the top of his agenda and is the biggest driving force for him.
The package of bills to privatize postal services that has emerged from lengthy political dickering between the government and the Liberal Democratic Party is a mere ghost of the original vision. After many major concessions by the government to win the support of the ruling party, the blueprint no longer seems to be a serious plan to achieve the main objectives of reform: stopping the flow of money from the postal savings and insurance systems into state coffers, and ending costly taxpayer support of postal businesses.
April 27, 2005 -- WFMY has reported that "People across the country have tapped into eBay's ability to help them sell their products to the world. Now, the United States Postal Service is getting in on the act. Welcome to eBay Day at the post office. Workshops are popping up at post offices across the Piedmont explaining the ins and outs of selling and shipping on-line. It's a deal that may translate into shorter lines at the post office, but thanks to eBay no shortage of business."
April 27, 2005 -- GovExec.com has reported that "Postmaster General Jack Potter told a House Appropriations subcommittee Tuesday that Congress must finance its security and other costs left out of the administration's fiscal 2006 budget request or the agency's tenuous financial situation could get worse. Transportation-Treasury-HUD Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Joseph Knollenberg, R-Mich., said in a tight budget year, "you might not get everything you ask for." The panel approved a similar request last year when the same costs were omitted from the president's proposed budget. In addition to $51 million for homeland security costs, the agency is seeking $29 million in reimbursements for allowing nonprofits free mailing and $109 million for fulfilling federally mandated obligations, including providing special materials for the blind and absentee ballots for overseas voters."
April 27, 2005 -- According to the Polish News Bulletin, "Nearly 70 members of the trade unions of the Poczta Polska (PP) Polish state-owned postal service staged a 24 hour sit-down protest at PP's headquarters in Warsaw. They are protesting against plans to restructure the service without the prior signing of a benefits package for employees."
April 27, 2005 -- According to Science Daily, "The anthrax letter attacks in 2001 are not the first time an infectious agent has been spread through the mail. A recent article in a scientific journal describes two outbreaks of smallpox in 1901 that were attributed to infected letters, and bioweapon experts said it is possible terrorists could spread the deadly disease in this manner today."
April 27, 2005 -- This from Forbes: UPS CEO Michael Eskew received $3,057,000 in total compensation. This from testimony: Postmaster General John Potter received $174,000 in total compensation. Conclusion: UPS clearly knows what incentives are all about and molds Eskew's behavior accordingly. Congress, on the other hand, is more than delighted to cap the PMG's income and warp postal executive incentives.
April 27, 2005 -- AKA.TV has asked: "What’s in a name? Ad dollars, according to Michael Davies, VP of emerging media at Chicago marketing agency Draft, part of The Interpublic Group. Non-interactive networks can work well too, added fellow Draft VP Mark Stojack. Pointing to Draft’s network for the United States Postal Service (USPS), he said that network had increased operational efficiencies – for example by persuading people who leave a queue to use self-service machines instead, rather than abandoning the post office altogether. Customer satisfaction was also improved, with a decrease in perceived wait time.
April 27, 2005 -- The Union Network International has reported that "Close to 1,000 members of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) gathered in Quebec City to attend their 22nd National Triennial Convention. National President Deborah Bourque was re-elected for a second three-year term. Also elected to national office were 1st Vice-President Lynn Bue, Secretary Treasurer George Kuehnbaum, 2nd Vice-President Denis Lemelin, 3rd Vice-President George Floresco, 4th Vice-President Donald Lafleur, and Grievance Officer Phillipe Arbour. CUPW delegates reaffirmed that union activists must rally to the cause of fending off postal deregulation, privatization and keeping public post offices open."
April 26, 2005 -- The New York Times has reported that "Newspapers find national ads a tough sell. Company executives wanted to try a more targeted local-newspaper approach - inspired, perhaps, by the narrowly focused ads proliferating online."
April 26, 2005 -- Techweb has reported that "Bank of America led a list of the largest U.S. consumer banks in the number of customers using its online-banking services and in the intensity with which customers use those services, an Internet research firm said Monday. Coming in second in ComScore's E-Servicing Index was Wachovia, followed, in order, by Chase/Bank One, Well Fargo, Citibank, US Bank, Washington Mutual and SunTrust."
POPQUIZ: From which Internet domain does PostCom.org get the greatest number of its daily visitors? Check your answer.
April 26, 2005 -- From the PR Newswire: "Personal photos on postage could return as early as next month as the Postal Service moves into the second phase of an extensive test of this popular product that debuted last year. Customized postage allows a customer to personalize postage with pictures or images using PC Postage(R) technology. The United States Postal Service today began looking for qualified PC Postage(R) vendors able to produce customized postage to be used on First-Class Mail, Priority Mail and Express Mail for personal use only."
POSTCOM MEMBERS: A summary of the proceedings of yesterday's meeting of the Coalition for a 21st Century Postal Service has been posted on this site for your review.
April 26, 2005 -- The Los Angeles Business Journal has reported that "In a potentially huge victory for Santa Monica-based Stamps.com Inc., the U.S. Postal Service plans to relaunch a personalized stamps program that had to be suspended last summer. The relaunch is the second phase of the Postal Service’s PC Postage program and will last one year, until May 2006. In the few months that the service was available, PC Postage sold 2.7 million stamps.
April 26, 2005 -- A PostEurop Customer Forum will be held in Brussels on 11 May 2005 at the Sheraton Brussels Hotel & Towers. The central theme will be “Adapting postal products to customers’ needs.”
POPQUIZ: PostCom.org is visited more times by readers from the United States than anywhere else. But, can you name the country that scores as Number Two in readership right behind the United States? Check your answer.
April 26, 2005 -- Gulf Times has reported that "THE General Postal Corporation (Q-Post) has showcased its success in introducing electronic payment points at a meeting of Arab postal officials in Cairo. The meeting of the Arab Permanent Committee for Postal Affairs was hosted by the Arab League in association with the Universal Postal Union (UPU)."
POSTCOM MEMBERS: PostCom's Post-Ops Library has been updated. Check out what's new.
April 26, 2005 -- According to the Pioneer Press, "It's been more than a year since the U.S. Postal Service said it would consider moving its process and distribution center from downtown St. Paul to Eagan — but the federal agency has made no final decision on the proposed relocation. St. Paul wants to redevelop the riverfront site that houses the mail-sorting facility and is anxious to speed up the process. And while Eagan also backs the move — mainly for the 1,400 or so jobs it could bring — the city's excitement is considerably tempered by traffic-gridlock fears prompted by the facility's heavy trucking volume."
April 26, 2005 -- CNET News has reported that "Fake checks have been the stock in trade of online fraud artists for years. Now authorities are noting a surge in schemes involving sophisticated counterfeiting of a different form of payment: United States postal money orders. And the fleecing of victims often begins in an e-mail in-box."
April 26, 2005 -- From eMediaWire: "Travelocity.co.uk offers a postcard service where travelers can send personalized postcards directly from their mobile phone. Developed by InAMobile, a leading mobile imaging company, it allows camera phone users to take a picture, add a greeting and address and send a high quality physical postcard to friends and family. The postcards, which will cost £1.50 incl vat, can be sent from any MMS enabled location, dependent on the network operator. Cards sent before 3pm UK time will be printed and posted via first class mail on the same day."
April 26, 2005 -- Japan Today has reported that "The government on Tuesday postponed by one day a cabinet decision on submitting a set of bills to parliament to privatize Japan Post, due to lingering opposition within the ruling Liberal Democratic Party."
April 26, 2005 -- As GovExec.com has noted, "Lawmakers and administration officials who worked together to enact a quick-fix bill putting the U.S. Postal Service on stronger financial footing two years ago now disagree on how that law aimed to finance pensions."
April 26, 2005 -- As Cayman Net News has reported, "New regulations from the Canadian postal service, Canada Post, mean that anyone wanting to send a parcel for business or personal reasons to the country will need to declare the contents."
April 26, 2005 -- The Telegraph (U.K.) has reported that "Royal Mail yesterday described its watchdog as 'scaremongering' and 'opportunistic' after Postwatch complained that the organisation was not reinstating collection tabs on postboxes."
April 26, 2005 -- As Federal Times has noted, "The Bush administration said it remains opposed to a provision in each of two U.S. Postal Service reform bills that would relieve the organization of billions of dollars in military pension obligations.The White House earlier was reportedly willing to compromise on another provision in the reform bill — to repeal a requirement that USPS overpayments into CSRS go into an escrow fund. The administration has “no objection to the use of escrow to fund postretirement health,” an administration spokesman said April 22. “The problem arises when money is taken for military service to pay down health costs.’’ The two co-sponsors of the Senate Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, S 662, the reform version preferred by USPS, said that doing away with the military pension obligation and with the escrow fund “are critical to true and comprehensive reform."
April 26, 2005 -- The Associated Press has reported that "The Supreme Court said Monday it will consider the case of an injured postal customer who slipped and fell on mail delivered to the porch of her home instead of to her mailbox."
April 26, 2005 -- The Economist has noted that "Rupert Murdoch, the boss of News Corporation, one of the world's largest media companies, told the American Society of Newspaper Editors that too many of us editors and reporters are out of touch with our readers. Mr Murdoch's argument begins with the fact that newspapers worldwide have been—and seem destined to keep on—losing readers, and with them advertising revenue. The decline of newspapers predates the internet. But the second—broadband—generation of the internet is not only accelerating it but is also changing the business in a way that the previous rivals to newspapers—radio and TV—never did.”
April 26, 2005 -- The Daily Yomiuri (Japan) has reported that "The government and the Liberal Democratic Party reached a basic agreement on postal privatization bills Monday evening, with the government accepting some requests from the ruling coalition party, including one to allow crossholding of shares among privatized firms. The government also agreed to the LDP's request to increase to 2 trillion yen the planned fund to cover possible losses from making the financial services of the postal savings bank and postal life insurance firm available at post offices across the country, sources said. The LDP leadership intends to seek the approval of party members at the party's General Council meeting Tuesday. The bills are likely to be finalized at a Cabinet meeting the same day."
April 26, 2005 -- As Hoovers has noted, "Some of the nation's largest transportation companies are still living in 1999. That's the last time diesel fuel sold for an average price of $1.10 a gallon or lower. But that hasn't stopped some trucking companies and even some members of the U.S. Congress from using that price as a baseline from which today's ubiquitous fuel surcharges are calculated. Federal experts are projecting that average fuel prices won't be falling significantly anytime soon. The U.S. House of Representatives included a mandatory fuel surcharge in its version of the transportation bill, but the Senate declined to follow suit."
April 26, 2005 -- According to Traffic World, "DHL is investing $130 million on a new parcel center, high-rack warehouse and renovations at its Bremen, Germany, logistics facilities. "Bremen will become one of the most modern locations within the DHL network," said Peter Kruse, member of Deutsche Post World Net's Board of Management responsible for express business in Germany and France."
April 25, 2005 -- Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle joined Quad/Graphics Chairman & CEO Tom Quadracci at the company’s Sussex plant to launch a campaign with national business and non-profit partners aimed at increasing recycling of magazines and catalogs in metropolitan Milwaukee, with a focus on the City of Milwaukee and Waukesha County. This innovative partnership was created by national partners that include the National Recycling Coalition, Time Inc., International Paper and recyclers FCR and Recycle America Alliance (RAA). Locally, the partnership includes Quad/Graphics as well as the City of Milwaukee and Waukesha County.
POP QUIZ: How many Senators does the Administration need on its side of the S.662 CSRS Escrow-Military Retirement debate to bring that bill to a screeching halt? Check out your answer.
April 25, 2005 -- According to postal commentator Gene Del Polito, "if you think R2005 is a simple rate case, you 'ain't seen nuthin' until you get a gander at what R2006 will be like."
April 25, 2005 -- The Scotsman (U.K.) has reported that "Royal Mail stayed tight-lipped today about a claim that postal trains are set for a permanent return to the railways. The state-owned group declined to comment on a report that it is poised to sign a one-year rolling contract with railfreight company GBRf to run mail trains between London and Scotland."
April 25, 2005 -- Ever want a handy place to access and review every report ever done on the Postal Service by the General Accountability Office (GAO) since 2001? Well, it's here on this web site.
April 25, 2005 -- The American Postal Workers Union has signaled that the union "is troubled by the Postal Service’s recent request for an across-the-board rate increase,” said union President William Burrus. “We are studying the proposed rates, and reviewing thousands of pages of data the USPS submitted to support its case. “Based on an initial review, we are concerned by what we are finding,” he said, noting that the rate application proposes to increase the size of the discounts offered to companies that pre-sort their mail." A word of advice: Hold that thought until R2006. Leave R2005 alone!
April 25, 2005 -- AFX Europe has reported that "At least two competitors of Deutsche Post World Net AG want to have more access to the mail sorting, consolidating and delivery business, according to Financial Times Deutschland, citing Post rival GLS. GLS chief executive Rico Back said he is confident GLS would be able to force Deutsche Post to open up its monopoly in this area."
April 25, 2005 -- The BBC has reported that "Royal Mail is to repeat a scheme which rewards postal workers with new cars and holiday vouchers if they do not take any sick leave. Attendance levels have risen by 11% - some 1,000 workers a day - since it was launched last August, the firm said."
April 25, 2005 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that "San Francisco buyout firm Hellman & Friedman LLC has agreed to buy Internet-advertising concern DoubleClick Inc. for about $1.1 billion. Hellman has experience with the advertising industry. The firm was among the bidders for Grey Global Group Inc., the large independent advertising holding company acquired earlier this year by WPP Group PLC. Hellman also invested in Young & Rubicam, which had an initial public offering in 1998 before being purchased by WPP. Hellman invested in Digitas Inc., a digital- and direct-marketing company, before Digitas went public in 2000."
April 25, 2005 -- The Charlotte News-Observer has reported that "U.S. Rep. Brad Miller's office has been contacted by people who live in Raleigh, Reidsville, Greensboro and Garner who all say they have also been told to move their mailboxes to the curb. Constituents who have contacted Miller's office wanted to know whether they have any choice in the matter. Despite the tone of the letters, like the one Grandjean received, Brown said mailbox relocation requests are just that -- requests. The Postal Service cannot force a mail recipient to relocate a mailbox unless its location poses a safety risk for a letter carrier."
April 24, 2005 -- The Independent (U.K.) has reported that "Postal workers are to share a £200m windfall after annual profits at the Royal Mail surged to a record high."
April 24, 2005 -- According to USPS vice president for public affairs and communications Azezz Jaffer, "a writer for a defense and foreign affairs think tank portrayed the exploits of the 40 riders as a prop to suggest there are others out there like them just waiting to fill in for the "troubled" and "mismanaged" U.S. Postal Service. To that I say: Hold your horses!"
April 24, 2005 -- The Daily Yomiuri (Japan) has reported that "Postal workers' jobs are to be safeguarded in the privatization planned for 2007, with the new postal entities to keep the same employment levels, government sources said. The measure is stipulated in the six bills related to the privatization that are to be submitted to the current Diet session."
April 23, 2005 -- The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin is available online. In this issue are reports on: USPS to change periodicals sack rules. PRC adopts USPS premium forwarding service agreement. Postal service works toward vision for large customers. To settle, or not to settle the R2005 rate case. Ways to mitigate the rate increase. USPS area execs echo industry concerns about communications. ATA forecasts tough times ahead for trucking industry. Postal Service, White House continue fight over postal retirees’ military benefit pay. A self-supporting Postal Service?--A commentary by Murray Comarow. Delivering some healthy truths about the mailing industry -- A perspective by Pitney Bowes Chairman Michael Critelli. Another rate increase: An editorial by DM News editor Tad Clarke. USPS taps employee resources to grow business. GAO backs Senate proposal allowing USPS to negotiate air rates for international mail. Supply chain finance transformation on the horizon. DHL Global Mail expands U.K. B2B service. TNT claims success in RFID effort. Polish postal providers plan protests. Universal service might be th big issue in Japanese postal privatization. Intramural LDP battles will shape Japan’s postal privatization bill.
Hey! You've not been getting the weekly PostCom Bulletin--the
best postal newsletter anywhere...bar none? Send us by email your name, company,
company title, postal and email address.
Get a chance to see what you've been missing.
April 23, 2005 -- Les
Echos has reported that "La Poste, the French postal service operator,
increased its turnover by 3.7 per cent to 18.7bn euros last year. This
improvement in the company's results has partly been attributed to the
modernisation of the company's equipment: three new platforms for dealing with
letters were opened last year, along with a further two for parcels. German
rival Deutsche Post and Dutch rival TNT both have a net margin of between 4 and
5 per cent, compared with 2 per cent for La Poste. The French company intends to
continue to modernise its equipment and to focus on sales and marketing measures
April 22, 2005 -- POSTCOM MEMBERS: The lastest issue of the PostCom Post-Ops Update is available on this site.
April 22, 2005 -- In a “news and comment” piece, PostCom Vice President Kate Muth considers the administration’s position on a key sticking point in the postal reform bills: responsibility for the military service costs of postal retirees.
April 22, 2005 -- The latest copy of the National Association of Postmasters of the U.S. electronic governmental affairs newsletter is available on the NAPUS web site.
April 22, 2005 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that "DHL Logistics has become the latest beneficiary of the continued growth of the world’s economy and in particular soaring air and sea freight volumes. In a press briefing it revealed that revenues for its logistics division had jumped by 15.4% to €6.8 bn. Its operating profits grew even faster by 36.4% to €281m, with margins increasing from 3.5% to 4.1%. Regionally, Asia Pacific and the Americas proved the strongest growth drivers with revenue increases in the double digits."
April 22, 2005 -- Join Chris Lien, Firstlogic's commercial mail market director, and Gene Del Polito, Ph.D., president of the Association for Postal Commerce, for a Web seminar on the proposed Rate Case. They will discuss what Postal Reform means and how Congress can still act now to stop a rate increase that could raise your postage and potentially stifle postal growth.
April 22, 2005 -- Business Mailers Review has reported that:
April 22, 2005 -- As the Washington Post has reported:
April 22, 2005 -- According to the Financial Times:
April 22, 2005 -- Dow Jones has reported that "Ordering home delivery of rented DVDs via the Internet will continue to be a growth market for at least the next five years, with two major players dominating the business, said Reed Hastings, chief executive of Netflix Inc. Asked if a proposed postal rate increase would affect the company's results, McCarthy said cost reductions the company can get out of its fulfillment operations as it increases subscribers should "more than offset" any postal rate increases."
April 22, 2005 -- Computing (U.K.) has reported that "Royal Mail is to sign a major IT security contract to safeguard its systems across the UK. The deal will involve the protection of 80,000 servers and 50,000 PCs at Royal Mail, the Post Office and Parcelforce against vulnerabilities such as viruses, intrusions and spyware."
April 22, 2005 -- According to the Asahi Shimbun (Japan), "Postal privatization is the prime minister's long-cherished dream that he has likened to ``the inner citadel of reform.'' But with his strongest weapon-public support-weakening, can Koizumi protect ``the substance'' of reform in his negotiations with the LDP? Or will he give in to opponents again to gain ``fame'' as the achiever of postal privatization? At any rate, we don't want to see a repeat performance of ``Koizumi theater'' with a disappointing ending."
April 22, 2005 -- American Postal Workers Union (APWU) President William Burrus reported that "The Senate panel also heard from Postmaster General John E. Potter and Government Accountability Office Comptroller General David M. Walker, who renewed their support for proposals the union adamantly opposes. “The unwavering advocates of postal reform may be losing an important ally,” observed APWU President William Burrus. “After itemizing the elements that he considers essential to a balanced approach to postal reform, the postmaster general concluded by saying if the proper balance is not achieved, ‘We are better off with no bill at all.’ “This raises the interesting possibility that postal management and the Board of Governors could oppose postal reform as defined in the pending legislation,” Burrus said. “Groups that have been staunch allies on postal reform in the past may end up on the opposite side.”
April 22, 2005 -- Approximately 170 APWU truck drivers who work for Mail Contractors of America have concluded their nearly three-week strike, going back to work for MCA in Des Moines, Kansas City, KS, and Jacksonville, FL, but vowing to press on for fair contracts. The APWU-represented motor vehicle operators, back on the job April 11, are seeking an end to unfair labor practices and policies the privately-owned MCA imposed last September that reduced the pay of some of them as much as $10,000 per year. They held out the option to strike again if MCA refuses to bargain.
April 22, 2005 -- AFX has reported that "The Slovak ministry of transport, post and telecommunications has proposed that the liberalisation of the postal market should be brought forward by two years to start from Jan 1, 2007, rather than from 2009 under the original plan."
April 22, 2005 -- WhatTheyThink has reported that "R. R. Donnelley & Sons Company today announced the opening of a new logistics facility in suburban Chicago. The 661,000 square foot building is designed to house the Logistics Control Center, a mail consolidation center, as well as the company's rapidly expanding co-mailing, co-palletization, co-mingling, and fulfillment operations.
April 22, 2005 -- The Wichita Eagle has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service is dramatically expanding its Wichita Remote Encoding Center, creating 1,100 new jobs averaging $18 an hour. The service has 17 encoding centers nationwide, down from 55. Two more centers -- in Duluth, Minn., and Princeton, N.J., --will close this summer. New technology has made the process more efficient."
April 22, 2005 -- WebIndia123 has reported that "India's good old postal system, celebrating the 150th year of its operation, is facing losses for the last two years as it finds itself overtaken by the Internet and growing reliance by people on the private courier system. The volume of mails handled by the Department of Posts went down from 9,096 million in 2002-03 to 8,635.2 million in 2003-04, while only 11 of the 43 services it offered actually earned profits, the standing committee on IT said in its report tabled in parliament."
April 22, 2005 -- DM News has reported that "The stalemate over funding pension benefits involving the military service of postal retirees showed no sign of abating yesterday as a Bush administration official reiterated its stance that the U.S. Postal Service must continue to pay. Requiring the USPS to pay the military service portion of benefits to retirees under the Civil Service Retirement System is not unfair, said Dan Blair, acting director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. The postal service and its supporters have claimed that the USPS is being singled out to fund military service benefits on its own while other federal agencies use tax money."
April 22, 2005 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that "DHL has announced the introduction of two new direct overnight express services between Shanghai and the United States and between Beijing and Hong Kong. The daily Shanghai-U.S. flight will be operated by Northwest Airlines with a Boeing 747-200 freighter aircraft, while the four times weekly Beijing service will utilize a Cathay Pacific A330-200 passenger aircraft from DHL's Central Asia Hub in Hong Kong. With the addition of these new flights, DHL can provide later pick-up, cut-off, and earlier delivery times. Management commented that the Chinese market registered an annual growth rate of 50-60% in 2004."
April 22, 2005 -- If you do business in Canada, then you should give serious thought to joining the National Association of Major Mail Users (NAMMU). A copy of a recent communique from its executive director has been posted for your information on this site.
April 22, 2005 -- Japan Today has reported that "The ruling Liberal Democratic Party will arrange a top-level meeting next Monday with Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to end the protracted bickering over the premier's plan to privatize Japan Post, party executives said Thursday. The executives expect the meeting will clear the way for the party to approve a set of postal privatization bills which the government plans to unveil later Monday if an accord is reached, and adopt them at a cabinet meeting Tuesday."
April 21, 2005 -- KATU-TV has reported that "Two Salem (OR) post offices were shut down after a suspicious envelope containing a white powder was discovered. FBI and HAZMAT teams were called in to investigate and remove the suspicious envelope, as well as to decontaminate the area. Both the envelope and the mailbox it was found in were sent to Portland for testing where it was concluded that the powder was not Anthrax or Ricin and posed no threat to employees or customers."
April 21, 2005 -- Paced by its growing international package operation, UPS today reported a strong 16.2% gain in net income for the first quarter of 2005. Consolidated revenue for the three months ended March 31, 2005, rose 10.8% to $9.89 billion, reflecting in part the addition of revenue from the recently acquired Menlo Worldwide Forwarding. International package revenue climbed 13% while U.S. package revenue rose 2.8%.
April 21, 2005 -- According to long-time postal guru Murray Comarow, "On April 14, 2005, Postmaster General Jack Potter told a Senate committee that the Postal Service was "self-supporting," and that it has "broken even over its 34-year history." The Postal Service’s last annual report claims that "we receive no tax dollars," and that it has "not received a public service appropriation since 1982." The U.S. Treasury disagrees. In the same hearing, Assistant Secretary Timothy S. Bitsberger testified that "The Postal Service should be self-financed. This was the intent of the 1970 Postal Reorganization Act, but thus far it has never been accomplished." Policy differences are normal and expected. The stark factual differences between Potter and Bitsberger, however, are astonishing." Bitsberger is wrong...FLAT WRONG!
April 21, 2005 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that:
April 21, 2005 -- The DM Bulletin (U.K.) has reported that "DHL Global Mail has expanded Smartmail Citispeed, its business-to-business mail collection and delivery service, from London to the North West following the opening of a hub in Warrington. DHL claims that it will ensure that the service, which offers mail collection from any organisation within the UK with optional sorting and next day or two-day delivery by DHL, is at least 99% reliable. The service is being offered within designated postcodes in London and the North West area, which includes Manchester, Liverpool, Stockport and Warrington. Customers will also be offered larger volume direct mail and publication distribution services, for either next day, two- to three-day or three- to five-day delivery. Smartmail Citispeed will eventually be expanded to provide delivery to all areas of the UK."
April 21, 2005 -- From the PR Newswire: "Last night the United States Postal Service along with a number of prominent companies won excellence awards for their deployment of interactive self-service applications. Former CNN Headline News Anchor Bob Losure presented the awards to a jubilant crowd of over 250 industry professionals. The awards ceremony took place during the 9th annual KioskCom.com Trade Show and Conference, which is being held this week at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas."
April 21, 2005 -- According to The Street, "The big question for UPS this week is whether it will return to solid earnings growth in the first quarter after a holiday stumble. Analysts generally expect that the company will do just that by combating domestic competition from rivals FedEx and DHL and expanding international package volume. Some are starting to worry, however, that the economy is slowing enough to hurt UPS' results."
April 21, 2005 -- Japan Today has reported that "Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi indicated Wednesday he would not budge on a plan to submit a set of six bills on the full privatization of postal services by the end of this month despite ongoing wrangling with senior ruling party lawmakers. "There is no change in the cabinet's plan to adopt the bills and present them to parliament by the end of this month," Koizumi told reporters."
April 20, 2005 -- 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..
April 20, 2005 -- The Universal Postal Union is holding today a conference on “Intelligent Mail” in Bern, Switzerland. The conference looks at the mail pipeline from the receipt of mail items to delivery with special focus on where the intelligence is today and where it should be in the future. It covers operational and technical processes such as the management of street letter box collections, the management of mail through franking machines, address quality, customer access to mail location data, interoperability with UPU ID-tags, postage rates and customs needs for security and electronic clearance.
April 20, 2005 -- The Irish Independent has reported that "HUNDREDS of post offices nationwide will be forced to close if customers on social welfare are obliged to receive their payments through the banks."
April 20, 2005 -- The Gulf Times has reported that "US AMBASSADOR Chase Untermeyer and General Postal Corporation (GPC) chairman Ali Mohamed al-Ali have held talks on strengthening co-operation between the postal authorities of the United States and Qatar."
April 20, 2005 -- Federal Computer Week has reported that "New procurement rules at the U.S. Postal Service will go into effect May 19, replacing previous rules and affecting all future contracts, according to an announcement today in the Federal Register. USPS officials say they received permission from the agency's Board of Governors to revise procurement regulations and allow corporate-style purchasing decisions. The new regulations will permit USPS officials to pursue best-value acquisitions and to use supply-chain management, an approach in which corporation executives typically select a limited number of preferred suppliers to receive the bulk of their purchasing dollars."
April 20, 2005 -- According to the Financial Times, "Japan's post office sell-off could prove hard to deliver. In Tokyo, “universal service” has become the rallying cry of politicians opposing postal privatisation, which will start in 2007 if Junichiro Koizumi, the prime minister, gets his way."
April 20, 2005 -- According to the Rockford Register Star, "United Parcel Service announced late Monday that it will add 60 jobs in Rockford during the next two years as part of a $7.4 million plan to expand its existing operations at Greater Rockford Airport. The expansion, scheduled to be completed in spring 2006, will support a new UPS service transporting heavy freight by air."
April 20, 2005 -- Commercial Property News has reported that "The REIT industry could gain access to a possible $150 billion in investment funds, thanks to a new bill being reviewed today by the Congressional Subcommittee on the Federal Workforce & Agency Organization. The bill proposes that a REIT investment option be added to the federal Thrift Savings Plan, a 401k-type retirement plan for 3.4 million federal workers, military personnel and postal service employees. Currently, the Thrift Savings Plan includes only five investment choices, as opposed to 16 for the average private 401k program. The choices are for a short-term government bond fund, corporate bond index fund, large-cap stock index fund, small-cap stock index fund and international stock index fund."
April 20, 2005 -- According to the Times-Union, "Third District Congressman Mark Souder talked about national issues and related them to local concerns during Monday’s Kosciusko County Republican Party’s annual Lincoln Day Dinner at the Tippecanoe Country Club. Souder discussed progress on four OSHA bills, government reform and postal reform."
April 20, 2005 -- The Austin Business Journal has reported that "Austin businesswoman Carolyn Gallagher is the new independent member of the board of directors of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas. Gallagher is a member of the board of governors of the U.S. Postal Service. She was president and CEO of Texwood Furniture Corp. in Taylor from 1988 to 2000. She is a member and past chairwoman of the St. Edward's University Board of Trustees, and sits on the board of the Employees Retirement System of Texas. She is president of the Headliner's Club of Austin."
April 20, 2005 -- The Yomiuri Shimbun (Japan) has reported that "Leaders of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party on Tuesday obtained consent from LDP members at a joint meeting of party subcommittees related to postal services reform to give them a free hand in negotiating on postal privatization bills with the government." See also Japan Today.
April 19, 2005 -- As the Business Intelligence Network has noted, "To improve customer service, employee productivity and operational efficiency, the United States Postal Service (USPS) announced that it has expanded the size and scope of its Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW) from Teradata, a division of NCR Corporation. The USPS engaged Teradata in 2000 to develop its Retail Data Mart, which included the consolidation of all point-of-sale data into a single data repository. Since then, USPS has grown its Teradata system into a corporate EDW including a number of other business areas, such as financial management, operational decision support and marketing, in addition to the original retailing purpose."
April 19, 2005 -- According to the National Association of Letter Carriers, "There are no merger talks underway with the APWU. NALC did receive a communication suggesting discussions be held on combining the NALC and American Postal Workers Union, but that’s as far as it went. NALC President William H. Young said he isn’t interested, even if it meant NALC would have the presidency of a merged union. “NALC continues to believe that the interests of its members are best served by remaining a union that represents only city letter carriers,” he said."
April 19, 2005 -- According to Traffic World, "Spurred by massive LTL mergers and the quickening pace of commerce, next-day service is fast becoming trucking's new norm."
April 19, 2005 -- Speaking at the IDEAlliance conference, USPS Chief Marketing Officer Anita Bizzotto reported that the Postal Rate Commission (PRC) has issued its recommended decision on the USPS'premium forwarding service proposal, which the USPS Board of Governors will review at its May meeting. Under the service, the local USPS delivery unit would collect all mail for a customer filing a temporary change of address order, then once a week would put it in a Priority Mail envelope and forward it to their temporary new address for $10.00 per week. Bizzotto said that if all goes well, the USPS would implement the service in late summer/early fall in order to be ready for the winter "snow bird" season when many customers file temporary address change orders.
April 19, 2005 -- The Hindu Business Line has reported that "Pitney Bowes Inc, the US-based $5 billion global mailing and document management solution major, sees Rs 2,200 crore potential market in the country and is talking to the Postal Department for its products that could significantly reduce costs and prevent pilferage. India holds more potential and estimates a business prospect of over Rs 2,200 crore market ($ 500 million), while China is yet to open up its mail system to private competition."
April 19, 2005 -- M2 has reported that "Ipswitch WhatsUp to be installed in 180 mail processing and distribution centres Ipswitch, the leading developer of network management, messaging and file transfer solutions, today announced that the United States Postal Service has purchased Ipswitch WhatsUp for deployment in 180 mail processing and distribution centres across the U.S."
April 19, 2005 -- The Polish News Bulletin has reported that "Employees of Poczta Polska (PP) national postal services provider have backed in a referendum the possibility of holding protests including strikes. The referendum was organised after PP's director general announced an organisational shake up in the company. According to the unions, the plan was not discussed with employees and was revealed before a social package for employees was signed. "The referendum was called because our demands were ignored by both the director general and the minister of infrastructure, who want to comercialise and then privatise the company," reads the official statement of the WRZ, a confederation of ten labour unions operating within the company."
April 19, 2005 -- The
Worldstream has reported that "Some 35,000 striking Romanian postal
workers Tuesday agreed to return to work after reaching an agreement with
management for a 4% wage rise. Under the agreement, 9,200 postal
employees will earn the minimum wage of 3.3 million lei ($117) starting May 1.
Other employees will get a 3% wage hike. Employees have agreed to work the
Saturday before Orthodox Easter to compensate for the one-day strike."
April 19, 2005 -- The Postal Service is moving apace with its plans to implement delivery point sequencing of flats sometime this fall.
April 19, 2005 -- The Dayton Daily News has reported that "The American Postal Workers Union said Monday it wants to unionize 5,000 ABX Air Inc. workers at the DHL hub here. Tools Top 5 stories Shoe chain's customers' credit card IDs stolen Glimcher appoints Loeb VP, COO Postal union targets DHL hub Martha on the air LexisNexis notifies ID theft victims >RSS headlines available Workers who support joining the union said they want more respect on the job, including adequate breaks, overtime pay, safer working conditions and seniority privileges. The company responded by saying the decision to form a union is up to the workers, but they should be warned that customers prefer dealing with union-free operations. As part of its $1.2 billion U.S. expansion plan, DHL, a package sorting and delivery company, chose the former Airborne facility in Wilmington as the hub for its U.S. operations. ABX Air runs this hub for DHL."
April 19, 2005 -- Kyodo has reported that "The government reiterated its readiness Tuesday to make more concessions over its plans to privatize Japan's postal system as the ruling Liberal Democratic Party continued last-ditch efforts to come up with specific compromises to demand."
April 19, 2005 -- The Pittsburgh Business Times has reported that "FedEx SmartPost, the new business arm of Memphis-based FedEx Corp., is negotiating with the owners of the Leetsdale Industrial Park to lease 100,000 square feet of warehouse space at the industrial park that borders the Ohio River, sources told the Business Times. FedEx SmartPost will operate as a unit of FedEx Ground, which is based in Moon Township and employs 2,000 in the Pittsburgh area."
April 19, 2005 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that "Norway Post and TNT N.V. have signed an agreement outlining the two parties' continued cooperation. The agreement between Norway Post and TNT is based on a deal both companies entered into in May 2004 to jointly provide international express products to Norwegian customers. The companies now intend to extend their cooperation to include other product areas. Norway Post has sought an international partner in order to meet its customers' needs for global solutions whilst TNT wishes to expand its network with a partner in the Norwegian and Nordic market for its business customers."
April 19, 2005 -- MCOT (Thailand) has reported that "Postal authoritities have equipped their facilities offices across the country's deep South with bomb detecting devices to inspect all parcels heading to the region, while adding closed-circuit cameras as extra security to its premises in three southernmost border towns plagued with violence."
April 19, 2005 -- PostCom Members: Check here to see how you can get access to the presentations give at the IDEAlliance conference in Las Vegas.
April 19, 2005 -- According to Hoovers, "United Parcel Service (UPS) has planned to arrange 24 flights weekly in Shenzhen airport in handling international express mails since April 11, 2004. Over 30 domestic and international express companies have made inroads into Shenzhen. Fedex has set up an over 2,000 square meter storehouse in the airport for 12 flights weekly. DHL is constructing a storehouse there also, and it is likely to be brought on line soon."
April 19, 2005 -- As CIRAP has noted, "The Government Accountability Office (GAO) says federal agencies may not be able to reliably rule out the presence of anthrax contamination in a building because their sampling and detection methods have not been adequately tested. The GAO's conclusion is based on an examination of the approaches used by three agencies—the US Postal Service (USPS), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)—to hunt for anthrax in 286 postal facilities after the anthrax mailings in 2001."
April 19, 2005 -- Haaretz (Israel) has reported that "Postal workers decided yesterday to continue their sanctions into a second week, despite having caused damage estimated in the millions of shekels."
April 19, 2005 -- Japan Today has reported that "Japan's governing Liberal Democratic Party tried Monday to come up with six proposals to change the government-sponsored bills to privatize the nation's postal system as the government said it will formally adopt the bills in a Cabinet meeting next week." Now if only the U.S. Congress would move with such alacrity.
April 18, 2005 -- The San Jose Mercury-News has reported that according to Pitney Bowes CEO Michael Critelli, "As Congress approaches the overhaul of the Postal Service, the right way to view new digital communications technology is not as a substitute for mail, but as complementary to it. The combination, each with its unique value to users, can give the United States the most nimble communications system in the world."
April 18, 2005 -- The Buffalo News has reported that "The former Wellsville physician whose homes were searched in connection with the anthrax killings has visited Wellsville recently, and is living on unemployment in New Jersey, according to a friend. Dr. Kenneth M. Berry lost his job as an emergency room doctor at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in McKeesport, Pa., last year after his name surfaced in the anthrax investigation. Berry was never charged in the anthrax case."
April 18, 2005 -- From the PR Newswire: "Pitney Bowes Inc. has acquired selected mail stream and presort assets of Fala Sorting Services, Inc. (FSS) a subsidiary of Fala Direct Marketing, Inc. FSS provides domestic and international presorting and commingling mailing services for mail produced in the greater New York area. The FSS assets will be integrated with the company's Mail Services operations which include PSI Group specializing in first and standard class domestic letter mail, and International Mail Express (IMEX) which provides international outbound mail services. Fala Direct Marketing will continue to provide lettershop services with a greater emphasis on its core business and its expanding graphics and printing solutions. Fala Direct Marketing and the company have also signed a long-term marketing agreement to provide Fala's customers with access to pre-sort and international mail services through the Pitney Bowes Mail Services national network."
April 18, 2005 -- From the Federal Register: "By law, beginning in 1997, the Postal Service is required to publish a five-year plan outlining its goals, targets, and strategies, and to update and revise its five-year plan at intervals of no less than 3 years. In support of its strategic planning process, the law requires the Postal Service to solicit and consider the ideas, knowledge, and opinions of those potentially affected by or interested in its Five-Year Strategic Plan. In addition, at the request of Congress, in 2002 the Postal Service prepared a comprehensive plan for the structural transformation of the postal system to meet the challenges of serving the American public. This first Transformation Plan covered the years 2002-2006. A major component of the next Five-Year Strategic Plan, covering 2006-2010, will be the extension of the Postal Service's Transformation Plan through the same period. This notice asks for public comment concerning the development and drafting of the Postal Service's combined document, the Strategic Transformation Plan 2006-2010. Comments must be received by May 15, 2005."
April 18, 2005 -- TheWall Street Journal has reported that "R.R. Donnelley & Sons Co. unveiled Monday the $990 million purchase of closely held Astron Group, a United Kingdom-based company with operations in printing, mail services and marketing support. Chicago-based Donnelley has been pushing to expand both its geographic reach and mix of services in recent years, after its 2003 purchase of rival printing concern Moore Wallace Inc. for $2.8 billion."
April 18, 2005 -- The Day (CT) has reported that "A 2-cent increase on first-class mail (from 37 cents to 39 cents) is being sought by the Postal Service because it has to establish a $3.1 billion escrow fund for some reason or other. It said: 'Stamp Out A Penny-wise, Pound-foolish Proposal.'"
April 18, 2005 -- News Today (India) has reported that "Indian Postal Department will soon introduce aircraft services for delivering mails in North-East regions in the country, U Srinivasa Raghavan, member (operations and marketing), Postal Services Board, New Delhi, has said. Launching the new Logistics Post service at St Thomas Mount Head Post Office Complex in Chennai yesterday, Srinivasa said postal services had large network areas and the department would introduce aircraft services to compete in the modern era to deliver mails quicker."
April 18, 2005 -- FirstLogic has posted on its web site its latest issue of Mail eAutomation News.
April 18, 2005 -- The DM Bulletin (U.K.) has reported that "US mail order and retail lingerie giant Victoria's Secret has been targeted by environmental campaigners, who are accusing it of using paper sourced from endangered forests in the 395m catalogues it sends annually. According to the pressure group ForestEthics, 25% of the catalogues use paper originating from endangered forests in Canada and the southern US. ForestEthics started a campaign against six catalogue companies in March 2004: Victoria's Secret; Sears/Lands End; JC Penney; LL Bean; J Crew; and William Sonoma."
April 18, 2005 -- The Peninsula (Qatar) has reported that "A postal exchange centre between Qatar and China is proposed to be developed at the Doha International Airport in collaboration with national carrier Qatar Airways."
April 18, 2005 -- The Independent (U.K.) has reported that "Internet shopping overtook purchases from mail order catalogues for the first time last year. The domination of 'big-book' buying has been replaced with online retail therapy, according to market analysts."
April 18, 2005 -- AP Worldstream has reported that "A union leader said Sunday that some 35,000 Romanian postal workers would begin a 10-day strike this week to demand a 16-percent wage increase, which the post office says it cannot afford." See also The Star.
April 18, 2005 -- The Island Sun (British Virgin Islands) has reported that "Since August 2004 several pieces of registered mail sent from the British Virgin Islands to Europe and transiting in London have gone missing without anyone being able to obtain one single word of explanation from the postal authorities in the United Kingdom. Despite correspondence exchanged between the person/s who suffered the loss and the BVI Postal Authorities there has been no response yet from Royal Mail."
April 17, 2005 -- Arutz Sheva (Israel) has reported that "Postal Authority sanctions continue today around the country. As a result, postal branches nationwide will close their doors at 2:30pm today. Strike leaders announced that tomorrow, Monday, postal branches will close at 12:30pm.
April 16, 2005 -- Bloomberg has reported that "DBA, British Airways Plc's former German unit, will take over Deutsche Post AG's mail flights between Munich and Berlin for the next two years as the carrier aims to make a profit this year."
16, 2005 -- The Associated
Press has reported that "Thirteen cargo handlers at San Francisco
International Airport were charged Friday with stealing $200,000 worth of
computers, cameras and other goods from mail bound for U.S. soldiers stationed
in Japan, authorities said. The 13 defendants, employees of cargo staffing
company Aeroground, were arrested Thursday and Friday and appeared in federal
court on charges of stealing and conspiring to steal U.S. mail, the U.S.
Attorney's Office in San Francisco said."
April 15, 2005 -- The latest copy of the National Association of Postmasters of the U.S. electronic governmental affairs newsletter is available on the NAPUS web site.
April 15, 2005 -- GovExec.com has reported that "Senate supporters of postal overhaul legislation contend they have changed their bill to accommodate White House concerns, but administration officials say they are not budging from their opposition because several benefit provisions are still too expensive. During the hearing, Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, who championed the 2003 law, said it was never intended to shift payment for military pensions back to the Postal Service. Stevens, who recently signed on as a co-sponsor of the postal bill, said he might, "ask to meet with the president" personally to discuss the issue, since the administration's proposal might be a significant disincentive for the postal service to hire veterans."
April 15, 2005 -- AFX
Europe has reported that "Portugal's Competition Authority has asked
for a copy of the marketing agreement between Iberdrola SA and Portugal's CTT
post office. The request indicates that the authority suspects a violation of
competition rules. Under the agreement, Iberdrola will market electricity
through Portugal's 3,500 post offices."
April 15, 2005 -- According to New Straits Times (Malaysia), "POS Malaysia's brochure on the new postal rates tells consumers "Gunakan Surat Standard Ke Arah Perkhidmatan Yang Lebih Baik"; that is, use standard letters towards better service."
April 15, 2005 -- Japan Today has reported that "Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said Thursday the government can make concessions on privatizing Japan Post if they concern details not covered in the outline of bills to realize the policy. One of the envisaged compromises is extending the scope of a planned 1 trillion yen fund to be established to make up for losses from maintaining postal services in sparsely populated areas to also cover money-losing post offices in urban areas, government sources said."
April 14, 2005 -- The Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs held its last hearing on the issue of postal reform. Appearing as witnesses were: The Honorable Timothy S. Bitsberger, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Financial Markets , U.S. Department of the Treasury (Accompanied by: Roger Kodat , Deputy Assistant Secretary for Government Financial Policy , U.S. Department of the Treasury), The Honorable Dan G. Blair, Acting Director , U. S. Office of Personnel Management, The Honorable John E. Potter, Postmaster General , United States Postal Service , Washington, DC, and The Honorable David M. Walker, Comptroller General of the United States , United States Government Accountability Office.
Bitsberger told the Committee that the "President has consistently
articulated the need for comprehensive reform to set the Postal Service on
sound, long-term operational and financial footing....The Postal Service
should be self-financing, should operate transparently, have sufficient
flexibility to operate more as a business, be accountable, and implement
best practices...Recognizing the importance
of the Postal Service to our nation’s citizens and commercial enterprises,
the Administration is committed to ensuring the long-term financial and
operational success of the Postal Service....Productivity at the Postal
Service has lagged the private sector by large margins since 1972 and
therefore significant opportunities for a more productive Postal Service
exists and this would enable it to operate within CPI....We support the
Committee’s intent to establish a hard cap at CPI, and further support
the Senate’s version of an “escape clause,” or exigency rate case,
which establishes a very high bar to increase rates above CPI....The
Administration believes that comprehensive postal reform must require the
Postal Service to cover all of its financial obligations, including its on
and off-balance sheet unfunded liabilities....The decision in the Postal
CSRS Funding Reform Act to allocate the $27 billion in retirement costs for
the military service of the Postal Service retirees was justified for many
reasons." The real reasons for the 2006 rate case, he said, is
directly related to the USPS' inability to reduce its costs not the escrow.
Blair told the panel that requiring the Treasury to pay for the military
portion of a postal retiree's benefits would constitute "a taxpayer
subsidy of Postal operations." He noted that "Congress
enacted legislation according similar pension treatment to the Patent and
Trademark Office (“PTO”). Pursuant to that legislation, PTO, which is
also a self-funded agency, is required to pay the full costs of CSRS
benefits, including those associated with military service."
Potter told the Committee that "there will come a
time when the efforts of the Postal Service alone will not be enough.
Declining First-Class Mail volume, coupled with a market shift from
higher-margin to lower-margin products, will result in insufficient revenue
to support our infrastructure and the costs of an ever-expanding delivery
network. We will reach a point when our ability to continue reducing costs
reaches its limits. At that point, our options will be limited, and those
options, by their very nature, will simply exacerbate the
crisis....Electronic diversion continues to erode First-Class Mail volume,
this product will become more price-sensitive than ever. Higher rates will
likely increase the pace of change, accelerating the volume decline,
resulting in falling revenue and the need, again, to increase rates. It is
an economic model that is not sustainable in the long term and could lead to
the proverbial death spiral that many have predicted." He said that
"The portion of the costs of Civil Service Retirement System
benefits for Postal Service employees attributable to their military service
should not be borne by the Postal Service....We strongly believe we
should be granted more rate flexibility and authority to introduce new
postal services....If the Postal Service had the authority to adjust rates
within a predetermined range, we believe that the CPI could serve as an
acceptable – though extremely challenging – price cap....It is
imperative that a reasonable exigency provision be included, particularly in
a bill providing for a rate cap tied to the Consumer Price Index. He said
all benefits and wages should be subject to collective bargaining.
Walker told the Committee that "The Postal Service has made
significant progress since its transformation efforts and long-term outlook
were added to GAO’s High-Risk List in 2001, including achieving record net
income, repaying most debt, increasing productivity, and downsizing the
postal workforce. However, the Service’s financial progress was largely
due to a transitory boost provided by 2003 pension reform legislation that
reduced the Service’s pension costs in fiscal years 2003 through 2005, but
also benefited from increased Standard Mail volume and revenues, and certain
cost-cutting and efficiency initiatives....Key elements for postal reform
include clarifying the Service’s mission and role so that the Service
remains focused on universal postal service and competes appropriately;
enhancing the Service’s flexibility to operate in a businesslike manner
with a governance structure suitable for a $70-billion entity, balanced by
enhanced transparency, accountability, and oversight; making needed human
capital reforms; and moving toward prefunding retiree health
benefits....Comprehensive postal reform legislation continues to be needed
to address the fundamental financial, operational, governance, and human
capital challenges that continue to threaten the Service’s long-term
ability to remain self-supporting while providing high-quality, universal
postal service at affordable rates." Walker said that the Postal
Service should not be required to pick up military-related expenses, and
that the escrow should be abolished. He said that S. 662 was a reasoned
and reasonable basis for reform. He said that the rate cap must take into
account that future postal health retiree benefits must be paid. He urged
the committee to look again at pay comparability and the negotiation of
Sen. Ted Stevens
(R-AK) took strong exception to the provision to require the USPS to pick up
the military portion of postal retiree benefits. He said he strongly
opposed doing this, and would speak directly to the President about
Sen. Susan Collins
(R-ME) echoed the concerns raised by Stevens. Collins said a great deal
already has been done to accommodate the views of the Administration, and
that the Administration needed to do much more to find compromises that
would facilitate passage of this legislation. She said that the existence of
an escrow account looks like a shell game designed just to have
postal ratepayers pick up other nonpostal, federal costs. She said if the
Treasury should not subsidize the Postal Service, then the Postal Service
should not be required to subsidize the Treasury.
April 14, 2005 -- The DM Bulletin (U.K.) has reported that "Draft Worldwide has restructured its London management team, bringing in the Draft Chicago executive vice-president, John Minnec, to be the London agency’s new managing director. Minnec's predecessor, Sez Maxted, will become Draft London's first chairman, with a remit to focus on new business and the strategic direction of the agency. The move is designed to bolster the London management team, enabling the UK office to play a more prominent role in the network's international operations as its lead European agency. Minnec joined Draft Chicago in 1996 following stints at Ogilvy & Mather, where he ran the Sears account, Grey Advertising and Leo Burnett. At Draft, he was responsible for the huge United States Postal Service account." Minnec also serves as a member of the PostCom Board of Directors and Small Business Marketing Council.
April 14, 2005 -- As the Syracuse Post-Standard has noted, "For a decade, Republican Rep. John McHugh has labored in Congress on a bill that would reform the U.S. Postal Service and make it run in a more businesslike fashion. In a unanimous vote, the House Government Reform Committee approved McHugh's Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act and sent it to the full House, where it still faces legislative hurdles."
April 14, 2005 -- From the PR Newswire: "Group 1 Software, Inc., a Pitney Bowes Company, has signed agreements with five new partners in the past month, extending the reach of its Customer Communications Management (CCM) solution into untapped vertical markets. Group 1's unique CCM solution simplifies the gathering and manipulation of data, streamlines document"
April 14, 2005 -- The Evening Times (U.K.) has reported that U.K. "POSTAL workers today agreed to a pay rise of £11.50 a week and a £100 Christmas bonus. The 3.8% rise will take basic pay for the Royal Mail's 160,000 workers to £311.50 a week. It's the first time in years an agreement has been reached at the time of the April pay review, and it followed pressure from workers for a "simple, no strings" deal." See also The Scotsman.
April 14, 2005 -- The Washington Post has reported that "Their planes are fuller and their operations are more efficient, but most airlines will report larger losses in the first quarter than in the comparable quarter last year for a total industry loss of about $2 billion, the Air Transport Association said yesterday. The culprits: high fuel costs and low ticket prices as the airlines have resorted to slashing fares in sharp competition to fill seats." Oohhhhhh! I get it! So let's use the Postal Service as air transport's whipping boy. Good public policy. Riiight! In your dreams.
April 14, 2005 -- DM News has reported that "Association for Postal Commerce chairman Vincent Giuliano began a Stop the "Stamp Tax" Campaign yesterday. He urged members to tell their representatives on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and the House Government Reform Committee that postal rates should not be raised to fund an escrow mailers have already paid."
April 14, 2005 -- As GovExec.com has noted, "The House Government Reform Committee approved on Wednesday a measure overhauling the Postal Service for the first time in more than three decades. The approval came despite bipartisan concern about language that would have allowed the Postal Service, rather than the Transportation Department, to contract with foreign airlines to carry international mail."
April 14, 2005 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that "The latest survey from Transport Intelligence has shown that freight forwarders intend to invest most heavily in new technology over the coming year. However RFID looks set to lose out to more established technologies such as track and trace in order to create competitive advantage."
April 14, 2005 -- Kyodo has reported that "The government plans to set up a special fund under the proposed privatization of Japan's postal system to give financial aid to money-losing post offices even in urban areas."
April 14, 2005 -- According to Asia Pulse, "The Japanese government intends to submit postal privatization bills to the Diet this month without making any changes to the privatization framework the government adopted on April 4, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said Wednesday."
April 14, 2005 -- The Peninsula (Qatar) has reported that "Shops and individuals found selling postage stamps and other postal stationery to the general public at a premium will be prosecuted by Qatar's General Postal Corporation (Q-Post), chairman Ali Mohammad Al Ali, warned here yesterday. Companies and residents of the country were also likely to face minor delays in receiving their mail within the next few days, he added."
April 14, 2005 -- Window Book, Inc., the leader in postal shipping, manifest mailing, and Delivery Confirmation® software, has released the updated Spring 2005 version of Postal Package Partner (PPP) to include expanded, user-friendly International Modules, which support Global Express Mail™, Global Priority Mail™, Global Airmail Parcel & Letter-Post, and Global Economy Parcel & Letter-Post.
April 13, 2005 -- From the PR Newswire: "Pitney Bowes Inc. has expressed its appreciation to the leadership and members of the House Government Reform Committee for unanimously approving the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act. "This action is an essential step on the road to real postal reform," said Michael J. Critelli, Chairman and CEO of Pitney Bowes. "The Committee's action shows there is broad, bipartisan support for legislation to enable the Postal Service to survive and thrive in the 21st century.
April 13, 2005 -- From the BusinessWire: "Following passage of comprehensive postal reform legislation by the House Government Reform Committee, UPS today announced its support of H.R. 22 and committed to work toward final passage in Congress. The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2005 mandates significant reform measures to move the Postal Service toward sound financial footing while enhancing regulatory oversight. Last year, the House Government Reform Committee's Special Panel on Postal Reform and Oversight held numerous hearings with key stakeholders in the mailing industry to develop comprehensive postal reform legislation. "This legislation is an important step toward long-term, comprehensive postal reform," stated UPS Chairman and CEO Mike Eskew. "The Postal Service plays a vital and critical role in facilitating commerce in our nation. This legislation will provide the Postal Service with flexibility as well as necessary oversight to effectively compete in the mailing industry." UPS commended the leadership of Chairman Tom Davis, (R-Va.); ranking member Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.); Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.), and the chairman of the Special Panel on Postal Reform, Rep. John McHugh (R-N.Y.)."
April 13, 2005 -- As the CBC has noted, "Canada Post will pay $59 million in dividends to the federal government after recording its 10th consecutive profitable year in 2004." There's a right way for governments to make money off their posts, and there's a wrong way. In Canada, they have the right way. In the U.S....well...just take a look at the mess that came out of P.L. 108-18, and you judge.
April 13, 2005 -- Aviation Daily has reported that "Both the House and Senate will take up a postal reform bill today containing a controversial provision that lets the post office bid out for international air mail service. The bill would also allow foreign carriers to bid on certain routes. Domestic airlines contend it would put millions in revenue at risk."
April 13, 2005 -- According to Nikkei, "The Japanese government intends to submit postal privatization bills to the Diet this month without making any changes to the privatization framework the government adopted on April 4, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said Wednesday. The prime minister's decision seems to reflect his frustration that the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, which counts many privatization opponents as its members, has been unable to come up with unified proposals."
April 13, 2005 -- Posted on this site is a summary of the changes that were a part of the amended version of H.R. 22.
April 13, 2005 -- FranchiseGator.com has reported that "Money Mailer, one of the country’s leading direct mail advertising franchise companies, is urging business owners nationwide to voice their opposition to the United States Postal Service’s latest rate increase proposal which was filed on April 8, 2005. The Postal Service is seeking to raise all postal rates by five percent to six percent to be effective as early as January 2006. This increase is in addition to a second, regular cost of living type rate increase to be sought next year. The Postmaster General’s only reason for making this request is to raise funds to make a $3.1 billion escrow payment due for civil service retirement costs next year. This “escrow” was created when Congress realized that stamp payers had already over funded the costs for civil service retirees. Although Congress promised to fix the escrow, this has not taken place." SHOW ME THE MONEY!!
April 13, 2005 -- From the Canada Newswire: "In its 2004 Annual Report tabled today in Parliament, Canada Post reported its tenth consecutive year of profit for its Group of Companies. The Corporation recorded a consolidated net income of $147 million for the fiscal period ended December 31, 2004. "Ten years of profitability is an accomplishment the management and employees of Canada Post can take great pride in," said the Honourable John McCallum, the Minister Responsible for Canada Post."
April 13, 2005 -- The U.S. House of Representatives moved a step closer to enacting postal reform legislation this year, as the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act was passed unanimously out of the House Government Reform Committee today. The bill, introduced by Rep. John M. McHugh (R-NY) and Committee Chairman Tom Davis (R-VA), will modernize the U.S. Postal Service for the first time in more than 35 years and provide a structure to help it achieve future solvency.
April 13, 2005 -- A revised version of H.R. 22 was prepared for today's markup. You can find a copy of that revision on this site. As with the previous version, single-piece parcel post remains within the competitive services category rather than in the market-dominant category as provided in S.662. The revised version of H.R. 22 adopts the language used in S.662 concerning worksharing. Unlike S. 662, H.R. 22 empowers the Postal Regulatory Commission to make the call on the methods of ratemaking to be applied to market-dominant service. The issue of postal rate caps is left to the Commission's discretion.
House Government Reform Committee chairman Tom Davis (R-VA) noted that H.R. 22 would return to the Treasury the responsibility to pay for the military portion of postal retiree benefits.
H.R. 22 would eliminate the CSRS (P.L. 108-18) escrow.
Rep. Waxman (D-CA) said that H.R. 22 is a "bi-partisan" bill. The bi-partisan approach, he said, allowed the Committee to address some of the thornier issues, such as provisions regarding worksharing. H.R. 22, he said, now mirrors the language in S. 662.
Rep. Latourette (R-OH) introduced, and the Committee adopted, (with some members dissenting) an amendment to strike Section 805 and 806 of the bill--provisions governing the international air transport of mail--and authorizes the General Accountability Office (GAO) to study and report on the economic impact of this issue on domestic air carriers.
Rep. Issa (R-CA) called for a review of the Alaska Air Bypass program, and asked for consideration to include as one of the manager's mark for floor consideration.
Rep. Souder (R-IN) called for a review of the rules governing the acceptance of mail, and asked for consideration to include as one of the manager's mark for floor consideration.
H.R. 22 was approved unanimously by the Committee and passed out of committee for House floor consideration.
April 13, 2005 -- Kyodo has reported that "Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi maintained an unwavering posture on his postal privatization drive Wednesday, with more than 100 lawmakers of his own Liberal Democratic Party involved in issuing a resolution against it."
April 13, 2005 -- 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..
April 13, 2005 -- As the Washington Post has noted, "The House Government Reform Committee has called a meeting today for a vote on legislation that would provide the Postal Service with more flexibility in its services and business operations and free up money in an escrow account that could be used to hold down postage rates. In the Senate, the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee plans to hold a hearing tomorrow on the finances and the future of the Postal Service. Postmaster General John E. Potter, David M. Walker, the head of the Government Accountability Office, and Bush administration officials are scheduled to testify. Without relief from Congress, the Postal Service proposes to raise the price of a first-class stamp, currently 37 cents, by 2 cents, as part of a 5.4 percent across-the-board increase in postage rates."
April 13, 2005 -- GovExec.com has reported that "House Government Reform Chairman Tom Davis, R-Va., and ranking member Henry Waxman, D-Calif., have not yet reached agreement on labor provisions, rate caps and others issues in a postal overhaul measure scheduled for markup Wednesday, bill proponents say. Although the bill has enough support from GOP panel members to pass on party lines, Davis wants to preserve the bipartisan consensus that paved the way for the panel's unanimous approval last year. "A partisan bill isn't an option here," said a GOP committee aide. "There are too many moving parts, too many constituencies, that have little or nothing to do with party affiliation. It's a fragile coalition that makes postal reform possible, and any move toward heavy-handed partisanship threatens to destroy it."
April 13, 2005 -- Handelsblatt has reported that "Deutsche Post, the German postal services provider, has announced plans to expand its logistics division. The division includes DHL, which deals with air and sea cargo, and DHL Solutions, the contract logistics subsidiary." See also Dow Jones.
April 13, 2005 -- The DM Bulletin (U.K.) has reported that "Labour and the Conservatives are on track to spend record amounts on direct marketing to target the few floating voters who will determine the election, according to exclusive research commissioned by Marketing. In the first two months of 2005, both Labour and the Tories sent more than twice as many pieces of mail than in the whole of 2004, with Labour exceeding the volume of mailings it sent in the last election year of 2001, according to Thomson Intermedia."
April 13, 2005 -- Arutz Sheva (Israel) has reported that "Israel Postal Authority employees will begin sanctions tomorrow (Wednesday) following today’s one-day strike which resulted in an interruption in mail service nationwide. Tomorrow’s sanctions will result in post office branches operating during the morning hours only. Employees announced that they will not impose sanctions on the delivery of mail."
April 13, 2005 -- According to InformationWeek, "UPS Has Big Plans For China And The World."
April 13, 2005 -- The Daily Yomiuri (Japan) has reported that "The government on Tuesday decided to prohibit the planned postal savings bank and postal insurance company from making merger and acquisition deals with private banks or insurance companies, or buying some business rights from such corporations, until postal privatization is completed in 2017."
April 12, 2005 -- From today's USPS Board of Governors meeting:
Patrick Donahoe has been named Deputy Postmaster General of the United States. He succeeds the retiring John Nolan.
The Board heard reports from its Audit, Capital Projects, and Strategic Planning Committees. It was reported that while there were some "disappointments" with certain undisclosed aspects of PARS Phase I, the USPS will proceed with Phase II. The conclusion was that there were sufficient synergistic benefits to fully justify the program.
The Board discussed the "Personal Postage" program (pictures on a stamp), and provided management with a number of recommendations for its consideration.
Retiring Senior V.P. for Human Resources Suzanne Medvidovich noted that 55% of all USPS executives will be eligible to retire in 2006.
The USPS operates the world's largest intranet.
Chief Marketing Officer Anita Bizzotto reported that the USPS' Business Connect program (which relies on local postmasters in a postal marketing program) has been a success. She noted that the USPS has experienced a 25% increase in the number of registrations it has on its Click and Ship program. Future efforts will focus on small business marketing development opportunities.
April 12, 2005 -- The EMA Institute for Postal Studies has released today an analysis of the economic cost of the three alternatives currently being discussed which are the current Senate bill, current House bill and the Administration's proposal. The Administration's proposal would collect $48 billion in new revenue over a 10-year period which would minimize budget impacts. However, the analysis we have completed shows that raising rates to pay for pre-funding of healthcare and paying for military pensions would actually result in a loss of $64 billion in tax revenues over the same period. We believe that the House bill would result in putting 114,000 jobs at risk in the first year or two million jobs over the 10 year period we evaluated. The Senate proposal would impact 182,000 jobs in the first year and 1.4 million jobs over the 10 year period because of the differences in the trajectory of payments that these different bills would require. In the Administration's proposed approach, according to our model, 245,000 jobs would be impacted in the first year and 3.5 million jobs would be impacted over ten years.
April 12, 2005 -- According to Traffic World:
DHL Worldwide expects China-related revenue to grow by 45 percent in 2005.
Imagine a day when third-party logistics and see all their customers' goods in the supply chain - on the dock, in the container, yard, warehouse and truck - manage movement of the shipments and pay all the service providers moving, storing and distributing the freight. According to Richard Palmieri, president of Schneider Financial Services in Green Bay, Wis., that day could be less than two years away.
April 12, 2005 -- The following is an editorial from the Lansing State Journal:
The current political fight between the U.S. Postal Service and Congress carries only one certainty: Hypocrisy rules.
The post office is pushing another rate increase, to 39 cents for a first-class letter. The increase, though, won't happen if Congress passes legislation the Postal Service wants.
The legislation would let the service keep money being diverted into an escrow count by congressional mandate. Meanwhile, the Bush administration's plan is to take the escrowed money and put it toward the Postal Service's future health-care expenses.
Here's the hypocrisy:
1. Congress has been forcing the Postal Service to conserve funds, all while running up record budget deficits and national debt.
2. The Bush administration wants to force the Postal Service to save now for future health costs, while pushing a Medicare drug benefit that will further strain an already teetering Medicare system.
3. The Postal Service wants you to believe that Congress is forcing it into rate increases. Yet this is the same outfit that until recently was spending millions putting its name on Lance Armstrong's back.
Of course, the final hypocrisy is the most fundamental: The public's charge that the Postal Service run like a business, while forcing it to provide service to every far-flung hamlet.
But don't look for that inconvenient fact to come up on Capitol Hill anytime soon.
April 12, 2005 -- According to the Wausau Daily Herald, "The U.S. Postal Service's latest political maneuver isn't worth 2 cents. That's how much the federal agency has asked to increase the price of first-class mail, from 37 cents to 39 cents, by early next year. It's not that 2 cents is too much to ask, or even that the reason given for the increase smacks of one-upmanship. The Postal Service says it wouldn't have filed a request for an increase if Congress had eliminated a 2003 law that requires the agency to establish a $3.1 billion escrow fund. The escrow debate is pure politics - it doesn't relate to our lives."
April 12, 2005 -- One reader of the Charlotte News Observer wants to know why he can't "recall reading anything about raising the price of shipping of postal spam to my mail box."
April 12, 2005 -- Les Echos (France) has reported that "The French lower house, the national assembly, will today begin a second reading of the bill which aims to reform France's postal services. While many of its provisions have already been approved by both houses, the national assembly's economic affairs commission has tabled an amendment which would limit the powers of Arcep, the body which is to be set up to regulate the liberalised postal and electronic communications sector. If the amendment is passed, Arcep will be able to protect competition in the sector but will not have power over all of the operations of the French post office, La Poste. In particular, La Poste's parcel service and proposed postal bank will be outside its control."
April 12, 2005 -- Xinhua has reported that "The United Parcel Service (UPS),one of the world's leading delivery companies, launched a maiden charter flight Monday from Shenzhen, a city in south China's Guangdong Province, said an official with the airport. Wang Huichen, director of the Shenzhen airport customs, said Shenzhen has gradually become south China's logistics center. Insiders point out that the maiden flight has intensified the competition among world's express giants in the Shenzhen market. The UPS will arrange 24 flights weekly in Shenzhen airport. According to statistics given by the airport monitoring center on overseas express, the airport has handled 18.9 million pieces of international express mail in 2004 worth 10.65 billion yuan (about1.28 billion US dollars), ranking first in the country. More than 30 world's and domestic express companies do businessin Shenzhen, which has become a lucrative market for express business. Fedex has built a 2,000 square meter storehouse in the airport, with 12 flights handled in the airport every week. DHL issetting up its storehouse in the airport and will be put into use in the near future."
April 12, 2005 -- The Hindu Business Line (India) has reported that "Aiming to generate more revenue, the postal department across the country is planning to make its foray in the warehousing business and banking, Tamil Nadu Chief Post Master General (CPMG) Vatsala Raghu said on Tuesday."
April 12, 2005 -- The president of Aliran Online has taken the Malaysian government to task for its postal snafu covering rates and other postal matters. "It is not only the public that is confused. The postal staff are equally confused. We were told by a certain postal staff that a briefing was held for 400 members of the postal staff on 22 February at Kepala Batas - six days before the implementation date on 1 March. According to him, even the experts who came to brief them were unable to answer the questions raised or provide satisfactory clarification."
April 12, 2005 -- In its latest report to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, the General Accountability Office said that "We found [in S.662] that the provisions related to changing the process for setting international air transportation rates are consistent with key principles of balancing flexibility, efficiency, and fairness that we have identified as being important for transforming USPS so that it can remain viable in the competitive 21st century environment."
April 11, 2005 -- AllAfrica.com has reported that "In a bid to find relevance in the fast expanding market, especially with mushrooming private courier service providers in the country, the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) has intensified its campaign to re-orientate its entire staff towards creating a better delivery system and economic survival."
April 11, 2005 -- Here's a correction: "John McCallum, Minister Responsible for Canada Post, today announced the proposed appointment of Moya Greene as President and Chief Executive Officer of Canada Post. The proposed appointment will be referred to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates for review. The Minister looks forward to receiving the results of the Standing Committee's review as soon as possible." In short, Greene is simply being proposed. Confirmation awaits.
April 11, 2005 -- The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the nation's largest small-business advocacy group, today voiced its concern about the negative effect postal increases have on small-business owners, and called on Congress to enact legislation to reform the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). "Small business is always in danger from stealth tax hikes," said Dan Danner, NFIB executive vice president of public policy and political. "Like all regulations, this postage increase will end up costing more than just a couple of cents for the Main Street business owner who depends on mail service as a way to market services and products to potential customers."
April 11, 2005 -- The House Committee on Government Reform has moved up the date of its markup of H.R. 22 to Wednesday of this week. The Senate's hearing on S. 662 is still set for 2 p.m. on Thursday. The Senate's proceeding will be webcast.
April 11, 2005 -- According to Nikkei (Japan), "Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi is what Western people call a single issue politician who focuses his efforts on just one problem, in Koizumi's case, privatization of the state-run postal services. Koizumi was already known as a strong advocate of postal reform as early as 1993. At a meeting of the lower house posts and telegraph committee in February of that year, which he attended as posts minister, he came under an unprecedentedly fierce attack from lawmakers in his own Liberal Democratic Party, who rely on postmasters as a source of votes, as well as those in the opposition parties. He was not even invited to the 40th anniversary of a society of postmasters that was held a few days after the meeting, where the posts minister would normally be the guest of honor."
April 11, 2005 -- The Financial Times (U.K.) has reported that "Postcomm, the postal services regulator, has appointedWanda Goldwag to its panel of commissioners as it prepares to open the UK mail market to full competition next January. Ms Goldwag, who is a part-time adviser on marketing investments at Smedvig Venture Capital, will replace Julia Kaufmann, whose term with Postcomm ends in May. The part-time appointment, involving three to four days work a month, will be for an initial term of three years."
April 11, 2005 -- According to the Gulf Times, "The regional director of the Universal Postal Union (UPU) for Arab Postal Corporations, Naquib Bul-aras of Tunisia, has lauded the initiatives taken by the General Postal Corporation (Q-Post) to update Qatar’s postal system in the last few years."
April 11, 2005 -- MENA-FN has reported that "Qatar's General Postal Corporation (Q-Post) needs to introduce the facility of mail delivery at doorstep while developing several new services as part of its future development, a visiting expert from the Universal Postal Union's regional office in Cairo, said. Speaking to The Peninsula, M Negib Boulares, the Cairo-based regional advisor for UPU said, Q-Post needs to offer mail delivery at doorstep within the coming months since a heavy demand for such a facility exists. The service, he said, may initially be offered to ministries and government organisations, banks and corporate houses as well as embassies and private companies who receive large volumes of mail daily. The corporation can later extend the services to cover residential complexes and apartments. Currently, Q-Post, like its counterparts in other GCC states, offers delivery of regular and registered mail only to PO Box addresses at post offices in the country. A pilot project to offer mail delivery at home was trialled at the Al Khor Community by the corporation over a couple of years ago."
April 11, 2005 -- The Belfast Telegraph (U.K.) has reported that "Royal Mail workers in Northern Ireland are set to pocket up to £1,000 each as reward for their service improvements. The UK-wide windfall is expected to be announced as Royal Mail delivers its 2004/05 financial results due next month. The bonus payment will be about £800 for most of the 4,500 postal workers in Northern Ireland, but some could receive as much as £1,000, based on a projected £400m profit result. The payment is being made as part of the "Share in Success" scheme introduced by Royal Mail three years ago to bolster staff morale and encourage productivity gains."
April 11, 2005 -- The Asahi Shimbun (Japan) has noted that "The standoff between the government and the Liberal Democratic Party over the privatization of postal services is nearing its final showdown. Resistance within the LDP drags on, with attendance at a study meeting last week sponsored by Tamisuke Watanuke, a former Speaker of the Lower House and sworn opponent of the reforms, reaching 96 members. This belated uproar is perplexing. Postal privatization has been a major plank in Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's platform from his earliest days on the political scene. He has repeatedly pledged change in national election campaigns and LDP in presidential ballots. So why did the LDP legislators now so doggedly opposed to him elect Koizumi as leader in the first place? The whole thing stinks of ulterior motives: first they feed off the prime minister's popularity, then they turn on him."
April 11, 2005 -- According to DM News, "Every company executive who uses the mail should take his or her hat off to Postmaster General John E. Potter and his staff for reining in costs, reducing the size of the USPS’ labor force and managing operations."
April 10, 2005 -- From the Postal Bulletin: "Network Operations Management is pleased to announce the replacement of the Drop Shipment Appointment System (DSAS) with the Facility Access and Shipment Tracking (FAST) system. FAST is a critical component of the Postal Service'sTM overall effort to improve the drop shipment process. FAST offers a simplified scheduling process and enables customers to provide detailed information about the content of their appointments. When facilities understand customer requirements ahead of time, they can offer appointment slots based on their capacity. In the end, both customers and Postal Service facilities will benefit from improved operational efficiency. FAST begins a phased national deployment in June with all areas phased in over the following 6 months."
April 10, 2005 -- The United States Postal Service® has issued an updated online Global Express Mail® label. The updated online label incorporates all the features of PS Form 2976-A, Customs Declarations and Dispatch Note - CP 72, and has five copies. The customer must sign all copies, and the office of mailing must retain the Post OfficeTM copy (copy 4) for 30 days from the date of mailing. Retail acceptance employees should follow the online label acceptance procedures outlined in the Global Express Mail Standard Operating Procedures. This online label eliminates the need for a mailer to affix a separate PS Form 2976-A to the item. Customers can use PS Form 2976-E, Custom's Declaration Envelope - CP 91 (plastic envelope), to hold these online labels. Customers can get copies of PS Form 2976-E free of charge at most Post Office facilities and can also order copies of PS Form 2976-E free of charge at http://shop.usps.com; in the "Search Store" box, type in "2976," click on Search, and then follow the ordering directions.
April 10, 2005 -- One of the sites you ought to be checking regularly is the PostInsight web site hosted by Pitney Bowes. There are three new presentations that have been posted that really warrant your review. They are:
April 10, 2005 -- Bloomberg has reported that "Toranosuke Katayama, a Japan ruling party lawmaker pushing to protect the jobs of 400,000 workers as the country privatizes its postal system, said dissolving parliament as a way to settle the issue can't be justified. ``It's not justifiable to dissolve parliament because the government and the ruling parties can't come to an agreement,'' Katayama said on Fuji Television's Hodo 2001 program. A majority of lawmakers from the Liberal Democratic Party still oppose the sale of state-run postal services after Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi on April 4 softened earlier proposals to win their support, according to Seiko Noda, another LDP lawmaker. Koizumi in February said he may call a general election if he fails in the current Diet session to pass legislation to sell the nation's postal service."
April 9, 2005 -- The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin
is available online. In this issue, news on the R2005 rate case with charts comparing
key proposed and current postal rates.
April 9, 2005 -- The Financial Times (U.K.) has reported:
Shares in Exel hit a three-year high, up 5 per cent at 894½p for the week, on rumours the logistics group could face a bid from Deutsche Post. Traders became excited after Europe's largest postal group said it would seek to more than triple the number of shares it could issue to fund potential acquisitions. But though there was some substance to the speculation, with trading volume for Exel on Monday more than twice the daily average, shareholders should note that just last month a DP executive told the Financial Times the company was not interested in such a deal.
The Royal Mail is to remain in government hands, Labour's election manifesto will pledge next week in a promise that is likely to be welcomed by party loyalists and trades unions. Tony Blair has decided that, while competition to open up the postal market should continue as the government brings more private involvement into the running of public services, the Royal Mail itself should remain in state ownership.
April 9, 2005 -- The Associated Press has reported that "The Internet's key oversight agency gave final approval Friday to two new Internet suffixes - ".jobs" for the human resources community and ".travel" for the travel industry. Negotiations continue on two other names already given preliminary approval: ".post" for postal services and ".mobi" targeting mobile services."
April 9, 2005 -- Japan Today has reported that "Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said Friday he will accept a possible decision by his ruling party to back the government's submitting to parliament a set of bills to privatize Japan Post on condition they can be amended afterward. But the premier predicted that any possible changes to the bills would be slight, saying "There'll be very few."
April 9, 2005 -- According to Kyodo (Japan), "The government will impose a maximum fine of 1 million yen each on managers at a proposed postal holding company if they fail to sell all of its shares in a postal savings firm and a life insurance service entity by March 2017 to ensure full privatization."
April 8, 2005 -- The latest copy of the National Association of Postmasters of the U.S. electronic governmental affairs newsletter is available on the NAPUS web site.
April 8, 2005 -- One piece that came from the Postal Service's testimony is that it is not recommending any changes for its Confirm program. "Confirm has experienced significant implementation complications," the USPS said. "The market has been relatively slow in reacting to Confirm. Some of that delay probably derives from service inconsistency."
April 8, 2005 -- To make matters a little easier, here are two useful links:
HOT!! HOT!! April 8, 2005 -- The U.S. Postal Service filed a rate case with the Postal Rate Commission (PRC) Friday (4/8) seeking an expedited recommended decision to raise rates and fees 5.4 percent for almost all categories. The filing is unique in that the decision to seek a rate increase is due solely to the requirement of Public Law 108–18 that the Postal Service establish a $3.1 billion escrow fund. The law does not stipulate how the funds are to be used. The Postal Service rate case calls for an almost uniform 5.4 percent rate and fee increase spread over all classes and subclasses of mail and special services. The postage for a one-ounce piece of First-Class Mail would go from 37 to 39 cents in early 2006. Should legislation be enacted that eliminates the escrow funding requirement, this rate case will be withdrawn. The last postal rate increase was three cents on June 30, 2002. Information on the filing can be found at www.usps.com/ratecase .
For a quick review of First-Class, Standard Regular, Standard Nonprofit, Standard Regular ECR, and Standard Nonprofit ECR, check the charts that are posted on this site.
Postmaster General Jack Potter told the Postal Rate Commission in his testimony that "If the FY 2006 escrow obligation embodied in Public Law 108-18 did not 15 exist, the Board of Governors would not have directed postal management to file 16 the request now under review. Should legislation be enacted that relieves the 17 Postal Service of this $3.1 billion obligation before a recommended decision is 18 issued in this docket, we will withdraw this request."
April 8, 2005 -- Check out the PostInsight web site for:
A copy of the U.S. Strategic Plan for Representation in the UPU From 2005 to 2008.
The European Commission's "Second Report on the Application of the Postal Directive."
April 8, 2005 -- The Derry Journal (U.K.) has reported that "Postal workers in Derry have demanded an urgent meeting with Royal Mail management in a bid to get answers over a jobs advertising row that has flared in the city. Royal Mail has defended its decision not to place job adverts in the 'Derry Journal' as part of a campaign to recruit more Protestants to its operations in the city. Instead, the company only placed the ads in the 'Londonderry Sentinel' and its sister paper, 'The Echo'. It says the move is designed to achieve a religious balance in its workforce here."
April 8, 2005 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that "As container-shipping lines negotiate annual contracts with their customers to take effect next month, signs point to the third straight yearly rise in rates for transporting cargo from Asia to the U.S. One shipping-line executive estimated that base rates on containerized cargo to the U.S. from Asia will increase about 5% to 7% this year" Why report this? Well, because a substantial amount of the goods sold in catalogs gets transported to the U.S. from Asia on ships.
April 8, 2005 -- The APWU has won a union representation election at a privately-run MTESC (Mail Transportation Equipment Service Center) in Cincinnati, Local President Tim Breen has announced. The vote, held April 6, was 65-54; 127 workers were eligible to vote.
April 8, 2005 -- With the U.S. Congress poised to consider postal reform legislation, Congressman Jim Saxton has introduced a bill to require the U.S. Postal Service to deliver mail to the homes of senior citizens living in age-restricted developments. "There’s a good chance postal reform may be taken up in the 109th Congess, and I want to make sure this bill is on the table," Saxton said. Saxton has advocated legislation to require the U.S. Postal Service to deliver mail directly to seniors’ door steps. His bill, introduced on the House floor last night, is H.R. 1475. Gee, isn't it too early for the ornaments on a Christmas tree?
April 8, 2005 -- As the Voice of America has noted, "Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi has won a big battle toward accomplishing a major goal of his administration - privatizing Japan's mail delivery, postal savings and related insurance services. Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroyuki Hosoda says the prime minister has compelled the government to finally act on privatizing Japan Post's $3.25 trillion of assets. Mr. Hosoda says the prime minister's leadership has prompted the government to finally act on the plan. Opponents of the plan forced it to be watered down after protests from Japan Post's 400,000 workers, worried about job security. In the latest compromise, the 10-year privatization project will start in 2007. Japan Post will be split into separate entities under a holding company for mail delivery, savings, insurance and over-the-counter services."
April 8, 2005 -- According to Kyodo, "The government will pick private-sector personnel for the posts of president at the five spinoff units of Japan Post to be created in April 2007 when the process of privatizing the nation's postal system is scheduled to begin."
April 8, 2005 -- The Japan Times has reported that "The political tug-of-war over the government's postal privatization plan continued Thursday as a senior Liberal Democratic Party official gathered 95 LDP Diet members for a protest meeting. Lower House Member Tamisuke Watanuki faces reporters in Tokyo before a meeting of Liberal Democratic Party members opposed to postal privatization. The gathering was the second organized by Tamisuke Watanuki, a former House of Representatives speaker who is seen as the symbolic leader of those who oppose the privatization drive of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, the LDP president."
April 8, 2005 -- April 14 promises to be a big day when it comes to postal reform. In the morning, the House Committee on Government Reform will go through the process of marking up H.R. 22, its version of a postal reform bill. In the afternoon, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs will be holding its last pre-markup hearing on postal reform. Witnesses include: The Honorable Timothy S. Bitsberger , Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Financial Markets, U.S. Department of the Treasury; (accompanied by Roger Kodat , Deputy Assistant Secretary for Government Financial Policy , U.S. Department of the Treasury), The Honorable Dan G. Blair, Acting Director , U. S. Office of Personnel Management; The Honorable John E. Potter , Postmaster General, United States Postal Service; The Honorable David M. Walker , Comptroller General of the United States, United States Government Accountability Office.
April 8, 2005 -- As Business Week has noted, "As mail and commerce move to the Net, the U.S. Postal Service is facing a slump. Unable to cut costs fast enough to stay afloat, the post office would have to accelerate rate increases. That might cause big mailers to move to alternatives even faster, triggering a spiral of falling revenues, rising debt, and declining service. Insiders agree that Congress is likely to head off a crisis before the threat of shuttered post offices causes any political pain. So far the post office has kept its head above water by improving efficiency, cutting costs, and concentrating on growth in advertising mail. So-called standard mail -- advertisements, catalogs, and circulars -- is approaching the volume of first-class mail. Trouble is, on average, each piece of standard mail earns the post office about half as much as a similar piece of first-class mail. And advertisers agree that too many offers in a mailbox blunts their effect."
April 8, 2005 -- During the week of April 11, over 1,100 postmasters will ascend Capitol Hill to urge Congress to support non-discriminatory postal services for all Americans and safeguard a viable U.S. Postal Service. The effort is being promoted by the 42,000-member National Association of Postmasters of the United States (NAPUS). The conference will climax with a joint appearance by Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairman Susan Collins (R-ME) and House Government Reform Chairman Tom Davis (R-VA) during a legislative rally at the Marriott Crystal Gateway Hotel, in Arlington, on Wednesday morning, April 13. NAPUS President Wally Olihovik will moderate an in-depth conversation with the two Chairmen on postal reform legislation.
April 8, 2005 -- Bloomberg has reported that "Canada named Moya Greene as chief executive officer of the country's government-owned postal service to replace Andre Ouellet, who quit last year after the company was linked to a sponsorship scandal. John McCallum, the minister responsible for Canada Post, nominated Greene, according to a statement distributed by Canada NewsWire today. Greene, 51, worked in government for 17 years before leaving for jobs at Bombardier Inc., Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and Toronto-Dominion Bank, the statement said."
April 8, 2005 -- The House Committee on Government Reform, Subcommittee on National Security, Emerging Threats, and International Relations held its hearings on the threat of biological agents and the mail. Among those testifying were: Thomas G. Day, Vice President, Engineering United States Postal Service and APWU President William Burrus. The General Accountability Office (GAO) submitted a report as well. The Subcommittee was told that "More than three years after five people died of anthrax-related exposure to mail, the public still can't be confident when experts declare that a postal facility or a letter - or for that matter any place that may have been exposed to anthrax - is safe."
April 8, 2005 -- The Freeman (Philippines) has reported that "Despite President Arroyo’s call to adopt a four-day workweek policy, the Philippine Postal Corporation regional office-7 vows to continue serving the mailing public, observing the 8:00 am to noontime and 1:00 to 5:00 pm work schedule, Mondays to Fridays. “We feel that communication is vital in nation building and in making a better and strong republic,” the Philpost-7 press statement said."
April 8, 2005 -- The Hindu Business Line has reported that "WESTERN Union Financial Services plans to enter the domestic money transfer market in India, Ms Christina Gold, President of the company, today said. If Western Union does get the permission, it will be the first private financial services company to start domestic money transfer operations in India. As of now, only the Indian Postal System and banks offer money transfer services within the country. Ms Gold said for the domestic business, the company is most likely to join hands with India Post, which is one of its primary agents in the global remittance business in India."
April 8, 2005 -- The Daily Yomiuri (Japan) has reported that "The government formulated a policy Thursday that bills regarding privatization of the postal services should include a stipulation that would fine a planned holding company if it fails to dispose of all the stakes in the new postal savings and kampo postal insurance firms as required by the bills, government officials said."
April 7, 2005 -- The Times (U.K.) has reported that "ROYAL MAIL could face a strike ballot in the middle of the general election campaign as pay talks with the Communication Workers Union remain unresolved. The two sides have two days to reach an agreement before the CWU calls a meeting of its postal executive on Monday to consider “all available options”. The potential clash between the two sides comes after nearly two years of relative industrial peace."
April 7, 2005 -- Here are two headlines for you: "Cable girds for wireless fight" and "AOL Launches Internet Phone Service." Why is it that for one our former monopolies, telephone service, we as a nation think competition is good. But when it comes to the mail, we don't?And why are our attitudes regarding competition with "mail" so remarkably different when it comes to packages and express services? Do we really believe that our postal system is operated by incompetent dunderheads that would find it hard to survive in a truly competitive marketplace?
April 7, 2005 -- In a letter to all who had partcipated in the last postal rate case, USPS attorney Dan Foucheaux noted that the R2005 filing was being made as an across-the-board proposal that should be ripe for settlement. He provided a draft stipulation and settlement agreement for consideration.
April 7, 2005 -- According to the Financial Times (U.K.), "Business Post's letter delivery division, which competes with Royal Mail in the partially liberalised UK postal market, is set to break even during its first year of trading, ahead of expectations."
April 7, 2005 -- According to DM News, "Fingerhut Direct Marketing Inc. is the first national customer of a controversial U.S. Postal Service pilot project to allow broader use of repositionable notes on mail -- for a price."
April 7, 2005 -- Kyodo has reported that "Japan Post's two labor unions raised a strong objection Thursday to a government plan to divide up and privatize the postal system. "We cannot tolerate the plan as it would make the postal system, which serves as a social safety net and contributes to vitalizing the economy, collapse," the Japan Postal Workers' Union and the All Japan Postal Labor Union said in a statement."
April 7, 2005 -- Dow Jones has reported that "Japanese Finance Minister Sadakazu Tanigaki said Monday he is pleased with the government's outline for bills to privatize Japan's postal system from April 2007, including plans for full privatization of postal savings and life insurance services in 10 years. "I believe the issue was sorted out in the right direction," Tanigaki told reporters after Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroyuki Hosoda unveiled the outline earlier Monday."
April 7, 2005 -- The Evening Standard (U.K.) has reported that "The price of a first class stamp went up by 2p - to 30p - today as the Royal Mail prepares to lose its 350-year monopoly of the postal industry next year." See also the BBC.
April 7, 2005 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that "FedEx Ground, the small-package ground delivery unit of FedEx Corp, has chosen a 27-acre site in Pompano Beach, Fla., as the location for a new 215,000 square-foot automated distribution facility to be opened by summer 2006."
April 7, 2005 -- UsingRFID has reported that "Research and Markets has announced the availability of a new RFID market forecast report entitled 'RFID: Market Opportunities, Strategies, and Forecasts, 2005 to 2010'. According to the report, RFID EPC tags represent a high growth market segment in RFID, and markets are expected to grow at a solid pace through to 2009 when tag prices will finally sink to the sought-after 'penny tag' level."
April 7, 2005 -- The Smithsonian's National Postal Museum announced that it received $300,000 from Alan Ritchey Inc. to fund a new exhibition on the Star Route Service. Star Routes, which began in 1845, are postal service contract routes that increase the postal service's efficiency while decreasing costs. Star Routes got their name because postal clerks, weary of writing "Certainty, Celerity and Security" over and over again in the contract books, began using "* * *" instead. Star Routes have been covered by all kinds of transportation modes from stagecoaches, trucks and planes to less conventional means, such as dogsleds, snowshoes and bare feet.
April 6, 2005 -- According to Globes Online (Israel), "The budget of the Israel Postal Authority indicates that it is planning to cut mail distribution to five days a week, instead of the present six days. Sources inform "Globes" that Sunday will probably be the day cut, which will make it possible to close mail sorting facilities on Saturday night. The Postal Authority estimates that this will save NIS 15 million a year. The Post Authority is also planning open its branches five days a week, instead of six. Each branch will be closed on a different day, in order to ensure that some branches will always remain open in a given area."
April 6, 2005 -- As Reuters has noted, "The price of a first class stamp in the Britain will rise from 28 to 30 pence on Thursday, the Royal Mail said as it prepares for the impact of full liberalization of the postal market next year."
April 6, 2005 -- From the PR Newswire: "One-of-a-kind priceless "uncollectible collectible" envelopes and stamps -- ranging from the first U.S. airmail delivery nearly 150 years ago to lunar postmarks -- are now showcased in the Postmaster General's Collection housed at the Smithsonian's National Postal Museum in Washington, DC. The collection is a major component of the Museum's "Stamps Take Flight" exhibit that highlights the history of U.S. stamp-making. "This is the stamp collector's dream album -- with U.S. stamps and other rare postal artifacts you won't find anywhere else in the world," explained John Potter, Postmaster General and Chief Executive Officer of the U.S. Postal Service during the grand opening ribbon-cutting ceremony here today."
April 6, 2005 -- According to CNET, "You've already heard it many times. RFID technology has been around since World War II. So why are global supply chain retailers, manufacturers and technology vendors just now rushing to implement RFID?"
April 6, 2005 -- 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..
April 6, 2005 -- From the Business Wire: "BOWE Bell + Howell, the world's leading manufacturer of document processing and postal solutions, is the partner to help businesses evaluate alternatives to the costly upgrade to digital metering. BOWE Bell + Howell offers multiple options that enable mailers to earn significant postage discounts while also preparing their mail to achieve optimized speed on finishing equipment."
April 6, 2005 -- According to The Telegraph (U.K.), "Business Post has admitted it will miss City profit forecasts for the first time in more than four years. The courier company blamed the slowdown in the housing market and the surge in internet shopping over Christmas."
April 6, 2005 -- According to Banking Business Review, "The Japanese government plans to privatize Japan's postal system, selling its entire stake in the savings and insurance arm of Japan Post over 10 years from April 2007, according to details released on Monday. The bill is very likely to go ahead, with prime minister Junichiro Koizumi making the post office's privatization a pillar of his end of term in office, believing it is essential to more efficient capital allocation. The ultimate aim is to have the postal service privately owned and privately run."
April 6, 2005 -- PostCom would like to welcome the Arandell Logistics Group as its newest member. The organization will be presented at PostCom by Rick Kropski, Vice President, Logistics.
April 6, 2005 -- If you missed it before, here's your chance to check out again Charles Prescott's article on "The UPU: Why It Matters." Prescott, who serves as the Direct Marketing Association's Vice President for International Business Development and Government Affairs, also serves as the Chairman of the Consultative Committee of the Universal Postal Union.
April 5, 2005 -- Chief Executive has noted that "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night—nor even outdated regulations nor economic woes — will stray postal couriers from their rounds. The latter two additions to the oft-quoted postal service homily, however, threaten to bring a hefty rate increase that CEOs across industries, and particularly those in the media, say would endanger the health of their companies."
April 5, 2005 -- Human Resources Executive has reported that "Suzanne F. Medvidovich, SVP of HR, United States Postal Service, was named as one of the top 25 most powerful women in Human Resources."
April 5, 2005 -- According to Catalog Age, "You probably put off negotiating or renegotiating your parcel-carrier contract until after your peak season so that you can devote more time and attention to it. But that could be a costly mistake, according to Mike Erickson, president/CEO of AFMS Logistics Management Group. Erickson explained why, as well as discussed other ways to negotiate a more favorable contract, in a Monday afternoon session at the National Conference on Operations and Fulfillment."
April 5, 2005 -- The DM Bulletin has reported that "TNT Mail, one of the challengers to Royal Mail, has appointed an operations director from its Dutch arm and a new head of sales from Express Dairies. Theo Hoenders will be responsible for developing TNT Mail's ongoing operational strategy including its UK downstream access and end-to-end delivery capability, as postal operators prepare for the deregulation of the market in January 2006."
April 5, 2005 -- The Daily Yomiuri (Japan) has reported that "Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi urged his Cabinet and the ruling parties Tuesday to speed up preparation of postal services privatization bills to enable submission of the bills to the Diet by the end of the month. The Cabinet on Monday reached agreement on the substance of the bills that would start the process of privatizing Japan Post in April 2007 with the goal of completing the process entirely by 2017."
April 5, 2005 -- PostCom has learned that the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs hearing on postal reform scheduled for this Thursday has been cancelled. Sen. Collins is traveling to Rome for the Pope's funeral.
April 5, 2005 -- In a letter to U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors Chairman James C. Miller, thirteen prominent policy leaders today endorsed six essential elements of effective postal reform. The group’s six principles included requiring greater financial transparency and cost attribution for postal operations, more cost control and price stability, preventing unfair competition in non-postal markets, and fully independent audits. It also endorsed a 2003 recommendation by a Presidential commission on the U.S. Postal Service to adopt the Pentagon’s successful practice of using independent commissions to close unneeded postal facilities to cut operating costs. The letter was signed by Dr. John E. Berthoud, National Taxpayer’s Union; Merrick Carey, Lexington Institute; Charles Guy, former Director of the U.S. Postal Service’s Office of Economics and Strategic Planning; Kevin Kearns, U.S. Business and Industry Council, Richard Lessner, American Conservative Union; James L. Martin, 60 Plus; Ken McEldowney, Consumer Action; Rick Merritt, Postal Watch; Chuck Muth, Citizen Outreach; Grover Norquist, Americans for Tax Reform; Thomas Schatz, Citizens Against Government Waste; Dr. Michael Schuyler, Institute on the Economics of Taxation, and Don Soifer, Consumer Postal Council."
April 5, 2005 -- Harte-Hanks has been named by Texas Instruments a Supplier Excellence Award winner from Dallas-based Texas Instruments Incorporated, specifically for our "fulfillment and related marketing services." The Supplier Excellence Award recognizes global suppliers of the highest standards.
April 5, 2005 -- Read more on the Collins hearing on postal reform from FedSmith.
April 5, 2005 -- UPS has announced it has begun accepting UPS Ground Authorized Return Service® packages and other ground return services at its 40,000 drop box locations. No other carrier in the industry offers this option, which is made possible by UPS’s unique network of integrated air, ground and international operations. This new option significantly expands the level of convenience retailers can offer their customers without sacrificing the economical pricing of UPS Ground service, the most popular choice for consumer returns.
April 5, 2005 -- According to the Polish News Bulletin:
April 5, 2005 -- The Financial Times has reported that "Deutsche Post will seek to more than triple the number of new shares it can issue to fund possible acquisitions at Europe's largest postal group. The German company will ask its annual meeting to approve plans for up to 250m new shares - worth about €4.65bn ($6bn) on current share prices - to be issued over the next five years if needed."
April 5, 2005 -- According to the Pioneer Press, "Just in case Post-it notes aren't ubiquitous enough, they'll soon be appearing on your mail, too. One day shy of the Post-it's 25th anniversary, 3M Co. and the U.S. Postal Service are trotting out a new note that can be stuck to the outside of an envelope and put in the mail. The product holds particular appeal for direct-mail marketers who could put a catchy phrase or phone number on the Post-it, hoping you'll then stick it on your fridge or computer."
April 5, 2005 -- Rep. Christopher Shays, Chairman of the House Government Reform Subcommittee on National Security, Emerging Threats and International Relations, today announced he will convene an oversight hearing April 5 to examine the federal response to anthrax detections.
April 5, 2005 -- Business World (Ireland) has reported that "The government has been given a strong hint that it can subsidise the universal postal service provided by An Post. The hint was delivered by EU competition commissioner Neelie Kroes in an answer at the European Parliament. She told Fine Gael's Gay Mitchell that she would be sympathetic to any request from Ireland to provide such aid."
April 5, 2005 -- UPS Philippines has celebrated the third anniversary of its intra-Asia air hub by announcing expansion plans in a ceremony attended by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Since its establishment in 2002, UPS's intra-Asia hub has grown into the company's largest air hub in the Asia Pacific region. The hub is now home to 90 flights per week, a 50 percent increase since its opening. To meet growing demand, UPS announced plans to triple the hub's sorting capacity from 2,500 packages to 7,500 packages per hour. The expanded capacity translates to greater reliability and faster transit times for customers.
April 5, 2005 -- The Scotsman (U.K.) has reported that:
April 5, 2005 -- According to the Evening Standard, "THERE was a heavy thud in shares of Business Post today after it admitted profits will miss most City analysts' forecasts. Shareholders have enjoyed four years of almost unbroken share price rises at the courier group. The stock more than quadrupled on expectations of fat profits from the company entering the postal market and breaking up the Royal Mail monopoly. But the revelation that group pre-tax profits for the year to 31 March will come in below the £21.5m expected extended the stock's recent fall to 15%, diving 38p today to 605p."
April 5, 2005 -- The DM Bulletin has reported that in the U.K., "Spending on direct mail is only forecast to grow by 0.9% this year, according to figures published by the Advertising Association, lagging behind the average figure of 4.3%, hit by a cut in big campaigns by the financial services sector."
April 5, 2005 -- Bloomberg has reported that "Japanese ruling party lawmakers still oppose the sale of state-run postal services after Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi yesterday watered down earlier proposals in a bid to win their support, said legislator Seiko Noda. A majority of lawmakers on a Liberal Democratic Party committee that met today to discuss the new proposals are still against the plan to split up and sell Japan Post, the world's largest saving bank, according to Noda, a former minister for posts and telecommunications, who attended the gathering."
April 5, 2005 -- Nikkei has reported that:
April 5, 2005 -- From the PR Newswire: "Frank Keating, President and CEO of the American Council of Life Insurers, issued the following statement today on the release of the government of Japan's postal privatization outline titled, "Regarding Postal Privatization Legislation." "The ACLI is both encouraged and cautiously concerned regarding the release of the government's legislative outline regarding postal privatization."
April 5, 2005 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that "Japan's government proposed a bill yesterday to privatize its vast and unusual post office -- by some measures the world's largest financial institution -- marking a step forward for Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's efforts to shrink the nation's public sector. See also the Financial Times, Asahi Shimbun, Japan Times, and Japan Today.
April 5, 2005 -- The Rising Nepal has reported that "The Department of Postal Service has expanded its postal services by registering domestic and international express postal services from the Dilli Bazaar Postal Office and Bhotahiti country from 15 Chaitra 2061. At present, the express domestic postal services is operating in 43 municipalities in the country. Likewise, the international express postal services is operating in 26 countries in the world with whom Nepal has signed bilateral agreement."
April 4, 2005 -- The Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs will hold a public hearing on Thursday, April 7, 2005, at 10:00 a.m. in Room SD-342 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building, regarding the ongoing need for comprehensive postal reform. Witnesses include: The Honorable Timothy S. Bitsberger , Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Financial Markets, U.S. Department of the Treasury; (accompanied by Roger Kodat , Deputy Assistant Secretary for Government Financial Policy , U.S. Department of the Treasury), The Honorable Dan G. Blair, Acting Director , U. S. Office of Personnel Management; The Honorable John E. Potter , Postmaster General, United States Postal Service; The Honorable David M. Walker , Comptroller General of the United States, United States Government Accountability Office."
April 4, 2005 -- From the PR Newswire: "Lockheed Martin named Judy F. Marks executive vice president of its Transportation and Security Solutions (TSS) business unit, effective May 1, and said she will become company president in October 2005 as Don Antonucci transitions to retirement. Marks has served as president of Lockheed Martin Distribution Technologies line of business in Owego, NY, since March 2001. In her previous role, Marks was instrumental in positioning Lockheed Martin as one of the world's leading suppliers of automation and recognition systems for national postal providers such as the U.S. Postal Service and the United Kingdom's Royal Mail." Marks also served as a member of the PostCom Board of Directors and as Treasurer of the association.
April 4, 2005 -- The Daily Yomiuri has reported that "The stake in the postal savings and kampo life insurance businesses held by a planned holding company is to be disposed of entirely by 2017 under a postal privatization plan announced Monday." See also the International Herald Tribune.
April 4, 2005 -- DM News has reported that:
April 4, 2005 -- Japan Today has reported that "The government announced Monday an outline of bills to privatize Japan's postal system from April 2007, calling for fully privatizing postal savings and life insurance services in 10 years while attempting to achieve a soft landing for the process. The government will basically stick to a plan to split Japan Post into four business units under a holding company when a 10-year privatization process begins in April 2007. Aside from the two financial units, mail delivery service and a company to manage the network of post offices will be spun off. The holding company will be obliged to sell all its stakes in postal savings and "kampo" life insurance operators by March 2017, against an idea that it be allowed to retain some shares in them which might have been more acceptable to the LDP." See also the BBC and the Associated Press.
April 4, 2005 -- The Financial Times has reported that "The government of Junichiro Koizumi, Japan's prime minister, will as early as today present the outline of a bill on postal privatisation to the ruling coalition, incorporating a number of last-minute compromises agreed over the weekend. The prime minister is determined to keep the fundamentals of a privatisation plan published last year that includes splitting the post office into four separate units - savings, insurance, mail delivery and counter service - from 2007."
April 4, 2005 -- According to the Daily Yomiuri, "The government's stake in the firms that will take over Japan Post's postal savings and kampo life insurance services should be sold in stages in line with their business performance."
April 3, 2005 -- The Yemen Observer has reported that "The General Authority for Post and Postal Savings will spend more than 1.3 billion rials this year on constructing various hi-tech projects, said a recent press statement. The director general of the authority said the projects would focus on improving infrastructure of the authority through setting up an additional 90 post offices throughout the country."
April 3, 2005 -- According to the Japan Times, "Six Cabinet ministers involved in the plan to privatize the postal system agreed Saturday that the plan might have to be delayed beyond its scheduled start in April 2007. The delay is intended to give the government more time to get approval from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, where many members remain opposed to the plan or to privatization itself."
April 2, 2005 -- The Daily Yomiuri has reported that "Minshuto (Democratic Party of Japan), the largest opposition party, has finally compiled its proposal on postal reform, while negotiations on drafting a set of postal privatization bills between the government and the ruling Liberal Democratic Party reached their final stage."
April 2, 2005 -- According to postal commentator Gene Del Polito, "Most people view taxes, phone bills, utility bills, and death as immutable forces in business life. Many wouldn't think for a moment of ever doing anything to reshape how those forces impact their daily business lives. Indeed, it isn't often that the users of a public utility get much of a say about the organization and functioning of a vital service. Yet, that's exactly the kind of chance users of the mail are being given at this time of postal uncertainty and change. Sure, participating in the postal legislative reform process is one way of having your say, but other opportunities exist as well."
April 2, 2005 -- Trying to follow the action on postal reform? Stay close to where the action is through the PostCom Legislative Information Center. Look here for updates on the congressional calendar. Check here when action by you will be required.
April 2, 2005 -- According to the Irish Times, "Few public services are as much appreciated as those provided by An Post. The post office is where older people collect pensions and parents children's allowance. It is where parcels are dispatched to family and friends as well as for business."
April 2, 2005 -- The Consumer Postal Council has posted a nice piece on how to get involved in a postal rate case.
April 2, 2005 -- The Board of Governors of the U.S. Postal Service will meet in Washington, DC, at Postal Service Headquarters, 475 L'Enfant Plaza, SW, on April 12, 2005.
April 2, 2005 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "DHL said it has appointed John Pearson as executive vice president of commercial in the United States. Pearson, with 19 years of international express transportation industry experience with DHL, will oversee the sales, marketing, and business development activities of DHL Express in the United States."
April 2, 2005 -- Reuters has reported that "The next phase of DHL's marketing plan in the United States will be to address why shippers should choose the logistics and delivery arm of Deutsche Post AG over its rivals."
April 2, 2005 -- Kyodo has reported that "Six Cabinet ministers began working Saturday morning to produce a legislative outline by Sunday night for the government's plan to privatize Japan's postal system. The six include postal privatization minister Heizo Takenaka and Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Taro Aso. They met at the office of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, who instructed them on Friday to "give up the weekend" to draw up the outline. They are expected to report the outline to Koizumi on Sunday night. But the premier warned Friday that "If the six ministers cannot (come up with the outline) on Sunday, I will do it myself."
April 2, 2005 -- The U.S. Department of Transportation has granted final authorization for UPS to expand its air operations to and from China. The DOT issued a Final Order granting UPS three additional frequencies per week to serve China, starting in 2006. The additional flights will allow UPS to continue growing its business throughout the region, providing services ranging from express delivery to general freight.
April 1, 2005 -- The latest copy of the National Association of Postmasters of the U.S. electronic governmental affairs newsletter is available on the NAPUS web site.
April 1, 2005 -- The Jerusalem Post noted that "In the ancient world and through the period of the Middle Ages, there were couriers who risked their lives to deliver letters and messages to far-flung outposts of the empire."
April 1, 2005 -- Dow Jones has reported that "DHL will sponsor Major League Baseball as part of the express delivery company's bid to challenge FedEx Corp. (FDX) and United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS) on their own turf."
April 1, 2005 -- According to Nikkei, "Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi on Sunday will finalize the government's outline for postal privatization legislation that would spin off the current operations into four companies in April 2007, setting the stage for a showdown with his own Liberal Democratic Party, which opposes the measure. The postal privatization is top on Koizumi's political agenda as he has been an advocate for the project since even before he became prime minister in 2001. The spinoff is part of the government's privatization guidelines approved by the cabinet in September 2004. Koizumi is indicating a willingness to submit the legislation to the Diet by the end of April, even if he is unable to secure the backing of the LDP. Koizumi will meet Friday evening with pertinent ministers to finalize the broad framework for the government proposal. It will be presented to the LDP on Monday or later."
April 1, 2005 -- Japan Today has reported that "Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said Thursday the government will map out a blueprint on how to privatize Japan's postal system over the weekend for further bargaining with the ruling parties, putting off a make-or-break deal that had been aimed at for this week."