Postal News from July 2005
July 31, 2005 -- The Asbury Park Press has reported that "Members of the American Postal Workers Union will picket the Contract Postal Unit in the Silverton Pharmacy — which was lauded by politicians when it opened in mid-July — between 9 a.m. and noon Sunday. Bob Romanowski, the clerk craft director for the union's Jersey Shore Local, said workers will hold an informational picket to tell customers their mail is not being handled by professional postal clerks."
July 31, 2005 -- The Sunday Independent has reported that "POSTAL services around the country could be slashed under recommendations currently under consideration by the board of An Post, the Sunday Independent can reveal. A report endorsed by the Labour Court proposes giving "low priority" to some postal routes and "collapsing" others in the event of staff absences. A technical group seeking a resolution to a row over wages at An Post wants to close some offices, limit the collection of undelivered mail to a three-hour period, cease the already minuscule number of Saturday deliveries, and prevent postmen from leaving early to do their rounds. The 63-page document, seen by the Sunday Independent, recommends stopping the sorting of mail on Saturdays and says collections on Sundays and public holidays should cease. It also suggests "commercial customers" should be "prioritised" for early deliveries."
July 31, 2005 -- According to The Telegraph, "Paul Carvell, the chief executive of Business Post, the UK's only quoted postal services operator, is anticipating the New Year as eagerly as a child looking forward to Christmas. Carvell is desperate for the liberalisation of the mail market, due in January, which is when any mail handler will be able to offer postal services to any customer. That right is restricted to the Royal Mail at the moment."
July 31, 2005 -- The Observer has reported that "The Communication Workers' Union is warning of industrial action in Scotland and across northern England over changes to Royal Mail workers' pay and conditions."
July 31, 2005 -- The Daily Mail has reported that "HARD evidence that Royal Mail could lose swathes of Government business to private contractors has emerged with the revelation that two major Whitehall departments are planning trials of rival postal services. Could the Royal Mail lose lucrative Government contracts? The Department for Work & Pensions, with responsibility for a range of benefit payments, and the tax-collecting Revenue & Customs are the two biggest Government users of postal services. Both are to test new systems within weeks. The moves will add urgency to demands from Royal Mail chairman Allan Leighton that it should be freed from price controls and allowed to partprivatise the national postal system so it can raise funds to compete.
July 31, 2005 -- The Indo-Asian News Service has reported that "A day after President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam asked Kerala politicians to inculcate a new work culture, the state's chief postmaster Saturday lashed out at the unions playing spoil sport in the postal department. Addressing reporters here, Chief Post Master General K.N.K. Karthiyani, who is laying down office, said she is leaving with a heavy heart, as she was unable to do anything constructive during her three years in office. "There is opposition to every move we tried to make in the department from the unions. The entire time was spent addressing their demands. Never in my thirty-five years of service was I so disheartened."
July 30, 2005 -- The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin is available online. Among the news in this issue:
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.
July 30, 2005 -- The U.S. General Accountability Office (GAO) has released a follow-up to the 1999 USPS Data Quality Study entitled U.S. Postal Service: Improving Ratemaking Data Quality through Postal Service Actions and Postal Reform Legislation (GAO-05-820) and dated July 28, 2005. [The pdf file is over 10 MB.]
July 30, 2005 -- Business Times has reported that "MINISTER of Energy, Water and Communications Datuk Seri Dr Lim Keng Yaik has proposed that postal service operators within the Association of South-East Asian Nations (Asean) region to band together and co-own an express delivery hub to better compete with bigger players from other regions. Postal operators within Asean could leverage on economies of scale through integration of postal facilities in the region."
July 30, 2005 -- The Peninsula has noted that "All Nippon Airways (ANA) said yesterday it will order three Boeing 767 aircraft in a near $360m deal, with one plane designated for freight as it pursues a cargo business. ANA regards the cargo and postal business as its third pillar, in addition to the international airline business and the domestic airline business."
July 30, 2005 -- Japan Today has reported that "Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi looked prepared Friday for a make-or-break vote as early as next week on his contentious bills to privatize Japan Post, although his party deputies said he seems uncertain."
July 30, 2005 -- AMEInfo has reported that "Empost, the UAE's national courier company, has launched 'Litedox', an innovative courier service for the delivery of light documents to India as well as within the UAE. The door-to-door courier service is designed to cater primarily to the need for sending original documents, certificates, statements and letters to India, whose expatriate community is the largest in the UAE. The service will be expanded to other international and regional countries at a later stage."
July 30, 2005 -- As the Chicago Tribune has noted, "Zazzle.com, based in Palo Alto, Calif., sells T-shirts, posters, cards and stamps that can be customized with digital artwork. Founders Robert Beaver, and his sons, Bobby and Jeff, developed printing and automated manufacturing technologies allowing them to sell customized products at relatively low costs. T-shirts and sweatshirts, for instance, sell in the range of about $15 to $35. A sheet of 20 2.5-by-1.5-inch first-class stamps costs $16.99, plus shipping. The firm has a database of hundreds of thousands of digital images from artists. Contributors earn royalties when their creations are purchased. Customers can also upload their own photos--of weddings, babies, relatives--to create customized U.S. postage stamps. Zazzle, which does not provide its revenue numbers, also has a partnership with Pitney Bowes, a provider of integrated mail and document systems."
July 30, 2005 -- The Washington Post has reported that "Rep. Gary Ackerman, a Democrat who represents the New York City borough of Queens, was upset over a proposed rule from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for distributing some $10.5 million raised by a special Sept. 11 stamp. The money is to go to the families of emergency workers killed or permanently disabled in the 2001 terror attacks. The 9/11 Heroes Stamp Act, passed in 2001, established a "semipostal" stamp, and the Postal Service sold about 133 million between 2002 and 2004. The stamp sold for 45 cents, eight cents above the normal cost of a first class stamp, with the extra money going to the fund."
July 29, 2005 -- BrazzilMag has reported that "The hearings are live on TV. They begin at 10 am and sometimes they last as much as twelve hours. Everybody has seen at least a few minutes of Brazil's new combined reality show and soap opera. Welcome to the Parliamentary Investigation Commission (CPI) hearings on corruption in the Post Office; aka "The Post Office CPI." It is the popular name for the hearings ("The Post Office CPI") that has upset the director of the Federation of Postal Workers (Federação Nacional dos Trabalhadores da Empresa de Correios e Telégrafos) (Fentect), Roberto Prado. He is threatening to sue TV networks that have associated images of mailmen with the corruption. According to Prado, pictures are shown of mailmen carrying sacks of money. "This is terrible for the mailman's image. It looks like the mailman is making millions through corruption. In reality the mailman is a person who brings people happiness," said Prado. The president of the Post Office, Jânio Pohren, seconds Prado's complaints saying that the company's 108,000 employees have been uncomfortable with the use of the corporate name in such a general sense. Pohren reports that he has sent a message to Congress requesting a name change."
July 29, 2005 -- In an editorial, the Yomiuri Shimbun wrote: "The House of Councillors has reached the final stages of discussions on the postal privatization bills. The ruling coalition of the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito hopes to put the bills to a vote on Aug. 5. No one can tell whether the legislation will be written into law by clearing debate at the upper house. No matter what it takes, lawmakers must avert the political confusion that could arise from a tug-of-war over the fate of the bills designed to privatize Japan Post. We believe the postal reform legislation should be passed by the Diet. The bills' failure to clear parliamentary debate would not only mean that efforts to reform the postal system will have been thwarted, but it also could adversely affect efforts to lay the foundation for stable economic growth."
July 29, 2005 -- KSL-TV has reported that "Help is on the way for Taylorsville residents who have plagued with problems with their mail. The help is coming from House Government Reform and Oversight Committee chairman Tom Davis from Virgina. He made the promise to Utah Congressman Chris Cannon during floor debate this week on a bill designed to help modernize the U-S Postal Service. Cannon told the House that the mail is plagued with unwarranted delays and sporadic delivery. He said it's partly because Taylorsville has four different ZIP codes and because all post offices that serve the area are located outside the city."
July 29, 2005 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that "DHL International has invested almost €1.3 million in developing its logistic network in Romania."
July 29, 2005 -- Traffic World has reported that "The United States, Canada and Mexico on Sept. 16 will start enforcing an international standard that requires heat treatment or fumigation of wood pallets, crates and other packing material to prevent the spread of a host of wood pests and diseases."
July 29, 2005 -- The latest copy of the National Association of Postmasters of the U.S. electronic governmental affairs newsletter is available on the NAPUS web site.
July 29, 2005 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that "The Commerce Department said Friday that its advance reading on gross domestic product showed the economy expanded at a 3.4% annual rate in April through June. Consumer spending, which accounts for about two-thirds of economic activity, rose 3.3%, slightly lower than the 3.5% gain in the first quarter. Business spending increased 9.0%, after rising 5.7% in the first quarter. Inflation gauges in the report were mixed. The price index for personal consumption rose at a 3.3% rate after climbing 2.3% in the first quarter, while the price index for gross domestic purchases, which measures prices paid by U.S. residents, rose at a 3.2% rate. The chain-weighted GDP price index increased at a 2.4% rate after rising at a 3.1% pace. The employment-cost index rose 0.7% in the second quarter of 2005, the same rate as in the first quarter, the Labor Department said. Wages and salaries also grew moderately -- at the same 0.6% rate recorded in the first quarter. But benefit costs, which have been nudging up overall compensation costs for years, rose just 0.8% -- the slowest rate in more than three years." If postal reform is enacted, following the rates of growth and inflation will be an important part of postal life.
July 29, 2005 -- As Forbes has noted, "According to a study by the Pew Internet and American Life project, barely 5% of American teens aged 12 to 17 prefer e-mail over instant messaging as their digital communications method of choice. Teens view e-mail as a way to talk to "old people" or institutions like companies. Kids, it seems, prefer the immediacy and mobility of instant messaging and text messaging to e-mail, which they might some day refer to as snail mail, the same way most people over 30 refer to the U.S. Postal Service. Why care? Because American teens, an astonishing 87% of whom are online, are what's helping drive the consumer electronics industry, including development of new products. Pew says that 89% of Internet users use e-mail daily, about the same percentage as 2000, but that the "popularity of e-mail and intensity of its use is waning" in favor of IM."
July 29, 2005 -- On Monday, August 1, the USPS Pricing and Classification Service Center (PCSC) will be moving into its new office. The new address is: Pricing and Classification Service Center 90 Church Street, Suite 3100 New York, NY 10007-2951; Phone number: (212) 330-5300; Fax number is: (212) 330-5320. Its hours of operation are 8:30 AM - 8:00 PM Eastern Time.
July 29, 2005 -- The Fuel Surcharge Coalition has reported that the fuel surcharge language has been expunged from the Highway Transportation Bill. Congratulations and many thanks to Randal Mullett, Vice President of Government Relations for CNF Inc. who spearheaded the coalition.
July 29, 2005 -- The Tampa Tribune has reported that "Ed Silverberg marched out of his jewelry empire's executive office this month, ready to battle the U.S. Postal Service. Justice must be served, Silverberg thought. The post office owed him. A $2,670 white gold and diamond bracelet that his company mailed - and insured - was lost en route to its new owner overseas. But the post office rejected his insurance claim. Silverberg stood in line for about an hour waiting for a court clerk to accept his lawsuit paperwork. When he reached the counter, the case was closed. "Sovereign immunity,' the clerk told me. I can't sue the post office because they have sovereign immunity,'' Silverberg said. Under federal law, federal entities are protected from lawsuits unless sovereign immunity is waived."
July 29, 2005 -- As Dow Jones put it, "Just when Koizumi had enough problems with his post bill reform efforts, non-binding prosecutor review panel says his ally, and senior member of Lower House post reform panel, Taku Yamasaki improperly reported Y30 million contribution from dentists' lobby, ought to be indicted."
July 29, 2005 -- According to The Register, "Merseyside Police are appealing for information following the theft of thousands of pounds of mobile phone and consumer durables in a burglary at DHL's depot in Aintree, Liverpool, last weekend. Thieves made off with five lorries loaded with a substantial amount of property including sports clothing, mobile phones and electrical goods. One of the stolen lorries was recovered in Bootle. The four outstanding lorries are bright yellow and marked with the DHL logo, so they shouldn't be too hard to spot."
July 29, 2005 -- China Knowledge has reported that "The China State Post Bureau has announced its plans to cut down the delivery time of newspapers and magazines to no longer than 10 hours. This new service ensures that readers get their newspapers and magazines at least six to 24 hours earlier than before."
July 29, 2005 -- The Appeal-Democrat has reported that "U.S. postal officials are considering whether to shift mail processing for the Yuba-Sutter area to West Sacramento as a cost-cutting measure. The proposed changes would send all outgoing mail to Sacramento for sorting, then truck local mail back to the Marysville Processing and Distribution Facility on Arboga Road in Olivehurst, which sorts the mail for ZIP codes beginning in "959." Under the plan the Olivehurst facility's sorting equipment would be moved to West Sacramento and replaced with added distribution equipment for the 10-county service area."
July 29, 2005 -- Market Watch has reported that "Dutch postal and logistics company TNT N.V. has posted a flat second quarter net profit, but said it would take a pretax charge of EUR140 million in the full year due to restructuring of its loss-making French operations. Dutch postal and logistics company TNT NV doesn't have any plans to buy back shares."
July 29, 2005 -- Japan Times has reported that "The decisive moment for the administration of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi is approaching, and it is one that the Liberal Democratic Party's elders fear may shatter its decades-long grip on power. The LDP's in-house battle over Koizumi's pet project has developed into more than just a battle to reform the state-run postal services. It is a struggle to cripple -- if not oust -- Koizumi's Cabinet, which has defied immense pressure from LDP lawmakers since his inauguration in April 2001 to pursue budgetary austerity and reform of inefficient government-linked corporations." See also Reuters.
July 29, 2005 -- Kantipur Online has reported that "The Government [of Nepal] is all set to introduce Private Sector Postal Service Operating Regulation 2005 to monitor all private postal and courier service providers in the country. The regulation is being enforced as per the policy of Department of Postal Services (DPS) that envisages to monitoring and enhancing the services of the private operators. Private postal and courier service providers currently operate with licenses issued by Company Registrar under Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies (MoICS). Although the certificate gives legality to the business, it fails to spell the terms and conditions for their operations."
July 29, 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.
July 29, 2005 -- First Coast News has reported that "The price of stamps may not be going up thanks to a bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives. The U.S. Postal Service proposed a two-cent increase in stamp prices in April. They say its due to a law that requires $3.1 billion be put in an escrow account annually for retirement benefits. Tuesday night the U.S. House overwhelmingly passed a bill that would ease that requirement and allow the postal service to set more competitive rates to compete with FedEx and UPS." Is this one to be filed under "in your wildest dreams?"
July 29, 2005 -- According to the Lexington Institute's Sam Ryan in the latest National Review, "The postal-reform legislation that passed overwhelmingly in the House on Tuesday has been hailed as a much-needed repair to the ailing United States Postal Service. Unfortunately it doesn't fix the postal service's biggest problem. In the face of falling mail volumes and massive liabilities, the USPS has claimed for years that greater pricing flexibility would solve its financial woes. Free of existing regulation, its managers argued, the USPS could respond quickly to market opportunities and thereby increase earnings. It looks like the USPS is finally getting what it wanted: At the core of the new bill are measures that free up the pricing system. To really mend itself, however, the postal service needs not so much flexibility on pricing as the flexibility to cut its massive labor costs. And the new legislation doesn't give it that."
July 29, 2005 -- The Bangor Daily News has reported that "As part of a labor settlement, DHL contractor Rydbom Express has agreed to pay a total of $76,000 in back wages to 12 unionized drivers, who accused the company of violating federal labor laws, according to a union official. The drivers joined the International Brotherhood of Teamsters in January when they worked for Black Bear Courier of Orono, an independent contractor that delivered packages for DHL in eastern Maine for more than a decade. DHL hired Rydbom Express in March after Black Bear Courier failed to renew its contract with the global shipping giant. The 12 Teamsters drivers initially were not rehired by Rydbom but in June were allowed to return to their old DHL delivery routes after federal officials found credence to Teamsters' complaints that Rydbom had violated the National Labor Relations Act when it interviewed prospective employees."
July 29, 2005 -- According to the Journal of Commerce, "German mail and logistics company Deutsche Post said on Thursday second-quarter operating profit rose 21 percent, boosted by its DHL express and logistics units, and reiterated its annual goals."
July 29, 2005 -- From the Business Wire: "O.P.S.I, an authorized service contractor of UPS in Israel today announced that it has chosen CoSign, Algorithmic Research's (ARX) electronic-signature solution to enable the migration from paper-based invoices to electronic invoicing. With CoSign, UPS can now prepare, digitally sign and send electronically thousands of electronic invoices, to their customers, eliminating the high costs associated with paper printing, handling, posting and archiving."
July 29, 2005 -- AFX has reported that "Greek betting technology company Intralot said its Intralot Egypt unit has agreed to invest 10 mln eur in setting up a new company with the Egyptian Post Office, that will be produce the office's new IT infrastructure."
July 29, 2005 -- Electronics Supply & Manufacturing has reported that "the World Customs Organization in Brussels, Belgium, with 166 member nations representing 99 percent of world trade, in June adopted the "Framework of Standards to Secure and Facilitate Global Trade." The framework sets the worldwide rules for moving goods across borders. The Global Express Association (Brussels) fully supports the framework, said GEA director general John Simpson. The association represents such courier companies as DHL International GmbH, Fedex Corp., TNT NV and United Parcel Service Inc."
July 28, 2005 -- Reuters has reported that "E-mail is for grown-ups and U.S. teenagers now prefer instant messaging to communicate with each other online, according to a survey released on Wednesday. Internet users from 12 to 17 years old say e-mail is best for talking to parents or institutions, but they are more likely to fire up IM when talking with each other, the nonprofit Pew Internet and American Life Project found. E-mail is still used by 90 percent of online teens. But the survey found greater enthusiasm for instant messaging."
July 28, 2005 -- The Associated Press has reported that "SurferQuest, a Philipsburg, Pa.-based supplier of about 1,000 computer kiosks throughout the United States, is donating screen space to disseminate photos and information provided by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. The kiosks provide public access to the Internet for a fee at places such as hotels and cafes. When a kiosk is unoccupied, pictures of missing children appear on the screen in space normally reserved for advertising. Passersby can request more information about a missing child or report a sighting without charge." Well...it worked with the mail. Should work here.
July 28, 2005 -- From the U.S. Postal Service: "Postal Explorer is your complete online resource for business mail, and now it’s even easier to use. We redesigned the site with new menus and an enhanced search engine, and added a second video tutorial to walk you through its many features and interactive tools. Under "Additional Links" in the bottom-right corner of the homepage, click “Tutorials,” then “Overview—Postal Explorer.” Postal Explorer houses all of our business mailing publications, with powerful search capabilities to help you quickly find the information you need. It includes the rate calculators, postage statements and other business mailing forms, and the Quick Service Guides. The tutorial explains what is available and demonstrates the new DMM menu and navigation system. You’ll see the many new features of Postal Explorer, including DMM Advisory and the DMM archive. Postal Explorer can answer all kinds of mailing questions. Take a look at the new design, and let the tutorial take you on an audio and video tour."
July 28, 2005 -- Bloomberg has reported that "China will reorganize the State Post Bureau to create the nation's fifth-biggest lender by deposits holding a tenth of all household savings in the world's seventh- biggest economy, the China Banking Regulatory Commission said. The new China Post Savings Bank will hold 1.23 trillion yuan ($152 billion) of deposits and continue to offer financial services through 36,000 outlets after the breakup of the nation's post bureau, the regulator said in a statement today. ``The existing post savings"
July 28, 2005 -- Il Sole 24 Ore has reported that "The board of directors of the Italian post office, Poste Italiane, has been presented with the organisation's development plan for 2006-2008. More generally, Poste Italiane is aiming to develop its financial services to the point where its BancoPosta subsidiary becomes Italy's biggest 'bank' by customer numbers and to increase its share of Italy's express parcel service market."
July 28, 2005 -- CNN Money has reported that "The U.S. union movement split apart this week over how to best organize workers at non-union companies. Two of the largest unions left the AFL-CIO this week, and others are threatening to follow. But even without the defections, the battle for new recruits is an uphill one. From talking to professors, union officials and other experts, here are the companies that are on the top of organized labor's wish list." Near the top of the list: Fedex.
July 28, 2005 -- According to DM News postal commentator Cary Baer, "Most of us thought it would be “all quiet on the postal front” this summer. Though a lot is going on, specifically the rate case and reform legislation, both these items were expected to be resolved, one way or another, before the summer doldrums began. However, neither is going away quietly."
July 28, 2005 -- The Telegraph has reported that "Royal Mail lost more than £200m last year on post that weighed under 100g, the company's regulatory accounts showed yesterday. This is the category of mail that is regulated by the government-appointed regulator, Postcomm, and represents the organisation's monopoly area, which is about to be removed completely. Chairman Allan Leighton said that the figures illustrated Royal Mail's problem. "Ninety percent of what we do loses money" he said. Mr Leighton is fighting a Postcomm price control proposal that would cap first and second class stamps at a level he says is unsustainable. He said yesterday that the prices need rebalancing, because customers sending heavy parcels are subsidising lighter mail."
July 28, 2005 -- Bernama has reported that "Pos Malaysia Bhd is looking at business alliances and collaboration with postal organisations of Asean nations to strengthen its competitiveness and enhance its postal delivery service. Chairman, Datuk Ikmal Hijaz Hashim said projects planned with the Asean postal organisations included joint marketing strategies on express mail services, promotion of parcel services and joint stamp and philatelic products among the Asean countries. "Pos Malaysia is also upgrading its international remittances services to speed up payment transaction," he said at a press conference after the launch of the 12th Asean Postal Business Meeting. Ikmal said Pos Malaysia non-postal services such as payment of utilities and remittance services were growing as a significant contributor to group's turnover."
July 28, 2005 -- The Edmunton Sun has reported that "While Canada Post is not usually counted as an arts organization, it can be instrumental in shaping culture much like the CBC, the National Gallery or the Canada Council. Canada Post has announced an increase in postal rates for magazines mailed in Canada, effective in January. For heavier magazines like Flare or Cottage Life, the hike will amount to between 5% and 8%. Magazine publishers are alarmed. According to Mark Jamison, chief executive officer of the trade association Magazines Canada, the cumulative increases in magazine postal rates in the past six years amount to a 70% rise in costs."
July 28, 2005 -- The Hindu has reported that "The Department of Posts today opened four Finance Marts in Delhi and is in the process to open 150 such outlets in the country by 2005-end for selling investment schemes of banks, insurance companies and mutual funds."
July 28, 2005 -- The Baltimore Sun has reported that "Mayor Martin O'Malley made good yesterday on a year-old pledge to hire an inspector general to investigate allegations of fraud, corruption and mismanagement in city government. O'Malley introduced Andrew S. Clemmons, a former top U.S. postal inspector, as Baltimore's first inspector general at a City Hall news conference."
July 28, 2005 -- From the PR Newswire: "RR Donnelley & Sons Company applauds the House leadership for its passage last night of postal reform legislation, HR22. The bill passed with an overwhelming majority 410-20. "That vote was an important step toward ensuring that we have a healthy, viable and affordable postal service that is designed to last well into the 21st Century," said RR Donnelley CEO Mark Angelson. Mr. Angelson continued, "We are pleased to see language in the bill that encourages worksharing as well as language that would tie future rate increases to the rate of inflation. Affordable, stable and predictable rates are essential to the USPS's and our customers' success. Comprehensive reform as outlined in HR22 should enable the USPS to cover the costs of universal service and achieve financial stability without unacceptable rate increases." See also the press releases from the office of Rep. Tom Davis, Rep. Candace Miller, the National League of Postmasters, American Business Media, and the American Forest and Paper Association.
July 28, 2005 -- DM News has reported that "Paper and packaging manufacturer MeadWestvaco said yesterday that it would slash another $200 million in costs in an ongoing effort to make the company more responsive. The cuts, aimed at reducing administrative costs and streamlining warehouse operations, are part of a new business model to let MeadWestvaco react faster to market changes."
July 28, 2005 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that:
Deutsche Post World Net has become the latest company to report its interim financial results. Overall it managed to increase its profits from operating activities (EBIT) by 10.6% to about €1.7 billion. At €21.5 billion, revenue rose slightly compared with the first six months of 2004. The increase in operating profit was largely due to technical changes in accounting standards. On a like for like basis operating profit dropped by 1.8% as a result of falling profits in the Mail division. See also Bloomberg.
DHL has announced that it has established a Quality Control Centre (QCC) in Beijing which will act as the company's control hub in China.
The Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2008 Olympic Games (BOCOG) announced on Wednesday that UPS has been selected as the official logistics and express delivery sponsor of the 2008 Games. UPS will provide logistics consultation to the committee and assist in the development and execution of the logistics operating plan for the 2008 Olympics. UPS will also provide express delivery services to all nominated venues during the Games. The sponsorship deal also includes the Paralympics, the Chinese Olympic Committee, as well as the Chinese teams to the Turin 2006 Winter Olympics and 2008 Olympics.
July 28, 2005 -- Here are two new papers you really should check out on the PostInsight web site:
BILL PRESENTMENT & PAYMENT: ELECTRONIC VS. MAIL Much has been written in recent years about the rapidly rising adoption of Electronic Bill Presentment and Payment (EBPP) and many predictions have been made about the future growth of this channel. Few of the EBPP penetration estimates, however, actually quantify the number of bills received and paid exclusively online by consumers. This paper analyzes EBPP’s impact on U.S. mail volumes by examining current and historical EBPP penetration. The paper also examines how consumers prefer to receive and pay bills, and how these preferences might impact future EBPP growth and mail volumes.
TRENDS IN CONSUMER PAYMENTS SYSTEMS The payments systems in the U.S. and Europe have been evolving for decades. In particular, the banking and retail industries have been eager to incorporate new systems almost as quickly as they were developed and this has greatly facilitated consumer payments. This explosion of “payment media” has given customers much more choice and provided operational efficiencies to banks and retailers. Press reports and even some studies have fueled a now generally accepted belief that the Internet alone is the major cause for the recent changes in the mix of payment methods. This paper reviews recent developments in the payments system more comprehensively and uses this information to assess the impact of these trends on mail volumes as part of our broad electronic substitution studies. The content scans and assembles the best of the recent studies available and analyzes their data in a variety of ways to discern objectively what is happening.
Why deal with hearsay when you can learn something from the facts?
July 28, 2005 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "FedEx Corp. has entered into a $1 billion five-year credit agreement with a syndicate of banks that includes Bank of America Corp."
July 27, 2005 -- PostCom would like to welcome four of its newest members:
APX (American Packaging Express) Logistics (represented by Michele Donahue, Marketing Communication Manager)
Chico's (represented by Philip Morris, Director of Media & Production)
DDP Mailing & Electronic Printing (represented by Larry Garrett, Owner)
Mystic Logistics (represented by Richard E. Domagala Director of Customer Service & Sales Administration)
July 27, 2005 -- The DM Bulletin has reported that "Royal Mail has released profit and loss figures to support its case for introducing size-based pricing, which it argues is necessary for it to compete on a 'level playing field' after the introduction of full competition to the postal market. The state-owned firm says the figures, submitted to Postcomm, show it has been unable to make much progress in rebalancing postage prices to reflect its real costs."
July 27, 2005 -- CEP News (Courier-Express-Postal), published by the MRU Consultancy, has reported that:
The draft for a new postal act for Austria, which was presented last week, has encountered widespread criticism. According to the draft, complete postal market liberalisation "will not happen before 1.1.2009 but in harmony with the EU". The controversial draft contains a veto right for the government on the issue of further post office closures.
Established in May, Germany's Brief-Union eG based in Gutersloh represents yet another co-operative providing its members with mail dispatch discounts. The customer co-operative is backed by the Bertelsmann group, arguably one of Germany's largest dispatchers with around 1.5 billion items every year.
The Chinese National Council took the - expected - decision to restructure the country's postal system. In future, a regulatory body will operate separately from the post; the State Post Administration will supervise the activities of China Postal Group, which will operate in four business areas: logistics, express and Freight Post Airline will be joined by a post bank, still to be set up.
China's post is not the only one to discover the attraction of banking and money transactions. This week, the French La Poste is apparently submitting an application to the regulatory authority CECEI for the opening of a post bank.
Posten Norge A/S says its system is suffering increasing abuse from drugs smugglers. Norway's daily, Aftenposten, reported that 65% more consignments had been confiscated this year than the year before. According to the customs authorities, the problem is caused by a growing internet trade which allows the ordering of medicines and drugs which are illegal in Norway.
Private postal service providers in Switzerland demand that access to the mail market also include access to the post's infrastructure. In principle, the post intended to treat private operators as large customers and grant them discounts according to the preparatory services they provided.
The future ownership of Britain's Royal Mail remains uncertain. Royal Mail has made an urgent request to the government for a loan of around 2.9bn euros in order to stay competitive in the short term despite a pension fund deficit of almost 6.5bn euros and a pending price freeze imposed by the regulatory authority.
The DPD parcel service, which belongs to the French La Poste, is heading for strong international expansion. In an interview with the Financial Times Deutschland, GeoPost Holding chairman Claude Begle again confirmed his company's ambitious global growth targets.
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.
July 27, 2005 -- From the PR Newswire:
The Mailing Industry CEO Council commended the House of Representatives today for passage of the "Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act" (H.R. 22). "The CEO Council applauds the continued leadership of the House Government Reform Committee in pushing to move this much needed legislation forward," said Michael J. Critelli, Chairman and CEO of Pitney Bowes Inc., and President of the Mailing Industry CEO Council. "Postal reform is necessary to allow the USPS to grow the mail and to act as an engine for economic growth for the U.S. economy," continued Critelli. "Today's House passage is a major step forward for postal reform."
Pitney Bowes Inc. has applauded the action by the U.S. House of Representatives in approving postal reform legislation by an overwhelming majority.
July 27, 2005 -- The decade-long odyssey known as postal reform has cleared its most significant hurdle to date. The House of Representatives late on Tuesday passed H.R. 22, the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, by a vote of 410-20. All proposed amendments were defeated. For the first time in more than 35 years, the House has passed a bill to overhaul the U.S. Postal Service. The House Government Reform Committee unanimously reported H.R. 22 to the full House back in April. The Senate is not going to vote on its companion piece of legislation, S. 662, this week. It will have to wait until Congress returns to work after Labor Day. See also the press release from the office of Rep. John McHugh and the report by the Associated Press.
July 27, 2005 -- In his comments in support of H.R. 22, governmental reform committee chairman Tom Davis (R-VA) acknowledged that there still are differences between the House and the White House regarding certain aspects of postal reform. He said he wanted to assure the White House that there would be continuing efforts to iron out these differences as the bill proceeds through the legislative process. He also noted the great concern over the classification of single-piece parcels within the competitive services category. He said this would be worked on also.
July 27, 2005 -- The Executive Office of the President has published its Statement of Administration Position on H.R. 22. In part, it said:
"The Administration strongly supports efforts to enact comprehensive postal reform legislation, and appreciates the progress toward that goal made in drafting H.R. 22. The Administration appreciates the opportunity to work with Congress toward a solution that will enable the United States Postal Service (USPS) to respond not only to today's known needs, but also to unforeseen future issues, in a responsible manner that is fair to taxpayers, ratepayers, and USPS employees. The Administration strongly believes that the final legislation must adopt the Senate's postal reform proposals in S. 662 regarding the following issues:
Pricing flexibility within a firm annual Consumer Price Index (CPI) rate cap with a strict exigency requirement.
Reform of the workers' compensation system.
Full compliance with all SEC reporting standards including segment reporting.
Limitations on borrowing from the Competitive Products Fund.
Greater flexibility to use worksharing.
Greater flexibility to enter into negotiated service arrangements.
Direction to the arbitrator in labor negotiations to consider the financial health of USPS.
"The Administration believes that comprehensive postal reform must require USPS to cover all of its financial obligations, including its on- and off-balance sheet unfunded liabilities. the Administration has serious concerns with two elements of the legislation that do not adhere to the self-financing principle:
Unfunded Liabilities and the Escrow Requirement. The Administration supports the elimination of the statutory escrow requirement and further supports allowing USPS to benefit fully from all of the pension savings resulting from the enactment of Public Law 108-18, the Postal Civil Service Retirement System Funding Reform Act of 2003, by placing USPS on a financing plan to ensure that it can cover its post-retirement health benefits costs.
The Administration believes that USPS must continue to be responsible for pension costs connected with military service credits for postal employees under the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and opposes provisions in the current version of H.R 22 that would grant USPS a subsidy with a net present value of $27 billion by transferring all of these military service pension credit obligations to the General Fund of the Treasury. USPS's responsibility for paying this military service pension credit obligation is a cost of doing business, and USPS should not be absolved of its responsibility to pay for these unfunded liabilities."
"The Administration looks forward to the passage of postal reform legislation that the President can sign reflecting his five reform principles and to working with Congress to address these issues. However, the bill ultimately presented to the President must not contain provisions that would have an adverse impact on the Federal budget, either by releasing funds from escrow without devoting them to pre-fund liabilities or by transferring the military service obligation from USPS to taxpayers. Should the final bill have such an adverse impact on the Federal budget, the President's senior advisers would recommend that he veto the bill.
July 27, 2005 -- In letters to the House of Representatives, Tom Day, the Postal Service's senior vice president for government relations wrote:
The U.S. Postal Service opposes the requirement that postal reform legislation be entirely budget neutral. If adopted, this amendment will deprive the mailing public of any benefit from the long-running over-funding of the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS). If the Hensarling amendment is adopted, the Postal Service will be in a worse financial situation than that it occupied before the CSRS over-funding was identified and corrected by P.L. 108-18.
I am writing in opposition to the Flake Amendment to H.R. 22....The amendment creates up to 20 pilot programs to explore alternative means of providing postal services and delivery methods. While the Postal Service is not opposed to innovative ideas, the mechanism created by the Flake amendment seems unnecessarily complicated and burdensome to implement.
[A version of H.R. 22 with some highlights has been posted on this site.]
July 27, 2005 -- The Office of the Consumer Advocate has submitted to the Postal Rate Commission a copy of the letter signed by Postmaster General Potter setting forth the details of the agreement reached between the Postal Service and OCA. In exchange for OCA not filing a direct case, General Potter agrees to (1) establish a working group to investigate the possibility of a non-denominated, “forever” stamp, and (2) post on the Postal Service’s website performance data for Express Mail, Priority Mail, First-Class Mail, and Package Services.
July 27, 2005 -- According to Logistics Management, "The American Trucking Association estimates the country is now short 20,000 long-haul drivers. The industry group predicts that number will grow to 111,000 by 2014 under current conditions and that about 20 percent of hazmat drivers won't renew their endorsements in the next five years as they expire."
July 27, 2005 -- From the Business Wire: "ASTAR Air Cargo recently received operation specification approval from the FAA for North Pacific operations. ASTAR received rights to fly to the area this year, and flew their first trip flawlessly. 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."
July 27, 2005 -- According to the Journal of Commerce, "Mergers and acquisitions, driven by complex global supply chains and a host of other factors, are at the top of the agenda for major European logistics companies, said Cecilia Cabodi, program manager for logistics, supply-chain management and transport at the London office of consultants Frost & Sullivan. "Speaking to 3PLs in Europe, mergers are very much a part of their vision for the future," she said."
July 27, 2005 -- El Pais has reported that "Correos y Telegrafos, the Spanish state post office, is to begin considering job applications from non-EU residents who have immigrated to Spain. The applications will be considered as long as the applicants have both residence and work permits."
July 27, 2005 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that "DHL International has invested almost €1.3 million in developing its logistic network in Romania."
July 27, 2005 -- Reuters has reported that "Postal group Singapore Post on Wednesday reported a 13.4 percent rise in first quarter net profit."
July 26, 2005 -- The Harare Herald has reported that "The Southern African Development Community (SADC) postal sector is set to benefit from the cost accounting model developed by Universal Postal Union (UPU). Acting Secretary for Transport and Communication Mr Nelson Kudenga said the model for developing countries would assist in pricing postal products and services. Mr Kudenga said UPU would assist developing countries to build capacity in various areas, improve quality of service offered throughout the international postal network, provide universal postal services, technological developments and proper pricing systems within the postal sector."
July 26, 2005 -- According to the Journal of Commerce, "UPS said it has launched five weekly flights in Qingdao in eastern China's Shangdong province."
July 26, 2005 -- The National Retail Federation has urged the House to approve postal reform legislation that would allow businesses and consumers to avoid a major rate hike.
July 26, 2005 -- Traffic World has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service is taking the guesswork out of shipping by mail. Looking to close a long-standing gap with its private competiion, the USPS this month will start rolling out technology that will let customers track packages and other mail in transit. "In theory … we'll be able to track every letter people assign a barcode to, definitely every package," USPS Vice President for Network Operations Management Paul Vogel said. He calls monitoring what happens to mail during transportation "the missing component" in the postal service. The USPS tracking plan aims to improve customer service and obtain data that will be used internally to improve network management and package flow."
July 26, 2005 -- The Financial Times has reported that:
This month, the Berlin government sold its remaining stake in Deutsche Post to the KfW state bank, where 45 per cent of the shares now reside. It took Deutsche Post a long time to transform itself into the company that last year generated revenues of €43bn and an operating profit of €3.35bn. Its German workforce was trimmed by 140,000 over a decade as the business tried to become more efficient in its home market. Mr Zumwinkel is proud of avoiding compulsory redundancies but he notes that “even in good times we have to work on our productivity”. Part of this success is due to treating unions as “partners, not enemies."
Given the sweeping changes he has implemented during the five years he has managed the mail division of TNT, the Dutch post and logistics group, Harry Koorstra appears anything but indecisive. Speed has been essential in tackling issues that confront mail groups across Europe – how to maintain margins and quality in the face of competition and the decline in postal volumes, largely due to e-mail.
July 26, 2005 -- The Socialist Worker has claimed that "THE GOVERNMENT has given the clearest indication yet that it is going to privatise the post. It won’t admit it is privatisation, but all the indications are that ministers are ready to end the Royal Mail’s present structure."
July 26, 2005 -- According to Rep. John McHugh, the "godfather" of postal reform, noted in a press release that "The legislation also substantially reduces the need for the across-the-board increase in postal rates, which the Postal Service had anticipated taking effect in January 2006. From his mouth to the Board of Governors' ear....
July 26, 2005 -- The Telematics Journal has noted that "Group 1 Software, Inc., a Pitney Bowes company, introduced the geocoding industry's first point-level solution, GeoStan Point-Level Option, which incorporates point data that locates addresses at the center of the actual building footprint or parcel. GeoStan is an application program interface that corrects, standardizes and geocodes address information. GeoStan provides a comprehensive set of address-level geocodes by combining USPS postal data with spatial data files from leading data providers, including Tele Atlas, into a single unified data set. Enhanced by Tele Atlas data, the GeoStan Point-Level Option can locate millions of addresses at the building or parcel center point.
July 26, 2005 -- According to the Watertown Daily Times, "Rep. John M. McHugh's 11-year odyssey to revamp the nation's mail delivery system reaches the House floor for the first time today, and people following the situation say the bill has a good chance of passage despite some fine points of contention."
July 26, 2005 -- Last night the Rules Committee approved the following rule on HR 22, the postal reform bill. The House of Representatives could consider the bill at any time after 10 a.m., but is more likely to consider it late in the afternoon or early in the evening. The rule makes in order the following amendments: (Rep. Flake) which establishes a domestic pilot program to empower local postmasters to employ their experience and management expertise, absent the restrictions of the Postal Service's monopolies on first class mail delivery and the use of postal mailboxes, to test certain fundamental assumptions relating to the provisions of universal mail service in the United States; (Rep. Hensarling) which reduces the bill's cost by ensuring that 100% of the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) savings released under HR 22 will be directed to pay the Postal Service's unfunded healthcare liability, instead of it flowing to the Postal Service for its own use. In addition, the responsibility for paying the CSRS costs associated with military service credits will remain with the Postal Service instead of reverting back to the Treasury; (Rep. Pence) which strikes the requirement that the first vacant slot on the Board of Governors is to be filled by an individual with unanimous backing by the labor unions; and (Rep. Jackson Lee) which establishes a Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Board Pilot Program within the Postal Service to monitor and enforce claims of abuse that will call for congressional review after three years. All of the proposed amendments will be considered by voice vote.
July 26, 2005 -- GovExec.com has reported that "Lobbyists say the White House is offering a possible compromise on postal overhaul legislation -- scheduled for House floor action Tuesday -- that could break a stalemate with lawmakers. The legislation would shift the Postal Service's payments for military pensions to the Treasury Department, a move the administration opposes. Under the White House proposal, the Postal Service's $27 billion in payments to date for military pensions could be used to finance the agency's retiree health benefits. The agency would be required to make the military pension payments in the future. The White House also has suggested allowing the Postal Service to borrow at least $2 billion in each of the next two years, instead of giving the agency access to money slated for an escrow account, as dictated by both House and Senate bills, according to the lobbyists. Those borrowed funds could be used to help hold down rates in the short term, while ensuring the legislation does not contribute to the federal deficit, lobbyists said. A spokeswoman for Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairwoman Collins said negotiations on the legislation are ongoing."
July 26, 2005 -- As the Washington Post has noted, "Congress has a heavy agenda this week before beginning a monthlong vacation, planning to send President Bush long-stalled energy and highway bills, a trade agreement with Central America and a billion-plus dollars to plug a shortage in veterans health care programs. A postal reform bill set for a House vote would overhaul the U.S. Postal Service to better compete now that e-mail has reduced mail volume and private companies have taken much of its delivery business. The bill is HR22."
July 26, 2005 -- Reuters has reported that "The International Brotherhood of Teamsters said on Monday it plans to renew its efforts to organize Overnite Corp., the trucking company that has agreed to be acquired by United Parcel Service Inc."
July 26, 2005 -- The National Postal Museum presents the story of Owney, the canine Railway Mail Service mascot who traveled the globe and became a good luck charm for railway mail clerks, at an interactive family program called Exploratory Post: Owney, on Saturday, Aug. 13 from 1 to 4 p.m.
July 26, 2005 -- DM News has reported that "The Federation of European Direct & Interactive Marketing, said yesterday that it has developed a best practices database to promote mail use in Europe. The database was created as part of the ACTIN project (Acquis Communautaire Training Initiatives), which FEDMA has worked on for the past year with 12 European postal operators and other parties. The European Union-funded project was created to improve the skills of postal operators in the new EU member states and candidate countries. In May 2004, the EU welcomed 10 new countries -- Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia -- bringing the total to 25. Candidate countries are Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania and Turkey."
July 26, 2005 -- According to Forbes, "Dutch Finance Minister Gerrit Zalm has asked parliament if it has any objection to the government eventually selling its remaining 10 pct stake in TNT NV."
July 26, 2005 -- Le Monde has reported that "Claude Begle, chairman of DPD, the German parcel service subsidiary of the French post office, La Poste, told the German financial press yesterday that his company is planning to set up a worldwide network. DPD's new framework should be in place by the end of next year."
July 26, 2005 -- The Korea Times has reported that "The nation’s postal authority plans to upgrade its system to prevent possible mail-related terrorist attacks. Korea Post said on Tuesday it has created a special task force to work out measures to improve its terror prevention regime. It plans to introduce a better detection system for mail and parcel delivery to ferret out items that could contain explosives or biological and chemical substances."
July 26, 2005 -- The Kyodo news service has reported that "There is only a fifty-fifty chance that Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's postal privatization bills will clear the House of Councillors."
July 26, 2005 -- Japan Today has reported that "Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi dismissed speculation Monday that he might dissolve the House of Representatives for a snap general election even if the bills to privatize Japan Post are passed."
July 26, 2005 -- Strategiy has reported that "Empost has launched a comprehensive training program, 'Delivering Excellence’ to enable its employees to upgrade their skills and enhance their efficiency, with the goal of raising standards of customer service. The training program was launched and is being held in coordination with the Training and Development Centre of Emirates Post. The program will be spread over a period of 3 months, and all the activities will be managed and coordinated by the Personnel Section of Empost. The 570 Empost employees will be divided into 30 batches, and each group will receive two days of training."
July 25, 2005 -- The Sydney Morning Herald has said: "Imagine having almost 2 billion customers a day and you begin to realise the significance of six of the world's biggest post offices getting together to take on the global courier business. Last night in Hong Kong, the chief executives of Australia Post, China Post, Hong Kong Post, Japan Post, Korea Post and the United States Postal Service launched the largest express courier network in the Asia-Pacific. The alliance is a first of its kind among postal service providers. In a move aimed directly at their private sector competitors such as FedEx and DHL, the new express courier service guarantees delivery in two to five days within the six postal regions, at rates that Australia Post says are up to 40 per cent below those of the competition."
July 25, 2005 -- According to the Journal of Commerce:
July 25, 2005 -- The slate of amendments readied for consideration when H.R. 22 is brought before the House has been posted on the House Rules Committee web site.
July 25, 2005 -- The Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers has said that "Nonprofit mailers urgently support the fiscal reforms included in HR 22, the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act," said Chris Cleghorn, a nonprofit executive with Easter Seals in Chicago and President of the Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers. "America's charitable missions rely upon the mail to raise funds and disseminate information that serves our country and our communities. Nonprofits look to Congress this week to protect and strengthen the Postal Service so that we may continue to rely upon mail as an affordable and reliable communications network for all segments of the nonprofit community -religious, charitable, educational, scientific and philanthropic groups," said Cleghorn.
July 25, 2005 - In a move that will further strengthen its package delivery capabilities in the United Kingdom, UPS today announced an agreement to acquire LYNX Express Ltd., for $96.5 million (£55.5 million) in cash. LYNX Express, one of the UK’s largest independent parcel carriers, is majority owned by the private equity firm Bridgepoint Capital (Nominees) Ltd. UPS expects to complete the transaction in the second half of 2005, subject to customary closing conditions.
July 25, 2005 -- According to the Western Mail, "Several years ago, domestic postal deliveries were early enough for most people to read their incoming correspondence before leaving home for work. Now, that is a rare luxury. There is also a concerted drive to close sub post offices that are regarded as uneconomic. Such cuts are an inevitable consequence of the decision to deregulate postal deliveries, allowing private companies to compete with the Royal Mail in areas where it is easy to make a profit. The more difficult task of providing a service in remote, rural areas is left with the Royal Mail, which is less able to engage in the kind of cross-subsidies that were possible before. Deregulation was introduced as a direct result of international treaties signed by the UK Government after virtually no public debate and, of course, without a referendum. Now we know that the beneficiaries of such a significant change are not the service users or the grassroots employees, but a small number of companies and Royal Mail managers."
July 25, 2005 -- The Age has reported that "Australia Post is teaming up with its postal peers in the Asia Pacific region to offer a new low-cost express courier service to the United States and selected destinations in Asia. The new courier service was launched in Hong Kong and has been jointly developed by Australia Post, China Post, Hongkong Post, Japan Post, Korea Post and the United States Postal Service. Australia Post said the alliance is a first of its kind among postal authorities and has been created to meet the demand for reliable low cost international courier services in the Asia Pacific region. The express service will guarantee delivery of items within two to five business days between metropolitan areas of major cities within the network."
July 25, 2005 -- The Yorkshire Post has reported that "LABOUR backbenchers have issued a bold warning that they have enough votes to defeat the Government if it goes ahead with proposals to break a key manifesto pledge by partially privatising the Royal Mail. In a staunch defence of the principle of a state-owned postal operator, 50 Labour MPs have drawn what some of them have called "a line in the sand" demanding that ministers make a clear commitment to "a successful publicly-owned Royal Mail with all shares continuing to be owned by the Government". Royal Mail Group chairman Allan Leighton is understood to be urging the Department of Trade and Industry to allow the sale of a majority stake of the post office to the organisation's 200,000 staff, to provide a much-needed £2bn cash injection."
July 25, 2005 -- The Financial Times has reported that "United Parcel Service is poised to make an acquisition in the UK, strengthening the US company's position in one of Europe's most fragmented package delivery markets. The most likely candidates are all privately-owned companies, including ANC and Lynx Express."
July 25, 2005 -- The Asahi Shimbun has reported that "Thirteen Liberal Democratic Party lawmakers in the Upper House have already made up their minds not to support the postal privatization bills, while one Diet member will abstain from voting, according to an Asahi Shimbun survey conducted last week and information from party leaders. Opposition votes from 18 LDP members in the Upper House would be enough to shoot down Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's postal bills. At this point, at least 27 members, counting those who refrained from replying, stand undecided."
July 25, 2005 -- According to Reuters, "Rising living standards in Russia, which has a population of 143 million, and growing access to the Internet mean the market holds great potential for electronic retailers, or 'e-tailers'. With prices for oil, Russia's main export, running at close to $60 a barrel, there is no sign yet of an end to an economic boom now into its sixth year. Retail sales increased by a 12 percent last year to $194 billion, but internet retailers posted sales growth of 40 percent -- although with total sales of just $600 million they accounted for just a fraction of the total. Russia has over 1,500 Internet shops. Serious operations have to contend, meanwhile, with a shaky legal environment, widespread fraud and a Russian postal service that cannot be relied on to deliver packages to Kaliningrad in the west or Vladivostok, 11 time zones to the east. Few Russians have credit cards and most of those who have them only use them to withdraw their salaries. SpyLOG says 80 percent of the shops use couriers to deliver their goods to the customer. Couriers usually take payments."
July 24, 2005 -- Bloomberg has reported that "Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's plan to split up and sell the Japanese postal system's mail, deposit and insurance services has no better than a 50-50 chance of approval, said the Liberal Democratic Party's leader in the upper house of parliament."
July 24, 2005 -- Where is the labor movement heading in America? Kim Fellner has presented an interesting perspective in MRzine.
July 24, 2005 -- El Universal has reported that "Luis Carlos Ugalde, director of the Federal Elections Institute (IFE), said at a forum sponsored by the Inter-American Dialogue, a Washington think-tank, that "Within the next few weeks, the IFE is scheduled to make public an agreement with the U.S. Postal Service to coordinate the logistics of Mexicans voting through the mail."
July 24, 2005 -- The Independent has reported that "The Post Office is to install 1,000 charge-free cash machines in branches as part of a deal with Bank of Ireland. After criticism of the Post Office's alliances with fee-charging machine providers, it is withdrawing from these contracts, although they may take some time to unravel. With the new machines installed, the Post Office will offer free cash-machine withdrawals in about 7 per cent of its 14,600 branches."
July 24, 2005 -- According to The Independent, "Amid the melée of Thursday's attempted bomb attack on London, an announcement slipped out almost unnoticed from Alan Johnson, the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, concerning Royal Mail. Mr Johnson, himself a former postie, told the Commons that he had appointed Professor Sir George Bain "to support me in working on Royal Mail issues." This is a long way short of the full-blown inquiry into the future of Royal Mail. But Mr Johnson did say one thing of significance, which is that while privatisation of Royal Mail has been ruled out, employee share ownership most certainly has not."
July 24, 2005 -- According to the Irish Sun, "The worldwide air freight according the expert forecast-- in terms of freight ton kilometers flown will average 5.6 percent annual growth between 2003 and 2008. Expansion of intercontinental markets will be greater, at 6.1 percent average annual growth."
July 23, 2005 -- The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin is available online. In this issue:
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.
July 23, 2005 -- The Postal Service has filed with the Postal Rate Commission a Stipulation and Agreement offered for total and final settlement of Docket No. R2005-1. The Stipulation and Agreement filed today represents a straightforward incorporation of the Postal Service’s Request and its proposed rates and fees. The wording of the agreement has been considered and refined after numerous discussions with representatives of most of the active parties in the case. With limited exceptions, the agreement adopts the Postal Service’s proposal to adjust existing rates and fees by a uniform 5.4 percent across-the-board. It seeks a Recommended Decision from the Commission no later than October 31, 2005. In a separate communication to all parties of record in this proceeding, the Postal Service has transmitted a copy of the Stipulation and Agreement and has asked that those participants who are inclined to settle to return a signed signature page to the Postal Service no later than August 5, 2005.
July 23, 2005 -- The agenda for the August meeting of the U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors is posted on the Postal Service web site.
July 23, 2005 -- According to CBC News, "Canadian libraries will continue to benefit from a special shipping rate from Canada Post, after an announcement from National Revenue Minister John McCallum Friday. McCallum, the minister responsible for Canada Post, issued a statement about the subsidy program, which allows libraries to mail each other books for rates substantially lower than commercial rates ” usually less than a dollar a book – and a boon for smaller rural libraries. In April 2005, the department of Canadian Heritage and Canada Post had agreed to a one-year extension of the book rate. In a release issued Friday, McCallum said the special rate will continue beyond April 2006. A representative from the minister's office said that details, including funding the book rate program and exactly how long the rate would continue, still needed to be worked out."
July 23, 2005 -- Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung has reported that "German mail-order group Otto is planning to expand its logistics services and offer them more to other companies in future. The group says that it intends to expand activities relating to the storage of goods and to offer companies that do not form part of the Otto group access to its entire logistics chain. This means that Otto will be competing with companies such as Deutsche Post, the German postal service operator."
July 23, 2005 -- The International Freedom of Expression Exchange has reported that ""Le Front" editor-in-chief Joseph Bessala Ahanda on 21 July 2005 has been released from prison two days after a delegation of journalists met the director of criminal affairs at the Justice Ministry. "The end of this arbitrary imprisonment is good news for Cameroon's journalists," the organisation said. Ahanda was arrested on 6 July and held pending trial in connection with three reports he published about the alleged embezzlement of 300 million CFA francs (approx. US$546,000; 457,000 euros) by Maurice Bayémi, the head of the Cameroon postal services, Campost, and his associate, Jean-Pierre Amougou Belinga, the owner of the Anecdote press group. Ahanda is still due to stand trial. No date has yet been set for a hearing."
July 22, 2005 -- The latest copy of the National Association of Postmasters of the U.S. electronic governmental affairs newsletter is available on the NAPUS web site.
July 22, 2005 -- As GovExec.com has noted, "The House plans to consider a sweeping postal overhaul bill next week, despite lingering differences with the White House. The bill sponsored by Rep. John McHugh, R-N.Y., was passed unanimously by the House Government Reform Committee in April. The House Rules Committee will meet Monday to formulate a rule for the legislation, with floor action likely slated for Tuesday."
July 22, 2005 -- Traffic World has reported that "Congress snuffed out the hopes of finishing a highway bill this week when it approved a five-day extension of the previous highway bill Thursday night. But it left the flame of hope flickering that an agreement will be reached before Congress leaves for its month-long August recess. The House-Senate conference committee that is working until the wee hours of the morning on a deal is still reportedly in disagreement over the funding formula of how much gas tax revenue each state gets."
July 22, 2005 -- In a letter sent to all members of the House and Senate, the presidents of the National Association of Letter Carriers and the National Rural Letter Carriers Association have urged support for "legislation now pending before Congress to reform the United States Postal Service."
July 22, 2005 -- The Financial Times has reported that:
July 22, 2005 -- According to Reuters, "Japan's ruling coalition aims to enact bills to privatise the postal system, including the world's biggest bank, on Aug. 5."
July 22, 2005 -- The Associated Press has noted that "For more than 30 years, students at Oregon State University have been able to buy stamps and other mailing supplies at the postal substation in the basement of the Memorial Union. The service is scheduled to end Aug. 12 because of a contract dispute about the electronic equipment used to weigh letters and packages and calculate postage rates. The closure would leave about 23,000 students, faculty and staff with no postal service on a campus large enough to have its own ZIP code The substation is operated by the OSU Bookstore under contract with the U.S. Postal Service."
July 22, 2005 -- Xinhua has reported that "Reform of the country's postal system, which has been in the pipeline for a couple of years, was finally approved on Wednesday by the State Council, China's cabinet. The scheme focuses on splitting the government's administration of the industry away from the postal business. Savings banks will also be established. According to the scheme, the State Postal Bureau will be restructured into a regulator that will supervise the sector, responsible for making rules and setting standards. It will be independent of the business operation. Meanwhile, China Post Group Corp will be set up to run various postal services. Currently, the State Post Bureau combines the functions of industry regulator and profit-making company. Also, postal saving services, which contribute approximately 39 per cent of the total revenue of China's postal system, will be separated and a new bank will be formed."
July 22, 2005 -- The Standard has reported that "Kenya will host the 2008 Universal Postal Union (UPU) congress, Postmaster General Dan Ameyo has said. Yesterday, Information and Communications Minister Raphael Tuju introduced the visiting UPU Director General Edouard Dayan whom he said was in the country to assess Kenya’s suitability to host the event. Tuju said discussions centred on issues concerning logistics of hosting the meeting that is expected to draw over 2000 participants and interest groups from 190 United Nations member countries. He said they had also discussed security and infrastructural issues with Dayan."
July 22, 2005 -- As the Financial Times has noted, "The 30-minute ferry journey across the Solent to the Isle of Wight is famously one of the most expensive, mile-for-mile, in the world. So it seems strange that Royal Mail should have chosen the island as the location for a vehicle repair centre serving three sorting offices on the south coast of England. Such inefficiencies are typical of the challenges facing Adam Crozier, chief executive of Royal Mail, as he tries to ready the UK’s 350-year-old postal carrier for full competition with a spread of private sector operators in less than six months time."
July 22, 2005 -- From the U.S. Newswire: "On Monday afternoon, July 25, the U.S. Postal Service will join five of the world’s leading postal administrations — Australia Post, China Post, Hong Kong Post, Japan Post and Korea Post – to announce a new, collaborative express service in the Asia Pacific Rim market. Senior executives from each leading service will provide insight into the collaboration and its first venture – a new courier service for the Asia Pacific region. Mr. Paul Vogel, U.S. Postal Service vice president network operations management and Mr. James Wade, U.S. Postal Service vice president international business, will participate, as well as: -- Mr. Graeme John, managing director, Australia Post -- Mr. Ma Junsheng, deputy postmaster general, China Post -- Mr. Allan Chiang, postmaster general, Hong Kong Post -- Mr. Takahashi Toshihiro, senior executive vice president, Japan Post -- Mr. Joong-Yeon Hwang, president, Korea Post."
July 22, 2005 -- From the PR Newswire: "Ryder System, Inc., a global leader in transportation, supply chain management and warehousing solutions, today announced it has been awarded a multi-year contract by the United States Postal Service (USPS). Under the contract, Ryder will develop and manage a customized transportation solution to optimize the USPS' Non-Mail Freight transportation network nationwide, supporting USPS locations nationally and internationally. Ryder will provide transportation procurement, shipment planning and execution, compliance management and other related services. The rollout is expected to be complete in November 2005."
July 22, 2005 -- Business Week has a piece that explains "Why Zazzle Dazzles John Doerr."
July 22, 2005 -- According to the Gilroy Dispatch, "News that mail carrier Patricia Finley might be fired raises lots of red flags. Finley was featured in a recent Dispatch story about problems caused by a do-not-dismount order issued by Gilroy Postmaster Penny Yates. The removal notice that Finley received cited leaning too far out the window of her vehicle and using her vehicle to move garbage bins that were blocking mail boxes as reasons for the attempt to terminate her employment. The story on Yates’ ill-advised do-not-dismount order, issued in violation of postal service policy, must have been an embarrassing episode for the Gilroy postmaster."
July 22, 2005 -- According to the Daily Champion, "INFORMATION and Communication Technology (ICT) has become an integral part of today's modern society. Without doubt this technological innovation is fast spreading across the globe, thereby shrinking the world into the global village foretold many years ago by Canadian philosopher Marshall McLuhan, famous for gnomic utterances such as "the user is the content". He foresaw an information millennium in which print was obsolete and we all lived - apparently quite happily - in a global village. It is a very vital component because of its advantage in terms of wider reach, reaching far across the rural settlements. Unfortunately very little priority is attached to this component because a lot of people erroneously believe that information and communication technology is the direct replacement of the postal service."
July 21, 2005 -- From the Business Wire: "Entrepreneurs in record numbers are setting up shop on eBay, according to a new survey conducted for eBay by ACNielsen International Research, a leading research firm. More than 724,000 Americans report that eBay is their primary or secondary source of income. In addition to these professional eBay sellers, another 1.5 million individuals say they supplement their income by selling on eBay, according to the July 2005 survey. In the first six months of 2005, eBay members in the U.S. sold merchandise worth approximately $10.6 billion. In order to support this growing economic force, eBay and the United States Postal Service have teamed to create an innovative educational opportunity that brings online selling expertise and experience to neighborhoods across the country: the eBay Day Small Business Tour. eBay sellers overwhelmingly use the Postal Service for their shipping needs."
July 21, 2005 -- UPS has reported a robust 22.2% gain in diluted earnings per share for the second quarter of 2005, driven by double-digit export volume gains in every international region and an increase of 387,000 packages per day in the United States.
July 21, 2005 -- According to Forbes, "Once again, reform of the anachronistic U.S. Postal Service is on the Congressional agenda. If the reform passes, it could head off next year's planned 5.4% postal rate increase—the one that will push the cost of mailing a single letter to 39 cents from 37 cents." I-I-I-I don't think so.
July 21, 2005 -- The National Post has reported that "A Canada Post employee who was fired after he exposed "shift-selling" within the corporation's ranks is celebrating after an arbitrator ruled his job must be reinstated."
July 21, 2005 -- The Office of the Consumer Advocate (OCA) has notified the Postal Rate Commission that it will not be filing a direct case in the Docket No. R2005-1 proceeding. The Postal Service and OCA have come to an agreement in which the Postal Service has agreed to establish a working group, to include OCA, to investigate the possibility of a non-denominated stamp that, once purchased, would be valid in the future for first-ounce, single-piece, First-Class Mail postage, regardless of the thencurrent rate. Second, the Postal Service has agreed to post, for certain products, nationwide service performance data at usps.com on a quarterly basis. The Postal Service will also post a notice at its post offices, including stations and branches, advising customers that performance data are available at its website. The specific terms of these commitments will be addressed in the near future in a letter summarizing the agreement.
July 21, 2005 -- CEP News (Courier-Express-Postal), published by the MRU Consultancy, has reported that:
In Austria resistance is mounting against the proposal to give the government a veto right in the matter of post office closures.
The German government has sold the last post shares still in its possession.
Deutsche Post CEO Klaus Zumwinkel has declared that "Deutsche Post does not question Saturday delivery at present and as far as the future is concerned: We will continue to provide our customers with mail deliveries on Saturdays."
The German Cartel Office reached yet another decision in favour of private competitors on the postal market. The post has been ordered to cancel the obligatory reimbursement clause from its partial access contracts with private mail operators.
DHL is planning to take over logistics operators in the Baltic states.
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.
July 21, 2005 -- DM News has reported that "Fifty-three percent of credit cardholders became aware of their last credit card through direct mail, a Vertis study released yesterday found. Credit card marketers sent a record-high 1.4 billion direct mail offers in the first quarter, up 11 percent over last year, according to Mail Monitor, the direct mail offer tracking service from Synovate."
July 21, 2005 -- The American Postal Workers Union has reported that "A federal appeals court has ruled that the Postal Service’s return-to-work requirements for absences of more than 21 days are in conflict with the Family and Medical Leave Act. The court ruled that the Family and Medical Leave Act requires employers covered by the law to return employees to work after their approved FMLA leave upon a basic showing that they are able to perform their duties. This is done by presenting a statement to that effect from the employee’s own physician, the court concluded."
July 21, 2005 -- The Times has reported that "ROYAL MAIL will be forced to lay off 40,000 workers if the postal regulator presses ahead with plans to impose price controls on stamps, Allan Leighton, chairman of the mail group, has warned."
July 21, 2005 -- The Financial Times has reported that "MPs are to conduct a review into the Royal Mail's future after the postal services market is opened up to full competition, it was announced yesterday. The review by the trade and industry select committee parallels a government-commissioned review into the same subject which was promised in Labour's general election manifesto but has yet to be announced. Peter Luff, Tory chairman of the committee, said the future of the state- owned postal operator was such a big issue it demanded an inquiry by the MPs, even if the government was setting up a separate investigation. The committee has invited written evidence by September 30 and said it would set dates for oral hearings after that deadline."
July 21, 2005 -- Bloomberg has reported that "Bank of Japan Governor Toshihiko Fukui said the sale of Japan Post should be fair to banks, brokerages and insurance companies in the private sector."
July 21, 2005 -- Ha'aretz has reported that "Postal Service Director General Yossi Shelli announced Wednesday he will be resigning after three years in office because of a dispute with the Communications Minister Dalia Itzik. During her first three months in office, Itzik met with Shelli only once. During that lone meeting the minister asked the director general to resign, a request which Shelli rejected. But Shelli recently changed his mind and agreed to quit his post."
July 21, 2005 -- From the BusinessWire:
July 21, 2005 -- Xinhua has reported that "An executive meeting of the State Council, the Chinese cabinet, was held Wednesday to hear reports on key state enterprises and a reform plan on postal system. Postal service is an important public service and the postal network is a major telecommunication infrastructure. To better the service, the reform plan required to separate the administrative functions fromthe enterprises, strengthen governmental supervision, guarantee general services and special services and ensure postal security. To this end, China will form State Post Administration as the supervision organ and the China Postal Group Corporation to deal with all kinds of postal services, the meeting said. A postal depository bank will be set up to regulate financial services in postal area." See also CRI.
July 20, 2005 -- As Mailing Systems and Technology postal commentator Kate Muth has noted, "There’s little argument that the USPS has had much success in attaining the near-term goals set forth in the Transformation Plan, especially in cost-cutting and productivity. But for some mailers, the “it’s in there” strategy has proven frustrating at times. Stakeholders often feel there is a lack of communication from the Postal Service on postal changes that affect their operations or their own business plans. In my opinion, communications should be the cornerstone of the Postal Service’s second phase of transformation. This is how partners do things — they communicate."
July 20, 2005 -- The Business Mail Acceptance function of the Postal Service (USPS) has scheduled the second annual Business Mail Acceptance (BMA) Days Program. The weeklong program runs from July 25th to July 29th, and this year’s theme is “Improving Results” for both USPS and customers. BMA Days will bring visibility to the pivotal business mail acceptance function. Postal Executives will visit with customers and gather feedback, high performing Business Mail Entry units will be celebrated, and we will bring visibility to the new technologies that are being introduced to streamline the business mail acceptance function.
July 20, 2005 -- Traffic World has reported that "FedEx Freight unveiled a new delivery notification service Wednesday, a move it says will provide LTL customers with greater visibility and control of their shipments. FedEx Freight Advance Notice will notify customers via the Internet and fax on if a shipment will be delayed, allowing them to make decisions and adjustments while a shipment is still en route, FedEx Freight said."
July 20, 2005 -- The Gilroy Dispatch has published the USPS' Azeez Jaffer's "setting the record straight" letter to the editor.
July 20, 2005 -- Window Book Inc., a provider of postal mailing and shipping solutions that work exclusively with the United States Postal Service (USPS), has announced the released the newest version of Postal Package Partner (PPP) automated shipping software. The updated version of the software now offers users a greater advantage over their competitors who do not ship using PPP or the USPS, including five key enhancements that further automate the shipping process. PPP is now MAC Certified by the USPS for International Manifesting.
July 20, 2005 -- Brazzil Magazine has reported that "Brazil's Post Office CPI (Congressional Investigative Commission), which is investigating charges of corruption in the Brazilian Post Office will hear the testimony of the former secretary general of the PT (Workers Party), Sílvio Pereira. In Brazil, where there is no fifth amendment, a person who is worried about the consequences of giving testimony usually obtains a habeas corpus which protects him from arrest and allows him to refuse to give answers that could be incriminating. The Post Office CPI is scheduled to begin receiving copies of documents from the ad agency, DNA, which belongs to adman, Marcos Valério, who is accused of being the moneyman in a payoff scheme involving political parties, including the PT, president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva's party."
July 20, 2005 -- The Kyodo news service has reported that "Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi asked business leaders Wednesday to continue to back his contentious pet policy of privatizing Japan Post which faces the possibility of being voted down in the Diet."
July 20, 2005 -- The Edinburgh Evening News has reported that "THOUSANDS of postal workers were being given new hats today following a risk assessment by Royal Mail chiefs."
July 20, 2005 -- The Sofia News Agency has reported that "Siemens has signed a deal with Bulgarian Post Offices for establishing a postal sorting center in Sofia. The project is estimated at about EUR 15 M. Technical equipment will be delivered from Germany, while the Bulgarian construction contractor Glavbulgarstroi will undertake the building's construction. The sorting center will help Bulgarian Post offices to apply European standards and raise its competitiveness. End consumers will also be able to estimate the economic benefits from the process.
July 20, 2005 -- The Retail Bulletin has reported that "A new report by Corporate Mailing Matters, has revealed that the UK’s top retailers are wasting £23 million every year in international postage costs because they are not using consolidation services. In essence, mailing services companies aggregate ordinary international mail. This mail is processed and pre-sorted so as to conform to the postal delivery geography in each of the countries where mail is being sent. Carriers will then offer the mailing services company discounts because the mail preparation has taken place in advance of the carriers receiving the items. These discounts can then be passed on to the mailing services company’s clients. This process is known as mail consolidation. Primary research established a model for typical international mailing volumes, and the savings that were being achieved by pioneer users of cross-border mailing consolidation services. That model was then applied to UK companies turning over more than £50 million per annum – a community of some 4,000 corporations across the UK."
July 20, 2005 -- La Tribune has reported that "French bank Credit Agricole has told the French financial press that, according to its own calculations, the proposed new French postal bank will face a threat to its equity capital from the charges relating to 40m euros' worth of withdrawals a year."
July 20, 2005 -- Les Echos has reported that "The French post office, La Poste, now intends to apply before the end of the month to the French regulator of credit establishments and investment firms, CECEI, for permission to operate a postal bank. Initially, the application was to have been made by the middle of the month. On the other hand, La Poste has speeded up the process by deciding that it is not legally obliged to wait until the relevant decree appears in the French government gazette, 'Journal Officiel', before seeking the CECEI's approval."
July 20, 2005 -- If you ever wanted to know how the USPS eagle gets plucked because of its zip code addressing system, just take look at the San Diego Union-Tribune.
July 20, 2005 -- As The Scientist has noted, "The flies are in the mail." It's an interesting piece that's worth reading.
July 20, 2005 -- Bloomberg has reported that "Japan's Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi is struggling to win approval for the sale of Japan Post in the upper house of Parliament, said Shinzo Abe, acting secretary-general of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party. ``I can't give an optimistic outlook, however we will do our best to ensure the passage of the bill,'' Abe said at a regular press briefing in Tokyo. An upper house rejection of the bill, which was narrowly approved in the lower house this month, would amount to a repudiation of Koizumi's economic policies, Abe said." See also Dow Jones, an additional story by Bloomberg and one by the International Herald Tribune.
July 20, 2005 -- The Asahi Shimbun has reported that "Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi reiterated Tuesday that failure to pass the postal privatization bills in the Upper House would represent a vote of no-confidence in his Cabinet. This indicates he is still prepared to dissolve the Lower House and call a snap election if the bills are killed."
July 20, 2005 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that:
July 20, 2005 -- The CBC has reported that "Rural libraries are bracing for a postal hike next spring that will eliminate a subsidized shipping rate for books that has been in place for 66 years. Since 1939, Canada Post has offered libraries across the country a subsidized shipping rate of less than $1 per book when sending tomes back and forth for inter-library loan programs. Under a proposed plan that would take effect April 1, 2006, libraries will be charged commercial rates, which can be as much as $14 per book. Eliminating the subsidized rate would be "absolutely devastating," Don Butcher, executive director of the Canadian Library Association, said. Theresa Williams, a spokeswoman for Canada Post, says maintaining the special library book rate isn't efficient for the Crown corporation. "The bottom line is we are a business and it is our mandate to operate as a business so that we are not a drain on the taxpayers," she said from Edmonton. Canada Post would lose $13 million a year if it continued to offer libraries the subsidized rate, Williams added."
July 20, 2005 -- Digital Media Europe has reported that "Several of the high street banks in the Netherlands, including Rabobank, ABN Amro, ING Bank and Postbank, are to launch an electronic invoicing and payment system, NotaBox, in the first half of 2006. NotaBox, an initiative of Rabobank and TPG Post, the logistics company that operates the Dutch postal service, will be piloted this summer by selected companies and their clients, all of which use the banking services of Rabobank."
July 19, 2005 -- Traffic World has reported that "FedEx Freight announced the opening of five new service centers as part of a strategic expansion in the United States."
July 19, 2005 -- From SourceWire: "AddressWare from Postcode Anywhere takes the pain out of customer address capture and verification by recognising postcodes as users type and rapidly entering the accurate postal address into a desired location such as order entry, contact management or CRM systems. The innovative technology was designed specifically for SMEs seeking to improve the quality of their address databases and therein enjoy the same levels of accuracy as even the biggest companies. By using AddressWare small companies can eliminate the costs and customer aggravation caused by incorrectly addressed mail and deliveries. Delivered as a web download, from www.postcodeanywhere.co.uk , the system’s unique “Recogniser” feature resides on the user’s system watching for postcodes. Once it discovers one it uses the Internet to interrogate the data hosted on Postcode Anywhere’s servers. The addresses delivered come from the Royal Mail’s Postcode Address File (PAF) a database containing the 27 million UK addresses. As all updates to the AddressWare file are managed by Postcode Anywhere, there is no need for the user to juggle update CDs in-house or worry about complex data integration issues."
July 19, 2005 -- According to Aftenposten, "More and more smugglers seem to be sending and receiving narcotics and other illegal items through Norway's postal system. Police, however, lack resources to crack down on the activity."
July 19, 2005 -- From the PR Newswire: "Pitney Bowes Inc. is launching a customized postage service through a new alliance with Zazzle (http://www.zazzle.com), the Internet's leading customized products marketplace. The new service allows customers to create full-color customized stamps using images they upload at the Zazzle website, or a vast collection of images already available on the site, including famous characters from The Walt Disney Company and other special collections."
July 19, 2005 -- The Irish Independent has reported that "BANK of Ireland has won the tender to supply over 1,000 ATMs (automated teller machines) into the Post Office retail network in the UK."
July 19, 2005 -- The Nation has reported that "New rules may need to be drawn up for the postal sector to jolt it into the 21st century. Competition and deregulation has increased considerably in Kenya's telecoms industry, thanks largely to the innovation brought in by mobile phone service providers. But a trully competitive postal services market remains a mirage, and with the advent of e-mail and the internet, the industry is increasingly looking stone-age."
July 19, 2005 -- The Hindu has reported that "The Postal Department proposes to start common service centres, whose functions will include issuing birth and death certificates, according to Dayanidhi Maran, Union Minister for Communications and Information Technology."
July 19, 2005 -- RedNova has reported that:
July 19, 2005 -- From the PR Newswire: "RELM Wireless Corporation has announced that it has been awarded a contract by the United States Postal Service (USPS) to provide on an exclusive basis two-way portable radios and accessories to installations throughout the U.S. and its territories and possessions, including main and associate post offices, administrative offices, training and technical centers, and headquarters. Functions that will utilize the products at these facilities include delivery and administrative operations, window services, law enforcement and general office applications. This contract is designated as an exclusive requirements contract by the USPS. Accordingly, it requires that all USPS two-way radio requirements in these categories be provided by RELM. The contract is effective for an initial term of one year starting immediately, and provides for four one-year renewals."
July 19, 2005 -- The Standard has reported that "The Conference of Asia Pacific Express Carriers, or CAPEC, an interest group representing the world's top express courier firms in Asia, has asked China's State Post Bureau (China Post) to further lower restrictions and interference in the mainland's express mail service sector as the regulator is finalizing the amended rules. CAPEC, which represents DHL, FedEx Corp, United Parcel Service and TNT Express, has sent a statement urging China Post to set up a regulatory board separated from its business service department, reduce administrative interference in the industry and increase transparency. China Post is under a restructuring and amending the industry regulations as the market has been partially opened in 2003 for foreign firms under the World Trade Organization agreement."
July 18, 2005 -- Bert Berkley, chairman of Tension Envelope Corp. (and a former PostCom board member) has been named the new chairman of the Envelope Manufacturers Association Global Envelope Alliance (GEA). The mission of GEA is to promote the interest of the envelope manufacturing industry to global postal and regulatory bodies, standards organizations, and any other organization critical to th esuccess of the industry throughout the world.
July 18, 2005 -- Heard it thru the grapevine.... Word has it that the Postal Service is having a hard time doing automated processing with Netflix and Blockbuster CDs-DVDs. The USPS reportedly doesn't want to lose the DVD business, but may have a hard time continuing to justify the favorable rates these companies are enjoying.
July 18, 2005 -- According to postal commentator Gene Del Polito, "If there is any eagerness among mailers to put 2005 to bed, it's only because they know that they and the Postal Service will need time and resources to begin the work on R2006. That case will be burdensome in many ways not only to the Postal Service, but also to the many, such as PostCom, who represent mailer interests in such proceedings before the Postal Rate Commission. But anyone who thinks R2006 will be followed by a prolonged respite from future rate cases needs to think again. R2006 will be followed by an R2007 and probabaly an R2008. About the only thing that will prevent those future "Rs" from happening is postal reform."
July 18, 2005 -- In the latest from NewsMax.com, the Lexington Institute's Sam Ryan posited that "If the Postal Service gets its way, it may soon open a donut shop near you. Or a car dealership, a roller-rink, or any other business it thinks might turn a buck. That's the upshot of a debate it's been having with the Postal Rate Commission, the independent regulatory body that oversees postal price changes. If a USPS donut store sounds as crazy as, say, a CIA lemonade stand, it is."
July 18, 2005 -- According to the Washington Post, "U.S. Strategies of Alexandria named Paul Van Coverden senior vice president." For many years, Van Coverden served on the governmental affairs and strategic planning staff of the U.S. Postal Service.
July 18, 2005 -- The Sierra Vista Herald has reported that "Customer service is important for the U.S. Postal Service, an agency official said. Connecting with patrons is something postal officials are constantly doing, said Carol A. Pinto, the services' small business specialist from Phoenix. On Wednesday, a new program - Customer Connect - started at the Sierra Vista post office. Customer Connect is one of "a lot of new products and services" the Postal Service is providing, Pinto said. Letter carriers will be approaching businesses on their routes to talk about ways the agency can help make shipping and mailing better, she said.:
July 18, 2005 -- The Associated Press has reported that "Already rich from their prescient investments in breakthrough companies like online search engine leader Google Inc., renowned venture capitalists John Doerr and Ram Shriram think they have discovered their next gold mine. It's another dot-com with a zany six-letter name - Zazzle, a startup that makes customized T-shirts, posters and postage stamps. Beginning Monday, Zazzle will sell customized postage stamps in a partnership with mailing equipment maker Pitney Bowes Inc. A sheet of 20 first-class stamps will sell for $16.99 - a 130 percent markup that matches the price that Stamps.com charges for a similar sheet of personalized postage. The U.S. Postal Service is hoping the personal touch will become popular for commemorating special events like weddings and birthdays, giving more people a reason to use "snail mail" in an era of increasing electronic communication." See also the Times-Leader and Hoovers.
July 18, 2005 -- MediaPost has reported that "The recent release of the 29th annual "Advertising Ratios & Budgets" study by Schonfeld & Associates lists forecasted 2005 advertising-to-sales ratios, ad spending in 2005 and 2006 and ad growth for each of more than 5,000 companies in over 300 industries. [It said that] Advertising by direct mail catalog houses will increase to $1.3 billion."
July 18, 2005 -- In response to yet another article disparaging mail, Azeezaly S. Jaffer, Vice President, USPS Public Affairs and Communications told the offending publication:
"Advertisements clutter almost every page of the Gilroy Dispatch but I wouldn't think of calling it a "junk newspaper." So, I'm always disheartened when a newspaper chooses to refer to advertising mail as "junk," as in your July 8 story "You've got mail - junk mail, that is." That story can only be described as an all-out assault on the advertising mail profession and it didn't just quote others but in the words of your writer, Carolyn Straub, "There you have it: Junk mail. Phooey." Well, to some it is junk mail. But to others, it's a solicitation from a charity in need. It's also an offer on a favorable mortgage interest rate for a young couple buying their first home, or a bargain on an automobile to someone who needs one. To a lot of other people, this so called "junk" is a job. The livelihood of more than a million Californians depends on the advertising mail industry."
Hey, Azeez! Kudos! [And, no, Jerry McKiernan, we haven't forgotten you.]
July 18, 2005 -- According to the DM Bulletin, "Royal Mail has acted to defend its reputation in the wake of Channel 4's latest undercover documentary, which was seen by 2.1m people, by taking out a full-page ad in Friday's Daily Mail. The copy said: "Every year 22bn letters and parcels are sent through the post, with 99.93% of them arriving safely. On the rare occasions when mail is stolen, 90% of the incidents are when postmen and postwomen are the victims, not the perpetrators of crime." See also the Peterborough Evening Telegraph.
July 18, 2005 -- The Sunday Times has reported that "The Post Office will be investing R80-million over the next three years to roll out new infrastructure in previously disadvantaged areas of the Eastern Cape. This was announced at a Post Office roadshow at the Marine Hotel to introduce new chief executive Khutso Mampeule to businessmen. Mampeule joined the parastatal on June 20 and said one of his objectives was to bridge the digital divide between the first and the so-called second economy in the country."
July 18, 2005 -- According to the Japan Times, "Despite doubts over the fate of the postal bills, however, we have to realize that today's huge public-sector debt and the nonperforming loans in the public financial sectors are the results of the government's longtime policy of channeling postal savings funds into inefficient projects through the Fiscal Investment and Loan Program and the purchase of government bonds. Given that the aging of the Japanese population is accelerating, and that the nation's savings rate is expected to decline, it is imperative that the funds pooled in "yucho," the postal savings system that accounts for roughly 30 percent of the country's individual savings -- and "kampo," the postal insurance system that accounts for about 40 percent of individuals' life insurance funds in the nation -- are efficiently managed. To achieve that goal, the postal bills will have to be endorsed by the Diet."
July 18, 2005 -- Sify has reported that "The Postal Department is gearing up to enter the banking sector and proposed to introduce more customer and business friendly products, Union Minister for Communication and Information Technology Dayanidhi Maran announced today."
July 18, 2005 -- Bloomberg has reported that "Germany sold about 5 billion euros ($6.04 billion) of Deutsche Post AG and Deutsche Telekom AG stock to KfW Group, eliminating the government's stake in the national postal service and raising cash to reduce the budget deficit. KfW, Germany's state-owned development bank, bought 7.3 percent of each of the Bonn-based companies, raising its stake in Deutsche Post, Europe's biggest postal service, to 44.7 percent from 37.4 percent. The government transfers shares to KfW in return for cash as a preliminary step before any sale to the market." See also Heise.
July 18, 2005 -- The Standard has reported that "Postal Corporation of Kenya staff pension scheme and staff provident fund have assumed ownership of 21 prime properties as settlement of claims against Teleposta Provident Fund."
July 18, 2005 -- The Financial Times has reported that "One of the Tory leadership contenders has backed the Royal Mail's proposals to give its employees a stake in the group's ownership. The move by Tim Yeo, breaking ranks with official Conservative policy, comes days before a government-commissioned review into the state-owned postal operator's future. The government will not contemplate a conventional sale of shares to the stock market - Trade Minister Alan Johnson told the Financial Times in May he would "rule out privatisation, full stop" - but is still considering the Royal Mail's proposals to give a stake of 20 per cent or more to its staff. The postal operator also hopes to persuade ministers to agree the state should take on its historic pension liabilities."
July 18, 2005 -- The Canberra Times has reported that "Australia Post will review mail delivery arrangements in Cobargo in response to a petition from residents who want a delivery service introduced. The review will take the form of a mail poll in which all eligible residents will be asked to advise in writing whether they want a mail delivery service or to maintain their existing arrangements where mail is collected from the local Post Office."
July 18, 2005 -- WDSU (New Orleans) has reported that "A United Parcel Service driver has been arrested following a search of his home that turned up a veritable warehouse of pilfered UPS packages, according to a St. Bernard Parish sheriff's spokesman. The thefts, which were estimated to total $100,000, involved packages earmarked for other drivers. UPS officials had put the 28-year employee under surveillance in an internal investigation into an unusual number of missing packages. He said the company notified the sheriff's office after they saw a driver back his delivery truck up to his house and unload a package containing a 26-inch plasma TV addressed to a Pearl River man."
July 18, 2005 -- The Telegraph has reported that "Royal Mail executives are pressing the Government to appoint a senior business figure to head the review into the future of the business. They fear an inquiry led by ministers or civil servants will reduce the prospect of radical changes. An announcement about the terms of reference and the inquiry team has been delayed by Whitehall in-fighting but Alan Johnson, Trade and Industry Secretary, is anxious to release details before the Commons rises for the summer recess on Thursday."
July 18, 2005 -- The presentations given at the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) 4th Annual Conference, ‘The Future of UK Postal Services’ (which was held in London on 7th July, 2005) have been posted on PostInsight.
July 18, 2005 -- As Air Cargo World has noted, "Air cargo industry veterans know better than most that nothing is assured. And that's why some freight players are warning that too little attention is being paid to potential hurdles in the burgeoning Asia-Pacific region. Expanded aviation treaties between the U.S. and both China and India are two of several factors driving up trans-Pacific air cargo demand, and with the rising cargo volumes comes elevated challenges. For express cargo players, some nations' reluctance to liberalize air rights and embrace open trading is proving frustrating."
July 18, 2005 -- DM News has reported that "Firstlogic Inc., La Crosse, WI, a provider of enterprise data quality solutions, began a blog July 12 to educate business and technical professionals on the rapidly changing landscape of data quality initiatives, data strategy and information quality technologies."
July 18, 2005 -- According to Transport Intelligence, "Mail, express and logistics company TNT N.V. has acquired the Dutch print and mailing house Euro Mail through Cendris, part of TPG Post. Euro Mail is a provider of Direct Marketing for small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) an will increase the range of products and services to the portfolio of TPG Post and Cendris. According to management the acquisition will put TPG Post and Cendris in a better position to develop and sell new product-market combinations for the SME segment."
July 18, 2005 -- NewIndPress has reported, "Superintendent of Post Office H. R. Veerana Gouda said the postal department had introduced mail pick-up service from July 14. Talking to mediapersons, he said the customers are no need to go to post office to post the letters. All letters should be handed over to postman only, he said. You could also inform concerned post office through telephone and the post man would call at your house, collect the letters. These letters would be sent along with other mailed letters on the same day."
July 17, 2005 -- Air Cargo World has reported that "FedEx Express Senior Vice president of Air Operations Donald O. Barber will retire his position at end of July. Barber, 55, who has led the company's air operations since 1998, will be succeeded by James R. Parker, 53, who is currently vice president - aircraft acquisitions and supplemental air operations of FedEx Express."
July 17, 2005 -- Kyodo news service has reported that "Three senior lawmakers of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party on Sunday opposed Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's intention to dissolve the House of Representatives and hold a general election if a set of bills for postal privatization is vetoed."
July 17, 2005 -- According to Reuters, "United Parcel Service Inc. has offered its pilots annual pay raises of 3 percent and bonuses of as much as $5,000 to sign a new, eight-year contract, the pilots' union said on Thursday. In a letter to the package delivery company's 2,500 pilots, the Independent Pilots Association outlined what it described as UPS's most recent offers, made during mediation supervised by the federal government." See also Air Cargo World.
July 17, 2005 -- The Observer has reported that "Postal unions are warning of a major showdown with the government at the Labour party and TUC conferences this autumn over plans for the Royal Mail. With an independent review of the Royal Mail's future expected to be launched within the next two weeks, Billy Hayes, general secretary of the Communication Workers Union, has warned that it will fight any moves towards privatisation or giving employees shares. Such a move is favoured by the management, led by former Asda boss Allan Leighton, which believes giving employees a stake in the business is the best way to motivate them. Royal Mail has been lobbying the government to press ahead with the changes, arguing they are not ruled out by its manifesto commitment to keep Royal Mail in public ownership."
July 17, 2005 -- The Express & Echo has reported that "Post bosses have defended their working practices after a hard-hitting documentary claimed to show machinery at the Exeter sorting office ripping open envelopes. The flagship Channel 4 programme Dispatches sent an undercover reporter to the Exeter premises as part of its documentary on problems within the postal service."
July 17, 2005 -- The Waterbury Republican-American has claimed that "Junk mail. Yes, junk mail, also known as "retro-spam," is making a comeback. The United States Postal Service reports that there was a 12 percent rise in junk mail from 1999 to 2004, as merchants grow ever more nimble in their dogged efforts to free you of your dollars. With spammers and telemarketers chalking up their lowest approval ratings since the digital revolution, the mailman is looking awfully appealing -- and increasingly buff. The Boston Globe reports that marketers are resorting to junk mail as "one of the last frontiers where they know they can find consumers in an increasingly fragmented media market." In other words, nobody reads the newspaper; nobody watches TV and nobody answers the phone. But everybody checks their mail box. And so that's where the predators lurk."
July 17, 2005 -- Radio Australia has reported that "The central Pacific state of the Marshall Islands fears its mail links to the rest of the world could be virtually cut after an airline pulls out of the service later this month. The island nation of about 55,000 people has appealed to the United States for help, after Asia Pacific Airlines decided to pull out of its mail sub-contract with Continental Airlines. Asia Pacific airlines says it is losing too much money on the service. APA says it will cancel its mail services to the US-afiliated states of the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia and the US territory of Guam."
July 17, 2005 -- The Alaska Journal of Commerce has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service is considering changing the mail delivery system for Barrow residents in an effort to save money on the costly program that brings rural Alaskans much of their mail. If it proves economically feasible, it would be the latest in a series of changes to the system that have occurred over the past three years; changes that have bolstered some carriers in the airline industry and put others out of business."
July 17, 2005 -- The Telegraph has reported that "The Government is set to rule out the privatisation of Royal Mail when it announces the terms of reference for a review of the postal business. Alan Johnson, the trade and industry secretary, is intent on honouring the spirit of commitments not to sell Royal Mail that the Government made to trade unions in the "Warwick Agreement" before the general election and which it repeated in its election manifesto. Despite Johnson's seemingly unambiguous position, Royal Mail's board continues to hope for permission for the transfer of 20 per cent of the business into the hands of its employees - and possibly up to 49 per cent. Although it originally wanted 51 per cent transferred to staff, it would regard a lesser transfer as an acceptable transitional measure." See also Forbes.
July 16, 2005 -- La Tribune has reported that "Chronopost, the parcel subsidiary of the French post office, La Poste, has denied that it intends to shed 500 jobs from September as part of its 'Energie 2007' plan."
July 16, 2005 -- Japan Today has reported that "Thirteen House of Councillors members from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party intend to vote against a set of postal privatization bills, a Kyodo News survey showed Friday. Fifty-five LDP upper house members are undecided, but nearly 10 of them appear to be leaning toward casting a dissenting vote, according to the survey."
July 16, 2005 -- Cybernoon has reported that "Direct Mail now constitutes a pre-dominant portion of mail traffic handled by postal administrations. To meet the requirement of customers, the Department of Posts has introduced 'Direct Post' services in India from 2nd June, 2005." See also The Hindu.
July 15, 2005 -- The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin is available online. In this issue:
July 15, 2005 -- The latest issue of PostCom's PostOps Update has been posted on this site. In this issue, news on AEC II; FAST goes live in NY area; new MTAC workgroup looking at USPS service performance measurement; shorter height 4-state barcode looks good on letters, flats next; shrinkwrap requirement removed for bundles on bmc pallets; USPS PCSC has new address; PCC mail service provider directory coming; calendar for upcoming USPS rules changes. Hey! You've not been getting this either?? Are you kidding me? Man, you should become a PostCom member!
July 15, 2005 -- The latest copy of the National Association of Postmasters of the U.S. electronic governmental affairs newsletter is available on the NAPUS web site.
July 15, 2005 -- According to the latest Research and Markets report on postal services, "Postal operators have traditionally offered a range of basic financial services such as payments and savings schemes, but they are increasingly pursuing opportunities to offer more sophisticated and potentially more lucrative, products and services, such as insurance, investments and loans. They are seeking opportunities in financial services to maximise the revenue potential of their vast post office networks and to generate much-needed extra revenue. Some governments are also pushing postal operators to offer basic financial services to combat social exclusion. However, most postal operators lack the expertise or experience to manage sophisticated financial products directly. They are therefore developing partnerships and alliances with financial institutions to offer the solutions together. Through a range of marketing alliances, agency agreements, joint ventures and equity tie-ups, postal operators are working with financial institutions to offer a new range of financial services."
July 15, 2005 -- Forbes has reported that "Romania will privatize its postal and national radio communication companies, the government said Friday. The radio communication company would be sold by the end of next year, while the postal company would have to be restructured first and could be sold by 2008, Communication and Information Technology Minister Zsolt Nagy said. The state is interested in finding a strategic investor to take over the postal company, Nagy said. About 25 percent of the state-owned stock in the Romanian Post and 20 percent of Romtelecom's stock would be transferred to a fund which compensates people whose property was confiscated during the communist regime." See also the Associated Press.
July 15, 2005 -- Shipper Newswire has reported that "UPS has launched two new Web-based trade management tools that will make it easier for customers in Latin America to better manage the customs clearance process and simplify the monitoring of package movements worldwide. The new tools are Quantum View SM Manage and UPS TradeAbility. UPS said Quantum ViewSM Manage is available in 22 countries, including Mexico and Brazil. It is a package visibility service that offers users total visibility of imports and exports, allowing them to clear shipments into the country, audit cleared shipments for correct classification and electronically archive shipment data. UPS TradeAbility helps international shippers quickly and easily identify specific country tariff codes to calculate duties necessary for customs clearance, generate cost estimates for duties, taxes and transportation, and locate compliance information for 34 countries."
July 15, 2005 -- UPS is running a contest for small businesses. Think your company is the Best Out-of-the-Box Small Business? Tell UPS why. Submit a 500-word entry outlining why your business should be recognized. The first place winner will receive: $10,000 cash or $10,000 in free UPS shipping A Hewlett-Packard computer equipped with UPS shipping and tracking tools UPS consulting services valued at $5,000 Participation in a national UPS publicity campaign The second place winner will receive: $5,000 cash or $5,000 in free UPS shipping A Hewlett-Packard computer equipped with UPS shipping and tracking tools Participation in a UPS publicity campaign The third place winner will receive: A Hewlett-Packard computer equipped with UPS shipping and tracking tools Participation in a UPS publicity campaign."
July 15, 2005 -- According to ClickZ, "E-mail marketers are lobbying the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to add a sunset provision to the CAN-SPAM Act that would allow e-mail addresses to be automatically removed from suppression files after five years. Because people change e-mail addresses far more often than they do their phone number or street address, e-mail address churn is significantly higher than churn in other direct marketing channels."
July 15, 2005 -- From the PR Newswire: "After the completion of its merger with the package logistics business of RR Donnelley, American Package Express has officially changed its name to APX Logistics. American Package Express and the package logistics business of RR Donnelley came together in November 2004. Heritage Partners, a leading private investment firm is the principal shareholder of the combined company. APX Logistics is one of the nation's largest third-party logistics providers of business-to-consumer package delivery, delivering more packages through the United States Post Office than any other carrier."
July 15, 2005 -- Kyodo has reported that "Japan Post said Friday 20 asset management companies have proposed a total of 23 investment trusts for its plan to sell funds through post offices. Japan Post has solicited fund schemes as it plans to sell three types of low-risk investment trusts -- an investment product similar to a mutual fund -- through part of its post office network, starting in October."
July 15, 2005 -- The Economist has asked: "After privatising the post office and its related bank, which reforms should Japan attempt next?"
July 15, 2005 -- The Plymouth Evening Herald has reported that "Postal workers in Plympton will go on strike next Thursday in protest at a possible cut in hours to service the area. Members of the Communication Workers Union at the Plympton Delivery office will take strike action after a ballot showed they want to protect services to the community they serve. The union says the staff are fearful that the reduced resources will lead to a deterioration of postal services in the Plympton community area and have after months of intense negotiations not managed to achieve a reversal of the proposals from Royal Mail."
July 15, 2005 -- As The Star has noted, "FedEx is the latest parcel delivery giant to join rivals United Parcel Service (UPS) and DHL to tap the booming China market. The new US$150mil regional hub in Guangzhou Baiyun airport will be FedEx's largest outside the United States, and will replace its present hub at Subic Bay, the Philippines where operations will cease once the hub at Guangzhou opens in December 2008. However, the areas from Manila to Cebu will be still be serviced by FedEx."
July 15, 2005 -- The Financial Times has reported that "The Royal Mail is facing growing political opposition to its proposals to transfer its ownership from the state to its employees, only days before a government- commissioned review that will determine the postal operator's future ownership. A parliamentary motion calling on ministers to ensure the Royal Mail remains publicly owned with "all shares continuing to be owned by the government" has been signed by 57 Labour MPs. This suggests Tony Blair, the prime minister, could struggle to get the parliamentary approval needed to part-privatise the postal operator by giving a 51 per cent stake to staff. The government has a majority of only 67 in the Commons and the Tories have said they are "sceptical" about the part-privatisation plan."
July 15, 2005 -- UNI Postal has just released a bulletin on the union postal issues around the globe, this edition mainly covers the UNI-Europa Postal Conference held in Oslo, Norway in June.
July 15, 2005 -- The Danvers Herald has reported that "The Northeastern Massachusetts Postal Customer Council, PCC, will hold a Bulk Mail Acceptance Education Day, Wednesday, July 27, at the Middlesex-Essex Processing and Distribution Center, 76 Main St., North Reading. Business and nonprofit mailers are being invited to the event, which will feature two sessions — 8:30-11:30 a.m. and noon to 3 p.m. Tours of the mail processing facility and a demonstration of the MERLIN machine, which verifies bulk mail, nonprofit mail, bar-coded mail and other discounted mail pieces, are included. The deadline to register is July 22. For information or reservations call 1-800-322-0377."
July 15, 2005 -- The Associated Press has reported that "Saturday's scheduled release of the latest Harry Potter book has prompted shipping giant UPS Inc. to team up with an organization it often competes with: the U.S. Postal Service. On a weekday, UPS says it could easily handle the delivery of more than a million copies of "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" to homes. But the Atlanta-based company is not set up to handle such large deliveries on Saturdays. "We're the only ones who can do the magic at the end," said Gerry McKiernan, a spokesman for the Postal Service. "This is going to sound like it's boastful, but neither UPS nor FedEx have the reach that the U.S. Postal Service has. We are the obvious choice for the last mile." UPS describes the relationship with the Postal Service as "coop-itition."
July 15, 2005 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that "FedEx Chairman, Fred Smith, was speaking to business leaders and Chinese government officials in China. He praised the progress China had made in its recent simplification of customs procedures. China has abolished 1,800 approval requirements, standardised license applications and improved its logistics system. Smith also called for more reform around the world to further simplify global trade."
July 15, 2005 -- The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) and the New York State Banking Department today announced that NCUA has accepted appointment as receiver/liquidator of Jamaica Postal Credit Union, located in Queens, New York, following the New York State Banking Department’s decision to close the credit union. NCUA and the New York State Banking Department shared concerns about Jamaica Postal Credit Union’s financial and operational condition. The Banking Department assumed control of Jamaica Postal Credit Union’s operations July 7, 2005, after determining the credit union had an impaired capital position and was experiencing irresolvable problems in the areas of capital adequacy, earnings, delinquency control, record keeping and management. Prior to its closing, the Jamaica Postal Credit Union operated at a postal facility in Queens and served approximately 400 members.
July 15, 2005 -- In a letter to House Speaker Denny Hastert, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) expressed "strong support for H.R. 22, the Postal Enhancement and Accountability Act of 2005, and urged that it be considered by the House of Representatives for a vote."
July 15, 2005 -- The U.S. Postal Service has filed with the Postal Rate Commission request for approval of a a negotiated contract between the Postal Service and Bookspan, which provides Bookspan with declining block rates for Standard Mail letters soliciting book club membership. The USPS press release is available on this site.
July 15, 2005 -- As Federal Times has noted, "The U.S. Postal Service appears ready to pull the plug on its e-commerce arrangement with AuthentiDate Holding Corp., which provides an authentication service for digital documents that is sold through the Postal Service."
July 15, 2005 -- Red Nova has reported that "From utility bills to credit card solicitations, virtually every piece of mail that lands in your mailbox is processed using automated machinery. And with Bowe Bell + Howell holding about 50 percent of the document processing market in the United States and the world, there's a good chance its machines were the ones that did the processing."
July 15, 2005 -- FTB Asia has reported that "Jin Kang, chairman of the Chinese finance ministry's Institute of Fiscal Science, has said that besides rail, China would seek to introduce more competition into its postal system - still a monolithic state-controlled entity - possibly by allowing private firms to access the China's state postal bureau's centrally-administered infrastructure. Looking outside China for a possible model, the institute used the example of the US Postal Service (USPS), technically still a self-supported government agency, where private package and courier operations co-exist with the monopoly letter carrier."
July 15, 2005 -- Japan Today has reported that "The Japan Association of Corporate Executives began a two-day summer seminar in Karuizawa, Nagano Prefecture, with all participants supporting Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's postal privatization policy."
July 14, 2005 -- Red Nova has reported that "In a sign that West Sacramento has not abandoned its blue collar roots, on Wednesday the freight shipping arm of FedEx broke ground on a new facility within the city's industrial district. When complete in 2006, the new facility will more than double the size of FedEx Freight's existing cargo shipping center. FedEx Freight caters to the shipping needs of companies needing to move large goods that don't fill an entire truck."
July 14, 2005 -- The Irish Independent has reported that "AN POST staff should only be paid their Sustaining Progress pay rises if they sign up to major new work practices involving job cuts, according to the Labour Court."
July 14, 2005 -- According to the Asahi Shimbun, "One week after the Lower House passed legislation to privatize postal services by just five votes, the Upper House started deliberations on the bills Wednesday In the upper chamber, where the ruling coalition's majority is slimmer, the battle over the bills, especially between the camp of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and his political foes within the Liberal Democratic Party, will be even more nerve-wracking. Some LDP members are already debating whether Koizumi can be justified if he carries through with his threat of dissolving the Lower House for a snap election if the Upper House rejects the bills Postal reform is intended to whittle down the bloated public financial services and at the same time enhance the efficiency of mail services. There should be no more backtracking on this crucial reform. As a result of numerous compromises with opponents, the government's blueprint is already a serious regression from the original vision." [Ooohhh....That last sentence has a ring of familiarity to it.]
July 14, 2005 -- As the Honolulu Advertiser has noted, "Faced with increased competition from UPS and FedEx and lost revenue due to fax machines, the Internet and automatic bill payments, the U.S. Postal Service started its "business connect" program. Station managers are supposed to make at least two business contacts per month. Postal carriers have a related program called "customer connect," in which they make notes of customers who use Postal Service competitors — or don't know about Postal Service programs."
July 14, 2005 -- Plaid Cymru has reported that "The Party of Wales National Assembly Member for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr today raised concerns over the future viability of the rural post office network during questions in the Assembly to the Social Justice Minister. Mr Thomas expressed concern that there might be a substantial reduction in Post Office services in Carmarthenshire and rural areas across Wales unless a commitment was received that the network would continue to receive support in the shape of the Social Network Payment. Currently the rural network receives £150m per year in funding to sustain postal services. The Labour Government in London has yet to confirm that funding will be available after the current instalment comes to an end in 2008."
July 14, 2005 -- From the Business Wire: "Alpine Aviation Inc., a subsidiary of Alpine Air Express Inc. (OTCBB: ALPE), the third largest regional cargo airline by volume and transportation logistics company in the United States with a fleet of 26 airplanes, announces that effective immediately and continuing at least through Oct. 8, 2005, the company has renegotiated with the U.S. Postal Service its contract service rates for the Hawaiian Islands."
July 14, 2005 -- As the Associated Press has noted, "Millions of Mexicans living and working in the United States will be allowed to vote by absentee ballot in Mexico's 2006 presidential election, a voting block so large it could dramatically change the race _ provided the votes don't get lost in the mail. The Mexican Postal Service has struggled for so long with a reputation for lost or stolen mail that officials are considering entirely bypassing the Mexican mail, perhaps by having migrants mail their ballots to a U.S. post office box address, and then transport them in bulk back to Mexico. In Mexico, mail so frequently arrives late, tampered with, or not at all that many people here either use more expensive express delivery services or have given up on the mail altogether. Simply finding someone who knows where the nearest post office is has become a challenge in sprawling Mexico City."
July 14, 2005 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that "DHL Express is planning to expand its presence in the Baltic States through acquisitions, as well as organic growth. DHL is currently in acquisition talks with a number of local logistics companies. DHL will use the Baltics as its central hub to take advantage of the growing trade between former Eastern Bloc countries and Western Europe."
July 14, 2005 -- The DM Bulletin has reported that "Royal Mail is bracing itself for a second Channel 4 undercover documentary, due to be screened at 9pm tonight, which will put forward evidence that it is failing to screen workers for criminal records. 'Re-opening the Post' is a follow-up to the original 'Dispatches' programme 'Third Class Post' shown in April 2004, which alleged that Royal Mail workers were stealing mail. The latest programme claims that Royal Mail is still employing people with criminal records, despite the company saying after last year's programme that it would vet all employees."
July 14, 2005 -- The U.S. Postal Service has submitted a report of the actions it plans to take in response to the recommendations that were contained in the Government Accountability Office (GAO) report ad April 8.2005, titled "U.S Postal Service: The Service's Strategy for realigning its mail processing infrastructure lacks clarity, criteria, and accountability."(GAO-03-261).
July 14, 2005 -- From the PR Newswire: "IWCO Direct, a leading national provider of integrated direct mail production services and solutions, encompassing print, envelope, plastic, mailing and data services, announced today it has acquired the operating assets of Fala Direct Marketing, Inc., a leading direct marketing production services company. This acquisition expands IWCO Direct's production capacity, products and services, geographic presence, and proven ability to drive cost savings and cycle time reduction for its client base of leading direct marketers."
July 13, 2005 -- Stuff has reported that "Posties want Saturday deliveries axed so they can recover from lugging hefty mailbags, the Postal Workers Union says. A NZ Post study shows one postie is injured every hour and six minutes, mainly with sprains and strains, according to advocate Graeme Clarke. "Postie work is very physically demanding...We believe two days off is vital for recuperation and family time." The union, representing about 500 posties, will push for weekdays-only delivery when a collective agreement is renegotiated next year. Posties work about 37 hours a week, spread over six days - about 5½ hours on Monday and Tuesday and about 6½ hours on other days."
July 13, 2005 -- According to the Asahi Shimbun, "In the latest round of what was billed as a free-for-all brawl over postal reform legislation, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi was the first to flinch."
July 13, 2005 -- Window Book Inc, a provider of postal mailing and shipping solutions that work exclusively with the United States Postal Service (USPS), has announced the new version of its innovative mailing software, DAT-MAIL. With DAT-MAIL, users have the flexibility to accommodate last minute mailing changes and the functionality to eliminate the hassle of matching their mailings to the postal paperwork.
July 13, 2005 -- Join top industry experts, .Firstlogic knowledge leaders, and your colleagues at iSummit LIVE 2005. You can attend one of these LIVE events at the location of your choice: (1) New York City — August 2; (2) Chicago — August 9; (3) Orange County — August 11. Each iSummit LIVE event offers a lineup of sessions presented on topics like address quality, mail optimization, and more. You can learn more about Firstlogic’s iSummit LIVE today by reviewing the abstracts posted online.
July 13, 2005 -- Nikkei has reported that "Fujitsu Ltd. has developed electronic paper that can display color images even when not connected to a power source. Thin enough to be folded like ordinary paper, the product is expected to be used in a wide range of applications, from posters inside trains to menus to electronic newspapers. For example, the content of train posters could be changed depending on the time of day to help advertisers better target their messages. Menus using the paper could be revised as often as necessary with ease, Fujitsu said. The company aims to commercialize the product by the end of March 2007."
July 13, 2005 -- CEP News (Courier-Express-Postal), published by the MRU Consultancy, has reported that:
In defiance of the law, Schweizerische Post has evidently presented false accounts for profits made last year from the universal service. Last week the Swiss regulatory authority PostReg published its annual report, which states that "Schweizerische Post's return fails to meet the legal requirements in crucial areas".
In an interview with the German daily "Si ddeutsche Zeitung" (11.07), Deutsche Post's CEO Klaus Zumwinkel repeated his call for a synchronised opening of Europe's postal markets. In view of the expiry of the letter monopoly in 2007, Mr Zumwinkel said "the market would not necessarily have to be opened at the same time in all member states but a binding time frame should be agreed for the market liberalisation".
While numerous post companies and private operators experiment with electronic stamps, Denmark's Post Danmark seems to have temporarily abandoned all plans involving modern on-line solutions.
Following heated public debate in Austria over the closure of post offices, the Austrian government appears to be planning the introduction of a veto right in connection with future cost cutting plans for the post. The draft for a new Postal Act, which is due to come into force next year, stipulates that "the post must present an annual branch network concept including the number of offices, post boxes, opening hours etc.
The Frankfurt-based German mail service Postmodern intends to trade under the new name of bluePost24 in future.
From August Sweden's Posten AB will be testing an engine immobiliser in its vehicles. Posten said that the device would help prevent a drunken person from operating the vehicle.
The Finnish post announced the acquisition of the Danish carrier Combifragt A/S.
Schenker Deutschland started offering a new international air freight service earlier this week, the so-called SCHENKERjetexpress. The worldwide door-to-door express service involves the collection of consignments from the client and taking them to the airport. Schenker also organises the air transport. At the destination airport the consignments are received and delivered by UPS.
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.
July 13, 2005 -- From PR Web Newswire: "Federal government employees in the Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS) can now access a new online course to help them understand their complicated employment benefits.The course is produced by the Snow-Cap Agency (http://www.snow-cap.com), a leading provider of seminars to government workers."
July 13, 2005 -- Dow Jones has reported that "U.S. express courier FedEx Corp. said it will downscale its operations in the Philippines to make way for an expansion in China's southern city of Guangzhou. The company said it will close its logistic hub in Subic Bay but will maintain its existing operations in Manila and Cebu."
July 13, 2005 -- "The Post Office is expected to announce a U-turn on fee-charging cash machines by pulling the plug on ATMs that charge people to access their money, the Guardian has learned. The move comes three months after the Post Office was criticised by MPs for installing fee-charging cash machines across its branch network, inducing pensioners and others on low incomes to pay a £1.50 fee. It is understood the Post Office is working on withdrawing from using machines that levy fees and hopes to have all its ATMs switched to free usage by the end of the year."
July 13, 2005 -- The Telegraph has reported that "Criminals are continuing to gain access to letters and parcels in Post Office depots despite a Royal Mail security offensive, a television documentary is claiming. An investigation by Channel 4's Dispatches uncovered evidence of ex-offenders finding work as postmen, lax security at depots, theft and poor standards of service. The programme shows there has been little improvement since Channel 4 depicted Royal Mail as a bastion of incompetence and corruption after carrying out a similar exercise last year."
July 13, 2005 -- Reuters has reported that "The curtain rose on Wednesday on Act Two of a political drama pitting Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi against ruling party rebels opposed to his plan to privatize the postal system -- a battle the Japanese leader has threatened would spark a snap election if he loses. The government presented its case for legislation to privatize the postal delivery, savings and insurance system -- including the world's biggest bank -- to parliament's upper house after winning a slender victory in the lower chamber last week. The bills to privatize the postal system could be rejected in the upper house if 18 of the LDP's 114 members in the 242-seat chamber vote against them, a move likely to kill chances of enactment during the current parliamentary session." See also Japan Today.
July 13, 2005 -- The Asahi Shimbun has reported that "Japan Post, at risk of losing tie-ups with international credit card companies, will spend hundreds of millions of yen to upgrade security measures at its 26,000 ATMs around the country. The upgrades are expected to include sophisticated coding functions and be completed by the end of 2006."
July 13, 2005 -- According to The Statesman, "Come August, you need not visit the WBSEC or BSNL office for depositing your electricity or telephone bills! Instead, the postman working in your locality will collect your bills from your home and will deposit the same at the respective offices on your behalf! Of course, the postal department shall be charging a very minimal price for providing the service."
July 12, 2005 -- The DM Bulletin has reported that "Royal Mail is cutting its advertising budget by more than 40% to £12m and has postponed marketing activity as part of a major cost-cutting exercise. The drastic reduction in spend is part of Royal Mail’s bid to reach profitability and follows the culling of up to half of its 360-strong marketing department at the end of last year. The cut in adspend by the beleaguered postal operator affects the budget for its core brand as well as a further £5m originally assigned to promoting its Parcelforce brand this year."
July 12, 2005 -- Bills have been introduced in the past several months in Massachusetts, Hawaii and Missouri in addition to New York. Hawaii also has a concurrent resolution urging Congress to enact Do Not Mail. Mail&Jobs...Mail&Jobs...Mail&Jobs....What will it take to get the direct mail advertising and marketing industry to wake up to this threat? Is mail important to your company? Then, support Mail&Jobs now...or plan for early retirement. Want to know how? Just ask.
July 12, 2005 -- AllAfrica.com has reported that "The Ghana Postal services company limited (GP) has plans to partner with the District Assemblies to service all post offices in the rural areas. In addition, the Letter Box base of the company will also undergo a major expansion throughout the country. The EMS postal system will also be reorganized as a separate courier business within the Ghana postal services company under a General Manager, and a new savings Banks system reintroduced in Partnership with Ecobank."
July 12, 2005 -- From the Business Wire:
July 12, 2005 -- TechWorld has reported that "Makers of rival push email systems, like Seven or Good tend to label BlackBerrys as status symbol for senior executives, but 450 independent truckers have bought them to communicate with a wireless notification system, run by CSX Corporation of Jacksonville, Florida. The wireless notification application from Air2Web in Atlanta has cut the number of phone calls truckers make to the CSX Intermodal call centre from 20,000 a week to 11,000, said John Dugan, technical director for Intermodal applications at CSX Technology, of Jacksonville, Florida. And because drivers can now send short text messages and e-mail via Research In Motion (RIM's) BlackBerry devices, they each save about an hour per day that they once spent waiting for a dispatcher, Dugan said. Intermodal truck drivers may make several trips a day of 40 to 80 miles each, carrying goods from a rail depot to a warehouse or store. With the wireless application, they can be notified instantly when leaving a location with no load and redirected to quickly find another load nearby. Early next year, CSX plans to add the ability to capture signatures digitally with a Bluetooth-enabled pen device so drivers can be paid faster. And it will add a Bluetooth-enabled bar code reader for scanning shipment documents easily."
July 12, 2005 -- UPS has announced it has expanded its U.S. premium early morning delivery territory with more than 7,200 new ZIP codes. The move extends UPS's leadership for early morning delivery with service to some 19,200 ZIP codes across the country. With these additions, more than 77 percent of the population can receive UPS Next Day Air® Early A.M.® deliveries up to two hours prior to regular guaranteed overnight service, or as early as 8:00 a.m. in some areas.
July 12, 2005 -- According to the Washington Post, "PRESIDENT BUSH, not unexpectedly, used his visit to the FBI Academy at Quantico yesterday to praise the brave men and women in and out of uniform who are engaged in the global war on terrorism. Missing from his address, however, was any reference to the strikes on U.S. soil that occurred in the weeks after Sept. 11, 2001, from a biological agent called anthrax -- a grave, ongoing and unsolved threat. The threat of attack by a weaponized biological agent remains as real as it was the day those contaminated letters arrived at the offices of a tabloid newspaper in Florida, on Capitol Hill, and in postal facilities and media outlets in and around New York. The threat is not only present, it is by all accounts increasing."
July 12, 2005 -- DM News has reported that "After two paper price increases in 2004, Canadian cataloger Mountain Equipment Co-op reduced its annual circulation of 1.2 million by 20 percent earlier this year. However, the company also broadened its media mix for communicating with consumers. The strategy is proving successful, with year-to-date sales up 7 percent. Paper prices have risen for publishers and catalogers by as much as 20 percent in the past 12 months, according to published reports. Coupled with next year's expected postal rate increase of 5.4 percent, it seems fair to say that MEC isn't the only cataloger rethinking its circulation. MEC, Vancouver, British Columbia, began in March to broaden its mix of tools for communicating with customers so that it relies less heavily on print catalogs. The goal is to migrate as many people as possible to its Web site, mec.ca, from the catalog."
July 12, 2005 -- As one Washington Post writer has noted, "Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and even President Bush have recently complained that a Mexican postage stamp bearing the image of Memin Pinguin, a dark-skinned comic-book character, is an offensive racist caricature. The reality is different and worth clarifying. Memin Pinguin is a very popular personage of Mexican historietas , a kind of comic book read by people of all ages, and especially by the poor and relatively uneducated. To Americans, the figure, with his exaggerated "African" features, appears to be a copy of racist American cartoons. To Mexicans, he is a thoroughly likable character, rich in sparkling wisecracks, and is felt to represent not any sense of racial discrimination but rather the egalitarian possibility that all groups can live together in peace. During the 1970s and '80s, his historietas sold over a million and a half copies because they touched an authentic chord of sympathy and tenderness among poorer people, who identified with Memin Pinguin."
July 12, 2005 -- The Polish Business Journal has reported that "Prokom has confirmed that it has acquired a major new contract for the Polish Post and as a subcontractor of Postdata it will make a profit of zl.72.4 million. A new centralized IT system will replace currently used local systems, which should boost the effectiveness of the post and enable it to offer new services, including banking, commercial, internet and financial ones."
July 12, 2005 -- According to IT Facts, "US Congress received 200 mln e-mail and postal mail messages in 2004, four times the 50 mln total in 1995. During that period, postal mail dropped sharply, from all 50 mln a decade ago to about 18 mln in 2004. 17% of House offices and 38% of Senate offices answer all their e-mail with e-mail, the Congressional Management Foundation survey found."
July 12, 2005 -- Reuters has reported that "The Dutch State has cut its stake in mail and logistics company TNT (TNT.AS: Quote, Profile, Research) by almost half to about 10 percent, which it plans to keep until the postal market in the Netherlands is fully liberalised."
July 12, 2005 -- The USPS on July 7, 2005, published in Postal Bulletin 22158, the following notices:
July 12, 2005 -- CTV.ca has reported that "In a ruling released late Friday, Ontario Superior Court Justice Sarah Pepall rejected arguments from the Council of Canadians and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers that certain NAFTA provisions violate the Constitution." See also the Canada NewsWire.
July 12, 2005 -- The Asahi Shimbun has reported that "The Upper House on Monday formed a special committee to lead discussions on a set of bills to privatize Japan Post that narrowly cleared last week's vote in the Lower House. The Upper House deliberations on the controversial package are set to begin Wednesday. Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi says he will not tolerate any further delays and that the bills must pass this regular Diet session, which runs through Aug. 13."
July 12, 2005 -- BruneiDirect has reported that "Customers can now make payments at the Postal Services Department with their Baiduri credit cards following the signing of an agreement yesterday. The agreement between the Postal Services Department and Baiduri Bank, which was inked at the Mail Processing Centre in Berakas, allows the Postal Services Department to introduce payments by Baiduri credit card."
July 11, 2005 -- eWeek has reported that "A group of leading technology companies that includes Microsoft Corp., IBM, Yahoo Inc. and Cisco Systems Inc. has submitted a new e-mail authentication standard to the Internet Engineering Task Force for consideration. The specifications for DomainKeys Identified Mail, or DKIM, were submitted to the IETF on Monday for consideration as a new e-mail authentication standard. DKIM has been in development since August and combines technology from Yahoo and Cisco. In addition to backing the new standards, the authoring companies plan to license it for free and may release it to the open-source community." So much for Authentidate and USPS electronic postmarks.
July 11, 2005 -- Traffic World has reported that "Air cargo traffic for U.S. airlines dropped in May in both domestic and international operations. During the month, U.S. carriers flew just under 2 million revenue ton miles, 3.8 percent less than the same period last year, according to the Air Transport Association. Domestic traffic fell 5.6 percent including a 16.9 percent decline in mail ton miles and a 4.9 percent drop in freight and express traffic. International traffic was off 2.0 percent from last year's totals."
July 11, 2005 -- DM News has reported that "Global express delivery and logistics company DHL said last week that it partnered with Inc. magazine, a publication for small to midsize businesses, in an effort to continue its longstanding support of such businesses nationwide. The partnership will focus on developing content, information and resources for DHL's Small Business Resource Center. The center, at DHL's newly redesigned DHL USA Web site (www.dhl-usa.com), is a resource for these businesses to gather peer-to-peer knowledge as well as access online tools, reference guides and special offers."
July 11, 2005 -- The Evening Standard has reported that "The Royal Mail has delivered a record amount of post on time, with more than nine out of 10 first-class letters arriving the day after being posted, figures show. The target of delivering 93% of first-class mail the next day was beaten in the three months to June." See also the Financial Times.
July 11, 2005 -- The Financial Times has reported that:
Germany's opposition Christian Democratic Union, the favourites to win federal elections expected in September, have won the powerful support of one of the most prominent German businessmen for an increase in value added tax to help offset the country's high labour costs. Klaus Zumwinkel, chief executive of Deutsche Post, Europe's biggest postal group, called for an increase in VAT from 16 to 20 per cent in order to finance the country's creaking social security system, which is funded by levies on employees and employers.
The postal services regulator has rebuffed Royal Mail's attacks on its proposed price controls, dismissing the company's warning it would be sent into a spiral of decline as "only to be expected." Sarah Chambers, the chief executive of Postcomm, told a London conference the regulator did not intend to relax its proposals simply because of the Royal Mail's intense lobbying. Ms Chambers said the watch-dog was prepared to listen to new evidence during the consultation on the proposals, which are due to be finalised in November. But she added that Postcomm's financial analysis of Royal Mail was based on "evidence we've extracted - and it does feel like extraction sometimes - from Royal Mail".
July 11, 2005 -- Forbes has reported that "Deutsche Post World Net AG is targeting cost-cuts ahead of the loss of its monopoly at the end of 2007 by outsourcing some services and employees and possibly passing on some costs to corporate clients, chief executive Klaus Zumwinkel told Sueddeutsche Zeiutng in an interview to be published tomorrow. 'If we should notably lose sales, then at least we can react on the cost side,' Zumwinkel said, adding the company may for instance cut down on quantity discounts for corporate clients. But he said the logistics giant is currently more concerned about competition from electronic communication than from other companies. Zumwinkel also called upon other EU member states to liberalise their postal markets to create a level playing field within the region."
July 10, 2005 -- According to the Los Angeles Times, "You have the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, Fisherman's Wharf and, of course, those little cable cars climbing halfway to the stars. But there is another, lesser-known distinction that San Francisco could claim (if it cared to) — Democratic junk mail capital of the world. Crowded in and around this jewel box of a city are roughly half a dozen political consulting firms that account for many, if not most, of the glossy brochures, postmarked entreaties and 11th-hour hit pieces that flood mailboxes in campaigns across the country."
July 10, 2005 -- The Associated Press has reported that "Janice McKinney and Enrico Wallenda both make a personal plea: Look at those postcards featuring the faces of missing children that arrive in your mailbox. You might be able to help save a life. McKinney's daughter was kidnapped near her suburban Pittsburgh home and never found; Wallenda's daughter was abducted and wound up in a homeless shelter in San Diego before being returned to Florida and her family. Both were featured on the postcards with the words "Have you seen me?" written underneath that are distributed by Advo, a marketing company that does mass-mailings for retailers. So have 1,000 other missing kids. One in six has been found safely ---- with links to the cards."
July 10, 2005 -- Bloomberg has reported that "Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party has no plans to extend parliamentary debate on legislation to split up and sell the nation's postal service."
July 10, 2005 -- The Associated Press has reported that "Public support for Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and his Cabinet slipped for a third month to 43 percent following fierce disagreements in Parliament over privatizing the postal system. The poll in the business daily Nihon Keizai newspaper suggests Japanese people are skittish about the political disruption caused by plans to reform the postal system _ which also functions as the bank where Japanese people have much of their life savings stashed."
July 10, 2005 -- The BBC has reported that "Talks were taking place on Sunday to try to settle a dispute that disrupted mail deliveries in Northamptonshire. The strike, which involved 40 sorting staff, escalated on Friday when they were joined by 500 delivery staff from Crow Lane, St James and Wellingborough. Managers were drafted in to try to keep collections running normally. Royal mail plans to bring in new working practices on Monday without consultation."
July 10, 2005 -- Gulf Daily News has reported that "NEW one-stop services and a new corporate identity are propelling Bahrain's postal directorate into the future. Its new brand name is Bahrain Post, it was revealed yesterday. Transportation Minister Shaikh Ali bin Khalifa Al Khalifa stressed the need to enhance the image of postal services in line with developments locally and internationally and with the important role it plays socially and economically. Hence, a new corporate identity for Bahrain Post has been launched, said postal director Shaikh Bader bin Khalifa Al Khalifa. "The new brand name and the new logo reflect the new postal identity and give a special and unique impression about postal services in the Kingdom," he told the GDN."
July 9, 2005 -- The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin is available online. In this issues:
The Congressional Budget Office has published an estimate of the costs to the U.S. government for implementing the Senate Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, S. 662.
Mail Innovations offers a wide range of mailing services, making the company a significant partner with the Postal Service. The company's vice president and general manager talked about UPS Mail Innovations' integrated suite of services in an interview with the PostCom Bulletin.
This ‘open letter' from the American Postal Workers Union criticizes the Postal Rate Commission for its repeated approval of "excessive workshare discounts." The union also blasts Robert Cohen, former PRC director for rates, analysis and planning, for his recent remarks at a postal economics conference in Europe.
Wickwire Gavin attorney David Hendel questions the Postal Service's new Interim Internal Purchasing Guidelines, which became effective May 19 and replaced the USPS Purchasing Manual.
In this commentary, direct mail consultant Cary Baer examines the enormous cost of dealing with UAA mail.
An article criticizing direct mail at Forbes.com prompted a response letter to the editor from Peter Miller, executive director of the Mail & Jobs Coalition.
In a paper presented at a Russian conference in St. Petersburg last week, postal commentator Gene Del Polito shared his thoughts on the future of postal services in the 21st century. Del Polito reminded his audience that the role of posts is "to facilitate, not impede communication and commerce."
Pitney Bowes provides two must-read articles for mailers. Mediation board calls indefinite recess to talks to between UPS, IPA. Personalized direct mail campaigns get results. UPS leads the way in safety. Happy birthday, eBay! Rare stamp brings high price at auction.
Diet representatives pass Japanese postal privatization – barely. Overtime squabble embroils New Zealand Post, unions. Feige takes its walking papers. Belgian Post picks Danish partner; TNT bows out. Saudis bend a little on hiring women. EC pokes at possible Polish Payment padding.
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.
July 9, 2005 -- Traffic World has reported that "TNT Logistics' employees in the United States, Canada and Mexico raised $197,000 in the first half of 2005 for the United Nations' World Food Program. That total is better by one-third than the same fundraising drive in the first half of 2004. This year's tally includes $17,000 for Indian Ocean tsunami relief and $21,000 for June's Walk the World event. "For 2005, much of our fundraising efforts in North America (are) being targeted at assisting the WFP relief initiatives specifically in Nicaragua," said Fred Griffiths, team leader for TNT North America's WFP participation."
July 9, 2005 -- The kickoff meeting for MTAC Workgroup #94 - Service Performance Reporting Process Standardization has been scheduled to begin at noon on August 2nd and end at noon on August 3rd in Washington, DC. A copy of the workgroup's initial issue paper has been posted on this site.
July 9, 2005 -- The Gilroy Dispatch has reported that "Ask a passerby if he or she has ever thought of a novel use for that daily dollop of coupons, catalogues, postcards and nowhere CDs - alias junk mail - and what do you get? Deadpan. An are-you-serious grin." Doesn't anyone see a pattern developing here? Remember the Mail and Jobs initiative? Or would you rather Scarlet O'Hara's response to such a challenge: "I'll think about that tomorrow."
July 9, 2005 -- As The Economist has noted, "Mobile phones have become indispensable in the rich world. But they are even more useful in the developing world, where the availability of other forms of communication—roads, postal systems or fixed-line phones—is often limited."
July 9, 2005 -- The Times of India has reported that "Congress president and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Friday launched the Speed Post Service at Mahrajganj post office, about 30 kms from here. This will enable the people of the tahsil to send the mail speedily to 960 cities of the country and 97 countries of the world. The speed post service is being extended to Bachhranwan, Unchahar, Salon, Jais and Tiloi. The service is already available at the district headquarters. Sonia also inaugurated the international money transfer service (IMTS) with the solar panel back-up. The money can be received from 196 countries of the world within ten minutes."
July 9, 2005 -- The Fiji Times has reported that "POST Fiji yesterday gave the Government $634,978 as dividends for the 2004 financial dividend. The company recorded a net profit of about $1.2million, one of the 11 postal agencies out of 178 in the world that is making profits."
July 9, 2005 -- The U.N. News Centre has reported that "The United Nations postal agency has welcomed the recent decision by senior officials from the Arab region to use its software to set up an electronic fund transfer network, making it easier for migrant workers and others living abroad to make rapid fund transfers to their home countries at modest cost. "Easy access to money transfers at affordable rates addresses a key need for millions of people, especially migrant workers, and the postal sector has the capacity to respond to this need," said Edouard Dayan, Director General of the Universal Postal Union (UPU)."
July 9, 2005 -- The Times of India has reported that "In a move that will benefit millions across the country, post offices are introducing debit cards. This will enable account holders to withdraw money anywhere and anytime, using the card, which will function like any other bank ATM card."
July 8, 2005 -- The BBC has reported that "Mail deliveries in Northamptonshire are being severely disrupted after 500 postal workers joined a growing unofficial walkout. Managers are being drafted in to try to keep collections running normally. The dispute which involved 40 sorting staff escalated on Friday when they were joined by delivery staff from Crow Lane, St James and Wellingborough. Staff have walked out in protest about new working practices due to be introduced on Monday."
July 8, 2005 -- Posted on this site is a "fact sheet" from the Postal Service on its new service, AEC II (Address Element Correction II). The service becomes available July 17. This sheet lists the pricing and structure for the product.
July 8, 2005 -- According to the Jeffersonian, "Thousands of businesses and residents in the 21093 ZIP code - serving Lutherville, Timonium and Mays Chapel - may see new faces delivering their mail this month, as well as changes in delivery times. The Postal Service routinely restructures routes within ZIP codes in a "squaring off" process designed to save time and gas costs, spokesman Robert Novak explained. Reorganization of more than 40 routes in the 21093 zone is expected to save about $82,000 annually, he said. "Business customers, as well as residential customers, will experience improvement in service," Novak said. "Some addresses will have earlier delivery times. The only major change customers will see is possibly a new letter carrier." None of the 57 carriers who serve 21093 will lose his or her job, and carriers acknowledge management's right to make adjustments. But they also say the changes will cause significant disruption, at least for a while."
July 8, 2005 -- The latest copy of the National Association of Postmasters of the U.S. electronic governmental affairs newsletter is available on the NAPUS web site.
July 8, 2005 -- As the Washington Post has noted, THE SMITHSONIAN'S National Postal Museum is a museum "that really delivers." Located at 2 Massachusetts Ave. NE in the Old City Post Office Building (Metro: Union Station). Open daily 10 to 5:30; closed Dec. 25. Admission is Free. The museum focuses on the history of the nation's mail service and holds the world's largest collection of stamps and philatelic material. Hand-held electronic devices that display text and play an audio recording are available free at the kiosk in the atrium.
July 8, 2005 -- The DMM on Postal Explorer (pe.usps.com) is your up-to-date source for mailing standards. The search features and fly-out menus make it easy to get around and find whatever you need. Check the Summary of Changes for a complete listing of DMM updates since January. You will find revisions listed by effective date and also by chapter, with clickable links to revised sections. The USPS has made the following changes to its mailing standards in July. Mailers now have the option to secure bundles with two or more bands when those bundles are placed on bulk mail center pallets. It has revised the advanced mailing procedures in 705.8.5. Pallet Labels Mailers may now use a minimum of 12-point type when printing origin office information on barcoded pallet labels. The advanced mailing procedures in 705.8.6 include this change. Labeling Lists (Ll009) have been revised to reflect changes in mail processing operations.
July 8, 2005 -- Xinhua has reported that "China will split its post authority, or China Post, into two parts in a bid to separate enterprises from government administration, Friday's Oriental Morning Post reported. Under a plan submitted by the State Post Bureau (SPB) to the State Council, or the Chinese cabinet, China Post will be broken into the China Post Group and the Post Administration. "This was the goal of the ongoing postal system reform, which has been brewing for about seven years, " said Xia Liqun, head of SPB's information center. If the plan is approved, most staffs of post offices across China will become enterprise employees and the existing SPB will be replaced by the Post Administration with about 1,000 officials."
July 8, 2005 -- The American Postal Workers Union (APWU) Rank and File Bargaining Advisory Committee voted to approve a tentative contract extension agreement between the union and USPS today, clearing the way for a ratification vote by union members.
July 8, 2005 -- DM News has reported that:
U.S. direct mail spending is forecast to rise 8.5 percent this year to $56.6 billion, according to noted researcher Robert J. Coen, senior vice president and director of forecasting with Universal McCann.
United Parcel Service will offer domestic express package service across most of China by September, the Atlanta company said yesterday. The global package delivery company said the move reflects the dramatic business opportunities being created in the country. UPS said the operation initially will link 23 major metropolitan areas with next-day service. The contract-only service already is available to selected customers in five major metro areas, with the balance to be implemented by September.
July 8, 2005 -- The Telegraph has reported that "Royal Mail confirmed there was "severe disruption" to the postal system yesterday in the wake of attacks on London. The organisation has suspended the guarantees on its Special Delivery products after being unable to move post in or out of London."
July 8, 2005 -- The Guardian has reported that "Tens of thousands of workers were sent home early last night as shops and businesses across the capital closed - or failed to open at all - after the terrorist attacks. Disconsolate trails of office staff and shop workers wandered the city streets, knowing that they were likely to face arduous, disrupted and lengthy journeys home. Some were booked into hotels by their companies to save them the bother. The attacks led to events being cancelled, caused road and rail chaos across the capital and will lead to disrupted postal services across the country."
July 8, 2005 -- Bloomberg has noted that "Japan's Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said he would take any rejection by upper house lawmakers of his proposal to sell off Japan Post, the world's largest saving bank, as a vote of no confidence in his government."
July 8, 2005 -- Kyodo has reported that "Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi reiterated Thursday he will try his best to pass his contentious pet policy of privatizing Japan Post through the House of Councillors."
July 7, 2005 -- La Stampa has reported that "Massimo Sarmi, the chief executive of Italian postal operator Poste Italiane, said yesterday that a 2006 stock market listing is possible for the group. He said that the percentage of shares to be listed is still to be decided."
July 7, 2005 -- The Viet Nam News Agency has reported that "Chris De Noose, Chairman of the World Savings Banks Institute (WSBI) Management Committee, has affirmed that Viet Nam has great potential for financial services thanks to its dense population and fast economic development. Viet Nam became an official member of the WSBI in 2002 with its representative being the Viet Nam Postal Savings Service Company of the Viet Nam Post and Telecommunications Corporation. Besides providing Viet Nam with consultation services, the WSBI has helped the country in training, building financial institutions and gaining membership in international financial organisations."
July 7, 2005 -- Internet Retailer has reported that "With online access to order and return shipment status, outdoor sports gear retailer Moosejaw Mountaineering, has virtually eliminated e-mails to its contact center from customers seeking information on returned merchandise, CFO Jeffrey Wolfe tells InternetRetailer.com. Moosejaw recently began offering an automated Smart Label returns process through Newgistics Inc., which lets customers check in the customer service section of Moosejaw.com for the status of a return including any due credit."
July 7, 2005 -- The Hindu Business Line has reported that "EVERY time the ubiquitous postman was delivering the humble post card at your doorstep reminding you that the service date for your two-wheeler, fridge or washing machine was due, the Government was subsidising the service by as much as Rs 6. That is not all. The Government was subsidising the printed post card by as much as Rs 4, inland letter by Rs 4.50, registered newspapers by Rs 8, printed book post by Rs 9 and the registered newspaper bundle by Rs 12. The advent of the Internet and online money transactions are making the telegram redundant and the money order could soon be heading the same way. While the value of money orders transmitted fell by 20 per cent, traffic declined by 5 per cent in 2003-04. Mail traffic, both registered and unregistered services, have fallen by 5 per cent. Small wonder then that the Indian Department of Posts ran up a deficit of Rs 1,375 crore in 2003-04. Efforts to boost the traditional revenue streams of the department have not been quite successful."
July 7, 2005 -- Here are two must-see items that have been posted on the PostInsight web site:
Electronic Alternatives and Direct Mail Marketing examines the impact of new technologies on a traditional media mix. Research shows that in the multi-channel marketing environment new media are not destroying or co-opting the value of older media. On the contrary, newer media appear to complement media such as direct mail, leveraging them to deliver even greater value than they could have provided by themselves alone.
Remote Shopping: Role of Mail, Catalogs and the Internet reviews the role of the Internet in the future of distance selling. It shows that the paper catalog is far from being a dinosaur. Many customers still prefer to receive paper catalogs as promotional materials and as a result, marketers are actively combining traditional and new media. Moreover, customers who interact with companies over multiple channels, such as both catalogs and websites, are more loyal and profitable than single-channel customers.
July 7, 2005 -- As NewsTimes Live has noted, "Even the art of stuffing envelopes has gone high-tech."
July 7, 2005 -- The Royal Gazette has reported that "Glitches in the UK postal service have resulted in delays in the delivery of mail to Bermuda, according to a Government statement issued yesterday. “These delays are the result of problems at the UK end,” the statement said. “The mail in some cases is dated as far back as November, 2004. However, the General Post Office is working to ensure that this delayed mail is processed and delivered to our clients as soon as possible."
July 7, 2005 -- In an open letter to its members, the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) has written:
"The APWU has long been frustrated by the fact that the Postal Rate Commission (PRC), the body that oversees postal ratemaking, has repeatedly approved excessive workshare discounts. Although the PRC rulings have paid lip service to the principle that workshare discounts should not exceed costs avoided, the decisions of the PRC have maintained and even increased discounts beyond justifiable levels. In our view, this has occurred because the PRC has been too responsive to pressure from the mailing industry.
"In this, the PRC has been aided and abetted by its professional staff, which should have been providing impartial technical and economic analysis. Until recently the PRC’s Office of Rates, Analysis and Planning was directed by Mr. Robert Cohen, who, it should be noted, is not an economist.
"During Mr. Cohen’s tenure as director, we were often dismayed by his broadside criticisms of the Postal Service and his statements about the cost of postal mail processing. Because we considered Cohen’s positions to be one-sided and pro large mailer, we considered his departure from the PRC’s staff to be a positive development.
"Unfortunately, Mr. Cohen’s move to the private sector has not kept him from advocating the position of the large mailers."
July 7, 2005 -- As one DM News writed put it: "My company caters to a high-income consumer. Most of this group is in a slightly older age bracket at 40-59. There may be a greater preference for paper mail over e-mail in this bracket over a younger segment. In a recent focus group held by my company, we found this to be the case amongst the older age bracket. A recent increase in spam was mentioned by 13.6 percent of respondents. One main reason for preference of paper over e-mail was that the quality of message in the paper mail had improved. Three mailings before this focus group, we increased the amount of pages by 50 percent in each of our pieces and increased the weight of the paper. Such a slight change may have favorably altered the perception of the quality of our direct mail pieces in the mind of our customer....For many retailers, e-mail is most likely an effective tool for prospecting, targeting and segmenting. For my company, the cost and time to aggressively grow an e-mail database outweighs classic paper direct mail marketing."
July 7, 2005 -- Like a bad penny that keeps showing up, the press once again has refocused its sights on what it likes to call "environmental" issues. In the end, though, its advertising mail that clearly is situated in the crosshairs. Perhaps it's time to give this article another read.
July 7, 2005 -- The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette claims that "They land in our mailboxes, usually uninvited, by the thousands. The hundreds of thousands. All it takes is one order, and the trickle of catalogs can become a flood....Most of those catalogs wind up in the trash, which has prompted some consumer and environmental groups to lobby companies to use more recycled paper in their catalogs and to encourage consumers to recycle, rather than throw away, catalogs." [Remember Mail & Jobs? With continued assaults on our industry such as this, one has to wonder why the industry (except largely for PostCom) failed to step up to the plate to support the Mail & Jobs initiative.]
July 7, 2005 -- According to Business Week, "e-tailers are finding that getting paying customers to come back again and again through strong customer service is as important to their growth as it is in the world of shopping malls and downtowns everywhere. It's just that they'll have tread carefully, because with the Web, retailers are literally in their customers' homes and offices."
July 7, 2005 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "When two airlines abandoned their valuable routes to Hong Kong, their competitors seized on the chance to pick up the rights to the flights. FedEx Express, Polar Air Cargo and UPS all told the U.S. Department of Transportation that they would be the best recipients of the three routes between Seoul and Hong Kong."
July 7, 2005 -- Traffic World has reported that "Soaring fuel prices hit FedEx's bottom line in the final quarter of its fiscal year as the carrier posted sub-double digit earnings growth for the first time in more than a year. Company officials also blamed startup costs associated with new international freighter service for the slower profit growth but discounted suggestions that heightened competition or a slowing economy were also responsible."
July 7, 2005 -- Air Cargo World has reported that:
July 7, 2005 -- Inquiring minds want to know: Will a postal reform bill pass this year? Answer: YES.
July 7, 2005 -- Baseline has reported that:
July 7, 2005 -- The Japan Times has reported that:
July 7, 2005 -- As the Asahi Shimbun has reported, "While the Lower House on Tuesday passed bills that would privatize Japan Post in April 2007, doubts remain over whether a new postal bank will be able to make productive use of its massive assets."
July 7, 2005 -- TVNZ has reported that "The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union says posties are under increasing pressure to do overtime because New Zealand Post has increased their rounds."
July 7, 2005 -- The Guernsey Press and Star has reported that "GUERNSEY Post and its watchdog will consult again on proposed changes to its operating licence. The Office of Utility Regulation now suggests scrapping and replacing condition 18, which contains the clauses that specify the conditions for price regulation."
July 6, 2005 -- CEP News (Courier-Express-Postal), published by the MRU Consultancy, has reported that:
The Belgian government has decided to offer a 50 percent minus one share in the Belgian La Poste to Post Danmark and their new financial partner CVC Capital Partners. As revealed during the previous week, the due diligence procedure should be initiated shortly and exclusive negotiations held with representatives of the Belgian state and postal company.
The OVP Wirtschaftsbund business association calls for faster liberalisation of the postal market in Austria. General Secretary ofthe association, Karlheinz Kopf, warned of the negative consequences of a delay in opening up the market.
The Supervisory Board of Osterreichischen Post only marginally approved the medium-term plan of the executive board. As it is, the executive board now has to present an improved growth strategy by the time of the next meeting in September.
The Schweizerische Post will be launching a digital postmark. The basis for this is said to be a solution designed by the Zurich development company Swiss Sign.
The DVPT (Deutscher Verband fur Post- and Telekommunikation e.V. - German post and telecommunications association) stated on Monday that private service providers have acquired substantial shares of the market in so-called service of documents by post from the Deutsche Post.
On Wednesday of last week the European Commission initiated formal investigation proceedings against Poland. The authority's aim is to investigate possible illegal subsidies in the Polish postal service.
According to a report in the French daily newspaper "Le Figaro" (30.06.) the pension obligations of La Poste amount to a total of EUR 70 billion. As the paper reported further, in the past year alone more than EUR 2.1 billion had to be paid out on current pensions.
On Friday of last week the German trade association Bundesverband Internationaler Express- and Kurierdienste e. V. (BIEK) criticised the practice of targeted early retirement of postal workers because of unfitness for service and urged the Federal government to put a stop to this practice immediately.
The fact that competitors of national postal services can successfully establish themselves in rural areas has been proven by the Norwegian Kongsberg Lokalposten. This enterprise, established 40 km from Oslo four years ago as a one-man business, now has three employees and operates in Kongsberg and the surrounding area, mainly in the commercial sector.
Medium-sized carrier firms from Germany have criticised the influence of the state on transport companies in an interview with the daily newspaper "Die Welt." "The cross-subsidizations between the Deutsche Post and DHL with their monopoly on letters are a scandal," says Thomas Huttemann, managing partner of the family firm of the same name of Duisburg.
During the past week the Dutch TNT Group announced its co-operation with the Belgian Agence et Messageries de la Presse (AMP). The announcement came just a few days after the declaration by the postal service that it had withdrew from the bidding process for the Belgian post.
According to a report in the Polish daily newspaper `Rzeczpospolita" more than 90 express and parcel services now operate in the Polish market.
July 6, 2005 -- The Associated Press has reported that "A window clerk at the Soldotna Post Office is looking a tad bit more conservative these days — and that's upsetting many town residents. Customers have written letters of protest to Soldotna Mayor Dave Carey after postal clerk Steve Adams was banned from sporting his colorful, sometimes clashing, ties at work because they didn't conform with dress code regulations."
July 6, 2005 -- The June 2005 update from Universal Postal Union Direct Mail Advisory Board has been posted on this site.
July 6, 2005 -- The Congressional Budget Office has reported that:
"Enacting S. 662 would not affect how much the federal government spends on pension or health care benefits for USPS retirees. By increasing how much the Postal Service pays to finance those benefits and by eliminating the current-law escrow account requirements, however, the bill would increase future budget deficits—as measured by the unified federal budget—for 2008 through 2015, and for several years after 2015. (We estimate a small decrease in the deficit for 2006, and a near-zero impact for 2007.) Eliminating the escrow account requirement for the USPS would allow that agency to increase spending for capital improvements or other projects, pay down its outstanding debt, postpone or diminish future rate increases, or some combination of these options. Enacting the bill also would reduce direct spending mostly by making the costs of the Postal Rate Commission (PRC) and the USPS Office of the Inspector General subject to appropriation. Pursuant to section 407 of H. Con. Res. 95 (the Concurrent Resolution on the Budget, Fiscal Year 2006), CBO estimates that enacting S. 662 would cause an increase in direct spending to the unified budget of greater than $5 billion in the 10-year period beginning in 2016. The bill would not increase on-budget direct spending by more than $5 billion during any of the four 10-year periods from 2016 through 2055."
July 6, 2005 -- Antara News has reported that "A five-member delegation of demonstrating state postal company PT Pos workers was on Wednesday allowed to enter the presidential palace to convey their demands to President Suislo Bambang Yudhoyono in person. The delagation represented some 2,000 PT Pos Workers Union (SPPI) members who were staging a rally in front of the presidential Merdeka Palace to demand the replacement of the company`s management."
July 6, 2005 -- The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has reported that "Sandy Springs-based delivery giant UPS said it's reviewing its policy on carrying tobacco products, even as rival DHL announced it will stop delivering cigarettes to individual consumers nationwide under an agreement announced Tuesday with New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer. Spitzer said DHL is the first major shipping company to agree to the ban, and negotiations continue with other companies and the U.S. Postal Service. UPS confirmed Tuesday that it is in talks with Spitzer's office. It described the talks as "very cooperative" but declined to discuss specifics or comment on DHL's announcement. State lawmakers — and members of Congress — have said they are increasingly concerned about Internet sales of cigarettes, which can provide a back door for minors to get access to tobacco products and, states worry, make it easier for buyers to avoid paying local and state sales taxes."
July 6, 2005 -- Swissinfo has reported that "Swiss Post made a greater profit last year than its accounts show, according to a report by PostReg, the new postal-market regulatory authority. The report, published on Wednesday, found there had been serious breaches of the service’s legal regulations. Swiss Post has denied the accusations." See also Neue Zurcher Zeitung.
July 6, 2005 -- Market Watch has reported that "The China State Post Bureau has submitted its restructuring plan to the State Council and is waiting for its approval, The 21st Century Business Herald reports. The restructuring of China Post and the drafting of a new postal law have been contentious issues for international express mail companies, including TNT, DHL Worldwide Express Inc. (DHL.XX), FedEx Corp. (FDX), and United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS). China Post is currently the postal regulator as well as the sole domestic postal service provider in China, and foreign express mail firms would like to see those roles separated. A China Post spokesman declined to give further details on the restructuring plan, the paper says."
July 6, 2005 -- From the PR Newswire: "Global Crossing has announced a three-year extension of its eight-year agreement with Lockheed Martin to provide a fully managed IP solution for Royal Mail in the United Kingdom. Royal Mail is the nationwide postal service operated by holding company Royal Mail Group plc. The extension is valued at $14 million and means the contract will now run to 2011."
July 6, 2005 -- FirstLogic will be holding a web seminar on LACSLinkLink on Thursday, July 7, 2005, at 2 p.m. CST..
July 6, 2005 -- Silicon.com has reported that "Microsoft is planning to make RFID applications and tag-readers compatible with Windows."
July 6, 2005 -- Dow Jones has reported that "Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi staked the future of his government Wednesday on the battle to privatize the massive postal savings system, saying rejection of the package by the upper house of Parliament would equal a no-confidence vote. Proponents say privatization would improve postal services by making them more competitive and give the market a greater say in how to efficiently use the massive deposits now in the state-run system. Critics, however, fear that postal services will be reduced in rural areas, some of the country's 400,000 postal system workers will lose their jobs, and the mammoth bank created will drive existing private financial institutions out of business." See also Reuters and AFX.
July 6, 2005 -- The Asahi Shimbun has asked:
July 5, 2005 -- Computerworld has reported that "Following a competitive tender, Australia Post has selected Viewlocity’s Control Tower Platform to monitor the delivery of barcoded articles (parcels) throughout the Australia Post delivery network. Viewlocity will provide Australia Post with one single system to track all barcoded domestic articles (parcels)."
July 6, 2005 -- According to the Miami Herald, "Mexico is 0 for 2 in racial boneheaded moves. Only weeks ago President Vicente Fox offended many Americans by saying that Mexican workers in the United States took jobs that ''not even blacks'' want. Now the government has issued a stamp featuring Memín Pinguín, a black, 1940s cartoon character with the supersized lips and features that are the hallmark of racial stereotyping. The Mexican postal service said that the beloved character had good values and was not a racist caricature. Yet, in fact, the black boy in Mexican comic books embodied common 1940s bigotry. While well-meaning and sympathetic, Memín Pinguín was portrayed as lazy and uneducated. The White House and other critics are right to object to this image. If the Mexican government has any racial sensibility, it will withdraw this stamp. Such ugly stereotypes send the wrong message. Let Memín Pinguín stay where he belongs: in the last century."
July 6, 2005 -- As one writer in Forbes has put it: "The junk mail industry, says Chana Schoenberger in the story beginning on page 90, is giving a new lease on life to Xerox. This firm sells a $500,000 color printer ideal for customized advertising circulars. Junk is a lucrative sector of the ad business, with a $51 billion annual volume that dwarfs the outlays for magazine advertising. Lucrative, and wasteful. I don't know if the catalogs I get from Lands' End cost more to make than the shirts, but surely they weigh more. Between printing and mailing it costs at least half a buck to send a first-class pitch to someone. If 90% of the recipients chuck the envelope unopened into a wastebasket, then the pitchman is spending $5 just to get one advertisement read." Yes...we here at PostCom will defend to the death your right to sound as stupid as you wish.
July 6, 2005 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that "DHL is to provide comprehensive support for the "Afghan Generic Medicines Project" by organizing the logistics of the donated machinery and training of the local staff in storage and delivery methods. The Project was established to construct a pharmaceutical plant, from donated machinery, to provide safe and effective generic medicines to the Afghan population."
July 6, 2005 -- As the Wall Street Journal has noted, "Japan's lower house of Parliament approved legislation that sets in motion a plan to split up and privatize the massive state-run postal system, whose savings and insurance divisions represent a financial empire that has been a big source of funds for government projects. The passage of the bills, which still need to pass the less-powerful upper house, is a victory for Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's campaign to reduce the size of the Japanese government. Privatization of the postal system is one of Mr. Koizumi's long-held aims. While it won't spark instant change, analysts say it will continue Japan's push away from trying to boost the economy through government spending, which spawned massive road and bridge-building projects criticized by critics as wasteful."
July 6, 2005 -- Scoop has reported that:
July 6, 2005 -- The Associated Press has reported that "One of the world's largest package delivery companies will stop delivering cigarettes to individual consumers nationwide under an agreement with New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer. Spitzer said DHL is the first major shipping company to agree to the ban and negotiations continue with other companies and the U.S. Postal Service. The agreement follows a March deal in which major credit card companies began refusing to participate in Internet sale of cigarettes nationwide. The agreement with Spitzer and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is aimed at ending a common method for youths to obtain cigarettes, which can't legally be sold to people under 18 years old. In Tuesday's agreement, DHL cuts off another route for the Internet cigarette sales, a growing business, Spitzer said."
July 6, 2005 -- According to USPS contracting guru David Hendel, "Taking the place of the USPS Purchasing Manual, the Postal Service issued the Interim Internal Purchasing Guidelines, which became effective on May 19, 2005. Similar to what the pirate king advised his captive in the movie "Pirates of the Caribbean," USPS's new set of purchasing rules "is more a set of what you'd call 'guidelines' than actual rules."
July 6, 2005 -- According to Newsweek, "Millions of Americans now have a new reason to dread the mailbox. In addition to the tried-and-true collection of Letters You Never Want to See—the tax audit, the high cholesterol reading, the college rejection letter—there is now the missive that reveals you are on the fast track to becoming a victim of identify theft. Someone may have taken possession of your credit-card info, Social Security number, bank account or other personal data that would enable him or her to go on a permanent shopping spree—leaving you to deal with the financial, legal and psychic bills."
July 6, 2005 -- As Business Week has noted, "Time Warner Cable Inc. will soon begin testing a system designed by software firm Invidi Technologies Inc. that uses the digital set-top cable box to track what each TV in any house has on. It's expected to go into a household test by yearend, with other cable companies following in 2006. By analyzing where a viewer channel surfs, Invidi says the system can figure out the age, gender, and probable interests of the viewer. Most important, the system then matches TV ads to the consumer based on what might actually interest them." Looks as if marketers and advertisers will have access to an alternative that could target almost as well as mail.
July 6, 2005 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "FedEx Corp. will sign an agreement early next month to make Guangzhou's Baiyun Airport in China its second Asia-Pacific hub."
July 6, 2005 -- AllAfrica.com has reported that "Most of the customers of the Post Office Savings Bank have expressed misgivings towards the on-going audit exercise authorised by the Ministry of Finance and the Economy, to evaluate how much the bank owes its customers."
July 6, 2005 -- The Hindu Business Line has reported that "BANKS are faced with intense competition. Not from fellow banks, but from India Post, which has become aggressive in mobilising savings. Bankers say the competition has already impacted their deposit mobilisation efforts."
July 5, 2005 -- AFX Europe has reported that "Vittorio Mincato, chairman of the state-owned post office company Poste Italiane SpA, said the management is working to ensure the group's privatisation next year."
July 5, 2005 -- According to The Economist, "Junichiro Koizumi has narrowly won parliamentary backing for his plan to privatise Japan Post, the world’s largest financial institution. Removing such a large chunk of cash from the state’s grip will cause potential problems for rival banks and insurers, and upheaval for Japan’s ruling party. But the process will not be complete for another 12 years."
July 5, 2005 -- From the i-Newswire: "ElectraDoc Cyber Express. Inc. ( ECE™ ) launched its New Mail Service on June 13, 2005. ECE™ now has revolutionized the mail/document delivery service with it’s eDoc™ authentication secure evidence tracking technology that will authenticate the Recipient ( Person ) who receives the mail/document with 100% Guarantee that the mail/document will only be received by the authorized person( s ) with a send and receive verification eDoc™ eRecepit forwarded to the sender using eDoc™ authentication secured evidence tracking network technology. ElectraDoc Cyber Express ( ECE™ ) has revolutionized the way that businesses communicate for sending and receiving mail/documents that are currently sent by Worldwide Postal Services, Overnight Delivery Services, and E-mail. ECE™ Postal Service with its eDoc™ Authentication Secured Evidence Tracking Network has addressed the total security weakest in sending and receiving of mail/document using the Worldwide Postal Services, Overnight Delivery Services, and E-mail."
July 5, 2005 -- In the latest Linn's, Bill McAllister wrote that "You can expect to see a lot more of those boxy, righthand-drive Postal Service carrier delivery trucks in use in rural America. The United States Postal Service board of governors approved a plan June 14 that will send a lot of those trucks from urban postal routes to rural routes. It’s part of a two-year-old plan to have more rural letter carriers operating Postal Service-owned vehicles rather than drawing an allowance for using their own vehicles on routes. The way Tom Day, the Postal Service’s vice president for engineering, explained it to the board, the Postal Service was having difficulty recruiting rural letter carriers because of the requirement to have and use their own cars for the routes. The plan is to send 15,000 right-hand-drive urban vehicles already in the fleet to rural carriers by 2008, Day said. To get authority to make the switch, the Postal Service first had to take the issue to labor arbitration. The board of governors had to agree to purchase 3,120 minivans to replace the urban right-hand-drive vehicles. It did so as part of what one governor said would be a $215 million vehicle purchase."
July 5, 2005 -- As DM News postal commentator Cary Baer has noted, "It’s been clear for a while that one of the most significant cost-saving opportunities for the U.S. Postal Service is in address quality. Unfortunately, the most recent comprehensive cost study of undeliverable as addressed mail is from 1998. Despite much effort by many people, the volume and cost to handle UAA does not seem significantly reduced. Some data introduced before the Postal Rate Commission even indicate an increase. It’s time for the USPS to consider new strategies."
July 5, 2005 -- UPS has unveiled a technology enhancement that automatically notifies customers of every package in the UPS system moving toward them, providing a new tool to better manage the demands of business. The software technology opening a new "window" into the UPS system is called UPS Quantum ViewSM Inbound and represents the most recent addition to the UPS Quantum ViewSM suite of visibility services.
July 5, 2005 -- According to Dow Jones, "Singapore Post Ltd. and Prudential Assurance have said they aim to double the distribution network of their tie-up to 38 branches by year-end. The partnership began in January with 18 SingPost branches across the island offering Prudential's financial planning products and services. More than 20 million customers visit the country's post offices every year, SingPost said."
July 5, 2005 -- The Washington Post has noted that "Thomas Cannon, 79, a retired Richmond postal worker who lived much of his life on the edge of poverty so he could give away a portion of his modest income to those in need, died July 2 of colon cancer at Richmond Community Hospital. The self-described poor man's philanthropist, he gave away more than $150,000 over the past 33 years, mostly in thousand-dollar checks, to people he read about in the Richmond Times-Dispatch who were experiencing hard times or who had been unusually kind or courageous."
July 5, 2005 -- The U.S. Postal Service has awarded an aggregated contract to seven electric distribution companies in Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York and Pennsylvania in the amount of $183,294,563 for the purchase of electricity generation. Central Main Power and Bangor Hydro Electric; Potomac Electric Company; Baltimore Gas and Electric; National Grid and Western Massachusetts Electric Company; Con Edison; and Niagara Mohawk, New York State Gas and Electric and Central Hudson were awarded this fixed price indefinite delivery contract on July 1, 2005.
July 5, 2005 -- This Is Guernsey has reported that "HMV’S decision to move its online mail-order store here could boost the postal service. Commerce and Employment deputy minister Carla McNulty Bauer said it was not a bid by the firm to exploit tax benefits. ‘It is a well established reputable business with a recognised brand name and it is a compliment to our local infrastructure and business climate that they have decided to move here,’ said deputy minister Carla McNulty Bauer.
July 5, 2005 -- The BBC has reported that "Japan's lower house of parliament has narrowly approved plans to privatise the country's huge postal system. The move is set to create the world's largest bank, as Japan Post controls 350 trillion yen ($3.2 trillion) in savings and insurance funds. The 233-228 vote was a victory for Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, who had pledged to push the reforms through before leaving office in 2006. Under the proposed reforms, Japan Post would be split into four entities in 2007 in the hope of stimulating competition. Its savings and insurance arms would have to be sold by 2017. Advocates of the reforms claim that privatisation will make more efficient use of the service's huge funds for investment. But the country's 300,000 postal employees - a powerful lobbying group who are also instrumental in mobilising rural voters - opposed the bill, fearing for their jobs." See also the Financial Times, Business Week, and the Asahi Shimbun.
July 5, 2005 -- So what does the Japan Post reform bill do? Kyodo has provided a simple summary.
July 5, 2005 -- According to Xinhua, "the Japanese government on Tuesday dismissed two senior vice ministers and two parliamentary secretaries who voted against a set of postal reform bills at a lower house plenary session. The four include Seiichi Eto, senior vice minister for health, labor and welfare. He submitted a letter of resignation earlier in the day. The decision was made in an extraordinary cabinet meeting Tuesday afternoon held a few hours after the bills narrowly passed the lower house 233 against 228. Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroyuki Hosoda warned senior government officials before the voting that they should cast favorable votes, otherwise, they would be severely punished." See also People's Daily.
July 5, 2005 -- Arab News has reported that "Muhammed Saleh Benten, president of the Saudi Postal Corporation (SPC), has announced that women will soon be employed in the Saudi postal service. The president said that the first step toward employing women would be a training program for them. The decision to appoint Saudi women in the postal service is part of a trend to employ them in key sectors of the economy and in government service. DHL Saudi Arabia has hired its first Saudi woman and other women have found jobs in small businesses, fashion design, factory assembly lines, technical jobs, tourism and handicrafts in addition to IT jobs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. A women’s postal section has already been opened at King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah. It will serve the university’s female staff and students."
July 5, 2005 -- Ms. Joelle Toledano has been named a commissioner of the French Telecommunications (and Post) Regulator (ARCEP). She formerly was the head of Domestic and European Regulatory Affairs at the La Poste and was a frequent presenter at the annual conferences on postal and regulatory economics conducted by Rutgers University.
July 5, 2005 -- The Asahi Shimbun has reported that "The battle over postal privatization legislation moves to a plenary session of the Lower House-and expected passage-today after a special committee approved the bills Monday Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said he was confident the bills for his pet project would pass the lower chamber ``Despite many twists and turns, in the end the bills will receive approval and be passed,'' Koizumi said, adding there was no longer a need to carry out his threat to dissolve the Lower House." See also Nikkei News Service.
July 5, 2005 -- The Kyodo News Service has reported that "The rally was organized by a civic group consisting of "the fans of post offices." It is headed by former Meiji University President Kaoru Okano. Following the rally, the protesters marched about 1.8 kilometers to the Diet building. Okano and other rally organizers handed over a petition to a group of legislators from both chambers of the Diet who have taken a critical position on the legislation." See also the BBC Monitoring Service
July 4, 2005 -- Intellagencia has reported that "Royal Mail is launching a new online resource aimed at publishers following consultation with the Periodical Publishers Association (PPA) and the Association of Publishing Agencies (APA). The microsite will "help keep the publishing industry abreast of the latest news, events and postal information", according to Royal Mail, and provide access to information on Royal Mail products and services pertinent to the publishing industry. The site is aimed at consumer, business to business and customer magazine publishers and went live today at www.royalmail.com." See also Media Week.
July 4, 2005 -- International Freighting Weekly has reported that "Parcel companies including several household names showed a "limited response" when a UK client put a £4m ( t5.9m) contract out to tender. The Express Delivery Conference in Birmingham heard most firms had viewed the potential business as unimportant, could not resource the process properly, misunderstood data and tendered late even when given four or five weeks. Alan Jones, former MD of TNT Express, said the days of the one-stop shop were over and urged carriers to specialise, not generalise."
July 4, 2005 -- According to Reuters, "Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi won the approval of a parliamentary panel on Monday for his pet project of postal privatisation, setting the stage for a showdown the next day with opponents in his party when the full house votes on related bills. Koizumi has said that if the bills were voted down it would be the equivalent of a no-confidence vote against his cabinet, an implicit threat to dissolve parliament and call a snap election. Koizumi has made postal privatisation the centrepiece of his reform policy, staking his political legacy on achieving it, but many in his Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) are against the step, fearing that it would threaten their support base. "Enacting the bills will result in structural reform of the entire economy, so they are very important," Koizumi told the parliamentary committee before it passed the bills. To ensure passage in the committee, the LDP leadership had replaced some party members on the panel with others who had publicly supported privatisation."
July 4, 2005 -- Here are a couple of items that are new on the PostInsight web site:
‘Light is Right’. Conditions for Competition and Regulation in the Postal Market by Professor Bijl, Van Damme & Larouche from the Tilburg University Law and Economics Center. This study argues that in a liberalized market, provided competition laws apply, there is no need for regulating or mandating access by competitors to the incumbent post's network.
'The Universal Postal Service in the Communications Era' by Professors Finger, Alyanak & Rossel from EPFL. This study suggests a critical review of today's definition of the Universal Postal Service and offers guidelines for its modernization. The study concludes that there is no need for a Universal Service Obligation (USO) for business customers and it is time to create a modern and flexible USO that benefits consumers.
Europe Economics Executive Briefing. This briefing considers whether the process of European postal reform will be negatively affected by the recent French rejection of the draft European constitution.
July 4, 2005 -- The Pasadena Star News has reported that "As identity theft has become more commonplace, so has mail theft, according to the Postal Inspection Service. The service made 6,618 arrests for mail theft in the 2004 fiscal year, up from 5,175 two years earlier. Since November, it has made 4,041 arrests. Mail theft "tends to increase during the summer months, because people go out of town on vacation," said Postal Inspector Yvonne Guerrero. "It's been a bigger problem overall, though."
July 4, 2005 -- Xinhua has reported that "A set of bills adamantly advocated by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to privatize Japan's postal services were approved Monday by a lower house special committee amid strong resistance from opposition parties and his own party members. Yet, the premier can not breathe a sigh of relief as he has to face perhaps a tougher job Tuesday to get the bills clear the plenary session of the lower house assembly. The bills were backed by Koizumi's Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and the New Komeito party -- the ruling coalition partner." See also Kyodo and Asahi Shimbun.
July 4, 2005 -- The DM Bulletin has reported that:
July 3, 2005 -- From Free-Press-Release.com: "eSteward handles OWCP Workers Compensation claims under FECA. APWU and NALC postal union stewards will find everything necessary for preparing and arguing Workers Compensation claims before the Office of Workers Compensation Programs and the Employee Compensation Appeals Board."
July 3, 2005 -- The papers presented in English at «Pochtovaya Troika 2005», June 28-30, 2005, St. Petersburg, Russia have been posted on this site.
July 3, 2005 -- The Edge Daily has noted that "Our confidence in Pos Malaysia has clearly paid off. In mid-2004, we first recommended it when it was trading at around RM2. A year later, they have surged over 70% to RM3.42, outperforming the KLCI’s roughly 7% rise by a large factor of 10 times. Pos Malaysia’s shares are now trading near the fair values we indicated in our latest updates (RM3.36 in February 2005, subsequently raised to RM3.64 in May’s Personal Money issue)."
July 3, 2005 -- The Jamaica Observer has reported that:
July 2, 2005 -- The Independent has reported that "Royal Mail has been forced to continue carrying firearms in the post after a rearguard action by the gun lobby persuaded the industry regulator not to support a ban on the practice. Postcomm said Royal Mail had not provided sufficient evidence either that the transportation of guns caused undue disruption to the postal system or that banning it would reduce the number of illegal guns in circulation, even though the Association of Chief Police Officers had supported the move. It added that a ban would cause hardship for many people and businesses in rural areas."
July 2, 2005 -- As the Irish Times has noted, "Next day delivery rates at An Post have improved in the first quarter of the year but remain well below targets set by the regulator, ComReg."
July 2, 2005 -- The National Association of Major Mail Users (NAMMU) has noted that "Canada Post announced a one-cent increase to the basic domestic letter rate as well as proposed increases for USA and International letter rates, updates to UPU information, in Part 1 of the Canada Gazette published June 28, for implementation January 16, 2006. Using the platitude of the price-cap formula, the domestic announcement is actually a “fait accompli” and this announcement perpetuates the myth of fairness and transparency in rate action and cost control. There is a 60 day appeal process for International and USA rates and conditions, and the appeal is directed to Canada Post. Despite the strong and prolonged formal protests of the Corporation’s largest customers and suppliers last year against this arbitrary process, nothing apparently has changed."
July 2, 2005 -- A rather impressive list of House Members [graphic] [text] has written a letter to House government reform committee chairman Tom Davis (R-VA) acknowledging that while there may be issues that remain with H.R. 22, it's time to move postal reform legislation forward. [The item posted is only the first of several pages with signatures.]
July 2, 2005 -- The Associated Press has reported that "The Postal Service said Friday it has awarded a $60.5 million contract to a unit of DaimlerChrysler AG for carrier route delivery vehicles. The contract calls for delivery of 3,100 left-hand drive minivans and 10 clean diesel vehicles by Nov. 30."
July 1, 2005 -- The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin is available online. In this issue, news on:
July 1, 2005 -- The U.S. Postal Service has taken exception with a recent ad from some credit card companies concerning mail's culpability as a source for identity theft.
July 1, 2005 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that "DHL and BFH DHL have signed an agreement with Bahrain Financial Harbour Holding Company to become its exclusive logistics provider. The Bahrain Financial Harbour (BFH) is a $1.3 billion development, encompassing finance, commerce, lifestyle, entertainment, the arts and leisure. Upon its completion, BFH will provide a faciliti es for international institutions to be established in Bahrain."
July 1, 2005 -- Dow Jones has reported that "The Danish postal service, Post Danmark, Friday said it and CVC Capital Partners Ltd. (CVC.YY) are the preferred bidder for a 50%-minus one share stake in De Post-La Poste, the Belgian postal service. Post Danmark said it and CVC, which holds a 22% in Post Danmark, are now in exclusive talks with the Belgian state and De Post-La Poste."
July 1, 2005 -- Cairo Magazine has reported that "Egypt Post is in the process of setting up a new financial product that would give millions of saving account holders a chance to invest on the bourse. In cooperation with the National Bank of Egypt, it will establish a LE200 million fund to be invested in the Cairo and Alexandria Stock Exchanges (CASE). Via the fund, Egypt Post’s customers will be able to invest amounts as small as LE10 in the stock exchange."
July 1, 2005 -- Forbes has reported that "Pitney Bowes has acquired all the outstanding stock of Danka Canada Inc. for about $14 million. Danka Canada's parent, Danka Business Systems PLC, said separately that it sold the unit because it has not been profitable, posting a loss of $7.7 million on $35.9 million in sales for the latest fiscal year ended March 31."
July 1, 2005 -- The Asahi Shimbun has reported that:
July 1, 2005 -- The Washington Post has reported that "Mexico's government insisted Thursday that a black cartoon character with exaggerated features is a historical icon who deserves to be celebrated on a postage stamp _ and that U.S. leaders charging racism do not fully understand Mexican culture. The country's postal service this week released a series of five stamps depicting "Memin Pinguin," a child's character from a comic book started in the 1945 that is still published in Mexico. But a spokesman for Mexican President Vicente Fox, said the comic book has promoted understanding and family values for decades. "It seems strange to me that this celebration of Mexican culture and Mexico's post office's toast to Mexican cartoonists is misunderstood," said the spokesman, Ruben Aguilar. He said the comic book was "not racist. It's exactly the opposite."
July 1, 2005 -- GovExec.com has reported that "The Homeland Security Department has awarded a contract to DHL, the express shipping company, that could be worth up to $60 million over the next five years. Under the new contract, DHL will handle all pickups of letters and small packages for all parts of DHS, including the Customs and Border Patrol bureau and the Transportation Security Administration, for delivery to destinations around the world. Previously, multiple companies handled the department's shipping needs."
July 1, 2005 -- Forbes has reported that "German logistics company Fiege has abandoned plans to expand its domestic mail delivery operations, Handelsblatt newspaper reported, citing a Fiege spokesman. Fiege, one of Deutsche Post AG's larger rivals, said it will instead concentrate on the delivery of newspapers, Handelsblatt added. Deutsche Post will lose its stamp monopoly at the end of 2007, paving the way for competitors to expand in the German postal market."
July 1, 2005 -- The latest copy of the National Association of Postmasters of the U.S. electronic governmental affairs newsletter is available on the NAPUS web site.
July 1, 2005 -- Traffic World has reported that:
July 1, 2005 -- DC Velocity has reported that "FOR SOME TRUCKERS, IT'S THE BEST OF TIMES, A GOLDEN AGE IN WHICH they find their trucks packed, their revenues solid and their profits at record levels. For others, it's the worst of times, a nightmarish period in which they scarcely emerge from one crisis before being battered by the next round of fuel price hikes or staffing shortages. But whichever type they may be, truckers at least agree on this: their industry is going through an unprecedented period of upheaval, one marked by mergers, acquisitions and closures. In the words of Ted Scherck, president of the research consultancy Colography Group, "There is no shortage of turmoil in the trucking industry."
July 1, 2005 -- The Europe Intelligence Wire has reported that "At end-2004 there were 90 parcel delivery companies on the market, six times as many as in 1996. Their number grew by 32 last year, as 42 new companies started operations and 10 moved out of business. Estimating how much the market is worth is difficult, with estimates ranging between ZL1-2 billion. Different companies define their market share in different terms, and many believe the regulator, URTiP, should set a standard in this regard. The URTiP recently drew up a report about the postal services market for the infrastructure ministry, but the report, as containing commercially sensitive data, is confidential."
July 1, 2005 -- The Direct Marketing Association (The DMA) Board of Directors has announced the selection of the 2005 honorees for The DMA Hall of Fame. This year, three direct marketing leaders are being honored: Martin "Marty" Edelston, who built Boardroom, Inc. into a multimillion-dollar publishing empire; Tim Litle, principal, Litle & Co., a leading payment processor for direct marketers and the e-commerce industry; and Ted Spiegel, who helped cement Spiegel's reputation as one of America's leading catalog marketers.
July 1, 2005 -- From the Business Wire: "Research and Markets (http://www.researchandmarkets.com/reports/c20094) has announced the addition of Post Office Financial Services: Opportunities and Challenges in a Competitive Global Market to their offering. Postal operators have traditionally offered a range of basic financial services such as payments and savings schemes, but they are increasingly pursuing opportunities to offer more sophisticated and potentially more lucrative, products and services, such as insurance, investments and loans. They are seeking opportunities in financial services to maximize the revenue potential of their vast post office networks and to generate much-needed extra revenue. Some governments are also pushing postal operators to offer basic financial services to combat social exclusion. However, most postal operators lack the expertise or experience to manage sophisticated financial products directly. They are therefore developing partnerships and alliances with financial institutions to offer the solutions together. Through a range of marketing alliances, agency agreements, joint ventures and equity tie-ups, postal operators are working with financial institutions to offer a new range of financial services."
July 1, 2005 -- The St. Petersburg Times has reported that "Aiming to throw off images of tardy, insecure service, Pochta Rossii (Russian Post) has initiated a full modernization process, Igor Syrtsov, head of the monopoly, said Tuesday. The results, however, may not be visible to the consumer too soon. Delivery of post to any point in Russia within three days has a target deadline of "by 2010," the monopoly said at the Pochtovaya Troika international postal forum held in St. Petersburg this week. Preparing to become a joint-stock company next year, Pochta Rossii will need to adapt to a postal market that faces "liberalization and globalization," Leonid Reiman, head of the IT and Communications Ministry, said at the forum. Pochta Rossii will heavily invest in the setting up of a nationwide network of 25 automated mail sorting centers, which, together with raising the security and speed of mail, will gradually reduce the service's massive employee bill."
July 1, 2005 -- From the PR Newswire: "Music, food, parties and dance are essential elements to any celebration and today the U.S. Postal Service issued a set of four stamps today depicting classic Disney characters bringing the party to life. The Art of Disney: Celebration stamps feature Mickey Mouse and Pluto, Alice and the Mad Hatter, Ariel and Flounder and Snow White and Dopey. This is the second in a series paying tribute to the art of Disney, and comes during an especially magical year as Disneyland and its theme parks around the world celebrate 50 years of magic. "The Postal Service knows that Americans have much to celebrate," said Patrick Donahoe, Deputy Postmaster General and Chief Operating Officer of the U.S. Postal Service, who dedicated the stamps. "We also know that the mail remains the best way to share joyous news and invite friends and family to come together for a special event. So, who better than Mickey Mouse and his friends to help the Postal Service and all Americans celebrate those special times in their lives."
July 1, 2005 -- The Associated Press has reported that "The White House on Thursday objected to a postage stamp issued by the Mexican government, saying that "racial stereotypes are offensive no matter what their origin."
July 1, 2005 -- The Financial Express has reported that: