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Postal News from June 2005

June 30, 2005 -- AMEInfo has reported that "Emirates Post yesterday unveiled the 2005 Postcard Millionaire campaign, offering participants more chances to strike it rich with the purchase of a pack of postcards. Salem Al Shaya, Assistant Director General, Emirates Post, announced that a total of AED20million in cash prizes and other merchandise will be won during the campaign."

June 30, 2005 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that "The annual State of Logistics report for 2004 has been published by the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals. It provides an insight into the development of the industry in the USA including the growth of logistics costs. The report has revealed that during 2004, US business logistics costs rose by $71bn to $1,015 billion and were equal to 8.6% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This represents a jump of 7.5% compared with 2003. Transportation costs held steady for the third year in a row at 5.5% of GDP. As the author, Rosalyn Wilson states, this is an all time high for logistics costs, yet as a proportion of economic output the level has remained the same as the prior year. This is due to the rapid growth of the US economy which has kept pace with logistics costs."

June 30, 2005 -- Ireland Online has reported that "An Post are still missing service quality targets despite marginal improvement, the Commission for Communications Regulation said. The report shows that 76% of single piece priority mail - standard correspondence - was delivered within one working day throughout the State. The result still falls well short of the target set by ComReg of 94%."

June 30, 2005 -- Dow Jones has reported that "Demand from small and medium-sized companies is helping shipping giant United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS) post double-digit sales growth in Mexico, company officials said Monday. During the first quarter, UPS' export business sales from Mexico, the company's biggest Latin American market, grew by 30% versus the like-2004 quarter, building on a 60% annual expansion last year."

June 30, 2005 -- According to the Chicago Daily Herald, "The Mexican government has issued postage stamps depicting an exaggerated black cartoon character known as Memin Pinguin, just weeks after remarks by President Vicente Fox angered U.S. blacks. The series of five stamps released Wednesday depicts a hapless boy drawn with exaggerated features, thick lips and wide-open eyes. His appearance, speech and mannerisms are the subject of kidding by white characters in the comic book, which started in the 1940s and is still published in Mexico. Activists criticized the stamps as offensive, though officials denied it." See also MSNBC.com.

June 30, 2005 -- Posted on this site are two updated reports from the Congressional Research Service: "Pension Issues Cloud Postal Reform Debate" and "Postal Reform."

June 30, 2005 -- DM News has reported that:

June 30, 2005 -- The Daily Yomiuri has reported that "While many remain strongly opposed to postal privatization, the Liberal Democratic Party leadership hastily settled the dispute over a set of postal reform bills by putting the amended bills to a vote at the LDP General Council on Tuesday. The LDP leadership apparently was concerned about possible dissolution of the House of Representatives and a subsequent general election. LDP Secretary General Tsutomu Takebe stressed that the LDP leadership settled the dispute over the amended bills by crossing the Rubicon."

June 30, 2005 -- The Japan Times has reported that "The Liberal Democratic Party caved Wednesday to a demand from its junior coalition partner, New Komeito, and agreed not to put contentious postal privatization bills to a vote in the House of Representatives this week. The two parties made the deal during a meeting of their Diet affairs chiefs. New Komeito had been urging the LDP to abandon its goal of moving the bills through the Lower House by the end of the week, due to concerns it could negatively affect Sunday's Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly election.

June 29, 2005 -- Air Cargo World has reported that "DHL Worldwide Express and Transportation Management Group, a reseller of transportation services worldwide, announced a partnership that will bring DHL's premium air express products to the TMG customer network of businesses. Under this agreement, small to medium sized businesses will benefit from DHL's market leadership in the domestic and international air express industries and TMG's competitive pricing typically reserved for large corporations. Together, the two companies will improve the efficiency and affordability of these express services for the small to medium sized market segment."

June 29, 2005 -- Le Figaro has reported that "French postal operator La Poste's calculated pension liability at 2004 has been revised upward by 13bn euros to a total of 70bn euros, an amount which will be difficult for the public sector company to cover. Last year, pension costs amounted to 2.139bn euros, according to the group's management."

June 29, 2005 -- The Monitor has reported that "POSTAL managers from the Common Market for East and Southern Africa (Comesa) member countries have started deliberations on how to transform the region's postal services into a robust and viable sector. Postal companies have progressively registered less turnovers as mobile and email use penetrates deeper almost eliminating the traditional letter writing. Postal organisations must transform their vast resource (labour, capital, materials and information) accumulated before the onset of ICTs into products and services that meet the needs of a value-added obsessed modern market. Zambia's Deputy Minister of Communications, Mr C.E Kasukumya, who officiated at the opening of the meeting, contended that the provision of postal services under monopolistic conditions should be discouraged."

June 29, 2005 -- The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner has reported that "Sen. Ted Stevens is bringing the Senate Commerce Committee and two top federal officials to Alaska next week for a hearing on a variety of aviation issues. Most Alaska villages do not receive a subsidy because the U.S. Postal Service's air-mail system in Alaska has preserved service by more than one carrier and relatively frequent flights."

June 29, 2005 -- After a robust first half, advertiser expenditures for mail are expected to grow strongly during the rest of 2005 according to Robert J. Coen, Senior Vice President and Director of Forecasting with Universal McCann, one of the world's largest advertising agencies. In his June 2005 Insider's Report, Coen says "restrictions on telemarketing calls have generated additional piece volume in the class of mail used mainly for direct response." "Mail advertising continues to grow," he explains, "as marketers search for alternatives to their former telemarketing programs. In later quarters of this year volume growth is expected to be further stimulated by extra prospecting mailings preceding the rate increases scheduled to take place in 2006." Coen said that total U.S. ad spending is expected to increase this year by 5.7% to a total of $278.8 billion. In December, however, Coen had projected total annual growth of 7.4 percent. Mail spending this year is forecast to increase 8.5 percent to $56.6 billion -- in total, one of every five dollars spent on advertising. Meanwhile local newspaper advertising is expected to grow 5 percent to $40.9 billion while national newspaper advertising will also increase 5 percent to $8 billion.

June 29, 2005 -- The Australian Broadcasting Corporation has reported that "Unions say Australia Post is curtailing free speech by stopping workers from promoting rallies against proposed industrial relations reforms."

June 29, 2005 -- PostCom President Gene Del Polito told a gathering of international postal leaders at Pochtovaya Troika 2005 (a conference sponsored by Russian Post) that "Posts across the world have tried to respond to many of today's these challenges, but, for the most part, their responses have been lacking. Most have opted to undergo extensive organizational transformations in the hope that evolving from a state-owned post, government agency into some form of corporate enterprise would prove to be an elixir for what is ailing modern posts. Corporate and organizational transformation, however, is often not enough to ensure the future well-being of any postal operator, particularly if those who run the post fail to understand the role they must be prepared to play in the 21st century."

June 29, 2005 -- Nikkei has reported that "Consolidating urban post offices with overlapping service areas is necessary to streamline mail delivery operations, but the Liberal Democratic Party's amended postal privatization legislation undermines such efforts. The nationwide post office network has 24,700 branches. The government has already conceded considerable ground to the LDP on whether the full range of postal services will be maintained for rural areas once operations are privatized."

June 29, 2005 -- Japan Times has reported that "Two months after the Cabinet of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi sent a package of postal privatization bills to the Diet, his Liberal Democratic Party's Executive Council decided Tuesday to back a revised version of them by a majority vote. It was the first time the party's top decision-making body reached a decision based on majority vote. Its usual practice is to reach unanimous consent."

June 29, 2005 -- The Gulf Daily News has reported that "Transportation Minister Shaikh Ali bin Khalifa Al Khalifa ordered a new strategy to overhaul the postal sector. It aims to bring postal services in Bahrain in line with national and international changes, said Post Directorate director Shaikh Badr bin Khalifa Al Khalifa. A new logo has already been launched, heralding a new era in services."

June 29, 2005 -- Gulf Times has reported that "A FOUR-member General Postal Corporation (Q-Post) team, headed by chairman Ali Mohamed al-Ali, has just completed a five-day tour of Bosnia and Herzegovina. During their visit, the team members held discussions with top Bosnian government officials and ministers, a Q-Post statement said. Al-Ali met the Bosnian minister for transport and communications Nedzad Brankovic and held discussions to strengthen postal co-operation. An exhibition of Qatari stamps was also held in Sarajevo during the team’s visit. A joint stamp was brought out by the postal corporations of the two countries to commemorate the Qatar delegation’s visit, the statement noted."

June 29, 2005 -- According to the Hindustan Times, "US postal workers called in the bomb squad after they mistook a parcel containing vibrators for explosives. According to Ananova, a police bomb squad flew in by helicopter after the alarm was raised at Bluffton post office in South Carolina. Post office workers were worried after noticing a suspicious looking white package laying by itself in a loading area. Bluffton Police Chief John Brown told the Island Packet, "When they went to check it out, it was vibrating."

June 29, 2005 -- RIA Novosti has reported that "Russia's postal service and an Israeli company signed an agreement on the construction of ground-based satellite equipment stations to provide communications and telephony to remote Russian regions."

June 29, 2005 -- As the Eldorado Times has noted, "Every day, thousands of American consumers receive sweepstakes promotions-but not all sweepstakes offers are legitimate. It's important to be able to spot the scams."

  June 29, 2005 -- From i-Newswire: "Deutsche Post is putting a sales format to the test which, with an eye to the exclusive license set to expire at the end of 2007, should be financially viable and at the same time adapted to significantly changed customer behavior. If Deutsche Post customers respond favorably, the intention is to extend the pilot project starting in the spring of 2006. Basic services such as postage stamps, parcel-post stamps and Packsets will be offered, but not special services with low demand ( e.g. COD, issuing warehoused items ) and banking transactions. Deutsche Post's cooperation partners receive a result-related remuneration. In the age of the Internet, this new outlet format accommodates the greater mobility of Deutsche Post customers and the increase in private correspondence."

June 29, 2005 -- From Canada NewsWire: "Canada Post Corporation today announced in the Canada Gazette a one-cent increase (2 %) in the domestic basic letter rate as well as its proposed increases for USA and International letter rates for implementation on January 16, 2006. Under the price-cap formula approved by the federal government in 2000, basic letter rate increases, when warranted, will not exceed 66.67 percent of inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index from May prior to the last increase to May of the current year. Increases will be implemented no more than once a year, in January, and announced six months in advance in the Canada Gazette Part I. The Consumer Price Index from May 2004 to May 2005 shows an increase of 1.6 per cent. Under the price-cap formula, 66.67 per cent of the CPI increase plus the unused portion related to the January 2005 increase, permits a one- cent increase in the basic letter rate. Even at the new rate of 51 cents, Canadians will still enjoy one of the lowest domestic basic letter rates among industrialized nations."

June 29, 2005 -- The Calcutta Telegraph has reported that "The efforts of the postal department to initiate business development of the sector a year back by diversification of core activities and reinvention has paid off with the department yielding a revenue of Rs 450 lakh in 2004-2005 for Jharkhand circle. The only exception was the strategic post. This plan was introduced to carry parcels weighing more than 50 kg to any destination, which failed to take off. The postal department is however facing its greatest challenge from the private courier agencies that have gradually grabbed the market share of the department of post in delivering mails. As per new business strategy, the introduction of business post was aimed at providing a complete mail solution for bulk mailers."

June 29, 2005 -- According to Ha'aretz, "It's been four years since the residents of the Akeb and Semiramis villages, located within the municipal borders of Jerusalem but beyond the Qalandiyah checkpoint, last received their mail. All letters sent to the residents of those villages are returned to the sender bearing the stamp, "Closed zone." Receiving mail has also become a nearly impossible mission in Beit Hanina and Shuafat, Arab villages in northern Jerusalem, after the postal workers decided to bring all mail to grocery stores in the area rather than delivering it to residents' homes."

June 29, 2005 -- People's Daily has reported that "The draft of China's anti-monopoly law has been finished and is now under revision and deliberation, Li Dongsheng, deputy director general of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce, said in Beijing Tuesday. The Anti-Monopoly Law, once approved, would cover many industries and sectors and focus on issues like regional blockades and administrative monopoly, Li said at an international symposium on competitive policies and legislation. Official statistics revealed that China's industrial and commercial authorities have cracked 5,200 monopoly cases in sectors like water, power and gas supply, railways, insurance, telecom and postal services over the past five years."

June 29, 2005 -- DM News has reported that:

June 29, 2005 -- The Trinidad Express has reported that "The postal service has to prepare for change with the coming of the CARICOM Single Market Economy (CSME). This according to Public Utilities Minister Pennelope Beckles at the ninth Caribbean Postal Union (CPU) conference at the Crowne Plaza, Port of Spain, yesterday."

June 29, 2005 -- The Morocco Times has reported that "The Moroccan company in charge of postal services, Bareed Al-Maghreb, said on Monday following a board of directors' meeting that its 2004 profits increased by 59% year-on-year to MAD 118 million."

June 29, 2005 -- According to the Institute for Research on the Economics of Taxation, "At present, the Postal Service must seek prior approval from an independent federal regulator, the Postal Rate Commission (PRC), before changing the prices of its products. Two bills before Congress, H.R. 22 and S. 662, would loosen rate regulation. In markets the Postal Service dominates, the bills would give the agency much more rate-setting discretion, provided it does not raise prices faster than inflation. In competitive markets, the Service could set virtually any prices it wants, provided rates at least cover products’ costs, as measured by the Service. The bills’ fundamental assumption is that rate-cap regulation would motivate the agency to operate more efficiently. Rate-cap regulation, however, is poorly designed for a government-owned enterprise like the Postal Service. Government enterprises lack the market discipline provided by private owner/investors (residual claimants), who are eager to improve efficiency in order to increase profits."

June 29, 2005 -- As Traffic World has noted, "Amsterdam-based TNT, a global provider of mail, express and logistics services, is not participating in the sales process launched by the Belgian Government to sell a minority stake in Belgian De Post/La Poste. In spite of previous statements that under the right conditions it would be interested in a stake in the DP/LP, TNT said Friday it has now stopped investigating the possibilities of a partnership. TNT said it will continue to look closely at opportunities to acquire, under the right conditions, stakes in other postal operators."

June 29, 2005 -- The Evening Telegraph has reported that "The postal services watchdog has called on the Post Office to review its delivery procedures in the Dundee East postcode area after a catalogue of problems, writes Lynne Stewart. Postwatch Scotland raised concerns over the sustained problems of misdelivery and mail dumping in Dundee East after the situation was reported in the Evening Telegraph last week."

June 29, 2005 -- Uni has reported that it "has sent a letter of protest to the President of El Salvador over the treatment of postal workers who have been dismissed without compensation after many have devoted more than 27 years service to the civil service. Some members have commenced a hunger strike in protest and their health is is grave danger. UNI has called on the President to resolve this situation to end the hunger strike."

June 29, 2005 -- The Multichannel Merchant has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service and the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) on Tuesday reached a tentative one-year contract extension. Subject to approval by union members, the tentative agreement is scheduled to cover the period between Nov. 20, 2005, and Nov. 20, 2006, and includes a 1.6% wage increase that would take effect in March 2006. The agreement, which would affect more than 287,000 postal employees, also includes the continuation of a cost-of-living allowance and maintains members' current share of health-care costs."

June 28, 2005 -- Agenzia Giornalistica Italia has reported that "Italian Post CEO, Massimo Sarmi, said that the project to list Italian Post would continue, But the listing won't be made in 2005."

June 28, 2005 -- Australian IT has reported that "AUSTRALIA Post business unit EDI Post has not been uncompetitive in its pricing of mailhouse services, according to the federal Competitive Neutrality Complaints Office. The finding follows complaints from a Victorian database manager, which alleged EDI had used information from Australia Post to pick off its clients. An AGCNCO investigation has concluded there was no evidence to suggest EDI Post had obtained information from other parts of Australia Post about clients of mailhouse rivals that could give it a competitive advantage. It found EDI Post was setting prices in accordance with competitive neutrality principles."

June 28, 2005 -- According to Environmental Media Services, "Today marks the second anniversary of the National Do Not Call Registry. Now, Americans are taking aim at their mailboxes. The Center for a New American Dream , a non-profit, is launching a new petition asking Congress to build upon Do Not Call’s success and commission a registry to let citizens opt-out out of an equally relentless form of marketing – junk mail."

June 28, 2005 -- The Business Standard has reported that "The US-based $30-billion United Parcel Services (UPS), which plans to set up a network of retail franchise shops in the country under the brand name UPS Stores, may find the going tough. The company’s plans are likely to get stalled with the Centre’s recent reluctance to allow foreign direct investment in retail. A section of the government does see it as an attempt to gain an indirect entry into retail. Besides, the department of posts has objected to UPS’ proposal, viewing it as a violation of the Indian Postal Act, which reserves the mail delivery system as a government function."

June 28, 2005 -- From Free Press Release

June 28, 2005 -- Cayman Net News has reported that "As the most badly damaged office in the wake of Hurricane Ivan, Seven Mile Beach Post Office finally re-opened its doors after almost nine months and a full make-over. At the opening ceremony the Hon Arden McLean, who will take responsibility for the Postal Service on 1 July took the opportunity to commend the work of the staff. “I must note that the Cayman Islands Postal Service ranks with the best of the region in terms of offering a high-quality, reputable and stable service,” said Mr McLean. “I believe," he said, "that the Post Office – a cornerstone for our economy in the early decades before banking and tourism – can still be a significant revenue earner."

June 28, 2005 -- The Guardian has reported that "The Jersey government has announced it is to crack down on UK retailers who have been using a European VAT loophole to sell cheap DVDs, CDs and a range of other products. Both Jersey and Guernsey have become a major centre for the supply of low value, price sensitive goods such as films, music, contact lenses, food supplements and computer equipment." 

June 28, 2005 -- Emilio W. Cividanes, one of the deans of privacy law, has joined Venable LLP as a partner in its Washington office. Mr. Cividanes brings his extensive experience in privacy regulations, counseling and litigation, helping to further round out Venable’s government and legislative practices. Mr. Cividanes concentrates his practice on helping companies meet their privacy obligations in a competitive and regulated marketplace. As a lobbyist, he also works to shape the very data protection laws and regulations that govern their operations. He counsels clients in a number of industries, including marketing, entertainment, electronic publishing, telecommunications, health care, pharmaceutical, financial services, and hospitality. He advises on how to address privacy challenges in product development, sales, and other business operations, both domestic and abroad.

June 28, 2005 -- The San Jose Mercury News has reported that "How do we love thee, post office . . . Five bucks says you can't name the postmaster general of the U.S. Postal Service. But for a few brief moments last week, John E. Potter was like a rock star in San Jose. Potter appeared on stage before a packed HP Pavilion during eBay Live, the San Jose company's annual gathering of eBay members and employees. EBay Chief Executive Meg Whitman invited Potter onstage to discuss new shipping services available to eBay sellers. To most people, mailing a package is about as interesting as running a load of laundry. To eBay sellers, mailing is their life. And anything anyone can do to make the chore easier is greeted with wild enthusiasm. So when Potter took the stage, the crowd gave him a hearty ovation. And when Whitman asked the crowd after his talk, ``How much do we love the Postal Service?'' eBayers let it rip."

June 27, 2005 -- For the first time ever, the chief executive of the Postal Service testified in a rate case proceeding. PMG Jack Potter testified in hearings today at the Postal Rate Commission, and he held to his position that the USPS needs the 5.4% across-the-board rate increase it requested to build the escrow costs into its base. The costs get bigger in later years, Potter noted. He continued to push for settlement of the case. But Potter promised that the issue of cumulative net income, which the PRC's Office of Consumer Advocate Shelley Dreifuss raised in her oral cross-examination, would be dealt with in the omnibus rate case that will follow this case should the USPS have a cumulative net income when it files that case.

June 27, 2005 -- From the PR Newswire: "Nine national organizations serving small business interests are among the founding members of the United States Postal Service's Small Business Marketing Council. The council's objective is to serve and address the postal needs of the nation's 20 million small businesses and will focus on developing this vital economic sector's ability to grow and prosper through the use of mail as a business and marketing vehicle. "The Small Business Marketing Council is an opportunity for the Postal Service to expand its outreach to the small business community," said Anita Bizzotto, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. "Not only does it give us an opportunity to make this community aware of our products and services, it provides a forum where we can build a better understanding of the needs and challenges faced by small business across the country." Bizzotto will co-chair the council with Gene Del Polito, President, Association for Postal Commerce. "This council brings associations serving small businesses together with the Postal Service in a formal way," said Del Polito of the Association for Postal Commerce. "It strengthens the partnership between the mailing industry, the Postal Service and its business customers, and has the potential to open exciting and new avenues for growth opportunity."

June 27, 2005 -- According to Federal Computer Week, "Even as Congress and the Bush administration attempt to lasso privacy concerns by placing chief privacy officers in the saddle at agencies, few privacy officials toil to accomplish the same tasks....Chief privacy officer Zoe Strickland is in the midst of a massive overhaul of the U.S. Postal Service's records systems and record-retention policies. She is also making USPS' privacy policies more accessible by providing summaries and the full texts online."

June 27, 2005 -- The Polish News Bulletin has reported that "The European Commission is likely to probe into the state aid granted to Poczta Polska the national post service, according to the Polish News Agency (PAP). The agency has gained access to a document in which the EU Commission questions the amount of state aid to be allotted to Poczta Polska." See also Forbes.

June 27, 2005 -- Deutsche Post AG will this year open up to 300 new branches in rural areas in Germany, Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper said in a report to be published tomorrow, citing no sources. With the move, Deutsche Post wants to test to what extent it can offer basic postal services even after it loses its stamp monopoly in late 2007, the newspaper added.

June 27, 2005 -- Interactive Investor has reported that "Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi rejected a request by his own Liberal Democratic Party to amend a set of bills now under Diet deliberation for privatizing Japan's postal services, Kyodo News reported, citing Toranosuke Katayama, secretary general of the LDP upper house caucus. Kyodo reported that Koizumi told Kaoru Yosano, the LDP policy chief, and some other senior members: "If the bills fail to pass the Diet (the way they are now), it's OK with me to scrap them." See also the Japan Times.

June 27, 2005 -- Gulf Times has reported that "THE General Postal Corporation (Q-Post) recently held a two-day seminar on ‘Improving the quality postal services’ in the region in association with the Universal Postal Union (UPU). Eleven postal officials from the region participated in the deliberations of the seminar, held for the first time in the region.' 

June 27, 2005 -- MENA-FN has reported that "The Dubai Airport Mail Transit Hub of Emirates Post consolidated its position as the preferred regional mail distribution centre by handling 1,062,720 kg of international mail during 2004. Among the regular clients of the Hub are GATS UK, British Royal Mail and the UK and US offices of Deutsche Post. Swiss Post and Kuwait Post were the two major clients that joined the hub during 2005, in addition to several other postal organizations."

June 27, 2005 -- The Edinburgh Evening News has reported that "MIDLOTHIAN MP David Hamilton is calling for action to protect posties from back problems caused by letterboxes at the bottom of doors. He has backed the campaign by the Communication Workers to tackle the problem of low level letterboxes. The Labour backbencher has appealed to all MPs, Ministers and senior civil servants in a bid to prompt government action. It reads: "We note that there are around 3000 back injuries to postmen and women each year in Royal Mail. Delivering to low-level letter boxes at the base of a house front door forces postal staff to stoop to ground level whilst carrying a satchel of mail weighing up to 15kg (35lbs), which causes a serious risk of back strain." The motion also calls for the Government to implement rules specifying the height, position and design of letterboxes to ensure that posties can make deliveries without risk of injury."

June 26, 2005 -- Reuters has reported that "Dutch mail and logistics company TNT NV said it was no longer interested in bidding for a minority stake in Belgium's state-owned postal service. TNT, which changed its name from TPG in April and plans to drop its TPG Post brand in the Netherlands from 2006, said in a statement it would not bid for a stake in the postal service, called "De Post" in Flemish or "La Poste" in French."

June 25, 2005 -- The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin is available online. In this issue:

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June 25, 2005 -- According to the Associated Press, "Nationally, there are about 334,000 letter carriers. While their numbers are generally expected to decline in the next few years because of competition from alternative delivery systems and new forms of electronic communication, the demand for rural carriers is expected to increase. Because rural carriers are essentially post offices on wheels, they serve as an alternative to more post-office buildings."

June 24, 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.

June 24, 2005 -- The European Commission has posted on its web site a very fine paper by Neelie Kroes, Member of the European Commission in charge of Competition Policy on “Competition Law and the Liberalisation of the Polish Market” Dutch-Polish Chamber of Commerce Conference.

June 24, 2005 -- WhatTheyThink has reported that "The Electronic Document Systems Foundation (EDSF), the non-profit organization dedicated to the document communications industry, announced the publication of a landmark, co-branded research paper ("Document Communications---Industry Trends: 2005 Survey Results")  on industry trends with particular emphasis on buyers in that market. In part it said, "Timeliness, cost, and personalization of communications remain the top three concerns for buyers in the market. All three requirements lend support for the transition to digital delivery, as transit times can be cut from days to seconds, costs can be shaved from tens of cents to fractions of cents, and personalization continues to be limited only by the creativity of the hosting organization." 

June 24, 2005 -- SmartMoney.com has reported that "Mediators between UPS and its pilots union have called for a recess in contract negotiations that have been going on for three years as issues over pay and pensions remain unresolved. UPS said in a statement Thursday that the pilots cannot strike or take over action and are "legally obligated under the Railway Labor Act to continue working under the existing contract during any recess."

June 24, 2005 -- The Irish Times has reported that "Postal workers have threatened to go on strike and to punish the Government at the next election over An Post's refusal to pay the full terms of Sustaining Progress."

  June 24, 2005 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that "DHL, the express and logistics subsidiary of Deutsche Post World Net, is expanding its logistics location in Staufenberg (near Kassel) in Germany. About €44 million will be invested in a 50,000-square-meter multi-function logistics centre. Approximately 300 new jobs will be created as a result. The centre is scheduled to start operations at the beginning of October. DHL already operates a parcel centre, an express terminal and a fulfillment center in Staufenberg."

National Postal Museum

Tune in to the History Channel this Sunday, June 26! This week's episode of History Center focuses on the National Postal Museum and features NPM Historian Nancy Pope and NPM Registrar Ted Wilson. Airtimes follow: 8:30 a.m. Eastern/Pacific 7:30 a.m. Central 6:30 a.m. Mountain Time

June 24, 2005 -- As Folio has noted, "The labyrinth that is Postal Service politics took a new twist this week when PostCom, the Web site for the Association for Postal Commerce, reported that the Postal Service management asked to withdraw the pending request for a 5.4 percent rate hike in January. PostCom president Gene Del Polito said that while they wouldn’t comment publicly, contacts within the Postal Service are not denying that the request took place. David Straus, postal counsel for American Business Media, doubts there will be a change with the rate increase case. “There are two postal service spokespeople who have said they are moving ahead with the rate case,” he says. “They’re not denying that the governors were asked but an official spokesperson said he doesn’t know what happens behind closed doors and he doesn’t know anything about it." Sounds like the old Hogan Heroes Sergeant Schultz defense...."I know nothink!"

June 24, 2005 -- The HomeTownChannel has reported that "After fighting to keep its mail from being moved to Northwest Arkansas, Fort Smith was fighting Thursday to keep the postal service from sending local distribution to Oklahoma. The U.S. Postal Service is studying the factors involved in moving the distribution of Fort Smith mail to Tulsa. If the processing center is moved to Oklahoma, mail going from one neighborhood to the next would have to cross state lines first."

June 24, 2005 -- The Asheville Citizen-Times has reported that "Some mail was sorted by hand and re-routed to Charlotte after a small fire and power outage at the U.S Postal Service distribution facility on Brevard Road on Monday and Tuesday. Power was restored sometime Tuesday afternoon, Asheville Postmaster Danny Jones said. The center processes mail for the 287, 288 and 289 ZIP codes, and about 150,000 to 200,000 pieces of mail were sent to Charlotte. Jones said delays in mail delivery have been minimal."

June 23, 2005 -- The Associated Press has reported that "High fuel prices and the cost of opening a new around-the-world air route that won't pay off for a couple of years held FedEx earnings below Wall Street expectations Thursday, and the company's stock took an immediate hit. The parent of the world's largest cargo airline also said competitors are aggressively going after its customers, and FedEx projections for 2006 earnings fell below the average of analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial. The company made money across its trucking and airline divisions, however, and FedEx officers said its future is bright."

June 23, 2005 -- According to DM News, The U.S. Postal Service generated net income of $1.8 billion from Oct. 1 to May 31. USPS net income was $1.4 billion over budget and revenue totaled $47.4 billion, which was $1.1 billion better than planned and up 1.5 percent from the year-ago period.

June 23, 2005 -- From USPS linkOnline:

June 23, 2005 -- From the Congressional Record from the HON. RON LEWIS Of Kentucky: "Mr. Speaker, I would like to bring to the attention of my colleagues a fantastic program aimed at boosting the morale of our soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Operation Slugger is a partnership between the Association for the US Army (AUSA), DHL Express, Louisville Slugger, USA Cares, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), focused on providing sporting equipment for recreational activities for our soldiers in the field. This partnership is a response to the numerous requests from US soldiers asking for sports equipment for use during their leisure time. These kits will consist of baseball bats and balls, softball and baseball gloves, hats, footballs, basketballs, rugby balls, and soccer balls. The donated goods, which are expected to exceed 20 tons, will be transported by DHL to Louisville Slugger Field and on to the U.S. troops serving in Afghanistan. As the men and women of our military put their lives on the line for us, I want to thank these organizations for giving something back to the troops. Please join me in thanking AUSA, DHL, Louisville Slugger, USA Cares, the VFW. and all of the people who have participated for their contributions to Operation Slugger."

June 23, 2005 -- The Postal Service has noted that in the "June 10, 2005, Federal Register announced the final rule and mailing standards for Premium Forwarding Service (PFS) that is effective on August 7, 2005. This is a two-year experiment designed for reshipping a customer’s mail from their primary address to a temporary address for a minimum of two-weeks and up to a maximum of one-year when they are temporarily away. For complete details, the new DMM standards are published in the June 23 Postal Bulletin and in the June 10 Federal Register."

June 23, 2005 -- Congressional Press Release: "“The health of the Postal Service is essential to the vitality of thousands of companies and the millions that they employ,” said Senator Collins. “Our comprehensive, bipartisan legislation will help put the Postal Service on more solid financial ground while strongly endorsing the basic features of universal service – affordable rates, frequent delivery, and convenient community access to retail postal services.” “If we want to avoid disastrous future postal rate hikes and the put the Postal Service on firm, financial footing, then we need to pass this bill,” said Senator Carper. “It's been more than 30 years since we've considered major postal reform legislation. We need to bring the Postal Service into the 21st century. This legislation would give the Postal Service the tools it needs to survive at a time when many of its customers enjoy multiple electronic alternatives to traditional hard-copy mail. Passage of this legislation will preserve the health of the nearly $1 trillion mailing industry and the millions of American jobs that depend on it.” The Collins-Carper postal reform legislation requires the Postal Service to establish a set of service standards for market dominant products, which will preserve the public’s access to postal services in all communities. It requires the Postal Service to report to Congress with a strategy for how it intends to restructure the Postal Service’s infrastructure to reduce excess processing capacity and space. It also requires the Postal Service to report annually to Congress about its success in these areas. Senators Collins and Carper succeeded in lowering the cost of the legislation, to $500 million over five years, which is $1 billion less that the House proposal. This is mostly accomplished by requiring the Postal Service to devote more resources to pre-fund retiree health care."

June 23, 2005 -- GovExec.com has reported that "The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee approved a sweeping postal overhaul measure Wednesday. The bill also gives the Postal Service access to money slated for an escrow account and shifts payment for the agency's military pensions back to the Treasury. The Bush administration's objections to that language kept a similar bill from reaching the floor of the Senate last year, although it was approved unanimously by the committee. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., echoed the White House's argument, saying the agency had already agreed to pay for its military pensions as part of a law passed in 2003. After the hearing, Collins said she was optimistic about the measure's chances of reaching the floor this year, given its strong support in committee."

June 23, 2005 -- According to the Long Island Press, "If town governments were commercial solicitors, the Town of Hempstead would be Publishers Clearing House, Valpak and all the credit card companies combined. Several civic leaders, politicians and residents agree, claiming that Hempstead's supervisor is wasting time and money on mailings that cross a line from public service to political propaganda. The Community Alliance (CA), a Nassau civic group based in Elmont, recently kicked off the "Murray Mail Meter," which tallies the cost of mailings from the town that to some residents are clearly political and feature Town Supervisor Kate Murray's image."

June 23, 2005 -- From the Business Wire:

June 23, 2005 -- Hoovers has reported that:

In a case that tested independent contractor arrangements, a Sacramento judge has ruled that a division of UPS Inc. should have classified its drivers as employees, which would have entitled them to disability and other payroll benefits. The legal fight has consumed years and has been fought by two different companies. The case began in the early 1990s when the drivers worked for Air Couriers International. The company, which later changed its name to SonicAir, was acquired by UPS in 1995.
The independent operation of United Parcel Service of America, Inc. (UPS) in China would not be necessarily a good matter, said Luo Kaifu, President of China International Freight Forwarders Association.

June 23, 2005 -- The Albany Business Journal has reported that "Another law firm has filed a class action lawsuit against AuthentiDate Holding Corp. of Schenectady."

June 23, 2005 -- The Washington Post has noted that "The telephone is insinuating itself more deeply into Web commerce, thanks to the way Internet telephony is lowering calling costs at a time when Web merchants are realizing they can boost sales by injecting a human voice into the sale of big-ticket items. Click-to-talk is popping up not only as a customer service tool on Web sites, but as a sales lead generator in online ads. Some systems require customers to dial a special toll-free number and reach a call center."

June 23, 2005 -- According to Revolution, "Many retailers could get more out of their web sites and boost sales through a multi-channel approach. These retailers have a transactional web site, as well as a store, mail-order catalogue or call centre. But many of them are losing sales by failing to use the site to promote their catalogue, according to the study. The research found that almost half (48 per cent) of the retailers surveyed offered both a mail-order catalogue and an online store but, of these, only a third allow customers to order the catalogue online."

June 23, 2005 -- Cayman Net News has reported that "Hon Arden McLean, People’s Progressive Movement (PPM) Legislative Assembly member for East End and Minister for Community Services, Youth, Sports and Gender Affairs has said that "The postal system should be able to be competitive and viable and compete with the courier system. The postal system should also go into agreements for the collection of bills, especially for those living in outlying areas. As well the system should be able to offer the service of picking up packages from companies.”

June 23, 2005 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "TNT Express Singapore has launched a next-day, door-to-door delivery service of diagnostic samples and clinical supplies for central laboratories in Asia to the United States."

June 23, 2005 -- Kyodo News Service has reported that "The set of bills to privatize Japan Post are "defective bills that would cause the society's mammoth (postal) system to collapse," DPJ Secretary General Tatsuo Kawabata said at an annual convention of the Japan Postal Workers' Union."

June 23, 2005 -- The Times of Zambia has reported that "POSTAL service providers in the region should embrace information communication technologies (ICTs) to meet the challenges of the changing business environment, Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) acting Secretary General Sindiso Ngwenya has said. Mr Ngwenya said the future of postal services would no longer be determined by the traditional postal business but by innovation and developments in ICTs. He was speaking in Lusaka during the official opening of a workshop for postal managers from the region."

June 23, 2005 -- The Daily Observer (Gambia) has reported that "The Chief Executive of The Gambia Divestiture Agency, GDA, Mama Marena, has disclosed that a new bill, Gampost Bill, will be tabled before the National Assembly this year, which seeks to transform the General Post Office into an autonomous body. “The rationale for this is to create a more efficient postal delivery service and venture into other services, e.g banking,’’ she said. She pointed out that the Gampost Bill is currently being reviewed by a cabinet sub committee and work has been completed on the final feasibility study and scheme of services. She noted that the Tradegate Way Project will lend support to government’s strategy of increasing private sector participation in services."

June 23, 2005 -- Borsen-Zeitung has reported that "Wulf Haack, the head of the association of towns and districts in the German state of Lower Saxony, has lodged an action for nullification against a resolution passed at the last general meeting of Deutsche Post, the German postal service operator."

June 22, 2005 -- From the PR Newswire:

June 22, 2005 -- The Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs has approved reporting out S.662 to the full Senate. The decision to move the bill forward was approved by an 15-1 vote (Sen. Coburn voting NO). The committee mark contains a number of amendments suggested by various committee members. Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-CT) also introduced an amendment supported by Collins and approved by the committee. The Lieberman amendment would allow the Postal Service to appeal to the Postal Rate Commission (PRC) the actuarial methodology the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) uses to calculate the USPS' pension obligations. It would then require OPM to review the PRC report and reconsider its decision, although it would not require OPM to change its decision. The House postal reform bill, HR 22, includes nearly identical language concerning this issue. The amended version of S.662 (minus the Lieberman amendment) has been posted on this site.

June 22, 2005 -- The Asahi Shimbun has reported that "In the fierce battle to get postal privatization passed in the Diet, leaders of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party have come up with concessions to win over more supporters in their own party. Party sources said the three main points in the draft revision are: (1) Clearly state that savings and insurance operations will be part of what the post office network company does. (2) Include in the bills the standards for establishing post offices in underpopulated rural areas rather than leave the specifics to the communications ministry. (3) State that post offices will handle administrative paperwork normally conducted by local government offices. Party executives believe that all but the most staunch opponents of postal privatization will likely fall in line behind the revisions and support the legislation."

June 22, 2005 -- Xinhua has reported that "Postal managers from the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) have gathered in Zambia's capital Lusaka for a week-long regional training workshop on postal sector reform and regulation. The training workshop held at the COMESA Secretariat will discuss major challenges faced by postal administrations in running their operations. Participants will also share experience and together identify best practices for regulatory structure and organization of the universal postal service."

June 22, 2005 -- CEP News (Courier-Express-Postal), published by the MRU Consultancy, has reported that:

Last Thursday, in a hitherto unique act of closing ranks the TNT Group and Deutsche Post jointly demanded in Brussels that the further postal market liberalisation take place "in step". At a joint press conference, CEOs Klaus Zumwinkel (Deutsche Post) and Peter Bakker (TNT) emphasised the importance of preventing some countries from pressing ahead while others might shield their market for years.
The Organisation of German Cities and Districts (DStGB) has demanded that the universal service obligation be tightened and has announced its intention to support legal action taken by district councils against the closure of postal agencies in rural areas.
As a result of investigations into Osterreichische Post's retirement procedures, Austria's audit office has not found evidence of any unlawful early retirement agreements nor ascertained "suspicions of punishable activities".
Posten Norge AS will spend over 41m euros on new sorting machines. The Norwegian post aims to increase the percentage of machine sorted mail from currently 59% to 84% by 2008.
Posten Norge AS will spend over 41m euros on new sorting machines. The Norwegian post aims to increase the percentage of machine sorted mail from currently 59% to 84% by 2008.
The board of Schweizerische Post has given its approval to a participation in Liechtensteinische Post AG.
The Swiss regulatory authority has granted the Geneva-based firm Courrex SA a licence for the handling of international mail.
The German trade union ver.di released a statement last Friday: its chairman Rolf Buttner demanded that the monopoly be extended. Rudolf Pfeiffer of the German Association of Courier, Express and Parcel Services said that jobs could not be secured through monopoly but only through making mail services more attractive again.
Parceline, the British subsidiary of GeoPost, intends to invest around 30m euros in six new depots. All six locations are due to take up operations in August this year
The Wall Street Journal reports that BAX Global is up for sale. The company, for many years considered the epitome of an integrator, introduced drastic cost cuts in 2002 following an extended period of losses.
DHL board member Peter Kruse has accused business rival Hermes of acquiring market shares through an aggressive price policy.
UPS appears to be gaining market shares from its European competitors. In an interview with the German daily "Die Welt", Wolfgang Flick, president of UPS Europe, said his company had gained 13% in turnover in Europe during the first quarter 2005 and a 15% plus in Germany.

The MRU, founded in 1992, is the only consultancy in the German speaking area, which has specialised in the market of courier-, express- and parcel services. For large-scale shippers and CEP-services in particular, the MRU provides interdisciplinary advice for all major questions of the market, as there are for example market entry, product design, organisation, and EDP. To learn more about the stories reported above, contact CEP News.

June 22, 2005 -- EBay, EBay, EBay....Everybody wants to develop a shipping relationship with EBay. Here's a piece that talks about a different trend....Going it alone. As the Wall Street Journal has noted, "EBay's latest fee increases, in February, have intensified seller complaints about poor customer service and falling prices. One result: EBay sellers are helping one another declare independence. A recent conference of eBay merchants featured a workshop on "Developing your own Web site." For the first time, after a decade of rapid expansion, traffic to eBay's U.S. Web site declined in the first quarter, as revenue growth hit a record low. Reflecting the concerns, eBay shares have fallen 36% this year." So, who's pitching shipping services to these folks?

As the Monty Python gang used to say: "And now for something completely different."
If you're into something beyond the ordinary, check out some of the comments
that accompany various stories posted on postalnews.com.

June 22, 2005 -- In a letter to the editor of the Orlando Sentinel, USPS Public Affairs and Communications senior vice president Azezz Jaffer wrote: "After I read "Stamp It Out" on the Sentinel's op-ed page, I thought, if I didn't know better, I might believe Sam Ryan myself. After all, when he's identified as "a fellow of the Lexington Institute," one might conclude he's an open-minded student of public policy. But he's more than that. Sam Ryan also heads Keybridge Communications, a public relations firm that "ghostwrites timely op-ed articles on a broad spectrum of issues, for a variety of clients."

A place where you are free to "think globally."

June 22, 2005 -- Postal unions looked into the future at their conference in Oslo - to a European postal regime where traditional operators have to face competitive all comers and where someone, somewhere has to pay for a universal postal service or leave some citizens out in the cold. Postal services play a key role in the lives of citizens and in the smooth running of economies and unions remain concerned at the impact of plans to fully liberalise the European postal service by 2009. That's a target date set by the European Union - subject to a review and a further dose of de-regulation next year, which will reduce the protected area for traditional postal operators to below 50-gram letters. Some countries are removing protections to allow free-for-all competition faster than that - next year in the UK and 2007 in Norway. Sweden, Finland and Estonia are already completely liberalised. European postal unions have lobbied hard for a step-by-step approach to liberalisation to ensure services and protect employment.

June 22, 2005 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that "UPS has announced the expansion of a new product on trade routes between Asia and Europe. UPS launched Trade Direct outbound from Europe to the United States in January 2005 and plans to introduce Trade Direct for US to Europe by January 2006."

June 22, 2005 -- As PostCom vice president Kate Muth has noted, "While USPS net income through May 31 was about $1.8 billion, the Postal Service has a great deal more cash on hand this year than it did last year at the same time. In its May financial statement, the USPS reports cash and cash equivalents through May 31, 2005, of $2.5 billion. But cash includes other items such as depreciation. Because the Postal Service is relatively debt-free at the moment, it is not using cash to pay down debt as it has done in past years. While postal cash on hand is a hefty amount, it does not translate into an equal dollar-for-dollar net income. For this fiscal year (2005), net income is on track to exceed $1 billion."

June 22, 2005 -- From the U.S. Newswire: "The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) today approved the United States Postal Service (USPS) as the first federal organization in OSHA's "Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) Corporate" pilot program. The Voluntary Protection Programs recognize and promote outstanding workplace safety and health management. USPS joins Georgia-Pacific Corporation as the first two organizations to be formally accepted in the VPP Corporate pilot program, which streamlines the application and onsite evaluation processes for corporations that have made a commitment to VPP."

June 22, 2005 -- The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) has "expressed strong support for S. 662, the Postal Enhancement and Accountability Act and urged the [Senate homeland security and governmental affairs] Committee to favorably report the bill to the Senate."

June 22, 2005 -- Interested in things happening over there? Then you might want to check out the Europe Economics Executive Briefing posted on the PostInsight web site.

June 22, 2005 -- ExpressIndia has reported that "In an era when postal services are becoming less popular, thanks to e-mail and cellular services, GPO Lucknow is re-inventing the so-called snail-mail service to suit the day's need. This door-to-door Speed Post service, introduced by GPO, Lucknow on June 10, is the first of its kind in the country. Detailing Express Newsline about the service, Chief Post Master O P Verma said, ‘‘Now if a person has three or more mails for speed post, he can call the Post Office and ask for the service. The postman will come and collect the mails from his doorstep.''

June 21, 2005 -- From Presswire: "Window Book Inc has announced the certification of its Post Master and DAT-MAIL mailing statements by the United States Postal Service's PAVE™ program. The Presort Accuracy, Validation and Evaluation (PAVE) program was designed by the USPS in order to evaluate presort software and determine accuracy according to the Domestic Mail Manual standards. PAVE is specifically designed for companies that develop presort software or manufacture presorting equipment. A PAVE certified presort software product requires a source code specifically written to operate on a particular platform or operating system. "

June 21, 2005 -- Borsen-Zeitung has reported that "Wulf Haack, the head of the association of towns and districts in the German state of Lower Saxony, has lodged an action for nullification against a resolution passed at the last general meeting of Deutsche Post, the German postal service operator. The complaint has been lodged at the district court of Bonn. The reason for the complaint is that there were errors in the procedures at the meeting, and that the rights of shareholders to information were ignored. Mr Haack says that he hopes to have the company's decision regarding the use of its net income for the year declared invalid. He wants Deutsche Post to draw up a proper strategy for each post office. If he is successful, Mr Haack says that Deutsche Post will not pay a dividend."

June 21, 2005 -- As ComputerWorld has noted, "It pays to be big. That's one advantage for United Parcel Service Inc. when dealing with software vendors."

June 21, 2005 -- According to ABS-CBN Interactive, "The Philippine Postal Corp. (PhilPost) should comply with certain procedures before its build-operate-transfer (BOT) project could be endorsed for approval. The Japanese information technology company, ROA Systems Co. Ltd., will undertake the seven-year comprehensive modernization program for state-owned PhilPost. ROA Systems will install public calling stations using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), and introduce a "hybrid mail" system allowing the agency to consolidate all data coming from credit-card firms and government utilities. ROA Systems will recover its investment by getting a share of the revenue from transactions made during the seven-year period. PhilPost's modernization program is in line with a presidential directive encouraging the greater use of ICT in enhancing transparency and productivity in government under the 2004-10 Medium-Term Philippine Development Plan. The upgrade will also help boost PhilPost's revenues, decrease fraud, and increase revenues."

June 21, 2005 -- According to Dow Jones, "Japan's Cabinet Tuesday approved a set of fiscal and economic guidelines for this year, including a call for restrained fiscal deficit spending and effective deflation-fighting monetary policy from the central bank. The guidelines also commit to continued efforts to orchestrate a gradual shift to a "small and effective government" through privatization of government operations, such as postal services."

June 21, 2005 -- Socialist Worker Online has reported that "The debates over the CWU postal and telecom union's relations with the Labour Party continued to run throughout its conference last week. The debates went along similar lines to the one on whether to suspend funding to Labour if post privatisation went ahead. A motion called for the union to maintain funding to Labour, but only to give financial and practical support "to Labour candidates who are loyal to the aims and objectives of the labour movement".

June 21, 2005 -- The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has posted on its web site its financial and operating statements for May 2005.

June 21, 2005 -- The American Postal Workers Union has told its members that "APWU President William Burrus announced June 20 that the union and management have reached "an agreement on a framework" for a one-year extension of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, with specific details still under discussion. The current contract is set to expire Nov. 20."

June 21, 2005 -- Direct magazine has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service is denying reports that it might be considering a withdrawal of the current rate case. "I don't know what happened behind closed doors but as far as I know the rate case is going forward," said USPS spokesman Jerry McKiernan. Sources said that because of the substantial improvement in USPS finances, postal management had asked the Board of Governors for permission to pull the 2005 postal rate case, but several members of the BOG balked at it, apparently concerned over how it may affect possible postal reform legislation now pending in the House and Senate. McKiernan conceded that when the USPS filed the rate case, it had originally estimated its fiscal year 2005 net income to be $1.64 billion. "But now we're projecting net income to be $1.68 billion," he said. Fiscal Year 2005 ends Sept. 30."

June 21, 2005 -- The Post-Tribune has reported that "Local postal workers say they aren't looking forward to the homecoming of Postmaster Brenda Holmes, a city native with a history of clashing with employees. Holmes, daughter of former City Councilwoman Shirley Bynum, has gotten a temporary promotion to postmaster, supervising the nine Gary area branches while postal officials shuffle administrators in the wake of the retirement of the region's top postal official. Holmes' reassignment to the larger Gary district comes after numerous clashes with employees at the Michigan City post office, and Gary workers say they are worried her promotion could be permanent."

June 21, 2005 -- The Charlotte Observer has reported that "Cards, cookies, even contraband, arrive by the ton each day at Baghdad International Airport, rolling out of the bellies of aircraft and into a vast distribution system run by N.C. troops. Flying also speeds delivery, an issue in military mail. In 2004, a U.S. General Accounting Office study found problems in postal operations for Operation Iraqi Freedom ranging from inadequately trained clerks to prolonged delays in delivery."

June 21, 2005 -- The Senate committee markup of S.662 is scheduled for tomorrow's committee business meeting.

June 21, 2005 -- Publish has noted that publishers are "facing some serious pressures from our distribution channels; the U.S. Postal Service is presenting rate cases that are difficult for us and probably untenable for many, many publishers. They've announced a 5.4 percent rate increase and then next year it's going to be perhaps more than that. So, the cost of producing magazines with rising distribution, fairly unstable paper supply, paper market, competition with more than magazines—catalogues are our biggest competitor for that resource—so that the overall cost of producing magazines is becoming a serious issue."

June 21, 2005 -- From i-Newswire: "Esker Software, the leading provider of intelligently automated document delivery solutions and services, today announced it has received a patent ( US Patent 6,906,817, issued June 14, 2005 ) for the technology behind its DeliveryWare Rules Engine, an innovative mechanism for enabling content-based document delivery. The DeliveryWare Rules Engine forms the heart of the Esker DeliveryWare document delivery platform. As electronic documents and data are captured by Esker DeliveryWare, the patented technology automatically recognizes and extracts data from electronic documents to determine formatting, conversion and routing actions that need to take place, as defined by previously-built rules."

June 21, 2005 -- The Albuquerque Journal has reported that "Employees at the main post office in Tucumcari were evacuated Monday before the office opened for business after a worker spotted a white powder from two envelopes. A hazardous materials team that was called in determined the substance was not hazardous, said Lisa Guevara, U.S. postal inspector in Albuquerque. However, a lab will still have to determine exactly what the powder was and that could take a while,"

June 21, 2005 -- WQAD-TV has reported that "A powdery substance leaking from a package prompted authorities in downtown Rockford to close off several streets today. But tests later showed that the powder is harmless, and Winnebago County Sheriff's Deputy Scott Andrews says it appears to be laundry soap. A postal worker noticed the powder when he removed the package from his truck outside the Winnebago County Jail. The box had been shipped from the state prison in Canton to an inmate jailed in Rockford."

June 21, 2005 -- According to WEBCommentary, "The threat of bioterrorism had been recognized for a considerable time in the United States, as well as internationally. Long before the anthrax incidents, several hoax letters indicating the presence of anthrax had been mailed to federal and state agencies, as well as to private sector organizations. In calendar year 2000, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) responded to about 250 cases potentially involving weapons of mass destruction. Of these, 200 were related to anthrax, although all turned out to be hoaxes." See also Montana News Association.

June 21, 2005 -- Handelsblatt has reported that "German postal services provider Deutsche Post is embroiled in a row with its rivals on the German market over the ending of its monopoly. Deutsche Post, along with German trade union ver.di, has tried to extend its letter monopoly, which is set to end in 2008, by saying that jobs will be lost and prices will have to increase. Klaus Zumwinkel, head of Deutsche Post, has said that all markets in Europe should be liberalised at the same time. The EU is aiming to liberalise letter deliveries in 2009."

June 21, 2005 -- Japan Times has reported that "The political battle over the government-backed postal reform plan took a new twist Monday when Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi rebutted an accusation by the main opposition party that he had consumed alcohol before a key House of Representatives plenary session last week. The accusation came after the Liberal Democratic Party fired a similar volley at the Democratic Party of Japan late Friday." It's getting ugly over there.

June 21, 2005 -- The DM Bulletin has reported that "There has been a fall in spend on direct mail during the first three months of the year, down by 7.2% to £636m according to figures released this week, the biggest fall of any medium surveyed."

June 21, 2005 -- The Malay Mail has reported that "Despite the Government's five-day week, there will be no change in our postal services on Saturdays from next month," said a Pos Malaysia official yesterday."

June 21, 2005 -- As New Straits Times has noted, "GIVEN the increasing cost of traditional media advertising, especially the humongous hike in postal rates, going online with your ads can help you stretch your budget. The trick is getting noticed. One thing's for sure: if you are looking for a bit of online real estate to park your advertising billboard, there's plenty of choices when it comes to location. Advertisers opt for one of two basic strategies: they either target a specific market or advertise to as many people as possible."

June 21, 2005 -- Transport News Network has noted that "Manufacturers such as Fiat, Iveco and Renault Trucks are teaming up with robotics and fleet management specialists such as Cybernetix and MIZAR Automazione, as well as logistics companies DHL Express and TNT Innight to pilot the development known as FIDEUS (Freight Intelligent Delivery of goods on European Urban Spaces). Under FIDEUS, three new vehicle types are being developed and tested: an innovative electric freight transporter for sensitive areas such as pedestrian zones, an enhanced 3.5-ton transporter and a 12-ton truck, optimised for city traffic. All three of the vehicle types are equipped with high-tech drive, loading and communication technology. Communication technology enables improved interactive communication with municipal traffic directing centres. For instance, trucks would be able to register to use specific loading zones, or react promptly to a sudden disruption of access."

June 21, 2005 -- According to Ananova, "Royal Mail chief executive Adam Crozier was top of the public sector pay league with a salary and incentive package worth a potential £814,000, said the report." That translates into $1,480,193.55. Now THAT'S incentive pay--strong regulator or no.

June 20, 2005 -- In its response to an interrogatory from the Office of the Consumer Advocate, counsel for the U.S. Postal Service said: "The Postal Service does not have more cash than that reflected in the current filing....In fact, the average cash balance estimated for May 2005 ($3.2 billion) was approximately $400 million more than the Postal Service's actual experience ($2.8 billion)." The USPS said no further errata on this matter would be filed.

June 20, 2005 -- Kyodo has reported that "In view of planned privatization in 2007, Japan Post is stepping up efforts to sharpen its competitive edge, with thousands of its staff taking exams to obtain a license to sell risk-bearing financial products The move comes ahead of Japan Post's plan to begin selling mutual funds at 575 of some 25,000 post offices from October."

June 20, 2005 -- Australian IT has reported that "AUSTRALIA Post has signed a deal with EDS Australia to renew its Microsoft desktop and server equipment. EDS will migrate more than 10,000 users as part of the 12-month deal."

June 20, 2005 -- From the PR Newswire: "Quick, easy, convenient -- and effective. That's all customers need to know about eBay and the United States Postal Service. eBay buyers and sellers now have a new option when choosing to send their items through USPS: co-branded, Priority Mail(TM) flat-rate boxes."

June 20, 2005 -- The DM Bulletin has reported that "Postcomm, the postal services regulator, is beginning a 30-day consultation on whether to issue a long-term licence to Royale Research to provide bulk mail services. The consulation kicked off last week with a decision expected on July 15."

June 20, 2005 -- Direct Marketing Intelligence says: "Go figure. Print catalog sales remain the highest priority for most catalog companies. But just a minority intend to invest in increased mailing frequency, and many will put their dollars online. Those are among the findings of a new study by Transcontinental Printing Catalog Group. The report was released at the 2005 Annual Catalog Conference in Orlando, FL in May."

June 20, 2005 -- FinFacts Business News has reported that "According to reports this morning, An Post unions say talks on a new partnership deal could be in serious trouble unless the postal service is forced to pay staff the full terms of the Sustaining Progress agreement. Talks on a new national agreement expected to begin in the autumn but staff at An Post are still waiting for pay rises due since November 2003."

June 20, 2005 -- Business Europe has published an interesting piece on Alan Johnson, the former postal worker who now serves in the Blair administration.

June 20, 2005 -- DM News has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service's push for a rapid settlement on its proposed 5.4 percent across-the-board rate case has hit a few snags, and some of the resistance is coming from influential members of the mailing community. Many mailers fear that a delay in the rate case could cost the industry more money in the long run. However, others are not convinced that bringing the case to an expedited conclusion is in their best interest."

June 20, 2005 -- As Reuters has noted, "Many in Japan's ruling party hate it, voters find it worthy but dull, and critics say an obsession with the topic is distracting Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi from pressing matters such as deteriorating ties with China. Nonetheless, Koizumi is staking his political legacy on achieving his dream of privatising the postal system -- including the world's biggest bank -- for reasons that are a complex weave of reformist economic logic and decades-old political rivalry."

June 20, 2005 -- The Herald Asahi has reported that:

June 20, 2005 -- Asia Pulse has reported that "Korea Post, South Korea's state-run postal agency, Monday said it will start selling coins produced in commemoration of the 2006 World Cup soccer finals in Germany."

June 20, 2005 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that "Express company DHL has published the latest findings of its UK Quarterly Export Indicator. According to its research, support for the euro among UK exporters has hit its lowest level in over a year. Just 41 per cent of exporters believe economic integration with Europe would be beneficial to their business, down by eight per cent since the beginning of the year. A further 38% are apathetic to the euro, saying Britain joining the single European currency would make no difference to trade. The indicator also find that the UK export community is nervous about trade prospects."

June 20, 2005 -- The National Association of Major Mail Users (NAMMU) has warned its members of the consequences of Canada Post's most recent effort to establish its exclusive privilege (monopoly) over all inbound and outbound international mail. "Many Canadian companies have offices and client lists in the United States, or could easily be part of a corporate global strategy to balance wokload efficiently amongst its resources, or have successfully competed against many other service providers to provide the service demanded by the client - including sophisticated sortation, downstream entry, compliance with USPS domestic requirements. It is absolutely transparent to the ultimate customer where the piece was manufactured – it is not Canadian mail, but items manufactured by Canadians. To interfere with this spells disaster for Canadian businesss." If you do business in Canada, BE SURE TO READ THIS.

June 20, 2005 -- Forbes has reported that "Deutsche Post AG will only provide basic postal services to private clients when markets open up and it loses its monopoly by end-2007, CEO Klaus Zumwinkel said in an interview with Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. 'We consider providing services to all parts of the country makes sense only for private customers. The big companies do not need that,' he said. He indicated that the cost of servicing the needs of all private customers throughout the country would require higher prices."

June 20, 2005 -- The BBC has reported that "An international courier firm has suspended deliveries to some of the UK's inner-city areas because of thuggish behaviour by gangs of youths. DHL has put parts of London, Glasgow, Manchester and Birmingham off limits because of complaints from its drivers." See also The Guardian and the Evening Standard.

June 20, 2005 -- The Daily Star (Bangladesh) has reported that "Monitoring drawbacks by authorities over courier and parcel services have now given rise to a new fear brewing among city dwellers. Free flow of illegal drugs and explosives through courier and parcels has taken precedence in the current bad phase of the law and order situation. Courier and parcel service providers do not fall under the purview of any ministry nor are they under any government policy, said Joint Secretary, Ministry of Posts and Telecommuni-cations, Md Nuruzzaman Khan."

June 19, 2005 -- According to the Boston Herald, "The service (USPS) tries to be efficient - employee headcount has fallen 6 percent in two years. But it still embodies the traits of a government organization: high wages, a monopoly on carrying letters,and no money set aside for employee pensions (a $70 billion obligation). The only way to get maximum efficiency from this huge $69 billion, 700,000-worker enterprise is to make it compete. Sweden and New Zealand already have privatized postal services. Member countries of the European Union are supposed to do so by 2009. The United States could gain substantially by making use of their experience."

June 19, 2005 -- The Telegraph has reported that "Official figures show that the postal service is hitting targets for when mail should be delivered, although anecdotal evidence shows that many customers are still dissatisfied."

June 19, 2005 -- Kyodo news service has reported that "Liberal Democratic Party Secretary General Tsutomu Takebe suggested Sunday the ruling party may not endorse those who vote against postal privatization bills in a general election following a possible House of Representatives dissolution."

June 18, 2005 -- According to the Michigan City News Dispatch, "No one's popping champagne corks and throwing confetti yet, but the announcement that Brenda Holmes was being re-assigned to the Gary Post Office was welcome news to the letter carriers and clerks in Michigan City. Even though the re-assignment is billed as temporary by Postal Service bureaucrats, any respite from Holmes' dictatorial management style is cause for celebration."

June 18, 2005 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that "Google Inc. this year plans to offer an electronic-payment service that could help the Internet-search company diversify its revenue and may heighten competition with eBay Inc.'s PayPal unit, according to people familiar with the matter."

June 18, 2005 -- WTOP has reported that "The federal government is owed nearly $2 billion by its own employees. According to an IRS report obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, thousands of federal workers and retirees didn't pay their taxes last year. The largest employer of tax delinquents -- the United States Postal Service. More than 50,000 of its employees owe more than $290 million."

June 18, 2005 -- According to the Socialist Party, "THE THREATENED privatisation of Royal Mail has dominated this year's Communication Workers' Union (CWU) conference. General secretary Billy Hayes pointed out to delegates that Labour's manifesto pledges to keep Royal Mail in the public sector. But the majority of postal workers are totally convinced that Allan Leighton, backed up by Blair and ex-CWU leader Alan Johnson, will start the process of privatisation over the next few months. Delegates demanded the immediate launching of a campaign amongst postal workers and the general public to prevent Royal Mail being taken over by big-business vultures. The more militant members of the postal section argued again and again in the general conference that unless the Labour government gave a new categorical statement that Royal Mail will not be privatised then the CWU should stop financing New Labour."

June 18, 2005 -- Financial Times Deutschland has reported that "Deutsche Post, the German postal service operator, is demanding that the German government subsidise its services for the delivery of letters even after the end of the company's monopoly on this market at the end of 2007. After this, the company will no longer be obliged to provide a blanket service for the whole of Germany. However, Deutsche Post says that it does not intend to stop providing basic services. When the market is liberalised, each German citizen will still be guaranteed access to the postal network; however, it is not yet clear how this blanket coverage will be guaranteed. Experts believe that it is possible that rivals of Deutsche Post could take over responsibility for deliveries in some regions."

June 18, 2005 -- Die Welt has reported that "German trade union Ver.di has called for an extension of the monopoly held by Deutsche Post, the German postal service operator, on the market for the delivery of letters in Germany. According to the current laws, Deutsche Post will have a monopoly on the market for letters weighing less than 100g until the beginning of 2006; after this, the maximum weight will be reduced to 50g until the monopoly comes to a complete end in 2008. Ver.di says that other countries such as France are not planning to liberalise their postal markets, and that, unless all countries in Europe can harmonise the liberalisation of their markets, the German market should not be opened up."

June 18, 2005 -- AllAfrica.com has reported that Nigerian "Minister for Communication, Chief Cornelius Adebayo, has said all post offices across the country would be equipped with V-SAT (satellite facility), to provide electronic and internet-related services." 

June 17, 2005 -- The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin is available online. In this bulletin:

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.

Who handles the distribution of the PostCom Bulletin?
 Why, it's NETGRAM, of course. Read more about it.

June 17, 2005 -- Business Mailers Review has reported that:

Business Mailer's Review is an award-winning, independent biweekly newsletter covering issues of importance to the business mailer. It is regularly cited as among the best sources of postal information. For subscription information, check the BMR web site.

June 17, 2005 -- CORRECTION: According to Sen. Carper's staff, Sen. Carper's remark that postal reform had a "zero chance" of passing [was] commented in jest, and it was clear to the audience that he was joking. Sen. Carper would never say postal reform has a zero chance of passing because he doesn't believe it. He thinks that the time is ripe to pass postal reform and that there is broad bipartisan support to get the legislation done this year."

June 17, 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.

June 17, 2005 -- Transport Intelligence has announced the US Logistics 2005. Given the high level of activity in the US logistics market Transport Intelligence has just published a report providing an introduction to the logistics and transportation industry in what is the world's largest economy. The vast market is unique in the way it is structured and has been developing strongly as a result of continued economic growth and booming imports from the Asia Pacific region. US Logistics 2005 provides an overview of the market, including market sizing, company profiles, analysis of trends and developments, acquisition activity as well as the challenges which the industry faces.

June 17, 2005 -- Traffic World has reported that:

June 17, 2005 -- PostCom has learned that because of the radical improvement in USPS finances, postal management had asked the Governors for permission to pull the 2005 postal rate case, but several members of the Board objected. Ostensibly, one of the reasons for saying "No" was concern over the possible passage of postal reform legislation.

June 17, 2005 -- Business Week has reported that "FedEx (FDX ) hit a new high of 101 in early March, up from 90 in January, but has since run into head winds. The shares' drop, to 86, has made some big investors bail or pare their stakes -- as analysts, spooked by surging oil prices and fierce rivals, trimmed their 2005 and 2006 profit forecasts. But John Maloney of M&R Capital Management thinks FedEx is now a bargain. "FedEx is the undisputed leader in domestic air parcel, with huge prospects in Asia," says Maloney. China and India in particular, he believes, will help FedEx achieve 15% yearly earnings growth. In ground parcels, FedEx, with a 16% share of the U.S. business, is a distant No. 2 to United Parcel Service's (UPS ) 65%. But FedEx is gaining."

June 17, 2005 -- DM News has reported that "A top circulation executive from Time Inc. made the case yesterday at the Circulation Management Conference & Expo for introducing digital editions to complement print versions of magazines. The business drivers for digital editions are clear: postal rate increases on business mail as First-Class mail use drops; surging paper costs because of mill strikes in Finland and Canada; and environmental issues that resulted in the Victoria's "Dirty" Secret campaign. Add to those factors shorter production cycle times and the ability of digital editions to compete with other interactive media. Those were the conclusions of Peter Meirs, director of alternative media at Time Warner's Time Inc., the world's largest magazine publisher. Meirs cited several vendors in the digital edition space. Making his list were E-Book, Newstand, Zinio, PressDisplay, qMags, Olive, Texterity, nxtbook media and Rich FX. A few vendors required software downloads for consumers to read, some were application-based and others Web-based." [I've used Zinio. It works!]

June 17, 2006 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that "DHL has come under attack from trade unions at a recent congress. Representatives of 32 unions from 26 countries have demanded that Deutsche Post World Net and its subsidiary DHL allow workers to form unions in their workplaces. Union representatives unanimously passed a resolution in support of workers' union organizing drives during the meeting of the International Road Transport Workers Annual Meeting in London, England. Global union leaders are responding to what US Teamsters call DHL's ‘systematic efforts' to prevent subcontractors in the United States organizing unions. The unions accuse DHL of failing to fund its subcontractors' operations to provide fair and reasonable wages, benefits and working conditions for its workers and severed agreements with facilities where workers have won organizing drives."

June 17, 2005 -- Insider gossip aside, the Postal Service's financial situation is better than its original estimates when it filed the rate case in early April and much better than when it filed its operating budget last year. Postal Service Witness Maura Robinson has filed an errata to her R2005-1 testimony to indicate that the Postal Service now projects its after-rates net income in the test year (2006) to be $281 million, up from the original projection of $112 million. Further, Robinson's errata filing says net income in fiscal year 2005 will be $1.68 billion, up from the $1.64 billion projected in the rate request. With a strong May under its belt, it's not a stretch to expect the Postal Service's year-end net income target to be even better than the roughly $1.7 billion estimate in Witness Robinson's testimony. The Postal Service has adjusted its investment income and interest expenses in the errata filing. The USPS made the adjustments to the 2006 and 2005 revenue figures because it made some incorrect assumptions on interest rates, which led to lower original estimates on investment income and interest expense. In other rate case news, PMG Jack Potter is scheduled to testify at the Postal Rate Commission in hearings on R2005-1 on June 27.

June 17, 2005 -- The Washington Post has reported that "A bipartisan bill that would permit government retirees to pay their health insurance premiums with pretax dollars and allow military personnel to take a tax deduction for premium costs was approved yesterday on a voice vote by the House Government Reform Committee."

June 17, 2005 -- The Contra Costa Times has reported that "A family has settled a lawsuit against the U.S. Postal Service charging that a vial of meningitis was tucked inside a package sent to their home."

June 17, 2005 -- From the PR Newswire:

June 17, 2005 -- The Eagan Sun has reported that "The Postal Service has been exploring a move to the Bulk Mail Center along Lexington Avenue in Eagan since early last year. The center would be expanded to handle the more than 1,100 relocated workers such a move would entail. In a letter to U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum, whose congressional district includes downtown St. Paul, postal officials said they are willing to explore the move. The letter went on to describe such a relocation as "prudent" for both the Postal Service and St. Paul."

June 17, 2005 -- The Periodical Publishers Association has reported that "Two major issues affecting future postal distribution for publishers were the main items under discussion at a meeting of PPA's postal committee. The committee will be discussing the impact of Royal Mail's revised proposals for size-based pricing (or Pricing in Proportion) and the implications of the recent announcement by Postcomm to withdraw Presstream from the regulated area."

June 17, 2005 -- From the Business Wire: "CertifiedMail, a leading provider of secure messaging solutions, is pleased to announce that its Secure Post Office project for the UK Department of Trade & Industry's (DTI) Consumer Direct advice website is now live and powering the site's consumer complaint service."

June 17, 2005 -- Dow Jones has reported that "The Argentine government published a resolution Thursday granting another extension for reprivatizing the postal service, even after officials have given strong indications of maintaining control. The new measure gives the government a 180-day extension until Dec. 31 to call an international public tender offer "with the aim of privatizing the public postal service." Argentina put Correo Argentino, as the service was formerly known, back into state hands in November and set a six-month deadline for finding a new private buyer."

June 17, 2005 -- The Solomon Star has reported that "ANZ Bank and the Solomon Islands Postal Corporation (Solomon Post) yesterday announced that they would work together to build financial solutions for rural and remote people in the Solomon Islands. This partnership allows both parties to work together to determine the feasibility of establishing ANZ banking branches, agencies, ATM machines or EFTPOS terminals within nominated Solomon Post branches."

June 17, 2005 -- The Daily Yomiuri has reported that "Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said Wednesday he hoped the person who completed his postal reform plan would become the next prime minister--an apparent attempt to deter Liberal Democratic Party legislators from continuing to oppose the reforms. Although Koizumi did not mention any names among those seen as candidates for his position, his comments are seen as an attempt to forestall Shizuka Kamei, the Liberal Democratic Party's former Policy Research Council chairman, and others who are against the postal reforms."

June 17, 2005 -- Kyodo news service has reported that "Japan Post will launch three types of investment trust products at 575 of its 24,700 post offices nationwide after an outside evaluation institution selects them from among products to be proposed by private-sector asset management companies by mid-August, the officials said."

June 17, 2005 -- NDTV Profit has reported that "Faced with a burgeoning budget deficit and a high level of indifference from the public, the Indian postal service is trying its best to bring in a host of new services to attract high-volume corporate customers. The department has also approached the consultancy firm KPMG and the World Bank to advise it on the kind of services to be introduced. Though the postal department seems bent on recovering its lost customers from the courier services, the fact remains that given the abysmally low capital expenditure of the postal department, what is needed now is not just talk but grassroots-level implementation at the earliest."

June 17, 2005 -- Manouchehr Saadat Noury has written a nice piece for the Persian Journal on Iran's first postage stamps.

June 17, 2005 -- AllAfrica.com has reported that "The financial crisis that has continued to rock the Cameroon Postal Services, CAMPOST, may ruin Cameroon's chances of reaching the Completion Point of the Highly Indebted Poor Countries Initiative, HIPC-I in 2006 as planned. CAMPOST, which was created out of the ashes of the Cameroon Postal Services in April 2004, inherited the problems that had been plaguing the defunct outfit since 2003, which owes its customers over FCFA 54 billion, following a financial racket in the house."

June 17, 2005 -- The Manila Bulletin has reported that "The government will dispose four major state assets in the second half of the year including Radio Philippines Network or RPN-9 and Philippine Postal Corp."

June 16, 2005 -- On Wednesday, June 15, the House Transportation, Treasury, HUD, and Independent Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee marked up the Fiscal Year 2006 funding bill. For the Postal Service, the Committee provided $29 million for revenue forgone and $87 million for free mail for the blind and overseas voters ($73 million of the free mail funds are held until the first day of Fiscal Year 2007). No funding was provided to complete the USPS' emergency preparedness plans. The full House Appropriations Committee is expected to mark up the bill on Tuesday, June 21, with House floor action tentatively scheduled for June 29 - 30.
The chart below compares the House proposed funding to our request and the President's budget:
            ($ in Thousands)    Free Mail     Rev. Forgone           EPP               Total
USPS FY 06 Request:           108,518             29,000                51,000          188,518
OMB                                        87,350                   -0-                  -0-                  87,350
House                                      87,350              29,000                 -0-                116,350

June 16, 2005 -- The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has reported that it "has launched a major new development drive designed to bring access to information and communication technologies (ICTs) to the estimated one billion people worldwide for whom making a simple telephone call remains out of reach. Partners also include governments and government agencies including Egypt, France, Senegal and the Korea Agency for Digital Opportunity and Promotion (KADO), regional and international organizations including UNESCO, the Universal Postal Union (UPU), the European Commission, the International Telecommunication Satellite Organization, RASCOM and the United Nations Fund for International Partnerships (UNFIP), as well as a range of organizations from civil society including Télécoms Sans Frontières, the M S Swaminathan Research Foundation and Child Helpline International.

June 16, 2005 -- As AllAfrica.com has noted:

June 16, 2005 -- Through the courtesy of the EMA Foundation, we have made available on this site the most recent white paper, "The Federalist Papers and Postal Reform," produced by the EMA Foundation for Paper-Based Communications and written by former Kappel Commission executive director Murray Comarow. The   Please visit www.emafoundation.org for more information on the EMAF.

June 16, 2005 -- Posted on this site is the latest DMM Update provided by the U.S. Postal Service.

June 16, 2005 -- Sources have reported that the U.S. Postal Service had a good month in May. Total volume increased 5% and about half came from presort First-Class Mail.

June 16, 2005 -- The Russian Federal State Unitary Enterprise «Russian Post» and Educational & Scientific Center «Sodeistvie» with support of the Ministry for Information Technologies and Communications of the Russian Federation will host the VII International Forum and Exhibition «POCHTOVAYA TROIKA» – 2005, 28 to 30 June, 2005 in Saint-Petersburg, Russia. The conference will be an integral part of the Universal Postal Union's strategic plan development, which is being directed by Russian Post Director General Igor Syrtsov.

June 16, 2005 -- Korea Times has reported that "Many domestic magazines have shut down or suspended their businesses, hit directly by sliding readership and declining advertising revenue. According to the Korea Magazine Association, most magazines, even including relatively profitable women's magazines, witnessed a cut of about 30-40 percent in their revenues over the past few years. Out of 3,277 magazines registered with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism or local authorities, only 68.45 percent or 2,243 publications are on the go. The remaining 31.55 percent, or 1,034 magazines, are out of business."

June 16, 2005 -- According to one writer to the Jamaica Gleaner, "It might seem logical for the Jamaica Post to identify the new post codes with seven alphanumeric characters such as JMAAW03 for Kingston 8, etc., but I am sure that we the general public will find it quite confusing and cumbersome for a long time to come. I would like to suggest that the Jamaica Post re-examine the coding system to be more user-friendly to the general public, so that it will be simpler to remember and easier to use. The U.S. has successfully used the five-digit zip code for all of its 50 United States and territories and a few years ago implemented an additional four-digit extension. ZIP is an acronym for Zone Improvement Plan. A visit to the U.S. Postal Service's website (http://www.usps.com ) should be quite helpful to find a wealth of information about the U.S. postal system."

June 16, 2005 -- Bloomberg has reported that:

Deutsche Post AG, Europe's biggest postal service, won German antitrust approval to buy KarstadtQuelle AG's business for delivering bulky goods and merchandise products to Quelle and Neckermann mail-order customers. The purchase by Deutsche Post's DHL unit comes on top of Deutsche Post's acquisition of KarstadtQuelle's department-store distribution business and will be effective as of July 1, Essen, Germany-based KarstadtQuelle said in an e-mailed statement. The two logistics businesses represent an annual sales volume of about 500 million euros ($604.4 million)."

Japan's parliament will extend its current session by 55 days to Aug. 13 to discuss the sale of Japan Post, Tetsuro Yano, chairman of an upper house finance committee, told reporters. Some ruling party lawmakers opposed the sale of state-run Japan Post, the world's biggest savings bank, on concern it would involve cutting as many as 400,000 workers. Opposition lawmakers also sought more time for debate. The session was to end June 19. See also Japan Today.

June 16, 2005 -- The Chicago Tribune has reported that "Federal agents made the first arrests Wednesday in Newsday's yearlong circulation scandal, charging that three former officials at the newspaper and its sister publication Hoy in New York were involved in schemes to inflate the publications' circulations, costing advertisers millions of dollars. Investigators detailed some of the methods used to inflate the number of copies reported sold, including dumping papers, arranging for phony sales by street hawkers to fool auditors and coaching distribution agents to lie to auditors. Newsday and Hoy, like the Chicago Tribune, are owned by Chicago-based Tribune Co. Each was charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud. Several other former Newsday executives are in the process of negotiating plea bargains with prosecutors. The mail-fraud complaint filed by postal inspectors said the three were involved in schemes between 2002 and 2004 to illegally inflate circulation." See also USA Today and the Washington Post.

June 16, 2005 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that "Deutsche Post World Net has entered a new era in the private sector following the placement of a further tranche of its shares by state owned bank KfW. 110 million shares or 15% of the company's shares valued at around €2billion were offered by the bank to institutional investors. The placement comes five years after Deutsche Post's shares were listed for the first time through an IPO. The sale of stock means that the company is no longer majority owned by the German government with 53.8 percent of all Deutsche Post shares now freely traded. If further options are exercised the German government may see its holding reduced to 44.7 per cent. CEO of DPWN Klaus Zumwinkel also expressed the hope that the remaining Deutsche Post shares held by KfW and the German government are placed on the market by the time the German mail market is completely liberalized."

June 16, 2005 -- PostCom Members: Posted on this site are notes from 6/14/05 telecon with the USPS and a subgroup of the MTAC Flats Preparation Optimization workgroup (of which PostCom is an active member), concerning the preparation of bundles to facilitate processing on APPS -- particularly address visibility issues. Any questions or comments should be referred to Kathy Siviter (kathys@postalconsulting.com).

June 16, 2005 -- Word has it that the Postal Service is sitting on a whale of a lot more cash than it originally disclosed to the Postal Rate Commission. If this is true, look for an errata to be filed at the PRC.

June 16, 2005 -- You gotta read: WHAT EVERY CONSERVATIVE NEEDS TO KNOW ABOUT "POSTAL REFORM" (H.R. 22) by Representatives Mike Pence, Jeb Hensarling, and Jeff Flake. H.R. 22, they say, is "All Carrot, No Stick. The number one problem facing the United States Postal Service (USPS) is a complete inability to control costs. Labor costs consume 80% of USPS' revenue whereas UPS and FedEx spend only 56% and 42% of their revenues on labor. USPS is currently providing its workers roughly $870 million more in benefits than federal workers receive as a result of lucrative health and life insurance benefits. And a postal worker in Anchorage, Alaska receives the same salary as his counterpart in New York City despite different cost-of-living expenses. In its present form, H.R. 22 constitutes yet another bailout of the Postal Service without enough reform to represent a good deal for American taxpayers. Conservatives can do far better by embracing real postal reform."

June 16, 2005 -- Roll Call has reported that "Postal reform legislation has bipartisan support and basically no opposition within mail-dependent industries, yet a House bill that is ready for the floor isn't moving forward with the speed lobbyists had expected, a handful of K Streeters said. Its hurdles are formidable. The White House and conservative Members have said they want a reform bill that costs taxpayers less. Two major budgetary sticking points include a skirmish over who should pay for the pensions of retired postal workers who were also military employees and whether the U.S. Postal Service can access funds it overpaid into its pension fund. One GOP Congressional aide said flatly: "You have a bad bill currently that costs too much and doesn't have enough reforms on the labor side. This is a Republican majority, and I think a lot of our members are skeptical as to why our Government Reform committee" produced this bill."

June 16, 2005 -- Here's one that Postal Watch has brought to our attention. The National Taxpayers Union (NTU) has come out " in opposition to H.R. 22, the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act. Although NTU has long called for postal reform, it is impossible for taxpayers to support this poor substitute for reform because it further expands the monopoly powers granted to the United States Postal Service (USPS) and does nothing to bring needed market discipline to the agency. Ultimately, the only way to truly "reform" the Post Office into an organization that appropriately balances labor costs, pricing issues, and service quality concerns is full privatization. However, even in the absence of such sweeping changes, this legislation is entirely inadequate for several reasons. H.R. 22 will cost American taxpayers some $27 billion over the next few decades in pension benefits for prior military service, despite the fact that these costs are owed by USPS. Instead, the U.S. Treasury would assume the burden. However, these obligations are Postal Service costs, triggered by retirees' postal employment, and part of the total compensation paid for postal work. Taxpayers should not be saddled with this liability."

June 16, 2005 -- Usually reliable sources have reported that even Sen. Thomas Carper (D-DE) holds out little hope for congressional passage of postal reform. While speaking to a friendly, receptive audience, he gave postal reform "zero chance" of being enacted. 

June 16, 2005 -- News from the U.S. Postal Service:

June 16, 2005 -- In an article for Direct magazine, postal commentator Gene Del Polito asks: "Sometimes you have just got to wonder: What will it take to get those within our industry to recognize that there are a number of people in the media who think that unsolicited direct mail ranks right behind spam as one of the plagues of the 21st century? Better than that, what will it take to get them resolved not to just sit back and let competitors and detractors take pot shots at them, but to stand ready to respond to any threat to their ability to use mail for business development without unnecessary externally-imposed constraints?"

June 16, 2005 -- As the Jerusalem Post has noted, "As it turns out, God receives quite a lot of fan mail. At least, that's what thousands of prayers and messages sent from across the globe to Jerusalem suggest. Thousands of people of various faiths from all over the world send letters to God every year. Such letters are commonly forwarded to Jerusalem, where the staff of a small post office in the Givat Shaul commercial district, a department of the Israel Postal Authority dealing with undeliverable mail, twice a year places them in the Western Wall."

June 16, 2005 -- CEP News (Courier-Express-Postal) has reported that:

By selling debts on the open money market the German Ministry of Finance has managed to fill a hole in the post's pension fund. The debts in question are contributions towards the pension fund due from Deutsche Post and Deutsche Telekom. According to the Ministry of Finance, former Deutsche Post employees with civil servant status are entitled to pension payments amounting to 5.5bn euros in total in 2005 alone.

According to the French daily "Les Echos", the Dutch TNT Group may be moving into the French mail market. However, that market was "very difficult to access" due to La Poste's dominant position, said TNTs CEO Peter Bakker in a comment; TNT would therefore have to start building its own network from scratch.

Instead of a new Postal Act, Austria could see just an amendment to the legislation this autumn. Apparently, the government has not yet agreed on a consistent policy to adopt in the matter of further liberalisation.

Last week, Austria's Osterreichische Post announced the extension of its strategy for Eastern Europe. Following the post's establishment on the parcel markets of Croatia, Slovenia and Slovakia, the intention now is to move into the mail market, too. CEO Anton Wais told journalists on Thursday that the supervisory board had authorised the intended strategy expansion.

The Austrian Trade Association is highly critical of the country's post. In a statement published on Monday, the association urged the post to operate a customer- friendly policy in future: not even the railway company dared treat its customers the way the post did. The association demanded that the post be prohibited from expanding abroad as long as customers in Austria were not receiving satisfactory service.

The meeting of German ministers for economic affairs on 9/10 June is expected to urge the government to reverse Deutsche Post's VAT exemption without awaiting a decision from Brussels.

On Tuesday the Liechtenstein government gave its approval to Schweizerische Post buying into Liechtensteinische Post AG. The Swiss post has an option on 25% of the shares.

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..

June 16, 2005 -- The Financial Times has reported that "A German federal-related fund on Wednesday raised €8bn in one of Europe's largest securitisiation deals, issuing bonds against future pension payments from former state-owned companies. The sum will help the federal government put off payments to the pension funds of the three companies that used to make up Deutsche Bundespost at a time when it is struggling to keep the federal budget deficit within European Union criteria. The controversial deal comes when cash-strapped European governments are getting more creative in managing assets in order to make their public finances appear more healthy. The main attraction of securitisation is that it allows governments to bring forward revenues without raising official debt burdens. A securitisation deal entails transferring public assets to special purpose vehicles that issue debt against a future revenue stream."

June 16, 2005 -- Suddeutsche Zeitung has reported that "The German state now owns only a 46.2 per cent stake in the postal and logistics service operator Deutsche Post, the former state post office. This follows the sale by the state development bank KfW of 110 million shares in the postal operator to institutional investors. It is possible that, following the exercising of the Greenshoe option of a maximum of 15 per cent of the share package, the state may see its participation reduced to 44.7 per cent."

June 16, 2005 -- Die Welt has reported that "Deutsche Postbank, the German bank, and its parent Deutsche Post, the postal service and logistics group, are reported again to have rejected moves by rival Deutsche Bank towards a merger. Deutsche Bank had failed in a similar move in 2004, but a recent interview given by its head, Josef Ackermann, had given rise to speculation regarding a possible second attempt."

June 16, 2005 -- VNUnet has reported that "DHL will this month start developing a global IT infrastructure to let it use RFID tags to track more than a billion packages a year by 2015. The logistics giant wants to achieve tighter control of shipments, cut costs, and improve operating performance by reducing paperwork and data collection. DHL, the transportation and logistics arm of Deutsche Post World Net, began testing RFID in 1998 and has since conducted 20 trials involving passive and active technology."

June 16, 2005 -- According to Computing, "Royal Mail has extended an elearning initiative designed to improve the computer literacy of its workers. The organisation has issued a further 6,000 home PCs to staff. Some 28,000 employees and their families benefit from the Learning for All scheme, which allows them to hire an internet-ready PC for £4.40 per week. Elearning firm Futuremedia is supplying the PCs, which give access to online learning courses."

June 16, 2005 -- According to Nikkei, "Comments by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi that the postal privatization bills now under Diet deliberation require no modifications have led to speculation among lawmakers on whether Koizumi meant what he said or was merely playing a game of brinkmanship. Ruling coalition lawmakers are anxious to learn Koizumi's true intentions because whether the bills will be modified or not will determine how long the current Diet session needs to be extended to ensure their passage."

June 16, 2005 -- Traffic World has reported that "The cost of radio frequency identification tags should fall later this summer, creating new opportunities for retailers and their vendors to streamline their supply chains. A move by global RFID specialists to bring standardization to radio frequency technology is expected to produce results in the third quarter of this year. These second-generation or "Gen 2" standards are expected to attract global tag makers to the market, resulting in increased competition and lower prices."

June 16, 2005 -- Hey postal history buffs. According to the Persian Journal: "Reliable evidences indicate that the first regular postal system in the world was established in ancient Iran where the horse-riders and horse-drawn wagons carried mail. The mail consisted mostly of governmental dispatches, and they were delivered from a place to place. On the basis of information reported by the Greek historians Herodotus and Xenophon, the first regular postal service in the world was established in ancient Iran in 6th century BC during the reign of the first king of the Achaemenids, Cyrus the Great (550 BC-529 BC). The service used the system of a messenger (in Persian: Chapaar) or the relay messengers (in Persian: Chapaar-beh-Chaapar). The messengers were riding horses and carrying mails by day and night; the relay stations were built only so far distant from each other so that a horse could run without resting or feeding."

June 15, 2005 -- The Limerick Post has reported that "STAKEHOLDERS of An Post were presented with a "vision of growth” for the national postal service by the four major postal unions in Limerick last week. And Limerick business people were warned that there will be huge delays in postal deliveries in the city if plans to relocate a sorting office to Cork go ahead later this year. The meeting was the first in a series of regional public forums, at which the unions said they wanted to challenge the "graveyard scenario” for Ireland’s national postal service, presented by the company management."

June 15, 2005 -- Business World (Ireland) has reported that "Communications watchdog, ComReg, has welcomed the appointment of John Hearn, ComReg's Project Manager for Postal Regulation, as vice-chair of the European Committee for Postal Regulation (CERP). Established in 1992, the European Committee for Postal Regulation (CERP) is composed of representatives of postal regulatory authorities from European countries. Its responsibilities include considering European postal regulatory affairs and responding to changes in regulatory and operational issues and assessing the influence of international regulatory policies in all European countries and to establish the necessary contacts with the European Commission regarding postal regulatory issues, in order to develop a common approach to these issues."

June 15, 2005 -- The Governors of the United States Postal Service approved a Negotiated Service Agreement with HSBC North America Holdings Inc. designed to improve customer service to bank clients. A Negotiated Service Agreement (NSA) is a contractual agreement between the United States Postal Service and a company whose mail use is an integral part of its business strategy. The NSA provides customized pricing incentives based on the company's mail operations.

June 15, 2005 -- The Beaver County Times has reported that "Mail is being carried, once again, by US Airways and American Airlines. Advertisement The U.S. Postal Service suspended the mail-carrying contracts with both airlines in February. US Airways started carrying mail again in April. The contracts had been suspended because first-class mail the two airlines carried had been consistently late for about five months."

June 15, 2005 -- According to American Postal Workers Union president William Burrus, "Republicans and conservative groups who have expressed serious opposition to this provision are suggesting that “it would give Big Labor undue influence over the USPS, undoubtedly frustrating essential reforms including cutting the USPS’ massive workforce and closing underperforming facilities.” The House Government Reform Committee Chairman Tom Davis (R-VA) has reiterated support for the provision and says he intends to leave it in the legislation, despite the criticism. The APWU expects that the final bill reforming the Postal Service will include a provision for a labor representative on the Board of Governors and we expect it to be included, as well as other provisions for which we have fought so hard. Removing the provision at this late date would be a breach of the trust built up over months of painstaking negotiations. We have refrained from placing our friends in Congress in the difficult position of opposing legislation that is supported by others in the postal community. This issue may fracture that wall of solidarity."

June 15, 2005 -- MadeForOne has reported that "Internet Postage service provider Endicia(r) has recently announced the availability of PictureItPostage(TM), a customized postage solution that gives customers 46% more space for their images and more personalization options. This new development reflects increasing competitive forces in the personalized postage market, since the U.S. Postal Service invited new applicants for the system earlier this year."

June 15, 2005 -- Zee News has reported that "To tap the high volume business segment, the department of posts will start a service to distribute campaign material for companies and revamp its VPP service. "Our 'direct mail' service which will distribute campaign material of companies in any corner of India will start any time soon. We have got all approvals for that," Secretary Department of Posts R Ganesan said here. Talking to newspersons on the sidelines of World Bank seminar on "transformation of India Post for vision 2020", he said that for every mail the cost to the company would start from just Rs 1.50 but they would have to promise a minimum volume." See also Rediff.

June 15, 2005 -- From the PR Newswire: "For the past four years, the Postal Service has used the internet to provide improved service to business customers and enhance the value of mail. Last year, the Nielsen//NetRatings named usps.com as the number 1 brand among all U.S. Government websites. During the past three years, web transactions at the Postal Service website increased from nine million in 2002 to more than 21 million per month this year. Potter also noted other awards that demonstrate Postal Service leadership in diversity. The Supply Management Team was ranked third by Diversity Business.com among all government agencies that do business with diversity-owned businesses. Senior Vice President and General Counsel Mary Anne Gibbons and the Law Department were honored with a Special Achievement Award from the Minority Corporate Counsel Association for furthering diversity in the legal profession. Strategic Business Planning Manager Kent Smith accepted an award from the American Productivity and Quality Center for innovative strategic planning that went into the creation of the Transformation Plan."

June 15, 2005 -- According to Dow Jones, "Postkantoren B.V. and TNT Benelux & Multi Country Logistics - a unit of TNT NV (TP) - said Tuesday they have signed a new contract. Spearhead of the contract is the consolidation of various product flows at the TNT site in Maarssen, the Netherlands. Postkantoren B.V. is a joint venture between TNT N.V. and ING N.V. The company owns the Bruna chain of stores. Postkantoren has 800 sites in the Netherlands, 500 of which are franchised postal agents and 300 self-owned. Consumers are offered a wide range of products, from cinema vouchers, moped licences and lottery tickets to fishing permits and bus and tram cards. Postkantoren last year decided to assign these products to three main logistics flows."

 June 15, 2005 -- The Asahi Shimbun has reported that "Yamato Transport Co. will launch international document delivery services in July, with plans to undercut its archrival Japan Post, sources said The parcel delivery company is allying with Deutsche Post AG. It plans to entrust overseas delivery to the German logistics giant and its partner postal service operators around the world Yamato Transport plans to offer lower rates than similar services provided by Japan Post. The company expects to start offering the new service at 70 sales branches in Japan The service will cover printed matter, such as magazines, catalogs and direct mail. Individual mail addressed to a specific recipient, such as postcards and letters, will be excluded Items will be classified into five weight groups, of up to 50 grams, 100 grams, 300 grams, 600 grams and 1 kilogram Destinations will be divided into three regions: Asia and Guam; Oceania, the Middle East, North and Central America and Europe; and Africa and South America."

 June 15, 2005 -- Nikkei has reported that "Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said Wednesday he is confident that a majority of the general public supports privatization of the postal services. Speaking at the lower house committee on the matter, he said, "The sooner privatization is implemented, the better the privatized units will be able to perform and live up to the public's expectations," in a show of renewed resolve to enact related bills in the current Diet session and implement privatization in 2007. Masaharu Ikuta, president of Japan Post, who also attended the meeting, suggested that the entity is gearing up to partner with other companies to enter the international transport business. "We are preparing to tie up with other firms as early as next April, assuming that the privatization bills pass the current Diet session," he said. Heizo Takenaka, minister in charge of postal service privatization, intends to ensure that post offices continue to offer financial services even after privatization, although details about which specific services will be available are not outlined in the bills.

June 15, 2005 -- Japan Today has reported that:

June 15, 2005 -- The Daily Yomiuri has reported that:

June 15, 2005 -- From Market Wire: "Delivering on its $250 million investment in sensor technology announced last fall, IBM now has unveiled new services, software and technology to accelerate Radio Frequency identification (RFID) adoption."

June 15, 2005 -- Mail & Jobs Coalition executive director Peter Miller takes the Seattle Post-Intelligencer to task for its needlessly disparaging comments about advertising mail.

June 15, 2005 -- KOMO News has reported that "Seafood processors in Southeast Alaska are struggling to get a bumper crop of fresh fish to Lower 48 markets due to a reduction in Alaska Airlines freight capacity that is expected to continue through the rest of the year. The airline has even recruited a postal mail plane to help transport fish to Seattle this year."

June 14, 2005 -- At the meeting of the U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors, the retirement of the Postal Service's senior vice president for governmental affairs, Ralph Moden, was announced, effective by the end of the month. Some postal insiders expect Moden to be replaced by Tom Day, the USPS' current engineering vice president.

June 14, 2005 -- GovExec.com has reported that "Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee, and Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, are still waiting for a response from House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., and Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, on a letter they sent three weeks ago that lambasted postal overhaul legislation sponsored by House Government Reform Committee Chairman Tom Davis, R-Va., for worsening the deficit. The letter, which urged leaders to delay a floor vote until those issues are resolved, echoed two of the administration's top concerns with the measure: shifting payment for the agency's military pensions to the Treasury and giving the Postal Service access to money slated for an escrow account. A spokeswoman for Hastert said she was not sure when the bill would be slated for floor action, but leaders have indicated to the bill's sponsors that it could be this month or next."

June 14, 2005 -- From the Market Wire: "Firstlogic, Inc., a global provider of commercial mail and information quality software solutions, announced the certification of the only single-pass option available today that complies with the United States Postal Service® (USPS®) LACSLink standards. A time and money saving necessity for all mailing systems, Firstlogic's LACSLink option provides updates for addresses recently changed by municipalities, such as renamed streets or newly named rural areas. Because Firstlogic's LACSLink option is already USPS certified, no special certification is required on the commercial user end."

June 14, 2005 -- According to the Rocky Mountain News, "Mitch Henfrey, of Denver, sells shoes, cowboy boots and Navajo rugs on eBay and ships the items via the U.S. Postal Service - only occasionally setting foot in a post office. Instead, Henfrey, whose company is called Mr. Haney's, primarily uses the "Click-N-Ship" service on www.usps.com to print labels and postage, and he then simply leaves the packages for his mail carrier every day. "We use Click-N-Ship for everything," Henfrey said. "We really like the guy who picks up our packages." And, he said, the clincher is that the post office supplies him the shipping boxes for free. "That's a huge savings when you're mailing a hundred packages a day." USPS may not have been on the leading edge of the Internet revolution, but it is showing signs of catching up, with such relatively new services as Click-N-Ship, partnerships with eBay and others, and an online greeting card and flier design and printing service called NetPost. And ordering stamps is one of the most popular uses of the Internet site."

June 14, 2005 -- From the PR Newswire: "The WiredSafety Group, an independent organization, has cited the United States Postal Service as having the most consumer-friendly website of those agencies considered for The Best of the Web-Government Award. WiredKids.com, a part of the WiredSafety Group, also gave the Postal Inspection Service the Wired Cops Award for its efforts in the successful recovery of a kidnapped child."

June 14, 2005 -- The stock gurus over at Morgan Stanley say they are "concerned that as the U.S.Postal Service (USPS) becomes more competitive in the parcel segment, it makes it tougher for the private carriers to take up pricing, especially in the rapidly growing B2C market, which has its greatest impact on UPS and to a lesser extent FDX. Longer-term, a more nimble Postal Service management may extract some value from FDX in the form of a more competitive price for their Priority Mail air line-haul contract but the contract doesn't expire until 2008 which appears beyond the investment time horizon of most market participants

June 14, 2005 -- GovExec.com has reported that "House Government Reform Chairman Tom Davis, R-Va., is planning to leave in a provision allowing labor unions to appoint a representative to the Postal Service's Board of Governors as part of sweeping postal overhaul legislation, despite criticism from some Republicans and conservative groups. GOP opposition could delay a floor vote on the measure, especially since the White House also opposes some provisions. Instead of changing the bill, which is backed by a broad but fragile coalition of stakeholders -- including labor unions -- Davis plans to continue talking to conservative House members to garner support before the measure goes to floor, likely later this month or next. Citizen Outreach, a conservative advocacy group, sent a letter to the Republican Study Committee criticizing the labor language, which gives unions veto power over one of nine governors' seats on the panel overseeing the Postal Service."

  June 14, 2005 -- According to the National Association of Letter Carriers, "House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) announced that H.R. 22, the House version of the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2005, would be scheduled for floor debate before the July 4th recess. At the same time, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee expects to mark-up S. 662, the Senate version of the bill, on June 22. “Brothers and sisters, crunch time on postal reform is nearly here,” wrote NALC President William H. Young in an email message to legislative e-Activists. “The future of the USPS and our jobs as letter carriers will be on the line.” Young added that as NALC monitors the legislation and meets regularly with both Democrats and Republicans in the House and the Senate, the union has no reason at this time to believe that H.R. 22 will be negatively amended on the floor of the House or that S. 662 will be negatively changed in the Senate committee mark-up. National Business Agents and State Presidents have been setting up phone banks and phone trees in strategically important branches. When postal reform goes to the floor of the House, e-Activists residing in key states and legislative districts (whose members of Congress are offering either positive or negative amendments) may be contacted to volunteer time to reach out to fellow letter carriers to call, write or email their Representatives and Senators to advocate the NALC's positions and views."

June 14, 2005 -- Kyodo News Service has reported that "Yamato Transport will offer the new service at 70 locations across the nation from July 1, eventually increasing its availability to about 3,000 places, the officials said. The company will not handle individual letters addressed to specific persons. Under the new service, delivery will take four to 14 days, almost the same as that of Japan Post, the public corporation in charge of postal services, the officials said. Yamato Transport will assign the delivery at overseas destinations to local mail service providers, they said."

June 14, 2005 -- The Prague Daily Monitor has reported that "Czech postal services operator Ceska posta will stop selling cigarettes in all of its branches at the end of this year, even earlier in branches where the contract allows it, Klara Volna of the IT Ministry responsible for Ceska Posta told CTK yesterday."

June 14, 2005 -- According to Silicon.com, "The Royal Mail is tightening security practices by sweeping its networks for vulnerabilities on a weekly basis. The postal service, which is starting to use more web-based business processes, has outsourced vulnerability and penetration testing to security company QinetiQ."

June 14, 2005 -- The approval rating for the Cabinet of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi fell 4.1 percentage points from the previous survey in May to 47.3 percent, the Yomiuri Shimbun reported Tuesday. The disapproval rating, meanwhile, rose 3.0 points to 40.0 percent, the daily said. Around 65 percent of respondents said they did not accept Koizumi's position of placing priority on his postal privatization plans.

June 14, 2005 -- Gulf Times has reported that "AN agreement was yesterday signed between General Postal Corporation (Q-Post), and New Horizons Computer Learning Centre, under which the former will provide on-the-job training to Qatari nationals undergoing any one-year job-oriented diploma course at the computer centre. The Q-Post official said nine of its staffers were undergoing a programme in communicative English in the UK. “This is being done to ensure they can deal with their customers, mainly non-Arab-speaking expatriates, without any difficulty,” he said."

June 13, 2005 -- The Korea Times has reported that "Six daily newspapers have asked the government to provide 165.1 billion won to establish nationwide joint distribution centers. The newspapers suggested the central and local governments would be able to take advantage of the proposed nationwide network for other purposes in the public interest such as a postal service."

June 13, 2005 -- Bloomberg has reported that "Germany's state-owned development bank is selling as much as 10.6 percent of Deutsche Post AG valued at as much as 2 billion euros ($2.4 billion), bringing the government stake in the national postal service below 50 percent for the first time."

June 13, 2005 -- The Associated Press has reported that "The European Union's internal market commissioner urged EU lawmakers Monday not to overhaul proposals to open the bloc's massive services sector. Charlie McCreevy said an open services sector would cut red tape and spur economic growth by eliminating obstacles to the free flow of services among the EU's 25 nations. The so-called services directive, introduced by the European Commission in January 2004, is seen as vital to reviving Europe's sluggish economy. German Socialist lawmaker Evelyne Gebhardt, who is leading the redrafting of the directive through the European Parliament, said deputies intent to limit the scope of the proposal and remove the country of origin principle. Gebhardt is calling for exemptions for public utilities, postal services, travel agencies, social services, culture and education. 'Without a will to compromise, we won't have a service directive anytime soon,' McCreevy said. 'Today in Europe we have a crisis of confidence, and one thing is sure: Dissatisfaction with low growth and high unemployment was a major factor in the 'no' votes.'" Hmmm. Does this mean we can expect to see "postal market liberalization" go the way of the gooney bird?

June 13, 2005 -- From the PR Newswire:

June 13, 2005 -- In his opening address at the Direct Marketing 2005 Conference, the first conference devoted to direct marketing in the Middle East, Charles Prescott, Vice President, International Business Development and Government Affairs of the U.S. DMA, told delegates that direct marketing techniques were now attracting increasing amounts of the advertising spend, that the Internet and e-commerce were in fact turbo-charged direct marketing and that marketers in this emerging market had a wonderful opportunity to leapfrog into the interactive age. Reviewing the origins and development of direct marketing, Prescott observed that the region needs quality lists and databases and a direct marketing association to promote education and the sharing of best practices, as well as to conduct research. In addition, a major issue was that there was no delivery of mail to businesses and homes in the region, but only to post boxes in the post offices. Fortunately, said Prescott, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has a great advantage: a forward-looking postal system that was fully-engaged in helping business invest in the future and a talented multi-national work force."

June 13, 2005 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that "euro-bashing isn't confined to Italy. A poll for Stern magazine this month found that 56% of Germans want the mark back. The mounting dissatisfaction is another blow to the authority of the EU. The 25-member union was pitched into confusion two weeks ago by the rejection by French and Dutch voters of a proposed new constitution for the union. Underpinning those votes and the grousing over the euro are deep anxieties about slow growth, high unemployment and the future of Europe's generous welfare states. The anti-euro feeling also underscores just how hard it is to forge a common currency. It took the U.S. nearly a century to create a truly national currency. Before the Civil War, thousands of American banks issued notes that in effect worked like independent currencies, varying widely in value from state to state. Only in the midst of war was the Union finally able to impose a uniform greenback." And what until Europe tries to form a uniform postal market. As it stands now, one post's determination of "costs" may be calculated considerably differently than another post's. Makes comparisons of cost-efficiency, productivity, and accountability awfully difficult.

June 13, 2005 -- The Washington Post has noted that:

If you want to keep up with who's saying what at the many postal conferences around the world, 
be sure to check the latest listings on PostInsight.

June 13, 2005 -- The Polish News Bulletin has reported that "Poczta Polska (PP), the national postal service, has filed a complaint with the Sejm speaker concerning the contents of the Supreme Board of Inspection (NIK) report on PP's capital group activities. PP Deputy Director General Mieczyslaw Chabowski says that in many instances the NIK formed its allegations based on false information. One of the most important allegations against the PP was that it participated in the companies belonging to the capital group in a way that undermines cost rationalisation and economic effectiveness."

June 13, 2005 -- Handelsblatt has reported that "Deutsche Post, the German national postal services provider, has said that taking away its VAT privilege on letters will lead to higher postage prices. Alois Rhiel and Walter Hirche, the financial ministers for the federal states of Hessen and Lower Saxony, have announced that they would like to see the sales tax exemption of Deutsche Post cancelled as quickly as possible. Deutsche Post is set to lose its monopoly in 2007."

June 13, 2005 -- The Edge Daily has reported that "United Parcel Service Inc (UPS), a global leader in package delivery and supply chain services, has appointed Joseph Guerrisi as vice president of marketing for the UPS Asia-Pacific region."

June 13, 2005 -- According to the Taipei Times, "US speed delivery giant the United Parcel Service (UPS) flew 68 tonnes of live fish from Taiwan to a US aquarium yesterday, hoping to break the world record for transporting the largest amount of live fish."

June 13, 2005 -- The Cleveland Plain-Dealer has reported that "Chief Leonard Miller, your mother's cabbage rolls aren't coming -- yet. Sure, those rolls are your favorite of her home-cooked specialties, which also include spaghetti and chop suey. But Mom had a little problem at the post office in getting those rolls to Iraq. When she recently tried to air-mail her cabbage rolls, she was shot down by U.S. Postal Service regulations banning dry ice on flights overseas, for safety reasons. (The "ice" is frozen carbon dioxide, which can build up enough pressure to explode.) Sometimes, though, the best of home-front intentions run aground on the regulatory rocks of the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), which routes mail to military postal channels in addition to its own international delivery. Each destination comes with its own set of restrictions, said David Van Allen, spokesman for the USPS office in Cleveland."

June 13, 2005 -- From the Business Wire: "Servigistics, the leading provider of service parts management solutions, announced today that The United States Postal Service ("USPS") will implement the Servigistics solution to manage its nationwide service parts network, as part of the company's new Enhanced Spare Parts Initiative ("eSPIN Initiative"). With more than $350 million in service parts inventory supporting approximately 500 field stocking locations around the country, the USPS is replacing its first-generation service parts planning software with the Servigisitcs Service Parts Management Solution to maintain its high rate of mail processing equipment uptime, critical for the movement of postal mail product, while reducing excess inventory, increasing inventory turns, lowering costs and improving visibility across its service parts network. With the Servigistics solution, the USPS will also avoid new purchases for service parts, while increasing forecast accuracy and parts availability nationwide."

June 13, 2005 -- Yokwe Online has reported that "The US Senate Appropriations Committee concurred with the House report to continue $1,000,000 funding of a health program for the populations of Marshall Islands atolls where Cold War nuclear testing occurred. Also clearing the Committee last Thursday was $800,000 for distribution to Prior Service Trust Fund enrollees of the region. In departmental budgeting for the Compact, however, the Committee recommended $500,000 less than the House allowance, which is $588,000 less than FY2005. The decrease includes a cut in Federal Services Assistance which provides funding for U.S. Postal service to reimburse cost of postal service to Compact countries. The Department of Interior's Insular Affairs Office oversees the $200 million in funding for Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia. The Committee recommended new funding of $300,000 for staff and travel expenses in oversight of Compact assistance to be included in the proposed FY2006 bill."

June 13, 2005 -- As DM News has noted, "The U.S. Postal Service is disseminating a paper on customs preparation procedures in light of new practices and security issues for international packages, the International Mailers Advisory Group said Friday. Customs processes are constantly reviewed and changed, affecting the delivery of overseas packages, the USPS said in the memo reprinted by IMAG. The USPS has developed a list of procedures customers should follow when mailing international packages that require customs clearance. The full list of USPS guidelines for international packages as well as the rest of the IMAG bulletin can be found online at the-imag.org/bulletins/05-0610.htm."

June 13, 2005 -- The editor of the Los Angeles Times has written: "Despite his well-earned reputation as a bully and a blowhard, John Bolton, the guy who says "it is a big mistake for us to grant any validity to international law," seems poised to become the next U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Anyone who doesn't see why Bolton's attitude is disastrously mistaken should picture his first days as ambassador in a world where no one grants any validity to international law. First, Ambassador Bolton is surely going to want whip all those foreign diplomats into shape. Particularly the French, with their foie gras and snooty "Je-told-you-so" attitude about Iraq. So maybe he will start by sending a letter summoning the French ambassador back to New York from the Riviera. But, oops! Bolton would have a hard time sending his letter, because in a world where no one grants the validity of international law, why would the French abide by the Constitution of the Universal Postal Union and related protocols? That's the treaty that pledges nations to deliver mail with foreign stamps. Without it, foreign postal officials would toss U.S. letters into the trash."

June 13, 2005 -- The Times of Malta has reported that "Maltapost has pledged to speed up the delivery of letters and compensate senders for lost or delayed mail in a series of improvements to its service that could go a long way to resolving the public's complaints. The revisions the company will undertake are contained in a document on Quality of Service Requirements published by the Malta Communications Authority as required by the Postal Services Act."

  June 13, 2005 -- MENA-FN has reported that "Direct marketing 2005, the region's first dedicated conference for the direct marketing industry, opened yesterday in Dubai, marking a significant step in attempts to boost the growth of the industry in the middle east. The event will provide direction for converting challenges into strategies for a faster development of the direct marketing industry in the Arab world where just about 2 per cent of the total advertising spend goes to direct marketing, up against over 56 per cent in the United States and Europe. The key challenges that will be highlighted include the lack of tabulated data and lifestyle. ''The Arab world lags behind in the use of direct marketing as a tool for enhancing marketing campaigns, said Steven Jones, conference director for event organisers IIR. ''The truth is that modern direct marketing techniques are ideal for the middle east, especially when most marketing campaigns in the region are one dimensional, generally using advertisements as a route to market." See also Kahleej Times.

June 13, 2005 -- The Waltham Forest Guardian has reported that "ROYAL Mail has hit back at claims that the postal service in Waltham Forest is failing. Melanie Corfield, head of external relations, said: "Royal Mail's postmen and women in Leyton have worked tirelessly to improve the service in the area and the latest local results reflect this. The most recent figures released by the Royal Mail show post punctuality in the East London area, which includes Waltham Forest, dropped from 87.5 per cent in 2003/4 to 86.5 per cent in 2004/5. However, in the last quarter of the year the figures moved closer to the national target of 92.5 per cent."

June 13, 2005 -- Canada.com has reported that "Nearly 300,000 Canadians signed up for Canada Post's electronic postal payment service in the first three months of this year, epost president and CEO Roger Couldrey says. He's hoping interest will snowball this summer as the last of the major financial institutions integrate their online banking systems with epost and word spreads that the number of companies using the service for billing has reached critical mass. So far, the free service is used by about 2 million of Canada's 11 million Internet banking households. Research suggests it takes at least five electronic bills to interest individuals in subscribing to a service that allows them to receive and pay bills from any location where they have online access. Epost has signed up more than 100 companies, many of them major names, and Couldrey says that translates into seven to 10 pieces of mail the average consumer can receive electronically each month. The advantage for billers is they save money, paying about 40 cents apiece for an electronic bill vs. 70 cents to $2 for snail mail, depending on what's counted in the cost, Couldrey said."

June 13, 2005 -- The Washington Post has reported that "The federal government printed its last postage stamps Friday. The end to 111 years of stamp production by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) came without any public ceremony in the same 14th Street building where many of the nation's most famous stamps have been printed. Now, private printers will produce all the nation's stamps, a decision that U.S. Postal Service officials say will save tens of millions of dollars a year.

June 13, 2005 -- According to the National Business Review (NZ), "Speculation that the Christian Science Monitor (U.S.) might give up print for pixels has surfaced in MarketWatch. CSM, always considered one of the brightest reads in the world, has seen its circulation drop over the last decade from 150,000 to under 60,000. It has shrunk from an average of 28 to 20 pages. It has lost staff, resources and 40 per cent of its subscriber base gets the paper a day late because of delivery issues (the Monitor is delivered Monday through Friday in the United States by the US Postal Service). But online, csmonitor.com is doing well, with 1.8 million unique visitors a month, Mr Beam said, and there were hints in the presentation from the editor and his associates that plans were being considered which would see the paper go all-pixel.

June 13, 2005 -- According to the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, "A spokesman for Citigroup said, "You can imagine how frustrated and disappointed we are that this occurred." No, tell us. That statement was actually code for, "We at Citigroup want blood. Someone or a group of people at UPS will pay, probably with their life or lives. And right now it doesn't matter who it is. And tell us, what jury would convict when told of this story?"

June 13, 2005 -- Zawya has reported that "Emirates Post Corporation, the country's official postal services provider, has decided to buy a 60 per cent stake in Wall Street Exchange Centre's operations in the UAE, Hong Kong and Britain. Wall Street, which has nearly 10 branches in the UAE has another 10 in Hong Kong and London together. Gulf News was not able to reach officials of both EPC as well as Wallstreet for confirmation. A few months ago, the UAE government had announced its plan to sell a 40 per cent holding in Emirates Post to the public through an IPO. "

June 13, 2005 -- The Guardian has reported that "The Labour party was warned yesterday that it could lose the support of a significant trade union ally if the government bows to pressure to privatise Royal Mail. The Communication Workers Union said it would conduct a "complete review" of its relationship with the Labour party, to which it gave almost £600,000 last year, if public ownership of the Royal Mail came under threat. Union sources warned that one of the options likely to be considered if the government did introduce privatisation plans would be disaffiliation from the party." See also The Standard and The Scotsman.

June 13, 2005 -- UsingRFID has noted that "A recent report on RFID players and market opportunities, published by IDTechEx, has examined recent changes in both the technology itself and the shape of the market, and forecasts RFID's future trends and figures up to 2015. Chipless tags such as organic Thin Film Transistor Circuits (TFTCs) will move to centre stage though the infrastructure will remain largely the same. It means history will be repeated where the large, profitable label market, created for barcodes, largely vanished when barcodes were printed as part of normal graphics on packaging and products. The full report can be obtained direct from IDTechEx, which also organises ID conferences around the world (such as Smart Labels USA and Smart Labels Europe).

June 12, 2005 -- The Boston Globe has reported that "Companies faced with government crackdowns on e-mail spam and telemarketing calls are turning to a tried-and-true method to reach consumers: the mailbox. Direct mail is on the rise. With hundreds of television channels and dwindling newspaper circulations, marketers say snail mail is one of the last frontiers where they know they can find consumers in an increasingly fragmented media market." Check the link on "who's sending mail."

June 12, 2005 -- The Associated Press has reported that "Private and state companies were financing the alleged vote-buying scandal in Brazilian Congress, the congressman who made the corruption allegations earlier in the week told Brazil's largest newspaper Saturday. Also Thursday, Congress installed a committee to investigate other corruption allegations in the government's postal and insurance services."

June 12, 2005 -- The Independent has done a profile on a former Royal Mail postman, Alan Johnson, who has risen to become PM Tony Blair's new minister of the Department of Trade and Industry, the department that holds the Royal Mail portfolio.

June 12, 2005 -- Sky News has reported that "The Trade and Industry Secretary Alan Johnson is to appoint a special committee to review the future of Royal Mail. The Independent On Sunday reports he will consider potential candidates to chair the committee within the next two weeks. The committee will consider the impact of competition as the postal sector is deregulated. It will also examine Royal Mail's plans to improve profitability and the future of the Post Office network." See also Ananova.

June 12, 2005 -- Brunei Direct has reported that "A$6.4 million contract was sealed yesterday between the Postal Services Department and Alif Technologies Sdn Bhd on the `Automation and Computerised System Counter' for postal services across the nation. All 22 of the nation's post offices will be installed with this new automation counter system, including the postal counter at the Ministry of Communications."

June 12, 2005 -- AMEInfo has reported that "Direct Marketing 2005, the region's first dedicated conference for the direct marketing industry, opened today at the J.W. Marriott Hotel in Dubai, marking a significant step in attempts to boost the growth of the industry in the Middle East. A host of speakers will talk about the fast-paced growth of Direct Marketing globally and identify the factors that have hampered its development in the Middle East. One of the prime objectives of the conference is to lay the seed for launching the region's own direct marketing association that will drive industry growth as well as provide guidelines." See also MENA.

June 11, 2005 -- Logistics Management has reported that:

June 11, 2005 -- The Irish Times has reported that "Staff at An Post cannot expect to receive the full terms of the Sustaining Progress national agreement until a series of challenges are addressed at the company, Labour Relations Commission assessors have said. An Post faces the prospect of the possible imposition of VAT on postal services by the EU, a pension deficiency and lack of progress on a price rise."

June 11, 2005 -- Nikkei has reported that "The government and the ruling coalition decided Friday to hold a vote on the postal privatization legislation in the lower house after the July 3 election of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government assembly so as to avoid being hurt at the polls. The postal bills face strong objections from the opposition parties and even some lawmakers in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party. Given this situation, the ruling bloc is afraid that the voting on the bills would be thrown into chaos, and desperately seeks to keep such confusion from causing it to lose seats in the Tokyo government assembly."

June 11, 2005 -- Hoovers has reported that:

June 11, 2005 -- According to the editor of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, "I don't know what's worse: spam or junk mail? Credit card companies must make money mailing this bound-litter or the mail would slow down. I know, there are commercial speech problems, but Congress (and perhaps local governments) could make junk mail pay for itself by taxing it. Right now, the opposite occurs. The standard class is mail that should include a warning along the lines of "This unsavory advertisement is paid for by government subsidy." Make that a taxpayer subsidy. This government handout begins with the special "presort" mailing fee. But even if the postage was full rate, consider what happens when most of us toss the mail unopened."

June 11, 2005 -- The Associated Press has reported that "Three new members will be added to Fiat SpA's board of directors, Italy's largest private sector company. Being nominated will be Vittorio Mincato. Mincato currently is chairman of Poste Italiane, the Italian postal service.

June 11, 2005 -- Dubai Interact has reported that "The planned, phased programme to have postal delivery system covering all parts of Saudi Arabia will be a very high-tech venture, for which a consortia of four Saudi companies are to invest more than SR1 billion. The new service known as Wasel would be a high-tech delivery system relying on the integration of GIS (Geographic Information System), GPS (Global Position System) and satellite imagery to locate houses and commercial addresses, according to Usamah M.S. A core feature of the system is the use of smart chip embedded in the mailbox fixed to the entrance of the house or the apartment that alerts the postman when he is in the vicinity of an addressee." See also Khaleej Times.

June 11, 2005 -- The National Association of Postal Supervisors legislative councilor has told his members that "The stalemate over the passage of postal reform legislation continues in both the House and Senate, with no certain dates for action in either the House or Senate. Reform advocates are hopeful that a House vote this month will provide momentum for the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs to move ahead and approve the Senate postal reform bill (S. 662). A June 22 Senate markup is possible in the Senate committee, but not certain, according to Senate staff. Differences between Congress and the Administration over postal pension issues still remain. Proponents of H.R. 22 were encouraged earlier this week when the United Parcel Service endorsed H.R. 22, without reservation and called for House floor action. Murmurs of conservative dissatisfaction with the postal reform measure continue to ripple through the Congress, but appear to be quelling."

June 10, 2005 -- Frankfurter Allgemeine has reported that "Deutsche Post Chairman Klaus Zumwinkel has dismissed speculation regarding large-scale branch closures in Germany following the opening of the domestic mail market. ”I expect the branch network to largely maintain its current size after 2008,” the head of the quasi-monopolist told Tagesspiegel daily. Deutsche Post still operates about 12,500 postal outlets in Germany. It is currently required by law to maintain 12,000 branches."

June 10, 2005 -- The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin is available online. In this issue: PostCom filed its comments last month on the Postal Service's Strategic Transformation Plan, touching on a wide range of issues. PostCom board member Joe Lubenow discusses the advantages of 11-digit barcodes, address quality and worksharing discounts in this postal perspective. Over objections from the White House and GOP conservatives concerned about its impact on the president's budget, leaders of the House of Representatives hope to move postal reform bill H.R. 22 to the floor this month or early next. McHugh takes aim against tobacco in the mail. A not-so-funny thing happened on the way to the databank. AuthentiDate hit with class-action suit. Rival predicts Royal Mail could lose 20 percent of market. Japan's privatization proponents playing pat hands. Germans float bonds to cover pension gaps. Irish businesses battle postal increase. France's La Poste, tobacconists cut deal to expand services. Britain's Aaronson reappointed to Postcomm seat. Austrian postal liberalization still lacks a firm date. Norway sorts out the best. Didn't all this get settled in 1918? Swiss to buy big interests in tiny Liechtenstein's post. Pos Malaysia sells shares. DHL to build anew in Germany. Hey! You're still not getting the 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.

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June 10, 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. In this issue: Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committee sources indicated that Chairman Susan Collin’s (R-ME) committee will consider the Postal Enhancement and Accountability Act, on June 22. Based upon an informal NAPUS survey, it appears likely that the committee members will overwhelmingly support the bill. At the same time, House Government Reform Committee Chairman Tom Davis (R-VA) is still awaiting a green light from House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) and Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX), in order to bring H.R. 22 up for a vote on the House floor. There remain a few speed bumps that seem to be impeding progress. Outstanding legislative concerns should not interfere with the Senate Committee’s vote on S. 662.

June 10, 2005 -- The Economist has reported that "LONG before he became prime minister in 2001, Junichiro Koizumi wanted to privatise Japan Post. This anti-competitive monstrosity not only delivers the mail and offers over-the-counter services in every corner of the archipelago, but also functions as a bank and insurance provider for Japanese households. It is thus sitting on ¥386 trillion ($3.6 trillion) in assets, making it the world's biggest financial institution. After battling for decades as an MP, and four years as prime minister, Mr Koizumi is now close to getting a vote on a bill that will—eventually—turn it over to the private sector. The bill is still being bandied about in parliament, but most observers expect it to pass sometime this summer."

June 10, 2005 -- NBC30.com has reported that "U.S. Postal Service officials said that Elsie Aquino's cat is no pussy cat, and that the cat, named Denver, is vicious, and so it cut off mail service to Aquino's home." See also New York Newsday and the New York Post.

June 10, 2005 -- The International Mailers Advisory Group (IMAG) has posted a notice concerning Changing customs requirements and security considerations which have had an impact on package preparation procedures and documentation.

June 10, 2005 -- According to Traffic World, "Forwarders, logistics operators set ambitious growth targets, continue consolidation, but shippers resist 'one-size-fits-all' supply chain solutions. Despite booming volumes, particularly from the Asia Pacific region, global logistics service providers face a challenging time. Beset by rising fuel costs, capacity constraints, legislative restrictions, shortages of skilled staff, fiercely competitive operators and demanding customers, margins are being squeezed to the limit."

June 10, 2005 -- From the Federal Register: "The U.S. Postal Service has published a final rule that sets forth the standards adopted by the Postal ServiceTM to implement the Premium Forwarding Service (PFS) experiment. The Postal Service is conducting the PFS experiment to measure interest in a new service that forwards mail to residential customers who are temporarily away from their primary address. With PFS, your local Post Office will ship mail to your temporary address once a week via Priority Mail[reg]. DATES: Effective Date: This final rule is effective at 12:01 a.m. on August 7, 2005."

June 10, 2005 -- According to DM News, "With the end of a Senate showdown over the filibuster of federal judicial nominees, postal observers are hopeful that postal reform bills before Congress could see action as soon as this month. The Senate committee could vote to recommend its version of the reform bill as soon as June 22. A spokeswoman for Sen. Susan Collins, R-ME, who chairs the committee, said that date was being discussed but was by no means set in stone. Nevertheless, obstacles remain. Before either the Senate or House bill goes to a full floor vote, disagreements with the Bush administration need to be settled. Nevertheless, obstacles remain. Before either the Senate or House bill goes to a full floor vote, disagreements with the Bush administration need to be settled."

June 10, 2005 -- The Scotsman has reported that "The Royal Mail was praised today for taking steps to stamp out sexual harassment of female postal workers, but was told it still had work to do." See also Personnel Today.

June 10, 2005 -- The Irish Independent has reported that "AN Post has written to 28 financial institutions in the first stage of a process which could see the post office network restructured as a fully-fledged bank by sometime next year. The postal company is hoping to leverage off its network of 1500 post offices and its reputation as a safe and reputable company, in order to take a slice of the most profitable banking market in Europe. AIB, Bank of Ireland and Deutsche Bank are all likely to figure on the shortlist of banks chosen by An Post after the initial 10-week stage of the selection process."

June 10, 2005 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that "TNT Express has announced that it has acquired 'Door-to-Door', Slovenia's leading domestic transport company. Since 1994 TNT has operated in Slovenia through a local agent. 'Door-to-Door' was founded in 1991 and currently employs over 200 people. It operates one hub, seven depots and a fleet of 119 vehicles from its main office in Ljubljana."

June 10, 2005 -- Ghanaweb has reported that "Mr Albert Kan-Dapaah, Minister of Communication and Technology, on Thursday launched Ghana Post Instant Money Transfer Service and called on the company to take steps to eliminate unnecessary delays in the delivery of service, theft of mails and embezzlement in their operations. The staff should also do away with poor customer relations at their various post offices, he said at the launch in Accra. The Minister told the Staff and Management not to lose focus of their traditional role as they embarked on a programme of modernization. Instant Money Transfer (IMT) is an electronic money transfer service, which provides fast, convenient, safe and reliable means of sending money to beneficiaries anywhere in Ghana."

June 10, 2005 -- The USPS has published in the Postal Bulletin the attached notice allowing mailers the option of entering unsacked bundles of specific flats mail at destination delivery units, as part of its sack reduction initiatives. Under this option, mailers can enter unsacked bundles of Standard Mail Enhanced Carrier Route (ECR) flats at DDUs. There may be no more than one bundle for every 10 pounds (or increment) of mail per carrier route, a requirement the USPS included to minimize the number of bundles handled at DDUs. The USPS also is revising the DMM to add standards for maintaining separation of mail when unloading unsacked mailings at DDU facilities. When entering mail at DDUs facilities, mailers (or their drivers) must unload the mail within 1 hour of arrival and place the mail into containers that entry facility employees specify. DDU facility employees also may require drivers to keep bundles separated by individual 5-digit ZIP Codes or by 5-digit schemes.

June 9, 2005 -- AP Worldstream has reported that "Police posing as postal workers, aided by hidden cameras, discovered systematic stealing of money, credit cards and checks from mail at a sorting center near Milan, postal police said Thursday. Seventeen employees were charged with embezzlement at the sorting center in the town of Peschiera Borromeo, on the outskirts of Italy's financial capital, Milan Postal Police Director Giovanni Pepe said. Police estimate hundreds of thousands of euros (dollars) was stolen over several years."

June 9, 2005 -- Dow Jones has reported that "Royal Mail, the parent company of the U.K. postal service, Thursday said it is adding around 1,000 fixed-line telecommunications users a day to its HomePhone service."

June 9, 2005 -- The Associated Press has reported that "Shares of United Parcel Service Inc., the world's biggest shipping firm, headed lower in Thursday trading after an analyst raised concerns that tougher competition and lower pricing will weigh on the company's bottom line."

June 9, 2005 -- From the Business Wire: "EFI, the world leader in digital imaging and print management solutions for commercial and enterprise printing, has announced Version 3 of EFI SendMe(TM), the document capture and distribution solution for high-volume office environments. EFI SendMe readily converts paper documents to digital files and enables unprecedented management of paper documents. The new version of SendMe delivers greater productivity, document security and connectivity. SendMe enables printing from mobile devices and integration with more than 20 complementary best-of-breed enterprise software applications. The high and increasing cost of managing paper is detrimental to a company's bottom line, and searching for misplaced documents greatly disrupts productivity. Virtually eliminating that time and money loss, EFI SendMe converts paper documents quickly and easily into a digital workflow. Additionally, SendMe' delivery capabilities offer significant cost savings compared to the traditional delivery methods of overnight service, faxing, and postal mail."

June 9, 2005 -- The Daily Yomiuri has reported that:

June 9, 2005 -- The Washington Post has reported that "The chairman of the House Workforce Committee and a subcommittee chairman plan to introduce a pension bill today that incorporates much of the Bush administration's proposal earlier this year but softens slightly the initial impact of some of its provisions. The bill would require companies with underfunded pension plans to fund them fully within seven years. The worst-funded plans -- those whose assets equal 60 percent or less of their liabilities -- would be required to boost funding more rapidly." Yo! Postal dudes! Does any of this have a familiar ring?

June 9, 2005 -- The Irish Independent has reported that "BUSINESSES are digging in their heels against another expected rise in postage prices, saying it would be the death knell for An Post. The Chambers of Commerce of Ireland (CCI) has urged the Communications Regulator to reject outright the current request by An Post to increase the price of a stamp from 48c to 60c. It warned that businesses will turn to competitors when the sector opens up early next year if prices are hiked any further."

June 9, 2005 -- As the New York Times has noted, "Amid growing criticism of the Postal Service's role in shipping tax-free cigarettes bought illegally over the Internet, a bill was introduced on Wednesday in the House of Representatives that would ban delivery of cigarettes and other tobacco products through the mail. The legislation, which was sponsored by Representative John M. McHugh, a Republican who represents upstate New York and who serves as a chairman of the House's Special Panel on Postal Reform and Oversight, would declare cigarettes 'nonmailable.'"

June 9, 2005 -- According to the Wisconsin State Journal, "mail jumpers have been at it since the late 1870s. The city didn't have reliable land routes for mail delivery in the late 19th century, but even after dependable roads were built in the early 1900s, residents kept the tradition going, and it's become part of the tourist town's charm. The jumpers deliver mail during the summer for nearly three hours every morning - and on Sunday mornings they deliver the bulky Sunday newspapers - along the scenic, mansion-lined, lakeside postal route that includes 60 to 70 mailboxes attached to private docks. Between stops, jumpers conduct the tour for passengers."

June 9, 2005 -- Press Trust has reported that "With a view to introduce products and services to increase the business volumes and revenue, the Department of Posts has launched Direct Post for distribution of advertising material by the Post Offices. This would facilitate the growth of commerce, too in the country. Direct Post is the un-addressed component of Direct Mail, and would comprise of un-addressed postal articles like letters, cards, brochures, questionnaires, pamphlets, samples, promotional items like CDs/floppies and Cassettes etc., coupons, posters, mailers or any other form of printed communication that is not prohibited by the Indian Post Office Act 1898 or Indian Post Office Rules 1933. The Direct post articles can be sent only within India." See also Webnewswire.

June 9, 2005 -- The Press Gazette (U.K.) has reported that "Business-to-business magazines that depend on doorstep distribution could suffer under plans to end price controls on press postage, the Periodical Publishers' Association (PPA) has warned. The current Presstream system, which forces Royal Mail to keep prices low for subscription-based magazines, will be unregulated from April 2006 under proposals from the postal services regulator, Postcomm. Postcomm said it believed publishers would be protected from soaring prices because there was sufficient competition in the market to keep charges low."

June 9, 2005 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that "DHL in the Middle East has announced that Express Freight, its trucking service for heavyweight goods, has been extended with a new route to Europe through Istanbul in Turkey. The Deutsche Post World Net (DPWN) subsidiary unveiled two new routes to Cairo and Istanbul. The service to Turkey will link DHL Europe to DHL Middle East, offering customers in both markets a competitive alternative to ocean and airfreight services."

June 9, 2005 -- The Independent has reported that "The biggest private competitor to Royal Mail predicted yesterday that the state-owned company would lose 20 per cent of its business when the market is fully opened to competition next year - twice the amount rival operators and the industry regulator had previously assumed."

June 9, 2005 -- The Irish Examiner has reported that "AN POST’S refusal to give workers an 8.5% pay rise could threaten the social partnership model when talks on a new national pay deal resume, the Communications Workers’ Union (CWU) warned yesterday. The union said the 5% increase sanctioned by An Post management this week, which will be backdated to January, did not go far enough. It said a portion of the increase should be backdated to November 2003 and will pursue a claim for an overall pay increase of 8.5% at the Labour Court within weeks. The CWU’s claim is in line with the Sustaining Progress national wage agreement."

June 9, 2005 -- According to Forbes, "Yahoo! and Sprint PCS said today they have introduced a wireless service for cheap access to e-mail on mobile phones." The Postal Service has announced that its mail rates are going up.

June 9, 2005 -- CNET news has reported that "Lawmakers have dropped the ball on keeping consumer data safe, D.C. area opinion leaders said in a survey published Wednesday."

June 9, 2005 -- Federal Computer Week has noted that "Every dollar spent on competitive sourcing during fiscal 2004 will produce $20 in savings during the next five years, according to an Office of Management and Budget report." So....let's talk about the savings associated with mailer worksharing.

June 9, 2005 -- According to Boeing, "The worldwide fleet will be 35,300 airplanes in 2024, more than double its current size."

June 9, 2005 -- According to Traffic World, "Domestic freight and express revenue-ton-miles (RTM) declined 2.9 percent in April from a year ago, the third monthly year-over-year decline in 2005."

June 9, 2005 -- According to Dow Jones, "Private equity firms want to put their stamp on Europe's postal services companies.

June 9, 2005 -- From the PR Newswire: "Starting today, Cingular Wireless customers visiting the United States Senate will experience improved wireless coverage as a result of a newly launched in-building antenna system. This means that Cingular customers can now make and receive calls throughout the Senate portion of the Capitol, along with the Russell, Hart, and Dirksen Senate Office Buildings. Customers will also have improved wireless service in the pedestrian and train tunnels between the administrative buildings and the Capitol, as well as in the Postal Square building. The network enhancements on the Senate side of the Capitol mark the second phase of Cingular's Capitol Hill project, which brought wireless service to the House of Representatives last year. A similar in-building system allows Cingular to offer quality wireless service in the Cannon, Longworth, and Rayburn House of Representatives Office Buildings as well as the tunnels and parking decks below. In-building wireless service has been available in the House Office Buildings since October 2004. Cingular's investment in the US Senate is part of the company's ongoing effort to extend Cingular's coverage area and to give customers more consistent access to the Cingular Wireless network in and around the US Capitol, where thousands of people, including legislators, staff, government agencies, lobbyists and tourists, visit every day." Gotta keep those Blackberries hummin'.

June 9, 2005 -- From the BusinessWire: "ASTAR Air Cargo's Finance organization is promoting several of its finance staff, reporting to Greg Guillaume, ASTAR's Vice President of Finance and Controller. Pedro Motta has been promoted to Director, Financial Planning and Analysis from his previous position of Manager, Finance and Risk Management. Stephen Dodd moves from his previous position as Financial Analyst to Senior Corporate Finance Analyst. Rob Miller has been promoted to Senior Financial Analyst from Financial Analyst. Lillian Marty was promoted to Accounting Supervisor from Accountant. Marta Castillo, previously in ASTAR's Accounting department for two years, was promoted to Financial Analyst in the Financial Planning and Analysis group and will report to Motta. ASTAR Air Cargo is a licensed U.S. air carrier operating a fleet of 44 aircraft from its hub at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. The airline provides all-cargo scheduled and charter services on a contract basis for the DHL Worldwide Express network and charter services on a contract basis for other customers including the U.S. Military and the United States Postal Service. ASTAR Air Cargo is a participant in the United States Civil Reserve Air Fleet program supporting our national defense."

June 9, 2005 -- Reuters has reported that "The treasurer of Brazil's ruling party emphatically denied on Wednesday that he paid lawmakers to win support for government policies in Congress and said he had nothing to fear from an investigation. The furor erupted on Monday when Labor Party head Roberto Jefferson, a government ally, accused the Workers' Party of paying some lawmakers in two alliance parties up to $12,000 a month to back its policies. Jefferson is at the center of another corruption scandal involving graft at the state postal service and is likely to face great pressure to present evidence of his accusations after Soares' statements.

June 8, 2005 -- PostCom Members: An update on efforts to place state sales taxes on postage expenses has been posted on this site.

June 8, 2005 -- Rep. John M. McHugh (R-NY) has introduced legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives that will prevent the delivery of cigarettes and other smokeless tobacco products by the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). "It's a very clear solution - we must get these tobacco items out of the mail stream. As long as cigarettes and other tobacco products are mailable, the costs to our society are great. State revenues are suffering to the tune of $1.4 billion in uncollected taxes and our children are able to buy these products with ease. The Postal Service hasn't stepped up to prevent this, so this bill will ensure that tobacco by mail is simply not an option," said McHugh.

June 8, 2005 -- The BBC has reported that "Postal staff in a West Sussex town are on strike again over the issue of new working practices. It is the third 24-hour stoppage for the Royal Mail collection and delivery office in Bognor Regis. Talks between the Communication Workers Union (CWU) and Royal Mail have so far failed to reach an agreement. Another strike is scheduled for 13 June."

June 8, 2005 -- Suddeutsche Zeitung has reported that "DHL, the express and logistics subsidiary of German postal service operator Deutsche Post, is planning to construct a new logistics centre in Staufenberg, Germany. Work on the construction of the centre is to begin this month. A total of 44m euros is to be invested in the new centre, which is expected to lead to the creation of 300 jobs."

June 8, 2005 -- Canada.com has reported that "Courier company United Parcel Service of America Inc. has selected two southwestern Ontario truckmakers to produce more than 800 trucks for its distinctive brown-painted fleet in a deal worth $5.6 million. International Truck and Engine Corp. of Chatham and Sterling Truck Corp. in St. Thomas will produce the trucks to beef up the UPS fleet across the United States, the U.S.-based company said Wednesday."

June 8, 2005 -- AllAfrica.com has reported that "GENERAL Manager, Express Mail Service/Speedpost (EMS/Speedpost), Mr. Adedamola Osuntuyi has advised courier operators in the country to stick to professionalism in order to grow the industry. Speaking at a seminar on "System Application in Customer Care," held in Lagos for EMS/Speedpost managers and sales team, he said, that sticking to professionalism would also help courier personnel in sharpening their customer relations skills. He urged participants to adhere to EMS operational rules in acceptance, handling and delivery, so as to eliminate cases of service failure and customer dissatisfaction."

June 8, 2005 -- Eyefortransport has noted that "In a move to accommodate increased growth in the Polish market, UPS will upgrade its aircraft flying between Cologne and Warsaw from a B727-100QF to a B757-200F, almost doubling the current payload."

World Post Congress is where the world’s postal operators meet bringing together operators, investors, suppliers and solution provider from all parts of the world. 

The Institute of Economic Affairs will be holding its 4th Annual Conference on "The Future of UK Postal Services Strategies for change: achieving success in the open market" on 7th July 2005 at The Carlton Tower, London.

June 8, 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..

June 8, 2005 --The Washington Post has reported that "Congress should tighten and clarify rules requiring employers to fund traditional pension plans, and it should compel companies to tell workers the true financial condition of their plans, the head of Congress's Government Accountability Office told a Senate panel yesterday. Rules allow companies to use different methods to compute a plan's status, resulting in "inconsistent, confusing and competing numbers that increase the risk" that workers and regulators will fail to grasp that a plan is in trouble before it is too late, U.S. Comptroller General David M. Walker told a hearing of the Senate Finance Committee." Pension liabilities have been an issue not only in the U.S. postal reform debate, but also have been a central matter in debates all over Europe.

June 8, 2005 -- The Irish Independent has reported that "AN Post has agreed to lift a pay freeze and pay part of the national wage deal to its workers - but the four postal unions have rejected the proposed compromise. After 18 months of growing bitterness, union chiefs cannot persuade their members and post office pensioners to settle for a partial increase."

June 8, 2005 -- The Courier-Journal has reported that "United Parcel Service and its pilots' union are disputing how much it will cost to continue funding the pilots' pension plan -- a new complication in the two sides' 32-month quest for a new contract. Independent Pilots Association President Tom Nicholson, in a letter published yesterday in the 2,500-member union's newsletter, said UPS' disclosure of its much higher estimates "stunned" union representatives. "There were substantial differences of opinion between UPS and IPA actuaries regarding the pension-cost models," UPS spokesman Mark Giuffre said. "However, we owe it to our crew members to … have accurate pension numbers that will affect other parts of the overall compensation package."

June 8, 2005 -- Dow Jones has reported that "CVC Capital Partners (CVC.YY), which has been in exclusive negotiations to acquire a holding in the Danish postal service, Post Danmark, will pay 1.27 billion krone ($=DKK6.0427) for a 22% stake," In keeping with the government's plan to sell 25% of Post Danmark, another 2.5% of the company will be reserved for an employee share program, while 0.5% will be reserved for an incentive program for the service's top employees." See also the Associated Press.

June 8, 2005 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that "Last summer, insiders at Stamps.com Inc. scooped up company shares as the public was won over by a market test of its custom postage stamps. Recently, with the company's stock riding high after approval of a longer test run of the product, Stamps.com insiders have been selling shares. In May and so far in June, four officers or directors at Stamps.com sold 423,165 shares for a combined $9.1 million, or an average price of $21.56 a share, according to data from research firm the Washington Service.Stamps.com Chief Executive Ken McBride, who has never reported a sale of Stamps.com shares, said company officials are selling for personal financial reasons. Insider selling during the current quarter represents the highest level of quarterly selling at the Internet postage company based in Los Angeles in the past five years, according to Mr. LoPresti, who tracks insider activity for Thomson. "When you have consensus, it's always meaningful," he said. At the same time, Mr. LoPresti said that the sellers aren't reducing their overall holdings by a significant percentage, indicating the insiders haven't necessarily lost faith that the company's recent prosperity is sustainable."

June 8, 2005 -- The Gilroy Dispatch has reported that "Gilroy - Postmaster Penny Yates has ordered her letter carriers to get out of their vehicles and deliver mail to curbside boxes that are temporarily blocked by parked cars or trash receptacles. “I said ‘guys, we made the newspaper,’” she said of her conversation with her staff. “‘You should be making safe dismount deliveries.’ As long as we can walk up to the box, they should follow safety procedures and ensure delivery.” Yates called a May 28 Dispatch story highlighting the difficulties some Gilroy residents have receiving their mail a “negative attack.” But after the story ran, the postmaster asked to view unpublished pictures of carrier Patricia Finley, who was photographed by the Dispatch while she used her truck to push trash bins out her way so she wouldn’t have to dismount. Yates said Monday that Finley could lose her job over the incident."

June 8, 2005 -- AFX has reported that "Business Post Group PLC chief executive Paul Carvell expects Royal Mail's UK market share to fall to 80 pct from the current 98 pct following liberalisation of the postal market. Speaking at a conference, he estimated that 15 of the 20 pct non-Royal Mail business would probably be shared by four competitors which would provide a nationwide service, and the remaining 5 pct would go to city centre specialist deliverers."

June 8, 2005 -- According to one writer for The Times of Malta, "This government never seems to learn. On privatisation, they repeat mistake after mistake and seem not to care that every time, this happens at the expense of the national interest. Mid-Med Bank, the biggest strategic asset Malta had on the financial scene was sold for a song; we were told by way of comfort that a flood of foreign direct investment would result; unsurprisingly it never materialised. At the airport, the improvements we were told would result with privatisation have been cosmetic at best while costs to users increased steeply; new business seems nowhere near. At the posts, privatisation was a spectacular disaster since never were the postal services so badly managed as when they were put in the hands of operators from New Zealand."

June 8, 2005 -- Strategiy has reported that "Empost has appointed Sultan Al Midfa its Deputy General Manager as new General Manager. The appointment of Sultan Al Midfa, comes after the retirement of Essa Al Daboos. The new general manager said that the immediate focus for Empost would be to expand the reach of our local and international courier services and introducing more innovative services."

June 8, 2005 -- DM News has reported that:

June 8, 2005 -- In a letter to House Speaker Denny Hastert, UPS Public Affairs Vice President Betty Amend wrote:

"I write to reiterate UPS' strong support for HR 22, the Postal Enhancement and Accountability Act of 2005. On behalf of UPS, I urge you to place HR 22 on the calendar of the House of Representatives and consider the bill under suspension of the rules.

"HR 22 was reported to the House of Representatives by a unanimous roll-call vote in the Government Reform Committee on April 13, 2005. Committee Chairman Tom Davis, working with Representatives John McHugh, Henry Waxman, and Danny Davis, was able to address a number of outstanding issues, allowing the bill to sail through the Government Reform Committee.

"Mr. Speaker, those involved with postal reform have worked openly and fairly to develop an effective, balanced bill that will set the Postal Service on a course that will allow it to continue to meet the needs of the American public.

"UPS supports HR 22 as reported by the Government Reform Committee, and we urge its swift adoption by the House of Representatives."

June 8, 2005 -- PostCom Members: PostCom urges members to report any and all system service disruptions to PostCom as they occur. This includes systems such as Confirm, CAPS, PostalOne, FAST, etc. Any occurrences of the system being down (including maintenance), service being interrupted, data being lost or delayed, etc. should be reported to Kathy Siviter (kathys@postalconsulting.com). PostCom is tracking these problems so that we can engage in future discussions with the USPS concerning system issues.

June 8, 2005 -- According to GovExec.com, "House leaders plan to move a long-awaited postal overhaul measure to the floor this month or early July despite objections from the administration and mounting opposition from conservatives concerned about its budgetary impact. House Speaker Dennis Hastert's willingness to put the measure on the floor signals that the administration is optimistic it can reach agreement -- especially on the handling of military pensions -- with the bill's (H.R. 22) sponsors on the major sticking points as the measure moves through the legislative process, proponents say. But the conservative Republican Study Committee, which has yet to take a position on the legislation, and some Budget Committee members might oppose the bill because of its budget implications. A GOP aide said some conservatives share the administration's view on the military pensions and have lambasted the measure for not doing enough to cut down on labor costs. Shifting the military pensions to the Treasury Department would add about $1.5 billion to the federal deficit." 

June 8, 2005 -- The Daily Yomiuri has reported that "Deliberations on the postal privatization bills are under way in the House of Representatives. What will become of the bills, whose passage Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi considers central to his reform policy? Here is my projection of developments, based on views expressed by members of the government and the ruling coalition and opposition parties. The question of an extension of the Diet session stands as the first hurdle for the Koizumi administration to clear, since it is seeking to get the bills passed during the current session. The Diet session is due to end on June 19. Given what has happened to important legislation in the past, there is little likelihood of the postal privatization bills gaining Diet approval before the end of the session."

June 8, 2005 -- According to The Times, "BAD publicity, low employee morale, one of the worst industrial relations records in the UK — and don’t forget losses of over £1 million a day and that disastrous rebranding exercise. Yep, Royal Mail is . . . a great culture-change opportunity, of course. Tasked with turning around more than 350 years of hierarchical culture Royal Mail managers took the “optimistic view”, reports People Management (June 2). Things have gone so well that they plan to extend a pilot that has seen a beleaguered centre at Chester transformed into one of its best-performing units. The success is due partly to the workforce developing and implementing its own improvement ideas, something previously “unheard of”, says Eddie Douglas, a mail centre manager. Ideas are spread via a “communications cell” in each area, where meetings are held at the start of shifts. It’s a big change, says Patrick Keefe, human resources business partner, but he adds that opening managers’ eyes to other ways of working has paid off."

June 8, 2005 -- The Star (Malaysia) has reported that "POS Malaysia and Services Holdings Bhd (PSH) expects to maintain its dividends for the current financial year to Dec 31, said managing director and chief executive officer Datuk Ikmal Hijaz Hashim."

June 8, 2005 -- Fiji Times has reported that "THE disparity in postal charges between developed economies and developing economies will be removed in 10 years, resolved the Asia Pacific Postal Union Congress in Seoul, Korea, last week."

June 8, 2005 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that "Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva replaced the heads of two state-run firms that are at the center of corruption allegations, as his administration tried to regain the offensive amid its worst political crisis yet. A government spokesman said Mr. da Silva decided to replace João Henrique Almeida Sousa, president of the Empresa de Correios e Telégrafos postal service, and Luiz Appolonio Neto, president of the IRB-Brasil Resseguros SA re-insurer. Mr. Appolonio will be succeeded by Marcos Lisboa, who until last month was Brazil's secretary of economic policy and a trusted lieutenant of Finance Minister Antonio Palocci. Mr. da Silva also requested the resignation of both firms' directors." See also the Associated Press.

June 7, 2005 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that "Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said a puzzling decline in long-term interest rates may signal economic weakness ahead, but argued that they aren't as reliable a signal of such weakness as in the past. In response to questions, he suggested that the globalization of capital markets is a major factor. Since 1995, he said, investors around the world have been increasingly willing to invest beyond their borders. "I do think the most relevant and likely reason why we're dealing with this is new forces at play in the international market," he said. Jean Claude Trichet, president of the European Central Bank, concurred, telling the group that inflation-adjusted bond yields in Europe and the U.S. are almost identical now, "a clear demonstration we are living in a single world." The New York Times' Thomas Friedman is right. The world IS flat.

June 7, 2005 -- According to Dow Jones, "Already struggling to avert negative fallout from a cooling economy, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva may have more worries on his hands with new developments in a brewing political scandal. Lula's latest troubles come amid revelations by a key government ally that the president's own Workers' Party allegedly paid off members of congress to vote in favor of key legislation. The latest crisis started to take shape last month when newsmagazine Veja revealed a videotape of a manager at the state-run postal service apparently soliciting a bribe of BRL3,000 reals related to a 60 million reals ($1=BRL2.45) procurement program. The postal executive, Mauricio Marinho, hinted that government allies, including Jefferson, were involved in a corruption ring that had infiltrated several state companies."

June 7, 2005 -- U.TV has reported that "Unofficial strike action by postal workers is affecting deliveries in some parts of Belfast. A Royal Mail spokesman said 250 workers had walked out in a row connected to overtime. The company says it is unlikely that staff involved in the strike will face disciplinary action."

June 7, 2005 -- The Albany Times-Union has reported that "Five law firms have filed class-action lawsuits against AuthentiDate Holding Corp., claiming the company inflated its stock price using misleading statements. Three of the firms also charged that former Chief Executive Officer John Botti and Chief Financial Officer Dennis Bunt sold $1.75 million worth of stock during a period of inflated value, benefiting by the sale of the 156,000 shares."

June 7, 2005 -- AzerTaj has reported that "Ministry of Communications and Information Technologies has signed a project with the World Bank, Novruz Mammadov, Head of the postal department of the Ministry informed. The project, which is scheduled for early August, will bring Azerbaijani postal system up to the high world standards."

June 7, 2005 -- As Business Week has noted, "For digital music downloads, Apple's iTunes dominates the market. But for downloads of audiobooks, newspapers, and magazines, the leader is Audible. On June 3, the Wall Street Journal reported that Amazon, an Audible partner, will be entering the audiobook-download business, too. There also are several startups like Odeo that plan to offer similar services to Audible using new podcasting technology." And NONE of it goes through the mail.

June 7, 2005 -- Dow Jones has reported that "Japanese Economy and Postal Reform Minister Heizo Takenaka said Tuesday he will continue to carefully explain the government proposal for privatizing the country's postal network, despite growing calls for the bill to be amended or abandoned. The Japanese parliament is currently debating Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's proposal to privatize the state-backed Japan Post, which is in charge of mail delivery, savings and life insurance services, in stages starting in 2007 and reaching completion in 2017. The bill faces stiff opposition from both Koizumi's ruling Liberal Democratic Party as well as the opposition Democratic Party of Japan."

June 7, 2005 -- Air Cargo World has reported that "Citigroup subsidiary, CitiFinancial said it will begin transmitting customer financial information to credit bureaus electronically after computer tapes containing that information were mislaid in transit by UPS."

June 7, 2005 -- Business Times has reported that "STATE investment arm Khazanah Nasional Bhd has bought a 6.3 per cent stake in Pos Malaysia & Services Holdings Bhd for an undisclosed price, emerging as a new substantial shareholder in the postal company."

June 7, 2005 -- Investments and Pensions Europe has reported that "The Bundes-Pensions-Service für Post und Telekommunikation, a pension fund for former post and telecoms workers, has launched a sale of €6bn in euro-dominated bonds backed by pension obligations. Created in 2001, the government-controlled BPS-PT pays out corporate pensions to 270,000 former postal and telecoms employees, all of whom were civil servants. The pensions are financed via contributions from telecoms giant Deutsche Telekom, postal giant Deutsche Post and the retail bank Deutsche Postbank, which are all now privatised."

June 7, 2005 -- MIT's Technology Review has reported that "United Parcel Service, the $36.6 billion Atlanta-based shipping behemoth, has 55,000 sorting workers at 1,700 worldwide facilities. Their Herculean task is to scan--by hand--the bar codes on 14.1 million parcels every day so that UPS and its customers know where those parcels are at all times. Beginning in 1996, UPS sorters began using a scanner worn like a ring and linked by a cable to a forearm-mounted terminal, which wirelessly transmitted bar code data to a facility's server."

June 7, 2005 -- Good grief! According to Cyberpresse, Canada Post has lost the remains of a cremated man.

June 7, 2005 -- From the i-Newswire: "Newgistics, Inc., the leader in returns management solutions for retailers and technology companies, today announced that Road Runner Sportsâ, the world`s largest seller of top brand name running shoes, apparel, gear and accessories, has chosen Newgistics` SmartLabel® to provide a convenient and hassle-free returns process for their catalog and online shoppers. Newgistics` suite of Intelligent Returns Management (IRM) solutions will enable seamless merchandise returns for Road Runner Sports` multi-channel product offerings."

June 7, 2005 -- The BBC has reported that "Brazil's governing Workers Party (PT) has strongly denied allegations that it offered bribes to secure political support in parliament. Roberto Jefferson said his MPs refused an offer of monthly payments in 2003, but that other parties accepted bribes in return for political loyalty. Mr Jefferson is himself under investigation, following a corruption scandal at the state-run postal service."

June 7, 2005 -- The Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal has reported that "U.S. Postal Service officials said Monday that they plan to move their downtown St. Paul operations to Eagan, according to media reports. The Postal Service laid out its plans in a letter to U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum, D-Minn, whose district includes downtown St. Paul. About 1,150 people work at the Postal Service's St. Paul facility, located along the Mississippi River on Kellogg Boulevard, east of Robert Street. The St. Paul location has been open since the 1920s. The Postal Service hopes to have a deal in place by mid-2006 and make the move by early 2009, a spokesman said."

June 7, 2005 -- From the MarketWire:

June 7, 2005 -- Japan Today has reported that "Postal privatization minister Heizo Takenaka said Monday the new postal savings entity resulting from the planned privatization of postal services is expected to incur a pretax loss of 60 billion yen in the year through March 2017 or the 10th year of its foundation. The expected loss is based on the assumption that interest payments to depositors will exceed interest receivable by 1 percentage point, Takenaka said during a special House of Representative committee session for postal privatization."

June 6, 2005 -- Paul Van Coverden, former long-time director of the Office of Government Relations for the U.S. Postal Service, has been named senior vice president of U.S. Strategies Corporation (USSC), a leading government relations, business development and strategic planning firm based in Alexandria, Va.

June 6, 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 June 14, 2005.

June 6, 2005 -- PostCom Members: PostCom at its May 24 Postal Operations Committee meeting distributed a recent presentation by Jeff Freeman, USPS, which discusses some barcode specification issues for which the USPS has asked for feedback from industry. This presentation was part of a recent meeting of the recently formed MTAC workgroup looking at ways to streamline acceptance and verification. Please review the presentation, particularly pages 8-24, and provide feedback on the specifications proposed by the USPS, the various scenarios presented at the latter part of the presentation, and any other issues you see in what the USPS in pursuing. Feedback or questions should be directed to Kathy Siviter at kathys@postalconsulting.com, as soon as possible.

June 6, 2005 -- Reuters has reported that "Citigroup Inc. , the world's largest bank, on Monday said account and payment history data on 3.9 million of its customers were lost in transit by United Parcel Service Inc.. The disappearance is the latest in a series of data breaches involving U.S. banks, including No. 2 Bank of America Corp. New York-based Citigroup said the data were stored on computer tapes, and lost while UPS, the world's biggest package carrier, was shipping them to an Experian credit bureau in Texas. The tapes, which also contained Social Security numbers, covered CitiFinancial Branch Network customers and about 50,000 customers with closed accounts from CitiFinancial Retail Services. Customers of CitiFinancial Auto and CitiFinancial Mortgage are unaffected. Citigroup on Saturday mailed a letter to customers about the problem. It said it has received no reports of unauthorized activity, and said there is "little risk" of the accounts being compromised."

June 6, 2005 -- According to Neelie Kroes, Member of the European Commission in charge of Competition Policy, "Competition is the natural ally of competitiveness and therefore at the heart of any economic growth agenda. Competition makes companies stronger and ensures that they grow in a sustainable manner through improving their efficiency and innovating, all of which ultimately benefits the end-consumer. One of the key advocacy tools we are starting to use in Europe is competition screening of legislation. Our aim is to improve the quality of regulation and make it as competition friendly as possible....One recent example is the Deutsche Post case. Deutsche Post’s actions were based on a provision of the German postal legislation which induced the undertaking – which enjoys exclusive rights to clear, sort, transport and deliver letters weighing less than 100 grams - to abuse its dominant position, contrary to Article 82."

June 6, 2005 -- The DM Bulletin has reported that U.K. postal regulator "Postcomm has secured government approval for the reappointment of economist Robin Aaronson as a commissioner until December 2006, as it continues to clash with Royal Mail over price caps. Aaranson has been a commissioner for Postcomm since its formation in 2000, and was initially appointed for a five-year term that ended on May 31. He was a member of the Post Office Users National Council from 1998 to 2000. He is an associate of economic and business consultancy LECG, and has worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers, and as a senior economic adviser at the Monopolies & Mergers Commission and as a economic adviser at the Treasury. Postcomm chairman Nigel Stapleton said that Aaronson's background in regulatory economics was proving invaluable as full opening of the postal market approached. Stapleton has engaged in a war of words with Royal Mail chairman Allan Leighton following last week's proposals from the regulator to put a cap on Royal Mail stamp increases."

June 6, 2005 -- The National Association of Major Mail Users (NAMMU) has reported that "Jim Wiseman (Transcontinental) hosted the April 27th Publications Mail Council session, and continued the trend established by Ernie Judd (Quebecor), at the previous meeting by challenging participants to “think outside the box”, following the opening directional presentation made by Dale Bemben, Product Manager, Publications Mail. The brainstorming segment produced a myriad of ideas: click here to catch the highlights and add your own thoughts. NEXT STEPS include: prioritizing ideas and issues for the next Council meeting; adding value to the publishing industry joint work team, headed by Dale, on strategic direction, key issue identification and proposed solutions; formally responding to any proposed directional initiatives once confidentiality is lifted."

June 6, 2005 -- According to Computing, "Royal Mail says new technology systems have played a major role in modernising operations and reviving its fortunes. Royal Mail now plans to build on the benefits that IT has delivered by introducing a new sales order processing system to streamline communications with key business customers."

June 6, 2005 -- Deutsche Welle has reported that "Deutsche Post, the semi-privatized German postal service, is interested in acquisitions primarily in the United States and in Asia, board member Frank Appel said in a newspaper interview published Monday. "Fundamentally, it's true that we're looking for acquisitions, primarily in the US and in Asia," Appel told the daily Die Welt. "We're talking about small and mid-sized companies with sales of between 10 million and 150 million euros" ($12-184 million)," said Appel, who is head of Deutsche Post's logistics division."

June 6, 2005 -- Handelsblatt has reported that "Klaus Zumwinkel, the head of German postal service operator Deutsche Post, says that the company will not reduce the number of outlets it operates after the liberalisation of the market for the delivery of letters in Germany."

  June 6, 2005 -- As the Charlotte Observer has noted, "Mention the mail to a Mexican, and the response usually is somewhere between a grimace and an angry recitation of complaints. Stories abound of Christmas cards that arrive in February, or bills well after they are due. Some government agencies bypass the Mexican Postal Service and use couriers to send out important documents, while many families and businesses long ago stopped mailing things of value. "Money? Never," said Susan Rena, a magazine distributor. So it was with some trepidation that Mexicans here and in the United States have welcomed a proposal to use the postal system to finally give Mexicans abroad the right to vote in elections back home."

June 6, 2005 -- In a letter to DM News, OPM's acting director, Dan Blair, wrote:

"Congress in 2003 fully funded the military retirement credit for U.S. Postal Service employees by asking the postal service to pick up the cost. If we were to suggest otherwise we would undermine the desires of Congress (“Health Costs and Other Postal Fairy Tales,” May 23).

"I never proposed the postal service pay costs resulting from military retirement. Payments to military retirees are paid by the Department of Defense for men and women who meet length of service requirements. Those not eligible for retirement are not compensated, as demonstrated by the many men and women who have served their country and receive no pension. However, one of the perks of taking a position with the postal service is that pension credit is given for time served.

"What I was addressing were the pension costs that arise because of employment with the postal service and the resulting credit for past military service. Private sector employers are required to pay all the costs resulting from employing an individual. In some companies such costs include giving employee discounts on the company’s products or granting paid time off for certain educational opportunities. For postal employees, such costs include granting additional credit for past military service if applicable."

June 6, 2005 -- The Hindu has reported that "India Posts and BPL Mobile have entered into a Grand Alliance for tapping mutually beneficial business opportunities. With the number of traditional mails declining, the India Posts was aware of the need to take to more commercial ventures. Through new vistas of business, it was looking at mopping up revenue to become one of the Fortune 500 companies, the Chief Postmaster General of Tamil Nadu circle, Vatasala Raghu said. Utilising the wide network presence of India Posts, BPL Mobile will market its prepaid cards, recharge coupons and accept payment for postpaid mobile connections on a revenue sharing agreement with the India Posts, said R. Suresh Kumar, the Chief Operating Officer of BPL Mobile (Tamil Nadu circle)." See also the Business Standard.

June 6, 2005 -- The Slovak Spectator has reported that "POSTAL services in Slovakia should be liberalized two years sooner than previously planned. Alternative postal operators could be offering a full range of postal services from 2007. The Slovak cabinet recently approved a postal service analysis that recommended Slovak Post lose its exclusive right to deliver all types of consignments in two years time. The new timetable for gradual liberalization suggests that from the end of 2006 Slovak Post's exclusive right of delivery will be reduced. Alternative delivery firms would not be allowed to handle consignments weighing less than 50 grammes at a price less than 2.5 times Slovak Post's price. Currently the weight and price limit stands at 100 grammes and 3 times Slovak Post's price. In 2008 Slovak Post would have to open access to the public postal network. While Slovak Post worries that it might not be given enough time to prepare for liberalization, express delivery firms said that its worries were baseless."

June 5, 2005 -- The Philippine Daily Inquirer has reported that "BENT on raising more revenues, the national government aims to generate about P1 billion this year from the sale of state assets. Jose Vicente Bengzon III, newly appointed chief privatization officer of the Privatization and Management office, said the agency had set a list of government assets that it intends to privatize within the year. He said these assets include the the Philippine Postal Corp."

June 5, 2005 -- Dow Jones has reported that "Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's special envoy said Sunday that the prime minister will dissolve the Parliament and call for general elections if a package of postal bills he has been campaigning as a symbol of his reform fails during the current session."

June 5, 2005 -- Reuters has reported that "German mail and logistics giant Deutsche Post plans no big acquisitions, its chief executive told German daily Tagesspiegel."

June 5, 2005 -- The Telegraph (U.K.) has reported:

June 4, 2005 -- United Press International has reported that "The United States and the European Union revised their service offer this week to the World Trade Organization in an effort to secure successful negotiations during the Doha Development Round by increasing market access to developing countries. Under the revised service offer, the EU agreed to expand market access in legal and professional services, computers, management consulting, telecommunications, postal and courier services, energy and environmental services, financial services, among others."

June 4, 2005 -- Air Cargo World has reported that "The International Brotherhood of Teamsters is pressing its campaign to organize DHL independent delivery workforce in local and international settings."

June 4, 2005 -- TechWeb has reported that "Eighty-eight million American households will be Internet-connected by the year 2010, and 78 percent of those households will have broadband access, according to a report issued Thursday from Darien, Conn.-based Jupiter Research. Dial-ups may soon be a thing of the past. "The biggest change that happens when a household gets broadband is the Internet becomes much more seamlessly woven into daily life," report's lead analyst Joseph Laszlo said in an interview. "You don't set aside a block of time to go online and accomplish a specific set of tasks, you dip into the Internet constantly, as you need to, to do things as mundane as check the weather, look up a plumber, or find a movie time. "Businesses will find," Laszo said, when asked what wide broadband usage would mean to the commercial sector, "there's ever more they can do with the Internet as a marketing and sales channel to reach their customers. Broadband lets them deliver richer and more detailed experience to their customers online." The downside to that being growing customer pressure for immediacy, he added." Less mail...more overnight express?

June 4, 2005 -- WebIndia123.com has reported that "The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has unearthed a major scam in the Indian postal department involving the fraudulent franking of stamps. Preliminary investigations reveal a fraud worth Rs.3 billion ($68.5 million). But the actual amount could be much higher, a CBI spokesman told IANS Friday. Franking, which involves computerised registration of mail, is an alternative to using postal stamps."

June 3, 2005 -- PostCom Members: Posted on this site is a chart showing the key features of the negotiated service agreements (NSAs) that have been approved thus far.

June 3, 2005 -- Traffic World has reported that "UPS and the Independent Pilots Association will meet in Washington next week after their latest mediated contract negotiations yielded controversy and acrimony but no agreement. For the next round, the National Mediation Board moved the negotiations to its headquarters in Washington. Pension issues are critical especially considering the recent efforts by companies to degrade and eliminate their pension plans."

June 3, 2005 -- The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin is available online. In this issue: 

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June 3, 2005 -- Business Mailers Review has reported that:

Business Mailers Review is published biweekly by Sedgwick Publishing Co. For subscription information, check the BMR web site.

June 3, 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.

June 3, 2005 -- The Albany Times-Union has reported that "The chief executive officer of AuthentiDate Holding Corp. said he was caught off guard when the U.S. Postal Service said last week that his company's electronic postmark system had missed financial targets for a second time."

June 3, 2005 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that "UPS has announced the upgrade of its aircraft flying between Cologne and Warsaw  The move is designed to accommodate increased growth in the Polish market."

June 3, 2005 -- According to the Morning Journal, "The controversy about what type of mailboxes residents get at the Oster Homes Martin's Run development intensified yesterday when the Lorain Engineering Department removed the 104 centralized box units installed by the U.S. Postal Service. The move triggered an immediate response from the Postal Service, which ordered them to be returned."

June 3, 2005 -- The Ithaca Journal has reported that "In the classic formula, death and taxes have a direct relationship - both unavoidably go up together. But one industry in the United States has found a way to alter that formula, creating an inverse relationship that sends death rocketing skyward while avoiding the taxman. In 2003, a state law took effect banning the sale of online and mail order cigarettes to New York residents. Even without that law, mail delivery of cigarettes violates the state's age verification rules. Last December, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives warned credit card companies that such sales violate federal tax laws, tobacco sales reporting requirements, racketeering statutes and laws against mail fraud. Credit card companies got the message, and in March joined ATF officials and New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer in announcing that they would block the use of their cards for online tobacco sales. The message is stalled, however, at the U.S. Postal Service. The U.S. Postal Service should follow FedEx and the credit card industry and wash its hands of the dirty online tobacco business. If postal officials won't, federal lawmakers should heed the call to step in and do it for them."

June 3, 2005 -- The Institute for Research on Taxation (IRET) has issued its latest congressional advisory on USPS "procurement reform." IRET told Congress:

"The Postal Service’s purchases of services and property, which totaled $12.4 billion in 2002, significantly affect its financial health and its ability to perform its government-assigned mission. How it conducts its purchasing is of concern to policymakers, taxpayers, and mail users. 

Effective May 19, 2005, the Postal Service scrapped all the regulations it had developed over the years concerning purchases of services and non-real property. 

It replaced them with a nine page rule, issued in the Federal Register in April, that mainly discusses canceling business relationships, debarring or suspending suppliers, and limiting suppliers’ ability to seek redress when disputes or contract claims arise. 

Contrary to the Service’s claims, neither its own Transformation Plan nor the President’s Commission on the U.S. Postal Service recommended abolishing the Service’s procurement regulations or downgrading them to non-binding internal guidance. They recommended revising the regulations, which had been an ongoing process with much support in the postal community. 

The Postal Service identified neither undesirable "inflexibilities" in the old purchasing regulations nor provided examples of desirable practices being blocked to justify dismantling the regulations. The regulations already gave the agency considerable flexibility and discretion, including a simple means of obtaining approval to deviate from normal procedures when necessary.

June 3, 2005 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that "FedEx Corp. said Thursday that President and Chief Executive Frederick Smith could receive up to $3.75 million under a long-term performance bonus plan the company set up last Thursday. The plan sets a target bonus for Smith at $2.5 million, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Bonuses under the plan depend on acheivement of an aggregate earnings per share goal over the next three years, ending May 31, 2008. David Bronczek, president and chief executive of FedEx Express, could receive a bonus of up to $1.5 million under the plan. His target bonus is set at $1 million, according to the filing. Two other executives, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Alan Graf Jr. and T. Michael Glenn, the executive vice president of market development and corporate communications, each could receive up to $1.1 million under the plan. Target bonuses for Graf and Glenn are set for $750,000 each. The company also set up annual incentive cash bonus plans last Thursday for executives for the year ending May 31, 2006. Under his plan, Smith could receive up to three times his salary. Smith's target bonus is 130% of his salary under the plan. The filing didn't disclose Smith's salary for the coming year, but an earlier company proxy said Smith's salary for the year ended May 31, 2004, was $1.24 million." Here's a thought....Ask USPS PMG Potter what he makes to run his little $70 billion enterprise.

June 3, 2005 -- As the Internet Retailer has noted, "If you’re a bricks-and-mortar retailer, to sell abroad, you have to open stores abroad. A catalog merchant? You have to obtain mailing lists—and in some countries, you even have to obtain permission from individual prospects in order to mail catalogs to them. But the beauty of the web is an online retailer’s ability to reach foreign customers without having to go after them. E-retailers have certainly jumped at the opportunity to sell abroad lately. According to a web-based survey conducted by Internet Retailer in April, 71% of the 186 respondents to the survey report that they regularly fulfill online orders from customers outside the U.S., and two-thirds of respondents have used the web to serve foreign markets for three years or more. As great as additional sales from abroad are, of course, Internet retailers must know how to fulfill these orders. And there’s much to know about overseas distribution depending on how retailers handle it—be it on their own from a U.S.-based distribution center, farming it out to third-party fulfillment service firms, or placing it in the hands of international carriers, such as DHL, United Parcel Service and Federal Express."

June 3, 2005 -- AllAfrica.com has reported that "Recognizing that Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) have enormous potentials to reshape and transform lives, Nigerian Postal Agencies will soon be technological driven. This is coming as Nigeria prepare to host Techno Post, a technology exhibition dedicated to the presentation of postal technology solutions that would complement postal operations."

June 3, 2005 -- According to Cairo magazine, "The little-known Lost and Found service offered by Egypt Post is sporting some new flair. Cairenes have long been able to return lost documents like IDs, driving licenses, passports and bank checks to their owners by simply slipping them into the red box hanging outside any post office. Now, with the addition of an online search engine at Egypt Post’s website, you can inquire after lost documents by entering the document’s type, where it was lost and your name and contact information. This new feature, along with an automated telephone hotline established last summer, is part of a broader project to overhaul the old Egyptian Postal Organization. That venerable institution has reemerged in the form of Egypt Post, sporting a swish new logo on the sparkly green façade recently added to its Cairo offices."

June 2, 2005 -- The Jersey Post (U.K.) has reported that "THE postal workers union want to know how senior managers can justify performance bonuses ranging from 17 to 26 per cent when they have to make do with below-inflation wage rises."

June 2, 2005 -- Le Monde has reported that "Jean-Paul Bailly, chairman of the French post office, La Poste, yesterday signed a framework agreement with representatives of France's shop-keepers and small businesses concerning the sub-post offices operated on their premises. The sub-post office initiative, which was launched in 2003, has so far resulted in 574 such outlets. Most of them are located in rural areas or on the outskirts of cities and towns and, according to a survey conducted by the pollster Ifop on behalf of La Poste, 91 per cent of those affected by them are happy with the service." See also Les Echos.

June 2, 2005 -- The new standards clarifying when mail containing "personal" information may be eligible for Standard Mail rates went into effect on June 1. DMM 300 has been updated to reflect the change. DMM 300 is available via Postal Explorer at http://pe.usps.com; click on DMM Summary of Changes to view the revisions. Please direct any questions regarding Standard Mail eligibility to your local Post Office or business mail entry unit.

June 2, 2005 -- The Periodical Publishers Association (U.K.) has reported that "The postal services regulator, Postcomm, has announced its intention to remove Presstream from the regulated service despite strong PPA representations. PPA today announced that it had engaged a top consultant to draw up a strategy for an industry response to the new challenges this will present. The decision, which would be effective from April 2006, was announced as part of the regulator’s proposals for the 2006 Royal Mail Price and Service Quality Review and means that Presstream prices will no longer be subject to price controls."

June 2, 2005 -- Yorkshire Today has reported that "Postwatch, which monitors services provided by the Royal Mail, yesterday said it welcomed the price cap proposals, put forward earlier this week by the industry regulator Postcomm, but insisted that more could be done to improve the way mail was delivered."

June 2, 2005 -- UNI and graphical affiliates have welcomed an agreement on organising reached between print giant Quebecor and the Graphic Communications Conference of the Teamsters. The protocol covers union organising at the company's non-union facilities in the US and fully respects employee rights to join a union and bargain collectively. The deal follows a global campaign among Quebecor unions around the world. Unions are pressing the company for a global agreement to ensure labour rights everywhere.

June 2, 2005 -- EduBourse has reported that "Today the European Commission has transmitted to the WTO the EU’s revised services offer in the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) negotiations. The revised offer outlines how the EU is prepared to further open access to its services market in exchange for improved access to other WTO Members’ markets....On postal and courier services, foreign operators access to markets which have already been opened to competition by the first postal directive of 1997 (EC 97/67)) - notably parcels, newspapers, express delivery, letters above 350 grams, is further reconfirmed and extended to the fast-growing market of the 10 new Member States. In addition, the EU is ready to internationally subscribe to basic pro-competitive principles (which already exist in the EU), provided that other Members are ready to do the same. The universal service provisions existing within the EU are fully safeguarded."

June 2, 2005 -- In a letter to Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, Americans for Tax Reform president Grover Norquist said:

"As you are aware, the House Government Reform Committee has marked up H.R. 22, legislation to overhaul the United States Postal Service for the first time since the Postal Reorganization Act of 1970. ATR has been a staunch advocate of comprehensive postal reform, and strongly opposes H.R. 22, as it falls far short of true reform. Therefore, should H.R. 22 come for a vote in the full House, ATR may rate a vote for H.R. 22 as a vote against taxpayers. 

"H.R. 22, unfortunately, fails to address the core problems that have created the modern USPS – an oversized, inefficient and expensive government agency all too willing to dabble in areas outside its core mission, usually to disastrous results....First, the USPS should not be granted so-called “pricing flexibility.” Further, H.R. 22 fails to sufficiently restrict the USPS to its core postal business....Further, H.R. 22 guarantees a seat on the Postal Board of Governors for organized labor....Real reform legislation must cut to the underlying problems of the USPS, rather than making simply cosmetic changes, subscribing to fantasies of an agency newly able and willing to restrain itself financially, or pacifying favored special interest constituencies."

June 2, 2005 -- From the PR Newswire: "Pitney Bowes Inc., the global leader in integrated mail and document management solutions, pledged $100,000 toward the endowment of a Chair in Postal Economics at Rutgers University's Center for Research on Regulated Industries (CRRI) at a dinner last night at the annual Conference on Postal and Delivery Economics at Astrid Park Plaza, Antwerp, Belgium. Luis A. Jimenez, Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer of Pitney Bowes presented the endowment check to Michael A. Crew, Director and CRRI Scholar, Rutgers Business School, Newark and New Brunswick, Rutgers University. Mr. Jimenez presented a check for $100,000 on behalf of Pitney Bowes Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Michael J. Critelli. In an accompanying letter, Mr. Critelli said: "This pledge is to help you endow a Chair to conduct research in Postal Economics and continue to organize annual conferences in this field. All of us at Pitney Bowes have been very impressed with CRRI's accomplishments in the past years to help us better understand the economics of the mailing industry."

June 2, 2005 -- DM News has reported that "Don McKenzie resigned yesterday as president/CEO of Transcontinental Direct, part of the Montreal-based Transcontinental Inc. printing group, to "pursue other career opportunities," Transcontinental said." McKenzie had served on the PostCom Board of Directors and was a member of its Executive Committee.

June 2, 2005 -- Citing concerns over easy access to tobacco for youth and a need to support states' efforts to stop illegal online sales, Rep. John M. McHugh (R-NY) announced today that he will introduce legislation in the House next week to prevent tobacco products from being delivered via the U.S. Postal Service. The legislation will amend Title 39 of the U.S. Postal Code, making cigarettes and other smokeless tobacco products restricted, non-mailable matter. New York is one of only a few states that already prohibits the shipment of tobacco products by private carriers, but states do not have jurisdiction over what is delivered via U.S. Mail.

June 2, 2005 -- The new Standard Mail eligibility content rules published by the USPS in the Federal Register on October 27, 2004, take effect this week on June 1, 2005. In addition to its Federal Register notice, the USPS has published 16 Customer Support Rulings (CSRs) since December 2004 to help mailers better understand the new standards and determine whether their mail will qualify as Standard Mail. PostCom has prepared a chart summarizing the Customer Support Rulings issued by the USPS to date in support of the new standards that took effect June 1, 2005. In addition, PostCom has consolidated into one .pdf file the USPS’ Federal Register notice, all the CSRs issued since then in support of the revised standards, and PostCom’s summary chart.

June 2, 2005 -- The Miami Herald has reported that "Nearly two years ago, a surface-to-air missile slammed into a DHL cargo plane as it took off from Baghdad en route to Bahrain with a load of U.S. military mail. The aircraft landed safely, albeit minus a wing, but the incident was enough to provoke DHL officials to discuss whether it was too hazardous to continue as the G.I. postal service. ''It put huge pressure on us as a company to determine what is reasonable risk,'' DHL Express Joint Chief Executive John Mullen told the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday."

June 2, 2005 -- The Associated Press has reported that "Several small banks are launching heightened security programs this month to try to thwart identity theft and make customers feel more comfortable with online transactions. Last year, more than 9.9 million Americans became identity theft victims, costing the country roughly $5 billion, according to the Postal Inspection Service."

June 2, 2005 -- Xinhua has reported that "A new standard for envelopes was adopted nationwide yesterday in China, where postmen delivered about 10 billion letters each year. The adoption of the new envelope standard aims at increasing letter sorting efficiency. Machines are widely used in sorting out letters, which set a higher standard for envelopes, according to the official. The new standard cut the sizes of envelopes and the practice is not expected to bring inconvenience to mail senders."

June 2, 2005 -- Japan Today has reported that "Japan's parliament got back on track Wednesday with the return of the opposition camp, which had boycotted Diet proceedings since May 20 in protest against government bills to privatize Japan Post."

June 2, 2005 -- The New Zealand Herald has reported that "Europe's biggest postal operator Deutsche Post makes its presence felt in New Zealand from today, when its bright yellow livery marries up with NZ Post's familiar red courier brands in a multi-million-dollar rebranding of vehicles, uniforms, and products. Deutsche Post-owned DHL bought into NZ Post's courier business for more than $80 million in January. The two companies formed a new business, called Express Couriers, for the courier brands CourierPost and Pace, and logistics management company Contract Logistics."

June 2, 2005 -- Stuff.co.nz has noted that "Fans of both the All Blacks and the British & Irish Lions will be able to show their true colours when sending letters home and abroad, with the launch this week of another innovative New Zealand Post stamps series. To commemorate the much-anticipated DHL New Zealand Lions Series 2005, New Zealand Post have produced a stamp issue featuring two of the most powerful symbols in world rugby today - the jerseys of the mighty All Blacks and the fearsome Lions."

June 2, 2005 -- The Guardian has reported that "A proposed definitive database of addresses would solve many postal problems, but cost and ownership issues are still causing controversy. The so-called National Spatial Address Infrastructure (NSAI) is being created to end a turf war between different public agencies over who owns the intellectual property in addresses. It should end the farcical situation of many homes having several different official addresses while some have none at all. It may also enable a long-promised one-stop service through which people moving house can notify government agencies."

June 2, 2005 -- The Financial Times has reported that:

June 2, 2005 -- The Universal Postal Union has announced in Dubai that it has selected the United Arab Emirates as the venue for its high-level Strategy Conference in November 2006. The UPU Strategy Conference, held every four years, takes stock of the progress achieved in meeting the objectives of the World Postal Strategy adopted at the previous Congress and charts the direction for Posts until the next one, which will be held in Nairobi in 2008.

June 1, 2005 -- The latest international briefing from the International Mailers Advisory Group (IMAG) has been posted on this site for PostCom members.

June 1, 2005 -- The Hill has reported that "In an e-mail sent to GOP aides and lobbyists late last week, House Majority Whip Roy Blunt’s (R-Mo.) office outlined its list of “priority legislation” on the post-Memorial Day calendar. The list includes gun-manufacturer liability, postal reform and the Central America Free Trade Agreement."

June 1, 2005 -- From the PRNewswire: "DHL Smart & GlobalMail has announced a new postal parcel shipping option into the fast-growing Japanese market through cooperation with Yamato Transport U.S.A., Inc., that cuts delivery times by 40% and adds new product features. The product provides a delivery time of 6-7 days and includes customs clearance. The new parcel delivery service also offers additional features such as track and trace, and a returns notification service that informs customers about shipments that could not be delivered. It offers a unique solution for a broad variety of businesses shipping light and heavyweight items. Customers receiving parcels in Japan will be able to choose from six delivery time windows every day, including Sundays and holidays. Serving the increasing demand for a midrange-priced parcel delivery product in that market, the new parcel service is for dutiable and non-dutiable packets and parcels up to 55 lbs. (25 kilograms)."

  June 1, 2005 -- Eyefortransport has reported that "Three drivers for DHL have filed a class action lawsuit in Sacramento Superior Court against the company, challenging the illegal classification of many of its drivers as independent contractors, which has allowed the company to avoid paying overtime wages and to require workers to bankroll the cost of their delivery vehicles, including running costs, and many other expenses. The Sacramento drivers are among hundreds of DHL workers nationwide who have chosen Teamster union representation in the past several months."

  June 1, 2005 -- ITSecurity.com has reported that "Atmel(R) Corporation has announced the world's smallest and lowest-cost 13.56 MHz RFID single chip reader. Radio frequency identification (RFID) readers allow devices to wirelessly interrogate and write to tags and Smart Cards. This technology is now being used in applications such as consumer, healthcare, transportation and logistics products."

  June 1, 2005 -- As PC World has noted, "Driver's licenses will become national ID cards--and Americans will be at greater risk of identity theft--under a new federal law that passed without significant congressional debate, critics charge. The Real ID Act will require that states verify every license applicant's identity and residency status, and that they store addresses, names, and driving records in a database that every other state can access. It also mandates anticounterfeiting features for the licenses and a "common machine readable technology." In three years, licenses that don't meet the standards won't be accepted as identification for boarding an airplane, opening a bank account, or satisfying any other federally regulated use."

  June 1, 2005 -- A sign of the times? The Wall Street Journal has reported that "In an aggressive move to cut the cost of high-speed Internet access, the nation's second-largest phone company plans to start charging $14.95 a month for new customers -- making broadband service less expensive than some dial-up plans. The move by SBC Communications Inc., expected to be announced today, may compel competitors to follow suit." More broadband...less mail? Only time will tell.

  June 1, 2005 -- The New York Times has reported that "Even as unions struggle nationwide, with just 12.5 percent of the total work force unionized in 2004 compared with 22 percent in 1980, they face a particularly bleak future in the telecommunications industry. The industry was once a labor stronghold after the Bell monopolies became unionized in the late 1930's. But mergers, deregulation and technological change have reduced the number of jobs at the traditional phone companies while creating hundreds of thousands of jobs in cable and wireless companies, which are largely union-free. Since 1985, the number of union workers in telephone and data services has been cut in half, to fewer than 275,000, from 625,000." Of the four postal unions, the American Postal Workers Union has experienced the largest decline.

June 1, 2005 -- According to CNET News, "Symbol Technologies CEO William Nuti is good at pulling out the weeds in corporate restructuring. And this he did when he moved up the ladder last year from his chief operating officer position to head the once-flagging barcode applications company that had been dogged by several accounting scandals. Nuti also refreshed the company's entire product line, steering Symbol toward new areas, such as RFID, or radio frequency identification."

June 1, 2005 -- The Gilroy Dispatch has noted that "Neither rain nor sleet nor snow will keep your mail from getting to you, but expecting letter carriers to traverse parked cars and recycling bins may be too much to ask. Gilroy residents are fuming - and starting to turn on one another - because some local carriers won’t service curbside mailboxes when they’re obstructed by a parked car. And residents are incensed that Gilroy postmaster Penny Yates is standing behind her carriers even though their delivery methods flout United States Postal Service policy."

June 1, 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..

June 1, 2005 -- Sen. Chuck Grassley is keeping pressure on the Postal Service by asking for reports on how the Service is improving financial management following recent news of a possible postal rate increase and excessive payments by the Service when its employees relocate. Grassley said he wants to shine the spotlight on the Postal Service to make sure any increase in the cost of stamps is not wasted by poor management. Earlier this month, Grassley complained about the Postal Service giving its employees an extra allowance for relocation expenses, totaling as much as $25,000, on top of reimburseable relocation expenses related to shipping household items or the sale of a home, for example. There is no requirement made of Postal Service employees to show that the extra allowance he questioned was used for relocation-related expenses. Grassley is chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance.

June 1, 2005 -- Dow Jones has reported that "Shares of AuthentiDate Holding Corp. fell sharply Tuesday, after the company said it received a second notice from the United States Postal Service saying it had failed to meet goals for its Electronic Postmark service."

June 1, 2005 -- Hoovers has reported that "The world well-known express delivery company UPS will construct additional 20 logistics facilities in China in 2005 and 2006, David Abney, president ofUPS International, was quoted as saying."

June 1, 2005 -- The Guardian (U.K.) has reported that "Royal Mail bosses are heading for a confrontation with the industry regulator Postcomm after being told that the price of a first-class stamp will be allowed to rise by just 1p a year to a maximum of 34p over the next four years. The state-owned company, which last month celebrated record operating profits of £537m, believes first-class stamp prices would have to go as high as 48p to allow the loss-making letters business to make a commercial profit. It had hoped to be allowed to increase them to as much as 41p over five years." See also the Financial TimesThe ScotsmanicKent.co.uk, the Evening Standard, and the BBC.

June 1, 2005 -- The Communication Workers Union has called on the Government to immediately implement its election promise to review the impact of competition on postal services. The call comes after the regulator, Postcomm, made a string of proposals that will threaten the universal service, starve Royal Mail of investment and restrict the company’s ability to compete when the industry is opened up fully to competition from January 2006.

June 1, 2005 -- The Kyodo news service has reported that "Up to 2.3 million depositors have violated the 10 million yen ceiling on postal savings in Japan, with their excess savings totaling nearly 2.5 trillion yen, Japan Post sources said. The revelation could prompt Japan Post to come under fire for affecting the commercial banking industry at a time when postal system privatization bills are being considered at the Diet, analysts said."

June 1, 2005 -- The DM Bulletin has reported that "Royal Mail has condemned Postcomm calls for a domestic price freeze at Royal Mail from April 2006 to March 2010 as part of a raft of proposals on the future of the state-owned service."

June 1, 2005 -- The Fiji Times has reported that "POST Fiji board chairman Mahendra Patel has been nominated vice chairman of the 9th Asian Pacific Postal Union Congress currently being held in Seoul, South Korea."

June 1, 2005 -- United Press International has reported that "For Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, whether he is able to push ahead with privatizing the postal system can make or break his legacy as premier. In fact, he may even be prepared to gamble his leadership, suggesting to Tokyo reporters last week that he might dissolve parliament and call a snap election if his proposal is voted down by lawmakers."